Abstract in English:Considered as one of the most biodiverse biomes, the Amazon has a featured role in the discovery of new species of plants, animals and microorganisms, which may be important for the functionality of different ecosystems. However, studies on the impacts resulted from changes in the Amazon land use on microbial communities and their functions are still limited. In this context, the soil fungal diversity can act as an important indicator of environmental stress caused by land use of the Amazon. This study describes changes in soil fungal communities caused by different systems of land use (primary forest, secondary forest, agroforestry, agriculture and pasture). Communities were observed in each of the areas using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 18S rRNA gene combined with the non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS). Unique bands indicated the dominance of particular fungal groups in each of the specific treatments, mainly in areas converted to pasture, which differed greatly from samples of other systems of land use (SLU). The analysis of partial sequence of the 18S rRNA gene of fungi in soils under primary forest, agriculture and pasture showed differences (p = 0.001), evidencing the fungal community response to such changes. Most abundant phyla were the Zygomycota in the soil under primary forest and agricultural land, and Basidiomycota in the soil under pasture. The results show that the Amazon soil is an ecosystem susceptible to environmental changes in regarding the fungi community inhabiting this niche.
Abstract in English:Phenanthracene is a highly toxic organic compound capable of contaminating water and soils, and biodegradation is an important tool for remediating polluted environments. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of trace elements, cations, and environmental conditions on the activity of the protocatechol 3,4-dioxygenase (P3,4O) enzyme produced by the isolate Leifsonia sp. in cell-free and immobilized extracts. The isolate was grown in Luria Bertani broth medium (LB) amended with 250 mg L-1 of phenanthrene. Various levels of pH (4.0-9.0), temperature (5-80 °C), time (0-90 min), trace elements (Cu2+, Hg2+ and Fe3+), and cations (Mg2+, Mn2+, K+ and NH4+) were tested to determine which conditions optimized enzyme activity. In general, the immobilized extract exhibited higher enzyme activity than the cell-free extract in the presence of trace elements and cations. Adding iron yielded the highest relative activity for both cell-free and immobilized extracts, with values of 16 and 99 %, respectively. Copper also increased enzyme activity for both cell-free and immobilized extracts, with values of 8 and 44 %, respectively. Enzyme activity in the phosphate buffer was high across a wide range of pH, reaching 80 % in the pH range between 6.5 and 8.0. The optimum temperatures for enzyme activity differed for cell-free and immobilized extracts, with maximum enzyme activity observed at 35 ºC for the cell-free extract and at 55 ºC for the immobilized extract. The cell-free extract of the P3,4O enzyme exhibited high activity only during the first 3 min of incubation, when it showed 50 % relative activity, and dropped to 0 % after 60 min of incubation. By contrast, activity in the immobilized extract was maintained during 90 min of incubation. This isolate has important characteristics for phenanthrene biodegradation, producing high quantities of the P3,4O enzyme that forms part of the most important pathway for PAH biodegradation.
Abstract in English:Phenotypic characters of honeybees, relevant to beekeepers, can be evaluated by studying correlations between them, and the correlated characteristics can be evaluated in the short term to assist in monitoring of annual genetic progress. This work therefore aims to evaluate the production of honey and propolis, the hygiene and defensive behaviours of two generations of Africanized Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae), to estimate the correlations between them and their heritability. We used 30 Langstroth beehives in apiaries in Marechal Cândido Rondon, Paraná State, Brazil. We used a method of drilling pupae to evaluate hygiene behaviour and the velveteen ball method to test defensive behaviour. We selected ten colonies which had the best honey and propolis production, and which produced F1 queens that were then transferred to beehives at an experimental farm, in order to observe honey and propolis production, hygiene and defence behaviours of their female offspring. The estimated differences for each characteristic between the generations, the correlations between them within each generation and their heritability suggest that selection of colonies based on propolis production was more efficient at maintaining this high production than was selection based on honey production according to the performance of the colonies for this characteristic. The selected behavioural characteristics can be used to enhance performance, but not for improving yield characteristics evaluated.
