Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scientia Agricola]]> vol. 72 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Reclamation status of a degraded pasture based on soil health indicators]]> Pasture degradation is a concern, especially in susceptible sandy soils for which strategies to recover them must be developed. Microbiological and biochemical soil health indicators are useful in the guindace of soil management practices and sustainable soil use. We assessed the success of threePanicum maximum Jacq. cultivars in the reclamation of a pasture in a sandy Typic Acrudox in the northwest of the state of Paraná, Brazil, based on soil health indicators. On a formerly degraded pasture withUrochloa brizantha (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) R.D. Webster, a trial with threeP. maximum (cv. Massai, Tanzânia, or Mombaça) was conducted. Lime and phosphate were applied at set-up, and mineral N and K as topdressing. A remnant of degraded pasture adjacent to the trial was used as control. Twenty-three chemical, physical, microbiological and biochemical attributes were assessed for the 0-10 cm topsoil. The procedures for reclamation improved most of the indicators of soil health in relation to the degraded pasture, such as soil P, mineral N, microbial biomass C, ammonification rate, dehydrogenase activity and acid phosphatase. CO2 evolution decreased, whereas microbial biomass C increased in the pasture under reclamation, resulting in a lower metabolic quotient (qCO2) that points to a decrease in metabolic stress of the microbial community. The reclamation of the pasture withP. maximum, especially cv. Mombaça, were evidenced by improvements in the microbiological and biochemical soil health indicators, showing a recovery of processes related to C, N and P cycling in the soil. <![CDATA[Genetic association between longevity and linear type traits of Holstein cows]]> Longevity is a desirable trait in the dairy industry because of its relationship to profitability. The aim of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for longevity measurements related to productive life, or life in the herd, and linear type traits of Brazilian Holstein cows born between the years 1990 and 2008. The (co) variance components were estimated by the restricted maximum likelihood method. The heritability for measurements of longevity and linear type traits ranged from 0.05 to 0.07 and 0.08 to 0.39, respectively. The genetic correlations between measurements of longevity and linear type traits ranged from -0.39 to 0.31. Direct selection for longevity does not necessarily lead to long-lived cows, due to low heritability. Indirect genetic selection for udder depth, bone quality, udder height, rear teat placement and conformation traits showed the highest genetic correlations with measurements of time between birth and last milk record and time from first calving to last milk record. <![CDATA[Multiphase feeding program for broilers can replace traditional system]]> Broilers are traditionally managed with feeding programs that often consist of three or four phases. In this study we investigated whether a multiphase feeding program (14 phases) of broilers based on the optimal mix of two feeds could replace a traditional four phase system while maintaining broiler performance. To evaluate this prposed program we measured variables of performance, carcass yield, and nitrogen excretion. In addition, we determined if the multiphase feeding program (14 phases) would be equally effective regardless of bird gender. A total of 480 day-old Cobb chicks were used, with an average weight of 44.74 ± 0.16 g (females) and 44.71 ± 0.11 g (males). The birds were distributed in a completely randomized 2 × 2 factorial design. Each treatment consisted of six replicates with 20 animals per experimental unit. Results were analyzed separately in two periods (1–21 and 22–42 days) as determined by slaughter date, as well as for the entire growth period (1–42 days). The multiphase program led to improvements in final body weight and average daily weight gain, in addition to an increase in breast yield. <![CDATA[Inflection and stability points of diphasic logistic analysis of growth]]> Growth functions with inflection points following a diphasic model, can be adjusted by two approaches using segmented regression or the sum of two functions. In both cases, there are two functions, one for each phase, with inflection and stability points. However, when they are summed, the result is a new function and