Science.gov

Sample records for improving plant availability

  1. Improved outage management techniques for better plant availability

    SciTech Connect

    Bemer, J.P.

    1989-01-01

    To maintain high availability of nuclear generating units is one of the most important management objectives. The duration of outages-whether planned or unplanned-is the main parameter impacting on plant availability, but the planned outages, and essentially the refueling outages, are the most important in this respect, and they also have a heavy impact on the economics of plant operation. The following factors influence the duration of the outages: (1) modifications; (2) preventive maintenance operations; and (3) corrective maintenance operations of generic faults. In this paper, the authors examine how the outage management organization of Electricite de France (EdF) plants is tending to optimize the solutions to the above-mentioned points.

  2. Nitric Oxide Improves Internal Iron Availability in Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Graziano, Magdalena; Beligni, María Verónica; Lamattina, Lorenzo

    2002-01-01

    Iron deficiency impairs chlorophyll biosynthesis and chloroplast development. In leaves, most of the iron must cross several biological membranes to reach the chloroplast. The components involved in the complex internal iron transport are largely unknown. Nitric oxide (NO), a bioactive free radical, can react with transition metals to form metal-nitrosyl complexes. Sodium nitroprusside, an NO donor, completely prevented leaf interveinal chlorosis in maize (Zea mays) plants growing with an iron concentration as low as 10 μm Fe-EDTA in the nutrient solution. S-Nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, another NO donor, as well as gaseous NO supply in a translucent chamber were also able to revert the iron deficiency symptoms. A specific NO scavenger, 2-(4-carboxy-phenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide, blocked the effect of the NO donors. The effect of NO treatment on the photosynthetic apparatus of iron-deficient plants was also studied. Electron micrographs of mesophyll cells from iron-deficient maize plants revealed plastids with few photosynthetic lamellae and rudimentary grana. In contrast, in NO-treated maize plants, mesophyll chloroplast appeared completely developed. NO treatment did not increase iron content in plant organs, when expressed in a fresh matter basis, suggesting that root iron uptake was not enhanced. NO scavengers 2-(4-carboxy-phenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide and methylene blue promoted interveinal chlorosis in iron-replete maize plants (growing in 250 μm Fe-EDTA). Even though results support a role for endogenous NO in iron nutrition, experiments did not establish an essential role. NO was also able to revert the chlorotic phenotype of the iron-inefficient maize mutants yellow stripe1 and yellow stripe3, both impaired in the iron uptake mechanisms. All together, these results support a biological action of NO on the availability and/or delivery of metabolically active iron within the plant. PMID:12481068

  3. Guide for prioritizing power plant productivity improvement projects: handbook of availability improvement methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-09-15

    As part of its program to help improve electrical power plant productivity, the Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a methodology for evaluating productivity improvement projects. This handbook presents a simplified version of this methodology called the Availability Improvement Methodology (AIM), which provides a systematic approach for prioritizing plant improvement projects. Also included in this handbook is a description of data taking requirements necessary to support the AIM methodology, benefit/cost analysis, and root cause analysis for tracing persistent power plant problems. In applying the AIM methodology, utility engineers should be mindful that replacement power costs are frequently greater for forced outages than for planned outages. Equivalent availability includes both. A cost-effective ranking of alternative plant improvement projects must discern between those projects which will reduce forced outages and those which might reduce planned outages. As is the case with any analytical procedure, engineering judgement must be exercised with respect to results of purely mathematical calculations.

  4. Soil management systems to improve water availability for plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klik, A.; Rosner, J.

    2009-04-01

    Due to climate change it is expected that the air temperature will increase and the amount as well as the variability of rainfall will change drastically within this century. Higher temperatures and fewer rainy days with more extreme events will increase the risk of surface runoff and erosion. This will lead to reduced soil water storage and therefore to a lower water use efficiency of plants. Soil and land management systems need to be applied and adapted to improve the amount of water stored in the soil and to ensure crop productivity functions of soils under changing climatic conditions. In a 14-yr. long field experiment, the effects of three soil management systems have been studied at three sites in Austria with respect to surface runoff, soil erosion, losses of nutrients and pesticides. Eight years after beginning of the project soil samples have been taken from different depth throughout the root zone to investigate the effects on soil properties. The results show that soil management systems with reduced tillage intensity are able to improve infiltration and soil water storage. More soil water enables plant development during longer dry periods and decreases amounts of irrigation. Overall, the higher water retention in the landscape improves the regional water balance and reduces environmental problems like soil erosion and nutrient and pesticide losses

  5. Feasibility studies to improve plant availability and reduce total installed cost in IGCC plants

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, Kevin; Anasti, William; Fang, Yichuan; Subramanyan, Karthik; Leininger, Tom; Zemsky, Christine

    2015-03-30

    The main purpose of this project is to look at technologies and philosophies that would help reduce the costs of an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant, increase its availability or do both. GE’s approach to this problem is to consider options in three different areas: 1) technology evaluations and development; 2) constructability approaches; and 3) design and operation methodologies. Five separate tasks were identified that fall under the three areas: Task 2 – Integrated Operations Philosophy; Task 3 – Slip Forming of IGCC Components; Task 4 – Modularization of IGCC Components; Task 5 – Fouling Removal; and Task 6 – Improved Slag Handling. Overall, this project produced results on many fronts. Some of the ideas could be utilized immediately by those seeking to build an IGCC plant in the near future. These include the considerations from the Integrated Operations Philosophy task and the different construction techniques of Slip Forming and Modularization (especially if the proposed site is in a remote location or has a lack of a skilled workforce). Other results include ideas for promising technologies that require further development and testing to realize their full potential and be available for commercial operation. In both areas GE considers this project to be a success in identifying areas outside the core IGCC plant systems that are ripe for cost reduction and ity improvement opportunities.

  6. Geocomposite with Superabsorbent as an Element Improving Water Availability for Plants on Slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawlowski, A.; Lejcus, K.; Garlikowski, D.; Orzeszyna, H.

    2009-04-01

    Water availability for plants on a slope is usually worse, then on a plane surface. Exposure on sun radiation makes these conditions even more difficult. The key problem is how to supply plants with water. Frequently watering is good but expensive solution. To avoid often repeating of such action and/or to use as much as possible water from precipitation, it has to be retained in soil. One of the ways to increase soil water retention is superabsorbents (SAP), called often hydrogel addition to the soil. They can absorb 300 - 1000 times more water, then theirs own weight. This water can be later taken by roots system. Addition to the soil small amount of dry superabsorbent, which, after absorbing water, forms gel can affect stability of the slope top layer, diminishing soil strength parameters. Part of the strength lose can be recompensed by reinforcing action of better developed roots system, which, according to the tests are increasing soil shear strength. However because it is a living system still rest some uncertainty about its functioning over many vegetation seasons. From engineering point of view, these strength parameters are very difficult for precise calculation, control and determination of long term behaviour. Important factor of superabsorbent influence on soil shear parameters is its dosage and, as a result, final volume and properties after water absorption. If the volume of superabsorbent is not greater then available pore volume of soil, this influence is not decisive. By bigger dosage, when volume of superabsorbent with retained water is much greater then pore space volume. The soil form a suspension in hydrogel and in laboratory condition one can observe sedimentation of soil fraction at the early stage of saturation. After longer time gel's density is already high enough to support grains of soils and stop sedimentation process. By highly permeable soils, which are sometimes used in embankment construction, eg. for buttress, gel, just after

  7. The involvement of expansins in responses to phosphorus availability in wheat, and its potentials in improving phosphorus efficiency of plants.

    PubMed

    Han, Yang-yang; Zhou, Shan; Chen, Yan-hui; Kong, Xiangzhu; Xu, Ying; Wang, Wei

    2014-05-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a critical macronutrient required for numerous functions in plants and is one of the limiting factors for plant growth. Phosphate availability has a strong effect on root system architecture. Expansins are encoded by a superfamily of genes that are organized into four families, and growing evidence has demonstrated that expansins are involved in almost all aspects of plant development, especially root development. In the current study, we demonstrate that expansins may be involved in increasing phosphorus availability by regulating the growth and development of plant roots. Multiple expansins (five α- and nine β-expansin genes) were up- or down-regulated in response to phosphorus and showed different expression patterns in wheat. Meanwhile, the expression level of TaEXPB23 was up-regulated at excess-P condition, suggesting the involvement of TaEXPB23 in phosphorus adaptability. Overexpression of the TaEXPB23 resulted in improved phenotypes, particularly improved root system architecture, as indicated by the increased number of lateral roots in transgenic tobacco plants under excess-P and low-P conditions. Thus, these transgenic plants maintained better photosynthetic gas exchange ability than the control under both P-sufficient and P-deficient conditions. PMID:24636907

  8. Genomic DNA extraction from medicinal plants available in Malaysia using a TriOmic(TM) improved extraction kit.

    PubMed

    Mohd-Hairul, A R; Sade, A B; Yiap, B C; Raha, A R

    2011-01-01

    DNA extraction was carried out on 32 medicinal plant samples available in Malaysia using the TriOmic(TM) extraction kit. Amounts of 0.1 g flowers or young leaves were ground with liquid nitrogen, lysed at 65°C in RY1(plus) buffer and followed by RNAse treatment. Then, RY2 buffer was added to the samples and mixed completely by vortexing before removal of cell debris by centrifugation. Supernatants were transferred to fresh microcentrifuge tubes and 0.1 volume RY3 buffer was added to each of the transferred supernatant. The mixtures were applied to spin columns followed by a centrifugation step to remove buffers and other residues. Washing step was carried out twice by applying 70% ethanol to the spin columns. Genomic DNA of the samples was recovered by applying 50 μL TE buffer to the membrane of each spin column, followed by a centrifugation step at room temperature. A modification of the TriOmic(TM) extraction procedure was carried out by adding chloroform:isoamyl alcohol (24:1) steps in the extraction procedure. The genomic DNA extracted from most of the 32 samples showed an increase of total yield when chloroform:isoamyl alcohol (24:1) steps were applied in the TriOmicTM extraction procedure. This preliminary study is very important for molecular studies of medicinal plants available in Malaysia since the DNA extraction can be completed in a shorter period of time (within 1 h) compared to manual extraction, which entails applying phenol, chloroform and ethanol precipitation, and requires 1-2 days to complete. PMID:22095601

  9. International Atomic Energy Agency specialists meeting on experience in ageing, maintenance, and modernization of instrumentation and control systems for improving nuclear power plant availability

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-10-01

    This report presents the proceedings of the Specialist`s Meeting on Experience in Aging, Maintenance and Modernization of Instrumentation and Control Systems for Improving Nuclear Power Plant Availability that was held at the Ramada Inn in Rockville, Maryland on May 5--7, 1993. The Meeting was presented in cooperation with the Electric Power Research Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the International Atomic Energy Agency. There were approximately 65 participants from 13 countries at the Meeting. Individual reports have been cataloged separately.

  10. Methodology for Scaling Fusion Power Plant Availability

    SciTech Connect

    Lester M. Waganer

    2011-01-04

    Normally in the U.S. fusion power plant conceptual design studies, the development of the plant availability and the plant capital and operating costs makes the implicit assumption that the plant is a 10th of a kind fusion power plant. This is in keeping with the DOE guidelines published in the 1970s, the PNL report1, "Fusion Reactor Design Studies - Standard Accounts for Cost Estimates. This assumption specifically defines the level of the industry and technology maturity and eliminates the need to define the necessary research and development efforts and costs to construct a one of a kind or the first of a kind power plant. It also assumes all the "teething" problems have been solved and the plant can operate in the manner intended. The plant availability analysis assumes all maintenance actions have been refined and optimized by the operation of the prior nine or so plants. The actions are defined to be as quick and efficient as possible. This study will present a methodology to enable estimation of the availability of the one of a kind (one OAK) plant or first of a kind (1st OAK) plant. To clarify, one of the OAK facilities might be the pilot plant or the demo plant that is prototypical of the next generation power plant, but it is not a full-scale fusion power plant with all fully validated "mature" subsystems. The first OAK facility is truly the first commercial plant of a common design that represents the next generation plant design. However, its subsystems, maintenance equipment and procedures will continue to be refined to achieve the goals for the 10th OAK power plant.

  11. Characterisation of European varieties of triticale with special emphasis on the ability of plant phytase to improve phytate phosphorus availability to chickens.

    PubMed

    Jondreville, C; Genthon, C; Bouguennec, A; Carre, B; Nys, Y

    2007-12-01

    1. A total of 30 varieties and selection lines of triticale grown under similar conditions were characterised. Thousand grain weight, specific weight, Hagberg falling number and N were 50.2 +/- 5.0 g, 72.4 +/- 2.1 kg/hl, 96 +/- 48 s and 16.1 +/- 0.11 g/kg, respectively. 2. Mean phosphorus (P) concentration was 2.86 +/- 0.31 g/kg, of which 77% was of phytic origin. Mean phytase activity was 1018 +/- 319 phytase units (PU)/kg. A genotypic effect on phytase activity was detected amongst 5 varieties studied out of 30. Potential and real applied viscosities were positively correlated and mean values were 3.53 +/- 0.66 and 2.15 +/- 0.31 ml/g, respectively. 3. The efficacy of plant phytase in improving P availability was assessed in chickens up to 3 weeks of age. Growth performance and bone ash concentration were compared in birds given either a maize (450 g/kg) and soybean meal (230 g/kg) phosphorus deficient diet containing 3.5 g P/kg, this basal diet supplemented with 1 or 2 g P/kg as monocalcium phosphate (MCP) or triticale (450 g/kg) and soybean meal (230 g/kg) diets containing 3.2 to 3.8 g P/kg with no MCP. To achieve graded levels of phytase activity, 4 varieties of triticale, intact or in which phytase was denaturated by heat treatment, were used. Estimated metabolisable energy, protein, amino acids and calcium concentrations were similar in all diets. 4. Phytase activity in the triticale-based diets ranged between 135 and 1390 PU/kg. Growth performance and bone ash were responsive to plant phytase and to MCP. Non-linear models of these responses were adjusted with the best fit for bone ash parameters. The values of 250, 500 and 1000 PU of plant phytase were estimated to be equivalent to 0.46, 0.67 and 0.81 g P as MCP, respectively. PMID:18085450

  12. Lotus japonicus plants of the Gifu B-129 ecotype subjected to alkaline stress improve their Fe(2+) bio-availability through inoculation with Pantoea eucalypti M91.

    PubMed

    Campestre, María Paula; Castagno, Luis Nazareno; Estrella, María Julia; Ruiz, Oscar Adolfo

    2016-03-15

    Inoculation assays with Pantoea eucalypti M91 were performed on Lotus japonicus ecotype Gifu. Under alkaline conditions, this ecotype is characterized by the development of interveinal chlorosis of the apical leaves due to low mobilization of Fe(2+). Inoculation with P. eucalypti M91, a plant growth-promoting bacterial strain capable of producing pyoverdine-like and pyochelin-like siderophores under alkaline growth conditions, alters the root, resulting in a herringbone pattern of root branching. Additional features include improvement in Fe(2+) transport to the shoots, acidification of the hydroponic solution of the plant cultures, and an accompanying increase in the efficiency of the PSII parameters. In addition, there was an increase in the expression of the FRO1 and IRT1 genes, accompanied by a significant increase in FRO activity. Results showed that P. eucalypti M91 has a beneficial effect on the Fe acquisition machinery of Strategy I, as described for non-graminaceous monocots and dicots, suggesting its potential as an inoculant for legume crops cultivated in alkaline soils. PMID:26815729

  13. Role of ethylene in responses of plants to nitrogen availability

    PubMed Central

    Khan, M. I. R.; Trivellini, Alice; Fatma, Mehar; Masood, Asim; Francini, Alessandra; Iqbal, Noushina; Ferrante, Antonio; Khan, Nafees A.

    2015-01-01

    Ethylene is a plant hormone involved in several physiological processes and regulates the plant development during the whole life. Stressful conditions usually activate ethylene biosynthesis and signaling in plants. The availability of nutrients, shortage or excess, influences plant metabolism and ethylene plays an important role in plant adaptation under suboptimal conditions. Among the plant nutrients, the nitrogen (N) is one the most important mineral element required for plant growth and development. The availability of N significantly influences plant metabolism, including ethylene biology. The interaction between ethylene and N affects several physiological processes such as leaf gas exchanges, roots architecture, leaf, fruits, and flowers development. Low plant N use efficiency (NUE) leads to N loss and N deprivation, which affect ethylene biosynthesis and tissues sensitivity, inducing cell damage and ultimately lysis. Plants may respond differently to N availability balancing ethylene production through its signaling network. This review discusses the recent advances in the interaction between N availability and ethylene at whole plant and different organ levels, and explores how N availability induces ethylene biology and plant responses. Exogenously applied ethylene seems to cope the stress conditions and improves plant physiological performance. This can be explained considering the expression of ethylene biosynthesis and signaling genes under different N availability. A greater understanding of the regulation of N by means of ethylene modulation may help to increase NUE and directly influence crop productivity under conditions of limited N availability, leading to positive effects on the environment. Moreover, efforts should be focused on the effect of N deficiency or excess in fruit trees, where ethylene can have detrimental effects especially during postharvest. PMID:26579172

  14. Plant Available Nutrients, Barrow, Alaska, Ver. 1

    DOE Data Explorer

    Sloan, Victoria; Liebig, Jenny; Curtis, Bryan; Hahn, Melanie; Iversen, Colleen; Siegrist, Julie

    2014-02-19

    This dataset consists of measurements of plant available nutrients made using Plant Root Simulator probes (Western Ag Innovations Inc.) during 2012 and 2013. In 2012, Ca, Mg, K, P, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, B, S, Pb, Al, Cd, NO3-N and NH4-N were measured during spring, summer and winter in the centers, edges and troughs of four polygons in each of four areas of contrasting moisture regime and polygon type. In 2013, probes were installed in centers, edges and troughs of four polygons in each of two areas (high-centered and low-centered polygons) at two-week intervals and at 3 soil depths to capture fine-scale season dynamics of NO3-N and NH4-N. PRS probes are ion exchange resin membranes held in plastic supports that are inserted into soil to measure ion supply in situ. The anion and cation exchange with the membrane is intended to mimic plant uptake and thus provide a relevant measure of soil nutrient bioavailability. Measurements are made per area of probe membrane and cannot be converted to concentrations or related to soil volume.

  15. Increased Availability From Improved Condenser Design

    SciTech Connect

    Harpster, Joseph W.

    2002-07-01

    Performance parameters and flow characteristics on the shell side of surface condensers are becoming better understood. Contributing to this knowledge base is the recent ability to measure the physical properties as well as the quantity of gases being removed from the condenser by air removal equipment. Reviewed here are the commonality of these data from many operating condensers obtained over the past six years and other known condenser measurements, theory and laboratory experiments. These are combined to formulate global theoretical description of condenser dynamics describing the mechanism responsible for aeration and de-aeration, excess back pressure buildup due to air ingress or generation of other noncondensable gases, and the dissolubility of corrosive gases in condensate. The theoretical description supports a dynamic model useful for deciding condenser configuration design and design improvements. Features of design found in many operating condensers that promote aeration and resulting corrosion are presented. The benefits of the model and engineering design modifications to plant life cycle management, improved condenser performance, outage reduction and reliability improvements, lost load recovery and fuel savings are discussed. (author)

  16. Maintenance strategies to improve sootblower availability

    SciTech Connect

    Walther, J.M.; Whitehead, B.K.

    1996-07-01

    Sootblowers are electromechanical devices used for removal of ash and slag deposits from boiler tube surfaces. By directing steam, air, or water cleaning medium through a nozzle to remove deposits from boiler tubes, boilers are kept on-line for longer periods of time reducing the need for outages to clean the boiler by mechanical means. Fuel must be burned efficiently to minimize stagging and fouling of the heat transfer surfaces. Tuning the boiler to maximize combustion efficiency should not be limited to optimizing fuel conditions, air-fuel ratios, firing rates, excess air, and over-fire air, but should also include the use of sootblowers. The goal is to know when to clean, and if the cleaning cycle has effectively removed the deposit and increased heat transfer. Today, boiler cleaning technology not only focuses on the impact of the sootblowing system on overall boiler performance, but it also focuses on design improvements that impact an individual sootblower`s performance. Proper sootblower maintenance is an integral part of making existing designs and new designs work. Existing computer technologies provide a viable means of documenting and trending sootblower performance data and maintenance history. The personal computer and the availability of spreadsheet and database software make the task of quantifying sootblower performance data and maintenance history easier to achieve. The difficult task is gathering the proper data to make decisions about sootblowing operations and maintenance. The balance of this paper will discuss typical maintenance practices, and improvements that can be achieved by documenting sootblowing system inspections and maintenance activity using a personal computer database.

  17. Improved modeling of GPS selective availability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Braasch, Michael S.; Fink, Annmarie; Duffus, Keith

    1994-01-01

    Selective Availability (SA) represents the dominant error source for stand-alone users of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Even for DGPS, SA mandates the update rate required for a desired level of accuracy in realtime applications. As was witnessed in the recent literature, the ability to model this error source is crucial to the proper evaluation of GPS-based systems. A variety of SA models were proposed to date; however, each has its own shortcomings. Most of these models were based on limited data sets or data which were corrupted by additional error sources. A comprehensive treatment of the problem is presented. The phenomenon of SA is discussed and a technique is presented whereby both clock and orbit components of SA are identifiable. Extensive SA data sets collected from Block 2 satellites are presented. System Identification theory then is used to derive a robust model of SA from the data. This theory also allows for the statistical analysis of SA. The stationarity of SA over time and across different satellites is analyzed and its impact on the modeling problem is discussed.

  18. Synergy Between Pathogen Release and Resource Availability in Plant Invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Why do some exotic plant species become invasive? Two common hypotheses, increased resource availability and enemy release, may more effectively explain invasion if they favor the same species, and therefore act in concert. This would be expected if plant species adapted to high levels of available ...

  19. Plant nutrient availability from mixtures of fly ashes and biosolids

    SciTech Connect

    Schumann, A.W.; Summer, M.E.

    1999-10-01

    Nutrient imbalances, both deficiencies and excesses, are one reason for the poor acceptance of waste materials as fertilizer substitutes. Two greenhouse experiments were established using 24 different fly ashes with sewage sludge and poultry manure to estimate nutrient availability and imbalances to maize (Zea mays L.). The maximum maize growth attained with fly ash amendment of 80 Mg ha{sup {minus}1} was significantly less (50%) than a fertilized control treatment. The additional growth improvements obtained from mixtures with sewage sludge or poultry manure ranged from 30 to 49% and 30 to 71%, respectively. Organic materials applied alone achieved only 54 and 62% of the maximum potential, while growth on poultry manure mixtures was up to 94% of the best performing fertilized treatment. Results of foliage and soil analyses suggest that P and K were the main nutrient deficiencies, while B phytotoxicity and an imbalance in the K/Ca/Mg ratio also were likely causes of plant growth reduction. Fly ashes did not contribute significant P or K to correct soil and plant deficiencies, but more often exacerbated the imbalances by precipitation or adsorption of soil P. Sewage sludge mixed at 26% and poultry manure at 13% (DM) with fly ash had negligible effect on availability of phytotoxic fly ash B, but were good sources of P (both) and K (poultry manure). Good agreement between plant nutrition in pot experiments and previous laboratory extraction studies implies that chemical analysis, efficient formulation and optimized application rates may overcome nutrient limitations for use of wastes as fertilizer substitutes.

  20. Synergy between pathogen release and resource availability in plant invasion

    PubMed Central

    Blumenthal, Dana; Mitchell, Charles E.; Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch

    2009-01-01

    Why do some exotic plant species become invasive? Two common hypotheses, increased resource availability and enemy release, may more effectively explain invasion if they favor the same species, and therefore act in concert. This would be expected if plant species adapted to high levels of available resources in their native range are particularly susceptible to enemies, and therefore benefit most from a paucity of enemies in their new range. We tested this possibility by examining how resource adaptations influence pathogen richness and release among 243 European plant species naturalized in the United States. Plant species adapted to higher resource availability hosted more pathogen species in their native range. Plants from mesic environments hosted more fungi than plants from xeric environments, and plants from nitrogen-rich environments hosted more viruses than plants from nitrogen-poor environments. Furthermore, plants classified as competitors hosted more than 4 times as many fungi and viruses as did stress tolerators. Patterns of enemy release mirrored those of pathogen richness: competitors and species from mesic and nitrogen-rich environments were released from many pathogen species, while stress tolerators and species from xeric and nitrogen-poor environments were released from relatively few pathogen species. These results suggest that enemy release contributes most to invasion by fast-growing species adapted to resource-rich environments. Consequently, enemy release and increases in resource availability may act synergistically to favor exotic over native species. PMID:19416888

  1. Improvements in plant performance [Sequoyah Nuclear Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Lorek, M.J.

    1999-11-01

    The improvements in plant reliability and performance at Sequoyah in the last two years can be directly attributed to ten key ingredients; teamwork, management stability, a management team that believes in teamwork, clear direction from the top, a strong focus on human performance, the company wide STAR 7 initiative, strong succession planning, a very seasoned and effective outage management organization, an infrastructure that ensures that the station is focused on the right hardware priorities, and a very strong line organization owned self-assessment program. Continued focus on these key ingredients and realization on a daily basis that good performance can lead to complacency will ensure that performance at Sequoyah will remain at a very high level well into the 21st century.

  2. Resource availability controls fungal diversity across a plant diversity gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waldrop, M.P.; Zak, D.R.; Blackwood, C.B.; Curtis, C.D.; Tilman, D.

    2006-01-01

    Despite decades of research, the ecological determinants of microbial diversity remain poorly understood. Here, we test two alternative hypotheses concerning the factors regulating fungal diversity in soil. The first states that higher levels of plant detritus production increase the supply of limiting resources (i.e. organic substrates) thereby increasing fungal diversity. Alternatively, greater plant diversity increases the range of organic substrates entering soil, thereby increasing the number of niches to be filled by a greater array of heterotrophic fungi. These two hypotheses were simultaneously examined in experimental plant communities consisting of one to 16 species that have been maintained for a decade. We used ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA), in combination with cloning and sequencing, to quantify fungal community composition and diversity within the experimental plant communities. We used soil microbial biomass as a temporally integrated measure of resource supply. Plant diversity was unrelated to fungal diversity, but fungal diversity was a unimodal function of resource supply. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that plant diversity showed a relationship to fungal community composition, although the occurrence of RISA bands and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) did not differ among the treatments. The relationship between fungal diversity and resource availability parallels similar relationships reported for grasslands, tropical forests, coral reefs, and other biotic communities, strongly suggesting that the same underlying mechanisms determine the diversity of organisms at multiple scales. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  3. Linking phosphorus availability with photo-oxidative stress in plants.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Iker; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2015-05-01

    Plants have evolved a plethora of mechanisms to circumvent the potential damaging effects of living under low phosphorus availability in the soil. These mechanisms include different levels of organization, from root-shoot signalling at the whole-plant level to specific biochemical responses at the subcellular level, such as reductions in photosynthesis and the consequent activation of photo- and antioxidant mechanisms in chloroplasts. Some recent studies clearly indicate that severe phosphorus deficiency can lead to alterations in the photosynthetic apparatus, including reductions in CO2 assimilation rates, a down-regulation of photosynthesis-related genes and photoinhibition at the photosystem II level, thus causing potential photo-oxidative stress. Photo-oxidative stress is characterized by an increased production of reactive oxygen species in chloroplasts, which at low concentrations can serve a signalling, protective role, but when present at high concentrations can cause damage to lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, thus leading to irreversible injuries. We discuss here the mechanisms that phosphate-starved plants have evolved to withstand photo-oxidative stress, including changes at the subcellular level (e.g. activation of photo- and antioxidant protection mechanisms in chloroplasts), cellular and tissular levels (e.g. activation of photorespiration and anthocyanin accumulation) and whole-plant level (alterations in source-sink relationships modulated by hormones). Of particular importance is the current evidence demonstrating that phosphate-starved plants activate simultaneous responses at multiple levels, from transcriptional changes to root-shoot signalling, to prevent oxidative damage. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the occurrence of photo-oxidative stress in phosphate-starved plants and highlight the mechanisms these plants have evolved to prevent oxidative damage under phosphorus limitation at the subcellular, cellular and whole-plant

  4. High plant availability of phosphorus and low availability of cadmium in four biomass combustion ashes.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaoxi; Rubæk, Gitte H; Sørensen, Peter

    2016-07-01

    For biomass combustion to become a sustainable energy production system, it is crucial to minimise landfill of biomass ashes, to recycle the nutrients and to minimise the undesirable impact of hazardous substances in the ash. In order to test the plant availability of phosphorus (P) and cadmium (Cd) in four biomass ashes, we conducted two pot experiments on a P-depleted soil and one mini-plot field experiment on a soil with adequate P status. Test plants were spring barley and Italian ryegrass. Ash applications were compared to triple superphosphate (TSP) and a control without P application. Both TSP and ash significantly increased crop yields and P uptake on the P-depleted soil. In contrast, on the adequate-P soil, the barley yield showed little response to soil amendment, even at 300-500kgPha(-1) application, although the barley took up more P at higher applications. The apparent P use efficiency of the additive was 20% in ryegrass - much higher than that of barley for which P use efficiencies varied on the two soils. Generally, crop Cd concentrations were little affected by the increasing and high applications of ash, except for relatively high Cd concentrations in barley after applying 25Mgha(-1) straw ash. Contrarily, even modest increases in the TSP application markedly increased Cd uptake in plants. This might be explained by the low Cd solubility in the ash or by the reduced Cd availability due to the liming effect of ash. High concentrations of resin-extractable P (available P) in the ash-amended soil after harvest indicate that the ash may also contribute to P availability for the following crops. In conclusion, the biomass ashes in this study had P availability similar to the TSP fertiliser and did not contaminate the crop with Cd during the first year. PMID:27082447

  5. Molecular mechanisms involved in plant adaptation to low K(+) availability.

    PubMed

    Chérel, Isabelle; Lefoulon, Cécile; Boeglin, Martin; Sentenac, Hervé

    2014-03-01

    Potassium is a major inorganic constituent of the living cell and the most abundant cation in the cytosol. It plays a role in various functions at the cell level, such as electrical neutralization of anionic charges, protein synthesis, long- and short-term control of membrane polarization, and regulation of the osmotic potential. Through the latter function, K(+) is involved at the whole-plant level in osmotically driven functions such as cell movements, regulation of stomatal aperture, or phloem transport. Thus, plant growth and development require that large amounts of K(+) are taken up from the soil and translocated to the various organs. In most ecosystems, however, soil K(+) availability is low and fluctuating, so plants have developed strategies to take up K(+) more efficiently and preserve vital functions and growth when K(+) availability is becoming limited. These strategies include increased capacity for high-affinity K(+) uptake from the soil, K(+) redistribution between the cytosolic and vacuolar pools, ensuring cytosolic homeostasis, and modification of root system development and architecture. Our knowledge about the mechanisms and signalling cascades involved in these different adaptive responses has been rapidly growing during the last decade, revealing a highly complex network of interacting processes. This review is focused on the different physiological responses induced by K(+) deprivation, their underlying molecular events, and the present knowledge and hypotheses regarding the mechanisms responsible for K(+) sensing and signalling. PMID:24293613

  6. ESP IMPROVEMENTS AT POWER PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    An on-going ORD and OIA collaborative project in the Newly Independent States (NIS) is designed to upgrade ESPs used in NIS power plants and has laid the foundation for implementing cost-effective ESP modernization efforts at power plants. Thus far, state-of-the-art ESP performan...

