Items 21-40 of 671

    • Journal Article

      Fattening Pig Farmers’ Intention to Participate in Animal Welfare Programs 

      Schukat; Kuhlmann; Heise
      Animals 2019; 9(12): Art. 1042
      Farmers are considered a highly important stakeholder group for the successful implementation of higher farm animal welfare (FAW) standards, but so far little is known about their attitudes and the determinants of their participation in programs that request higher FAW standards. To close this research gap, fattening pig farmers in Germany were questioned via a large-scale online survey in 2018 (n = 239). Based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, a partial least squares path modeling (PLS) was run. Results show that the expected performance as well as the expected costs associated with the Initiative Animal Welfare (IAW) substantially influence fattening pig farmers' behavioral intention to participate in the IAW. Furthermore, the decision is influenced by social determinants and facilitating conditions such as deadweight effects. Farmers' hedonic motivation, fair remuneration and previous experiences with the establishment of higher FAW standards can influence their intention to take part in the IAW. In addition, farmers' trust in the program is a major determinant. There are also moderating variables such as age and work experience that influence farmers' intention to take part in the IAW. Our results have important managerial implications for the IAW and can help to design further tailor-made animal welfare programs (AWPs) that fulfill the requirements of both fattening pig farmers and the broader public not only in Germany but the European Union.
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    • Journal Article

      Minimum magnesium concentrations for photosynthetic efficiency in wheat and sunflower seedlings 

      Tränkner, Merle; Jamali Jaghdani, Setareh
      Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 2019; 144 p.234-243
      Photosynthetic processes in the chloroplast depend on the abundance of magnesium (Mg) in relatively high amounts; hence chloroplasts might react more sensitive to Mg-deficiency than other physiological processes within other organelles. Most authors suggest a critical Mg concentration to be 1.5 mg g-1 DM for biomass and yield formation. However, it is not yet elucidated whether this value also applies to photosynthetic processes. The present study focused on the response of photosynthetic processes to different Mg tissue concentrations. Wheat (Triticum aestivum) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) plants were grown hydroponically for 10 days with 8 different levels of Mg supply (1.0, 0.5, 0.25, 0.1, 0.075, 0.05, 0.025, 0.01 mM Mg). Specific leaf mass, SPAD values, assimilation rate, Fv/Fm, electron transport rate and photochemical and non-photochemical quenching parameters were determined on youngest mature leaves. Tissue Mg concentrations decreased with lowering Mg supply to lowest concentrations of 0.7 mg g-1 DM in wheat leaves, but photosynthetic capacity was not affected. In sunflower leaves, lowest Mg concentrations of 0.56 mg g-1 DM were achieved and a diminished photosynthetic capacity was observed. The study shows that a Mg tissue concentration of 1.5 mg g-1 DM did not induce a negative effect on the photosynthetic capacity of wheat and sunflower leaves under our experimental conditions and hence, the critical Mg concentration for photosynthetic processes might be lower than for biomass and yield formation.
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    • Journal Article

      The effect of bigger human bodies on the future global calorie requirements 

      Depenbusch, Lutz; Klasen, Stephan
      PLOS ONE 2019; 14(12): Art. e0223188
      Existing studies show how population growth and rising incomes will cause a massive increase in the future global demand for food. We add to the literature by estimating the potential effect of increases in human weight, caused by rising BMI and height, on future calorie requirements. Instead of using a market based approach, the estimations are solely based on human energy requirements for maintenance of weight. We develop four different scenarios to show the effect of increases in human height and BMI. In a world where the weight per age-sex group would stay stable, we project calorie requirements to increases by 61.05 percent between 2010 and 2100. Increases in BMI and height could add another 18.73 percentage points to this. This additional increase amounts to more than the combined calorie requirements of India and Nigeria in 2010. These increases would particularly affect Sub-Saharan African countries, which will already face massively rising calorie requirements due to the high population growth. The stark regional differences call for policies that increase food access in currently economically weak regions. Such policies should shift consumption away from energy dense foods that promote overweight and obesity, to avoid the direct burden associated with these conditions and reduce the increases in required calories. Supplying insufficient calories would not solve the problem but cause malnutrition in populations with weak access to food. As malnutrition is not reducing but promoting rises in BMI levels, this might even aggravate the situation
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    • Journal Article