the points of inflection and stability are different from those obtained from using each function individually. A method to determine these points in a diphasic logistics sum of functions is suggested and the results obtained from fitting the models to eucalyptus growth data showed a better fit of the logistic diphasic sum as compared with segmented regression and monophasic logistic models. <![CDATA[Aminoethoxyvinylglycine: isolated and combined with other growth regulators on quality of ‘Brookfield’ apples after storage]]> Growth regulators are used in the production of apples worldwide, especially to extend the harvest period and maintain postharvest quality. This study aimed to investigate the effects of applying aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) in isolation as well as in combination with other growth regulators and postharvest techniques on the harvest quality and storage potential of ‘Brookfield’ apples (Malus domestica), a ‘Gala’ strain. Fruit receiving AVG only had the highest starch content and the highest titratable acidity at harvest. After 8 months of storage, the AVG + 1-MCP (1-methylcyclopropene) and AVG + ABS (ethylene absorption) conserved higher flesh firmness than to all the other treatments. Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) application induced ACC oxidase enzyme activity at harvest, but not after storage. AVG application, with or without the aid of another technique, did not decrease the red skin color of ‘Brookfield’ apples. Low mealiness and a high healthy fruit percentage was obtained when the fruits were submitted to pre-harvest AVG application combined with NAA, 1-MCP and ABS. Internal carbon dioxide had an inverse correlation with the quantity of healthy fruit and was directly correlated with mealiness. <![CDATA[CSM-CERES-Rice model to determine management strategies for lowland rice production]]> The cropping system model, namely, the crop environment resource synthesis-rice (CSM-CERES-Rice) model, is a decision supporting tool for the design of crop management. This study aimed to determine management practices for increasing rice (Oryza sativa L.) production in Laos by using the CSM-CERES-Rice model. The model was evaluated with data sets from the TDK8 and TDK11 cultivars in farmers’ fields in the Vientiane plain in 2012. Anthesis and harvesting dates, growth and yield for various management scenario combinations (eight transplanting dates × two levels of plant densities × three rates of nitrogen (N) fertilizer application) for both cultivars were simulated by the model from 1980 to 2012. The model evaluation results showed strong agreement between simulated and observed data for days to harvest with a difference within four days. The model provided acceptable accuracy for grain yields with normalized root mean square error values ranging between 1 and 16 %. The results from the model application indicated that TDK8 and TDK11 produced similar yields. Transplanting TDK8 with two plant densities produced similar yields. The highest yield for both cultivars was achieved on the transplanting date of 15 Jan. N-fertilizer application at 60 and 120 kg N ha−1 was able to increase yield for TDK8 by 50 and 87 %, respectively, and for TDK11 by 54 and 70 %, respectively. Rice transplanted on 15 Jan with 5 seedlings hill−1 and N-fertilizer at 120 kg N ha−1 had the highest average yield for both cultivars with 6,460 and 6,351 kg ha−1 for TDK8 and TDK11, respectively. The CSM-CERES-Rice model is an alternative tool in determining crop management practices for rice production. <![CDATA[Crop loading studies on ‘Caricia’ and ‘Eva’ apples grown in a mild winter area]]> The crop load level of an apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) tree impacts fruit yield and quality parameters, tree vigor and biennial bearing. The optimal crop load is that which allows for consistent annual cropping and fruit quality acceptable to the market. We evaluated the effect of crop load on yield and fruit quality of two low-chill apples cv. ‘Caricia’ and ‘Eva’, growing in a mild winter area. During 2010 and 2011 crop load was manually adjusted from 2 or 3 to 17 fruits cm−2 of trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA). Fruit yield was positively related to crop load in both cultivars but mean fruit weight diminished as the crop load increased. For both cultivars, the production of non-commercial and small-sized fruit increased, whereas production of middle-sized fruit diminished as the fruit load increased. Shoot length