  7. Effects of resource availability on plant reflectance and physiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stylinski, Cathlyn Davis

    Remote sensing is an important means of examining net CO2 exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere and the effects of elevated [CO2] on plant productivity at multiple spatial and temporal scales. In particular, indices derived from narrow-waveband reflectance that are sensitive to dynamic physiological attributes may reveal periods of photosynthetic downregulation and may improve plant productivity models. Here we examined the relationship between photosynthesis, photoprotective xanthophyll cycle pigments, and the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) for mature woody Mediterranean plants under two conditions: natural drought and exposure to atmospheric CO2 enrichment. We also examined plants under severe water stress to test and compare the effects of physiology and structure on PRI, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and the Water Band Index (WBI). PRI varied primarily with leaf physiology, and NDVI primarily with stand structure. WBI was affected by both attributes and, unlike PRI, did not scale well from leaves to whole stands. PRI was well linked to photoprotective xanthophyll cycle pigments and electron transport. Both PRI and these pigments varied with seasonal changes in midday photosynthesis, demonstrating that the xanthophyll cycle is an important form of photoprotection for evergreen Mediterranean species undergoing photosynthetic downregulation. By contrast, NDVI was not sensitive to physiological changes but was well correlated with green canopy cover. These results suggest that the "big-leaf hypothesis" (which states that canopies can be characterized by a single reference leaf) cannot be applied to all physiological indices. Furthermore, in agreement with the "functional convergence hypothesis" (which states that plant physiology and structure change to match CO2 fixation capacity), our results indicate a coordinated regulation of photosystem two activity and carbon uptake. However, they also demonstrate that this

  8. Plant-microorganism-soil interactions influence the Fe availability in the rhizosphere of cucumber plants.

    PubMed

    Pii, Youry; Penn, Alexander; Terzano, Roberto; Crecchio, Carmine; Mimmo, Tanja; Cesco, Stefano

    2015-02-01

    Iron (Fe) is a very important element for plants, since it is involved in many biochemical processes and, often, for the low solubility of the natural Fe sources in soil, plants suffer from Fe - deficiency, especially when grown on calcareous soils. Among the numerous plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) that colonize the rhizosphere of agronomically important crops, Azospirillum brasilense has been shown to exert strong stimulating activities on plants, by inducing alterations of the root architecture and an improvement of mineral nutrition, which could result from an enhancement of ion uptake mechanisms as well as by increased bioavailability of nutrients. Some studies have also established that A. brasilense can act as biocontrol agent, by preventing the growth and/or virulence of phytopathogens, most likely through the production of microbial siderophores that sequester Fe from the soil. Despite microbial siderophores complexed with Fe could be an easily accessible Fe source for plants, the possible involvement of A. brasilense in improving Fe nutrition in plants suffering from the micronutrient deficiency has not been investigated yet. Within the present research, the characterization of the physiological and biochemical effects induced by Fe starvation and PGPR inoculation in cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Chinese Long) was carried out. The analyses of root exudates released by hydroponically grown plants highlighted that cucumber plants respond differently depending on the nutritional status. In addition, following the cultivation period on calcareous soil, also the root exudates found in the extracts suggested a peculiar behaviour of plants as a function of the treatment. Interestingly, the presence of the inoculum in soil allowed a faster recovery of cucumber plants from Fe-deficiency symptoms, i.e. increase in the chlorophyll content, in the biomass and in the Fe content of leaves. These observations might suggest a feasible application of

  9. Idaho Chemical Processing Plant Process Efficiency improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Griebenow, B.

    1996-03-01

    In response to decreasing funding levels available to support activities at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (ICPP) and a desire to be cost competitive, the Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID) and Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company have increased their emphasis on cost-saving measures. The ICPP Effectiveness Improvement Initiative involves many activities to improve cost effectiveness and competitiveness. This report documents the methodology and results of one of those cost cutting measures, the Process Efficiency Improvement Activity. The Process Efficiency Improvement Activity performed a systematic review of major work processes at the ICPP to increase productivity and to identify nonvalue-added requirements. A two-phase approach was selected for the activity to allow for near-term implementation of relatively easy process modifications in the first phase while obtaining long-term continuous improvement in the second phase and beyond. Phase I of the initiative included a concentrated review of processes that had a high potential for cost savings with the intent of realizing savings in Fiscal Year 1996 (FY-96.) Phase II consists of implementing long-term strategies too complex for Phase I implementation and evaluation of processes not targeted for Phase I review. The Phase II effort is targeted for realizing cost savings in FY-97 and beyond.

  10. Diverse urban plantings managed with sufficient resource availability can increase plant productivity and arthropod diversity

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Jonathon N.; Loh, Susan; Braggion, Ligia; Cameron, Stephen; Firn, Jennifer L.

    2014-01-01

    Buildings structures and surfaces are explicitly being used to grow plants, and these “urban plantings” are generally designed for aesthetic value. Urban plantings also have the potential to contribute significant “ecological values” by increasing urban habitat for animals such as arthropods and by increasing plant productivity. In this study, we evaluated how the provision of these additional ecological values is affected by plant species richness; the availability of essential resources for plants, such as water, light, space; and soil characteristics. We sampled 33 plantings located on the exterior of three buildings in the urban center of Brisbane, Australia (subtropical climatic region) over 2, 6 week sampling periods characterized by different temperature and rainfall conditions. Plant cover was estimated as a surrogate for productivity as destructive sampling of biomass was not possible. We measured weekly light levels (photosynthetically active radiation), plant CO2 assimilation, soil CO2 efflux, and arthropod diversity. Differences in plant cover were best explained by a three-way interaction of plant species richness, management water regime and sampling period. As the richness of plant species increased in a planter, productivity and total arthropod richness also increased significantly—likely due to greater habitat heterogeneity and quality. Overall we found urban plantings can provide additional ecological values if essential resources are maintained within a planter such as water, light and soil temperature. Diverse urban plantings that are managed with these principles in mind can contribute to the attraction of diverse arthropod communities, and lead to increased plant productivity within a dense urban context. PMID:25400642

  11. Improving antivenom availability and accessibility: science, technology, and beyond.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, José María

    2012-09-15

    Snakebite envenomings constitute a serious and neglected public health problem. Despite the fact that effective treatment exists, i.e. administration of animal-derived antivenoms, the availability and accessibility of these life-saving immunobiologicals is deficitary in various parts of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and some regions of Asia. This article discusses some of the problems that need to be circumvented in order to improve the availability and accessibility of antivenoms. The conglomerate of antivenom manufacturers is highly heterogeneous in terms of technological base, qualification of staff, implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and volume of production. Therefore, improvements in antivenom quality and availability should be based on strategies tailored to the situation of each region or country; in this context, three different scenarios are discussed. Accessibility of antivenoms demands concerted efforts at multiple levels, including raising the awareness of public health authorities on the relevance of the problem, implementing innovative antivenom purchasing schemes, strengthening national distribution channels on the basis of robust epidemiological information, improving the cold chain and the provision of health services in remote rural settings, supporting the correct use of antivenoms, and promoting the involvement of local community organizations in various aspects of prevention and management. These tasks should be envisaged in terms of synergistic, interprogrammatic and intersectorial interventions, with the participation of many players. PMID:22781134

  12. Precursor Report of Data Needs and Recommended Practices for PV Plant Availability Operations and Maintenance Reporting.

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, Roger R.; Klise, Geoffrey Taylor; Balfour, John R.

    2015-01-01

    Characterizing the factors that affect reliability of a photovoltaic (PV) power plant is an important aspect of optimal asset management. This document describes the many factors that affect operation and maintenance (O&M) of a PV plant, identifies the data necessary to quantify those factors, and describes how data might be used by O&M service providers and others in the PV industry. This document lays out data needs from perspectives of reliability, availability, and key performance indicators and is intended to be a precursor for standardizing terminology and data reporting, which will improve data sharing, analysis, and ultimately PV plant performance.

  13. Reliability and availability assessments of selected domestic combined-cycle power-generating plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, H. W.; Gardner, N. J.

    1982-08-01

    This report presents the results of reliability and availability assessment performed with the cooperation of seven utilities operating combined-cycle power plants in service since 1974 to evaluate: combined-cycle unit equivalent availability and equivalent forced outage rates; system and component mean time between failures (MTBF) and mean downtime (MDT); and gas turbine reliability correlations with service hours, starting frequency, fuel type, and service factor. A data base was developed for 45 plant components or systems for the period 1978 through 1980; this led to recommendations for improving outage data collection for the purpose of reliability analysis. In addition reliability, availability, and maintainability prediction models for several commercial combined cycle plant designs were developed and validated.

  14. Reliability and availability assessments of selected domestic combined-cycle power-generating plants. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, H.W.; Gardner, N.J.

    1982-08-01

    This report presents the results of reliability and availability assessments performed with the cooperation of seven utilities operating combined-cycle power plants in service since 1974 to evaluate: combined-cycle unit equivalent availability and equivalent forced outage rates; system and component mean time between failures (MTBF) and mean downtime (MDT); and gas turbine reliability correlations with service hours, starting frequency, fuel type, and service factor. A data base was developed for 45 plant components or systems for the period 1978 through 1980; this led to recommendations for improving outage data collection for the purpose of reliability analysis. In addition reliability, availability, and maintainability prediction models for several commercial combined-cycle plant designs were developed and validated.

  15. Improving stroke outcome: the benefits of increasing availability of technology.

    PubMed Central

    Heller, R. F.; Langhorne, P.; James, E.

    2000-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: A decision analysis was performed to explore the potential benefits of interventions to improve the outcome of patients admitted to hospital with a stroke, in the context of the technology available in different parts of the world. METHODS: The outcome of death or dependency was used with a six-month end-point. RESULTS: Four settings were identified that would depend on the resources available. The proportion of stroke patients who were dead or dependent at six months was 61.5% with no intervention at all. Setting 4, with the only intervention being the delayed introduction of aspirin, produced a 0.5% absolute improvement in outcome (death or dependency), and the addition of an organized stroke unit (Setting 3) produced the largest incremental improvement, of 2.7%. Extra interventions associated with non-urgent computed tomography and thus the ability to avoid anticoagulation or aspirin for those with a haemorrhagic stroke (Setting 2), and immediate computed tomography scanning to allow the use of thrombolytics in non-haemorrhagic stroke (Setting 1), produced only small incremental benefits of 0.4% in each case. DISCUSSION: To reduce the burden of illness due to stroke, efforts at primary prevention are essential and likely to have a greater impact than even the best interventions after the event. In the absence of good primary prevention, whatever is possible must be done to reduce the sequelae of stroke. This analysis provides a rational basis for beginning the development of clinical guidelines applicable to the economic setting of the patient. PMID:11143194

  16. Predicting plant available nitrogen in land-applied biosolids

    SciTech Connect

    Gilmour, J.T.; Skinner, V.

    1999-08-01

    The rate at which biosolids (municipal sewage sludge) may be applied to land is dependent on factors including concentrations of metals, pathogens, toxic organic compounds, and nutrients. Where other properties are not limiting, land application rates are often based on matching crop N needs with the plant available N (PAN). The objectives of this study were to quantify biosolids PAN under field conditions and to propose methods including computer simulation to estimate biosolids PAN in a land application program. Six biosolids were evaluated over a 2-yr period. Laboratory incubations were used to obtain decomposition kinetics. Field studies provided a relationship between inorganic fertilizer N rate and sorghum sudangrass [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] tissue N concentration, which was used to determine biosolids PAN in a Captina silt loam soil. Biosolids PAN released during the field experiment was linearly related to biosolids C/N ratio, organic N, or total N. Computer model predictions of PAN in the field were also linearly related to field estimates of biosolids PAN. Decay series obtained using the computer model, average biosolids decomposition kinetics, and average application site weather were very similar to decay series obtained using the computer model, actual weather, and kinetic data. Either decay series and routine analytical data for biosolids are proposed to estimate PAN for a given situation. Use of the computer model and weather data makes the approach site-specific, while analytical data for a specific biosolids makes the approach biosolids-specific.

  17. How better availability of materials improved hand-hygiene compliance.

    PubMed

    Azlz, Ann-Marie

    Hand hygiene is one of the most effective measures for preventing infections. The annual NHS staff survey in England provides national and local data on how staff feel about working in the NHS. It also provides staff with the opportunity to give their views on the availability of hand-washing materials. The infection prevention and control team at an NHS trust decided a review was required on this issue. This review assessed the availability of hand-washing materials and alcohol handrub on wards and at ward entrances. Three community buildings and 31 wards were reviewed. The audit results showed the availability of hand-washing materials was good in 30 out of 34 areas. Staff on both wards and in the community buildings highlighted what other materials were required for hand hygiene, and steps were made to provide these. The audit allowed hand-hygiene practices to be benchmarked across the trust and increased staff awareness of improving hand hygiene. As a result of this audit, the hand-hygiene compliance score increased from 80% to 95%. PMID:23905226

  18. Strategies for Improving Potassium Use Efficiency in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Ryoung

    2014-01-01

    Potassium is a macronutrient that is crucial for healthy plant growth. Potassium availability, however, is often limited in agricultural fields and thus crop yields and quality are reduced. Therefore, improving the efficiency of potassium uptake and transport, as well as its utilization, in plants is important for agricultural sustainability. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms involved in potassium uptake and transport in plants, and the molecular response of plants to different levels of potassium availability. Based on this information, four strategies for improving potassium use efficiency in plants are proposed; 1) increased root volume, 2) increasing efficiency of potassium uptake from the soil and translocation in planta, 3) increasing mobility of potassium in soil, and 4) molecular breeding new varieties with greater potassium efficiency through marker assisted selection which will require identification and utilization of potassium associated quantitative trait loci. PMID:24938230

  19. Strategies for improving potassium use efficiency in plants.

    PubMed

    Shin, Ryoung

    2014-08-01

    Potassium is a macronutrient that is crucial for healthy plant growth. Potassium availability, however, is often limited in agricultural fields and thus crop yields and quality are reduced. Therefore, improving the efficiency of potassium uptake and transport, as well as its utilization, in plants is important for agricultural sustainability. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms involved in potassium uptake and transport in plants, and the molecular response of plants to different levels of potassium availability. Based on this information, four strategies for improving potassium use efficiency in plants are proposed; 1) increased root volume, 2) increasing efficiency of potassium uptake from the soil and translocation in planta, 3) increasing mobility of potassium in soil, and 4) molecular breeding new varieties with greater potassium efficiency through marker assisted selection which will require identification and utilization of potassium associated quantitative trait loci. PMID:24938230

  20. Estimating plant available water content from remotely sensed evapotranspiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dijk, A. I. J. M.; Warren, G.; Doody, T.

    2012-04-01

    Plant available water content (PAWC) is an emergent soil property that is a critical variable in hydrological modelling. PAWC determines the active soil water storage and, in water-limited environments, is the main cause of different ecohydrological behaviour between (deep-rooted) perennial vegetation and (shallow-rooted) seasonal vegetation. Conventionally, PAWC is estimated for a combination of soil and vegetation from three variables: maximum rooting depth and the volumetric water content at field capacity and permanent wilting point, respectively. Without elaborate local field observation, large uncertainties in PAWC occur due to the assumptions associated with each of the three variables. We developed an alternative, observation-based method to estimate PAWC from precipitation observations and CSIRO MODIS Reflectance-based Evapotranspiration (CMRSET) estimates. Processing steps include (1) removing residual systematic bias in the CMRSET estimates, (2) making spatially appropriate assumptions about local water inputs and surface runoff losses, (3) using mean seasonal patterns in precipitation and CMRSET to estimate the seasonal pattern in soil water storage changes, (4) from these, calculating the mean seasonal storage range, which can be treated as an estimate of PAWC. We evaluate the resulting PAWC estimates against those determined in field experiments for 180 sites across Australia. We show that the method produces better estimates of PAWC than conventional techniques. In addition, the method provides detailed information with full continental coverage at moderate resolution (250 m) scale. The resulting maps can be used to identify likely groundwater dependent ecosystems and to derive PAWC distributions for each combination of soil and vegetation type.

  1. Kriging as a Means of Improving WAAS Availability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sparks, Lawrence; Blanch, Juan; Pandya, Nitin

    2010-01-01

    The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), an augmentation of the Global Positioning System (GPS), provides safe and reliable use of GPS signals for airline navigation over much of North America. Currently the largest source of positioning error in the system is signal delay caused by the ionosphere. To allow the user to take account of such error, WAAS computes and broadcasts ionospheric vertical delays at a set of regularly-spaced grid points. In addition, WAAS computes and broadcasts a safety-critical integrity bound at each ionospheric grid point (IGP) called the Grid Ionospheric Vertical Error (GIVE). GIVEs are constructed to be sufficiently large to protect the user against positioning error due to the presence of ionospheric irregularity. In the initial operating capability (IOC) of WAAS, the vertical delay estimate at each IGP is determined from a planar fit of neighboring slant delay measurements, projected to vertical using an obliquity factor specified by the standard thin-shell model of the ionosphere. In WAAS Follow-On (WFO) Release 3, however, the vertical delay will be estimated by an established, geo-statistical technique known as kriging. Compared to the planar fit model, the kriging model is found, in general, to match better the observed random structure of the vertical delay. This paper presents the kriging methodology that will be used to estimate the vertical delay and its uncertainty at each IGP, and it assesses the subsequent improvement in WAAS availability enabled by kriging.

  2. Power plant productivity improvement in New York

    SciTech Connect

    1981-03-01

    The New York Public Service Commission (PSC), under contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE), began a joint program in September 1978 to improve the productivity of coal and nuclear electric generating units in New York State. The project had dual objectives: to ensure that the utilities in New York State have or develop a systematic permanent, cost-effective productivity improvement program based on sound engineering and economic considerations, and to develop a model program for Power Plant Productivity Improvement, which, through DOE, can also be utilized by other regulatory commissions in the country. To accomplish these objectives, the program was organized into the following sequence of activities: compilation and analysis of power plant performance data; evaluation and comparison of utility responses to outage/derating events; power plant productivity improvement project cost-benefit analysis; and evaluation of regulatory procedures and policies for improving productivity. The program that developed for improving the productivity of coal units is substantially different than for nuclear units. Each program is presented, and recommendations are made for activities of both the utilities and regulatory agencies which will promote improved productivity.

  3. NREL Bioprocessing Pilot Plant: Available for Industrial Use

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2003-10-01

    Microbial bioprocessing can produce a myriad of valuable products. If you are an industry needing small- or large-scale trials to test or advance a bioprocessing technology, National Bioenergy Center (NBC) facilities at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, may allow you to use world-class systems and expertise without the expense of building your own pilot plant.

  4. Foliage Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    NASA's research with foliage houseplants during the past 10 years has produced a new concept in indoor air quality improvement. This new and exciting technology is quite simple. Both plant leaves and roots are utilized in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed buildings. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone, while higher concentrations of numerous toxic chemicals can be removed by filtering indoor air through the plant roots surrounded by activated carbon. The activated carbon absorbs large quantities of the toxic chemicals and retains them until the plant roots and associated microorganisms degrade and assimilate these chemicals.

  5. Testing the resource - enemy release hypothesis: Pathogen release and N availability in plant invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High-resource availability, while clearly important to plant colonization, does not appear to explain the exceptional success of exotic plants. Here, we discuss the possibility that high resource availability may aid exotic plants more than natives, by increasing enemy release. Plant species adapted...

  6. Role of RNA interference in plant improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jagtap, Umesh Balkrishna; Gurav, Ranjit Gajanan; Bapat, Vishwas Anant

    2011-06-01

    Research to alter crops for their better performance involving modern technology is underway in numerous plants, and achievements in transgenic plants are impacting crop improvements in unparalleled ways. Striking progress has been made using genetic engineering technology over the past two decades in manipulating genes from diverse and exotic sources, and inserting them into crop plants for inducing desirable characteristics. RNA interference (RNAi) has recently been identified as a natural mechanism for regulation of gene expression in all higher organisms from plants to humans and promises greater accuracy and precision to plant improvement. The expression of any gene can be down-regulated in a highly explicit manner exclusive of affecting the expression of any other gene by using RNAi technologies. Additional research in this field has been focused on a number of other areas including microRNAs, hairpin RNA, and promoter methylation. Manipulating new RNAi pathways, which generate small RNA molecules to amend gene expression in crops, can produce new quality traits and having better potentiality of protection against abiotic and biotic stresses. Nutritional improvement, change in morphology, or enhanced secondary metabolite synthesis are some of the other advantages of RNAi technology. In addition to its roles in regulating gene expression, RNAi is also used as a natural defense mechanism against molecular parasites such as jumping genes and viral genetic elements that affect genome stability. Even though much advancement has been made on the field of RNAi over the preceding few years, the full prospective of RNAi for crop improvement remains to be fully realized. The intricacy of RNAi pathway, the molecular machineries, and how it relates to plant development are still to be explained.

  7. Spectral responses to plant available soil moisture in a Californian grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shishi; Roberts, Dar A.; Chadwick, Oliver A.; Still, Chris J.

    2012-10-01

    This study established relationships among plant available soil moisture and reflectance and vegetation indices (VIs) derived from AVIRIS and MODIS data in grassland ecosystem in California. Strong correlations were observed between soil moisture and different forms of reflectance in the red-edge, near infrared and shortwave infrared bands. Both greenness-based and canopy-water-based indices were linearly related with soil moisture during the growing season, the wet and the dry season. The relationship was stronger with antecedent soil moisture, particularly in the dry season. Using plant available soil moisture, which is the difference between measured soil moisture and the wilting point, improved the relationship by reducing the soil property effect. Furthermore, results suggested that the difference in sensors had little impact on the relationships in grassland, but the parameters of relationships were influenced by the spatial resolution of sensors.

  8. IMPROVING TACONITE PROCESSING PLANT EFFICIENCY BY COMPUTER SIMULATION, Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    William M. Bond; Salih Ersayin

    2007-03-30

    This project involved industrial scale testing of a mineral processing simulator to improve the efficiency of a taconite processing plant, namely the Minorca mine. The Concentrator Modeling Center at the Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory, University of Minnesota Duluth, enhanced the capabilities of available software, Usim Pac, by developing mathematical models needed for accurate simulation of taconite plants. This project provided funding for this technology to prove itself in the industrial environment. As the first step, data representing existing plant conditions were collected by sampling and sample analysis. Data were then balanced and provided a basis for assessing the efficiency of individual devices and the plant, and also for performing simulations aimed at improving plant efficiency. Performance evaluation served as a guide in developing alternative process strategies for more efficient production. A large number of computer simulations were then performed to quantify the benefits and effects of implementing these alternative schemes. Modification of makeup ball size was selected as the most feasible option for the target performance improvement. This was combined with replacement of existing hydrocyclones with more efficient ones. After plant implementation of these modifications, plant sampling surveys were carried out to validate findings of the simulation-based study. Plant data showed very good agreement with the simulated data, confirming results of simulation. After the implementation of modifications in the plant, several upstream bottlenecks became visible. Despite these bottlenecks limiting full capacity, concentrator energy improvement of 7% was obtained. Further improvements in energy efficiency are expected in the near future. The success of this project demonstrated the feasibility of a simulation-based approach. Currently, the Center provides simulation-based service to all the iron ore mining companies operating in northern

  9. Condom availability in schools: the need for improved program evaluations.

    PubMed Central

    Stryker, J; Samuels, S E; Smith, M D

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVES. This article examines the impact of contentious local debates on the design and implementation of school-based condom availability programs. METHODS. Information about condom availability in schools was reviewed by 50 leading educators and health officials at a 1992 forum held in Menlo Park, Calif. RESULTS. Few existing condom availability programs were designed to yield definitive data on sexual risk-taking behavior or other measures of program effectiveness. CONCLUSIONS. In the debate over school-based condom availability programs, as in many aspects of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention programs, scientific, moral, and political concerns overlap. Behavioral research into the potential effectiveness of such programs can help inform debates about fundamental values concerning sexual decision making and privacy, family integrity and parental autonomy, and public health. PMID:7998627

  10. Improving plant transformation using Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro Neto, L V; Oliveira, A P; Lourenço, M V; Bertoni, B W; França, S C; Rosa-Santos, T M; Zingaretti, S M

    2015-01-01

    Here, we report a quick and low-cost method to improve plant transformation using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This method involves the use of physical wounding, ultrasound, and an increase in exposure time to the bacteria. We show how the transformation rate increased from 0 to 14% when an ultrasound pulse of 10 s was used in conjunction with 96 h of bacterial exposure in Eclipta alba explants. PMID:26125878

  11. Effects of permafrost thaw on nitrogen availability and plant nitrogen acquisition in Interior Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finger, R.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Turetsky, M.

    2013-12-01

    progressive N limitations, resulting in the dominance of plants with higher NUE. This likely has implications for plant litter quality, and could inhibit decomposition processes. We are collecting additional data to compare species-level NUE and nutrient resorption efficiency. We also will measure δ15N of aboveground plant organs, roots, soil, and pore water to explore sources of plant N, which we expect will influenced rooting depth as permafrost thaws as well as differences in mycorrhizal associations along our thaw gradient. Because thawing permafrost soils are anticipated to mobilize large amounts of N from soils, our results will improve our understanding of how permafrost thaw influences vegetation and soil N pools, soil N availability, and plant nutrition.

  12. Efficiency improvement of thermal coal power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Hourfar, D.

    1996-12-31

    The discussion concerning an increase of the natural greenhouse effect by anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere has increased over the past years. The greenhouse effect has become an issue of worldwide debate. Carbon dioxide is the most serious emission of the greenhouse gases. Fossil-fired power plants have in the recent past been responsible for almost 30 % of the total CO{sub 2} emissions in Germany. Against this background the paper will describe the present development of CO{sub 2} emissions from power stations and present actual and future opportunities for CO{sub 2} reduction. The significance attached to hard coal as one of today`s prime sources of energy with the largest reserves worldwide, and, consequently, its importance for use in power generation, is certain to increase in the years to come. The further development of conventional power plant technology, therefore, is vital, and must be carried out on the basis of proven operational experience. The main incentive behind the development work completed so far has been, and continues to be, the achievement of cost reductions and environmental benefits in the generation of electricity by increasing plant efficiency, and this means that, in both the short and the long term, power plants with improved conventional technology will be used for environmentally acceptable coal-fired power generation.

  13. PG&E`s Geysers` Power Plant improvements - past, present, and future

    SciTech Connect

    Louden, P.; Southall, W.; Paquin, C.

    1996-04-10

    Geothermal power plant retrofits can improve plant efficiency, reduce operations and maintenance costs, as well as increase plant availability. All geothermal power producers must find new ways to become more competitive as the electric power industry becomes deregulated. To survive and thrive in the competitive power generation market, geothermal plant operators must continually look for economic power plant upgrades that reduce the cost of production and improve availability. This paper describes past and present power plant retrofits as well as shows how further research can help future plant improvements. Past power plant retrofits at Pacific Gas and Electric Company`s Geysers Power Plants include innovative H{sub 2}S burners that reduced chemical costs and a turbine jack-shaft that improved unit efficiency. Other important retrofits that dramatically reduced turbine forced outage and repair costs were turbine blade and nozzle changes, turbine weld repairs, and steam desuperheating.

  14. Does Accelerated Soil Organic Matter Decomposition in the Presence of Plants Increase Plant N Availability?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant roots can increase microbial activity and soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition via rhizosphere priming effects. It is virtually unknown how differences in the priming effect among plant species and soil type affect N mineralization and plant uptake. In a greenhouse experiment, we tested whe...

  15. 78 FR 66892 - BASF Plant Science LP; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-07

    ..., ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or... produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant... complete. In a notice \\2\\ published in ] the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41363-41364,...

  16. 76 FR 44891 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-27

    ... time to prepare and submit comments on the Monsanto petition, our plant pest risk assessment, and our... assessment, and plant pest risk assessment are also available on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda... petition, draft environmental assessment, or plant pest risk assessment, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301)...

  17. Low iron availability and phenolic metabolism in a wild plant species (Parietaria judaica L.).

    PubMed

    Tato, Liliana; De Nisi, Patrizia; Donnini, Silvia; Zocchi, Graziano

    2013-11-01

    Plant phenolics encompass a wide range of aromatic compounds and functions mainly related to abiotic and biotic environmental responses. In calcareous soils, the presence of bicarbonate and a high pH cause a decrease in iron (Fe) bioavailability leading to crop yield losses both qualitatively and quantitatively. High increases in phenolics were reported in roots and root exudates as a consequence of decreased Fe bioavailability suggesting their role in chelation and reduction of inorganic Fe(III) contributing to the mobilization of Fe oxides in soil and plant apoplast. Shikimate pathway represents the main pathway to provide aromatic precursors for the synthesis of phenylpropanoids and constitutes a link between primary and secondary metabolism. Thus the increased level of phenolics suggests a metabolic shift of carbon skeletons from primary to secondary metabolism. Parietaria judaica, a spontaneous plant well adapted to calcareous environments, demonstrates a high metabolic flexibility in response to Fe starvation. Plants grown under low Fe availability conditions showed a strong accumulation of phenolics in roots as well as an improved secretion of root exudates. P. judaica exhibits enhanced enzymatic activities of the shikimate pathway. Furthermore, the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, through the transketolase activity supplies erythrose-4-phosphate, is strongly activated. These data may indicate a metabolic rearrangement modifying the allocation of carbon skeletons between primary and secondary metabolism and the activation of a nonoxidative way to overcome a mitochondrial impairment. We suggest that high content of phenolics in P. judaica play a crucial role in its adaptive strategy to cope with low Fe availability. PMID:23769379

  18. The economic valuation of improved process plant decision support technology.

    PubMed

    White, Douglas C

    2007-06-01

    How can investments that would potentially improve a manufacturing plant's decision process be economically justified? What is the value of "better information," "more flexibility," or "improved integration" and the technologies that provide these effects? Technology investments such as improved process modelling, new real time historians and other databases, "smart" instrumentation, better data analysis and visualization software, and/or improved user interfaces often include these benefits as part of their valuation. How are these "soft" benefits to be converted to a quantitative economic return? Quantification is important if rational management decisions are to be made about the correct amount of money to invest in the technologies, and which technologies to choose among the many available ones. Modelling the plant operational decision cycle-detect, analyse, forecast, choose and implement--provides a basis for this economic quantification. In this paper a new economic model is proposed for estimation of the value of decision support investments based on their effect upon the uncertainty in forecasting plant financial performance. This model leads to quantitative benefit estimates that have a realistic financial basis. An example is presented demonstrating the application of the method. PMID:17434170

  19. Improving information availability in vascular surgical clinics. A service evaluation and improvement project.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Katherine; Kreckler, Simon; Handa, Ashok; Handa, Ashok

    2016-01-01

    This prospective service evaluation was designed to assess the availability of critical information required in vascular surgical clinics. All the data was collected via a repeated questionnaire, and the outcomes from each cycle were used to highlight where intervention was required to improve the surgical clinic experience. The first audit identified outpatient clinic deficiencies and allowed for problem analysis. Two Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycles then were undertaken. Interventions following each cycle included consultant access to online duplex scans and secretarial access to referral letters. Results from the first cycle showed that approximately 20% of clinic appointments were missing information and only 30% of these issues were resolved during the clinic using a work around. Following the first intervention; the numbers of missing patient notes reduced to 4.3% (10.5%), and referral letters to 3.6% (4.6%). Although the numbers of missing duplex scan results increased to 6.5% (3.3%), the new system of online scan results allowed for all scans to be accessed during the clinic. Following results of a second PDCA cycle, vascular surgical secretaries were given access to 'choose and book', a database of GP referral letters. Post intervention, all missing referral letters (2%) could be accessed immediately within the clinic setting. Data driven interventions and repeated PDCA cycles can improve hospital systems for minimal cost. With an annual clinic turnaround of 2500 patients, these interventions can reduce clinic delays and potential harm caused by unavailable records for up to 500 patients a year. PMID:26893887

  20. Improving information availability in vascular surgical clinics. A service evaluation and improvement project

    PubMed Central

    Hurst, Katherine; Kreckler, Simon; Handa, Ashok; Handa, Ashok

    2016-01-01

    This prospective service evaluation was designed to assess the availability of critical information required in vascular surgical clinics. All the data was collected via a repeated questionnaire, and the outcomes from each cycle were used to highlight where intervention was required to improve the surgical clinic experience. The first audit identified outpatient clinic deficiencies and allowed for problem analysis. Two Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycles then were undertaken. Interventions following each cycle included consultant access to online duplex scans and secretarial access to referral letters. Results from the first cycle showed that approximately 20% of clinic appointments were missing information and only 30% of these issues were resolved during the clinic using a work around. Following the first intervention; the numbers of missing patient notes reduced to 4.3% (10.5%), and referral letters to 3.6% (4.6%). Although the numbers of missing duplex scan results increased to 6.5% (3.3%), the new system of online scan results allowed for all scans to be accessed during the clinic. Following results of a second PDCA cycle, vascular surgical secretaries were given access to ‘choose and book’, a database of GP referral letters. Post intervention, all missing referral letters (2%) could be accessed immediately within the clinic setting. Data driven interventions and repeated PDCA cycles can improve hospital systems for minimal cost. With an annual clinic turnaround of 2500 patients, these interventions can reduce clinic delays and potential harm caused by unavailable records for up to 500 patients a year. PMID:26893887

  1. Method to improve drought tolerance in plants

    DOEpatents

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Kwak, June Myoung

    2003-10-21

    A method to increase drought resistance in plants is provided. The method comprises inhibiting or disabling inward-rectifying K.sup.+ (K.sup.+.sub.in) channels in the stomatal guard cells of the plant.

  2. Effects of nitrogen source and water availability on stem carbohydrates and cellulosic bioethanol traits of alfalfa plants.