      Re-sequencing and optical mapping reveals misassemblies and real inversions on Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis genomes 

      Sousa, Thiago de Jesus; Parise, Doglas; Profeta, Rodrigo; Parise, Mariana Teixeira Dornelles; Gomide, Anne Cybelle Pinto; Kato, Rodrigo Bentos; Pereira, Felipe Luiz; Figueiredo, Henrique Cesar Pereira; Ramos, Rommel; Brenig, Bertram; et al.
      Costa da Silva, Artur Luiz daGhosh, PreetamBarh, DebmalyaGóes-Neto, AristótelesAzevedo, Vasco
      Scientific Reports 2019; 9(1): Art. 16387
      The number of draft genomes deposited in Genbank from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is higher than the complete ones. Draft genomes are assemblies that contain fragments of misassembled regions (gaps). Such draft genomes present a hindrance to the complete understanding of the biology and evolution of the organism since they lack genomic information. To overcome this problem, strategies to improve the assembly process are developed continuously. Also, the greatest challenge to the assembly progress is the presence of repetitive DNA regions. This article highlights the use of optical mapping, to detect and correct assembly errors in Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. We also demonstrate that choosing a reference genome should be done with caution to avoid assembly errors and loss of genetic information.
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    • Journal Article

      Regulation of priming effect by soil organic matter stability over a broad geographic scale 

      Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Li; Qin, Shuqi; Yang, Guibiao; Fang, Kai; Zhu, Biao; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Chen, Pengdong; Xu, Yunping; Yang, Yuanhe
      Nature Communications 2019; 10(1): Art. 5112
      The modification of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition by plant carbon (C) input (priming effect) represents a critical biogeochemical process that controls soil C dynamics. However, the patterns and drivers of the priming effect remain hidden, especially over broad geographic scales under various climate and soil conditions. By combining systematic field and laboratory analyses based on multiple analytical and statistical approaches, we explore the determinants of priming intensity along a 2200 km grassland transect on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results show that SOM stability characterized by chemical recalcitrance and physico-chemical protection explains more variance in the priming effect than plant, soil and microbial properties. High priming intensity (up to 137% of basal respiration) is associated with complex SOM chemical structures and low mineral-organic associations. The dependence of priming effect on SOM stabilization mechanisms should be considered in Earth System Models to accurately predict soil C dynamics under changing environments.
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    • Journal Article

      Growth of Verticillium longisporum in Xylem Sap of Brassica napus is Independent from Cultivar Resistance but Promoted by Plant Aging 

