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Sample records for sustainable maize production

  1. “Omics” of Maize Stress Response for Sustainable Food Production: Opportunities and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Fangping; Yang, Le; Tai, Fuju; Hu, Xiuli

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Maize originated in the highlands of Mexico approximately 8700 years ago and is one of the most commonly grown cereal crops worldwide, followed by wheat and rice. Abiotic stresses (primarily drought, salinity, and high and low temperatures), together with biotic stresses (primarily fungi, viruses, and pests), negatively affect maize growth, development, and eventually production. To understand the response of maize to abiotic and biotic stresses and its mechanism of stress tolerance, high-throughput omics approaches have been used in maize stress studies. Integrated omics approaches are crucial for dissecting the temporal and spatial system-level changes that occur in maize under various stresses. In this comprehensive analysis, we review the primary types of stresses that threaten sustainable maize production; underscore the recent advances in maize stress omics, especially proteomics; and discuss the opportunities, challenges, and future directions of maize stress omics, with a view to sustainable food production. The knowledge gained from studying maize stress omics is instrumental for improving maize to cope with various stresses and to meet the food demands of the exponentially growing global population. Omics systems science offers actionable potential solutions for sustainable food production, and we present maize as a notable case study. PMID:25401749

  2. Making better maize plants for sustainable grain production in a changing climate

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Fangping; Wu, Xiaolin; Zhang, Huiyong; Chen, Yanhui; Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Achieving grain supply security with limited arable land is a major challenge in the twenty-first century, owing to the changing climate and increasing global population. Maize plays an increasingly vital role in global grain production. As a C4 plant, maize has a high yield potential. Maize is predicted to become the number one cereal in the world by 2020. However, maize production has plateaued in many countries, and hybrid and production technologies have been fully exploited. Thus, there is an urgent need to shape maize traits and architectures for increased stress tolerance and higher yield in a changing climate. Recent achievements in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics have provided an unprecedented opportunity to make better maize. In this paper, we discuss the current challenges and potential of maize production, particularly in China. We also highlight the need for enhancing maize tolerance to drought and heat waves, summarize the elite shoot and root traits and phenotypes, and propose an ideotype for sustainable maize production in a changing climate. This will facilitate targeted maize improvement through a conventional breeding program combined with molecular techniques. PMID:26500671

  3. Making better maize plants for sustainable grain production in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Gong, Fangping; Wu, Xiaolin; Zhang, Huiyong; Chen, Yanhui; Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Achieving grain supply security with limited arable land is a major challenge in the twenty-first century, owing to the changing climate and increasing global population. Maize plays an increasingly vital role in global grain production. As a C4 plant, maize has a high yield potential. Maize is predicted to become the number one cereal in the world by 2020. However, maize production has plateaued in many countries, and hybrid and production technologies have been fully exploited. Thus, there is an urgent need to shape maize traits and architectures for increased stress tolerance and higher yield in a changing climate. Recent achievements in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics have provided an unprecedented opportunity to make better maize. In this paper, we discuss the current challenges and potential of maize production, particularly in China. We also highlight the need for enhancing maize tolerance to drought and heat waves, summarize the elite shoot and root traits and phenotypes, and propose an ideotype for sustainable maize production in a changing climate. This will facilitate targeted maize improvement through a conventional breeding program combined with molecular techniques. PMID:26500671

  4. Manure incorporation reduces environmental nitrogen loss while sustaining crop productivity in the subtropical wheat-maize rotation system: A comprehensive study of nitrogen cycling and balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Minghua; Zhu, Bo; Butterbach-Bahl, klaus; Brüggemann, Nicolas

    2016-04-01

    Balancing nitrogen (N) budgets of agricultural systems is essential for sustaining yields at lower environmental costs. The knowledge, however, of total N budgets of agricultural systems including all N fluxes is still rare in the literature. Here, we applied a combination of monitoring in situ N fluxes and field 15N tracer and 15N isotope dilution techniques to investigate the effects of different N fertilizers (control, synthetic fertilizer, 60% synthetic fertilizer N plus 40% pig manure N, pig manure only applied at the same N rate 280 kg N ha‑1 yr‑1) on N pools, cycling processes, fluxes and total N balances in a subtropical wheat-maize rotation system of China. Nitrate leaching and NH3 volatilization were main hydrological and gaseous N loss pathways, respectively. The warm and wet maize season was associated with significantly larger environmental N losses than the cooler and drier wheat season. The field 15N tracing experiment showed that the wheat system had high N retention capacity (˜50% of 15N application) but with short residence time. I.e. 90% of soil residual 15N labelled fertilizer in the wheat system were utilized by plants or lost to the environment in the subsequent maize season. Our annual total N balances of the different treatments revealed that combined synthetic and organic fertilization or manure only maintained the same level of yields and led to significantly lower N losses and higher N retention, even though larger NH3 volatilization losses were caused by manure incorporation. Thus, our study suggests that a combination of synthetic and organic N fertilizers is suitable for sustaining agricultural productivity while reducing environmental N losses through fostering interactions between the soil C and N cycle.

