Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scientia Agricola]]> vol. 74 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Sustained swimming improves fish dietary nutrient assimilation efficiency and body composition of juvenile <em>Brycon amazonicus</em>]]> ABSTRACT Sustained swimming (SS) usually promotes beneficial effects in growth and feed conversion of fishes. Although feed efficiency is improves at moderate water velocity, more information is required to determine the contributions of this factor on growth and body composition. Body composition and efficiency responses to the use of nutrients were determined in juvenile matrinxa Brycon amazonicus (Spix and Agassiz, 1829) fed with two dietary amounts of protein, 28 or 38% of crude protein (CP), and subjected to sustained swimming at a constant speed of 1.5 body lengths s−1 (BL s−1) or let to free swimming. The fish body composition under SS and fed with 28% of dietary protein showed 22% of increased in bulk protein and a 26% of decrease in water content in the white muscle. Red muscle depicted 70% less water content and a 10% more lipid. Nutrient retention was enhanced in fish subjected to SS and a higher gain of ethereal extract sustained was observed in the white muscle of exercised fish fed with 38% CP. The interaction between swimming and dietary protein resulted in a larger bulk of lipid in red muscle. Fish fed with 28% CP under SS at 1.5 BL s−1 presented the best utilization of dietary nutrients and body composition. Thus, this fish farming procedure is proposed as a promising management strategy for rearing matrinxa. <![CDATA[Longitudinal model for categorical data applied in an agriculture experiment about elephant grass]]> ABSTRACT Experiments where the response is a categorical variable are usually carried out in many fields such as agriculture. In addition, in some situations this response has three or more levels without an order between them characterizing a multinomial (nominal) response. Statistical models for scenarios where the observations of a nominal response can be considered independent have an extensive literature, such as the baseline-category logit models. However, situations where this assumption is violated (as in longitudinal studies) require specific models that take into consideration the dependence between observations. In this paper, a fairly new extension of the generalized estimating equations is applied to analyze an experiment carried out to investigate the type of vegetation observed in an elephant grass pasture, according to some management conditions over time. This extension uses local odds ratios to explain the dependence among the categories of the outcome over the repeated measurements. Two different structures were compared to describe this dependence, and the Wald test was used to select the significant variables. Further, we built confidence intervals for the predicted probabilities of occurrence of each category and assessed the results comparing observed/predicted values and using the diagnostic analysis. The results allowed to conclude that there are various significant effects for treatments and for time. The structure of local odds ratio also proved as a good way to describe the dependence between categorical responses over time. <![CDATA[Farmer rationality and the adoption of greening practices in Poland]]> ABSTRACT Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform in the European Union introduced a new element: greening. The aim of greening is to support the environment and create non-productive value in agriculture. The main element of greening is the Ecological Focus Area (EFA) meaning that a portion of farmland area has to be designed for environmental purposes. This article consists of an evaluatation of greening and its elements in the first year CAP reform has come into force. Surveys were used as a tool to gather information about farm characteristics, ways to meet greening requirements as well as the opinions of farmers as to changes in direct subsidies and greening obligations. The research was conducted in 2015 directly interviewing 290 farmers from the whole of Poland. The farmers interviewed lived in different parts of the country and had different size farms. Data was prepared with the use of spreadsheets and were analysed using the R statistical program and the “gmodel” and “vcd” statistical packages were used during the calculations. Polish farmers are against greening. Greening does not significantly change the way farmers run their farms. They choose the cheapest options of EFA which are usually not the best for the environment. Furthermore, farmers have to bear the cost of introducing the new elements themselves. Despite a high number of environmental and agricultural advantages offered by new farming methods, crop rotation and after-crop sowing duty, CAP reform is assessed in a negative light. As a result of negative opinions held by farmers due to the lack of subsidies, farmers may not continue greening practices in the future. <![CDATA[Detection of differentially methylated regions of irradiated fig tree selections]]> ABSTRACT Fig tree (Ficus carica L.) breeding programs using conventional methods, such as directed crosses, to obtain new cultivars, are unworkable in many countries, including Brazil. Consequently, genetic breeding through mutagenesis has emerged as an important line of research that can improve this crop, and be a significant source of information about this species and assist in the implementation of propagation projects