      Lopisso, Daniel Teshome; Knüfer, Jessica; Koopmann, Birger; von Tiedemann, Andreas
      Phytopathology 2017; 107(9) p.1047-1054
      As Verticillium stem striping of oilseed rape (OSR), a vascular disease caused by Verticillium longisporum, is extending into new geographic regions and no control with fungicides exists, the demand for understanding mechanisms of quantitative resistance increases. Because V. longisporum is strictly limited to the xylem and resistance is expressed in the systemic stage post root invasion, we investigated a potential antifungal role of soluble constituents and nutritional conditions in xylem sap as determinants of cultivar resistance of OSR to V. longisporum. Assessment of biometric and molecular genetic parameters applied to describe V. longisporum resistance (net area under disease progress curve, stunting, stem thickness, plant biomass, and V. longisporum DNA content) showed consistent susceptibility of cultivar 'Falcon' in contrast to two resistant genotypes, 'SEM' and 'Aviso'. Spectrophotometric analysis revealed a consistently stronger in vitro growth of V. longisporum in xylem sap extracted from OSR compared with the water control. Further comparisons of fungal growth in xylem sap of different cultivars revealed the absence of constitutive or V. longisporum induced antifungal activity in the xylem sap of resistant versus susceptible genotypes. The similar growth of V. longisporum in xylem sap, irrespective of cultivar, infection with V. longisporum and xylem sap filtration, was correlated with about equal amounts of total soluble proteins in xylem sap from these treatments. Interestingly, compared with younger plants, xylem sap from older plants induced significantly stronger fungal growth. Growth enhancement of V. longisporum in xylem sap of aging plants was reflected by increased contents of carbohydrates, which was consistent in mock or V. longisporum-infected plants and independent from cultivar resistance. The improved nutritional conditions in the xylem of more mature plants may explain the late appearance of disease symptoms, which are observed only in late maturity stages of plants in the field. While falsifying the presence of antifungal activity in xylem sap of resistant cultivars, this study strengthens previous findings that indicated a significant role of physical cell wall bound resistance factors involved in quantitative, cultivar-related resistance of B. napus to V. longisporum.
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    • Conference Volume

      Transformationsprozesse in der intensiven Nutztierhaltung: Was wollen, können und müssen wir ändern? 

      Promotionsprogramm „Animal Welfare in Intensive Livestock Production Systems“
      Göttingen : Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Department für Agrarökonomie und Rurale Entwicklung, 2019
      Am 17. & 18.10.2019 fand in der alten Mensa am Wilhelmsplatz in Göttingen die 2. Tierwohltagung statt, organisiert von den DoktorandInnen des Promotionsprogramms „Animal Welfare in Intensive Livestock Production Sytems“. Unter dem Titel „Transformationsprozesse der intensiven Nutztierhaltung – was wollen, können und müssen wir ändern?“, wurden im Rahmen der interdisziplinären Tagung Beiträge aus Wissenschaft und Praxis vorgestellt und diskutiert. Lea Melzener (Universität Maastricht), Peter Sandøe (Universität Kopenhagen), Saskia Arndt (Universität Utrecht), Johannes Simons (Universität Bonn) und Jens van Bebber (Landwirt und Gründungsmitglied Verein zur Förderung der Offenstallhaltung von Schweinen) vermittelten als eingeladene Referenten verschiedenste Impulse zur Gestaltung der Transformationsprozesse der intensiven Nutztierhaltung. Vertieft wurden diese durch Kurzvorträge von WissenschaftlerInnen zu aktuellen Forschungsergebnissen aus den Bereichen Ethik und Ökonomie sowie Rinder-, Schweine und Geflügelhaltung. Im Rahmen von interaktiv gestalteten Workshops bearbeiteten die TagungsteilnehmerInnen zudem verschiedene Aspekte der Transformationsprozesse im Detail. Im Laufe der Tagung ergaben sich interessante Impulse und Lösungsansätze für verschiedene Zielkonflikte, die Pflichten und Möglichkeiten zur Gestaltung der Transformationsprozesse der intensiven Nutztierhaltung aufzeigen. Dieser Tagungsband fasst die Ergebnisse der Tagung zusammen.
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    • Journal Article

      Narrow-Banded UVB Affects the Stability of Secondary Plant Metabolites in Kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica) and Pea (Pisum sativum) Leaves Being Added to Lentil Flour Fortified Bread: A Novel Approach for Producing Functional Foods 

