Advances in Agriculture The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Genes Acting on Transcriptional Control during Abiotic Stress Responses Mon, 25 Aug 2014 05:24:40 +0000 Abiotic stresses are the major cause of yield loss in crops around the world. Greater genetic gains are possible by combining the classical genetic improvement with advanced molecular biology techniques. The understanding of mechanisms triggered by plants to meet conditions of stress is of fundamental importance for the elucidation of these processes. Current genetically modified crops help to mitigate the effects of these stresses, increasing genetic gains in order to supply the agricultural market and the demand for better quality food throughout the world. To obtain safe genetic modified organisms for planting and consumption, a thorough grasp of the routes and genes that act in response to these stresses is necessary. This work was developed in order to collect important information about essential TF gene families for transcriptional control under abiotic stress responses. Glacy Jaqueline da Silva and Antonio Costa de Oliveira Copyright © 2014 Glacy Jaqueline da Silva and Antonio Costa de Oliveira. All rights reserved. Multivariate Regression Analyses of Yield Associated Traits in Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) Genotypes Sun, 24 Aug 2014 07:16:37 +0000 The efficiency of a breeding program depends mainly on the direction of the correlation between yield and its components and the relative importance of each component involved in contributing to seed yield. The interrelationships of nine quantitative traits in 28 genotypes of spring oilseed rape (days to flowering, days to end of flowering, duration of flowering, days to maturity, pods per main raceme, pods length and pods per plant, and seed yield) were computed. Significant genotypic effects were found for phenological traits, yield components, and seed yield, indicating significant genetic differences among the genotypes. High broad sense heritability was estimated for phenological traits, seeds per pod, and seed yield, signifying high selection gain for improving these traits. Path coefficient analysis revealed that days to flowering and number of pods per plant had the highest direct effects on seed yield. Duration of flowering, number of branches, pods on main raceme, pods per plant, and seed yield had high genetic coefficient of variation. The results of factor analysis showed three factors including factor 1 (phenological traits), factor 2 (primary yield components), and factor 3 (secondary yield components). The results of stepwise regression analysis revealed that pods per plant, number of branches, and duration of flowering had considerable effects on seed yield. Valiollah Rameeh Copyright © 2014 Valiollah Rameeh. All rights reserved. Weed Control and Corn (Zea mays) Response to Planting Pattern and Herbicide Program with High Seeding Rates in North Carolina Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Effective weed control in corn (Zea mays L.) is important to optimize yield. Concern over environmental impact of atrazine and selection for glyphosate resistance has increased the need to develop alternative strategies that use herbicides other than atrazine and glyphosate and appropriate cultural practices to control weeds. Research was conducted during 2011 and 2012 to determine weed and corn response to herbicide programs containing dicamba, glufosinate, and glyphosate applied postemergence alone or with atrazine in single- and twin-row planting patterns. Planting pattern had no effect on common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) and Texas panicum (Panicum texanum L.) population and did not interact with herbicide program. Effective weed control hastened maturity in some but not all instances. Under weed-free conditions, corn grain yield was higher in 5 of 7 trials when planted in twin rows versus single rows at equivalent corn populations (141,000 plants ha−1). These results suggest that while planting pattern may not impact weed control dramatically, planting corn in twin rows may be an effective alternative to single-row planting patterns because of increased yield under high corn populations. Mitchell K. Williams, Ronnie W. Heiniger, Wesley J. Everman, and David L. Jordan Copyright © 2014 Mitchell K. Williams et al. All rights reserved. Soil Phosphorus Storage Capacity for Environmental Risk Assessment Sun, 17 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Reliable techniques must be developed to predict phosphorus (P) storage and release from soils of uplands, ditches, streams, and wetlands in order to better understand the natural, anthropogenic, and legacy sources of P and their impact on water quality at a field/plot as well as larger