Abstract in English:Gibberellin inhibitor growth regulators are used for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) canopy manipulation to avoid excess growth and yield losses. However, under temperatures below or over the optimum for cotton production the effect of mepiquat chloride (MC) has not always been significant. In this experiment, cotton plants were grown in growth chambers to study the response to MC as affected by temperature and to determine if an increase in dose could overcome the temperature effects. Mepiquat chloride was applied at rates of 0, 15 and 30 g ai ha-1 at the pinhead square stage. Plants were then grown under three temperature regimes: 25/15 °C, 32/22 °C, and 39/29 °C (day/night temperatures) for 51 days. Higher temperatures increased plant height, reproductive branches, fruit number, fruit abscission, and photosynthesis per unit area, but decreased leaf area and chlorophyll. The largest effect of MC on plant height was observed when the daily temperature was 32 °C, with nights of 22 °C, which was also best for plant growth. High temperatures not only decreased the effectiveness of MC on plant height control, but also caused lower dry matter and fruit number per plant. Low temperatures (25/15 ºC) decreased cotton growth and fruit retention, but a higher concentration of MC was required per unit of growth reduction as compared with 32/22 ºC. At high temperatures, the rate of MC to be applied must be disproportionately increased, because either plant growth is impaired by high temperature lessening the effect of MC, or degradation of MC within the plant is too rapid.
Abstract in English:Pinus is the most invasive woody taxon, exceeded only by herbaceous plants. This study reports the reproductive biology and early establishment of Pinus elliottii Engelm. var. elliottii, describing its invasive properties in a protected natural area of the Brazilian coastal sandy plains. We evaluated the seed germination and rain, longevity of seed viability and the initial dynamics of the seedlings of Pinus elliottii var elliottii through field and laboratory experiments. We recorded a continuous seed rain of about 204.0 viable seeds m- 2 per year, with a 90 % germination rate. The seeds exhibited a low longevity of viability in the soil and a dense, permanent seedling bank that may explain the high levels of pine invasion. The environmental impact caused by the pine's biological invasion suggests the recommendation for its immediate eradication, together with a restoration plan to restitute the native biodiversity gradually.
Abstract in English:In the last few decades, many forests have been cut down to make room for cultivation and to increase food or energy crops production in developing countries. In this study, carbon sequestration and wood production were evaluated on afforested farms by integrating the Gaussian diameter distribution model and exponential diameter-height model derived from sample plots of an afforested hardwood forest in Taiwan. The quantity of sequestrated carbon was determined based on aboveground biomass. Through pilot tests run on an age-volume model, an estimation bias was obtained and used to correct predicted volume estimates for a farm forest over a 20-year period. An estimated carbon sequestration of 11,254 t C was observed for a 189ha-hardwood forest which is equivalent to 41,264 t CO2. If this amount of carbon dioxide were exchanged on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) market, the income earned would be 821 US$ ha- 1. Carbon sequestration from rice (Oryza sativa) or sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) production is discharged as a result of straw decomposition in the soil which also improves soil quality. Sugarcane production does not contribute significantly to carbon sequestration, because almost all the cane fiber is used as fuel for sugar mills. As a result of changing the farming systems to hardwood forest in this study area, carbon sequestration and carbon storage have increased at the rate of 2.98 t C ha- 1 year- 1. Net present value of afforestation for a 20-year period of carbon or wood management is estimated at around US$ 30,000 given an annual base interest rate of 3 %.
Abstract in English:Xenia, the transmission of traits from the pollinizer to the female's tissues, is a phenomenon hitherto unknown in tomatoes. Here, we describe xenia effects on the seeds and fruits of Solanum lycopersicum, the tomato, elicited by S. galapagense. The wild tomatoes, such as S. galapagense, have highly pilose fruit surface and minute seeds, unlike the domesticated species. Crossings between S. galapagense (pollinizer) and two large-seeded, glabrous cultivars of S. lycopersicum (females) tested the former's ability to raise the trichome density and trichome-to-1000-cell ratio and to reduce the seed weight in the latter's fruits. Selfed fruits of the two cultivars, Micro-Tom and Pusa Ruby, were compared to the crossed fruits. The pollen of S. galapagense was able to raise pilosity and to reduce seed weight in the crossed fruits of both cultivars, but with different magnitudes: seed reduction was more intense in Pusa Ruby, while pilosity increase was greater in Micro-Tom, both of which characterize xenia. Pilosity increase is not completely dependent on variation in epidermal cell density, which displayed no xenia effect. The difference between the maternal cultivars in the magnitude of pilosity increase may be due to the higher dilution of a putative male chemical signal (either hormone or RNA) in the larger fruits of Pusa Ruby. However, one cannot use the signal diffusion hypothesis to explain the xenia effects on seed weight.