      Klopsch; Baldermann; Voss; Rohn; Schreiner; Neugart
      Foods 2019; 8(10): Art. 427
      Young kale and pea leaves are rich in secondary plant metabolites (SPMs) whose profile can be affected by ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Carotenoids and flavonoids in kale and pea exposed to narrow-banded UVB, produced by innovative light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and subsequently used for breadmaking were investigated for the first time, thus combining two important strategies to increase the SPMs intake. Breads were also fortified with protein-rich lentil flour. Antioxidant activity in the 'vegetable breads' indicated health-promoting effects. Lentil flour increased the antioxidant activity in all of the 'vegetable breads'. While carotenoids and chlorophylls showed a minor response to UVB treatment, kaempferol glycosides decreased in favor of increasing quercetin glycosides, especially in kale. Additionally, breadmaking caused major decreases in carotenoids and a conversion of chlorophyll to bioactive degradation products. In 'kale breads' and 'pea breads', 20% and 84% of flavonoid glycosides were recovered. Thus, kale and pea leaves seem to be suitable natural ingredients for producing innovative Functional Foods.
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    • Journal Article

      Feeding, Resting and Agonistic Behavior of Pregnant Boer Goats in Relation to Feeding Space Allowance 

      Yıldırır, Mesut; Daş, Gürbüz; Lambertz, Christian; Gauly, Mathias
      Annals of Animal Science 2019; 19(4) p.1133-1142
      The aim of this study was to test the effect of the animal to feeding place ratio on behavior of meat goats during gestation. In one group (FP-1.0; n=10) every goat had a single feeding place while in the other group (FP-0.5; n=10) two goats had to share one feeding place. Behaviors were analyzed with the continuous sampling method for 24 h for each animal. Social dominance index was used by ranking individuals as low-, medium- and high-ranking according to withdrawal and displacement behaviors. Total daily feeding duration decreased (P=0.001) from 5.2 h to 4.2 h by reducing feeding place. Feeding duration was neither affected by social rank (P=0.362) nor its interaction with feeding place (P=0.159). Feeding frequency was higher in FP-0.5 than FP-1.0 (P=0.001). Lowranking goats had a higher feeding frequency (P<0.001). Resting duration (lying and standing) decreased in medium- and low-ranking goats in FP-0.5 (P=0.001) while all rank categories were similar in FP-1.0. Competition behaviors increased (P=0.001) in medium- and low-ranked goats in FP-0.5 but were similar between rank categories in FP-1.0. Feeding place and social rank had an effect (P≤0.009) on some of the agonistic behaviors. Agonistic interactions such as displacement, butting and ignoring were affected by the interaction of feeding place and social rank (P≤0.005). In conclusion, the reduction of the number of feeding places from 1.0 to 0.5 per goat in pregnant hornless Boer goats negatively affected feeding, competition, resting and aggressive behaviors, whereas low-ranking animals suffered more from competition and aggression behaviors.
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    • Journal Article

      Modernization of African Food Retailing and (Un)healthy Food Consumption 

      Khonje, Makaiko G.; Qaim, Matin
      Sustainability 2019; 11(16): Art. 4306
      Food environments in Africa are changing rapidly, with modern retailers—such as supermarkets, hypermarkets, and fast-food restaurants—gaining in importance. Changing food environments can influence consumers’ food choices and dietary patterns. Recent research has suggested that the growth of supermarkets leads to more consumption of processed foods, less healthy diets, and rising obesity. However, relatively little is known about what type of consumers actually use modern supermarkets and to what extent. Moreover, focusing only on supermarkets may be misleading, as most consumers obtain their food from various modern and traditional retailers. We add to the literature by examining relationships between consumers’ socioeconomic status, use of different modern and traditional retailers, and dietary patterns. The analysis uses household survey data from urban Zambia. Results show that two-thirds of the households use modern and traditional retailers simultaneously, but that richer households are more likely than poorer ones to use supermarkets and hypermarkets. Use of modern retailers is positively associated with higher consumption of ultra-processed foods, after also controlling for income and other socioeconomic factors. However, the use of traditional stores and kiosks is also positively associated with the consumption of ultra-processed foods, suggesting that modern retailers are not the only drivers of dietary transitions.
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    • Journal Article

