• DIMSUB, a computer program for designing microirrigation subunits. Tool definition and case studies Agricultural Engineering

    Palau, Carmen Virginia; Arviza, Jaime; Balbastre, Iban; Manzano, Juan

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: DIMSUB is a computer program to complement a decision support tool (DST) to effectively study different hydraulic design alternatives in microirrigation systems. We developed environments in Visual Basic for applications for Microsoft Excel® that allow specific step-by-step functions to be created for the design of irrigation subunits. Different alternatives can be considered, such as types of emitter, lateral and submain pipe sizes, different feeding points, irregular subunit shapes and topography slopes. Furthermore, specific uniformity criteria need to be considered to achieve efficient water applications and proper design systems. Lengths of run lateral and submain pipes, position of the hydrant connection, pressure head and head loss in pipes or pressure-compensating emitters can be assigned to evaluate the results and choose the best design alternative. This user-friendly tool to study hydraulic variables is expected to be a valuable aid for the decision-making process in designing irrigation systems. Some examples of practical cases under specific crop conditions to design drip irrigation subunits are given using DIMSUB.
  • Endophytic fungi from Brachiaria grasses in Brazil and preliminary screening of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum antagonists Agricultural Microbiology

    Gama, Danielly de Souza; Santos, Ítalo Augusto Férrer Melo; Abreu, Lucas Magalhães de; Medeiros, Flávio Henrique Vasconcelos de; Duarte, Whasley Ferreira; Cardoso, Patrícia Gomes

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: Fungal endophytes of Brachiaria, a nonhost of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, may harbor species with antagonistic effects against this plant pathogen. The objective of this work was to investigate the diversity of endophytic fungi associated with different Brachiaria species and hybrids and evaluate their potential to inhibit the plant pathogen S. sclerotiorum. Stem samples from 39 Brachiaria spp. plants were collected in pasture fields and experimental areas of three states of Brazil resulting in 74 endophytes isolated. Twenty-eight species were identified by sequences of the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) and 18S rDNA regions. Paraconiothyrium sp. was the most abundant endophyte, accounting for 24 % (14 isolates) of total, and it was isolated from B. ruziziensis, B. decumbens, B. humidicola, and B. brizantha. Phoma sorghina was the second most abundant taxon, followed by Sarocladium strictum, and Plenodomus sp. In vitro analyses showed that Paraconiothyrium sp., Sarocladium kiliense, Acremonium curvulum, Setophoma terrestris, Dissoconium sp., and Cladosporium flabelliforme exhibited antagonistic activity against S. sclerotiorum, with percentages of growth inhibition ranging from 25 to 60 (p < 0.05). Paraconiothyrium sp. BBXE1 (60 %), BBPB4.1 (60 %), BCMT4.1 (54 %), and S. kiliense (54 %) showed the highest values of Antagonism Percentages (AP). Therefore, fungi with inhibitory activity against S. sclerotiorum such as Paraconiothyrium sp. are naturally endophytic in Brachiaria grasses.
  • Assessing the implications of mycotoxins on productive efficiency of broilers and growing pigs Animal Science and Pastures

    Kipper, Marcos; Andretta, Ines; Ribeiro, Andréa Machado Leal; Pires, Paula Gabriela da Silva; Franceschina, Carolina Schell; Cardinal, Kátia Maria; Moraes, Priscila de Oliveira; Schroeder, Bruna

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: The effects of mycotoxins on the productive performance of growing pigs and broilers were evaluated using meta-analytical approach. Two databases were constructed: (1) Broilers, with information collected from 51,497 birds and published in 158 scientific papers from 1980 to 2016; and (2) Pigs, with information collected from 7,743 animals and published in 72 scientific papers from 1980 to 2015. The meta-analyses were performed independently for each specie, following three sequential analyses: graphical, correlation, and variance-covariance. Broilers and pigs challenged by mycotoxins reduced (p < 0.05) feed intake by 9 and 6 %, weight gain by 15 and 11 %, and feed efficiency by 6 and 4 % compared with non-challenged animals, respectively. Aflatoxins were the most studied mycotoxins in both databases. Birds and pigs challenged by aflatoxins reduced (p < 0.05) feed intake by 10 and 8 %, growth by 15 and 11 %, and feed efficiency by 6 and 7 % compared to non-challenged animals, respectively. In both databases, variation on growth performance due to mycotoxins showed a linear relationship (p < 0.05) with the feed intake variation caused by the challenge. The intercepts of the regression-based equations were different from zero and negative, which may indicate that mycotoxins altered the maintenance requirements in challenged animals. In conclusion, both broilers and growing pigs show losses in performance responses and worse nutritional efficiency when challenged by mycotoxins.
  • Morphological and physiological changes during maturation of okra seeds evaluated through image analysis Crop Science