was not affected by crop load in ‘Eva’ whereas it was reduced in ‘Caricia’. Red skin color (RSC %) had a quadratic response to crop load in ‘Caricia’. On the other hand, the RSC % of ‘Eva’ fruit was adjusted to a negative logarithmic model as an effect of crop load increment. No biennial bearing was observed in either cultivar. This research study suggests that the maximum limit of crop load for both cultivars is 7 fruits cm−2 of TCSA, and the lower limit of crop load was 3 fruits cm−2 of TCSA for ‘Eva’ and 5 fruits cm−2 of TCSA for ‘Caricia’. <![CDATA[Mixed effect models for predicting breast height diameter from stump diameter of Oriental beech in Göldağ]]> Diameter at breast height (DBH) is the simplest, most common and most important tree dimension in forest inventory and is closely correlated with wood volume, height and biomass. In this study, a number of linear and nonlinear models predicting diameter at breast height from stump diameter were developed and evaluated for Oriental beech (Fagus orientalisLipsky) stands located in the forest region of Ayancık, in the northeast of Turkey. A set of 1,501 pairs of diameter at breast height-stump measurements, originating from 70 sample plots of even-aged Oriental beech stands, were used in this study. About 80 % of the otal data (1,160 trees in 55 sample plots) was used to fit a number of linear and nonlinear model parameters; the remaining 341 trees in 15 sample plots were randomly reserved for model validation and calibration response. The power model data set was found to produce the most satisfactory fits with the Adjusted Coefficient of Determination, R2adj (0.990), Root Mean Square Error, RMSE (1.25), Akaike’s Information Criterion, AIC (3820.5), Schwarz’s Bayesian Information Criterion, BIC (3837.2), and Absolute Bias (1.25). The nonlinear mixed-effect modeling approach for power model with R2adj(0.993), AIC (3598), BIC (3610.1), Absolute Bias (0.73) and RMSE (1.04) provided much better fitting and precise predictions for DBH from stump diameter than the conventional nonlinear fixed effect model structures for this model. The calibration response including tree DBH and stump diameter measurements of the four largest trees in a calibrated sample plot in calibration produced the highest Bias, -5.31 %, and RMSE, -6.30 %, the greatest reduction percentage. <![CDATA[Novel set of real-time PCR primers for simultaneous detection of Liberibacter species associated with citrus Huanglongbing]]> Huanglongbing (HLB), a devastating citrus disease caused by the bacterium “Candidatus Liberibacter spp.”, is now responsible for significant economic losses worldwide. Yet, no effective disease control has been found, and the non-cultivability of the bacterium has severely hampered studies on the pathogen. The 16S rDNA gene is a well-characterized sequence, essential for cell survival, and is used for bacterial identification or assignment of close relationships at the genus and species levels. Quantitative Real-Time PCR (qPCR) assays based on 16S rDNA genes are widely used in the detection of “Ca. Liberibacter spp.” in multiplex reactions. We have developed for the first time a set of qPCR primers based on the conserved 16S rDNA gene, which specifically and simultaneously detects in a singleplex reaction, all three bacterial species associated with HLB, and can differentiateCa.Liberibacter asiaticus or africanus from americanus by their characteristic melting curves. The assay is very sensitive, and it was possible to amplify expected DNA fragments with an efficiency of 98 % using the Syber Green system and a Ct value lower than tested methods for HLB diagnosis. The application of this fast, simple and efficient detection methodology could also be important in the detection of all species of HLB-associated Liberibacters and could contribute to early pathogen detection, a crucial step in the development of preventive strategies aimed at avoiding the dissemination of this devastating disease in HLB-free areas. <![CDATA[<em>Jatropha curcas</em>and<em> Ricinus communis</em>display contrasting photosynthetic mechanisms in response to environmental conditions]]> Higher plants display different adaptive strategies in photosynthesis to cope with abiotic stress. In this study, photosynthetic mechanisms and water relationships displayed byJatropha curcasL. (physic nuts) andRicinus communisL. (castor bean), in response to variations in environmental conditions, were assessed.R. communis showed higher CO2 assimilation, stomatal and mesophyll conductance