      Dairy supply chain in Southern Brazil: barriers to competitiveness 

      Beber, Caetano Luiz; Carpio, Andres Fabricio Ruales; Almadani, Mohamad Isam; Theuvsen, Ludwig
      International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 2019; 22(5) p.651-673
      The Brazilian dairy industry is still in its infancy, especially in regards to competitiveness on foreign markets. Therefore, it is facing difficult challenges to upgrade in terms of professionalisation, productivity and technological improvements, but also to avoid exclusion of small-scale farms. This study identifies the main factors affecting the competitiveness and slowing the modernisation of the supply chain in one of the most promising and dynamic dairy production areas in the world – the mesoregion ‘Grande Fronteira do Mercosul’ in Southern Brazil. The analysis is based on the perceptions of supply chain leaders about the challenges to improving the industry’s competitiveness. The paper also presents various strategies already implemented by some actors to overcome such barriers to competitiveness. The empirical results have manifold implications. One of which is that the problems and strategies must be the target of managers and authorities in a sustainable common project of development to the benefit of the whole dairy supply chain.
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    • Journal Article

      Suitability of ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy for transcriptome sequencing of the canine prostate 

      Thiemeyer, H.; Taher, L.; Schille, J. T.; Harder, L.; Hungerbuehler, S. O.; Mischke, R.; Hewicker-Trautwein, M.; Kiełbowicz, Z.; Brenig, B.; Schütz, E.; et al.
      Beck, J.Murua Escobar, H.Nolte, I.
      Scientific Reports 2019; 9(1)
      Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (US-FNA) biopsy is a widely used minimally invasive sampling procedure for cytological diagnosis. This study investigates the feasibility of using US-FNA samples for both cytological diagnosis and whole transcriptome RNA-sequencing analysis (RNA-Seq), with the ultimate aim of improving canine prostate cancer management. The feasibility of the US-FNA procedure was evaluated intra vitam on 43 dogs. Additionally, aspirates from 31 euthanised dogs were collected for standardising the procedure. Each aspirate was separated into two subsamples: for cytology and RNA extraction. Additional prostate tissue samples served as control for RNA quantity and quality evaluation, and differential expression analysis. The US-FNA sampling procedure was feasible in 95% of dogs. RNA isolation of US-FNA samples was successfully performed using phenol-chloroform extraction. The extracted RNA of 56% of a subset of US-FNA samples met the quality requirements for RNA-Seq. Expression analysis revealed that only 153 genes were exclusively differentially expressed between non-malignant US-FNAs and tissues. Moreover, only 36 differentially expressed genes were associated with the US-FNA sampling technique and unrelated to the diagnosis. Furthermore, the gene expression profiles clearly distinguished between non-malignant and malignant samples. This proves US-FNA to be useful for molecular profiling.
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    • Journal Article

      The blue water footprint of urban green spaces: An example for Adelaide, Australia 

      Nouri, Hamideh; Chavoshi Borujeni, Sattar; Hoekstra, Arjen Y.
      Landscape and Urban Planning 2019; 190: Art. 103613
      The development of ‘greening’ cities introduces an uneasy tension between more green spaces and the increased use of scarce blue water resources to maintain this greenness, particularly in dry regions. This paper presents the first estimate of the blue water footprint (WF) of urban greenery. We estimated total water consumption of a 10-hectare parkland in Adelaide, South Australia. Evapotranspiration of the urban vegetation was estimated by monitoring soil water inflows, outflows, and storage changes at an experimental site representing different species, microclimates, and plant densities, the most critical parameters affecting water use. The total WF was estimated at 11,140 m3/ha per year, 59% from blue water (irrigation), and 41% from green water (rainwater), with the highest water consumption in summer. The dependency on blue water resources for maintaining the greenery varied from 49% in October to 67% in March. Even in the wet period of the year, there was a significant blue WF. Given the lack of blue water resources to allocate for further greening the city in an arid environment, we suggest an integrated adaptive management strategy to maintain available greenery and expand green spaces with a minimum of extra pressure on blue water resources.
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    • Journal Article