    PubMed

    Fiasconaro, M Laura; Gogorcena, Yolanda; Muñoz, Fernando; Andueza, Donato; Sánchez-Díaz, Manuel; Antolín, M Carmen

    2012-08-01

    Symbiotic association of legumes with rhizobia frequently results in higher photosynthesis and soluble carbohydrates in comparison with nitrate-fed plants, which might improve its potential for biomass conversion into bioethanol. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to examine the effects of nitrogen source and water availability on stem characteristics and on relationships between carbohydrates, phenolic metabolism activity and cell wall composition in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. cv. Aragón). The experiment included three treatments: (1) plants fed with ammonium nitrate (AN); (2) plants inoculated with rhizobia (R); and (3) plants inoculated with rhizobia and amended with sewage sludge (RS). Two levels of irrigation were imposed: (1) well-watered and (2) drought stress. Under well-watered conditions, nitrogen-fixing plants have increased photosynthesis and stem fermentable carbohydrate concentrations, which result in higher potential for biomass conversion to bioethanol than in AN plants. The latter had higher lignin due to enhanced activities of phenolic metabolism-related enzymes. Under drought conditions, the potential for bioethanol conversion decreased to a similar level in all treatments. Drought-stressed nitrogen-fixing plants have high concentrations of fermentable carbohydrates and cell wall cellulose, but ammonium nitrate-fed plants produced higher plant and stem biomass, which might compensate the decreasing stem carbohydrates and cellulose concentrations. PMID:22682561

  3. The strategy of the wheat plant in acclimating growth and grain production to nitrogen availability.

    PubMed

    Oscarson, P

    2000-11-01

    Two cultivars of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were grown to maturity in hydroponic cultures. Nitrogen accumulation was controlled by daily growth-limiting additions of nitrate together with all other nutrients in excess. Six different curves of N accumulation were used, with the same relative changes from day to day, but with different amplitudes. These curves were obtained by using the same mathematic formula of the N accumulation curves but varying the value of initial N content. The total amount of nitrogen added varied from 20 mg plant(-1) to 65 mg plant(-1). Plant bioproductivity showed a linear response to accumulated N. The number of grains per plant increased linearly with increased N availability whereas grain weights were essentially unaffected. Grain N concentrations and N content varied slightly, with highest values generally at the lower N availability levels. The quantitatively most important response to increased N availability was an increased number of earbearing tillers per plant. This varied from 0.1 tiller plant(-1) at maturity when given 20 mg N plant(-1), up to about 2 tillers plant(-1) when given 65 mg N plant(-1). Not all tillers that were initiated developed ears. The reduction of tillers seems to be one important mechanism in adapting plant productivity to N availability. Other individual characters influenced by N availability were straw height and the number of spikelets per spike. The two cultivars behaved in a qualitatively similar manner over the range of N availability even though they quantitatively differed in grain size, N concentrations and yield. PMID:11113170

  4. ADSORPTION, DEGRADATION, AND PLANT AVAILABILITY OF 2,4-DINITROPHENOL IN SLUDGE-AMENDED CALCAREOUS SOILS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Dinitrophenol (DNP) is a moderately weak acid that is expected to be highly labile (leachable and plant available) in high-pH soils. The adsorption and degradation behavior of DNP in two sludge-amended, calcareous soils was determined and used to explain DNP uptake by plants grow...

  5. 76 FR 32237 - Florida Power Corporation, Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Generating Plant; Notice of Availability...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-03

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Florida Power Corporation, Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Generating Plant; Notice of Availability of Draft Supplement 44 to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants and Public Meetings for the License...

  6. Plant-hummingbird interactions and temporal nectar availability in a restinga from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Lorena C N; Vizentin-Bugoni, Jeferson; Rech, André R; Alves, Maria Alice S

    2015-01-01

    Hummingbirds are the most important and specialized group of pollinating birds in the Neotropics and their interactions with plants are key components to many communities. In the present study we identified the assemblage of plants visited by hummingbirds and investigated the temporal availability of floral resources in an area of restinga, sandy plain coastal vegetation associated with the Atlantic forest, in Southeastern Brazil. We recorded flower and nectar features, flowering phenology and interactions between plants and hummingbirds and estimated the amount of calories produced per hectare from June 2005 to August 2006. Ten plant species were visited by two hummingbirds, Amazilia fimbriata and Eupetomena macroura. Resource availability was highly variable among plant species and over time. Nectar volume and concentration per flower were similar to other Neotropical hummingbird-visited plant assemblages. The estimated nectar resource availability between months varied from 0.85 to 5.97 Kcal per hectare/day, demanding an area between one and 6.8 ha to support a single hummingbird. Our study reports an unusual tropical setting where almost all interactions between hummingbirds and plants were performed by a single hummingbird species, A. fimbriata. Hence, the variable nectar availability is probably influencing hummingbird movements, its foraging area, and consequently plant pollination. PMID:26628024

  7. Limitations to postfire seedling establishment: the role of seeding technology, water availability, and invasive plant abundance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seeding rangeland following wildfire is a central tool managers use to stabilize soils and inhibit the spread of invasive plants. Rates of successful seeding on arid rangeland, however, are low. The objective of this study was to determine the degree to which water availability, invasive plant abund...

  8. Dynamic aspects of soil water availability for isohydric plants: Focus on root hydraulic resistances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couvreur, V.; Vanderborght, J.; Draye, X.; Javaux, M.

    2014-11-01

    Soil water availability for plant transpiration is a key concept in agronomy. The objective of this study is to revisit this concept and discuss how it may be affected by processes locally influencing root hydraulic properties. A physical limitation to soil water availability in terms of maximal flow rate available to plant leaves (Qavail) is defined. It is expressed for isohydric plants, in terms of plant-centered variables and properties (the equivalent soil water potential sensed by the plant, ψs eq; the root system equivalent conductance, Krs; and a threshold leaf water potential, ψleaf lim). The resulting limitation to plant transpiration is compared to commonly used empirical stress functions. Similarities suggest that the slope of empirical functions might correspond to the ratio of Krs to the plant potential transpiration rate. The sensitivity of Qavail to local changes of root hydraulic conductances in response to soil matric potential is investigated using model simulations. A decrease of radial conductances when the soil dries induces earlier water stress, but allows maintaining higher night plant water potentials and higher Qavail during the last week of a simulated 1 month drought. In opposition, an increase of radial conductances during soil drying provokes an increase of hydraulic redistribution and Qavail at short term. This study offers a first insight on the effect of dynamic local root hydraulic properties on soil water availability. By better understanding complex interactions between hydraulic processes involved in soil-plant hydrodynamics, better prospects on how root hydraulic traits mitigate plant water stress might be achieved.

  9. Plant Nitrogen Acquisition Under Low Availability: Regulation of Uptake and Root Architecture.

    PubMed

    Kiba, Takatoshi; Krapp, Anne

    2016-04-01

    Nitrogen availability is a major factor determining plant growth and productivity. Plants acquire nitrogen nutrients from the soil through their roots mostly in the form of ammonium and nitrate. Since these nutrients are scarce in natural soils, plants have evolved adaptive responses to cope with the environment. One of the most important responses is the regulation of nitrogen acquisition efficiency. This review provides an update on the molecular determinants of two major drivers of the nitrogen acquisition efficiency: (i) uptake activity (e.g. high-affinity nitrogen transporters) and (ii) root architecture (e.g. low-nitrogen-availability-specific regulators of primary and lateral root growth). Major emphasis is laid on the regulation of these determinants by nitrogen supply at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, which enables plants to optimize nitrogen acquisition efficiency under low nitrogen availability. PMID:27025887

  10. Plant Nitrogen Acquisition Under Low Availability: Regulation of Uptake and Root Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Kiba, Takatoshi; Krapp, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen availability is a major factor determining plant growth and productivity. Plants acquire nitrogen nutrients from the soil through their roots mostly in the form of ammonium and nitrate. Since these nutrients are scarce in natural soils, plants have evolved adaptive responses to cope with the environment. One of the most important responses is the regulation of nitrogen acquisition efficiency. This review provides an update on the molecular determinants of two major drivers of the nitrogen acquisition efficiency: (i) uptake activity (e.g. high-affinity nitrogen transporters) and (ii) root architecture (e.g. low-nitrogen-availability-specific regulators of primary and lateral root growth). Major emphasis is laid on the regulation of these determinants by nitrogen supply at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, which enables plants to optimize nitrogen acquisition efficiency under low nitrogen availability. PMID:27025887

  11. Improving Nutritional Quality of Plant Proteins Through Genetic Engineering.

    PubMed

    Le, Dung Tien; Chu, Ha Duc; Le, Ngoc Quynh

    2016-06-01

    Humans and animals are unable to synthesize essential amino acids such as branch chain amino acids methionine (Met), lysine (Lys) and tryptophan (Trp). Therefore, these amino acids need to be supplied through the diets. Several essential amino acids are deficient or completely lacking among crops used for human food and animal feed. For example, soybean is deficient in Met; Lys and Trp are lacking in maize. In this mini review, we will first summarize the roles of essential amino acids in animal nutrition. Next, we will address the question: "What are the amino acids deficient in various plants and their biosynthesis pathways?" And: "What approaches are being used to improve the availability of essential amino acids in plants?" The potential targets for metabolic engineering will also be discussed, including what has already been done and what remains to be tested. PMID:27252589

  12. Biotechnological interventions to improve plant developmental traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Developmental traits are coordinated at various levels in a plant and involve organ to organ communications via long distance signaling processes that integrate transcription, hormonal action and environmental cues. Thus, plant architecture, root-soil-microbe interactions, flowering, fruit (and seed...

  13. Improvement of water treatment at thermal power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larin, B. M.; Bushuev, E. N.; Larin, A. B.; Karpychev, E. A.; Zhadan, A. V.

    2015-04-01

    Prospective and existing technologies for water treatment at thermal power plants, including pretreatment, ion exchange, and membrane method are considered. The results obtained from laboratory investigations and industrial tests of the proposed technologies carried out at different thermal power plants are presented. The possibilities of improving the process and environmental indicators of water treatment plants are shown.

  14. Pollination syndromes in a Caatinga plant community in northeastern Brazil: seasonal availability of floral resources in different plant growth habits.

    PubMed

    Quirino, Z G M; Machado, I C

    2014-02-01

    To describe plant phenological patterns and correlate functioning for the quantity and quality of resources available for the pollinator, it is crucial to understand the temporal dynamics of biological communities. In this way, the pollination syndromes of 46 species with different growth habits (trees, shrubs, herbs, and vines) were examined in an area of Caatinga vegetation, northeastern Brazil (7° 28' 45″ S and 36° 54' 18″ W), during two years. Flowering was monitored monthly in all the species, over two years (from January 2003 to December 2004). Pollination syndromes were characterised based on floral traits such as size, colour, morphology, symmetry, floral resources, as well as on direct visual observation of floral visitors on focal plants and published information. We observed differences among the plant growth habits with respect to floral traits, types of resources offered, and floral syndromes. The flowering periods of the species varied among floral syndrome groups. The majority of the melittophilous species flowered during the rainy season in the two study years, while the species of the other pollination syndroms flowered at the end of the dry season. An asynchrony of flowering was noted among the chiropterophilous species, while the phalenophilous group concentrated during the rainy season. The overall availability of floral resources was different during the rainy and the dry seasons, and also it varied among plants with different growth habits. The availability of oil-flowers coincided with the period of low nectar availability. We observed a relationship between the temporal distribution of the pollination syndromes and the availability of floral resources among each growth habits in this tropical ecosystem. Resource allocation in seasonal environments, such as the Caatinga, can function as a strategy for maintaining pollinators, facilitating therefore the reproductive success of plant species. The availability of floral resources during

  15. OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY SPALLATION NEUTRON SOURCE ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS AVAILABILITY AND IMPROVEMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Cutler, Roy I; Peplov, Vladimir V; Wezensky, Mark W; Norris, Kevin Paul; Barnett, William E; Hicks, Jim; Weaver, Joey T; Moss, John; Rust, Kenneth R; Mize, Jeffery J; Anderson, David E

    2011-01-01

    SNS electrical systems have been operational for 4 years. System availability statistics and improvements are presented for AC electrical systems, DC and pulsed power supplies and klystron modulators.

  16. Adsorption, degradation, and plant availability of 2,4-dinitrophenol in sludge-amended calcareous soils

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, G.A.; Lujan, J.R.; Jin, Y.

    1990-01-01

    2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) is a moderately weak acid that is expected to be highly labile (leachable and plant available) in high-pH soils. The adsorption and degradation behavior of DNP in two sludge-amended, calcareous soils was determined and used to explain DNP uptake by plants grown in the soils in the greenhouse. The DNP adsorption was minor in both soils and was only slightly affected by sludge. The DNP degradation was rapid in both soils and was unaffected by sludge. Thus, despite limited soil adsorption, plant uptake of DNP was minor in all crops and plant parts owing to rapid soil DNP degradation. Even if a municipal sludge highly contaminated with DNP was identified (an unlikely occurrence), concerns over possible plant contamination should not limit sludge applications to calcareous soils or leaching of DNP to groundwater, given careful water management.

  17. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants.

    PubMed

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

    5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), a natural and environmentally friendly plant growth regulator, can improve plant tolerance to various environmental stresses. However, whether ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance is unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of ALA pretreatment on the waterlogging-induced damage of fig (Ficus carica Linn.) plants, which often suffer from waterlogging stress. ALA pretreatment significantly alleviated stress-induced morphological damage, increased leaf relative water content (RWC), and reduced leaf superoxide anion ([Formula: see text]) production rate and malonaldehyde (MDA) content in fig leaves, indicating ALA mitigates waterlogging stress of fig plants. We further demonstrated that ALA pretreatment largely promoted leaf chlorophyll content, photosynthetic electron transfer ability, and photosynthetic performance index, indicating ALA significantly improves plant photosynthetic efficiency under waterlogging stress. Moreover, ALA pretreatment significantly increased activities of leaf superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD), root vigor, and activities of root alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), indicating ALA also significantly improves antioxidant ability and root function of fig plants under waterlogging stress. Taken together, ALA pretreatment improves waterlogging tolerance of fig plants significantly, and the promoted root respiration, leaf photosynthesis, and antioxidant ability may contribute greatly to this improvement. Our data firstly shows that ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance. PMID:26789407

  18. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants

    PubMed Central

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

    5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), a natural and environmentally friendly plant growth regulator, can improve plant tolerance to various environmental stresses. However, whether ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance is unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of ALA pretreatment on the waterlogging-induced damage of fig (Ficus carica Linn.) plants, which often suffer from waterlogging stress. ALA pretreatment significantly alleviated stress-induced morphological damage, increased leaf relative water content (RWC), and reduced leaf superoxide anion (O2⋅¯) production rate and malonaldehyde (MDA) content in fig leaves, indicating ALA mitigates waterlogging stress of fig plants. We further demonstrated that ALA pretreatment largely promoted leaf chlorophyll content, photosynthetic electron transfer ability, and photosynthetic performance index, indicating ALA significantly improves plant photosynthetic efficiency under waterlogging stress. Moreover, ALA pretreatment significantly increased activities of leaf superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD), root vigor, and activities of root alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), indicating ALA also significantly improves antioxidant ability and root function of fig plants under waterlogging stress. Taken together, ALA pretreatment improves waterlogging tolerance of fig plants significantly, and the promoted root respiration, leaf photosynthesis, and antioxidant ability may contribute greatly to this improvement. Our data firstly shows that ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance. PMID:26789407

  19. 78 FR 24714 - Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for the Federal-State Marketing Improvement...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-26

    ... Agricultural Marketing Service Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of approximately $1 million...

  20. Improving pumping system efficiency at coal plants

    SciTech Connect

    Livoti, W.C.; McCandless, S.; Poltorak, R.

    2009-03-15

    The industry must employ ultramodern technologies when building or upgrading power plant pumping systems thereby using fuels more efficiently. The article discusses the uses and efficiencies of positive displacement pumps, centrifugal pumps and multiple screw pumps. 1 ref., 4 figs.

  1. Compositions and methods for improved plant feedstock

    DOEpatents

    Shen, Hui; Chen, Fang; Dixon, Richard A

    2014-12-02

    The invention provides methods for modifying lignin content and composition in plants and achieving associated benefits therefrom involving altered expression of newly discovered MYB4 transcription factors. Nucleic acid constructs for modifying MYB4 transcription factor expression are described. By over-expressing the identified MYB4 transcription factors, for example, an accompanying decrease in lignin content may be achieved. Plants are provided by the invention comprising such modifications, as are methods for their preparation and use.

  2. Improved Economics of Nuclear Plant Life Management

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, Leonard J.; Doctor, Steven R.; Jarrell, Donald B.; Bond, Joseph W D.

    2007-07-31

    The adoption of new on-line monitoring, diagnostic and eventually prognostics technologies has the potential to impact the economics of the existing nuclear power plant fleet, new plants and future advanced designs. To move from periodic inspection to on-line monitoring for condition based maintenance and eventually prognostics will require advances in sensors, better understanding of what and how to measure within the plant; enhanced data interrogation, communication and integration; new predictive models for damage/aging evolution; system integration for real world deployments; quantification of uncertainties in what are inherently ill-posed problems and integration of enhanced condition based maintenance/prognostics philosophies into new plant designs, operation and O&M approaches. The move to digital systems in petrochemical, process and fossil fuel power plants is enabling major advances to occur in the instrumentation, controls and monitoring systems and approaches employed. The adoption within the nuclear power community of advanced on-line monitoring and advanced diagnostics has the potential for the reduction in costly periodic surveillance that requires plant shut-down , more accurate cost-benefit analysis, “just-in-time” maintenance, pre-staging of maintenance tasks, move towards true “operation without failures” and a jump start on advanced technologies for new plant concepts, such as those under the International Gen IV Program. There are significant opportunities to adopt condition-based maintenance when upgrades are implemented at existing facilities. The economic benefit from a predictive maintenance program based upon advanced on-line monitoring and advanced diagnostics can be demonstrated from a cost/benefit analysis. An analysis of the 104 US legacy systems has indicated potential savings at over $1B per year when applied to all key equipment; a summary of the supporting analysis is provided in this paper.

  3. Comparison of extractants for plant-available zinc, cadmium, nickel, and copper in contaminated soils

    SciTech Connect

    Haq, A.U.; Bates, T.E.; Soon, Y.K.

    1980-07-01

    The objective of this study was to find a suitable extractant(s) for plant-available metals in metal contaminated soils. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L. Fordhook Giant) was grown in greenhouse pots on 46 Ontario soils varying in degree of contamination with metals. The soils had been contaminated with metals to varying degrees over a period of years. After 40 days, the plants were harvested and Zn, Cd, Ni, and Cu concentrations were measured. Each soil was extracted with nine different extractants: aqua regia, 0.01M EDTA, 0.005M DTPA, 0.02M NTA, 0.5N CH/sub 3/COOH, 1N CH/sub 3/COONH/sub 4/, 0.6N HCl + 0.05N AlCl/sub 3/, (COOH)/sub 2/ + (COONH/sub 4/)/sub 2/, and H/sub 2/O. Zinc, cadmium, nickel, and copper concentrations in Swiss chard were correlated with the amounts of soil Zn, Cd, Ni, and Cu removed by each extractant. Of the nine soil extractants, CH/sub 3/COONH/sub 4/ was the best predictor of plant-available Zn if only extractable Zn and soil pH were included as independent variables in a regression equation. Acetic acid was the best extractant for prediction of both plant-available Cd and Ni when soil pH was included in the equation. Attempts to find a suitable soil extractant for plant-available Cu were unsuccessful.

  4. The functional role of carbonate-cemented soil horizons in desert ecosystems: Spatial and temporal dynamics of plant water availability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In water limited ecosystems, soil profile characteristics can control plant community composition and production through their effects on spatial and temporal patterns of plant available water. Little is known, however, about water availability in soil horizons cemented with carbonates (petrocalcic ...

  5. ESTIMATING PLANT-AVAILABLE WATER USING THE SIMPLE INVERSE YIELD MODEL FOR CLAYPAN LANDSCAPES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant-available water (PAW) capacity (PAWc) is one of the fundamental soil properties affecting crop yield, yet quantitative determination of PAWc at a field scale has been challenging. A Simple Inverse Yield Model (SIYM) has been devised and shown to be successful in estimating spatially-variable ...

  6. ESTIMATES OF PLANT-AVAILABLE WATER CAPACITY FOR CLAYPAN LANDSCAPES USING SOIL ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Landscape variability of plant available water (PAW) capacity is useful information for site-specific management, but is expensive to assess using traditional measurements. In this study, we hypothesized that for claypan soils, profile PAW capacity can be approximated by assuming a two-layer soil bo...

  7. ESTIMATING PLANT-AVAILABLE WATER CAPACITY FOR CLAYPAN LANDSCAPES USING APPARENT ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Within-field variability of plant available water (PAW) capacity is useful information for site-specific management, but is expensive to assess using traditional measurements. For Missouri claypan soils, relationships between soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) and topsoil thickness have bee...

  8. Role of soil adsorption and microbial degradation on dissipation of mesotrione in plant available soil water

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mesotrione is a carotenoid biosynthesis-inhibiting herbicide labeled for pre-emergence and post emergent weed control in corn production. Understanding the factors that influence the dissipation of mesotrione in soil and in the plant available water (PAW) is important for both the environmental fat...

  9. 78 FR 32231 - Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-29

    ...We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a preliminary determination regarding a request from Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., seeking a determination of nonregulated status of canola designated as DP-073496- 4, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. We are also making available for public review......

  10. Estimating Plant-Available Water Using a Simple Inverse Yield Model for Claypan-Soil Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant-available water (PAW) capacity is one of the fundamental soil properties affecting crop yield. For claypan soils in Central Missouri, the topsoil thickness above the claypan layer is highly related to profile PAW, and in turn greatly influences crop yield. Quantitative determination of PAW cap...

  11. Enhancing Potentially Plant-Available Lead Concentrations in Contaminated Residential Soils Using a Biodegradable Chelating Agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andra, S.; Datta, R.; Sarkar, D.; Saminathan, S.

    2007-12-01

    Chelation of heavy metals is an important factor in enhancing metal solubility and, hence, metal availability to plants to promote phytoremediation. In the present study, we compared the effects of application of a biodegradable chelating agent, namely, ethylenediaminedisuccinic acid (EDDS) on enhancing plant available form of lead (Pb) in Pb-based paint contaminated residential soils compared to that of a more commonly used, but non-biodegradable chelate, i.e., ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Development of a successful phytoremediation model for metals such as Pb depends on a thorough understanding of the physical and chemical properties of the soil, along with the optimization of a chelate treatment to mobilize Pb from `unavailable' pools to potentially plant available fraction. In this context, we set out to perform batch incubation experiments to investigate the effectiveness of the two aforementioned chelates in enhancing plant available Pb at four different concentrations (0, 5, 10 and 15 mM/kg soil) and three treatment durations (0, 10 and 30 days). We selected 12 contaminated residential soils from two major metropolitan areas (San Antonio, TX and Baltimore, MD) with varying soil physico-chemical properties - the soils from San Antonio were primarily alkaline and those from Baltimore were typically acidic. Total soil Pb concentrations ranged between 256 mg/kg and 4,182 mg/kg. Our results show that both chelates increased the solubility of Pb, otherwise occluded in the complex soil matrix. For both EDTA and EDDS, the exchangeable concentrations of soil Pb also increased with increase in chelate concentration and incubation time. The most effective treatment was 15 mM chelate kg-1 soil incubated for 30 days, which caused many fold increase in potentially plant available Pb (a combination of the soluble and exchangeable fractions) relative to the unamended controls. Step wise multiple linear regression analysis using chelate-extractable Pb and soil

  12. Herbivore effects on above- and belowground plant production and soil nitrogen availability in the Trans-Himalayan shrub-steppes.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Sumanta; Ritchie, Mark E

    2010-12-01

    Large mammalian herbivores may have positive, neutral, or negative effects on annual net aboveground plant production (NAP) in different ecosystems, depending on their indirect effects on availability of key nutrients such as soil N. In comparison, less is known about the corresponding influence of grazers, and nutrient dynamics, over annual net belowground plant production (NBP). In natural multi-species plant communities, it remains uncertain how grazing influences relative allocation in the above- and belowground compartments in relation to its effects on plant nutrients. We evaluated grazer impacts on NAP, NBP, and relative investment in the above- and belowground compartments, alongside their indirect effects on soil N availability in the multiple-use Trans-Himalayan grazing ecosystem with native grazers and livestock. Data show that a prevailing grazing intensity of 51% increases NAP (+61%), but reduces NBP (-35%). Grazing also reduced C:N ratio in shoots (-16%) and litter (-50%), but not in roots, and these changes coincided with increased plant-available inorganic soil N (+23%). Areas used by livestock and native grazers showed qualitatively similar responses since NAP was promoted, and NBP was reduced, in both cases. The preferential investment in the aboveground fraction, at the expense of the belowground fraction, was correlated positively with grazing intensity and with improvement in litter quality. These results are consistent with hypothesized herbivore-mediated positive feedbacks between soil nutrients and relative investment in above- and belowground compartments. Since potentially overlapping mechanisms, such as N mineralization rate, plant N uptake, compositional turnover, and soil microbial activity, may contribute towards these feedbacks, further studies may be able to discern their respective contributions. PMID:20585808

  13. Effect of commercially available plant-derived essential oil products on arthropod pests.

    PubMed

    Cloyd, Raymond A; Galle, Cindy L; Keith, Stephen R; Kalscheur, Nanette A; Kemp, Kenneth E

    2009-08-01

    Plant-derived essential oil products, in general, are considered minimum-risk pesticides and are exempt from Environmental Protection Agency registration under section 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. However, many of the plant-derived essential products available to consumers (homeowners) have not been judiciously evaluated for both efficacy and plant safety. In fact, numerous plant-derived essential oil products labeled for control of arthropod pests have not been subject to rigorous evaluation, and there is minimal scientific information or supporting data associated with efficacy against arthropod pests. We conducted a series of greenhouse experiments to determine the efficacy and phytotoxicity of an array of plant-derived essential oil products available to consumers on arthropod pests including the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso); western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande); twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch; sweetpotato whitefly B-biotype, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius); and green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer). Although the products Flower Pharm (cottonseed, cinnamon, and rosemary oil) and Indoor Pharm (soybean, rosemary, and lavender oil) provided > 90% mortality of citrus mealybug, they were also the most phytotoxic to the coleus, Solenostemon scutellarioides (L.) Codd, plants. Both GC-Mite (cottonseed, clove, and garlic oil) and Bugzyme (citric acid) were most effective against the twospotted spider mite (> or = 90% mortality). However, SMC (canola, coriander oil, and triethanolamine), neem (clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil), and Bug Assassin (eugenol, sodium lauryl sulfate, peppermint, and citronella oil) provided > 80% mortality. Monterey Garden Insect Spray, which contained 0.5% spinosad, was most effective against western flower thrips with 100% mortality. All the other products evaluated failed to provide sufficient control of western flower thrips with < 30

  14. Exotic earthworm effects on hardwood forest floor, nutrient availability and native plants: a mesocosm study.

    PubMed

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B; Pastor, John

    2008-03-01

    A greenhouse mesocosm experiment, representing earthworm-free North American Acer-dominated forest floor and soil conditions, was used to examine the individual and combined effects of initial invasion by three European earthworm species (Dendrobaena octaedra, Lumbricus rubellus and Lumbricus terrestris) on the forest floor and upper soil horizons, N and P availability, and the mortality and biomass of four native understory plant species (Acer saccharum, Aquilegia canadensis, Aralia racemosa, and Carex pensylvanica). All the three earthworm species combined caused larger impacts on most variables measured than any single earthworm species. These included loss of O horizon mass, decreased thickness of the O horizon and increased thickness of the A horizon, and higher availability of N and P. The latter finding differs from field reports where nutrients were less available after invasion, and probably represents an initial transient increase in nutrient supply as earthworms consume and incorporate the O horizon into the A horizon. Earthworms also increased mortality of plants and decreased total mesocosm plant biomass, but here the impact of all the three earthworm species was no greater than that of L. terrestris and/or L. rubellus alone. This study corroborates field studies that European earthworm invasions alter North American forest ecosystem processes by initiating a cascade of impacts on plant community composition and soil properties. PMID:18066602

  15. Interactive effects of plant-available soil silicon and herbivory on competition between two grass species

    PubMed Central

    Garbuzov, Mihail; Reidinger, Stefan; Hartley, Susan E.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The herbivore defence system of true grasses (Poaceae) is predominantly based on silicon that is taken up from the soil and deposited in the leaves in the form of abrasive phytoliths. Silicon uptake mechanisms can be both passive and active, with the latter suggesting that there is an energetic cost to silicon uptake. This study assessed the effects of plant-available soil silicon and herbivory on the competitive interactions between the grasses Poa annua, a species that has previously been reported to accumulate only small amounts of silicon, and Lolium perenne, a high silicon accumulator. Methods Plants were grown in mono- and mixed cultures under greenhouse conditions. Plant-available soil silicon levels were manipulated by adding silicon to the soil in the form of sodium silicate. Subsets of mixed culture pots were exposed to above-ground herbivory by desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria). Key Results In the absence of herbivory, silicon addition increased biomass of P. annua but decreased biomass of L. perenne. Silicon addition increased foliar silicon concentrations of both grass species >4-fold. Under low soil-silicon availability the herbivores removed more leaf biomass from L. perenne than from P. annua, whereas under high silicon availability the reverse was true. Consequently, herbivory shifted the competitive balance between the two grass species, with the outcome depending on the availability of soil silicon. Conclusions It is concluded that a complex interplay between herbivore abundance, growth–defence trade-offs and the availability of soil silicon in the grasses' local environment affects the outcome of inter-specific competition, and so has the potential to impact on plant community structure. PMID:21868406

  16. Improved plant performance through evaporative steam condensing

    SciTech Connect

    Hutton, D.

    1998-07-01

    Combining an open cooling tower and a steam condenser into one common unit is a proven technology with many advantages in power generation application, including reduced first cost of equipment, reduced parasitic energy consumption, simplified design, reduced maintenance, and simplified water treatment, Performance of the steam turbine benefits from the direct approach to wet bulb temperature, and operating flexibility and reliability improve compared to a system with a cooling tower and surface condenser. System comparisons and case histories will be presented to substantiate improved systems economies.

  17. Plant allocation of carbon to defense as a function of herbivory, light and nutrient availability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Ju, Shu; Liu, Rongsong; Bryant, John P.; Gourley, Stephen A.

    2012-01-01

    We use modeling to determine the optimal relative plant carbon allocations between foliage, fine roots, anti-herbivore defense, and reproduction to maximize reproductive output. The model treats these plant components and the herbivore compartment as variables. Herbivory is assumed to be purely folivory. Key external factors include nutrient availability, degree of shading, and intensity of herbivory. Three alternative functional responses are used for herbivory, two of which are variations on donor-dependent herbivore (models 1a and 1b) and one of which is a Lotka–Volterra type of interaction (model 2). All three were modified to include the negative effect of chemical defenses on the herbivore. Analysis showed that, for all three models, two stable equilibria could occur, which differs from most common functional responses when no plant defense component is included. Optimal strategies of carbon allocation were defined as the maximum biomass of reproductive propagules produced per unit time, and found to vary with changes in external factors. Increased intensity of herbivory always led to an increase in the fractional allocation of carbon to defense. Decreases in available limiting nutrient generally led to increasing importance of defense. Decreases in available light had little effect on defense but led to increased allocation to foliage. Decreases in limiting nutrient and available light led to decreases in allocation to reproduction in models 1a and 1b but not model 2. Increases in allocation to plant defense were usually accompanied by shifts in carbon allocation away from fine roots, possibly because higher plant defense reduced the loss of nutrients to herbivory.

  18. Nutritional improvements in plants: Time to bite on biofortified foods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modern breeding, molecular genetic and biotechnology studies frequently describe changes in plant metabolism to improve nutritional content; however, this is often where the process of assessing biofortification ends. Ideally, these modified plants need to be used in controlled animal and human feed...

  19. Compressed Air System Optimization Project Improves Production at a Metal Forging Plant (Modern Forge, TN, Plant)

    SciTech Connect

    2000-12-01

    In 1995, Modern Forge of Tennessee implemented a compressed air system improvement project at its Piney Flats, Tennessee, forging plant. Due to the project’s implementation, the plant was able to operate with fewer compressors and improve its product quality, thus allowing it to increase productivity. The project also resulted in considerable energy and maintenance savings.

  20. Reduced peroxisomal citrate synthase activity increases substrate availability for polyhydroxyalkanoate biosynthesis in plant peroxisomes.

    PubMed

    Tilbrook, Kimberley; Poirier, Yves; Gebbie, Leigh; Schenk, Peer M; McQualter, Richard B; Brumbley, Stevens M

    2014-10-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bacterial carbon storage polymers used as renewable, biodegradable plastics. PHA production in plants may be a way to reduce industrial PHA production costs. We recently demonstrated a promising level of peroxisomal PHA production in the high biomass crop species sugarcane. However, further production strategies are needed to boost PHA accumulation closer to commercial targets. Through exogenous fatty acid feeding of Arabidopsis thaliana plants that contain peroxisome-targeted PhaA, PhaB and PhaC enzymes from Cupriavidus necator, we show here that the availability of substrates derived from the β-oxidation cycle limits peroxisomal polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) biosynthesis. Knockdown of peroxisomal citrate synthase activity using artificial microRNA increased PHB production levels approximately threefold. This work demonstrates that reduction of peroxisomal citrate synthase activity may be a valid metabolic engineering strategy for increasing PHA production in other plant species. PMID:24944109

  1. Impact of hydrochar application on soil nutrient dynamics and plant availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bargmann, I.; Greef, J. M.; Kücke, M.