scales. A concept called the “safe” soil phosphorus storage capacity (SPSC) that is based on a threshold phosphorus saturation ratio (PSR) has been developed; the PSR is the molar ratio of P to Fe and Al, and SPSC is a PSR-based calculation of the remaining soil P storage capacity that captures risks arising from previous loading as well as inherently low P sorption capacity of a soil. Zero SPSC amounts to a threshold value below which P runoff or leaching risk increases precipitously. In addition to the use of the PSR/SPSC concept for P risk assessment and management, and its ability to predict isotherm parameters such as the Langmuir strength of bonding, , and the equilibrium P concentration, EPC0, this simple, cost-effective, and quantitative approach has the potential to be used as an agronomic tool for more precise application of P for plant uptake. Vimala D. Nair and Willie G. Harris Copyright © 2014 Vimala D. Nair and Willie G. Harris. All rights reserved. Rhizospheric Microflora Escalating Aroma Constituents and Yield Attributes in Ocimum tenuiflorum (L.) cv. CIM-Ayu Sun, 03 Aug 2014 07:05:01 +0000 The exploration of rhizospheric microbial flora for crop yield enhancement is well established. Rhizospheric microbes influence the plant physiology by imparting several beneficial effects, namely, Nitrogen fixation, increased nutrient uptake, and secondary metabolites production on their host plants. The present study investigates the response of Bacillus megaterium ATCC No. 13525, Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC No. 14581, and Trichoderma viride MTCC No. 167 in alone and combined treatments for their effect on growth and yield parameters in a commercially important Ocimum tenuiflorum L. cv. CIM-Ayu. The plant is therapeutically important for its essential oil constituents, namely, eugenol, β-caryophyllene, and various monoterpenes. The combination treatments, T7 (B. megaterium + P. fluorescens) and T8 (B. megaterium + P. fluorescens + T. viride), showed maximum enhancement (27.27%) of percentage essential oil as compared to untreated control. Nutrient uptake especially N2 content was significantly increased (43%) with the treatment T8 (B. megaterium + P. fluorescens + T. viride). Amongst major essential oil constituents, eugenol content was maximally increased by 58.5% as compared to 42.9% (control) indicating a cumulative role of microbial inoculants for crop yield boost-up. Shilpi Khare Saikia and Rakesh Pandey Copyright © 2014 Shilpi Khare Saikia and Rakesh Pandey. All rights reserved. Effects of Different Treatments on Seed Germination Improvement of Calotropis persica Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different treatments on seed germination in the desert plant species Calotropis persica (Gand.). This species is known to have long time for seed germination considering arid region condition and short time of access moist. An experiment was performed with 13 treatments and 4 replications in a completely randomized design. Treatments included KNO3 with concentrations of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 percent, immersion in hot water for five min, acetylsalicylic acid 100, 200, and 300 mg L−1, ethereal sulfuric acid (60%) for 5 and 10 min, thiourea with concentrations of 0.1% and 0.3%, and prechilling for 10 days. Tap water was used as the control. Our findings indicate that KNO3 0.1% and 100 mg L−1 acetylsalicylic acid were the most effective treatments for improvement of seed germination properties in this species. In a comparison of the two mentioned treatment, KNO3 0.1% treatments is the best. Asghar Farajollahi, Bahram Gholinejad, and Hamed Jonaidi Jafari Copyright © 2014 Asghar Farajollahi et al. All rights reserved. MIKE BASIN Based Decision Support Tool for Water Sharing and Irrigation Management in Rangawan Command of India Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 In this study, MIKE BASIN has been used as a decision support tool for irrigation management and water sharing of Rangawan reservoir, an interstate project of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in India. The water sharing and optimum irrigation releases have been analyzed by developing two separate models in decision support tool; the first model computes irrigation demand and offers inputs to the second model, which calculates water supplies and deficits as per the water sharing agreements between the two states. The models have been used to generate twelve different scenarios for evaluation of irrigation demands, water supply, and demand deficit/excess for actual cropping pattern in command of Madhya Pradesh part. Simulated results showed, in average/wet rainfall year with conveyance efficiency of 60% and application efficiency of 70%, the irrigation demand of 11.83 Mm3 has been found