and appropriate management. The aim of this study was to verify the existence of epigenetic variability attributable to DNA methylation in irradiated fig selections when compared both to each other and to the main commercial cultivar, “Roxo-de-Valinhos”, which had previously used methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) and DNA sequencing to detect the position of polymorphic regions, analyzable by bioinformatic tools. The sequencing of DNA, isolated from the differentially methylated sites, makes it possible to observe different patterns of methylation by sequencing the treated DNA with sodium bisulfite in the coding regions of regulatory genes active in the development, and fruit ripening stages. Furthermore, they have been found in the mitochondrial DNA of treatments which regulate the supply of energy in Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) form in plants. Closely related to their development, they justify the different phenotypes found in both fruit and plant growth that have suffered stress due to exposure to gamma radiation. Thus, future studies on gene expression in treatments have emerged as an extremely important strategy for understanding these complex regulatory systems, which may lead to the identification of genes of agricultural interest for the fig tree crop, and allow for manipulation and subsequent propagation of improved crops for commercial purposes. <![CDATA[Model-assisted phenotyping by digital images in papaya breeding program]]> ABSTRACT Manual phenotyping for papaya Carica papaya (L) breeding purposes limits the evaluation of a great number of plants and hampers selection of superior genotypes. This study aimed to validate two methodologies for the phenotyping of morpho-agronomic plant traits using image analysis and fruit traits through image processing. In plants of the ‘THB’ variety and ‘UENF/Caliman-01’ hybrid two images (A and B) were analyzed to estimate commercial and irregularly shaped fruits. Image A was also used in the estimation of plant height, stem diameter and the first fruit insertion height. In ‘THB’ fruits, largest and smallest diameters, length, and volume were estimated by using a caliper and image processing (IP). Volume was obtained by water column displacement (WCD) and by the expression of ellipsoid approximation (EA). Correlations above 0.85 between manual and image measurements were obtained for all traits. The averages of the morpho-agronomic traits, estimated by using images, were similar when compared to the averages measured manually. In addition, the errors of the proposed methodologies were low compared to manual phenotyping. Bland-Altman's approach indicated agreement between the volume estimated by WCD and EA using caliper and IP. The strong association obtained between volume and fruit weight suggests the use of regression to estimate this trait. Thus, the expectation is that image-based phenotyping can be used to expand the experiments, thereby maintaining accuracy and providing greater genetic gains in the selection of superior genotypes. <![CDATA[Wood-associated fungi produce volatile organic compounds toxic to root-knot nematode]]> ABSTRACT Since volatiles do not leave residues in food and cause low toxicity to humans, they can act as a skeleton for new nematicidal molecules, once they have demonstrated activity against phytonematodes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by wood-associated fungi on controling second-stage juveniles (J2) of Meloidogyne incognita. All 28 wood-associated fungi isolates produced VOCs which caused in excess of 76 % immobility in exposed J2 of M. incognita. The fungus isolate VOCs also caused significant mortality compared to control when J2 were exposed to them. After 6 h of exposure, the fungus species Epicoccum nigrum and Schizophyllum commune produced VOCs that immobilized exposed J2 compounds, in relation to the control. When J2 were inoculated into tomato under greenhouse conditions, the M. incognita infectivity and reproduction were reduced by exposure to the VOCs. Volatiles produced by most of the fungi isolates and analyzed by gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer (CG-MS), included alcohols, esters, terpenes, and ketones. Certain compounds appeared only in S. commune or in E. nigrum suggesting their involvement in the high level of damage caused to nematode reproduction on tomato. Volatiles emitted by wood fungi demonstrated another mode of action of these microorganisms in nature. <![CDATA[Carbon losses and soil property changes in ferralic Nitisols from Cuba under different coverages]]> ABSTRACT The transformation of primary forestlands into lands under cultivation exerts an impact on the physical and chemical properties of the soils, leading to loss of carbon from the soil. The aims of this study were (1) to estimate the impact of different land use on organic carbon stock (OC-stock) and (2) to determine the clay percentage, the dispersion factor, and bulk density with regard to soil management. Thirty soil profiles were sampled as follows: four under primary forests with 80-100 years (old growth); two under secondary wood forests with 45-50 years; eight under secondary young forests with 15-25 years; four under pasture land with 15-20 years; and 12 under continuous cultivation for &gt; 50 years. We determined the changes in OC-stock in the soils under different land-use conditions in relation to the primary forest variant. There was a difference in the OC-stock of the continuous cultivation variant compared to