    Santos, Rayssa Fernanda dos; Gomes-Junior, Francisco Guilhien; Marcos-Filho, Julio

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: This study was performed to associate specific morphological parameters, defined by X-ray images, with seed performance of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench) during maturation. Fruits of cultivar Santa Cruz 47 at different developmental stages were collected at five-day intervals (from 5 to 65 days after anthesis) and water content, dry matter, germination and vigor were determined in seeds extracted immediately after each harvest or after temporary storage for seven days. X-ray tests were also performed after each harvest and the images were analyzed by ImageJ® software to produce data of aspect ratio (relation between major and minor axes of the ellipse surrounding the seed perimeter) and percentage of free space area in the inner seed cavity. Physiological maturity (maximum accumulation of dry matter) was reached at 30 days after anthesis (DAA), when seed water content was 56.6 %. Seed germination and vigor increased during maturation, achieving the maximum at 50 DAA. Seeds showed morphological changes during maturation, becoming more spherical (aspect ratio near 1.0); at the same time, the free space available in the inner cavity of the seed decreased. This parameter can be successfully used as a marker of physiological maturity when values equal or lower than 5 % are reached.
  • Growth of radiata pine families in nursery and two years after field establishment Forestry Science

    Meza, Sergio Enrique Espinoza; Ivković, Miloš; Arce, Marco Aliro Yáñez; Díaz, Carlos Renato Magni; Moya, Rómulo Eduardo Santelices; Ariza, Antonio María Cabrera

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: Pinus radiata D. Don is the most widely planted exotic species in Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Spain. In this study, growth and survival of P. radiata were compared in 30 open pollinated families grown under two contrasting watering regimes in nursery (well-watered cf. water-stress conditions) and planted on a drought-prone site with Mediterranean climate in central Chile. This study assessed phenotypic plasticity in growth and survival at nursery stage and two years after establishment in the field. Family plasticity at nursery stage was estimated by the angular phenotypic change index (APCI), while the relationship between nursery and field traits was estimated by genetic correlations (rg) and the Pearson coefficient of correlation (rxy). Families presented high plasticity in diameter, height, and survival at nursery stage. Out of 30 families, eight exhibited over 80 % survival in the well-watered treatment, but less than 20 % survival in the water-stress treatment. As expected, growth traits and survival were positively correlated (rg and rxy > 0.65) between both nursery environments. However, for growth, most genetic and phenotypic correlations between combinations of nursery treatments versus the field test were negative or not significant. As there was no detectable pattern of nursery–field correlations regarding to combinations of nursery treatments and test site, the need to include more stable families and genotypes to an appropriate developmental stage at nursery is discussed.
  • Influence of high temperature on the reproductive biology of dry edible bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Genetics and Plant Breeding

    Silva, Daiana Alves da; Pinto-Maglio, Cecília Alzira Ferreira; Oliveira, Érica Cristina de; Reis, Raquel Luiza de Moura dos; Carbonell, Sérgio Augusto Morais; Chiorato, Alisson Fernando

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of heat stress on 12 bean genotypes through the analysis of their reproductive biology in terms of flowering, pollen viability, meiotic behavior, and production. Plants were grown in a climate chamber at 25-20 °C (day and night) and at a high temperature treatment 37-26 °C (day and night) from the vegetative (V4) development stage to physiological maturity. The experimental design was 2 × 12 factorial arrangement with six replications and the factors consisted of heat treatments and genotypes. In three replications, the number of newly opened flowers was checked daily. At physiological maturity, the following traits were evaluated: percentage of pod set, number of pods, number of viable seeds, number of aborted seeds, 100 seed weight, and seed yield (g per plant). The other three replications were used to collect flowers to create slides to study viability of the pollen grain and analyze the meiotic behavior. The heat treatment factor significantly affected the following traits: total number of pollen grains, number of flowers, number of pods, pod set, number of viable seeds, 100 seed weight, and seed yield. The raised temperature reduced these variables, except for percentage of pod set, and increased meiotic irregularities. The mean values regarding seed yield were 16.39 g per plant for the control treatment and 7.46 g per plant under high temperature. IAC Imperador, FT Nobre, Pérola, BRS Estilo, and IAC Diplomata stood out for higher bean seed yield under increased temperature.
  • Diagnostic fingerprints ISSR/SSR for tropical leguminous species Stylosanthes capitata and Stylosanthes macrocephala Genetics and Plant Breeding

