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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-08-01
    Description: Quantifying reasonable crop yield gaps and determining potential regions for yield improvement can facilitate regional plant structure adjustment and promote crop production. The current study attempted to evaluate the yield gap in a region at multi-scales through model simulation and farmer investigation. Taking the winter wheat yield gap in the Huang-Huai-Hai farming region (HFR) for the case study, 241 farmers’ fields in four typical high-yield demonstration areas were surveyed to determine the yield limitation index and attainable yield. In addition, the theoretical and realizable yield gap of winter wheat in 386 counties of the HFR was assessed. Results showed that the average field yield of the demonstration plots was 8282 kg/ha, accounting for 0.72 of the potential yield, which represented the highest production in the region. The HFR consists of seven sub-regions designated 2.1–2.7: the largest attainable yield gap existed in the 2.6 sub-region, in the southwest of the HFR, while the smallest was in the 2.2 sub-region, in the northwest of the HFR. With a high irrigated area rate, the yield gap in the 2.2 sub-region could hardly be reduced by increasing irrigation, while a lack of irrigation remained an important limiting factor for narrowing the yield gap in 2.3 sub-region, in the middle of the HFR. Therefore, a multi-scale yield gap evaluation framework integrated with typical field survey and crop model analysis could provide valuable information for narrowing the yield gap.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8596
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5146
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-09-09
    Description: SUMMARYFlour whiteness (FW) is an important factor in assessing flour quality and determining the end product quality. It is an integrated sensory indicator reflecting flour colour and is negatively correlated with protein content. In order to dissect the genetic relationship between FW and its five related traits at the quantitative trait locus (QTL)/gene level, a recombinant inbred line population was evaluated under three environments. Quantitative trait loci for FW were analysed by unconditional and conditional QTL mapping. Four unconditional additive QTLs and 16 conditional additive QTLs were detected across the three environments. Of these QTLs, only one major additive QTL (Qfw1D1-1) was consistently identified using both unconditional and conditional QTL analysis. This QTL was independent of flour colour a* (a function of red-green with a positive a* for redness and negative for greenness) and b* (a green-blue value with positive value for yellowness and negative for blueness) and was only slightly affected by flour protein content. A minor additive QTL (Qfw4A-4) was also detected using these two QTL mapping methods, being independent of flour colour a* and b*. Five unconditional and ten conditional epistatic minor QTLs were detected, from which only one pair (Qfw3A-10/Qfw6B-6) was identified by both unconditional and conditional QTL mapping, also independent of flour colour a* and b*. The major QTL (Qfw1D1-1) identified in the current study for the first time can be used for improving wheat FW in marker-assisted breeding.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8596
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5146
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2013-10-24
    Description: SUMMARYTo evaluate the effects of a modern cultivation system of plastic film mulching with drip irrigation (MD) on soil greenhouse gas fluxes, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes were quantified and contrasted in an MD system and a traditional system of mulch-free flood-irrigated (MFF) cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in fields of northwest China. The results showed that soil N2O flux and the absorption rate of CH4 were lower in the MD than the MFF sites. A possible reason for the higher CH4 emissions at MD sites was that the relatively low gaseous oxygen (O2) availability and high ammonium (NH4+) content in the MD soil increased CH4 generation by methanogens and decreased CH4 oxidation by methanotrophs. The lower N2O in the MD sites may be due to an increase of soil denitrification by Thiobacillus denitrificans that reduced some nitrous compounds further into nitrogen gas (N2). Taking into account the global warming potentials of CH4 and N2O in a 100-year time horizon, during the entire growth period, the contribution of CH4 to the greenhouse effect was significantly lower than N2O in these two treatments. Considering these two greenhouse gas fluxes together, a transition from non-mulching cultivation to mulching cultivation could reduce atmospheric emissions by c. 20 g CO2 e m2/season. Based on these findings and previous studies, it can be concluded that mulched-drip irrigation cultivation is a good way to decrease the emission of greenhouse gases and reduce the global warming impact of arid farmlands.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8596
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5146
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2014-11-10