satisfying without any deficit. By improving efficiencies, conjunctive use, and managing irrigation supplies as recommended from scenarios of DSS application, more areas in the command can be brought under irrigation. The developed models can be used for real time reservoir operation and irrigation planning under variable climatic conditions, conveyance and application efficiencies, consumptive use of surface and groundwater, and probable runoff and cropping pattern. R. K. Jaiswal, N. C. Ghosh, Poonam Guru, and Devakant Copyright © 2014 R. K. Jaiswal et al. All rights reserved. Mineralization Rates of Soil Forms of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium as Affected by Organomineral Fertilizer in Sandy Loam Tue, 15 Jul 2014 07:17:17 +0000 Farmers tend to use organomineral fertilizers as a result of inadequacies embedded in the sole use of organic and mineral fertilizers. A laboratory incubation study to determine the rate of the forms of N, P, and K released by organomineral fertilizer was conducted at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, southwest Nigeria, in 2013. Organomineral fertilizer (OMF) at the rates of 0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 g/100 g soil to represent 0, 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 t ha−1 OMF, respectively, was incubated for ninety days. The treatments were replicated three times and arranged in a completely randomized design. The determined forms of N were total N, NH4–N, and NO3–N; the forms of P were total P, solution P, and available P while the forms of K were total K, solution K, and exchangeable K. Organomineral fertilizer significantly increased N, NH4–N, NO3–N, total P, solution P, exchangeable P, solution K, and exchangeable K at all rates with different values. The rate of ammonification of N was higher than the rate of nitrification of NH4 + N to NO3 + N especially at 10 and 20 t ha−1 OMF. Application of 5 and 10 t ha−1 OMF could be used to increase soil forms of N, P, and K. Ayeni Leye Samuel and Adeleye Omotayo Ebenezer Copyright © 2014 Ayeni Leye Samuel and Adeleye Omotayo Ebenezer. All rights reserved. Effect of Irrigation Regimes and Nitrogen Levels on the Growth and Yield of Wheat Tue, 01 Jul 2014 08:52:50 +0000 A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of irrigation regimes and nitrogen levels on the growth and yield of wheat cv. Kanchan (Triticum aestivum L.). The experiment includes two factors such as four irrigation regimes and four nitrogen levels. Three farmer’s fields were selected for experimentation as replication. Yield and yield contributing factors were significantly affected by irrigation regimes and different doses of nitrogen. Maximum grain yield of 2.27 t ha−1 by the application of 200 mm irrigation treatment. Interaction between 200 mm irrigation and 120 kg N ha−1 was the best combination treatment. S. M. Shirazi, Zulkifli Yusop, N. H. Zardari, and Z. Ismail Copyright © 2014 S. M. Shirazi et al. All rights reserved. DNA Barcoding for Minor Crops and Food Traceability Mon, 23 Jun 2014 06:37:46 +0000 This outlook paper addresses the problem of the traceability of minor crops. These kinds of cultivations consist in a large number of plants locally distributed with a modest production in terms of cultivated acreage and quantity of final product. Because of globalization, the diffusion of minor crops is increasing due to their benefit for human health or their use as food supplements. Such a phenomenon implies a major risk for species substitution or uncontrolled admixture of manufactured plant products with severe consequences for the health of consumers. The need for a reliable identification system is therefore essential to evaluate the quality and provenance of minor agricultural products. DNA-based techniques can help in achieving this mission. In particular, the DNA barcoding approach has gained a role of primary importance thanks to its universality and versatility. Here, we present the advantages in the use of DNA barcoding for the characterization and traceability of minor crops based on our previous or ongoing studies at the ZooPlantLab (Milan, Italy). We also discuss how DNA barcoding may potentially be transferred from the laboratory to the food supply chain, from field to table. Andrea Galimberti, Massimo Labra, Anna Sandionigi, Antonia Bruno, Valerio Mezzasalma, and Fabrizio De Mattia Copyright © 2014 Andrea Galimberti et al. All rights reserved. Agromorphological Traits Variability of the Ethiopian Lentil and Exotic Genotypes Sun, 22 Jun 2014 07:38:25 +0000 Understanding the genetic relationships and diversity of Ethiopian lentil in relation to lentil from other countries is important in attempting to widen the genetic base of germplasm in the country. The objectives of this study were to generate information on agromorphological variability, to estimate PCV, GCV, heritability, and expected genetic advance of quantitative traits of lentil. 