    Alzate-Marin, Ana Lilia; Costa-Silva, Carolina; Rivas, Priscila Marlys Sá; Bonifacio-Anacleto, Fernando; Santos, Leticia Gobett; Moraes, Rômulo Maciel de; Martinez, Carlos Alberto

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: Stylosanthes capitata Vogel and Stylosanthes macrocephala M.B.Ferreira & Sousa Costa are two forage leguminous species of agronomic importance for animal husbandry in tropical environments. The physical mixture of both species (80 % S. capitata and 20 % S. macrocephala) comprises the commercial cultivar “Estilosantes Campo Grande”. However, proximity of fields for seed production may contaminate seed lots, compromising seeds quality. The combined use of dominant and co-dominant molecular markers is an appropriate strategy to certificate genetic purity and perform diversity studies of cultivars. In this research, a set of ISSR (Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat polymorphic DNA) and SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat polymorphic DNA) molecular markers were standardized to characterize S. capitata and S. macrocephala species and evaluate the genetic purity of commercial samples. Four ISSR markers (UBC 2, 864, 885, 886) and SSR marker SC18-01 G4B showed precise species-specific electrophoretic fingerprints for both species. Electrophoretic patterns of ISSR molecular markers should be displayed first to confirm the sample identification. The structure analysis showed that the less contaminated sample was S. capitata with 97 % of its genetic composition assigned to a single genetic cluster vs. 95 % for S. macrocephala. S. capitata has greater genetic diversity (ISSRHe:0.292; SSRHe:0.57) than S. macrocephala (ISSRHe:0.285; SSRHe:0.16); however, this difference was only significant with SSR molecular markers. As these genetic resources have considerable ecological, agronomic and economic importance, tools for accurate species identification and genetic studies are essential for further seed multiplication, as well as for improvement and conservation of cultivars.
  • Trellis systems, rootstocks and season influence on the phenolic composition of ‘Chenin Blanc’ grape Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

    Costa, Rayssa Ribeiro da; Rodrigues, Antônio Augusto Marques; Vasconcelos, Victor Alexandre Freire de; Costa, João Paulo Dias; Lima, Maria Auxiliadora Coêlho de

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: The biosynthesis of phenolic compounds might be influenced by environmental factors, such as solar radiation, temperature and relative air humidity, and production system. Some components of the production system, particularly the trellis system and rootstock, might change the phenolic composition of grapes due to microclimate of the cultivation region. In this study, the phenolic profile of ‘Chenin Blanc’ grapes was characterized with different trellis systems and rootstocks in two consecutive production cycles by using high-performance liquid chromatography under tropical semi-arid conditions. In the second production cycle (Jan-May/2016), accumulation of (-) - epicatechin gallate and (-) - epigallocatechin gallate was higher when vigorous rootstocks were trellised to the lyre system, whereas the lyre system associated to rootstock ‘SO4’ resulted in higher rutin accumulation in the same cycle. There was little influence of the factors studied on trans-resveratrol and piceatannol accumulation. However, a higher accumulation of piceatannol was observed in the second productive cycle compared to cis-resveratrol and trans-resveratrol. This study highlights that accumulation of phenolic compounds is influenced not only by environmental factors typical of the production year season, but also by the trellis system and rootstock adopted. The identification of phenolic compounds in the accumulation stimulated by the combination of trellis system, rootstock, and production season allows to differentiate grape quality and add value to products derived from such combination in a tropical semi-arid region.
  • Soil respiration dynamics in forage-based and cereal-based cropping systems in central Italy Soils and Plant Nutrition

    Francioni, Matteo; Lai, Roberto; D'Ottavio, Paride; Trozzo, Laura; Kishimoto-Mo, Ayaka W.; Budimir, Katarina; Baldoni, Nora; Toderi, Marco

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: Studies that have investigated soil carbon dynamics under Mediterranean conditions are scarce and fragmented and contrasting results have often been reported. This study aimed to fill some gaps in our knowledge by: (i) determining annual dynamics of total (RS) and heterotrophic (RH) soil respiration; (ii) estimating annual cumulative RS and RH; and (iii) investigating the relationships between RS and RH and soil temperature and water content. The study was carried out in central Italy, for a plain and a hilly site, with the focus on two main cropping systems: an alfalfa-based forage system and a wheat-based rotation system. RS and RH showed different dynamics, with spatial and temporal variability across these sites. Estimated annual cumulative RS fluxes were 8.97 and 7.43 t C ha–1 yr–1 for the plain and hilly alfalfa-based sites, respectively, and 4.67 and 5.22 t C ha–1 yr–1 for the plain and hilly wheat-based sites, respectively. The RH components of RS were 4.26 and 3.52 t C ha–1 yr–1 for the plain and hilly alfalfa-based sites, respectively, and 3.89 and 2.45 t C ha–1 yr–1 for the plain and hilly wheat-based sites, respectively. A model with a combination of soil temperature and soil water content explained 43 % to 49 % and 33 % to 67 % of the annual variation of RS and RH, respectively. These findings help to extend our knowledge of Mediterranean cropping systems, although further studies are needed to clarify the effects of management practices on the modelling of soil respiration efflux.
  • Maize yields and carbon pools in response to poultry litter, rock phosphate and P-solubilizing microorganisms Soils and Plant Nutrition