    2012-04-01

    In order to investigate potentials for the use of HTC-products (hydrochar) in agriculture, the influence of soil application of different hydrochars on soil nutrient dynamics as well as on plant growth and plant nutrient uptake was determined. Hydrochars were produced from sugar beet pulps and brewer's grains by carbonization at 190°C for 4 respectively 12 hours each. Incubation experiments with two soil types showed an increase of soil pH by 0.5 to 2.5 pH units, depending on the amount of hydrochar added and the process conditions (i.e. addition of calcium carbonate during production). The application of HTC to soil decreased the plant available nitrogen to almost zero in the first week after HTC-addition, followed by a slow re-release of nitrate in the following weeks. A similar immobilization of soluble phosphate was observed for one soil type, although to a lower extent. The plant availability of phosphorus in hydrochars and biochars is subject of current trials. Furthermore it is actually investigated to what extend the N immobilization is related to soil microbial activity. Germination tests with barley showed toxic effects of hydrochar application on germination, both by direct contact of grains with HTC as well as by release of gaseous compounds from HTC. Effects differ significantly for different parent materials and pretreatments (washing, drying, storage). The influence of HTC-addition to soil on plant growth and nutrient uptake was investigated in pot experiments with various crop species (barley, phaseolus bean, leek), comparing HTC from different parent materials and process parameters such as carbonization time. With increasing addition of HTC, the N availability was decreased and N contents in the plant were significantly lower compared with the untreated control. The plant growth response was different for each tested crop. On barley, leaf tip necroses were observed, but not on phaseolus. Biomass yield of barley and beans was generally increased

  2. Comparative evaluation of oxidative stress status and manganese availability in plants growing on manganese mine.

    PubMed

    Boojar, Massod Mashhadi Akbar; Goodarzi, Faranak

    2008-11-01

    This study pioneered an approach that determined the effects of excess manganese (Mn) on three species; Datura stramonium, Alhagi camelthorn and Chenopodium ambrosioides. We investigated their levels of Mn, antioxidative enzymes and oxidative damage biomarkers in plants (zone 1) in and outside (zone 2) the Mn mine. The results showed that total and available Mn were at toxic levels for plants growing on zone 1. The Mn levels in each plant species were higher in leaves, stems and roots. Mn was only accumulated significantly in leaf vacuoles of A. camelthorn. Antioxidative enzyme activities of C. ambrosioides and/or D. stramonium in zone 1 were higher in leaves, stems and then in their roots. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and dityrosine levels were insignificantly higher in tissues of the studied plants in zone 1 with respect to zone 2. The roots of studied plants showed significantly higher levels of these biomarkers in comparison with their leaves in zone 1. Accordingly, antioxidative enzymatic response to Mn-stress in D. stramonium and C. ambrosioides and possibly accumulation of Mn in leaf vacuoles of A. camelthorn, protected them from oxidative damages and involved in their tolerance in Mn mine. PMID:18068229

  3. Leaf nitrogen and phosphorus of temperate desert plants in response to climate and soil nutrient availability

    PubMed Central

    He, Mingzhu; Dijkstra, Feike A.; Zhang, Ke; Li, Xinrong; Tan, Huijuan; Gao, Yanhong; Li, Gang

    2014-01-01

    In desert ecosystems, plant growth and nutrient uptake are restricted by availability of soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). The effects of both climate and soil nutrient conditions on N and P concentrations among desert plant life forms (annual, perennial and shrub) remain unclear. We assessed leaf N and P levels of 54 desert plants and measured the corresponding soil N and P in shallow (0–10 cm), middle (10–40 cm) and deep soil layers (40–100 cm), at 52 sites in a temperate desert of northwest China. Leaf P and N:P ratios varied markedly among life forms. Leaf P was higher in annuals and perennials than in shrubs. Leaf N and P showed a negative relationship with mean annual temperature (MAT) and no relationship with mean annual precipitation (MAP), but a positive relationship with soil P. Leaf P of shrubs was positively related to soil P in the deep soil. Our study indicated that leaf N and P across the three life forms were influenced by soil P. Deep-rooted plants may enhance the availability of P in the surface soil facilitating growth of shallow-rooted life forms in this N and P limited system, but further research is warranted on this aspect. PMID:25373739

  4. Glycosylation Is a Major Regulator of Phenylpropanoid Availability and Biological Activity in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Le Roy, Julien; Huss, Brigitte; Creach, Anne; Hawkins, Simon; Neutelings, Godfrey

    2016-01-01

    The phenylpropanoid pathway in plants is responsible for the biosynthesis of a huge amount of secondary metabolites derived from phenylalanine and tyrosine. Both flavonoids and lignins are synthesized at the end of this very diverse metabolic pathway, as well as many intermediate molecules whose precise biological functions remain largely unknown. The diversity of these molecules can be further increased under the action of UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) leading to the production of glycosylated hydroxycinnamates and related aldehydes, alcohols and esters. Glycosylation can change phenylpropanoid solubility, stability and toxic potential, as well as influencing compartmentalization and biological activity. (De)-glycosylation therefore represents an extremely important regulation point in phenylpropanoid homeostasis. In this article we review recent knowledge on the enzymes involved in regulating phenylpropanoid glycosylation status and availability in different subcellular compartments. We also examine the potential link between monolignol glycosylation and lignification by exploring co-expression of lignin biosynthesis genes and phenolic (de)glycosylation genes. Of the different biological roles linked with their particular chemical properties, phenylpropanoids are often correlated with the plant's stress management strategies that are also regulated by glycosylation. UGTs can for instance influence the resistance of plants during infection by microorganisms and be involved in the mechanisms related to environmental changes. The impact of flavonoid glycosylation on the color of flowers, leaves, seeds and fruits will also be discussed. Altogether this paper underlies the fact that glycosylation and deglycosylation are powerful mechanisms allowing plants to regulate phenylpropanoid localisation, availability and biological activity. PMID:27303427

  5. The influence of earthworms on the mobility of microelements in soil and their availability for plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bityutskii, N. P.; Kaidun, P. I.

    2008-12-01

    The influence of earthworms ( Aporrectodea caliginosa, Lumbricus rubellus, L. terrestris, and Eisenia fetida) on the mobility of microelements and their availability for plants was studied. The contents of water-soluble Fe and Mn compounds extracted from the coprolites were 5-10 times higher than that in the soil (enriched in calcium carbonate and dried) consumed by the earthworms. This digestion-induced effect became higher with the age of the coprolites (up to 9 days) and took place under their alkalization. In the excreta (surface + enteric) of earthworms, the Fe concentration exceeded those of Mn and Zn by many times. Iron and manganese were mostly concentrated (>80% and >60%, respectively) in the organic part of the excrements. In the tests with hydroponics, the excreta were found to be a source of iron compounds available for plants that were similar to Fe2(SO4)3 or Fe-citrate by their physiological effect in the case when the Fe concentration in the excretions was above 0.7 μM. However, the single application of excreta of different earthworm species into the CaCO3 enriched soil did not significantly affect the plant (cucumber) nutrition. The analysis of the transport of microelements with xylem sap showed that this fact appeared to be due to the absence of an Fe deficit in the cucumber plants because of their high capability for the absorption of weakly soluble iron compounds.

  6. Quantification of risks from technology for improved plant reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Rode, D.M.

    1996-12-31

    One of the least understood and therefore appreciated threats to profitability are risks from power plant technologies such as steam generators, turbines, and electrical systems. To effectively manage technological risks, business decisions need to be based on knowledge. The scope of the paper describes a quantification or risk process that combines technical knowledge and judgments with commercial consequences. The three principle alternatives to manage risks as well as risk mitigation techniques for significant equipment within a power plant are reported. The result is to equip the decision maker with a comprehensive picture of the risk exposures enabling cost effective activities to be undertaken to improve a plant`s reliability.

  7. Specialist Insect Herbivore and Light Availability Do Not Interact in the Evolution of an Invasive Plant.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhijie; Pan, Xiaoyun; Zhang, Ziyan; He, Kate S; Li, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Release from specialist insect herbivores may allow invasive plants to evolve traits associated with decreased resistance and increased competitive ability. Given that there may be genetic trade-off between resistance and tolerance, invasive plants could also become more tolerant to herbivores. Although it is widely acknowledged that light availability affects tolerance to herbivores, little information is available for whether the effect of light availability on tolerance differ between the introduced and native populations. We conducted a common garden experiment in the introduced range of Alternanthera philoxeroides using ten invasive US and ten native Argentinean populations at two levels of light availability and in the presence or absence of a specialist stem-boring insect Agasicles hygrophila. Plant biomass (total and storage root biomass), two allocation traits (root/shoot ratio and branch intensity, branches biomass/main stem biomass) and two functional traits (specific stem length and specific leaf area), which are potentially associated with herbivore resistance and light capture, were measured. Overall, we found that A. philoxeroides from introduced ranges had comparable biomass and tolerance to specialist herbivores, lower branch intensity, lower specific stem length and specific leaf area. Moreover, introduced populations displayed higher shade tolerance of storage root biomass and lower plastic response to shading in specific stem length. Finally, light availability had no significant effect on evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores of A. philoxeroides. Our results suggest that post-introduction evolution might have occurred in A. philoxeroides. While light availability did not influence the evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores, increased shade tolerance and release from specialist insects might have contributed to the successful invasion of A. philoxeroides. PMID:26407176

  8. Specialist Insect Herbivore and Light Availability Do Not Interact in the Evolution of an Invasive Plant

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ziyan; He, Kate S.; Li, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Release from specialist insect herbivores may allow invasive plants to evolve traits associated with decreased resistance and increased competitive ability. Given that there may be genetic trade-off between resistance and tolerance, invasive plants could also become more tolerant to herbivores. Although it is widely acknowledged that light availability affects tolerance to herbivores, little information is available for whether the effect of light availability on tolerance differ between the introduced and native populations. We conducted a common garden experiment in the introduced range of Alternanthera philoxeroides using ten invasive US and ten native Argentinean populations at two levels of light availability and in the presence or absence of a specialist stem-boring insect Agasicles hygrophila. Plant biomass (total and storage root biomass), two allocation traits (root/shoot ratio and branch intensity, branches biomass/main stem biomass) and two functional traits (specific stem length and specific leaf area), which are potentially associated with herbivore resistance and light capture, were measured. Overall, we found that A. philoxeroides from introduced ranges had comparable biomass and tolerance to specialist herbivores, lower branch intensity, lower specific stem length and specific leaf area. Moreover, introduced populations displayed higher shade tolerance of storage root biomass and lower plastic response to shading in specific stem length. Finally, light availability had no significant effect on evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores of A. philoxeroides. Our results suggest that post-introduction evolution might have occurred in A. philoxeroides. While light availability did not influence the evolution of tolerance to specialist herbivores, increased shade tolerance and release from specialist insects might have contributed to the successful invasion of A. philoxeroides. PMID:26407176

  9. Is plant migration restrained by available nitrogen supply in high latitudes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, E.; Schlosser, C. A.; Felzer, B.; Kicklighter, D.; Cronin, T.; Melillo, J.; Prinn, R. G.

    2008-12-01

    Recent studies suggest that growth and distribution of natural vegetation in high latitudes may be controlled by the amount of available nitrogen. Yet few studies have examined the role of available nitrogen on plant migration in response to anticipated climate change. We use a modeling approach to explore this issue. With a projected climate dataset (GFDL CM 2.0) from the IPCC AR4 archive, we first estimate net nitrogen mineralization values for natural plant functional types in high latitudes (north of 52N), using the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM). Previous work with TEM indicates that warming increases the rates of net nitrogen mineralization in high latitudes (e.g. 10 percent increase in boreal forests), which may help support a pattern of increased woodiness in northern systems such as boreal woodlands filling in with trees and tundra becoming more shrubby. Constrained with the available nitrogen for each vegetation type, a simple rule- based model, which describes the migration process and adopts processes of climatic tolerances of trees from the BIOME biogeography model, is used to generate a newly projected vegetation map for high latitudes. Our study emphasizes the significance of the role of nitrogen in the high latitude plant distribution. We also investigate the climatic consequences of the changing albedo, resulting from shifts in the vegetation distribution.

  10. Reliability and availability analysis for robot subsystem in automotive assembly plant: a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fudzin, A. F.; Majid, M. A. A.

    2015-12-01

    The automotive assembly plant in a manufacturing environment consists of conveying systems and robots. Robots with high reliability will ensure no interruption during production. This study is to analyze the individual robot reliability compared to reliability of robots subsystem in series configuration. Availability was computed based on individual robots breakdown data. Failures due to robots breakdown often occurred during the operations. Actual maintenance data for a period of seven years were used for the analysis. Incorporation of failures rate and mean time between failures yield the reliability computation with the assumption of constant failure rate. Result from the analysis based on 5000 operating hours indicated reliability of series configuration of robots in a subsystem decreased to 2.8% in comparison to 38% reliability of the individual robot with the lowest reliability. The calculated lowest availability of the robots is 99.41%. The robot with the lowest reliability and availability should be considered for replacement.

  11. Use of plants to evaluate the difference in available cadmium between soils

    SciTech Connect

    Kuboi, T.; Noguchi, A.

    1987-01-01

    A new method was proposed for assessing the difference in the capacity of soils to supply Cd to plants. The relation of tissue (tc) to soil (sc) Cd concentrations can be expressed as; log(tc) = ..cap alpha.. + ..beta.. log(sc), where ..cap alpha.. and ..beta.. are the regression coefficients. When the same plant is grown on another soil, the equation will change to; log(tc) = ..cap alpha..' + ..beta..' log(sc). Based on both equations, the relationship between sc' and sc becomes; log(sc') = (..cap alpha..-..cap alpha..)/..beta..' + (..beta../..beta..') log(sc). Set p = (..cap alpha..-..cap alpha..')/..beta..' and q = ..beta../..beta..', then the difference of Cd availability between two soils can be evaluated according to the values of p and q. The p and q values were determined among four treatments in which radish was grown on a sand soil and a silty loam soil at two pH levels. The values showed that the Cd present in the sand soil (pH 5.6) and the metal in the silty loam soil (pH 7.5) were the most and least available, respectively. It was therefore considered that the parameters p and q could be used as criteria for selecting an ideal extractant capable of removing the actually available Cd from soils.

  12. Hanford Waste Vitrification Plant technical background document for best available radionuclide control technology demonstration

    SciTech Connect

    Carpenter, A.B.; Skone, S.S.; Rodenhizer, D.G.; Marusich, M.V. )

    1990-10-01

    This report provides the background documentation to support applications for approval to construct and operate new radionuclide emission sources at the Hanford Waste Vitrification Plant (HWVP) near Richland, Washington. The HWVP is required to obtain permits under federal and state statutes for atmospheric discharges of radionuclides. Since these permits must be issued prior to construction of the facility, draft permit applications are being prepared, as well as documentation to support these permits. This report addresses the applicable requirements and demonstrates that the preferred design meets energy, environmental, and economic criteria for Best Available Radionuclide Control Technology (BARCT) at HWVP. 22 refs., 11 figs., 25 tabs.

  13. Biochar Improves Soil Aggregate Stability and Water Availability in a Mollisol after Three Years of Field Application

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yulan; Yang, Lijie; Yu, Chunxiao; Yin, Guanghua; Doane, Timothy A.; Wu, Zhijie; Zhu, Ping; Ma, Xingzhu

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of organic amendments on soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, bulk density, aggregate stability, field capacity and plant available water in a representative Chinese Mollisol. Four treatments were as follows: no fertilization (CK), application of inorganic fertilizer (NPK), combined application of inorganic fertilizer with maize straw (NPK+S) and addition of biochar with inorganic fertilizer (NPK+B). Our results showed that after three consecutive years of application, the values of soil bulk density were significantly lower in both organic amendment-treated plots than in unamended (CK and NPK) plots. Compared with NPK, NPK+B more effectively increased the contents of soil organic carbon, improved the relative proportion of soil macro-aggregates and mean weight diameter, and enhanced field capacity as well as plant available water. Organic amendments had no obvious effect on soil C/N ratio or wilting coefficient. The results of linear regression indicated that the improvement in soil water retention could be attributed to the increases in soil organic carbon and aggregate stability. PMID:27191160

  14. Biochar Improves Soil Aggregate Stability and Water Availability in a Mollisol after Three Years of Field Application.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ningning; Zhang, Lili; Zhang, Yulan; Yang, Lijie; Yu, Chunxiao; Yin, Guanghua; Doane, Timothy A; Wu, Zhijie; Zhu, Ping; Ma, Xingzhu

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of organic amendments on soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, bulk density, aggregate stability, field capacity and plant available water in a representative Chinese Mollisol. Four treatments were as follows: no fertilization (CK), application of inorganic fertilizer (NPK), combined application of inorganic fertilizer with maize straw (NPK+S) and addition of biochar with inorganic fertilizer (NPK+B). Our results showed that after three consecutive years of application, the values of soil bulk density were significantly lower in both organic amendment-treated plots than in unamended (CK and NPK) plots. Compared with NPK, NPK+B more effectively increased the contents of soil organic carbon, improved the relative proportion of soil macro-aggregates and mean weight diameter, and enhanced field capacity as well as plant available water. Organic amendments had no obvious effect on soil C/N ratio or wilting coefficient. The results of linear regression indicated that the improvement in soil water retention could be attributed to the increases in soil organic carbon and aggregate stability. PMID:27191160

  15. Advanced thermometrics for fossil power plant process improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Shepard, R.L.; Weiss, J.M.; Holcomb, D.E.

    1996-04-30

    Improved temperature measurements in fossil power plants can reduce heat rate and uncertainties in power production efficiencies, extend the life of plant components, reduce maintenance costs, and lessen emissions. Conventional instruments for measurement of combustion temperatures, steam temperatures, and structural component temperatures can be improved by better specification, in situ calibration, signal processing, and performance monitoring. Innovative instruments can enhance, augment, or replace conventional instruments. Several critical temperatures can be accessed using new methods that were impossible with conventional instruments. Such instruments include high temperature resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), thermometric phosphors, inductive thermometry, and ultrasonic thermometry.

  16. A Hybrid Quorum Protocol for Improved Availability, Capacity, Load and Reduced Overhead

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, Parul; Tripathi, Maheshwari

    2016-06-01

    Data replication is playing a vital role in the design of distributed information systems. This paper presents a novel and efficient distributed algorithm for managing replicated data and for better performance and availability. This paper presents an extension to existing wheel protocol for improved performance. Wheel protocol imposes a logical wheel structure on the set of copies of an object and gives smallest read quorum. In addition to small read quorum size for read intensive applications, it is necessary to have good write availability as well. This paper proposes two hybrid wheel protocols, which superimpose logarithmic and ring protocols on top of the wheel protocol. It shows that, both protocols help in improving write availability, read capacity, load and message overhead and also compare their performances with wheel and other protocols. Hybrid protocols expand usage of wheel protocol to different type of applications.

  17. Conocarpus biochar as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal availability and uptake by maize plants

    PubMed Central

    Al-Wabel, Mohammad I.; Usman, Adel R.A.; El-Naggar, Ahmed H.; Aly, Anwar A.; Ibrahim, Hesham M.; Elmaghraby, Salem; Al-Omran, Abdulrasoul

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the use of Concarpus biochar as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal accessibility and uptake by maize plants (Zea mays L.). The impacts of biochar rates (0.0, 1.0, 3.0, and 5.0% w/w) and two soil moisture levels (75% and 100% of field capacity, FC) on immobilization and availability of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cd, Cu and Pb to maize plants as well as its application effects on soil pH, EC, bulk density, and moisture content were evaluated using heavy metal-contaminated soil collected from mining area. The biochar addition significantly decreased the bulk density and increased moisture content of soil. Applying biochar significantly reduced NH4OAc- or AB-DTPA-extractable heavy metal concentrations of soils, indicating metal immobilization. Conocarpus biochar increased shoot dry biomass of maize plants by 54.5–102% at 75% FC and 133–266% at 100% FC. Moreover, applying biochar significantly reduced shoot heavy metal concentrations in maize plants (except for Fe at 75% FC) in response to increasing application rates, with a highest decrease of 51.3% and 60.5% for Mn, 28% and 21.2% for Zn, 60% and 29.5% for Cu, 53.2% and 47.2% for Cd at soil moisture levels of 75% FC and 100% FC, respectively. The results suggest that biochar may be effectively used as a soil amendment for heavy metal immobilization and in reducing its phytotoxicity. PMID:26150758

  18. Conocarpus biochar as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal availability and uptake by maize plants.

    PubMed

    Al-Wabel, Mohammad I; Usman, Adel R A; El-Naggar, Ahmed H; Aly, Anwar A; Ibrahim, Hesham M; Elmaghraby, Salem; Al-Omran, Abdulrasoul

    2015-07-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the use of Concarpus biochar as a soil amendment for reducing heavy metal accessibility and uptake by maize plants (Zea mays L.). The impacts of biochar rates (0.0, 1.0, 3.0, and 5.0% w/w) and two soil moisture levels (75% and 100% of field capacity, FC) on immobilization and availability of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cd, Cu and Pb to maize plants as well as its application effects on soil pH, EC, bulk density, and moisture content were evaluated using heavy metal-contaminated soil collected from mining area. The biochar addition significantly decreased the bulk density and increased moisture content of soil. Applying biochar significantly reduced NH4OAc- or AB-DTPA-extractable heavy metal concentrations of soils, indicating metal immobilization. Conocarpus biochar increased shoot dry biomass of maize plants by 54.5-102% at 75% FC and 133-266% at 100% FC. Moreover, applying biochar significantly reduced shoot heavy metal concentrations in maize plants (except for Fe at 75% FC) in response to increasing application rates, with a highest decrease of 51.3% and 60.5% for Mn, 28% and 21.2% for Zn, 60% and 29.5% for Cu, 53.2% and 47.2% for Cd at soil moisture levels of 75% FC and 100% FC, respectively. The results suggest that biochar may be effectively used as a soil amendment for heavy metal immobilization and in reducing its phytotoxicity. PMID:26150758

  19. Dynamic Response of Plant Chlorophyll Fluorescence to Light, Water and Nutrient Availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cendrero Mateo, M. D. P.; Moran, S. M.; Porcar-Castell, A.; Carmo-Silva, A. E.; Papuga, S. A.; Matveeva, M.; Wieneke, S.; Rascher, U.

    2014-12-01

    Photosynthesis is the most important exchange process of CO2 between the atmosphere and the land-surface. Spatial and temporal patterns of photosynthesis depend on dynamic plant-specific adaptation strategies to highly variable environmental conditions e.g. light, water, and nutrient availability. Chlorophyll fluorescence (ChF) has been proposed as a direct indicator of photosynthesis, and several studies have demonstrated its relationship with vegetation functioning at leaf and canopy level. In this study, two overarching questions about ChF were addressed: Q1) How water, nutrient and ambient light conditions determine the relationships between photosynthesis and ChF? Which is the optimum irradiance level for detecting water and nutrient deficit conditions with ChF?; Q2) What is the seasonal relationship between photosynthesis and ChF when nitrogen is the limiting factor? The results of this study indicated that when the differences between treatments (water or nitrogen) drive the relationship between photosynthesis and ChF, ChF has a direct relationship with photosynthesis. This study demonstrates that the light level at which plants were grown was optimum for detecting water and nutrient deficit with ChF. Further, the seasonal relation between photosynthesis and ChF with nitrogen stress was not a simple linear function due to the complex physiological relation between photosynthesis and ChF. Our study showed that at times in the season when nitrogen was sufficient and photosynthesis was highest, ChF decreased because these two processes compete for available energy. The results from this study demonstrated that ChF is a reliable indicator of plant stress and has great potential as a tool for better understand where, when, and how CO2 is exchanged between the land and atmosphere.

  20. Nitrogen availability alters the expression of carnivory in the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea.

    PubMed

    Ellison, Aaron M; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2002-04-01

    Atmospheric transport and deposition of nutrients, especially nitrogen, is a global environmental problem with well-documented consequences for ecosystem dynamics. However, monitoring nitrogen deposition is relatively expensive, monitoring stations are widely spaced, and estimates and predicted impacts of nitrogen deposition are currently derived from spatial modeling and interpolation of limited data. Ombrotrophic ("rain-fed") bogs are nutrient-poor ecosystems that are especially sensitive to increasing nutrient input, and carnivorous plants, which are characteristic of these widespread ecosystem types, may be especially sensitive indicators of N deposition. Botanical carnivory is thought to have evolved in nutrient-poor and well-lit habitats such as bogs because the marginal benefits accruing from carnivory exceed the marginal photosynthetic costs associated with the maintenance of carnivorous organs. However, the production of carnivorous organs can be a phenotypically plastic trait. The northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, produces leaves specialized for prey capture and nutrient uptake (pitchers) and leaves that are more efficient at photosynthesis (phyllodia). We hypothesized that relative allocation to these two types of leaves reflects ambient nitrogen availability. We manipulated nutrient availability to plants with leaf enrichment and whole-plot fertilization experiments. Increased nitrogen, but not phosphorus, reduced production of pitchers relative to phyllodia; this result provided empirical support for the cost-benefit model of the evolution of botanical carnivory. Because this phenotypic shift in leaf production occurs in ecological time, our results suggest that S. purpurea could be a reliable and inexpensive biological indicator of nitrogen deposition rates. This suggestion is supported by field observations across a geographic gradient of nitrogen deposition. PMID:11904363

  1. Nitrogen availability alters the expression of carnivory in the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, Aaron M.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.

    2002-01-01

    Atmospheric transport and deposition of nutrients, especially nitrogen, is a global environmental problem with well-documented consequences for ecosystem dynamics. However, monitoring nitrogen deposition is relatively expensive, monitoring stations are widely spaced, and estimates and predicted impacts of nitrogen deposition are currently derived from spatial modeling and interpolation of limited data. Ombrotrophic (“rain-fed”) bogs are nutrient-poor ecosystems that are especially sensitive to increasing nutrient input, and carnivorous plants, which are characteristic of these widespread ecosystem types, may be especially sensitive indicators of N deposition. Botanical carnivory is thought to have evolved in nutrient-poor and well-lit habitats such as bogs because the marginal benefits accruing from carnivory exceed the marginal photosynthetic costs associated with the maintenance of carnivorous organs. However, the production of carnivorous organs can be a phenotypically plastic trait. The northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, produces leaves specialized for prey capture and nutrient uptake (pitchers) and leaves that are more efficient at photosynthesis (phyllodia). We hypothesized that relative allocation to these two types of leaves reflects ambient nitrogen availability. We manipulated nutrient availability to plants with leaf enrichment and whole-plot fertilization experiments. Increased nitrogen, but not phosphorus, reduced production of pitchers relative to phyllodia; this result provided empirical support for the cost–benefit model of the evolution of botanical carnivory. Because this phenotypic shift in leaf production occurs in ecological time, our results suggest that S. purpurea could be a reliable and inexpensive biological indicator of nitrogen deposition rates. This suggestion is supported by field observations across a geographic gradient of nitrogen deposition. PMID:11904363

  2. 76 FR 27301 - Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-11

    ... Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There... genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests....

  3. 76 FR 37771 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-28

    ... Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There... genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests....

  4. Soil Nitrogen Availability and Plant Genotype Modify the Nutrition Strategies of M. truncatula and the Associated Rhizosphere Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zancarini, Anouk; Mougel, Christophe; Voisin, Anne-Sophie; Prudent, Marion; Salon, Christophe; Munier-Jolain, Nathalie

    2012-01-01

    Plant and soil types are usually considered as the two main drivers of the rhizosphere microbial communities. The aim of this work was to study the effect of both N availability and plant genotype on the plant associated rhizosphere microbial communities, in relation to the nutritional strategies of the plant-microbe interactions, for six contrasted Medicago truncatula genotypes. The plants were provided with two different nutrient solutions varying in their nitrate concentrations (0 mM and 10 mM). First, the influence of both nitrogen availability and Medicago truncatula genotype on the genetic structure of the soil bacterial and fungal communities was determined by DNA fingerprint using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA). Secondly, the different nutritional strategies of the plant-microbe interactions were evaluated using an ecophysiological framework. We observed that nitrogen availability affected rhizosphere bacterial communities only in presence of the plant. Furthermore, we showed that the influence of nitrogen availability on rhizosphere bacterial communities was dependent on the different genotypes of Medicago truncatula. Finally, the nutritional strategies of the plant varied greatly in response to a modification of nitrogen availability. A new conceptual framework was thus developed to study plant-microbe interactions. This framework led to the identification of three contrasted structural and functional adaptive responses of plant-microbe interactions to nitrogen availability. PMID:23077550

  5. Improving the safety of LWR power plants. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-04-01

    This report documents the results of the Study to identify current, potential research issues and efforts for improving the safety of Light Water Reactor (LWR) power plants. This final report describes the work accomplished, the results obtained, the problem areas, and the recommended solutions. Specifically, for each of the issues identified in this report for improving the safety of LWR power plants, a description is provided in detail of the safety significance, the current status (including information sources, status of technical knowledge, problem solution and current activities), and the suggestions for further research and development. Further, the issues are ranked for action into high, medium, and low priority with respect to primarily (a) improved safety (e.g. potential reduction in public risk and occupational exposure), and secondly (b) reduction in safety-related costs (improving or maintaining level of safety with simpler systems or in a more cost-effective manner).

  6. A multicomponent strategy to improve the availability of antivenom for treating snakebite envenoming

    PubMed Central

    Burnouf, Thierry; Harrison, Robert A; Calvete, Juan J; Kuch, Ulrich; Warrell, David A; Williams,, David J

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Snakebite envenoming is a common but neglected public health problem, particularly in impoverished rural regions of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. The only validated treatment for this condition is passive immunotherapy with safe and effective animal-derived antivenoms. However, there is a long-lasting crisis in the availability of these life-saving medications, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. We herein advocate a multicomponent strategy to substantially improve the availability of safe and effective antivenoms at the global level. This strategy is based on: (i) preparing validated collections of representative venom pools from the most medically dangerous snakes in high-risk regions of the world; (ii) strengthening the capacity of national antivenom manufacturing and quality control laboratories and their regulatory authorities and establishing new facilities in developing countries through technology transfer, as an integral part of efforts to develop their biological products industry; (iii) getting established laboratories to generate antivenoms for various regions of the world; and (iv) getting governments and relevant organizations to give snakebite envenoming due recognition within national and international public health policy frameworks. These ways of making antivenom available should be complemented by actions to improve health information systems, the accessibility of antivenoms, the training of medical and nursing staff, and community-based education. Such a multicomponent strategy involving stakeholders on many levels could help consolidate sustainable improvements in antivenom availability worldwide. PMID:25110378

  7. A multicomponent strategy to improve the availability of antivenom for treating snakebite envenoming.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, José María; Burnouf, Thierry; Harrison, Robert A; Calvete, Juan J; Kuch, Ulrich; Warrell, David A; Williams, David J

    2014-07-01

    Snakebite envenoming is a common but neglected public health problem, particularly in impoverished rural regions of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. The only validated treatment for this condition is passive immunotherapy with safe and effective animal-derived antivenoms. However, there is a long-lasting crisis in the availability of these life-saving medications, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. We herein advocate a multicomponent strategy to substantially improve the availability of safe and effective antivenoms at the global level. This strategy is based on: (i) preparing validated collections of representative venom pools from the most medically dangerous snakes in high-risk regions of the world; (ii) strengthening the capacity of national antivenom manufacturing and quality control laboratories and their regulatory authorities and establishing new facilities in developing countries through technology transfer, as an integral part of efforts to develop their biological products industry; (iii) getting established laboratories to generate antivenoms for various regions of the world; and (iv) getting governments and relevant organizations to give snakebite envenoming due recognition within national and international public health policy frameworks. These ways of making antivenom available should be complemented by actions to improve health information systems, the accessibility of antivenoms, the training of medical and nursing staff, and community-based education. Such a multicomponent strategy involving stakeholders on many levels could help consolidate sustainable improvements in antivenom availability worldwide. PMID:25110378

  8. Integrating New Technology Solutions to Improve Plant Operations

    SciTech Connect

    HEAVIN, ERIC

    2004-06-29

    Continuing advancements in software and hardware technology are providing facilities the opportunity for improvements in the areas of safety, regulatory compliance, administrative control, data collection, and reporting. Implementing these changes to improve plant operating efficiency can also create many challenges which include but are not limited to: justifying cost, planning for scalability, implementing applications across varied platforms, integrating multitudes of proprietary vendor applications, and creating a common vision for diverse process improvement projects. The Defense Programs (DP) facility at the Savannah River Site meets these challenges on a daily basis. Like many other plants, DP, has room for improvement when it comes to effective and clear communication, data entry, data storage, and system integration. Specific examples of areas targeted for improvement include: shift turnover meetings using system status data one to two hours old, lockouts and alarm inhibits performed on points on the Distributed Control System (DCS) and tracked in a paper logbook, disconnected systems preventing preemptive correction of regulatory compliance issues, and countless examples of additional task and data duplication on independent systems. Investment of time, money, and careful planning addressing these issues are already providing returns in the form of increased efficiency, improved plant tracking and reduced cost of implementing the next process improvement. Specific examples of improving plant operations through thoroughly planned Rapid Application Development of new applications are discussed. Integration of dissimilar and independent data sources (NovaTech D/3 DCS, SQL Server, Access, Filemaker Pro, etc.) is also explored. The tangible benefits of the implementation of the different programs to solve the operational problems previously described are analyzed in an in-depth and comparative manner.