      Root trait plasticity and plant nutrient acquisition in phosphorus limited soil 

      Kumar, Amit; Shahbaz, Muhammad; Koirala, Manisha; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia; Seidel, Sabine Julia; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Pausch, Johanna
      Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science p.1-8
      To overcome soil nutrient limitation, many plants have developed complex nutrient acquisition strategies including altering root morphology, root hair formation or colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). The interactions of these strategies and their plasticity are, however, affected by soil nutrient status throughout plant growth. Such plasticity is decisive for plant phosphorus (P) acquisition in P-limited soils. We investigated the P acquisition strategies and their plasticity of two maize genotypes characterized by the presence or absence of root hairs. We hypothesized that in the absence of root hairs plant growth is facilitated by traits with complementary functions, e.g., by higher root mycorrhizal colonization. This dependence on complementary traits will decrease in P fertilized soils. At early growth stages, root hairs are of little benefit for nutrient uptake. Regardless of the presence or absence of root hairs, plants produced average root biomass of 0.14 g per plant and exhibited 23% root mycorrhizal colonization. At later growth stages of maize, contrasting mechanisms with functional complementarity explained similar plant biomass production under P limitation: the presence of root hairs versus higher root mycorrhizal colonization (67%) favored by increased fine root diameter in absence of root hairs. P fertilization decreased the dependence of plant on specific root traits for nutrient acquisition. Through root trait plasticity, plants can minimize trade-offs for developing and maintaining functional traits, while increasing the benefit in terms of nutrient acquisition and plant growth. The present study highlights the plasticity of functional root traits for efficient nutrient acquisition strategies in agricultural systems with low nutrient availability.
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    • Journal Article

      DELIMITATION OF HOMOGENEOUS ZONES IN VINEYARDS USING GEOSTATISTICS AND MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF DIFFERENT VEGETATION INDICES 

      Costa, Bruno R. S.; Oldoni, Henrique; Rocha Junior, Romero C.; Bassoi, Luís H.
      Engenharia Agrícola 2019; 39(spe) p.13-22
      Vegetation indices (VIs) are quantitative measures used to describe the distribution and spatial variability of the vegetation cover of natural or cultivated areas. The aim of this study was to delimit homogeneous zones (HZs) of different VIs using geostatistics and multivariate analysis in order to identify vegetation patterns in Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. The evaluation was performed in two vineyards in the municipality of Espírito Santo do Pinhal in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Reflectance (ρ) was measured at three wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum (670, 730, and 780 nm) at canopy height in georeferenced points along planting rows using the Crop Circle ACS-430 active sensor. Nine VIs were calculated based on the ratios between the ρ values. Geostatistical data analysis allowed the spatial prediction of VIs by ordinary kriging interpolation. Principal component analysis and fuzzy k-means clustering were applied for HZs delimitation and the optimal number of zones was defined according to cluster validity functions. Despite the variations of the VIs spatial distribution patterns, the multivariate analysis resulted in a representative categorization of the grapevine vegetative vigor and delimitation of HZs for this characteristic. This was validated according to the observed significant differences between VIs.
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    • Journal Article

      EFFECTS OF SIZE AND SAMPLING GRID ON THE QUALITY OF APPARENT SOIL ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY MAPS 