    Yagi, Renato; Quadros, Thainara Camila Fernandes; Martins, Bruno Henrique; Andrade, Diva Souza

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: The acid release of phosphates from rock phosphates (RP) and the retention of ammonium by inorganic phosphates have been studied separately in composting; however, there is a gap in the knowledge of combined application of RP with organic residues and microorganisms. The objectives were to evaluate the combined application of fresh poultry litter (PL) with RP and P-solubilizing microorganisms (M) on soil organic matter pools, microbial biomass C (MB-C) and on whole-plant silage maize and grain yields. Two field experiments tested the effects of timing of applications of PL (8 Mg ha–1), RP (4 Mg ha–1) and microorganisms on soil organic matter pools, nutritional aspects and productive components of maize crop whole-plant silage. A second experiment evaluated the effects of RP doses (0, 3, 6 and 9 Mg ha–1) with a fixed dose of PL (8 Mg ha–1) on maize grains. Application of PL+RP decreased soil organic C, while RP alone increased the humin fraction C compared to the control. The MB-C in soil with PL and PL+RP+M increased in comparison to the control and the RP. The application of PL, based on an average of fall and spring, increased leaves + stem dry matter, while in the fall on its own, the highest cob yield was observed in the combination of PL+RP, showing synergistic effects. The best ratio of poultry litter to rock phosphate combination is 2:1 in the anticipated fall application on the maize silage crop or immediate application on the maize grain crops.
  • Phosphorus acquisition by wheat from organic and inorganic sources labelled with 32P and 33P radioisotopes Soils and Plant Nutrition

    Scrase, Franklin M.; Sinclair, Fergus L.; Farrar, John F.; Pavinato, Paulo Sergio; Jones, Davey L.

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: Investment in soil phosphorus (P) capital in the tropics is often constrained by poor availability of mineral fertiliser to small-scale farmers. Consequently, new sustainable agricultural cropping strategies are required to maintain fertility and maximise crop yields. The co-application of Tithonia diversifolia (Tithonia) green manure and mineral fertiliser (KH2PO4) together (integrated nutrient management) in comparison to the addition of one or the other alone has been hypothesized to promote crop P uptake. The aim of this study was to critically evaluate the benefits of integrated nutrient management practices in laboratory experiments. Wheat was grown as a test crop in microcosms to which either 32P-labelled mineral fertiliser or 33P-labelled Tithonia was added either singly or in combination. Exclusion meshes were used to determine the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in P uptake from the different P sources. The rate of uptake of both 32P and 33P by mycorrhizas was similar, and the rate of mycorrhizal P capture was comparable to that of roots. Generally, there was little difference in wheat P acquisition under integrated nutrient management treatments in comparison to P acquisition from 32P-mineral fertiliser or the addition of 33P-Tithonia alone. Overall, Tithonia residues were not very effective in supplying P to wheat over a short time evaluation period, suggesting that mineral fertilisers will still be required to satisfy crop demand.
  • Processes that influence dissolved organic matter in the soil: a review Review

    Gmach, Maria Regina; Cherubin, Maurício Roberto; Kaiser, Klaus; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo Pellegrino

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT: In tropical regions, climate conditions favor fast decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM), releasing into the soil organic composts in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms with variable compositions. Dissolved organic matter (DOM), a complex mixture of thousands of organic compounds, is only a small fraction of the decomposition products; however, it is highly mobile and reactive to the soil. Therefore, DOM play a key role in soil aggregation (formation of organometallic complexes), energy source for microorganisms, as well as C storage, cycling, and provision of plant-available nutrients. DOM multifunctionality to sustain soil functions and important ecosystem services have raised global scientific interest in studies on DOM fractions. However, previous studies were conducted predominantly under temperate soil conditions in natural ecosystems. Therefore, there is paucity of information on tropical soil conditions under agricultural systems, where DOM turnover is intensified by management practices. This review synthesized information in the literature to identify and discuss the main sources, transformations, and future of DOM in soils. We also discussed the importance of this fraction in C cycling and other soil properties and processes, emphasizing agricultural systems in tropical soils. Gaps and opportunities were identified to guide future studies on DOM in tropical soils.
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