  9. Luminant's Big Brown Plant wins for continuous improvement and safety programs

    SciTech Connect

    Peltier, R.

    2008-07-15

    Staff from Luminant's Big Brown Plant accepted the PRB Coal Users' Group's top honour for innovative improvements to coal-handling systems and a sterling safety record. The numbers reveal their accomplishments: an average EFOR less than 4%, an availability factor averaging 90% for a plant that burns a lignite/PRB mix, and staff who worked more than 2.6 million man-hours since March 2000 without a lost-time injury. 13 photos., 1 tab.

  10. New catalyst improves sulfur recovery at Canadian plant

    SciTech Connect

    Nasato, E. ); MacDougall, R.S. ); Lagas, J.A. )

    1994-02-28

    Installation at Mobil Oil Canada Ltd.'s Lone Pine Creek, Alta., gas plant of a second-generation Superclaus catalyst has, combined with the first-generation catalyst, resulted in higher overall sulfur recovery at lower reactor temperatures. Superclaus reactor inlet temperatures have been reduced from 255 to 200 C. and as a result have saved on utility costs and reduced tail-gas flow and CO[sub 2] emissions. Initial results indicate overall plant sulfur recovery has improved to the 98.7--98.9% range, up from the 98.0--98.3% first-generation catalyst performance level. The enhanced second-generation catalyst has also proven more operationally flexible than the first-generation catalyst. The paper describes the improved catalyst, the Superclaus process, catalyst performance, catalyst loading, equipment modifications, and performance of the plant.

  11. Genomics Approaches For Improving Salinity Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Nongpiur, Ramsong Chantre; Singla-Pareek, Sneh Lata; Pareek, Ashwani

    2016-08-01

    Salinity is one of the major factors which reduces crop production worldwide. Plant responses to salinity are highly complex and involve a plethora of genes. Due to its multigenicity, it has been difficult to attain a complete understanding of how plants respond to salinity. Genomics has progressed tremendously over the past decade and has played a crucial role towards providing necessary knowledge for crop improvement. Through genomics, we have been able to identify and characterize the genes involved in salinity stress response, map out signaling pathways and ultimately utilize this information for improving the salinity tolerance of existing crops. The use of new tools, such as gene pyramiding, in genetic engineering and marker assisted breeding has tremendously enhanced our ability to generate stress tolerant crops. Genome editing technologies such as Zinc finger nucleases, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 also provide newer and faster avenues for plant biologists to generate precisely engineered crops. PMID:27499683

  12. Plant Growth Environments with Programmable Relative Humidity and Homogeneous Nutrient Availability.

    PubMed

    Lind, Kara R; Lee, Nigel; Sizmur, Tom; Siemianowski, Oskar; Van Bruggen, Shawn; Ganapathysubramaniam, Baskar; Cademartiri, Ludovico

    2016-01-01

    We describe the design, characterization, and use of "programmable", sterile growth environments for individual (or small sets of) plants. The specific relative humidities and nutrient availability experienced by the plant is established (RH between 15% and 95%; nutrient concentration as desired) during the setup of the growth environment, which takes about 5 minutes and <1$ in disposable cost. These systems maintain these environmental parameters constant for at least 14 days with minimal intervention (one minute every two days). The design is composed entirely of off-the-shelf components (e.g., LEGO® bricks) and is characterized by (i) a separation of root and shoot environment (which is physiologically relevant and facilitates imposing specific conditions on the root system, e.g., darkness), (ii) the development of the root system on a flat surface, where the root enjoys constant contact with nutrient solution and air, (iii) a compatibility with root phenotyping. We demonstrate phenotyping by characterizing root systems of Brassica rapa plants growing in different relative humidities (55%, 75%, and 95%). While most phenotypes were found to be sensitive to these environmental changes, a phenotype tightly associated with root system topology-the size distribution of the areas encircled by roots-appeared to be remarkably and counterintuitively insensitive to humidity changes. These setups combine many of the advantages of hydroponics conditions (e.g., root phenotyping, complete control over nutrient composition, scalability) and soil conditions (e.g., aeration of roots, shading of roots), while being comparable in cost and setup time to Magenta® boxes. PMID:27304431

  13. Plant Growth Environments with Programmable Relative Humidity and Homogeneous Nutrient Availability

    PubMed Central

    Lind, Kara R.; Lee, Nigel; Sizmur, Tom; Siemianowski, Oskar; Van Bruggen, Shawn; Ganapathysubramaniam, Baskar

    2016-01-01

    We describe the design, characterization, and use of “programmable”, sterile growth environments for individual (or small sets of) plants. The specific relative humidities and nutrient availability experienced by the plant is established (RH between 15% and 95%; nutrient concentration as desired) during the setup of the growth environment, which takes about 5 minutes and <1$ in disposable cost. These systems maintain these environmental parameters constant for at least 14 days with minimal intervention (one minute every two days). The design is composed entirely of off-the-shelf components (e.g., LEGO® bricks) and is characterized by (i) a separation of root and shoot environment (which is physiologically relevant and facilitates imposing specific conditions on the root system, e.g., darkness), (ii) the development of the root system on a flat surface, where the root enjoys constant contact with nutrient solution and air, (iii) a compatibility with root phenotyping. We demonstrate phenotyping by characterizing root systems of Brassica rapa plants growing in different relative humidities (55%, 75%, and 95%). While most phenotypes were found to be sensitive to these environmental changes, a phenotype tightly associated with root system topology–the size distribution of the areas encircled by roots–appeared to be remarkably and counterintuitively insensitive to humidity changes. These setups combine many of the advantages of hydroponics conditions (e.g., root phenotyping, complete control over nutrient composition, scalability) and soil conditions (e.g., aeration of roots, shading of roots), while being comparable in cost and setup time to Magenta® boxes. PMID:27304431

  14. Inhibition of Fungal Plant Pathogens by Synergistic Action of Chito-Oligosaccharides and Commercially Available Fungicides

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Md. Hafizur; Shovan, Latifur Rahman; Hjeljord, Linda Gordon; Aam, Berit Bjugan; Eijsink, Vincent G. H.; Sørlie, Morten; Tronsmo, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Chitosan is a linear heteropolymer consisting of β 1,4-linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc) and D-glucosamine (GlcN). We have compared the antifungal activity of chitosan with DPn (average degree of polymerization) 206 and FA (fraction of acetylation) 0.15 and of enzymatically produced chito-oligosaccharides (CHOS) of different DPn alone and in combination with commercially available synthetic fungicides, against Botrytis cinerea, the causative agent of gray mold in numerous fruit and vegetable crops. CHOS with DPn in the range of 15–40 had the greatest anti-fungal activity. The combination of CHOS and low dosages of synthetic fungicides showed synergistic effects on antifungal activity in both in vitro and in vivo assays. Our study shows that CHOS enhance the activity of commercially available fungicides. Thus, addition of CHOS, available as a nontoxic byproduct of the shellfish industry, may reduce the amounts of fungicides that are needed to control plant diseases. PMID:24770723

  15. Micronutrient fortification of plants through plant breeding: can it improve nutrition in man at low cost?

    PubMed

    Bouis, Howarth E

    2003-05-01

    Can commonly-eaten food staple crops be developed that fortify their seeds with essential minerals and vitamins? Can farmers be induced to grow such varieties? If so, would this result in a marked improvement in human nutrition at a lower cost than existing nutrition interventions? An interdisciplinary international effort is underway to breed for mineral- and vitamin-dense varieties of rice, wheat, maize, beans and cassava for release to farmers in developing countries. The biofortification strategy seeks to take advantage of the consistent daily consumption of large amounts of food staples by all family members, including women and children as they are most at risk for micronutrient malnutrition. As a consequence of the predominance of food staples in the diets of the poor, this strategy implicitly targets low-income households. After the one-time investment is made to develop seeds that fortify themselves, recurrent costs are low and germplasm may be shared internationally. It is this multiplier aspect of plant breeding across time and distance that makes it so cost-effective. Once in place, the biofortified crop system is highly sustainable. Nutritionally-improved varieties will continue to be grown and consumed year after year, even if government attention and international funding for micronutrient issues fades. Biofortification provides a truly feasible means of reaching malnourished populations in relatively remote rural areas, delivering naturally-fortified foods to population groups with limited access to commercially-marketed fortified foods that are more readily available in urban areas. Biofortification and commercial fortification are, therefore, highly complementary. Breeding for higher trace mineral density in seeds will not incur a yield penalty. Mineral-packed seeds sell themselves to farmers because, as recent research has shown, these trace minerals are essential in helping plants resist disease and other environmental stresses. More seedlings

  16. Antibacterial activity of commercially available plant-derived essential oils against oral pathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Bardají, D K R; Reis, E B; Medeiros, T C T; Lucarini, R; Crotti, A E M; Martins, C H G

    2016-01-01

    This work investigated the antibacterial activity of 15 commercially available plant-derived essential oils (EOs) against a panel of oral pathogens. The broth microdilution method afforded the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) of the assayed EOs. The EO obtained from Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Lauraceae) (CZ-EO) displayed moderate activity against Fusobacterium nucleatum (MIC and MBC = 125 μg/mL), Actinomyces naeslundii (MIC and MBC = 125 μg/mL), Prevotella nigrescens (MIC and MBC = 125 μg/mL) and Streptococcus mutans (MIC = 200 μg/mL; MBC = 400 μg/mL). (Z)-isosafrole (85.3%) was the main chemical component of this oil. We did not detect cinnamaldehyde, previously described as the major constituent of CZ-EO, in specimens collected in other countries. PMID:26165725

  17. Effects of plant availability on population size and dynamics of an insect community: diamondback moth and two of its parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Soufbaf, M; Fathipour, Y; Karimzadeh, J; Zalucki, M P

    2014-08-01

    To understand the effect of plant availability/structure on the population size and dynamics of insects, a specialist herbivore in the presence of two of its parasitoids was studied in four replicated time-series experiments with high and low plant availabilities; under the latter condition, the herbivore suffered from some periods of resource limitation (starvation) and little plant-related structural refuges. Population dynamics of the parasitoid Cotesia vestalis was governed mainly by the delayed density-dependent process under both plant setups. The parasitoid, Diadegma semiclausum, under different plant availabilities and different coexistence situations (either +competitor or -competitor) showed dynamics patterns that were governed mainly by the delayed density process (significant lags at weeks 2-4). Both the competing parasitoids did not experience beneficial or costly interferences from each other in terms of their own population size when the plant resource was limited. Variation in the Plutella xylostella population under limited plant availability is higher than that under the other plant setup. For both parasitoids, under limited plant setup, the extinction risk was lower when parasitoids were engaged in competition, while under the unlimited plant setup, the mentioned risk was higher when parasitoids competed. In this situation, parasitoids suffered from two forces, competition and higher escaped hosts. PMID:24521693

  18. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Paez-Garcia, Ana; Motes, Christy M.; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Chen, Rujin; Blancaflor, Elison B.; Monteros, Maria J.

    2015-01-01

    Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to their underground location. Plant breeding efforts aimed at modifying root traits can result in novel, more stress-tolerant crops and increased yield by enhancing the capacity of the plant for soil exploration and, thus, water and nutrient acquisition. Available approaches for root phenotyping in laboratory, greenhouse and field encompass simple agar plates to labor-intensive root digging (i.e., shovelomics) and soil boring methods, the construction of underground root observation stations and sophisticated computer-assisted root imaging. Here, we summarize root architectural traits relevant to crop productivity, survey root phenotyping strategies and describe their advantages, limitations and practical value for crop and forage breeding programs. PMID:27135332

  19. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement.

    PubMed

    Paez-Garcia, Ana; Motes, Christy M; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Chen, Rujin; Blancaflor, Elison B; Monteros, Maria J

    2015-01-01

    Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to their underground location. Plant breeding efforts aimed at modifying root traits can result in novel, more stress-tolerant crops and increased yield by enhancing the capacity of the plant for soil exploration and, thus, water and nutrient acquisition. Available approaches for root phenotyping in laboratory, greenhouse and field encompass simple agar plates to labor-intensive root digging (i.e., shovelomics) and soil boring methods, the construction of underground root observation stations and sophisticated computer-assisted root imaging. Here, we summarize root architectural traits relevant to crop productivity, survey root phenotyping strategies and describe their advantages, limitations and practical value for crop and forage breeding programs. PMID:27135332

  20. Ways to Improve Russian Coal-Fired Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Tumanovskii, A. G. Olkhovsky, G. G.

    2015-07-15

    Coal is an important fuel for the electric power industry of Russia, especially in Ural and the eastern part of the country. It is fired in boilers of large (200 – 800 MW) condensing power units and in many cogeneration power plants with units rated at 50 – 180 MW. Many coal-fired power plants have been operated for more than 40 – 50 years. Though serviceable, their equipment is obsolete and does not comply with the current efficiency, environmental, staffing, and availability standards. It is urgent to retrofit and upgrade such power plants using advanced equipment, engineering and business ideas. Russian power-plant engineering companies have designed such advanced power units and their equipment such as boilers, turbines, auxiliaries, process and environmental control systems similar to those produced by the world’s leading manufacturers. Their performance and ways of implementation are discussed.

  1. Chromium fractionation and plant availability in tannery-sludge amended soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allué, Josep; Moya Garcés, Alba; Bech, Jaume; Barceló, Juan; Poschenrieder, Charlotte

    2013-04-01

    The leather industry represents an important economic sector in both developed and developing countries. Chromium tanning is the major process used to obtain high quality leather. Within the REACH regulation the use of Cr, especially CrVI, in the tanning process is under discussion in Europe. High Cr concentration in shoes and other Cr-tanned leather products can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive population. Moreover, the high Cr concentration is the major limiting factor for the use of tannery sludge as a source of organic matter in agricultural soils. Interest in Cr, however is not limited to its potential toxic effects. Chromium III is used as a dietary supplement because there are reports, but also controversy, about the positive effects of Cr III in glucose tolerance and type-2 diabetes. Adequate intake levels for Cr by the diet have been established between 25 and 35 µg/day for adult females and males, respectively. Sufficient supply of Cr III by the diet is preferable to the use of CrIII-salt based dietary supplements. The objective of the present work was to investigate whether Cr from tannery sludge-amended soil is available to Trigonella foenum-graecum plants, a plant used both as a spice and as a medicinal herb, because of its hypoglucemic effects. For this purpose clay loam soil (pH 7.8) was sieved (2mm) and thoroughly mixed with tannery sludge from a depuration station (Igualadina Depuració i Recuperació S.L., Igualada, Barcelona, Spain). The sludge had a Cr concentration of 6,034mg kg-1 and a 0.73 % of NH4-nitrogen. All the Cr was in the form of CrIII. Three treatments were disposed. Control soil receiving no sludge, a 60 mg kg-1 Cr treatment (10 g fresh sludge kg-1 soil) and a 120 mg kg-1 Cr treatment (20 g fresh sludge kg-1 soil). Control soil and the soil treated with 10g kg-1 sludge received NPK fertilizer in the form of ammonium sulfate, superfosfate, and KCl to rise the N,P, and K concentrations to similar levels to those achieved in the

  2. Conservation and restoration of indigenous plants to improve community livelihoods: the Useful Plants Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulian, Tiziana; Sacandé, Moctar; Mattana, Efisio

    2014-05-01

    Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership (MSBP) is one of the largest ex situ plant conservation initiatives, which is focused on saving plants in and from regions most at risk, particularly in drylands. Seeds are collected and stored in seed banks in the country of origin and duplicated in the Millennium Seed Bank in the UK. The MSBP also strengthens the capacity of local communities to successfully conserve and sustainably use indigenous plants, which are important for their wellbeing. Since 2007, high quality seed collections and research information have been gathered on ca. 700 useful indigenous plant species that were selected by communities in Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Mexico and South Africa through Project MGU - The Useful Plants Project. These communities range from various farmer's groups and organisations to traditional healers, organic cotton/crop producers and primary schools. The information on seed conservation and plant propagation was used to train communities and to propagate ca. 200 species that were then planted in local gardens, and as species reintroduced for reforestation programmes and enriching village forests. Experimental plots have also been established to further investigate the field performance (plant survival and growth rate) of indigenous species, using low cost procedures. In addition, the activities support revenue generation for local communities directly through the sustainable use of plant products or indirectly through wider environmental and cultural services. This project has confirmed the potential of biodiversity conservation to improve food security and human health, enhance community livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of land and people to the changing climate. This approach of using indigenous species and having local communities play a central role from the selection of species to their planting and establishment, supported by complementary research, may represent a model for other regions of the world, where

  3. Engineering performance monitoring: Sustained contributions to plant performance improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Bebko, J.J. )

    1992-01-01

    With the aim of achieving excellence in an engineering department that makes both individual project-by-project contributions to plant performance improvement and sustained overall contributions to plant performance, the Niagara Mohawk Nuclear Engineering Department went back to the basics of running a business and established an Engineering Performance Monitoring System. This system focused on the unique products and services of the department and their cost, schedule, and quality parameters. The goals were to provide the best possible service to customers and the generation department and to be one of the best engineering departments in the industry.

  4. Improving geothermal power plants with a binary cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomarov, G. V.; Shipkov, A. A.; Sorokina, E. V.

    2015-12-01

    The recent development of binary geothermal technology is analyzed. General trends in the introduction of low-temperature geothermal sources are summarized. The use of single-phase low-temperature geothermal fluids in binary power plants proves possible and expedient. The benefits of power plants with a binary cycle in comparison with traditional systems are shown. The selection of the working fluid is considered, and the influence of the fluid's physicochemical properties on the design of the binary power plant is discussed. The design of binary power plants is based on the chemical composition and energy potential of the geothermal fluids and on the landscape and climatic conditions at the intended location. Experience in developing a prototype 2.5 MW Russian binary power unit at Pauzhetka geothermal power plant (Kamchatka) is outlined. Most binary systems are designed individually for a specific location. Means of improving the technology and equipment at binary geothermal power plants are identified. One option is the development of modular systems based on several binary systems that employ the heat from the working fluid at different temperatures.

  5. Physiologically available cyanide (PAC) in manufactured gas plant waste and soil samples

    SciTech Connect

    Magee, B.; Taft, A.; Ratliff, W.; Kelley, J.; Sullivan, J.; Pancorbo, O.

    1995-12-31

    Iron-complexed cyanide compounds, such as ferri-ferrocyanide (Prussian Blue), are wastes associated with former manufactured gas plant (MGP) facilities. When tested for total cyanide, these wastes often show a high total cyanide content. Because simple cyanide salts are acutely toxic, cyanide compounds can be the subject of concern. However, Prussian Blue and related species are known to have a low order of human and animal toxicity. Toxicology data on complexed cyanides will be presented. Another issue regarding Prussian Blue and related species is that the total cyanide method does not accurately represent the amount of free cyanide released from these cyanide species. The method involves boiling the sample in an acidic solution under vacuum to force the formation of HCN gas. Thus, Prussian Blue, which is known to be low in toxicity, cannot be properly evaluated with current methods. The Massachusetts Natural Gas Council initiated a program with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to develop a method that would define the amount of cyanide that is able to be converted into hydrogen cyanide under the pH conditions of the stomach. It is demonstrated that less than 1% of the cyanide present in Prussian Blue samples and soils from MGP sites can be converted to HCN under the conditions of the human stomach. The physiologically available cyanide method has been designed to be executed at a higher temperature for one hour. It is shown that physiologically available cyanide in MGP samples is < 5--15% of total cyanide.

  6. Therapeutic Education in Improving Cancer Pain Management: A Synthesis of Available Studies.

    PubMed

    Prevost, Virginie; Delorme, Claire; Grach, Marie-Christine; Chvetzoff, Gisèle; Hureau, Magalie

    2016-07-01

    This literature review aims to synthesize available studies and to update findings in order to obtain a current, comprehensive estimate of the benefits of pain education. Forty-four original articles obtained from the PubMed database were analyzed to investigate which protocols could be most effective in improving pain management. Recent studies indicate a growing interest in evaluating patients' skills and attitudes; these include satisfaction with cancer pain treatment, patient-reported improvement, and patient participation-all of which could be dependable benchmarks for evaluating the effectiveness of educational programs. Besides pain measurement, recent studies advance support for the importance of assessing newly developed outcome criteria. In this sense, patients' active participation and decision making in their pain management are probably the most relevant goals of pain education. PMID:25991567

  7. Experimental Investigation of climate change effects on plant available water on rocky desert slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus; Hikel, H.; Schwanghart, W.; Yair, Aaron

    2010-05-01

    Deserts and semi-deserts cover more than one-third of the global land surface, affecting about 49 million km2 with aridity. In many arid regions, slopes are characterized by sparse and patchy soil and vegetation cover, forming so called 'fertility islands'. The mosaic of soil and vegetation is dynamically interdependent, controlled by adaption of the ecosystem to limited and spatially as well as temporarily variable precipitation. Commonly, the role of the pattern of rocks and soil is considered to act as a natural water harvesting system. In an ideal system, the rocky area supplying water matches the soil's infiltration capacity for the given rainfall magnitude. This approach limits the assessment of plant water supply to the amount and intensity of rainfall events, i.e. the supply of water. In reality, the demand of water by the plants also requires consideration. Therefore, the volume of soil storing water is equally important to the ration of soil to rock. Soil volume determines the absolute amount of water stored in the soil and is thus indicative of the time period during which plants do not experience drought related stress between rainfall events. With climate change likely affecting the temporal pattern of rainfall events, a detailed understanding of soil-water interaction, including the storage capacity of patchy soils on rocky slopes, is required. The aim of the study is to examine the relationship between climate change and plant available water on patchy soils in the Negev desert. Thirteen micro-catchments near Sede Boqer were examined. For each micro-catchment, soil volume and distribution was estimated by laser scanning before and after soil excavation. Porosity was estimated by weighing the excavated soil. Before excavation, sprinkling experiments were conducted. Rainfall of 18mm/h was applied to an area of 1m2 each. The experiments lasted 25 to 40 minutes, until equilibrium runoff rates were achieved. Based on these data, rainfall required for soil

  8. 78 FR 67100 - Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-08

    .... In a notice \\2\\ published in ] the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41362-41363, Docket No... (77 FR 13258-13260, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0129) a notice describing our public review process for... in any plant or plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman animal, a parasitic plant, a bacterium,...

  9. 76 FR 37770 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-28

    ... Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason To... movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such...

  10. 77 FR 41363 - BASF Plant Science, LP; Availability of Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-13

    ..., ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or... produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant... status. On March 6, 2012, we published in the Federal Register (77 FR 13258-13260, Docket No....

  11. 76 FR 27303 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-11

    ... Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to... movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such...

  12. Carbon availability triggers the decomposition of plant litter and assimilation of nitrogen by an ectomycorrhizal fungus

    PubMed Central

    Rineau, F; Shah, F; Smits, M M; Persson, P; Johansson, T; Carleer, R; Troein, C; Tunlid, A

    2013-01-01

    The majority of nitrogen in forest soils is found in organic matter–protein complexes. Ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) are thought to have a key role in decomposing and mobilizing nitrogen from such complexes. However, little is known about the mechanisms governing these processes, how they are regulated by the carbon in the host plant and the availability of more easily available forms of nitrogen sources. Here we used spectroscopic analyses and transcriptome profiling to examine how the presence or absence of glucose and/or ammonium regulates decomposition of litter material and nitrogen mobilization by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus. We found that the assimilation of nitrogen and the decomposition of the litter material are triggered by the addition of glucose. Glucose addition also resulted in upregulation of the expression of genes encoding enzymes involved in oxidative degradation of polysaccharides and polyphenols, peptidases, nitrogen transporters and enzymes in pathways of the nitrogen and carbon metabolism. In contrast, the addition of ammonium to organic matter had relatively minor effects on the expression of transcripts and the decomposition of litter material, occurring only when glucose was present. On the basis of spectroscopic analyses, three major types of chemical modifications of the litter material were observed, each correlated with the expression of specific sets of genes encoding extracellular enzymes. Our data suggest that the expression of the decomposition and nitrogen assimilation processes of EMF can be tightly regulated by the host carbon supply and that the availability of inorganic nitrogen as such has limited effects on saprotrophic activities. PMID:23788332

  13. Improving phosphorus availability in an acid soil using organic amendments produced from agroindustrial wastes.

    PubMed

    Ch'ng, Huck Ywih; Ahmed, Osumanu Haruna; Majid, Nik Muhamad Ab

    2014-01-01

    In acid soils, soluble inorganic phosphorus is fixed by aluminium and iron. To overcome this problem, acid soils are limed to fix aluminium and iron but this practice is not economical. The practice is also not environmentally friendly. This study was conducted to improve phosphorus availability using organic amendments (biochar and compost produced from chicken litter and pineapple leaves, resp.) to fix aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus. Amending soil with biochar or compost or a mixture of biochar and compost increased total phosphorus, available phosphorus, inorganic phosphorus fractions (soluble inorganic phosphorus, aluminium bound inorganic phosphorus, iron bound inorganic phosphorus, redundant soluble inorganic phosphorus, and calcium bound phosphorus), and organic phosphorus. This was possible because the organic amendments increased soil pH and reduced exchangeable acidity, exchangeable aluminium, and exchangeable iron. The findings suggest that the organic amendments altered soil chemical properties in a way that enhanced the availability of phosphorus in this study. The amendments effectively fixed aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus, thus rendering phosphorus available by keeping the inorganic phosphorus in a bioavailable labile phosphorus pool for a longer period compared with application of Triple Superphosphate without organic amendments. PMID:25032229

  14. Improving Phosphorus Availability in an Acid Soil Using Organic Amendments Produced from Agroindustrial Wastes

    PubMed Central

    Ch'ng, Huck Ywih; Ahmed, Osumanu Haruna; Majid, Nik Muhamad Ab.

    2014-01-01

    In acid soils, soluble inorganic phosphorus is fixed by aluminium and iron. To overcome this problem, acid soils are limed to fix aluminium and iron but this practice is not economical. The practice is also not environmentally friendly. This study was conducted to improve phosphorus availability using organic amendments (biochar and compost produced from chicken litter and pineapple leaves, resp.) to fix aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus. Amending soil with biochar or compost or a mixture of biochar and compost increased total phosphorus, available phosphorus, inorganic phosphorus fractions (soluble inorganic phosphorus, aluminium bound inorganic phosphorus, iron bound inorganic phosphorus, redundant soluble inorganic phosphorus, and calcium bound phosphorus), and organic phosphorus. This was possible because the organic amendments increased soil pH and reduced exchangeable acidity, exchangeable aluminium, and exchangeable iron. The findings suggest that the organic amendments altered soil chemical properties in a way that enhanced the availability of phosphorus in this study. The amendments effectively fixed aluminium and iron instead of phosphorus, thus rendering phosphorus available by keeping the inorganic phosphorus in a bioavailable labile phosphorus pool for a longer period compared with application of Triple Superphosphate without organic amendments. PMID:25032229

  15. MAPK transgenic circuit to improve plant stress-tolerance?

    PubMed Central

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2014-01-01

    Thanks to their distinctive mode of action in a coordinated switch-like way, their multi-tiered signaling cascades and their involvement in cell responses to multiple internal and external stimuli, MAP kinases offer a remarkable possibility to be assembled into what we can call “MAPK transgenic circuits” to improve cell functions. Such circuit could be used to enhance cell signaling efficiency and boost cell functions for several purposes in plant biotechnology, medicine, and pharmaceutical industry. PMID:25482799

  16. Improving the Energy Efficiency of Pumped-Storage Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Artyukh, S. F.; Galat, V. V.; Kuz’min, V. V.; Chervonenko, I. I.; Shakaryan, Yu. G.; Sokur, P. V.

    2015-01-15

    Possible ways to improve the energy efficiency of hydroelectric generating sets of pumped-storage power plants (PSPPs) are studied. The Kiev PSPP is used as an example to show how its generating sets can be upgraded. It is concluded based on studies conducted that synchronous motor-generators should be replaced with asynchronized motor-generators. The feasibility of changing over the turbine to variable-speed operation is shown.

  17. Management Systems, Patient Quality Improvement, Resource Availability, and Substance Abuse Treatment Quality

    PubMed Central

    Fields, Dail; Roman, Paul M; Blum, Terry C

    2012-01-01

    Objective To examine the relationships among general management systems, patient-focused quality management/continuous process improvement (TQM/CPI) processes, resource availability, and multiple dimensions of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Data Sources/Study Setting Data are from a nationally representative sample of 221 SUD treatment centers through the National Treatment Center Study (NTCS). Study Design The design was a cross-sectional field study using latent variable structural equation models. The key variables are management practices, TQM/continuous quality improvement (CQI) practices, resource availability, and treatment center performance. Data Collection Interviews and questionnaires provided data from treatment center administrative directors and clinical directors in 2007–2008. Principal Findings Patient-focused TQM/CQI practices fully mediated the relationship between internal management practices and performance. The effects of TQM/CQI on performance are significantly larger for treatment centers with higher levels of staff per patient. Conclusions Internal management practices may create a setting that supports implementation of specific patient-focused practices and protocols inherent to TQM/CQI processes. However, the positive effects of internal management practices on treatment center performance occur through use of specific patient-focused TQM/CPI practices and have more impact when greater amounts of supporting resources are present. PMID:22098342

  18. Citrulline Supplementation Improves Organ Perfusion and Arginine Availability under Conditions with Enhanced Arginase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Wijnands, Karolina A.P.; Meesters, Dennis M.; van Barneveld, Kevin W.Y.; Visschers, Ruben G.J.; Briedé, Jacob J.; Vandendriessche, Benjamin; van Eijk, Hans M.H.; Bessems, Babs A.F.M.; van den Hoven, Nadine; von Wintersdorff, Christian J.H.; Brouckaert, Peter; Bouvy, Nicole D.; Lamers, Wouter H.; Cauwels, Anje; Poeze, Martijn

    2015-01-01

    Enhanced arginase-induced arginine consumption is believed to play a key role in the pathogenesis of sickle cell disease-induced end organ failure. Enhancement of arginine availability with l-arginine supplementation exhibited less consistent results; however, l-citrulline, the precursor of l-arginine, may be a promising alternative. In this study, we determined the effects of l-citrulline compared to l-arginine supplementation on arginine-nitric oxide (NO) metabolism, arginine availability and microcirculation in a murine model with acutely-enhanced arginase activity. The effects were measured in six groups of mice (n = 8 each) injected intraperitoneally with sterile saline or arginase (1000 IE/mouse) with or without being separately injected with l-citrulline or l-arginine 1 h prior to assessment of the microcirculation with side stream dark-field (SDF)-imaging or in vivo NO-production with electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy. Arginase injection caused a decrease in plasma and tissue arginine concentrations. l-arginine and l-citrulline supplementation both enhanced plasma and tissue arginine concentrations in arginase-injected mice. However, only the citrulline supplementation increased NO production and improved microcirculatory flow in arginase-injected mice. In conclusion, the present study provides for the first time in vivo experimental evidence that l-citrulline, and not l-arginine supplementation, improves the end organ microcirculation during conditions with acute arginase-induced arginine deficiency by increasing the NO concentration in tissues. PMID:26132994

  19. Biomass Allocation of Stoloniferous and Rhizomatous Plant in Response to Resource Availability: A Phylogenetic Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    Xie, Xiu-Fang; Hu, Yu-Kun; Pan, Xu; Liu, Feng-Hong; Song, Yao-Bin; Dong, Ming

    2016-01-01

    Resource allocation to different functions is central in life-history theory. Plasticity of functional traits allows clonal plants to regulate their resource allocation to meet changing environments. In this study, biomass allocation traits of clonal plants were categorized into absolute biomass for vegetative growth vs. for reproduction, and their relative ratios based on a data set including 115 species and derived from 139 published literatures. We examined general pattern of biomass allocation of clonal plants in response to availabilities of resource (e.g., light, nutrients, and water) using phylogenetic meta-analysis. We also tested whether the pattern differed among clonal organ types (stolon vs. rhizome). Overall, we found that stoloniferous plants were more sensitive to light intensity than rhizomatous plants, preferentially allocating biomass to vegetative growth, aboveground part and clonal reproduction under shaded conditions. Under nutrient- and water-poor condition, rhizomatous plants were constrained more by ontogeny than by resource availability, preferentially allocating biomass to belowground part. Biomass allocation between belowground and aboveground part of clonal plants generally supported the optimal allocation theory. No general pattern of trade-off was found between growth and reproduction, and neither between sexual and clonal reproduction. Using phylogenetic meta-analysis can avoid possible confounding effects of phylogeny on the results. Our results shown the optimal allocation theory explained a general trend, which the clonal plants are able to plastically regulate their biomass allocation, to cope with changing resource availability, at least in stoloniferous and rhizomatous plants. PMID:27200071

  20. Biomass Allocation of Stoloniferous and Rhizomatous Plant in Response to Resource Availability: A Phylogenetic Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Xiu-Fang; Hu, Yu-Kun; Pan, Xu; Liu, Feng-Hong; Song, Yao-Bin; Dong, Ming

    2016-01-01

    Resource allocation to different functions is central in life-history theory. Plasticity of functional traits allows clonal plants to regulate their resource allocation to meet changing environments. In this study, biomass allocation traits of clonal plants were categorized into absolute biomass for vegetative growth vs. for reproduction, and their relative ratios based on a data set including 115 species and derived from 139 published literatures. We examined general pattern of biomass allocation of clonal plants in response to availabilities of resource (e.g., light, nutrients, and water) using phylogenetic meta-analysis. We also tested whether the pattern differed among clonal organ types (stolon vs. rhizome). Overall, we found that stoloniferous plants were more sensitive to light intensity than rhizomatous plants, preferentially allocating biomass to vegetative growth, aboveground part and clonal reproduction under shaded conditions. Under nutrient- and water-poor condition, rhizomatous plants were constrained more by ontogeny than by resource availability, preferentially allocating biomass to belowground part. Biomass allocation between belowground and aboveground part of clonal plants generally supported the optimal allocation theory. No general pattern of trade-off was found between growth and reproduction, and neither between sexual and clonal reproduction. Using phylogenetic meta-analysis can avoid possible confounding effects of phylogeny on the results. Our results shown the optimal allocation theory explained a general trend, which the clonal plants are able to plastically regulate their biomass allocation, to cope with changing resource availability, at least in stoloniferous and rhizomatous plants. PMID:27200071

  1. 77 FR 10472 - Dow AgroScience LLC; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-22

    ...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Dow AgroScience LLC; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status... INFORMATION: On December 27, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 80872-80873, Docket No....