      Oldoni, Henrique; Costa, Bruno R. S.; Rocha Junior, Romero C.; Rabello, Ladislau M.; Bassoi, Luís H.
      Engenharia Agrícola 2019; 39(spe) p.1-12
      The apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa) is an attribute commonly used for the characterization of the spatial variability of soil, but its determination by handheld sensors consumes considerable time and labor. The reduction in the number of sampling points allows minimize them but can result in increased uncertainty of interpolated maps. Thus, the goal of this study was to identify the best spacing and number of ECa measurements, to guarantee the quality of maps generated in three vineyards. The ECa values were obtained using a handheld sensor in different sampling grids. The data were submitted to descriptive statistical and geostatistical analyses. The relative deviation and Kappa coefficient of agreement were used to assess the similarity of generated maps. The reduction in the number of points and increase in the size of the sampling grid reduced the quality of maps and this reduction was greater when the spacing increased in the direction of the terrain slope. A minimum limit of 100 sampling points should be considered for the sampling planning to generate ECa spatial distribution maps, with a more conservative approach when regarding the increase in spacing in the direction of the terrain slope.
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    • Journal Article

      Integrated Genome-Scale Analysis Identifies Novel Genes and Networks Underlying Senescence in Maize 

      Sekhon, Rajandeep S.; Saski, Christopher; Kumar, Rohit; Flinn, Barry S.; Luo, Feng; Beissinger, Timothy M.; Ackerman, Arlyn J.; Breitzman, Matthew W.; Bridges, William C.; de Leon, Natalia; et al.
      Kaeppler, Shawn M.
      The Plant Cell 2019; 31(9) p.1968-1989
      Premature senescence in annual crops reduces yield, while delayed senescence, termed stay-green, imposes positive and negative impacts on yield and nutrition quality. Despite its importance, scant information is available on the genetic architecture of senescence in maize (Zea mays) and other cereals. We combined a systematic characterization of natural diversity for senescence in maize and coexpression networks derived from transcriptome analysis of normally senescing and stay-green lines. Sixty-four candidate genes were identified by genome-wide association study (GWAS), and 14 of these genes are supported by additional evidence for involvement in senescence-related processes including proteolysis, sugar transport and signaling, and sink activity. Eight of the GWAS candidates, independently supported by a coexpression network underlying stay-green, include a trehalose-6-phosphate synthase, a NAC transcription factor, and two xylan biosynthetic enzymes. Source–sink communication and the activity of cell walls as a secondary sink emerge as key determinants of stay-green. Mutant analysis supports the role of a candidate encoding Cys protease in stay-green in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), and analysis of natural alleles suggests a similar role in maize. This study provides a foundation for enhanced understanding and manipulation of senescence for increasing carbon yield, nutritional quality, and stress tolerance of maize and other cereals.
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    • Journal Article

      Land‐sharing/‐sparing connectivity landscapes for ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation 

      Grass, Ingo; Loos, Jacqueline; Baensch, Svenja; Batáry, Péter; Librán‐Embid, Felipe; Ficiciyan, Anoush; Klaus, Felix; Riechers, Maraja; Rosa, Julia; Tiede, Julia; et al.
      Udy, KristyWestphal, CatrinWurz, AnnemarieTscharntke, Teja
      People and Nature 2019; 1 p.262-272
      1. The land‐sharing versus land‐sparing debate recently stagnated, lacking an integrating perspective in agricultural landscapes as well as consideration of ecosystem services. Here, we argue that land‐sharing (i.e. wildlife‐friendly farming systems) and land‐sparing (i.e. separation of high‐yielding agriculture and natural habitats) are not mutually exclusive, as both are needed to balance management needs for the multifunctionality of agricultural landscapes. 2. Land‐sharing promotes ecosystem services in agricultural settings, thereby allowing for environmentally friendly production. Land set aside in protected areas by land‐sparing is crucial for conservation of those species that are incompatible with agriculture. 3. Importantly, as species move throughout the landscape and exploit different habitats, increased connectivity between environmentally friendly managed and protected areas is needed to (a) promote spillover of ecosystem service providers from land‐sharing/‐sparing measures to agricultural production and rescue service‐providing species from extinction in hostile areas, (b) to facilitate immigration and counteract possible extinctions in spared habitats and (c) to conserve response diversity of species communities for ensuring resilience of ecosystem services in changing environments. 4. In conclusion, the successful management of multifunctional landscapes requires the combination of context‐specific land‐sharing and land‐sparing measures within spatially well‐connected landscape mosaics, resulting in land‐sharing/‐ sparing connectivity landscapes.
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    • Journal Article