Abstract in English:Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. passiflorae W.L. Gordon (FOP) is one of the most important fungal pathogens of passion fruits. Understanding molecular variation of isolates from different areas is of utmost importance. Molecular fingerprinting on 14 isolates of FOP were conducted using AFLP molecular markers (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism), and their genetic variability were estimated. Twenty-five AFLP primer combinations were selected for amplification of FOP isolates and one for Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense W.C. Snyder & H.N. Hansen (FOC), resulting in 99% polymorphic fragments, with an average of 40 fragments per primer combination. Specific fingerprints could be generated for most of the isolates evaluated; we observed a high power of discrimination of the AFLP primer combinations, with the presence/absence of up to 26 specific fragments per isolate. Thus, specific fingerprinting was obtained for 10 of the 15 isolates analyzed. The values of the polymorphic information content, the index and the resolving power of the markers showed wide variation and reflected the high informative contents of the primers used in the characterization of the FOP isolates. The FOP isolates were divided into four groups, irrespective of their geographic origins, with the allocation of 5, 7, 1 and 1 FOP isolates into Groups II, III, IV and V, respectively. A wide genetic diversity was observed in FOP isolates, which should be taken into consideration when implementing strategies for the improvement of passion fruit in the search for cultivars with multiple resistance to different isolates.
Abstract in English:The use of tolerant rootstocks and preimmunization has satisfactorily controlled losses associated with the Citrus tristeza virus (CTV). Several researchers have shown that CTV mild isolates that are selected in the same region where they are used are superior to isolates obtained from other areas. Thus, budwoods of 20 outstanding citrus trees were collected in north and northwestern Paraná state (Brazil) citrus-producing areas and established to be used in a preimmunization program. These budwoods were tested to evaluate the potential protection of the inherently present viral complex. Based on biological indexing and molecular characterization of the capsid protein gene by RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism, which indicated that the plants were infected with mild isolates of CTV), some of the selected plants could be used in a preimmunization program. These potentially mild and protective isolates were challenged with severe 'Rolândia' isolate inoculations by grafting and by the brown citrus aphid (Toxoptera citricida Kirkaldy) vector, which was faster in transmitting the virus. Some isolates had a better protective value than others, particularly when challenged with the severe CTV isolate. The SSCP (single strand conformational polymorphism) molecular analysis was an excellent complementary tool for monitoring the performance of the experiments and the stability of the viral complex present in the plants. Isolate number 1, collected in the municipality of Cruzeiro do Sul (CS-1), was the most promising for protecting commercial Pêra sweet orange (C. sinensis L.) orchards in northern and northwestern Paraná. The Rolândia severe CTV isolate was stable and had a high genetic divergence among the severe isolates used as a control (Capão Bonito and Barão B) and all of the isolates tested.
Abstract in English:In Europe, many autochthonous grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) are only cultivated at local scale, but play a very important economic role due to their strict relation with terroir and wine tipicity. In this study, it was pursued to evaluate the influence of several factors on performance of Moll, the main autochthonous white variety of Majorca, by means of the database coming from a clonal preselection. The effects of multiple virus infections, vintage and vineyard components were studied by univariate linear models and principal component analysis, starting from measurement of production and must quality parameters of several vines located in 14 vineyards belonging to two appellations during four consecutive years (2001-2004). Absence of multiple virus infections, double cordon system, high clay content and Useful Water Reserve in soils have enhanced vine production without inducing considerable alterations in sugar accumulation in berries and acidity. Moll variety presented great viticultural and oenological potentials. Fertile and deep soils should be preferred in order to maximize production. Also, the use of certified propagation material is strongly recommended. However, further investigations are required to optimize must quality by opportune managements. This study does not provide only essential information to improve Moll cultivation in Majorca, but it also represents a useful example to analyze grapevine varieties that are endemically infected by viruses. In fact, in such situations, it may be supposed an insidious interference by viruses on terroir and wine tipicity.