  5. Global maize production, utilization, and consumption.

    PubMed

    Ranum, Peter; Peña-Rosas, Juan Pablo; Garcia-Casal, Maria Nieves

    2014-04-01

    Maize (Zea mays), also called corn, is believed to have originated in central Mexico 7000 years ago from a wild grass, and Native Americans transformed maize into a better source of food. Maize contains approximately 72% starch, 10% protein, and 4% fat, supplying an energy density of 365 Kcal/100 g and is grown throughout the world, with the United States, China, and Brazil being the top three maize-producing countries in the world, producing approximately 563 of the 717 million metric tons/year. Maize can be processed into a variety of food and industrial products, including starch, sweeteners, oil, beverages, glue, industrial alcohol, and fuel ethanol. In the last 10 years, the use of maize for fuel production significantly increased, accounting for approximately 40% of the maize production in the United States. As the ethanol industry absorbs a larger share of the maize crop, higher prices for maize will intensify demand competition and could affect maize prices for animal and human consumption. Low production costs, along with the high consumption of maize flour and cornmeal, especially where micronutrient deficiencies are common public health problems, make this food staple an ideal food vehicle for fortification. PMID:24650320

  6. Use of tropical maize for bioethanol production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tropical maize is an alternative energy crop being considered as a feedstock for bioethanol production in the North Central and Midwest United States. Tropical maize is advantageous because it produces large amounts of soluble sugars in its stalks, creates a large amount of biomass, and requires lo...

  7. Use of tropical maize for bioethanol production.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ming-Hsu; Kaur, Prabhjot; Dien, Bruce; Below, Frederick; Vincent, Michael L; Singh, Vijay

    2013-08-01

    Tropical maize is an alternative energy crop being considered as a feedstock for bioethanol production in the North Central and Midwest United States. Tropical maize is advantageous because it produces large amounts of soluble sugars in its stalks, creates a large amount of biomass, and requires lower inputs (e.g. nitrogen) than grain corn. Soluble sugars, including sucrose, glucose and fructose were extracted by pressing the stalks at dough stage (R4). The initial extracted syrup fermented faster than the control culture grown on a yeast extract/phosphate/sucrose medium. The syrup was subsequently concentrated 1.25-2.25 times, supplemented with urea, and fermented using Saccharomyces cerevisiae for up to 96 h. The final ethanol concentrations obtained were 8.1 % (v/v) to 15.6 % (v/v), equivalent to 90.3-92.2 % of the theoretical yields. However, fermentation productivity decreased with sugar concentration, suggesting that the yeast might be osmotically stressed at the increased sugar concentrations. These results provide in-depth information for utilizing tropical maize syrup for bioethanol production that will help in tropical maize breeding and development for use as another feedstock for the biofuel industry. PMID:23508398

  8. Effect of organic fertilizers on maize production in Eastern Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolokhava, Tamar; Kenchiashvili, Naira; Tarkhnishvili, Maia; Ghambashidze, Giorgi

    2016-04-01

    Maize remains to be the most important cereal crop in Georgia. Total area of arable land under cereal crops production equals to 184 thousands hectares (FAO statistical yearbook, 2014), from which maize takes the biggest share. Leading position of maize among other cereal crops is caused by its dual purpose as food and feed product. In Spite of a relatively high production of maize to other cereals there is still a high demand on it, especially as feed for animal husbandry. The same tendency is seen in organic production, where producers of livestock and poultry products require organically grown maize, the average yield of which is much less than those produced conventionally. Therefore, it is important to increase productivity of maize in organic farms. Current study aimed to improve maize yield using locally produced organic fertilizers and to compare them to the effect of mineral fertilizers. The study was carried out in Eastern Georgia under dry subtropical climate conditions on local hybrid of maize. This is the first attempt to use hybrid maize (developed with organic plant breeding method) in organic field trials in Georgia. The results shown, that grain yield from two different types of organic fertilizers reached 70% of the yields achieved with industrial mineral fertilizers. As on farm level differences between organic and conventional maize production are much severe, the results from the field trials seems to be promising for future improvement of organic cereal crop production.