  2. Reduced Wind Speed Improves Plant Growth in a Desert City

    PubMed Central

    Bang, Christofer; Sabo, John L.; Faeth, Stanley H.

    2010-01-01

    Background The often dramatic effects of urbanization on community and ecosystem properties, such as primary productivity, abundances, and diversity are now well-established. In most cities local primary productivity increases and this extra energy flows upwards to alter diversity and relative abundances in higher trophic levels. The abiotic mechanisms thought to be responsible for increases in urban productivity are altered temperatures and light regimes, and increased nutrient and water inputs. However, another abiotic factor, wind speed, is also influenced by urbanization and well known for altering primary productivity in agricultural systems. Wind effects on primary productivity have heretofore not been studied in the context of urbanization. Methodology/Principal Findings We designed a field experiment to test if increased plant growth often observed in cities is explained by the sheltering effects of built structures. Wind speed was reduced by protecting Encelia farinosa (brittlebush) plants in urban, desert remnant and outlying desert localities via windbreaks while controlling for water availability and nutrient content. In all three habitats, we compared E. farinosa growth when protected by experimental windbreaks and in the open. E. farinosa plants protected against ambient wind in the desert and remnant areas grew faster in terms of biomass and height than exposed plants. As predicted, sheltered plants did not differ from unprotected plants in urban areas where wind speed is already reduced. Conclusion/Significance Our results indicate that reductions in wind speed due to built structures in cities contribute to increased plant productivity and thus also to changes in abundances and diversity of higher trophic levels. Our study emphasizes the need to incorporate wind speed in future urban ecological studies, as well as in planning for green space and sustainable cities. PMID:20548790

  3. Can measures of prey availability improve our ability to predict the abundance of large marine predators?

    PubMed

    Wirsing, Aaron J; Heithaus, Michael R; Dill, Lawrence M

    2007-09-01

    Apex marine predators can structure marine communities, so factors underlying their abundance are of broad interest. However, such data are almost completely lacking for large sharks. We assessed the relationship between tiger shark abundance, water temperature, and the availability of a variety of known prey over 5 years in Western Australia. Abundance of sharks in four size categories and the density of prey (cormorants, dugongs, sea snakes, sea turtles) were indexed using daily catch rates and transects, respectively. Across all sizes, thermal conditions were a determinant of abundance, with numerical peaks coinciding with periods of high water temperature. However, for sharks exceeding 300 cm total length, the inclusion of dugong density significantly improved temperature-based models, suggesting that use of particular areas by large tiger sharks is influenced by availability of this sirenian. We conclude that large marine predator population models may benefit from the inclusion of measures of prey availability, but only if such measures consider prey types separately and account for ontogenetic shifts in the diet of the predator in question. PMID:17549522

  4. Improving Data Availability for Better Access Performance: A Study on Caching Scientific Data on Distributed Workstations

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Xiaosong; Zhang, Zhe; Vazhkudai, Sudharshan S

    2009-01-01

    Client-side data caching serves as an excellent mechanism to store and analyze the rapidly growing amount of scientific data. In our previous work, we built a distributed local cache on unreliable desktop storage contributions. This offers several desirable properties, such as performance impedance matching, improved space utilization, and high parallel I/O bandwidth. Such a low-cost, best-effort cache, however, is faced with the vagaries of storage node availability: these donated machines may be significantly less reliable than dedicated systems and cannot be controlled centrally. In this paper, we address %the tradeoffs between techniques that favor %availability or performance when it comes to cache management. the performance impact of data availability in the distributed scientific data cache setting. We then present a novel approach to storage cache management, {\\em remote partial data recovery (RPDR)}. We compare our approach to two standard techniques, namely replication and erasure coding, both extended to the target caching environment. Our evaluation uses a trace-driven simulation parameterized with benchmarking results from our distributed cache prototype. The results with multiple real-world traces indicate that RPDR significantly outperforms both replication and erasure coding in many cases and overall the combination of RPDR and erasure coding yields the best performance.

  5. Availability Of Deep Groundwater-Derived CO2 For Plant Uptake In A Costa Rican Rainforest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberbauer, S. F.; Genereux, D. P.; Osburn, C. L.; Dierick, D.; Oviedo Vargas, D.

    2014-12-01

    isotopically-heavy CO2 from the Arboleda stream. Keeling plots of samples taken at the Arboleda and Sura deviated from those over the Taconazo and indicated a source of 13C other than atmospheric air and respired CO2. Our data suggest that CO2 from regional groundwater has the potential to be available to riparian plants, but primarily at areas of turbulent water flow.

  6. Compressed Air System Modifications Improve Efficiency at a Plastics Blow Molding Plant (Southeastern Container Plant)

    SciTech Connect

    2001-06-01

    This case study is one in a series on industrial firms who are implementing energy efficient technologies and system improvements into their manufacturing processes. This case study documents the activities, savings, and lessons learned on the plastics blow molding plant project.

  7. Estimating plant available water for general crop simulations in ALMANAC/APEX/EPIC/SWAT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Process-based simulation models ALMANAC/APEX/EPIC/SWAT contain generalized plant growth subroutines to predict biomass and crop yield. Environmental constraints typically restrict plant growth and yield. Water stress is often an important limiting factor; it is calculated as the sum of water use f...

  8. Availability Improvement of Layer 2 Seamless Networks Using OpenFlow

    PubMed Central

    Molina, Elias; Jacob, Eduardo; Matias, Jon; Moreira, Naiara; Astarloa, Armando

    2015-01-01

    The network robustness and reliability are strongly influenced by the implementation of redundancy and its ability of reacting to changes. In situations where packet loss or maximum latency requirements are critical, replication of resources and information may become the optimal technique. To this end, the IEC 62439-3 Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) provides seamless recovery in layer 2 networks by delegating the redundancy management to the end-nodes. In this paper, we present a combination of the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) approach and PRP topologies to establish a higher level of redundancy and thereby, through several active paths provisioned via the OpenFlow protocol, the global reliability is increased, as well as data flows are managed efficiently. Hence, the experiments with multiple failure scenarios, which have been run over the Mininet network emulator, show the improvement in the availability and responsiveness over other traditional technologies based on a single active path. PMID:25759861

  9. Availability improvement of layer 2 seamless networks using OpenFlow.

    PubMed

    Molina, Elias; Jacob, Eduardo; Matias, Jon; Moreira, Naiara; Astarloa, Armando

    2015-01-01

    The network robustness and reliability are strongly influenced by the implementation of redundancy and its ability of reacting to changes. In situations where packet loss or maximum latency requirements are critical, replication of resources and information may become the optimal technique. To this end, the IEC 62439-3 Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) provides seamless recovery in layer 2 networks by delegating the redundancy management to the end-nodes. In this paper, we present a combination of the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) approach and PRP topologies to establish a higher level of redundancy and thereby, through several active paths provisioned via the OpenFlow protocol, the global reliability is increased, as well as data flows are managed efficiently. Hence, the experiments with multiple failure scenarios, which have been run over the Mininet network emulator, show the improvement in the availability and responsiveness over other traditional technologies based on a single active path. PMID:25759861

  10. Effects of rapeseed residue on lead and cadmium availability and uptake by rice plants in heavy metal contaminated paddy soil.

    PubMed

    Ok, Yong Sik; Usman, Adel R A; Lee, Sang Soo; Abd El-Azeem, Samy A M; Choi, Bongsu; Hashimoto, Yohey; Yang, Jae E

    2011-10-01

    Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) has been cultivated for biodiesel production worldwide. Winter rapeseed is commonly grown in the southern part of Korea under a rice-rapeseed double cropping system. In this study, a greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to assess the effects of rapeseed residue applied as a green manure alone or in combinations with mineral N fertilizer on Cd and Pb speciation in the contaminated paddy soil and their availability to rice plant (Oryza sativa L.). The changes in soil chemical and biological properties in response to the addition of rapeseed residue were also evaluated. Specifically, the following four treatments were evaluated: 100% mineral N fertilizer (N100) as a control, 70% mineral N fertilizer+rapeseed residue (N70+R), 30% mineral N fertilizer+rapeseed residue (N30+R) and rapeseed residue alone (R). The electrical conductivity and exchangeable cations of the rice paddy soil subjected to the R treatment or in combinations with mineral N fertilizer treatment, N70+R and N30+R, were higher than those in soils subjected to the N100 treatment. However, the soil pH value with the R treatment (pH 6.3) was lower than that with N100 treatment (pH 6.9). Use of rapeseed residue as a green manure led to an increase in soil organic matter (SOM) and enhanced the microbial populations in the soil. Sequential extraction also revealed that the addition of rapeseed residue decreased the easily accessible fraction of Cd by 5-14% and Pb by 30-39% through the transformation into less accessible fractions, thereby reducing metal availability to the rice plant. Overall, the incorporation of rapeseed residue into the metal contaminated rice paddy soils may sustain SOM, improve the soil chemical and biological properties, and decrease the heavy metal phytoavailability. PMID:21764102

  11. Plant exomics: Concepts, applications and methodologies in crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    Hashmi, Uzair; Shafqat, Samia; Khan, Faria; Majid, Misbah; Hussain, Harris; Kazi, Alvina Gul; John, Riffat; Ahmad, Parvaiz

    2015-01-01

    Molecular breeding has a crucial role in improvement of crops. Conventional breeding techniques have failed to ameliorate food production. Next generation sequencing has established new concepts of molecular breeding. Exome sequencing has proven to be a significant tool for assessing natural evolution in plants, studying host pathogen interactions and betterment of crop production as exons assist in interpretation of allelic variation with respect to their phenotype. This review covers the platforms for exome sequencing, next generation sequencing technologies that have revolutionized exome sequencing and led toward development of third generation sequencing. Also discussed in this review are the uses of these sequencing technologies to improve wheat, rice and cotton yield and how these technologies are used in exploring the biodiversity of crops, providing better understanding of plant-host pathogen interaction and assessing the process of natural evolution in crops and it also covers how exome sequencing identifies the gene pool involved in symbiotic and other co-existential systems. Furthermore, we conclude how integration of other methodologies including whole genome sequencing, proteomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics with plant exomics covers the areas which are left untouched with exomics alone and in the end how these integration will transform the future of crops. PMID:25482786

  12. Plant exomics: concepts, applications and methodologies in crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Hashmi, Uzair; Shafqat, Samia; Khan, Faria; Majid, Misbah; Hussain, Harris; Kazi, Alvina Gul; John, Riffat; Ahmad, Parvaiz

    2015-01-01

    Molecular breeding has a crucial role in improvement of crops. Conventional breeding techniques have failed to ameliorate food production. Next generation sequencing has established new concepts of molecular breeding. Exome sequencing has proven to be a significant tool for assessing natural evolution in plants, studying host pathogen interactions and betterment of crop production as exons assist in interpretation of allelic variation with respect to their phenotype. This review covers the platforms for exome sequencing, next generation sequencing technologies that have revolutionized exome sequencing and led toward development of third generation sequencing. Also discussed in this review are the uses of these sequencing technologies to improve wheat, rice and cotton yield and how these technologies are used in exploring the biodiversity of crops, providing better understanding of plant-host pathogen interaction and assessing the process of natural evolution in crops and it also covers how exome sequencing identifies the gene pool involved in symbiotic and other co-existential systems. Furthermore, we conclude how integration of other methodologies including whole genome sequencing, proteomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics with plant exomics covers the areas which are left untouched with exomics alone and in the end how these integration will transform the future of crops. PMID:25482786

  13. Structure determination and improved model of plant photosystem I.

    PubMed

    Amunts, Alexey; Toporik, Hila; Borovikova, Anna; Nelson, Nathan

    2010-01-29

    Photosystem I functions as a sunlight energy converter, catalyzing one of the initial steps in driving oxygenic photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, algae, and higher plants. Functionally, Photosystem I captures sunlight and transfers the excitation energy through an intricate and precisely organized antenna system, consisting of a pigment network, to the center of the molecule, where it is used in the transmembrane electron transfer reaction. Our current understanding of the sophisticated mechanisms underlying these processes has profited greatly from elucidation of the crystal structures of the Photosystem I complex. In this report, we describe the developments that ultimately led to enhanced structural information of plant Photosystem I. In addition, we report an improved crystallographic model at 3.3-A resolution, which allows analysis of the structure in more detail. An improved electron density map yielded identification and tracing of subunit PsaK. The location of an additional ten beta-carotenes as well as five chlorophylls and several loop regions, which were previously uninterpretable, are now modeled. This represents the most complete plant Photosystem I structure obtained thus far, revealing the locations of and interactions among 17 protein subunits and 193 non-covalently bound photochemical cofactors. Using the new crystal structure, we examine the network of contacts among the protein subunits from the structural perspective, which provide the basis for elucidating the functional organization of the complex. PMID:19923216

  14. Acclimation improves salt stress tolerance in Zea mays plants.

    PubMed

    Pandolfi, Camilla; Azzarello, Elisa; Mancuso, Stefano; Shabala, Sergey

    2016-08-20

    Plants exposure to low level salinity activates an array of processes leading to an improvement of plant stress tolerance. Although the beneficial effect of acclimation was demonstrated in many herbaceous species, underlying mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain poorly understood. In the present study we have addressed this issue by investigating ionic mechanisms underlying the process of plant acclimation to salinity stress in Zea mays. Effect of acclimation were examined in two parallel sets of experiments: a growth experiment for agronomic assessments, sap analysis, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll content, and confocal laser scanning imaging; and a lab experiment for in vivo ion flux measurements from root tissues. Being exposed to salinity, acclimated plants (1) retain more K(+) but accumulate less Na(+) in roots; (2) have better vacuolar Na(+) sequestration ability in leaves and thus are capable of accumulating larger amounts of Na(+) in the shoot without having any detrimental effect on leaf photochemistry; and (3) rely more on Na(+) for osmotic adjustment in the shoot. At the same time, acclimation affect was not related in increased root Na(+) exclusion ability. It appears that even in a such salt-sensitive species as maize, Na(+) exclusion from uptake is of a much less importance compared with the efficient vacuolar Na(+) sequestration in the shoot. PMID:27372277

  15. Improvements in plant growth rate using underwater discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takaki, K.; Takahata, J.; Watanabe, S.; Satta, N.; Yamada, O.; Fujio, T.; Sasaki, Y.

    2013-03-01

    The drainage water from plant pots was irradiated by plasma and then recycled to irrigate plants for improving the growth rate by supplying nutrients to plants and inactivating the bacteria in the bed-soil. Brassica rapa var. perviridis (Chinese cabbage; Brassica campestris) plants were cultivated in pots filled with artificial soil, which included the use of chicken droppings as a fertiliser. The water was recycled once per day from a drainage water pool and added to the bed-soil in the pots. A magnetic compression type pulsed power generator was used to produce underwater discharge with repetition rate of 250 pps. The plasma irradiation times were set as 10 and 20 minutes per day over 28 days of cultivation. The experimental results showed that the growth rate increased significantly with plasma irradiation into the drainage water. The growth rate increased with the plasma irradiation time. The nitrogen concentration of the leaves increased as a result of plasma irradiation based on chlorophyll content analysis. The bacteria in the drainage water were inactivated by the plasma irradiation.

  16. Caching-Based Multi-Swarm Collaboration for Improving Content Availability in BitTorrent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyunyong; Yoshida, Masahiro; Nakao, Akihiro

    Despite its great success, BitTorrent suffers from the content unavailability problem where peers cannot complete their content downloads due to some missing chunks, which is caused by a shortage of seeders who hold the content in its entirety. The multi-swarm collaboration approach is a natural choice for improving content availability, since content unavailability cannot be overcome by one swarm easily. Most existing multi-swarm collaboration approaches, however, suffer from content-related limitations, which limit their application scopes. In this paper, we introduce a new kind of multi-swarm collaboration utilizing a swarm as temporal storage. In a nutshell, the collaborating swarms cache some chunks of each other that are likely to be unavailable before the content unavailability happens and share the cached chunks when the content unavailability happens. Our approach enables any swarms to collaborate with each other without the content-related limitations. Simulation results show that our approach increases the number of download completions by over 50% (26%) compared to normal BitTorrent (existing bundling approach) with low overhead. In addition, our approach shows around 30% improved download completion time compared to the existing bundling approach. The results also show that our approach enables the peers participating in our approach to enjoy better performance than other peers, which can be a peer incentive.

  17. Solid Dose Form of Metformin with Ethyl Eicosapentaenoic Acid Does Not Improve Metformin Plasma Availability

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Jeffrey H.; Johnson, William D.; Greenway, Frank L.

    2016-01-01

    Background The purpose of the study was to investigate effects of ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid on pharmacokinetics of metformin. Pharmacokinetic profiles of metformin and ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid when delivered separately or together in solid dose form were investigated and compared to determine whether the solid dose resulted in an altered metforminpharmacokinetics when given with or without food. Methods A single-center, open-label, repeated dose study investigated the pharmacokinetic (PK) profile of metformin when administered in solid dose form with ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid compared to co-administration with icosapent ethyl, an ester of eicosapentaenoic acid and ethyl alcohol used to treat severe hypertriglyceridemia with metformin hydrochloride. Non-compartmental PK methods were used to compare area under the plasma concentration curve (AUC) and maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) between patients randomized to either the ester or separate medications group under both fasting and fed conditions. Results Using these two PK parameters, results showed that metformin availability was higher under fasting conditions when delivered separately from icosapent ethyl. There were no group differences in the fed condition. Conclusions The solid dose form of metformin and ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid did not improve the pharmacokinetics of metformin in terms of plasma availability, suggesting that little is to be gained over the separate administration of ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid and metformin hydrochloride. PMID:26893954

  18. Improved food availability for food security in Asia-Pacific region.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ray-Yu; Hanson, Peter M

    2009-01-01

    Food security requires that all people can access sufficient food for a healthy life. Enough food is produced to feed the global population, but more than 1.02 billion people are malnourished. Malnutrition and chronic food insecurity are widespread in some countries of the Asia-Pacific region; as much as 20 to 60 percent of the region's population lacks sufficient food to meet their minimum energy requirement. Food security greatly depends on food availability, although this alone is not sufficient to secure satisfactory nutritional status. Food security at the national level requires an effective framework of food, health, and economic systems coupled with awareness and consideration of environmental conditions. To improve food availability and security in the short term, lower income countries should focus on increasing productivity in the food system to generate higher incomes for workers on-farm and off-farm in the food chain. Over the long term, sustainable and small-scale farming based on ecologically viable systems should be the emphasis for agricultural development. Nutrition and health sectors should help promote food-based approaches that lead to diversification of crops, balanced diets, and ultimately better health. PMID:19965357

  19. The availabilities of arsenic and cadmium in rice paddy fields from a mining area: The role of soil extractable and plant silicon.

    PubMed

    Yu, Huan-Yun; Ding, Xiaodong; Li, Fangbai; Wang, Xiangqin; Zhang, Shirong; Yi, Jicai; Liu, Chuanping; Xu, Xianghua; Wang, Qi

    2016-08-01

    Adequate silicon (Si) can greatly boost rice yield and improve grain quality through alleviating stresses associated with heavy metals and metalloids such as arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd). The soil plant-available Si is relatively low in South China due to severe desilicification and allitization of the soils in this region. Conversely, pollution of heavy metals and metalloids in the soils of this region occurs widely, especially As and Cd pollution in paddy soil. Therefore, evaluating the plant availability of Si in paddy soil of South China and examining its correlation with the availability of heavy metals and metalloids are of great significance. Accordingly, in our study, 107 pairs of soil and rice plant samples were collected from paddy fields contaminated by As and Cd in South China. Significantly positive correlations between Si in rice plants and Si fractions in soils extracted with citric acid, NaOAc-HOAc buffer, and oxalate-ammonium oxalate buffer suggest that these extractants are more suitable for use in extracting plant-available Si in the soils of our present study. Significantly negative correlations between different Si fractions and As or Cd in rice plant tissues and negative exponential correlations between the molar ratios of Si to As/Cd in rice roots, straws, husks or grains and As/Cd in rice grains indicate that Si can significantly alleviate the accumulation of As/Cd from soils to the rice plants. Finally, a contribution assessment of soil properties to As/Cd accumulation in rice grains based on random forest showed that in addition to Si concentrations in soil or rice plants, other factors such as Fe fractions and total phosphorus also contributed largely to As/Cd accumulation in rice grains. Overall, Si exhibited its unique role in mitigating As or Cd stress in rice, and our study results provide strong field evidence for this role. PMID:27209244

  20. Optimizing available water capacity using microwave satellite data for improving irrigation management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Manika; Bolten, John; Lakshmi, Venkat

    2015-04-01

    This work addresses the improvement of available water capacity by developing a technique for estimating soil hydraulic parameters through the utilization of satellite-retrieved near surface soil moisture. The prototype involves the usage of Monte Carlo analysis to assimilate historical remote sensing soil moisture data available from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) within the hydrological model. The main hypothesis used in this study is that near-surface soil moisture data contain useful information that can describe the effective hydrological conditions of the basin such that when appropriately In the method followed in this study the hydraulic parameters are derived directly from information on the soil moisture state at the AMSR-E footprint scale and the available water capacity is derived for the root zone by coupling of AMSR-E soil moisture with the physically-based hydrological model. The available capacity water, which refers to difference between the field capacity and wilting point of the soil and represent the soil moisture content at 0.33 bar and 15 bar respectively is estimated from the soil hydraulic parameters using the van Genuchten equation. The initial ranges of soil hydraulic parameters are taken in correspondence with the values available from the literature based on Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database within the particular AMSR-E footprint. Using the Monte Carlo simulation, the ranges are narrowed in the region where simulation shows a good match between predicted and near-surface soil moisture from AMSR-E. In this study, the uncertainties in accurately determining the parameters of the nonlinear soil water retention function for large-scale hydrological modeling is the focus of the development of the Bayesian framework. Thus, the model forecasting has been combined with the observational information to optimize the model state and the soil hydraulic parameters simultaneously. The optimization process is divided into

  1. 77 FR 41366 - Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-13

    ... Federal Register (77 FR 13258-13260, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0129) a notice \\1\\ describing our updated..., a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or other...

  2. Suggested improvements for the allergenicity assessment of genetically modified plants used in foods.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Richard E; Tetteh, Afua O

    2011-08-01

    Genetically modified (GM) plants are increasingly used for food production and industrial applications. As the global population has surpassed 7 billion and per capita consumption rises, food production is challenged by loss of arable land, changing weather patterns, and evolving plant pests and disease. Previous gains in quantity and quality relied on natural or artificial breeding, random mutagenesis, increased pesticide and fertilizer use, and improved farming techniques, all without a formal safety evaluation. However, the direct introduction of novel genes raised questions regarding safety that are being addressed by an evaluation process that considers potential increases in the allergenicity, toxicity, and nutrient availability of foods derived from the GM plants. Opinions vary regarding the adequacy of the assessment, but there is no documented proof of an adverse effect resulting from foods produced from GM plants. This review and opinion discusses current practices and new regulatory demands related to food safety. PMID:21487714

  3. Control of Seed Germination and Plant Development by Carbon and Nitrogen Availability

    PubMed Central

    Osuna, Daniel; Prieto, Pilar; Aguilar, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the molecular basis of the influence of external carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratio and other abiotic factors on phytohormones regulation during seed germination and plant developmental processes, and the identification of elements that participate in this response is essential to understand plant nutrient perception and signaling. Sugars (sucrose, glucose) and nitrate not only act as nutrients but also as signaling molecules in plant development. A connection between changes in auxin transport and nitrate signal transduction has been reported in Arabidopsis thaliana through the NRT1.1, a nitrate sensor and transporter that also functions as a repressor of lateral root growth under low concentrations of nitrate by promoting auxin transport. Nitrate inhibits the elongation of lateral roots, but this effect is significantly reduced in abscisic acid (ABA)-insensitive mutants, what suggests that ABA might mediate the inhibition of lateral root elongation by nitrate. Gibberellin (GA) biosynthesis has been also related to nitrate level in seed germination and its requirement is determined by embryonic ABA. These mechanisms connect nutrients and hormones signaling during seed germination and plant development. Thus, the genetic identification of the molecular components involved in nutrients-dependent pathways would help to elucidate the potential crosstalk between nutrients, nitric oxide (NO) and phytohormones (ABA, auxins and GAs) in seed germination and plant development. In this review we focus on changes in C and N levels and how they control seed germination and plant developmental processes through the interaction with other plant growth regulators, such as phytohormones. PMID:26635847

  4. Decomposition and plant-available nitrogen in biosolids: laboratory studies, field studies, and computer simulation.

    PubMed

    Gilmour, John T; Cogger, Craig G; Jacobs, Lee W; Evanylo, Gregory K; Sullivan, Dan M

    2003-01-01

    This research combines laboratory and field studies with computer simulation to characterize the amount of plant-available nitrogen (PAN) released when municipal biosolids are land-applied to agronomic crops. In the laboratory studies, biosolids were incubated in or on soil from the land application sites. Mean biosolids total C, organic N, and C to N ratio were 292 g kg(-1), 41.7 g kg(-1), and 7.5, respectively. Based on CO2 evolution at 25 degrees C and optimum soil moisture, 27 of the 37 biosolids-soil combinations had two decomposition phases. The mean rapid and slow fraction rate constants were 0.021 and 0.0015 d(-1), respectively, and the rapid fraction contained 23% of the total C assuming sequential decomposition. Where only one decomposition phase existed, the mean first order rate constant was 0.0046 d(-1). The mean rate constant for biosolids stored in lagoons for an extended time was 0.00097 d(-1). The only treatment process that was related to biosolids treatment was stabilization by storage in a lagoon. Biosolids addition rates (dry basis) ranged from 1.3 to 33.8 Mg ha(-1) with a mean value of 10.6 Mg ha(-1). A relationship between fertilizer N rate and crop response was used to estimate observed PAN at each site. Mean observed PAN during the growing season was 18.9 kg N Mg(-1) or 37% of the biosolids total N. Observed PAN was linearly related to biosolids total N. Predicted PAN using the computer model Decomposition, actual growing-season weather, actual analytical data, and laboratory decomposition kinetics compared well with observed PAN. The mean computer model prediction of growing-season PAN was 19.2 kg N Mg(-1) and the slope of the regression between predicted and observed PAN was not significantly different from unity. Predicted PAN obtained using mean decomposition kinetics was related to predicted PAN using actual decomposition kinetics suggesting that mean rate constants, actual weather, and actual analytical data could be used in

  5. Biochar increases plant available water in a sandy soil under an aerobic rice cropping system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Melo Carvalho, M. T.; de Holanda Nunes Maia, A.; Madari, B. E.; Bastiaans, L.; van Oort, P. A. J.; Heinemann, A. B.; Soler da Silva, M. A.; Petter, F. A.; Meinke, H.

    2014-03-01

    The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of biochar rate (0, 8, 16 and 32 t ha-1) on the water retention capacity (WRC) of a sandy Dystric Plinthosol. The applied biochar was a by-product of slow pyrolysis (∼450 °C) of eucalyptus wood, milled to pass through a 2000 μm sieve that resulted in a material with an intrinsic porosity ≤10 μm and a specific surface area of ∼3.2 m2 g-1. The biochar was incorporated into the top 15 cm of the soil under an aerobic rice system. Our study focused on both the effects on WRC and rice yields at 2 and 3 years after application. Undisturbed soil samples were collected from 16 plots in two soil layers (5-10 and 15-20 cm). Soil water retention curves were modelled using a nonlinear mixed model which appropriately accounts for uncertainties inherent of spatial variability and repeated measurements taken within a specific soil sample. We found an increase in plant available water in the upper soil layer proportional to the rate of biochar, with about 0.8% for each t ha-1 of biochar amendment at 2 and 3 years after application. The impact of biochar on soil WRC was most likely related to an increase in overall porosity of the sandy soil, which was evident from an increase in saturated soil moisture and macro porosity with 0.5% and 1.6% for each t ha-1 of biochar applied, respectively. The increment in soil WRC did not translate into an increase in rice yield, essentially because in both seasons the amount of rainfall during critical period for rice production exceeded 650 mm. The use of biochar as a soil amendment can be a worthy strategy to guarantee yield stability under water limited conditions. Our findings raise the importance of assessing the feasibility of very high application rates of biochar and the inclusion of a detailed analysis of its physical and chemical properties as part of future investigations.

  6. Genetic Improvement of Switchgrass and Other Herbaceous Plants for Use as Biomass Fuel Feedstock

    SciTech Connect

    Vogel, K.P.

    2001-01-11

    It should be highly feasible to genetically modify the feedstock quality of switchgrass and other herbaceous plants using both conventional and molecular breeding techniques. Effectiveness of breeding to modify herbages of switchgrass and other perennial and annual herbaceous species has already been demonstrated. The use of molecular markers and transformation technology will greatly enhance the capability of breeders to modify the plant structure and cell walls of herbaceous plants. It will be necessary to monitor gene flow to remnant wild populations of plants and have strategies available to curtail gene flow if it becomes a potential problem. It also will be necessary to monitor plant survival and long-term productivity as affected by genetic changes that improve forage quality. Information on the conversion processes that will be used and the biomass characteristics that affect conversion efficiency and rate is absolutely essential as well as information on the relative economic value of specific traits. Because most forage or biomass quality characteristics are highly affected by plant maturity, it is suggested that plant material of specific maturity stages be used in research to determining desirable feedstock quality characteristics. Plant material could be collected at various stages of development from an array of environments and storage conditions that could be used in conversion research. The same plant material could be used to develop NIRS calibrations that could be used by breeders in their selection programs and also to develop criteria for a feedstock quality assessment program. Breeding for improved feedstock quality will likely affect the rate of improvement of biomass production per acre. If the same level of resources are used, multi-trait breeding simply reduces the selection pressure and hence the breeding progress that can be made for a single trait unless all the traits are highly correlated. Since desirable feedstock traits are likely

  7. Improving hot gas filtration behavior in PFBC power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Romeo, L.M.; Gil, A.; Cortes, C.

    1999-07-01

    According to a previous paper, a laboratory-scale cold flow model of the hot gas filtration system in Escatron PFBC power plant has been built. The main objectives were to establish the validity of the scaling laws for cyclone separator systems (cyclone and dipleg) and to perform detailed room temperature studies in a rapid and cost effective manner. In Escatron PFBC power plant, the hot gas filtration equipment is a two-stage process performed in nine streams between the fluidized bed and the gas turbine. Due to the unsteadiness in the dipleg and the suction nozzle, and the effect of sintered deposit, the cyclone performance is modified. The performances of cyclone separator system and suction nozzle diplegs are scarcely reported in the open literature. This paper presents the results of a detailed research in which some important conclusions of well known studies about cyclones are verified. Also remarkable is the increase in cyclone efficiency and decrease in pressure drop when the solid load to the cyclone is increased. The possibility to check the fouling by means of pressure drop has not been previously addressed. Finally, the influences of gas input velocity to the cyclone, the transport gas to the ash conveying lines, the solid load and the cyclone fouling have been analyzed. This study has allowed characterizing the performance of the full-scale ash removal system, establishing safe limits of operation and testing design improvements as the two suction nozzle dipleg, pointing out important conclusions for the filtration process in PFBC power plants.