      Aflatoxin in Chili Peppers in Nigeria: Extent of Contamination and Control Using Atoxigenic Aspergillus flavus Genotypes as Biocontrol Agents 

      Ezekiel, Chibundu N.; Ortega-Beltran, Alejandro; Oyedeji, Eniola O.; Atehnkeng, Joseph; Kössler, Philip; Tairu, Folasade; Hoeschle-Zeledon, Irmgard; Karlovsky, Petr; Cotty, Peter J.; Bandyopadhyay, Ranajit
      Toxins 2019; 11(7): Art. 429
      Across sub-Saharan Africa, chili peppers are fundamental ingredients of many traditional dishes. However, chili peppers may contain unsafe aflatoxin concentrations produced by Aspergillus section Flavi fungi. Aflatoxin levels were determined in chili peppers from three states in Nigeria. A total of 70 samples were collected from farmers' stores and local markets. Over 25% of the samples contained unsafe aflatoxin concentrations. The chili peppers were associated with both aflatoxin producers and atoxigenic Aspergillus flavus genotypes. Efficacy of an atoxigenic biocontrol product, Aflasafe, registered in Nigeria for use on maize and groundnut, was tested for chili peppers grown in three states. Chili peppers treated with Aflasafe accumulated significantly less aflatoxins than nontreated chili peppers. The results suggest that Aflasafe is a valuable tool for the production of safe chili peppers. Use of Aflasafe in chili peppers could reduce human exposure to aflatoxins and increase chances to commercialize chili peppers in premium local and international markets. This is the first report of the efficacy of any atoxigenic biocontrol product for controlling aflatoxin in a spice crop.
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    • Journal Article

      Formation of Zearalenone Metabolites in Tempeh Fermentation 

      Borzekowski, Antje; Anggriawan, Riyan; Auliyati, Maryeni; Kunte, Hans-Jörg; Koch, Matthias; Rohn, Sascha; Karlovsky, Petr; Maul, Ronald
      Molecules 2019; 24(15): Art. 2697
      Tempeh is a common food in Indonesia, produced by fungal fermentation of soybeans using Rhizopus sp., as well as Aspergillus oryzae, for inoculation. Analogously, for economic reasons, mixtures of maize and soybeans are used for the production of so-called tempeh-like products. For maize, a contamination with the mycoestrogen zearalenone (ZEN) has been frequently reported. ZEN is a mycotoxin which is known to be metabolized by Rhizopus and Aspergillus species. Consequently, this study focused on the ZEN transformation during tempeh fermentation. Five fungal strains of the genera Rhizopus and Aspergillus, isolated from fresh Indonesian tempeh and authentic Indonesian inocula, were utilized for tempeh manufacturing from a maize/soybean mixture (30:70) at laboratory-scale. Furthermore, comparable tempeh-like products obtained from Indonesian markets were analyzed. Results from the HPLC-MS/MS analyses show that ZEN is intensely transformed into its metabolites α-zearalenol (α-ZEL), ZEN-14-sulfate, α-ZEL-sulfate, ZEN-14-glucoside, and ZEN-16-glucoside in tempeh production. α-ZEL, being significantly more toxic than ZEN, was the main metabolite in most of the Rhizopus incubations, while in Aspergillus oryzae fermentations ZEN-14-sulfate was predominantly formed. Additionally, two of the 14 authentic samples were contaminated with ZEN, α-ZEL and ZEN-14-sulfate, and in two further samples, ZEN and α-ZEL, were determined. Consequently, tempeh fermentation of ZEN-contaminated maize/soybean mixture may lead to toxification of the food item by formation of the reductive ZEN metabolite, α-ZEL, under model as well as authentic conditions.
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