  9. Maize variety and method of production

    DOEpatents

    Pauly, Markus; Hake, Sarah; Kraemer, Florian J

    2014-05-27

    The disclosure relates to a maize plant, seed, variety, and hybrid. More specifically, the disclosure relates to a maize plant containing a Cal-1 allele, whose expression results in increased cell wall-derived glucan content in the maize plant. The disclosure also relates to crossing inbreds, varieties, and hybrids containing the Cal-1 allele to produce novel types and varieties of maize plants.

  10. Processing maize flour and corn meal food products

    PubMed Central

    Gwirtz, Jeffrey A; Garcia-Casal, Maria Nieves

    2014-01-01

    Corn is the cereal with the highest production worldwide and is used for human consumption, livestock feed, and fuel. Various food technologies are currently used for processing industrially produced maize flours and corn meals in different parts of the world to obtain precooked refined maize flour, dehydrated nixtamalized flour, fermented maize flours, and other maize products. These products have different intrinsic vitamin and mineral contents, and their processing follows different pathways from raw grain to the consumer final product, which entail changes in nutrient composition. Dry maize mechanical processing creates whole or fractionated products, separated by anatomical features such as bran, germ, and endosperm. Wet maize processing separates by chemical compound classification such as starch and protein. Various industrial processes, including whole grain, dry milling fractionation, and nixtamalization, are described. Vitamin and mineral losses during processing are identified and the nutritional impacts outlined. Also discussed are the vitamin and mineral contents of corn. PMID:24329576

  11. Processing maize flour and corn meal food products.

    PubMed

    Gwirtz, Jeffrey A; Garcia-Casal, Maria Nieves

    2014-04-01

    Corn is the cereal with the highest production worldwide and is used for human consumption, livestock feed, and fuel. Various food technologies are currently used for processing industrially produced maize flours and corn meals in different parts of the world to obtain precooked refined maize flour, dehydrated nixtamalized flour, fermented maize flours, and other maize products. These products have different intrinsic vitamin and mineral contents, and their processing follows different pathways from raw grain to the consumer final product, which entail changes in nutrient composition. Dry maize mechanical processing creates whole or fractionated products, separated by anatomical features such as bran, germ, and endosperm. Wet maize processing separates by chemical compound classification such as starch and protein. Various industrial processes, including whole grain, dry milling fractionation, and nixtamalization, are described. Vitamin and mineral losses during processing are identified and the nutritional impacts outlined. Also discussed are the vitamin and mineral contents of corn. PMID:24329576

  12. Sustainable hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Block, D.L.; Linkous, C.; Muradov, N.

    1996-01-01

    This report describes the Sustainable Hydrogen Production research conducted at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) for the past year. The report presents the work done on the following four tasks: Task 1--production of hydrogen by photovoltaic-powered electrolysis; Task 2--solar photocatalytic hydrogen production from water using a dual-bed photosystem; Task 3--development of solid electrolytes for water electrolysis at intermediate temperatures; and Task 4--production of hydrogen by thermocatalytic cracking of natural gas. For each task, this report presents a summary, introduction/description of project, and results.

  13. [Detection of genetic modification in maize and maize products by ELISA-test].

    PubMed

    Urbanek-Karłowska, Bogumiła; Sawilska-Rautenstrauch, Dorota; Jedra, Małgorzata; Badowski, Paweł

    2003-01-01

    Enzyme immunoassay methods--TRAIT Test--was applied for detection of genetic modification in maize seeds and foodstuffs, which have been produced from this crop. TRAIT Test is based on the identification GMO protein Cry 1Ab produced by a gene derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) incorporated into insect resistant corn grain. The experiment was carried out on maize standards and foodstuffs from Warsaw market. The positive result was obtained for one maize product, which was not labelled as GMO. The presence of GMO material was approximately equal to 1%. In conclusion, this test is proper for fast routine qualitative (yes/no) determination GMO material in maize seeds and unprocessed food products. PMID:15052732

  14. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer's net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011-2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs. PMID:27471508

  15. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability

    PubMed Central

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K.