    Description: SUMMARYSoybean is an important oil- and protein-producing crop and over the last few decades soybean genetic transformation has made rapid strides. The probability of occurrence of transgene flow should be assessed, although the discrimination of conventional and transgenic soybean seeds and their hybrid descendants is difficult in fields. The feasibility of non-destructive discrimination of conventional and glyphosate-resistant soybean seeds and their hybrid descendants was examined by a multispectral imaging system combined with chemometric methods. Principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA), least squares-support vector machines (LS-SVM) and back propagation neural network (BPNN) methods were applied to classify soybean seeds. The current results demonstrated that clear differences among conventional and glyphosate-resistant soybean seeds and their hybrid descendants could be easily visualized and an excellent classification (98% with BPNN model) could be achieved. It was concluded that multispectral imaging together with chemometric methods would be a promising technique to identify transgenic soybean seeds with high efficiency.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8596
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5146
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2016-03-28
    Description: SUMMARYCrop production in the Northeast Farming Region of China (NFR) is affected considerably by variation in climatic conditions. Data on crop yield and weather conditions from a number of agro-meteorological stations in NFR were used in a mixed linear model to evaluate the impacts of climatic variables on the yield of maize (Zea mays L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) and spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in different crop growth phases. The crop growing season was divided into three growth phases based on the average crop phenological dates from records covering 1981 and 2010 at each station, comprising pre-flowering (from sowing to just prior to flowering), flowering (20 days around flowering) and post-flowering (10 days after flowering to maturity). The climatic variables were mean minimum temperature, thermal time (which is used to indicate changes in the length of growth cycles), average daily solar radiation, accumulated precipitation, aridity index (which is used to assess drought stress) and heat degree-days index (HDD) (which is used to indicate heat stress) were calculated for each growth phase and year. Over the 1961–2010 period, the minimum temperature increased significantly in each crop growth phase, the thermal time increased significantly in the pre-flowering phase of each crop and in the post-flowering phases of maize, rice and soybean, and HDD increased significantly in the pre-flowering phase of soybean and wheat. Average solar radiation decreased significantly in the pre-flowering phase of all four crops and in the flowering phase of soybean and wheat. Precipitation increased during the pre-flowering phase leading to less aridity, whereas reduced precipitation in the flowering and post-flowering phases enhanced aridity. Statistical analyses indicated that higher minimum temperature was beneficial for maize, rice and soybean yields, whereas increased temperature reduced wheat yield. Higher solar radiation in the pre-flowering phase was beneficial for maize yield, in the post-flowering phase for wheat yield, whereas higher solar radiation in the flowering phase reduced rice yield. Increased aridity in the pre-flowering and flowering phases severely reduced maize yield, higher aridity in the flowering and post-flowering phases reduced rice yield, and aridity in all growth phases reduced soybean and wheat yields. Higher HDD in all growth phases reduced maize and soybean yield and HDD in the pre-flowering phase reduced rice yield. Such effects suggest that projected future climate change may have marked effects on crop yield through effects of several climatic variables, calling for adaptation measures such as breeding and changes in crop, soil and agricultural water management.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8596
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5146
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2016-04-05
    Description: SUMMARYDrought risk is considered to be among the main limiting factors for maize (Zea mays L.) production in the Northeast Farming Region of China (NFR). Maize yield data from 44 stations over the period 1961–2010 were combined with data from weather stations to evaluate the effects of climatic factors, drought risk and irrigation requirement on rain-fed maize yield in specific maize growth phases. The maize growing season was divided into four growth phases comprising seeding, vegetative, flowering and maturity based on observations of phenological data from 1981 to 2010. The dual crop coefficient was used to calculate crop evapotranspiration and soil water balance during the maize growing season. The effects of mean temperature, solar radiation, effective rainfall, water deficit, drought stress days, actual crop evapotranspiration and irrigation requirement in different growth phases were included in the statistical model to predict maize yield. During the period 1961–2010, mean temperature increased significantly in all growth phases in NFR, while solar radiation decreased significantly in southern NFR in the seeding, vegetative and flowering phases. Effective rainfall increased in the seeding and vegetative phases, reducing water deficit over the period, whereas decreasing effective rainfall over time in the flowering and maturity phases enhanced water deficit. An increase in days with drought stress