Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: Yellowing is a key stage in the curing of flue-cured tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum L.) as much of the chemical transformation occurs during this period. This study examined the effect of different yellowing degrees on the value of flue-cured tobacco leaves at the farm level for both processing and manufacturing. The study was conducted in the counties of Chuxiong, Dali, and Yuxi in Yunnan, China over two years. Yellowing treatments have been designed to have either a mild or a regular yellowing degree. Yield, value, appearance, suction property, smoking characteristics, and physical resistance to further processing were investigated to evaluate the effect of degree of yellowing on the industrial utilization of flue-cured tobacco leaves. The regular yellowing degree enhanced yield, value, and appearance compared to the mild yellowing degree, regardless of cultivar or location; however, physical resistance to further processing and the suction property of the mild yellowing degree treatment were better than with the regular yellowing degree regardless of cultivar or location. Furthermore, although the regular yellowing degree recorded higher smoking characteristic scores than the mild yellowing degree immediately after flue-curing, the scores of mild yellowing degree leaves could be further augmented by increasing intensity in the re-drying stage. The smoking characteristic score in the regular yellowing degree can only be increased by low intensity re-drying, and significantly decreased by mild and high intensity re-drying. Therefore, in terms of industrial utilization, mild yellowing is the better choice for flue-curing tobacco. This study also suggested that the current regular yellowing stage in Yunnan should be shortened to meet the demands of the traditional tobacco industry.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: Sugarcane (saccharum spp.) in Brazil is managed on the basis of “production environments”. These “production environments” are used for many purposes, such as variety allocation, application of fertilizers and definition of the planting and harvesting periods. A quality classification is essential to ensure high economic returns. However, the classification is carried out by few and, most of the time, non-representative soil samples, showing unreal local conditions of soil spatial variability and resulting in classifications that are imprecise. One of the important tools in the precision agriculture technological package is the apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) sensors that can quickly map soil spatial variability with high-resolution and at low-cost. The aim of the present work was to show that soil ECa maps are able to assist classification of the “production environments” in sugarcane fields and rapidly and accurately reflect the yield potential. Two sugarcane fields (35 and 100 ha) were mapped with an electromagnetic induction sensor to measure soil ECa and were sampled by a dense sampling grid. The results showed that the ECa technique was able to reflect mainly the spatial variability of the clay content, evidencing regions with different yield potentials, guiding soil sampling to soil classification that is both more secure and more accurate. Furthermore, ECa allowed for more precise classification, where new “production environments”, different from those previously defined by the traditional sampling methods, were revealed. Thus, sugarcane growers will be able to allocate suitable varieties and fertilize their agricultural fields in a coherent way with higher quality, guaranteeing greater sustainability and economic return on their production.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: A reliable determination of endogenous phosphorus (P) excretion is required to measure P utilization in chickens accurately. The objective of this study was to investigate phosphorus (P) retention in broilers fed diets formulated with different feed ingredients. Sixty-four 15-d old broiler chicks were fed diets in which part of the dietary P was provided from dicalcium phosphate, maize, barley or soybean. Level of supplementation of each ingredient was calculated to provide two levels of total P (4.5 or 5.0 g kg−1 feed). Birds received a single injection of 3 MBq of 32P to determine endogenous P excretion using the isotope dilution technique. Four days after injection, blood and excreta were collected for analysis of inorganic and radioactive P. There were no differences among diets in total (p = 0.37) or endogenous (p = 0.65) P excretion or in P retention (p = 0.37) regardless of the supplemental feed material used in each diet. Daily P retention was increased (p = 0.004) as P intake increased, but the proportion of P ingested that was retained was not affected (p = 0.23) by the level of dietary P. The use of an isotopic tracer allows for accurate estimation of endogenous P in excreta, ranging from 0.24 to 0.42 mg P g−1 dry matter intake. The retention of P in growing chickens was not changed when 10-20 % of total P was provided by maize, barley or soybean.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: This study aimed to characterize the average seasonal pattern of the vegetation in southern grassland in Brazil, and the variability found in the time series of vegetation indices. It also sought to identify similarities in the seasonal pattern of different grassland typologies. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) images from Feb to Dec, 2000 to 2014 were analyzed for ten regions. The grassland typologies studied showed EVI and NDVI profiles consistent with the seasonal dynamics of grassland vegetation under the influence of a subtropical climate, with highest values in the indices during the warm seasons of the year (spring and summer) and lowest in the colder seasons (autumn and winter). Considering the values of EVI and NDVI, grassland typologies were allocated to four groups with similar temporal profiles. Among the groups formed from the EVI index it is possible to identify differences between grassland typologies during the autumn and winter, while the NDVI showed differences only in winter as compared to the other seasons.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: Intensive management of tropical pastures has shown potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation due to high forage production and C accumulation in the soil. This study aimed to evaluate different pasture management options in relation to their effect on soil C stocks and soil organic matter (SOM) humification. Pastures in four beef cattle production systems were assessed: intensive and irrigated pasture with high stocking rate (IHS); dryland pasture with high stocking rate (DHS); dryland pasture with moderate stocking rate (DMS); degraded pasture (DP). The soil under the native forest was also evaluated and soil carbon stocks from the 0-100 and 0-30 cm layers were assessed. Carbon stocks (0-100 cm) ranged from 99.88 to 142.33 Mg ha−1 in DP and DMS, respectively and were, respectively, 14 % and 24 % higher compared to the soil under the forest and indicate the capacity of adequately managed tropical pastures to mitigate GHG emissions from livestock production. Humification indexes indicated the presence of more labile C in pastures with greater C accumulation (DHS and DMS), mainly in the upper soil layers, indicating recent C accumulation resulting from correct management. However, more labile C can be easily lost to the atmosphere as CO2, depending on pasture management. Low C stocks associated with high humification indexes are characteristics of DP in which significant amounts of SOM are lost. It is necessary to develop technologies to improve C sequestration in IHS and results indicate the importance of quantifying C stocks in association with C stability.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: The restricted maximum likelihood method was used to assess performance following the introduction of improved varieties of chickpea and mungbean (an important source of plant protein in Afghanistan) as compared to local varieties using 242 farmer participatory demonstrations laid out in eight districts in Baghlan, Balkh and Uruzgan provinces in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012. The impact of the varieties introduced on the enhancement of security of food and nutrition of farmers adopting such technologies was also assessed. Taking an average over the study period, chickpea improved varieties (Madad and Sehat) recorded 56 and 72 % more yield over the local ones, respectively, while in case of mungbean varieties, Mai 2008 and Maash 2008 recorded 22 and 30 % more yield over local ones respectively. Though there is a significant yield difference between the improved and the local varieties of both crops, the difference between the improved varieties of chickpea was not significant while it was significant in the case of mungbean. The study revealed a non-zero variance component for variety type [improved vs. local] × year within district interaction for the yield of chickpea while none of the interactions in mungbean had a positive variance component. Risk analysis showed that at a chosen probability level of 90 %, the improved varieties yielded more than local varieties in both crops (> 1.0 t ha−1). Thus, the study highlighted the scope for enhancing the security of both food and nutrition in Afghanistan through improved productivity of pulse crops.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) plants exhibiting symptoms of phyllody disease were observed in commercial fields in Paraguay. The symptoms were indicative of infection by phytoplasmas. Thus, the present study investigated the association between affected plants and phytoplasma, which was later analyzed using molecular and phylogenetic methods. Total DNA was extracted from symptomatic and asymptomatic plants and used in nested PCR assays using primers R16SN910601/R16SN011119 and R16F2n/16R2. Amplified products of 1.2 Kb revealed the presence of phytoplasma in all diseased plants, and electron microscopy confirmed the presence of phytoplasmas within phloem vessels. Nucleotide sequences from sesame phytoplasma shared 99 % similarity with phytoplasmas belonging to group 16SrI. Computer-simulated RFLP indicated that the detected phytoplasma is representative of the 16SrI-B, therefore, a ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’-related strain. Phylogenetic analysis was in agreement with virtual RFLP. Our findings expand the current knowledge regarding distribution of representatives of the aster yellows group in a new agroecosystem and implicate sesame as a new host of 16SrI-B phytoplasma in Latin America.