the remaining land-use variants for all soil-thickness layers. The greatest loss of cultivated soil was in the 0-20 cm layer of the primary forest OC-stock. In the 50-100 cm layer, the OC-stock of the cultivated soils diminished significantly. As regards physical properties, such as clay percentage, dispersion factor, and bulk density, we observed significant differences between the cultivated soils compared to the remaining land-use variants. <![CDATA[Lime and calcium-magnesium silicate in the ionic speciation of an Oxisol]]> ABSTRACT Plant residues and certain fertilizers accelerate soil acidification and increase the levels of aluminum-Al+3 in soils under no-tillage (NT). Silicates act as acidity amendments and as a source of silicon as in H4SiO4. An increase in the pH of soil solution causes the deprotonation of H4SiO4 and generates the anionic form (H3SiO4−). The aim of this study was to evaluate the ionic speciation of Si, Al, Ca, Mg and K in aqueous extracts by means of a software calculation. Since 2006, a field experiment has been under way on an Oxisol under NT subjected to lime and calcium-magnesium silicate applications under four crop systems. The amendments were applied in Oct 2006 and in Oct 2011, aiming to raise base saturation to 70 %. Soil samples were collected in Oct 2013, at depths of 0-5, 5-10, 10-20, 20-40 and 40-60 cm. Both Ca and Mg formed complexes with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) whereas the same was not observed for potassium. These three basic cations were mostly in their free forms regardless of treatment, while Al was mostly complexed with DOC even at the lowest depths (40-60 cm). The highest value of free Al form was 15 %. Si was almost 100 % as H4SiO4, and its activity was similar to its concentration in solution for all crop systems and at all depths, regardless of amendment applied. The percentages of H3SiO4− and Al-H3SiO42+ were irrelevant, providing more phytoavailable H4SiO4 in soil solution. <![CDATA[N<sub>2</sub>O-reducing activity of soil amended with organic and inorganic enrichments under flooded conditions]]> ABSTRACT Changes, apparent after investigation, in the physical and chemical properties in soil, as a result of organic and inorganic enrichments under flooded conditions, influence the growth of denitrifiers. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the addition of manure (8 kg m−2) (M), clay (50 kg m−2) (CL) and lime (1.12 kg m−2) (Ca) on the N2O-reducing activity (N2O-RA) of sandy loam soil (clay content - 24 % in 0-20 cm), during NO3 reduction under flooding. The soil samples were taken from field plots after 3 years of enrichment with grass cultivation. The enrichments had a distinct effect on the N2O-RA and N2O-released, due to the change in pH, the porosity, and the sorptive properties of the soil. The pH had the greatest impact on the N2O-RA of the soil and ranged from 4.9 to 7.6. For actual denitrification to N2O-realized (aD-N2O), the maximum N2O-releasing (mcN2O-releasing) followed the order: 1.36 for the M-treatment, 6.39 for the M+CL+Ca-treatment, 7.79 for the c-soil and 8.69 N2O-N mg kg−1 for the M+CL-treatment. For actual denitrification (aD), the mcN2O-releasing was followed the order: 10.37 for the M-treatment, 10.49 for the control soil, 14.60 for the M+CL+Ca-treatment and 20.00 N2O-N mg kg−1 for the M+CL-treatment. The N2O-RA of the soil samples increased as pH increased. The average N2O/N2+N2O ratio and the N2O-RA of the soil samples increased in the following order: M+CL, control soil, M+CL+Ca, M-enrichments. The addition of enrichments did not pose a threat to the environment due to increased N2O emissions, but as regards conserving NO3− in the soil, the addition of clay distinctly increased the complete denitrification process. <![CDATA[Survey of mycotoxins in Southern Brazilian wheat and evaluation of immunoassay methods]]> ABSTRACT One hundred commercial wheat grain samples were collected during the 2015 sea-son across 78 municipalities in the states of Paraná (PR), Rio Grande do Sul (RS), and São Paulo (SP), Brazil. Separate subsamples were analyzed for the concentration of deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenona (ZEA) and ochratoxin A (OTA) mycotoxins using two methods: UHPLC-MS/MS (reference method) and a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (AgraQuant®). The OTA mycotoxin was not found in the samples by both methods. DON and ZEA were detected in 55 % and 39 % of the samples by the reference method, with overall mean levels of 795.2 μg kg−1 and 79.78 μg kg−1, respectively. There was a significant and positive correlation (Spearman rank) between DON and ZEA estimates by the reference method (r = 0.77, p &lt; 0.001). The DON levels estimated by the immunoassay agreed poorly with the reference, being largely overestimated. Based on a cut-off level of 1000 μg kg−1, the immunoassay correctly classified 57 samples as true negatives and 15 as true positives. Only 28 were classified as false positives. For ZEA, the levels estimated by the two methods were in better agreement than for DON. Using the cut-off level of 200 μg kg−1, 96 % of the samples were classified correctly as true positives and only one sample was classified as false positive. The levels for both mycotoxins were mostly acceptable for human consumption. Further studies should focus on multi-toxin methods compared with immunoassays to understand the reasons of overestimation and the role of immunoassays as a cost-effective solution for fast screening of mycotoxins in the food chain.