  8. Improved conventional testing of power plant cables. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Anadakumaran, K.; Braun, J.M.; DiPaul, J.A. |

    1995-09-01

    The objective of the project is to develop improved condition monitoring techniques to assess the condition of power plant cables, particularly the unshielded cables found in older thermal plants. The cables of interest were insulated with PVC, butyl rubber, SBR (styrene butadiene rubber), EPR (ethylene propylene rubber), PE and XLPE (crosslinked polyethylene) as either single conductor, twisted pair, shielded and unshielded. The cables were thermally aged to embrittlement and characterized by physical, chemical and electrical tests. Physical characterization included, in addition to reference tensile elongation, tests performed on microscopic samples for quasi-nondestructive examination. Different tests proved particularly suited to different types of insulation. The dielectric characterization underlined the value of performing tests at other than power frequency and/or dc. Electric field calculations were carried out to develop a field testing strategy for unshielded cables and notably to investigate the feasibility of providing a suitable ground plane by testing conductor to grounded conductors(s). Two major electrical diagnostic test techniques were investigated in detail, low frequency insulation analysis to probe the bulk condition of insulations and partial discharge (PD) testing to detect cracks and defects. PD testing is well established but more challenging to perform with unshielded cables. Because of the attenuation properties of typical plant cables, a dual ended detector configuration is necessary. Two novel techniques were developed to provide dual ended detection without need for a second cable as the return path from the far end detector.

  9. Biomass, Leaf Area, and Resource Availability of Kudzu Dominated Plant Communities Following Herbicide Treatment

    SciTech Connect

    L.T. Rader

    2001-10-01

    Kudzu is an exotic vine that threatens the forests of the southern U.S. Five herbicides were tested with regard to their efficacy in controlling kudzu, community recover was monitored, and interactions with planted pines were studied. The sites selected were old farm sites dominated by kudzu.These were burned following herbicide treatment. The herbicides included triclopyr, clopyralid, metsulfuron, tebuthiuron, and picloram plus 2,4-D. Pine seedlings were planted the following year. Regression equations were developed for predicting biomass and leaf area. Four distinct plant communities resulted from the treatments. The untreated check continued to be kudzu dominated. Blackberry dominated the clopyradid treatment. Metsulfron, trychlopyr and picloram treated sites resulted in herbaceous dominated communities. The tebuthiuron treatment maintained all vegetation low.

  10. Soil microbial communities are shaped by plant-driven changes in resource availability during secondary succession.

    PubMed

    Cline, Lauren C; Zak, Donald R

    2015-12-01

    Although we understand the ecological processes eliciting changes in plant community composition during secondary succession, we do not understand whether co-occurring changes in plant detritus shape saprotrophic microbial communities in soil. In this study, we investigated soil microbial composition and function across an old-field chronosequence ranging from 16 to 86 years following agricultural abandonment, as well as three forests representing potential late-successional ecosystems. Fungal and bacterial community composition was quantified from ribosomal DNA, and insight into the functional potential of the microbial community to decay plant litter was gained from shotgun metagenomics and extracellular enzyme assays. Accumulation of soil organic matter across the chronosequence exerted a positive and significant effect on fungal phylogenetic β-diversity and the activity of extracellular enzymes with lignocellulolytic activity. In addition, the increasing abundance of lignin-rich C4 grasses was positively related to the composition of fungal genes with lignocellulolytic function, thereby linking plant community composition, litter biochemistry, and microbial community function. However, edaphic properties were the primary agent shaping bacterial communities, as bacterial β-diversity and variation in functional gene composition displayed a significant and positive relationship to soil pH across the chronosequence. The late-successional forests were compositionally distinct from the oldest old fields, indicating that substantial changes occur in soil microbial communities as old fields give way to forests. Taken together, our observations demonstrate that plants govern the turnover of soil fungal communities and functional characteristics during secondary succession, due to the continual input of detritus and differences in litter biochemistry among plant species. PMID:26909442

  11. Power plant performance monitoring and improvement. Volume 1. Boiler optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Crim, H.G.

    1986-02-01

    The boiler portion of RP1681/2153 deals with the development of procedures for determining the optimum fireside operating conditions in a coal fired power plant and the development of instrumentation and monitoring systems for achieving the resulting improvements in heat rate. This annual report describes the rsults of the project for the period beginning in October, 1982. A computer code was developed which takes information on the plant and calculates heat rate as a function of parameters such as excess air and steam flow rate. Computational results obtained to date for Potomac Electric Power Company's Morgantown Unit No. 2 show that the net unit heat rate is a very sensitive function of grind size of the coal, level of excess air and exit gas temperature. The theoretical calculations suggest that by optimizing these three parameters, improvements in net unit heat rate of the order of 100 Btu/Kwh may be possible at Morgantown. An intrumentation assessment was carried out. Preparations are underway for boiler tests.

  12. Larval food plants of Australian Larentiinae (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) - a review of available data

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background In Australia, the subfamily Larentiinae (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) comprises over 45 genera with about 270 species described so far. However, life histories of the Australian larentiine moths have barely been studied. New information The current paper presents a list of larval food plants of 51 Australian larentiine species based on literature references, data from specimen labels and own observations. Some Australian habitats are shown. Possible relationships among the taxa based on food preference of the larvae are discussed. Additionally, a list of Australasian larentiine species from the genera occurring in Australia and their food plants is presented. PMID:27099558

  13. Soil Phosphatase Activity and Plant-available Phosphorus Increase Following Grassland Invasion by N-fixing Tree Legumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutton, T. W.; Kantola, I. B.; Stott, D. E.; Balthrop, S. L.; Tribble, J. E.; Filley, T. R.

    2009-12-01

    Grass-dominated ecosystems around the world are experiencing woody plant invasion due to human land uses. Vast regions in southern Texas have been transformed from open grasslands to subtropical thorn woodlands during the past 150 yrs. These woodlands are dominated by N-fixing tree legumes which are more productive above- and belowground, and store 2-3X more C and N than remnant grasslands. In tropical savannas and forests, it has been demonstrated that N-fixing plants are able to invest additional N in the acquisition of soil P. Accordingly, we hypothesized that soil acid phosphatase (AP) enzyme activity and concentrations of plant-available soil P (largely HPO4-2 and H2PO4-) would be greater in wooded areas dominated by N-fixing trees than in remnant grasslands where N-fixers are absent. We collected soils (0-7.5 cm) in remnant grasslands and in each of 4 different woodland types (clusters, groves, drainage woodlands, and playas) in a savanna parkland landscape in southern Texas. Plant-available soil P was determined by sorption onto anion exchange resin membranes placed in soil-water mixtures and shaken for 16 hr. P was desorbed from resin membranes using 0.5 N HCl and quantified colorimetrically using the Murphy-Riley technique. AP activity was determined using para-nitrophenyl phosphate as an analogue orthophosphate substrate, and then quantifying the p-nitrophenol (pNP) reaction product. AP activity was 250 µg pNP/g soil/hr in grasslands, and increased linearly with time following woody plant invasion to 1400 µg pNP/g soil/hr in the oldest woody plant assemblages (90 yrs). Plant available P was 3 mg P/kg soil in grasslands, and ranged from 10 to 45 mg P/kg soil in wooded areas. Within each of the wooded landscape types, plant-available P increased linearly with time following woody invasion and was correlated with soil AP activity. Results are consistent with prior studies showing that AP and plant-available P are elevated under canopies of N-fixing plants

  14. Diversity of wild Malus germplasm available in the USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant explorers have visited Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and China over the past twenty years to find populations of the wild relatives of apple (Malus). Seeds from wild populations of M. sieversii, M. orientalis, M. hupehensis, M. kansuensis, M. toringo, M. bhutanica, M. transitoria, and M. zhaojia...

  15. Elevated CO2 effects on semiarid grassland plant in relation to water availability and competition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. It has been suggested that much of the elevated CO2 effect on plant productivity and N cycling in semiarid grasslands is related to a CO2-induced increase in soil moisture, but the relative importance of moisture-mediated and direct effects of CO2 remain unclear. 2. We grew five grassland species...

  16. 78 FR 13303 - Stine Seed Farm, Inc.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Environmental Assessment, and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-27

    ... Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to... Register on December 5, 1997 (62 FR 64350-64351, Docket No. 97-052-2), APHIS announced our determination of... movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through...

  17. 78 FR 44924 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Environmental Assessment, Preliminary...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ...We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a preliminary determination regarding a request from the Monsanto Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status of canola designated as MON 88302, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate with more flexibility in the timing of herbicide application. We......

  18. 78 FR 45169 - GENECTIVE SA; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Environmental Assessment, Preliminary...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-26

    ... and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is... notice \\2\\ published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41353-41354, Docket No. APHIS-2012... (77 FR 13258-13260, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0129) a notice describing our process for soliciting...

  19. 76 FR 80871 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-27

    ...We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has received a petition from the Monsanto Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status of soybean designated as MON 87769, which has been genetically engineered to produce stearidonic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid not found in conventional soybean. The petition has been submitted in accordance with our......

  20. 78 FR 44926 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Environmental Assessment, Preliminary...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ...We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a preliminary determination regarding a request from the Monsanto Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status of maize designated as MON 87427, which has been genetically engineered with tissue-selective resistance to glyphosate in order to facilitate the production of hybrid maize seed. We......

  1. 78 FR 47272 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental Assessment for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-05

    ... and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is...\\ published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, ] (77 FR 41354-41355, Docket No. APHIS-2012-0020), APHIS... petition. \\1\\ On March 6, 2012, APHIS published in the Federal Register (77 FR 13258-13260, Docket...

  2. Effect of Nitrogen Availability on Mineral Nutrient Uptake and Plant Growth of Container-Grown Hydrangeas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rooted liners of Hydrangea macrophylla 'Red Star' were fertigated with one of three nitrogen (N) concentrations (0, 140, or 280 ppm) in a modified Hoagland’s solution from June to November. Every 3 weeks starting in June, plants in each N treatment (0N, 140N, 280N) were destructively harvested to de...

  3. Plant Community Responses to Simultaneous Changes in Temperature, Nitrogen Availability, and Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Gornish, Elise S.; Miller, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Increasing rates of change in climate have been observed across the planet and have contributed to the ongoing range shifts observed for many species. Although ecologists are now using a variety of approaches to study how much and through what mechanisms increasing temperature and nutrient pollution may influence the invasions inherent in range shifts, accurate predictions are still lacking. Methods and Results In this study, we conducted a factorial experiment, simultaneously manipulating warming, nitrogen addition and introduction of Pityopsis aspera, to determine how range-shifting species affect a plant community. We quantified the resident community using ordination scores, then used structural equation modeling to examine hypotheses related to how plants respond to a network of experimental treatments and environmental variables. Variation in soil pH explained plant community response to nitrogen addition in the absence of invasion. However, in the presence of invasion, the direct effect of nitrogen on the community was negligible and soil moisture was important for explaining nitrogen effects. We did not find effects of warming on the native plant community in the absence of invasion. In the presence of invasion, however, warming had negative effects on functional richness directly and invasion and herbivory explained the overall positive effect of warming on the plant community. Conclusions and Significance This work highlights the variation in the biotic and abiotic factors responsible for explaining independent and collective climate change effects over a short time scale. Future work should consider the complex and non-additive relationships among factors of climate change and invasion in order to capture more ecologically relevant features of our changing environment. PMID:25879440

  4. Increased C availability at elevated carbon dioxide concentration improves N assimilation in a legume.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Alistair; Gibon, Yves; Stitt, Mark; Morgan, Patrick B; Bernacchi, Carl J; Ort, Donald R; Long, Stephen P

    2006-08-01

    Plant growth is typically stimulated at elevated carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]), but a sustained and maximal stimulation of growth requires acquisition of additional N in proportion to the additional C fixed at elevated [CO2]. We hypothesized that legumes would be able to avoid N limitation at elevated [CO2]. Soybean was grown without N fertilizer from germination to final senescence at elevated [CO2] over two growing seasons under fully open-air conditions, providing a model legume system. Measurements of photosynthesis and foliar carbohydrate content showed that plants growing at elevated [CO2] had a c. 25% increase in the daily integral of photosynthesis and c. 58% increase in foliar carbohydrate content, suggesting that plants at elevated [CO2] had a surplus of photosynthate. Soybeans had a low leaf N content at the beginning of the season, which was a further c. 17% lower at elevated [CO2]. In the middle of the season, ureide, total amino acid and N content increased markedly, and the effect of elevated [CO2] on leaf N content disappeared. Analysis of individual amino acid levels supported the conclusion that plants at elevated [CO2] overcame an early-season N limitation. These soybean plants showed a c. 16% increase in dry mass at final harvest and showed no significant effect of elevated [CO2] on leaf N, protein or total amino acid content in the latter part of the season. One possible explanation for these findings is that N fixation had increased, and that these plants had acclimated to the increased N demand at elevated [CO2]. PMID:16898025

  5. Negative interactive effects between biochar and phosphorus fertilization on phosphorus availability and plant yield in saline sodic soil.

    PubMed

    Xu, Gang; Zhang, You; Sun, Junna; Shao, Hongbo

    2016-10-15

    Little is known about the interactive effects between biochar application and phosphorus (P) fertilization on plant growth and P uptake. For this purpose, five wheat straw biochars (produced at 25°C, 300°C, 400°C, 500°C and 600°C for 4h) with equal P (36mgkg(-1)) amount, with and without additional P fertilization (100mgkg(-1)) were applied in a pot experiment to investigate the growth of Suaeda salsa and their uptake of P from biochar and P fertilization amended saline sodic soil. Soil P fractions, dry matter yield, and plant P concentrations were determined after harvesting 90days. Our results confirmed that relatively lower pyrolysis temperature (<400°C) biochar retained P availability and increased plant growth. The plant P concentration was significantly correlated with NaHCO3-Pi (P<0.05), and NaOH-Pi (P<0.1) during early incubation time (4days) for biochar amended soil. As revealed by statistical analysis, a significant (P<0.05) negative (antagonistic) interaction occurred between biochar and P fertilization on the biomass production and plant P concentration. For plant biomass, the effects size of biochar (B), P, and their interaction followed the order of B×P (0.819)>B (0.569)≈P (0.568) based on the partial Eta squared values whereas the order changed as P (0.782)>B (0.562)>B×P (0.515) for plant P concentration. When biochar and P fertilization applied together, phosphate precipitation/sorption reaction occurred in saline sodic soil which explained the decreased plant P availability and plant yield in saline sodic soil. The negative interaction effects between biochar and P fertilization indicated limited utility value of biochar application in saline sodic soil. PMID:27328879

  6. Hanford Waste Vitrification Plant technical background document for toxics best available control technology demonstration

    SciTech Connect

    1992-10-01

    This document provides information on toxic air pollutant emissions to support the Notice of Construction for the proposed Hanford Waste Vitrification Plant (HWVP) to be built at the the Department of Energy Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. Because approval must be received prior to initiating construction of the facility, state and federal Clean Air Act Notices of construction are being prepared along with necessary support documentation.

  7. In vitro thrombolytic potential of root extracts of four medicinal plants available in Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Fahad; Islam, Ariful; Bulbul, Latifa; Moghal, Mizanur Rahman; Hossain, Mohammad Salim

    2014-01-01

    Context: Thrombus formation inside the blood vessels obstructs blood flow through the circulatory system leading hypertension, stroke to the heart, anoxia, and so on. Thrombolytic drugs are widely used for the management of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis patients, but they have certain limitations. Medicinal plants and their components possessing antithrombotic activity have been reported before. However, plants that could be used for thrombolysis has not been reported so far. Aims: This study's aim was to evaluate the thrombolytic potential of selected plants’ root extracts. Settings and Design: Plants were collected, dried, powdered and extracted by methanol and then fractionated by n-hexane for getting the sample root extracts. Venous blood samples were drawn from 10 healthy volunteers for the purposes of investigation. Subjects and Methods: An in vitro thrombolytic model was used to check the clot lysis potential of four n-hexane soluble roots extracts viz., Acacia nilotica, Justicia adhatoda, Azadirachta indica, and Lagerstroemia speciosa along with streptokinase as a positive control and saline water as a negative control. Statistical Analysis Used: Dunnett t-test analysis was performed using SPSS is a statistical analysis program developed by IBM Corporation, USA. on Windows. Results: Using an in vitro thrombolytic model, A. nilotica, L. speciosa, A. indica, and J. adhatoda at 5 mg extract/ml NaCl solution concentration showed 15.1%, 15.49%, 21.26%, and 19.63% clot lysis activity respectively. The reference streptokinase showed 47.21%, and 24.73% clot lysis for 30,000 IU and 15,000 IU concentrations, respectively whereas 0.9% normal saline showed 5.35% clot lysis. Conclusions: The selected extracts of the plant roots possess marked thrombolytic properties that could lyse blood clots in vitro; however, in vivo clot dissolving properties and active components responsible for clot lysis are yet to be discovered. PMID:25538351

  8. EARLY ENTRANCE CO-PRODUCTION PLANT - DECENTRALIZED GASIFICATION COGENERATION TRANSPORTATION FUELS AND STEAM FROM AVAILABLE FEEDSTOCKS

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2001-12-01

    Waste Processors Management, Inc. (WMPI), along with its subcontractors Texaco Power & Gasification, SASOL Technology Ltd., and Nexant Inc. entered into a Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-00NT40693 with the US Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to assess the techno-economic viability of building an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) in the US to produce ultra clean Fischer-Tropsch (FT) transportation fuels with either power or steam as the major co-product. The EECP designs emphasize on recovery and gasification of low-cost coal waste (culm) from coal clean operations and will assess blends of the culm and coal or petroleum coke as feedstocks. The project is being carried out in three phases. Phase I involves definition of concept and engineering feasibility study to identify areas of technical, environmental and financial risk. Phase II consists of an experimental testing program designed to validate the coal waste mixture gasification performance. Phase III involves updating the original EECP design, based on results from Phase II, to prepare a preliminary engineering design package and financial plan for obtaining private funding to build a 5,000 BPD coal gasification/liquefaction plant next to an existing co-generation plant in Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

  9. EARLY ENTRANCE CO-PRODUCTION PLANT - DECENTRALIZED GASIFICATION COGENERATION TRANSPORTATION FUELS AND STEAM FROM AVAILABLE FEEDSTOCKS

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2003-01-01

    Waste Processors Management, Inc. (WMPI), along with its subcontractors Texaco Power & Gasification (now ChevronTexaco), SASOL Technology Ltd., and Nexant Inc. entered into a Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-00NT40693 with the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to assess the technoeconomic viability of building an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) in the United States to produce ultra clean Fischer-Tropsch (FT) transportation fuels with either power or steam as the major co-product. The EECP design includes recovery and gasification of low-cost coal waste (culm) from physical coal cleaning operations and will assess blends of the culm with coal or petroleum coke. The project has three phases. Phase I is the concept definition and engineering feasibility study to identify areas of technical, environmental and financial risk. Phase II is an experimental testing program designed to validate the coal waste mixture gasification performance. Phase III updates the original EECP design based on results from Phase II, to prepare a preliminary engineering design package and financial plan for obtaining private funding to build a 5,000 barrel per day (BPD) coal gasification/liquefaction plant next to an existing co-generation plant in Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The current report covers the period performance from July 1, 2002 through September 30, 2002.

  10. EARLY ENTRANCE CO-PRODUCTION PLANT - DECENTRALIZED GASIFICATION COGENERATION TRANSPORTATION FUELS AND STEAM FROM AVAILABLE FEEDSTOCKS

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2002-06-01

    Waste Processors Management, Inc. (WMPI), along with its subcontractors entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the USDOE, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to assess the techno-economic viability of building an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) in the US to produce ultra clean Fischer-Tropsch (FT) transportation fuels with either power or steam as the major co-product. The EECP design includes recovery and gasification of low-cost coal waste (culm) from physical coal cleaning operations and will assess blends of the culm with coal or petroleum coke. The project has three phases. Phase 1 is the concept definition and engineering feasibility study to identify areas of technical, environmental and financial risk. Phase II is an experimental testing program designed to validate the coal waste mixture gasification performance. Phase III updates the original EECP design based on results from Phase II, to prepare a preliminary engineering design package and financial plan for obtaining private funding to build a 5,000 barrel per day (BPD) coal gasification/liquefaction plant next to an existing co-generation plant in Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The current report is WMPI's fourth quarterly technical progress report. It covers the period performance from January 1, 2002 through March 31, 2002.

  11. Projected techno-economic improvements for advanced solar thermal power plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujita, T.; Manvi, R.; Roschke, E. J.

    1979-01-01

    The projected characteristics of solar thermal power plants (with outputs up to 10 MWe) employing promising advanced technology subsystems/components are compared to current (or pre-1985) steam-Rankine systems. Improvements accruing to advanced technology development options are delineated. The improvements derived from advanced systems result primarily from achieving high efficiencies via solar collector systems which (1) capture a large portion of the available insolation and (2) concentrate this captured solar flux to attain high temperatures required for high heat engine/energy conversion performance. The most efficient solar collector systems employ two-axis tracking. Attractive systems include the central receiver/heliostat and the parabolic dish.

  12. A Review on Plants Used for Improvement of Sexual Performance and Virility

    PubMed Central

    Chauhan, Nagendra Singh; Sharma, Vikas; Dixit, V. K.; Thakur, Mayank

    2014-01-01

    The use of plant or plant-based products to stimulate sexual desire and to enhance performance and enjoyment is almost as old as the human race itself. The present paper reviews the active, natural principles, and crude extracts of plants, which have been useful in sexual disorders, have potential for improving sexual behaviour and performance, and are helpful in spermatogenesis and reproduction. Review of refereed journals and scientific literature available in electronic databases and traditional literature available in India was extensively performed. The work reviews correlation of the evidence with traditional claims, elucidation, and evaluation of a plausible concept governing the usage of plants as aphrodisiac in total. Phytoconstituents with known structures have been classified in appropriate chemical groups and the active crude extracts have been tabulated. Data on their pharmacological activity, mechanism of action, and toxicity are reported. The present review provides an overview of the herbs and their active molecule with claims for improvement of sexual behaviour. A number of herbal drugs have been validated for their effect on sexual behavior and fertility and can therefore serve as basis for the identification of new chemical leads useful in sexual and erectile dysfunction. PMID:25215296

  13. A review on plants used for improvement of sexual performance and virility.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, Nagendra Singh; Sharma, Vikas; Dixit, V K; Thakur, Mayank

    2014-01-01

    The use of plant or plant-based products to stimulate sexual desire and to enhance performance and enjoyment is almost as old as the human race itself. The present paper reviews the active, natural principles, and crude extracts of plants, which have been useful in sexual disorders, have potential for improving sexual behaviour and performance, and are helpful in spermatogenesis and reproduction. Review of refereed journals and scientific literature available in electronic databases and traditional literature available in India was extensively performed. The work reviews correlation of the evidence with traditional claims, elucidation, and evaluation of a plausible concept governing the usage of plants as aphrodisiac in total. Phytoconstituents with known structures have been classified in appropriate chemical groups and the active crude extracts have been tabulated. Data on their pharmacological activity, mechanism of action, and toxicity are reported. The present review provides an overview of the herbs and their active molecule with claims for improvement of sexual behaviour. A number of herbal drugs have been validated for their effect on sexual behavior and fertility and can therefore serve as basis for the identification of new chemical leads useful in sexual and erectile dysfunction. PMID:25215296

  14. Effects of climate change on water demand and water availability for power plants - examples for the German capital Berlin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voegele, Stefan; Koch, Hagen; Grünewald, Uwe

    2010-05-01

    Effects of climate change on water demand and water availability for power plants - examples for the German capital Berlin Stefan Vögelea, Hagen Kochb&c, Uwe Grünewaldb a Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Energy Research - Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation, D-52425 Jülich, Germany b Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Chair Hydrology and Water Resources Management, P.O. Box. 101 344, D-03013 Cottbus, Germany c Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Research Domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities, P.O. Box 601203, D-14412 Potsdam, Germany Numerous power plants in Europe had to be throttled in the summer months of the years 2003 and 2006 due to water shortages and high water temperatures. Therefore, the effects of climate change on water availability and water temperature, and their effects on electric power generation in power plants have received much attention in the last years. The water demand of a power plant for cooling depends on the temperature of the surface waters from which the cooling water is withdrawn. Furthermore, air temperature and air humidity influence the water demand if a cooling tower is used. Beside climatic parameters, the demand for water depends on economic and technological factors as well as on the electricity demand and the socio-political framework. Since the different systems are connected with certain levels of uncertainty, scenarios of socio-economic development and climate change should be used in analyses of climate change on power plants and to identify adaptation measures. In this presentation the effects of global change, comprising technological, socio-economic and climate change, and adaptation options to water shortages for power plants in the German capital Berlin in the short- and long-term are analysed. The interconnection between power plants, i.e. water demand, and water resources management, i.e. water availability, is described in detail. By changing the cooling system of power

  15. Supplemental blue LED lighting array to improve the signal quality in hyperspectral imaging of plants.

    PubMed

    Mahlein, Anne-Katrin; Hammersley, Simon; Oerke, Erich-Christian; Dehne, Heinz-Wilhelm; Goldbach, Heiner; Grieve, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging systems used in plant science or agriculture often have suboptimal signal-to-noise ratio in the blue region (400-500 nm) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Typically there are two principal reasons for this effect, the low sensitivity of the imaging sensor and the low amount of light available from the illuminating source. In plant science, the blue region contains relevant information about the physiology and the health status of a plant. We report on the improvement in sensitivity of a hyperspectral imaging system in the blue region of the spectrum by using supplemental illumination provided by an array of high brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs) with an emission peak at 470 nm. PMID:26039423

  16. Supplemental Blue LED Lighting Array to Improve the Signal Quality in Hyperspectral Imaging of Plants

    PubMed Central

    Mahlein, Anne-Katrin; Hammersley, Simon; Oerke, Erich-Christian; Dehne, Heinz-Wilhelm; Goldbach, Heiner; Grieve, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging systems used in plant science or agriculture often have suboptimal signal-to-noise ratio in the blue region (400–500 nm) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Typically there are two principal reasons for this effect, the low sensitivity of the imaging sensor and the low amount of light available from the illuminating source. In plant science, the blue region contains relevant information about the physiology and the health status of a plant. We report on the improvement in sensitivity of a hyperspectral imaging system in the blue region of the spectrum by using supplemental illumination provided by an array of high brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs) with an emission peak at 470 nm. PMID:26039423

  17. Expression of peanut Iron Regulated Transporter 1 in tobacco and rice plants confers improved iron nutrition.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hongchun; Guo, Xiaotong; Kobayashi, Takanori; Kakei, Yusuke; Nakanishi, Hiromi; Nozoye, Tomoko; Zhang, Lixia; Shen, Hongyun; Qiu, Wei; Nishizawa, Naoko K; Zuo, Yuanmei

    2014-07-01

    Iron (Fe) limitation is a widespread agricultural problem in calcareous soils and severely limits crop production. Iron Regulated Transporter 1 (IRT1) is a key component for Fe uptake from the soil in dicot plants. In this study, the peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) AhIRT1 was introduced into tobacco and rice plants using an Fe-deficiency-inducible artificial promoter. Induced expression of AhIRT1 in tobacco plants resulted in accumulation of Fe in young leaves under Fe deficient conditions. Even under Fe-excess conditions, the Fe concentration was also markedly enhanced, suggesting that the Fe status did not affect the uptake and translocation of Fe by AhIRT1 in the transgenic plants. Most importantly, the transgenic tobacco plants showed improved tolerance to Fe limitation in culture in two types of calcareous soils. Additionally, the induced expression of AhIRT1 in rice plants also resulted in high tolerance to low Fe availability in calcareous soils. PMID:24727792

  18. Ethylene resistance in flowering ornamental plantsimprovements and future perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Andreas; Lütken, Henrik; Hegelund, Josefine Nymark; Müller, Renate

    2015-01-01

    Various strategies of plant breeding have been attempted in order to improve the ethylene resistance of flowering ornamental plants. These approaches span from conventional techniques such as simple cross-pollination to new breeding techniques which modify the plants genetically such as precise genome-editing. The main strategies target the ethylene pathway directly; others focus on changing the ethylene pathway indirectly via pathways that are known to be antagonistic to the ethylene pathway, e.g. increasing cytokinin levels. Many of the known elements of the ethylene pathway have been addressed experimentally with the aim of modulating the overall response of the plant to ethylene. Elements of the ethylene pathway that appear particularly promising in this respect include ethylene receptors as ETR1, and transcription factors such as EIN3. Both direct and indirect approaches seem to be successful, nevertheless, although genetic transformation using recombinant DNA has the ability to save much time in the breeding process, they are not readily used by breeders yet. This is primarily due to legislative issues, economic issues, difficulties of implementing this technology in some ornamental plants, as well as how these techniques are publically perceived, particularly in Europe. Recently, newer and more precise genome-editing techniques have become available and they are already being implemented in some crops. New breeding techniques may help change the current situation and pave the way toward a legal and public acceptance if products of these technologies are indistinguishable from plants obtained by conventional techniques. PMID:26504580

  19. Nutrient allocation among plant organs across 13 tree species in three Bornean rain forests with contrasting nutrient availabilities.

    PubMed

    Aoyagi, Ryota; Kitayama, Kanehiro

    2016-07-01

    Allocation of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) among plant organs is an important factor regulating growth rate, which is a key ecological process associated with plant life-history strategies. However, few studies have explored how N and P investment in photosynthetic (leaves) and non-photosynthetic (stems and roots) organs changes in relation to depletion of each element. We investigated nutrient concentrations of plant organs in relation to whole-plant nutrient concentration (total nutrient weight per total biomass) as an index of nutrient status of each individual using the saplings of the 13 species in three tropical rain forests with contrasting N and P availabilities (tropical evergreen forests and tropical heath forests). We found a steeper decrease in foliar N concentration than foliar P concentration with decreasing whole-plant nutrient concentration. Moreover, the steeper decrease in foliar N concentration was associated with relatively stable N concentration in stems, and vice versa for P. We suggest that the depletion of N is associated with a rapid dilution of foliar N because the cell walls in non-photosynthetic organs function as an N sink. On the other hand, these species can maintain foliar P concentration by decreasing stem P concentrations despites the depletion of P. Our results emphasize the significance of non-photosynthetic organs as an N sink for understanding the variation of foliar nutrient concentrations for the tree species in the three Bornean rain forests with different N and P availabilities. PMID:27056098

  20. Manipulation of Carotenoid Content in Plants to Improve Human Health.

    PubMed

    Alós, Enriqueta; Rodrigo, Maria Jesús; Zacarias, Lorenzo

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoids are essential components for human nutrition and health, mainly due to their antioxidant and pro-vitamin A activity. Foods with enhanced carotenoid content and composition are essential to ensure carotenoid feasibility in malnourished population of many countries around the world, which is critical to alleviate vitamin A deficiency and other health-related disorders. The pathway of carotenoid biosynthesis is currently well understood, key steps of the pathways in different plant species have been characterized and the corresponding genes identified, as well as other regulatory elements. This enables the manipulation and improvement of carotenoid content and composition in order to control the nutritional value of a number of agronomical important staple crops. Biotechnological and genetic engineering-based strategies to manipulate carotenoid metabolism have been successfully implemented in many crops, with Golden rice as the most relevant example of β-carotene improvement in one of the more widely consumed foods. Conventional breeding strategies have been also adopted in the bio-fortification of carotenoid in staple foods that are highly consumed in developing countries, including maize, cassava and sweet potatoes, to alleviate nutrition-related problems. The objective of the chapter is to summarize major breakthroughs and advances in the enhancement of carotenoid content and composition in agronomical and nutritional important crops, with special emphasis to their potential impact and benefits in human nutrition and health. PMID:27485228

  1. Soil respiration responses to variation in temperature and moisture availability under woody plants and grasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pravalprukskul, P.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.