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: In this work, we compared nitrate-supplied plants (non-nodulated) with non-nitrate-supplied plants (nodulated) under oxygen privation of root system (hypoxia) and re-oxygenation (post-hypoxia; recovery) in order to verify whether N sources affect the antioxidant system during oxidative stress caused by hypoxia and post-hypoxia conditions. Antioxidant enzymatic activities, ascorbate redox state, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were analyzed in roots and leaves of two soybean genotypes, Fundacep 53 RR and BRS Macota at reproductive stage R2, during hypoxia and post-hypoxia in an experiment carried out in a hydroponic system. The antioxidant system was strongly induced in roots of nitrate-supplied plants of both genotypes, with high activity of superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase and guayacol peroxidase. It also increased reduced ascorbate and ascorbate redox state and decreased ROS production under hypoxia and recovery, while in leaves of nodulated and non-nodulated plants, a slight increase on antioxidant system was observed. Nitrate may benefit soybean plants under hypoxic conditions and subsequent re-oxygenation by inducing the antioxidant system mainly in roots to cope with ROS production and reduce oxidative damage.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: In Brazil, atrazine (ATZ) is widely applied to maize (Zea mays L.) fields for weed control. The presence of ATZ and its metabolites in soil and water matrices has become a matter of some concern for governmental authorities as well as for society at large. This study evaluated the patterns of ATZ degradation (mineralization, extractable and non-extractable ATZ residues, and metabolite formation) in a Brazilian Typic Paleudult. Soil samples from a cultivated area under a no-tillage system with a history of ATZ application were incubated with 14C-ATZ in both the presence and absence of straw cover on the soil surface, and the evolved 14CO2 was determined by liquid scintillation. Samples from an area with native vegetation, adjacent to the cultivated area, were also incubated as a control. A higher mineralization of ATZ was observed in the cultivated soil (> 85 %) in comparison with the native soil (10 %) after 85 days of incubation. In addition to the higher mineralization and hydroxyatrazine (HA) formation, a rapid decrease in the water-extractable residues was observed in the cultivated soil. When the cultivated soil was covered with straw, mineralization was reduced by up to 30 % although a small amount of remobilization to the soil occurred within the 85 days. Straw cover hindered the degradation of ATZ in cultivated soils; whereas an accelerated biodegradation was due to repeated applications of ATZ, which may have selected microbiota more skilled at biodegrading the herbicide.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: N Fertilizer recommendations must be improved to optimize N use efficiency (NUE) for bioenergy crops. A study was conducted to test the hypothesis that sites varying in historical usage of by-product differ in soil N-supplying power and sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) responsiveness to N fertilization. Our aim was to quantify soil N availability and N fertilizer rates, sources, and application timings for their effects on sugarcane yield and NUE. Three N response trials, each involving 0 to 200 kg N ha−1, were conducted in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, at sites varying historically in the usage of vinasse. Before fertilizer application and at harvest, soil inorganic N content was quantified and potential N mineralization estimated by the Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test (ISNT); stalk yield and sugar content were measured at harvest and used to estimate NUE. Sugarcane showed significant response to N fertilization only at the sites with no history of vinasse usage. Reducing the N rate from 120 to 80 kg N ha−1 showed limited potential for lowering yield (~ 1 %), while increasing the NUE by 54 %, which was far better than the 14 % increase achieved by modifying the N source or application timing. Monitoring inorganic N and ISNT levels over time to estimate soil N-supplying power has potential for predicting the responsiveness of sugarcane to N fertilization; however, ISNT interpretations must consider factors that impede mineralization or crop N utilization, such as soil acidity or a limitation on the availability of Ca or P. Soil N testing can help optimize NUE for sustainable bioenergy production.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT: The Atlantic Forest is one of the most important and yet the most devastated Brazilian biome, occupying in the past the majority of the East Atlantic Coast. Therefore, a detailed knowledge of the soils near the coastal line influenced by this biome is essential for land use and management of these environments. The aim of this study was to acquire a deeper knowledge of the chemistry, mineralogy and genesis of soils in two micro-watersheds of the Atlantic Forest Biome. Eight soil profiles were sampled and described along one transect. Both young and more developed soils exhibit low fertility and low Fe2O3 content. The Oxic Dystrudepts are less dystrophic than the other soils studied and exhibit greater availability of K+, due to the mixing of weathered material and primary minerals. Transitions from shallow to deep soils are more common in rejuvenated landscapes. All soils are kaolinitic (Kt), with low levels of goethite (Gt) and hematite (Hm), and contain secondary 2:1 minerals such as mica (Mi) and, in the youngest soils, hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite (HIV) and interstratified mica-hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite (Mi-HIV). The widespread presence of gibbsite (Gb) in soils, including the Lithic Udifolist, indicates high rates of both pedogenesis and morphogenesis. The gibbsite showed good crystallinity suggesting that climate, terrain and good drainage favored its formation and stability.