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer’s net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011–2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize–cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs. PMID:27471508

  16. Effects of temperature changes on maize production in Mozambique

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, L.; Michaelsen, J.; Funk, C.; Husak, G.

    2011-01-01

    We examined intraseasonal changes in maize phenology and heat stress exposure over the 1979-2008 period, using Mozambique meteorological station data and maize growth requirements in a growing degree-day model. Identifying historical effects of warming on maize growth is particularly important in Mozambique because national food security is highly dependent on domestic food production, most of which is grown in already warm to hot environments. Warming temperatures speed plant development, shortening the length of growth periods necessary for optimum plant and grain size. This faster phenological development also alters the timing of maximum plant water demand. In hot growing environments, temperature increases during maize pollination threaten to make midseason crop failure the norm. In addition to creating a harsher thermal environment, we find that early season temperature increases have caused the maize reproductive period to start earlier, increasing the risk of heat and water stress. Declines in time to maize maturation suggest that, independent of effects to water availability, yield potential is becoming increasingly limited by warming itself. Regional variations in effects are a function of the timing and magnitude of temperature increases and growing season characteristics. Continuation of current climatic trends could induce substantial yield losses in some locations. Farmers could avoid some losses through simple changes to planting dates and maize varietal types.

  17. Prospects for maize production in Spain under climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Iglesias, A.; Minguez, M.I.

    1995-12-31

    Agricultural productivity and water resources may be affected by global climate change. Three global climate models (GCMs) and the CERES-maize crop model were used to explore the potential impacts of climate change on maize (Zea mays L.) production in Spain. This study was carried out in five regions that include the largest areas of Spain where maize is grown as a high input crop. Although the results depend on the severity of climate change and the physiological effects of CO{sub 2} on the crop, the simulations under the present management practices suggest that yields are likely to decrease in the all production areas. This is due to a shortening of the crop growth duration as temperatures increase. Finally, this study evaluated changes in crop management that may represent the adaptation of farmers to changing climate conditions. Adaptation strategies based on earlier sowing dates or choice of hybrids with a longer crop growth duration compensated for climate change impacts only in two regions, but not in the main maize-growing areas of central Spain. The high production costs of this crop and the limited water available for irrigation may force maize production to be abandoned in some areas, especially in Central Spain.

  18. Modelling of maize production in Croatia: present and future climate.

    PubMed

    Vučetić, V

    2011-04-01

    Maize is one of the most important agricultural crops in Croatia, and was selected for research of the effect of climate warming on yields. The Decision Support System for the Agrotechnology Transfer model (DSSAT) is one of the most utilized crop-weather models in the world, and was used in this paper for the investigation of maize growth and production in the present and future climate. The impact of present climate on maize yield was studied using DSSAT 4.0 with meteorological data from the Zagreb-Maksimir station covering the period 1949-2004. Pedological, physiological and genetic data from a 1999 field maize experiment at the same location were added. The location is representative of the continental climate in central Croatia. The linear trends of model outputs and the non-parametric Mann-Kendall test indicate that the beginning of silking has advanced significantly by 1·4 days/decade since the mid-1990s, and maturity by 4·5 days/decade. It also shows a decrease in biomass by 122 kg/ha and in maize yield by 216 kg/ha in 10 years.Estimates of the sensitivity of maize growth and yield in future climates were made by changing the initial weather and CO(2) conditions of the DSSAT 4.0 model according to the different climatic scenarios for Croatia at the end of the 21st century. Changed climate suggests increases in global solar radiation, minimal temperature and maximal temperature (×1·07, 2 and 4°C, respectively), but a decrease in the amount of precipitation (×0·92), compared with weather data from the period 1949-2004. The reduction of maize yield was caused by the increase in minimal and maximal temperature and the decrease in precipitation amount, related to the present climate, is 6, 12 and 3%, respectively. A doubling of CO(2) concentration stimulates leaf assimilation, but maize yield is only 1% higher, while global solar radiation growth by 7% increases evapotranspiration by 3%. Simultaneous application of all these climate changes suggested that