    2011-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands, such as in the southwestern US, is thought to have altered regional carbon fluxes due to the differences in structure and function between grasses and woody plants. It is unknown how climate change predictions for such areas, particularly warmer temperatures and fewer but larger precipitation events, might further acerbate our ability to estimate flux dynamics. Soil respiration, a key flux affecting ecosystem carbon balance, has been increasingly studied, but the exact effects of temperature and precipitation changes on flux rates have not been fully determined, particularly their interactive effects. The goal of this study was to compare soil respiration responses to different temperatures in soils under native southwestern mesquites and grasses undergoing a precipitation pulse, whilst removing other confounding factors, such as soil history, through the controlled environments within Biosphere 2. Mesquites and grasses were transplanted into ground basalt within two environments maintained at a 4°C temperature difference, the projected temperature increase from climate change. Post-transplant soil samples were incubated between 10 and 40°C to determine the temperature sensitivities of soils from each microhabitat within a month of this transplant. A single-peak, best-fit model for grass soils suggested a weak temperature sensitivity, while mesquite soils showed little to no sensitivity. Additionally, all plants underwent a drought treatment prior to the precipitation event, and soil respiration rates were tracked over several days using the collar technique. This portion of the study allowed for an estimation of the sensitivity of soil respiration to precipitation pulses under a variety of antecedent moisture conditions. Initial results illustrate that soils under mesquites tend to respire significantly more than soil under grasses or in bare soils over the course of a precipitation event. Together, these results suggest

  2. EARLY ENTRANCE CO-PRODUCTION PLANT - DECENTRALIZED GASIFICATION COGENERATION TRANSPORTATION FUELS AND STEAM FROM AVAILABLE FEEDSTOCKS

    SciTech Connect

    John W. Rich

    2003-12-01

    Waste Processors Management, Inc. (WMPI), along with its subcontractors Texaco Power & Gasification (now ChevronTexaco), SASOL Technology Ltd., and Nexant Inc. entered into a Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-00NT40693 with the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to assess the techno-economic viability of building an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) in the United States to produce ultra clean Fischer-Tropsch (FT) transportation fuels with either power or steam as the major co-product. The EECP design includes recovery and gasification of low-cost coal waste (culm) from physical coal cleaning operations and will assess blends of the culm with coal or petroleum coke. The project has three phases. Phase I is the concept definition and engineering feasibility study to identify areas of technical, environmental and financial risk. Phase II is an experimental testing program designed to validate the coal waste mixture gasification performance. Phase III updates the original EECP design based on results from Phase II, to prepare a preliminary engineering design package and financial plan for obtaining private funding to build a 5,000 barrel per day (BPD) coal gasification/liquefaction plant next to an existing co-generation plant in Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The current report covers the period performance from July 1, 2003 through September 30, 2003. The DOE/WMPI Cooperative Agreement was modified on May 2003 to expand the project team to include Shell Global Solutions, U.S. and Uhde GmbH as the engineering contractor. The addition of Shell and Uhde strengthen both the technical capability and financing ability of the project. Uhde, as the prime EPC contractor, has the responsibility to develop a LSTK (lump sum turnkey) engineering design package for the EECP leading to the eventual detailed engineering, construction and operation of the proposed concept. Major technical activities during the reporting

  3. Influence of nitrate availability in production of plant carbon-based chemical defenses

    SciTech Connect

    Mihaliak, C.A.

    1987-01-01

    Rosettes of Heterotheca subaxillaris (Asteraceae) allocate greater quantities of carbon to root growth and leaf mono- and sesqui-terpenes as nitrate availability declines. Greater genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity of leaf volatile terpene accumulation occur in a population where nitrate availability is variable, relative to beetles occurring under consistently low nitrate availability conditions. Differences between beetle populations in volatile leaf terpene content appear to be primarily environmental in origin rather than genetic. Time-course /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ tracer studies suggest that the higher leaf volatile terpene content observed under nitrate-limitation may result from increased synthesis of a long-term volatile terpene pool. Accumulation of volatile terpenes under nitrate-limitation may reflect an increased pool of carbon and energy maintained at the sites of volatile terpenoid synthesis.

  4. The Virtual Genetics Lab II: Improvements to a Freely Available Software Simulation of Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Brian T.

    2012-01-01

    The Virtual Genetics Lab II (VGLII) is an improved version of the highly successful genetics simulation software, the Virtual Genetics Lab (VGL). The software allows students to use the techniques of genetic analysis to design crosses and interpret data to solve realistic genetics problems involving a hypothetical diploid insect. This is a brief…

  5. Elevated CO2 affects plant responses to variation in boron availability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Effects of elevated CO2 on N relations are well studied, but effects on other nutrients, especially micronutrients, are not. We investigated effects of elevated CO2 on response to variation in boron (B) availability in three unrelated species: geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum), barley (Hordeum vulga...

  6. Randomized Trial of the Availability, Responsiveness and Continuity (ARC) Organizational Intervention for Improving Youth Outcomes in Community Mental Health Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glisson, Charles; Hemmelgarn, Anthony; Green, Philip; Williams, Nathaniel J.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: The primary objective of the study was to assess whether the Availability, Responsiveness and Continuity (ARC) organizational intervention improved youth outcomes in community based mental health programs. The second objective was to assess whether programs with more improved organizational social contexts following the 18-month ARC…

  7. 25 CFR 30.121 - What funds are available to assist schools identified for school improvement, corrective action...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... carry out those schools' responsibilities under 20 U.S.C. 6316(b). With the approval of the school board... school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring? 30.121 Section 30.121 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN... Progress § 30.121 What funds are available to assist schools identified for school improvement,...

  8. 25 CFR 30.121 - What funds are available to assist schools identified for school improvement, corrective action...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... carry out those schools' responsibilities under 20 U.S.C. 6316(b). With the approval of the school board... school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring? 30.121 Section 30.121 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN... Progress § 30.121 What funds are available to assist schools identified for school improvement,...

  9. Manipulating microRNAs for improved biomass and biofuels from plant feedstocks.

    PubMed

    Trumbo, Jennifer Lynn; Zhang, Baohong; Stewart, Charles Neal

    2015-04-01

    Petroleum-based fuels are nonrenewable and unsustainable. Renewable sources of energy, such as lignocellulosic biofuels and plant metabolite-based drop-in fuels, can offset fossil fuel use and reverse environmental degradation through carbon sequestration. Despite these benefits, the lignocellulosic biofuels industry still faces many challenges, including the availability of economically viable crop plants. Cell wall recalcitrance is a major economic barrier for lignocellulosic biofuels production from biomass crops. Sustainability and biomass yield are two additional, yet interrelated, foci for biomass crop improvement. Many scientists are searching for solutions to these problems within biomass crop genomes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in almost all biological and metabolic process in plants including plant development, cell wall biosynthesis and plant stress responses. Because of the broad functions of their targets (e.g. auxin response factors), the alteration of plant miRNA expression often results in pleiotropic effects. A specific miRNA usually regulates a biologically relevant bioenergy trait. For example, relatively low miR156 overexpression leads to a transgenic feedstock with enhanced biomass and decreased recalcitrance. miRNAs have been overexpressed in dedicated bioenergy feedstocks such as poplar and switchgrass yielding promising results for lignin reduction, increased plant biomass, the timing of flowering and response to harsh environments. In this review, we present the status of miRNA-related research in several major biofuel crops and relevant model plants. We critically assess published research and suggest next steps for miRNA manipulation in feedstocks for increased biomass and sustainability for biofuels and bioproducts. PMID:25707745

  10. Cyanogenic glycosides in plant-based foods available in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Cressey, Peter; Saunders, Darren; Goodman, Janet

    2013-01-01

    Cyanogenic glycosides occur in a wide range of plant species. The potential toxicity of cyanogenic glycosides arises from enzymatic degradation to produce hydrogen cyanide, which may result in acute cyanide poisoning and has also been implicated in the aetiology of several chronic diseases. One hundred retail foods were sampled and analysed for the presence of total hydrocyanic acid using an acid hydrolysis-isonicotinic/barbituric acid colourimetric method. Food samples included cassava, bamboo shoots, almonds and almond products, pome fruit products, flaxseed/linseed, stone fruit products, lima beans, and various seeds and miscellaneous products, including taro leaves, passion fruit, spinach and canned stuffed vine leaves. The concentrations of total hydrocyanic acid (the hydrocyanic acid equivalents of all cyanogenic compounds) found were consistent with or lower than concentrations reported in the scientific literature. Linseed/flaxseed contained the highest concentrations of total hydrocyanic acid of any of the analysed foods (91-178 mg kg(-1)). Linseed-containing breads were found to contain total hydrocyanic acid at concentrations expected from their linseed content, indicating little impact of processing on the total hydrocyanic acid content. Simulation modelling was used to assess the risk due to the total hydrocyanic acid in fruit juice and linseed-containing bread.  PMID:23984870

  11. Advances in the genetic dissection of plant cell walls: tools and resources available in Miscanthus

    PubMed Central

    Slavov, Gancho; Allison, Gordon; Bosch, Maurice

    2013-01-01

    Tropical C4 grasses from the genus Miscanthus are believed to have great potential as biomass crops. However, Miscanthus species are essentially undomesticated, and genetic, molecular and bioinformatics tools are in very early stages of development. Furthermore, similar to other crops targeted as lignocellulosic feedstocks, the efficient utilization of biomass is hampered by our limited knowledge of the structural organization of the plant cell wall and the underlying genetic components that control this organization. The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) has assembled an extensive collection of germplasm for several species of Miscanthus. In addition, an integrated, multidisciplinary research programme at IBERS aims to inform accelerated breeding for biomass productivity and composition, while also generating fundamental knowledge. Here we review recent advances with respect to the genetic characterization of the cell wall in Miscanthus. First, we present a summary of recent and on-going biochemical studies, including prospects and limitations for the development of powerful phenotyping approaches. Second, we review current knowledge about genetic variation for cell wall characteristics of Miscanthus and illustrate how phenotypic data, combined with high-density arrays of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, are being used in genome-wide association studies to generate testable hypotheses and guide biological discovery. Finally, we provide an overview of the current knowledge about the molecular biology of cell wall biosynthesis in Miscanthus and closely related grasses, discuss the key conceptual and technological bottlenecks, and outline the short-term prospects for progress in this field. PMID:23847628

  12. Flooding disturbances increase resource availability and productivity but reduce stability in diverse plant communities.

    PubMed

    Wright, Alexandra J; Ebeling, Anne; de Kroon, Hans; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Buchmann, Nina; Buchmann, Tina; Fischer, Christine; Hacker, Nina; Hildebrandt, Anke; Leimer, Sophia; Mommer, Liesje; Oelmann, Yvonne; Scheu, Stefan; Steinauer, Katja; Strecker, Tanja; Weisser, Wolfgang; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    The natural world is increasingly defined by change. Within the next 100 years, rising atmospheric CO₂ concentrations will continue to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. Simultaneously, human activities are reducing global biodiversity, with current extinction rates at ~1,000 × what they were before human domination of Earth's ecosystems. The co-occurrence of these trends may be of particular concern, as greater biological diversity could help ecosystems resist change during large perturbations. We use data from a 200-year flood event to show that when a disturbance is associated with an increase in resource availability, the opposite may occur. Flooding was associated with increases in productivity and decreases in stability, particularly in the highest diversity communities. Our results undermine the utility of the biodiversity-stability hypothesis during a large number of disturbances where resource availability increases. We propose a conceptual framework that can be widely applied during natural disturbances. PMID:25600177

  13. Effects of clonal integration on the invasive clonal plant Alternanthera philoxeroides under heterogeneous and homogeneous water availability

    PubMed Central

    You, Wen-Hua; Han, Cui-Min; Liu, Chun-Hua; Yu, Dan

    2016-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, living in heterogeneous or homogeneous habitats. To understand how clonal integration affects the performance of these plants in different habitat conditions, an 8-week greenhouse experiment was conducted: ramet pairs of A. philoxeroides were grown in two habitats, either heterogeneous or homogeneous in water availability, with the stolon connections either severed or kept intact. Under heterogeneous water availability, compared with ramets in homogeneous habitats, clonal integration significantly promoted the growth and photosynthetic performance of water-stressed apical ramets, whereas it only increased the photosynthetic performance but did not affect the growth of water-stressed basal ramets. Moreover, clonal integration markedly increased the root/shoot ratios of ramets grown in habitats with high water supply but decreased it under low water availability. Under homogeneous water availability, stolon connection (clonal integration) did not influence the growth, photosynthetic performance and biomass allocation of water-stressed ramets, but it significantly promoted the growth of well-watered ramets in both apical and basal sections. These findings deepen our understanding of the bidirectional and differentiated (mainly acropetal) clonal integration of A. philoxeroides, suggesting that the invasive plant A. philoxeroides can benefit from clonal integration in both heterogeneous and homogeneous habitats. PMID:27416868

  14. Effects of clonal integration on the invasive clonal plant Alternanthera philoxeroides under heterogeneous and homogeneous water availability.

    PubMed

    You, Wen-Hua; Han, Cui-Min; Liu, Chun-Hua; Yu, Dan

    2016-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, living in heterogeneous or homogeneous habitats. To understand how clonal integration affects the performance of these plants in different habitat conditions, an 8-week greenhouse experiment was conducted: ramet pairs of A. philoxeroides were grown in two habitats, either heterogeneous or homogeneous in water availability, with the stolon connections either severed or kept intact. Under heterogeneous water availability, compared with ramets in homogeneous habitats, clonal integration significantly promoted the growth and photosynthetic performance of water-stressed apical ramets, whereas it only increased the photosynthetic performance but did not affect the growth of water-stressed basal ramets. Moreover, clonal integration markedly increased the root/shoot ratios of ramets grown in habitats with high water supply but decreased it under low water availability. Under homogeneous water availability, stolon connection (clonal integration) did not influence the growth, photosynthetic performance and biomass allocation of water-stressed ramets, but it significantly promoted the growth of well-watered ramets in both apical and basal sections. These findings deepen our understanding of the bidirectional and differentiated (mainly acropetal) clonal integration of A. philoxeroides, suggesting that the invasive plant A. philoxeroides can benefit from clonal integration in both heterogeneous and homogeneous habitats. PMID:27416868

  15. Power plant performance monitoring and improvement. Volume 3. Power plant performance instrumentation systems

    SciTech Connect

    Crim, H.G.; Westcott, J.C.; de Mello, R.W.; Brandon, R.E.; Parkinson, D.W.; Czuba, J.S.

    1986-02-01

    PEPCO's Morgantown Unit 2 and the PJM system control center are serving as the test facilities for this project. This first phase of the project utilizes currently (or soon to be) available instrumentation for monitoring and analyzing plant and system performance on a continuous basis. The overall approach is to demonstrate in one facility all sensors, monitoring devices, and necessary computer hardware and software for on-line performance monitoring and dispatch purposes. Significant developments include turbine packing leakage measurement, condenser back-pressure measurement, power cycle testing, and studies of the application of advanced instrumentation to system dispatch.

  16. An improved protocol to study the plant cell wall proteome

    PubMed Central

    Printz, Bruno; Dos Santos Morais, Raphaël; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Sergeant, Kjell; Lutts, Stanley; Hausman, Jean-Francois; Renaut, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Cell wall proteins were extracted from alfalfa stems according to a three-steps extraction procedure using sequentially CaCl2, EGTA, and LiCl-complemented buffers. The efficiency of this protocol for extracting cell wall proteins was compared with the two previously published methods optimized for alfalfa stem cell wall protein analysis. Following LC-MS/MS analysis the three-steps extraction procedure resulted in the identification of the highest number of cell wall proteins (242 NCBInr identifiers) and gave the lowest percentage of non-cell wall proteins (about 30%). However, the three protocols are rather complementary than substitutive since 43% of the identified proteins were specific to one protocol. This three-step protocol was therefore selected for a more detailed proteomic characterization using 2D-gel electrophoresis. With this technique, 75% of the identified proteins were shown to be fraction-specific and 72.7% were predicted as belonging to the cell wall compartment. Although, being less sensitive than LC-MS/MS approaches in detecting and identifying low-abundant proteins, gel-based approaches are valuable tools for the differentiation and relative quantification of protein isoforms and/or modified proteins. In particular isoforms, having variations in their amino-acid sequence and/or carrying different N-linked glycan chains were detected and characterized. This study highlights how the extracting protocols as well as the analytical techniques devoted to the study of the plant cell wall proteome are complementary and how they may be combined to elucidate the dynamism of the plant cell wall proteome in biological studies. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001927. PMID:25914713

  17. Collect Data, Tell Stories: Utilizing Available Data to Improve Wound Product Selection, Reduce Costs, and Improve Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Mostow, Eliot; Montemayor, Jon D; Pittinger, Sean; Miller, Stephannie; Blasiole, Kimberly N; Fulton, Judith

    2014-08-01

    Objective: To develop a tool to assist in the evaluation of treatment options based on clinically relevant parameters, thus enabling clinicians to heal patients more efficiently. Approach: Outlined here is the prototypic model of a comprehensive analysis tool to compare products by category, accounting for product characteristics, effectiveness data from literature, costs, and patient needs or clinician preferences. Results: The tool is demonstrated with a venous leg ulcer example, and ideas for expanding the tool in the future are provided. Innovation: Although this is a simple model, the authors believe that it provides a valid and useful platform for comparing similar products of a given type using available information and reflecting real-world use to give a practical approach to clinical decision-making. Conclusion: Future funding for comprehensive, comparative effectiveness studies should provide clarity on which products to choose for specific applications. Meanwhile, tools like this can provide guidance, and can be modified to accommodate varying circumstances. PMID:25126475

  18. Collect Data, Tell Stories: Utilizing Available Data to Improve Wound Product Selection, Reduce Costs, and Improve Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Mostow, Eliot; Montemayor, Jon D.; Pittinger, Sean; Miller, Stephannie; Blasiole, Kimberly N.; Fulton, Judith

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To develop a tool to assist in the evaluation of treatment options based on clinically relevant parameters, thus enabling clinicians to heal patients more efficiently. Approach: Outlined here is the prototypic model of a comprehensive analysis tool to compare products by category, accounting for product characteristics, effectiveness data from literature, costs, and patient needs or clinician preferences. Results: The tool is demonstrated with a venous leg ulcer example, and ideas for expanding the tool in the future are provided. Innovation: Although this is a simple model, the authors believe that it provides a valid and useful platform for comparing similar products of a given type using available information and reflecting real-world use to give a practical approach to clinical decision-making. Conclusion: Future funding for comprehensive, comparative effectiveness studies should provide clarity on which products to choose for specific applications. Meanwhile, tools like this can provide guidance, and can be modified to accommodate varying circumstances. PMID:25126475

  19. Advanced control strategy for plant heat rate improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, P.; Frerichs, D.K.; Kyr, D.

    1995-12-31

    Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) supplies electricity to about half of the population of Florida, roughly 6.5 million people. The load base is largely residential/business with the obvious seasonal extremes due to the climate. FPL`s generating capacity is 16,320 MW composed of 70% traditional fossil cycle, 18% nuclear, and 12% gas turbine. The system load profile coupled with bulk power purchases is such that the 400 MW class units (9 Foster Wheeler drum type units comprising 24% of total capacity) are now forced to cycle daily all year, and to come off line on weekends during the winter months. The current economic realities of power generation force utility companies to seek methods to improve plant heat rate, and FPL is no exception. FPL believed it possible to achieve the goal of lower heat rate and follow the required load demand with the 400 MW class units through the use of an advanced control strategy implemented totally within the unit`s Distributed Control System (DCS). As of the writing of this paper, the project is still ongoing. This paper will present the theory and methodology of the advanced control strategy along with the current design and implementation status and results obtained to date.

  20. Improving Fatty Acid Availability for Bio-Hydrocarbon Production in Escherichia coli by Metabolic Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Fengming; Chen, Yu; Levine, Robert; Lee, Kilho; Yuan, Yingjin; Lin, Xiaoxia Nina

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated the feasibility of producing fatty-acid-derived hydrocarbons in Escherichia coli. However, product titers and yields remain low. In this work, we demonstrate new methods for improving fatty acid production by modifying central carbon metabolism and storing fatty acids in triacylglycerol. Based on suggestions from a computational model, we deleted seven genes involved in aerobic respiration, mixed-acid fermentation, and glyoxylate bypass (in the order of cyoA, nuoA, ndh, adhE, dld, pta, and iclR) to modify the central carbon metabolic/regulatory networks. These gene deletions led to increased total fatty acids, which were the highest in the mutants containing five or six gene knockouts. Additionally, when two key enzymes in the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway were over-expressed, we observed further increase in strain △cyoA△adhE△nuoA△ndh△pta△dld, leading to 202 mg/g dry cell weight of total fatty acids, ~250% of that in the wild-type strain. Meanwhile, we successfully introduced a triacylglycerol biosynthesis pathway into E. coli through heterologous expression of wax ester synthase/acyl-coenzyme:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (WS/DGAT) enzymes. The added pathway improved both the amount and fuel quality of the fatty acids. These new metabolic engineering strategies are providing promising directions for future investigation. PMID:24147139

  1. Organic amendments for improving biomass production and metal yield of Ni-hyperaccumulating plants.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-López, V; Prieto-Fernández, Á; Cabello-Conejo, M I; Kidd, P S

    2016-04-01

    Ni phytomining is a promising technology for Ni recovery from low-grade ores such as ultramafic soils. Metal-hyperaccumulators are good candidates for phytomining due to their extraordinary capacity for Ni accumulation. However, many of these plants produce a low biomass, which makes the use of agronomic techniques for improving their growth necessary. In this study, the Ni hyperaccumulators Alyssum serpyllifolium ssp. lusitanicum, A. serpyllifolium ssp. malacitanum, Alyssum bertolonii and Noccaea goesingense were evaluated for their Ni phytoextraction efficiency from a Ni-rich serpentine soil. Effects of soil inorganic fertilisation (100:100:125kgNPKha(-1)) and soil organic amendment addition (2.5, 5 or 10% compost) on plant growth and Ni accumulation were determined. All soil treatments greatly improved plant growth, but the highest biomass production was generally found after addition of 2.5 or 5% compost (w/w). The most pronounced beneficial effects were observed for N. goesingense. Total Ni phytoextracted from soils was significantly improved using both soil treatments (inorganic and organic), despite the decrease observed in soil Ni availability and shoot Ni concentrations in compost-amended soils. The most promising results were found using intermediate amount of compost, indicating that these types of organic wastes can be incorporated into phytomining systems. PMID:26803735

  2. Drivers of Plant-Availability of Phosphorus from Thermally Conditioned Sewage Sludge as Assessed by Isotopic Labeling.

    PubMed

    Andriamananjara, Andry; Rabeharisoa, Lilia; Prud'homme, Loïc; Morel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Urban sewage sludge is a potential source of phosphorus (P) for agriculture and represents an alternative way to recycle P as fertilizer. However, the use of thermally conditioned sewage sludge (TCSS) required an accurate assessment of its value as P-fertilizer. This work aimed at assessing the plant-availability of P from TCSS. Uptake of P by a mixture of ryegrass and fescue from TCSS and triple super phosphate (TSP) fertilizers was studied using (32)P-labeling technique in a greenhouse experiment. Phosphorus was applied at the rate of 50 mg P kg(-1).We also conducted incubation experiments considering the same treatments to assess soil microbial respiration. Applications of TCSS and TSP increased plant P uptake that is related to the root P acquisition. The P taken up by plant from soil plant-available P was lower for control compared to TSP or TCSS that was attributed to the increase of root interception of soil P. The contribution of TSP to ryegrass nutrition (Pdff%) was 55% with 22% of the applied P which was taken up by plants (CPU%). The Pdff value for TCSS was 56% with 14% of fertilizer P recovery (CPU%). Shoot biomass and total P uptake from TCSS were lower than those from TSP. As a result, the agronomic effectiveness of TCSS calculated from Pdff value (in comparison with TSP treatment) was 102%, while the AE of TCSS estimated from CPU value (in % TSP) was 64%, which is attributed to microbial activity stimulation inducing P immobilization onto soil constituents and microbial biomass during plant growth. The high C/N ratio of TCSS stimulated soil microbial biomass that competes with plant roots to acquire nutrients, such as P. As a consequence, the P taken up from either native soil or TCSS decreased in similar proportions. The AE value calculated with Pdff% took into account these interactions between soil, plant, and microbial biomass, and is less dependent on operational conditions than the AE value calculated with %Precovery. PMID:27379240

  3. Drivers of Plant-Availability of Phosphorus from Thermally Conditioned Sewage Sludge as Assessed by Isotopic Labeling

    PubMed Central

    Andriamananjara, Andry; Rabeharisoa, Lilia; Prud’homme, Loïc; Morel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Urban sewage sludge is a potential source of phosphorus (P) for agriculture and represents an alternative way to recycle P as fertilizer. However, the use of thermally conditioned sewage sludge (TCSS) required an accurate assessment of its value as P-fertilizer. This work aimed at assessing the plant-availability of P from TCSS. Uptake of P by a mixture of ryegrass and fescue from TCSS and triple super phosphate (TSP) fertilizers was studied using 32P-labeling technique in a greenhouse experiment. Phosphorus was applied at the rate of 50 mg P kg−1.We also conducted incubation experiments considering the same treatments to assess soil microbial respiration. Applications of TCSS and TSP increased plant P uptake that is related to the root P acquisition. The P taken up by plant from soil plant-available P was lower for control compared to TSP or TCSS that was attributed to the increase of root interception of soil P. The contribution of TSP to ryegrass nutrition (Pdff%) was 55% with 22% of the applied P which was taken up by plants (CPU%). The Pdff value for TCSS was 56% with 14% of fertilizer P recovery (CPU%). Shoot biomass and total P uptake from TCSS were lower than those from TSP. As a result, the agronomic effectiveness of TCSS calculated from Pdff value (in comparison with TSP treatment) was 102%, while the AE of TCSS estimated from CPU value (in % TSP) was 64%, which is attributed to microbial activity stimulation inducing P immobilization onto soil constituents and microbial biomass during plant growth. The high C/N ratio of TCSS stimulated soil microbial biomass that competes with plant roots to acquire nutrients, such as P. As a consequence, the P taken up from either native soil or TCSS decreased in similar proportions. The AE value calculated with Pdff% took into account these interactions between soil, plant, and microbial biomass, and is less dependent on operational conditions than the AE value calculated with %Precovery. PMID:27379240

  4. Compressed Air System Upgrade Improves Production at an Automotive Glass Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2003-02-01

    In 2000, The Visteon automotive glass plant improved its compressed air system at its automotive glass plant in Nashville, Tennessee. This improvement allowed Visteon to save $711,000 annually, reduce annual energy consumption by 7.9 million kilowatt-hours, reduce maintenance, improve system performance, and avoid $800,000 in asbestos abatement costs.

  5. Improving Agricultural Productivity in Tonga through Ensuring Data Availability and Enhancing Agro-meteorological Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    The project was first conceived in the Global Framework for Climate Services Regional Consultation in the Cook Islands in March 2014. In this meeting, key officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests, and Fisheries and the Tonga Meteorological Services had a meeting with the APEC Climate Center scientists with the idea to collaborate on a joint project. The project evolved to include the following components: assessment of users' needs and capacities, development of an agricultural database, research on the core relationships between agriculture and climate through modeling and field trials, and the development and delivery of agro-meteorological services. Envisioned outputs include a 2-7 day warning for pests and diseases, a suite of tools supporting decisions on planting dates and crop varieties, and other advisory services derived from seasonal climate forecasts. As one of the climate adaptation projects under its Pacific Island portfolio, the project will deliver urgent information services for Tongan agricultural growers and exporters. The project comes into greater importance and urgency, as the 2014 drought event resulted in the destruction of 80% of squash in Tonga, a main export crop from which the country derives foreign exchange earnings. Since 2014, some of the project achievements include the first agro-met data collection in Tonga, the development of an agricultural DB management system that houses archived agriculture data, and key meetings with stakeholders to ensure alignment of the project objectives and design with the interests of the Tongan government and other stakeholders. In addition, rigorous scientific research through modeling and field trials has been conducted to address the twin goals of supporting Tonga's economy as well as food security. Based on the findings from the research, tools will be developed to translate the science into knowledge that supports decisions on the farm scale.

  6. A model of plant isoprene emission based on available reducing power captures responses to atmospheric CO₂.

    PubMed

    Morfopoulos, Catherine; Sperlich, Dominik; Peñuelas, Josep; Filella, Iolanda; Llusià, Joan; Medlyn, Belinda E; Niinemets, Ülo; Possell, Malcolm; Sun, Zhihong; Prentice, Iain Colin

    2014-07-01

    We present a unifying model for isoprene emission by photosynthesizing leaves based on the hypothesis that isoprene biosynthesis depends on a balance between the supply of photosynthetic reducing power and the demands of carbon fixation. We compared the predictions from our model, as well as from two other widely used models, with measurements of isoprene emission from leaves of Populus nigra and hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × P. tremuloides) in response to changes in leaf internal CO2 concentration (C(i)) and photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) under diverse ambient CO2 concentrations (C(a)). Our model reproduces the observed changes in isoprene emissions with C(i) and PPFD, and also reproduces the tendency for the fraction of fixed carbon allocated to isoprene to increase with increasing PPFD. It also provides a simple mechanism for the previously unexplained decrease in the quantum efficiency of isoprene emission with increasing C(a). Experimental and modelled results support our hypothesis. Our model can reproduce the key features of the observations and has the potential to improve process-based modelling of isoprene emissions by land vegetation at the ecosystem and global scales. PMID:24661143

  7. Plant available silicon in South-east Asian rice paddy soils - relevance of agricultural practice and of abiotic factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marxen, A.; Klotzbücher, T.; Vetterlein, D.; Jahn, R.

    2012-12-01

    Background Silicon (Si) plays a crucial role in rice production. Si content of rice plants exceeds the content of other major nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous or potassium. Recent studies showed that in some environments external supply of Si can enhance the growth of rice plants. Rice plants express specific Si transporters to absorb Si from soil solutions in form of silicic acid, which precipitates in tissue cells forming amorphous silica bodies, called phytoliths. The phytoliths are returned to soils with plant residues. They might be a main source of plant available silicic acid in soils. Aims In this study we assess the effects of rice paddy cultivation on the stocks of `reactive` Si fractions in mineral topsoils of rice paddy fields in contrasting landscapes. The `reactive` Si fractions are presumed to determine the release of plant-available silicic acid in soils. We consider the relevance of abiotic factors (mineral assemblage; soil weathering status) and agricultural practice for these fractions. Agricultural practices, which were assumed to affect the stocks of `reactive` Si were (i) the usage of different rice varieties (which might differ in Si demand), (ii) straw residue management (i.e., whether straw residues are returned to the fields or removed and used e.g. as fodder), and (iii) yield level and number of crops per year. Material and methods Soils (top horizon of about 0-20 cm depth) were sampled from rice paddy fields in 2 mountainous and 5 lowland landscapes of contrasting geologic conditions in Vietnam and the Philippines. Ten paddy fields were sampled per landscape. The rice paddy management within landscapes differed when different farmers and/or communities managed the fields. We analysed the following fractions of `reactive` Si in the soils: acetate-extractable Si (dissolved and easily exchangeable Si), phosphate-extractable Si (adsorbed Si), oxalate extractable Si (Si associated with poorly-ordered sesquioxides), NaOH extractable Si

  8. Exploring high throughput phenotyping, plant architecture and plant-boll distribution for improving drought tolerance in cotton

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is a pressing need to identify and understand the effects of different irrigation regimes on plant-boll distribution, seed cotton yield, and plant architecture for improving yield and fiber quality under stress and/or drought tolerance of cotton (Gossypium spp.) cultivars. To identify the impa...

  9. Leveraging Cloud Computing to Improve Storage Durability, Availability, and Cost for MER Maestro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, George W.; Powell, Mark W.; Callas, John L.; Torres, Recaredo J.; Shams, Khawaja S.

    2012-01-01

    The Maestro for MER (Mars Exploration Rover) software is the premiere operation and activity planning software for the Mars rovers, and it is required to deliver all of the processed image products to scientists on demand. These data span multiple storage arrays sized at 2 TB, and a backup scheme ensures data is not lost. In a catastrophe, these data would currently recover at 20 GB/hour, taking several days for a restoration. A seamless solution provides access to highly durable, highly available, scalable, and cost-effective storage capabilities. This approach also employs a novel technique that enables storage of the majority of data on the cloud and some data locally. This feature is used to store the most recent data locally in order to guarantee utmost reliability in case of an outage or disconnect from the Internet. This also obviates any changes to the software that generates the most recent data set as it still has the same interface to the file system as it did before updates

  10. Analysis of plant available water in the context of climate change using Thornthwaite type monthly water balance model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herceg, Andras; Gribovszki, Zoltan; Kalicz, Peter

    2016-04-01

    The hydrological impact of climate change can be dramatic. The primary objective of this paper was to analyze plant available water in the context of climate change using Thornthwaite type monthly water balance calibrated by remote sensing based ET maps. The calibrated model was used for projection on the basis of 4 climate model datasets. The 3 periods of projection were: 2010-2040, 2040-2070, and 2070-2100. The benefit of this method is its robust build up, which can be applied if temperature and precipitation time series are accessible. The key parameter is the water storage capacity of the soil (SOILMAX), which can be calibrated using the actual available evapotranspiration data. If the soil's physical properties are available, the maximal rooting depth is also projectable. Plant available water was evaluated for future scenarios focusing water stress periods. For testing the model, a dataset of an agricultural parcel next to Mosonmagyaróvár and a dataset of a small forest covered catchment next to Sopron were successfully used. Each of the models projected slightly ascending evapotranspiration values (+7 percent), but strongly decreasing soil moisture values (-15 percent) for the 21st century. The soil moisture minimum values (generally appeared at the end of the summer) reduced more than 50 percent which indicate almost critical water stress for vegetation. This research has been supported by Agroclimate.2 VKSZ_12-1-2013-0034 project.