was concentrated in western NFR, with larger volumes of irrigation needed to compensate for increased dryness. The present results indicate that higher mean temperature in the seeding and maturity phases was beneficial for maize yield, whereas excessive rainfall would damage maize yield, in particular in the seeding and flowering phases. Drought stress in any growth stage was found to reduce maize yield and water deficit was slightly better than other indicators of drought stress for explaining yield variability. The effect of drought stress was particularly strong in the seeding and flowering phases, indicating that these periods should be given priority for irrigation. The yield-reducing effects of both drought and intense rainfall illustrate the importance of further development of irrigation and drainage systems for ensuring the stability of maize production in NFR.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8596
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5146
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-08-01
    Description: To investigate the effects of soybean isoflavone (SI) on immunity in infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV)-infected broilers, chicks were fed the same basal diet supplemented with 0 (non-infected control), 0 (infected control), 10, 20 or 40 mg/kg SI for 44 days. At 21 days old, chickens were inoculated with bursal infectious dose causing 50% morbidity of the IBDV BC 6/85 strain by the eye-drop and nasal route (except for non-infected controls). Results showed that, over 1–23 days post-infection (dpi), there was a significant interaction between SI supplementation level and time: high-level SI supplementation increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio, serum concentrations of IgA, IgM and IgG, and IBDV antibody titres. Except for serum IgA and IgM, these variables increased over time with far higher values at 23 dpi than earlier. Compared with non-infected controls, IBDV inoculation decreased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, and serum IgG, IgM concentration at 23 dpi, and increased IBDV antibody titres at 7, 15 and 23 dpi. Supplemental SI quadratically increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio and serum IgA concentration at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes at 3 and 23 dpi, and serum IgM concentration and IBDV antibody titres at 23 dpi. These results indicate that dietary SI improved cellular and humoral immunity of IBDV-infected birds and may enhance resistance of Yellow-feathered broilers to infectious diseases.
    Print ISSN: 0021-8596
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5146
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 1997-05-01
    Description: Male sterile combinations made from interspecific crosses between the polima CMS line of Brassica napus and varieties of B. chinensis were backcrossed to BC3. Twenty-six selfing lines from B. chinensis were tested for their ability to either maintain complete sterility or to restore fertility in crosses with the polima male sterile line. Results show that four of these hybrids were completely male sterile and two were fertile. The sterility of the B. chinensis with polima cytoplasm was much more stable than male sterile lines with B. campestris and B. chinensis cytoplasm, which were sterile before full flowering but progressively became fertile as flowering proceeded. The results suggest that polima cytoplasm could be a suitable male sterile-inducing allocytoplasm for B. chinensis, as both maintainers and restorers are available, and could supply a reliable pollination control system for hybrid seed production in this species.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5146
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2006-04-01
    Description: Cold environments are common throughout the Galaxy. We are conducting a series of experiments designed to probe the low-temperature limits for growth in selected methanogenic and halophilic Archaea. This paper presents initial results for two mesophiles, a methanogen, Methanosarcina acetivorans, and a halophile, Halobacterium sp. NRC-1, and for two Antarctic cold-adapted Archaea, a methanogen, Methanococcoides burtonii, and a halophile, Halorubrum lacusprofundi. Neither mesophile is active at temperatures below 5 °C, but both cold-adapted microorganisms show significant growth at sub-zero temperatures (−2 °C and −1 °C, respectively), extending previous low-temperature limits for both species by 4–5 °C. At low temperatures, both H. lacusprofundi and M. burtonii form multicellular aggregates, which appear to be embedded in extracellular polymeric substances. This is the first detection of this phenomenon in Antarctic species of Archaea at cold temperatures. The low-temperature limits for both psychrophilic species fall within the temperature range experienced on present-day Mars and could permit survival and growth, particularly in sub-surface environments. We also discuss the results of our experiments in the context of known exoplanet systems, several of which include planets that intersect the Habitable Zone. In most cases, those planets follow orbits with significant eccentricity, leading to substantial temperature excursions. However, a handful of the known gas giant exoplanets could potentially harbour habitable terrestrial moons.
    Print ISSN: 1473-5504
    Electronic ISSN: 1475-3006
    Topics: Biology , Geosciences
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