  19. Modelling of maize production in Croatia: present and future climate

    PubMed Central

    VUČETIĆ, V.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Maize is one of the most important agricultural crops in Croatia, and was selected for research of the effect of climate warming on yields. The Decision Support System for the Agrotechnology Transfer model (DSSAT) is one of the most utilized crop–weather models in the world, and was used in this paper for the investigation of maize growth and production in the present and future climate. The impact of present climate on maize yield was studied using DSSAT 4.0 with meteorological data from the Zagreb–Maksimir station covering the period 1949–2004. Pedological, physiological and genetic data from a 1999 field maize experiment at the same location were added. The location is representative of the continental climate in central Croatia. The linear trends of model outputs and the non-parametric Mann–Kendall test indicate that the beginning of silking has advanced significantly by 1·4 days/decade since the mid-1990s, and maturity by 4·5 days/decade. It also shows a decrease in biomass by 122 kg/ha and in maize yield by 216 kg/ha in 10 years. Estimates of the sensitivity of maize growth and yield in future climates were made by changing the initial weather and CO2 conditions of the DSSAT 4.0 model according to the different climatic scenarios for Croatia at the end of the 21st century. Changed climate suggests increases in global solar radiation, minimal temperature and maximal temperature (×1·07, 2 and 4°C, respectively), but a decrease in the amount of precipitation (×0·92), compared with weather data from the period 1949–2004. The reduction of maize yield was caused by the increase in minimal and maximal temperature and the decrease in precipitation amount, related to the present climate, is 6, 12 and 3%, respectively. A doubling of CO2 concentration stimulates leaf assimilation, but maize yield is only 1% higher, while global solar radiation growth by 7% increases evapotranspiration by 3%. Simultaneous application of all these climate changes

  20. Modeling kinetics of aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus in maize-based medium and maize grain.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Daiana; Ramos, Antonio J; Sanchis, Vicente; Marín, Sonia

    2013-03-15

    Predictive mycology has dealt mainly with germination, growth and inactivation of fungi while the issue of mycotoxin production remains relatively unexplored. Very few studies provide biomass dry weight/colony size data along with mycotoxin data for the same sample times, thus the ratio mycotoxin accumulation per fungal biomass dry weight/colony size has rarely been reported. For this reason, the objective of the present study was to model the kinetics of mycotoxin production under the assumption of existing both no-growth-associated and growth-associated production. Aspergillus flavus was chosen as a model mycotoxigenic microorganism, and it was grown in maize agar medium and maize grain at 0.90 and 0.99 aw at 25°C. A significant positive correlation (p<0.05) was observed among the biomass responses (colony radius and biomass dry weight) in agar medium and colony radius in maize at both aw levels assayed. The Luedeking-Piret model was used to model AFB1 production and reasonable percentages of variability were explained. Moreover, AFB1 production was in general slightly better predicted through colony area. As conclusion, aflatoxin production may follow a mixed-growth associated trend, confirming that toxin formation does not present a clear delay in relation to growth under certain conditions. PMID:23422844

  1. Maize production and land degradation: a Portuguese agriculture field case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Carla S. S.; Pato, João V.; Moreira, Pedro M.; Valério, Luís M.; Guilherme, Rosa; Casau, Fernando J.; Santos, Daniela; Keizer, Jacob J.; Ferreira, António J. D.

    2016-04-01

    While food security is a main challenge faced by human kind, intensive agriculture often leads to soil degradation which then can threaten productivity. Maize is one of the most important crops across the world, with 869 million tons produced worldwide in 2012/2013 (IGC 2015), of which 929.5 thousand tons in Portugal (INE 2014). In Portugal, maize is sown in April/May and harvest occurs generally in October. Conventional maize production requires high inputs of water and fertilizers to achieve higher yields. As Portuguese farmers are typically rather old (on average, 63 years) and typically have a low education level (INE 2014), sustainability of their land management practises is often not a principal concern. This could explain why, in 2009, only 4% of the Portuguese temporary crops were under no-tillage, why only 8% of the farmers performed soil analyses in the previous three years, and why many soils have a low organic matter content (INE 2014). Nonetheless, sustainable land management practices are generally accepted to be the key to reducing agricultural soil degradation, preventing water pollution, and assuring long-term crop production objectives and food security. Sustainable land management should therefore not only be a concern for policy makers but also for farmers, since land degradation will have negative repercussions on the productivity, thus, on their economical income. This paper aims to assess the impact of maize production on soil properties. The study focusses on an 8 ha maize field located in central Portugal, with a Mediterranean climate on a gently sloping terrain (<3%) and with a soil classified as Eutric Fluvisol. On the field, several experiments were carried out with different maize varieties as well as with different fertilizers (solid, liquid and both). Centre pivot irrigation was largely used. Data is available from 2003, and concerns crop yield, fertilization and irrigation practices, as well as soil properties assessed through