thanJ. curcas as light intensity and intercellular CO2 pressure increased. On the other hand,R. communis was less effective in stomatal control in response to adverse environmental factors such as high temperature, water deficit and vapor pressure deficit, indicating lower water use efficiency. Conversely,J. curcas exhibited higher photosynthetic efficiency (gas exchange and photochemistry) and water use efficiency under these adverse environmental conditions.R. communisdisplayed higher potential photosynthesis, but exhibited a lowerin vivo Rubisco carboxylation rate (Vcmax) and maximum electron transport rate (Jmax). During the course of a typical day, in a semiarid environment, with high irradiation, high temperature and high vapor pressure deficit, but exposed to well-watered conditions, the two studied species presented similar photosynthesis. Losing potential photosynthesis, but maintaining favorable water status and increasing non-photochemical quenching to avoid photoinhibition, are important acclimation mechanisms developed byJ. curcas to cope with dry and hot conditions. We suggest thatJ. curcas is more tolerant to hot and dry environments thanR. communis but the latter species displays higher photosynthetic efficiency under well-watered and non-stressful conditions. <![CDATA[Controlled traffic and soil physical quality of an Oxisol under sugarcane cultivation]]> Machinery traffic in sugarcane (Saccharumsp.) plantations reduces soil physical quality, and hinders both root development and crop yield. We evaluated the physical quality of an Oxisol and the development of sugarcane roots under controlled traffic. The treatments assessed were: without controlled machinery traffic (WCT), controlled traffic by adjusting the tractor and infield wagons to a 3.0 m track width with the operator guiding the machinery (CT1) and the previous treatment using real time kinematic / global positioning system (RTK / GPS) precision auto steer (CT2). Soil samples were collected from the planting rows, seedbed and inter-row center to determine the least limiting water range (LLWR) and soil porosity from scanned 2-D images. The root dry mass was sampled from monoliths, separated from the soil by washing through a 2-mm sieve and dried in an oven. A higher LLWR was observed in the planting row under CT1 and CT2 than under WCT. The planting row had a predominance of complex pores with a diameter &gt; 500 µm in the 0.15-0.27 m depth layer under CT1 and CT2. In the planting rows under WCT, the root dry mass was only 44 % of that measured under CT2. Benefits regarding soil physical quality and growth roots were observed when the tractor-wagon track width was adjusted based on the sugarcane spacing using either precision auto steering or manual operation of the machinery. <![CDATA[Survey of viruses belonging to different genera and species in noble garlic in Brazil]]> Garlic (Allium sativumL.) is a host to several viruses, most commonly those belonging to theAllexivirus,Carlavirus, orPotyvirusgenera. Nine species distributed among these three genera have been reported in Brazil: two species within carlaviruses, two within potyviruses, and five within allexiviruses. To quantify the prevalence of these viruses, young leaves from 520 plants (plants either symptomatic or asymptomatic) were collected from commercial fields grown in four Brazilian states and analyzed using universal and species-specific primers via the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Potyvirus presence was positive in 306 samples (81 %), 151 of them (38 %) in mixed infections with other viruses. The most frequent potyviruses wereOnion yellow dwarf virus(OYDV, 56 %) andLeek yellow stripe virus(LYSV, 55 %). 187 samples (49 %) were positive for allexivirus, with 33 (9 %) showing single infections and 154 (41 %) showing mixed infections withGarlic virus A (GarV-A),Garlic virus B(GarV-B),Garlic virus C(GarV-C),Garlic virus D(GarV-D), and species belonging to theCarlavirus andPotyvirusgenera. The predominant species in which allexiviruses were found were GarV-A and GarV-D. Only 15 samples (4 %) were infected solely by a carlavirus, and 63 (17 %) showed mixed infections with viruses from different genera. The dominant species of carlavirus wasGarlic commom latent virus(GarCLV). Carlaviruses and allexiviruses are frequently associated with mixed infections with potyviruses, whereas mixed infections with carlaviruses and allexiviruses are rare. About 70 % of the plants collected were positive for at least one species of virus.