228 genotypes with different population types were studied for 11 agromorphological traits and rust disease severity score for two seasons (2011-2012) over three locations. The analysis of variance showed highly significant variations () among genotypes for all characters studied. As per genetic parameter values, four groups of character were deduced. It is inferred that the exotic genotypes introduced from ICARDA showed rich genetic bases for 100-seed weight, number of seeds per plant, seed weight per plant, resistance source for rust, and high yielder in high yielding environment, where rainfall is not a major problem. Use the Ethiopian accessions for developing cultivars that could be used in double cropping and drought prone areas. Fikru Mekonnen, Firew Mekbib, Shiv Kumar, Seid Ahmed, and Tilak R. Sharma Copyright © 2014 Fikru Mekonnen et al. All rights reserved. Origin, Domestication, and Dispersing of Pear (Pyrus spp.) Mon, 09 Jun 2014 08:43:38 +0000 The pear (Pyrus communis L.) is a typical fruit of temperate regions, having its origin and domestication at two different points, China and Asia Minor until the Middle East. It is the fifth most widely produced fruit in the world, being produced mainly in China, Europe, and the United States. Pear belongs to rosaceous family, being a close “cousin” of the apple, but with some particularities that make this fruit special with a delicate flavor. Thus, it deserves a special attention and a meticulous review of all the history involved, and the recent research devoted to it, because of the economic and cultural importance of this fruit in a range of countries and cultures. Therefore, the purpose of this literature review is to approach the history of the origin, domestication, and dispersal of pears, as well as reporting their botany, their current scenario in the world, and their breeding and conservation. G. J. Silva, Tatiane Medeiros Souza, Rosa Lía Barbieri, and Antonio Costa de Oliveira Copyright © 2014 G. J. Silva et al. All rights reserved. Ecological Complexity and the Success of Fungal Biological Control Agents Sun, 01 Jun 2014 09:17:54 +0000 Fungal biological control agents against plant pathogens, especially those in soil, operate within physically, biologically, and spatially complex systems by means of a variety of trophic and nontrophic interspecific interactions. However, the biocontrol agents themselves are also subject to the same types of interactions, which may reduce or in some cases enhance their efficacy against target plant pathogens. Characterization of these ecologically complex systems is challenging, but a number of tools are available to help unravel this complexity. Several of these tools are described here, including the use of molecular biology to generate biocontrol agents with useful marker genes and then to quantify these agents in natural systems, epifluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy to observe their presence and activity in situ, and spatial statistics and computer simulation modeling to evaluate and predict these activities in heterogeneous soil habitats. Guy R. Knudsen and Louise-Marie C. Dandurand Copyright © 2014 Guy R. Knudsen and Louise-Marie C. Dandurand. All rights reserved. Farm Animal Welfare and Handling in the Tropics: The Ethiopia Case Sun, 01 Jun 2014 06:19:37 +0000 The issue of farm animal welfare has become increasingly of essence in many countries these days. Farm animal welfare concerns are expressed about the conditions in which farm animals are kept and management practices, particularly in systems where animals are kept in confinement for most of their lives, feed methods, health care, and expression of normal behaviors. The use of an ethical basis for animal welfare standards requires some generally accepted principles on how animals should be treated and used by humans. Animals have enormous capacity to feel a huge range of emotions, to learn from their experiences, to adapt to challenges, and to suffer when their needs are either ignored or disrespected. It is now time, in the evolution of the relationship between humans and animals, to move forward with this knowledge and take real action to improve the lives of farm animals. The use of behavioral principles should improve efficiency of livestock handling and reduce stress on animals. Changing public opinion about the importance of good animal welfare and applying legislative actions will be important in animal production systems especially in developing countries where the poor animal welfare is immense and production management is below substandards. Bimrew Asmare Copyright © 2014 Bimrew Asmare. All rights reserved.