  2. Tracing transgenic maize as affected by breadmaking process and raw material for the production of a traditional maize bread, broa.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Telmo J R; Oliveira, M Beatriz P P; Mafra, Isabel

    2013-05-01

    Broa is a maize bread highly consumed and appreciated, especially in the north and central zones of Portugal. In the manufacturing of broa, maize flour and maize semolina might be used, besides other cereals such as wheat and rye. Considering the needs for genetically modified organism (GMO) traceability in highly processed foods, the aim of this work was to assess DNA degradation, DNA amplification and GMO quantification along breadmaking process of broa. DNA degradation was noticed by its decrease of integrity after dough baking and in all parts of bread sampling. The PCR amplification results of extracted DNA from the three distinct maize breads (broa 1, 2 and 3) showed that sequences for maize invertase gene and for events MON810 and TC1507 were easily detected with strong products. Real-time PCR revealed that quantification of GMO was feasible in the three different breads and that sampling location of baked bread might have a limited influence since the average quantitative results of both events after baking were very close to the actual values in the case of broa 1 (prepared with maize semolina). In the other two maize breads subjected to the same baking treatment, the contents of MON810 maize were considerably underestimated, leading to the conclusion that heat-processing was not the responsible parameter for that distortion, but the size of particle and mechanical processing of raw maize play also a major role in GMO quantification. PMID:23265541

  3. Agroclimatological suitability mapping for dryland maize production in Lesotho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeletsi, Mokhele Edmond; Walker, Sue

    2013-10-01

    The climatic potential of maize under dryland farming in Lesotho, southern Africa, was investigated using five suitability indices comprising probability of accumulating heat units of greater than 1,500 growing degree days, probability of a frost-free growing season, probability of seasonal rainfall of more than 500 mm, probability of drought during the flowering to grain-filling stages and the slope of an area. A geographic information system layer was prepared for each of these parameters and the layers overlaid using different weights for each of the climatic suitability indices to obtain an agroclimatic maize suitability map for Lesotho. This analysis yielded different suitability classes. This variability points to prevalence of climatic constraints that need to be acknowledged when attempting to identify management strategies that can optimize the rain-fed maize production in climatically variable environments.

  4. Global Synthesis of Drought Effects on Maize and Wheat Production

    PubMed Central

    Daryanto, Stefani; Wang, Lixin; Jacinthe, Pierre-André

    2016-01-01

    Drought has been a major cause of agricultural disaster, yet how it affects the vulnerability of maize and wheat production in combination with several co-varying factors (i.e., phenological phases, agro-climatic regions, soil texture) remains unclear. Using a data synthesis approach, this study aims to better characterize the effects of those co-varying factors with drought and to provide critical information on minimizing yield loss. We collected data from peer-reviewed publications between 1980 and 2015 which examined maize and wheat yield responses to drought using field experiments. We performed unweighted analysis using the log response ratio to calculate the bootstrapped confidence limits of yield responses and calculated drought sensitivities with regards to those co-varying factors. Our results showed that yield reduction varied with species, with wheat having lower yield reduction (20.6%) compared to maize (39.3%) at approximately 40% water reduction. Maize was also more sensitive to drought than wheat, particularly during reproductive phase and equally sensitive in the dryland and non-dryland regions. While no yield difference was observed among regions or different soil texture, wheat cultivation in the dryland was more prone to yield loss than in the non-dryland region. Informed by these results, we discuss potential causes and possible approaches that may minimize drought impacts. PMID:27223810

  5. Using observed warming to identify hazards to Mozambique maize production

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Funk, Christopher C.; Harrison, Laura; Eilerts, Gary

    2011-01-01

    New Perspectives on Crop Yield Constraints because of Climate Change. Climate change impact assessments usually focus on changes to precipitation because most global food production is from rainfed cropping systems; however, other aspects of climate change may affect crop growth and potential yields.A recent (2011) study by the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Climate Hazards Group, determined that climate change may be affecting Mozambique's primary food crop in a usually overlooked, but potentially significant way (Harrison and others, 2011). The study focused on the direct relation between maize crop development and growing season temperature. It determined that warming during the past three decades in Mozambique may be causing more frequent crop stress and yield reductions in that country's maize crop, independent of any changes occurring in rainfall. This report summarizes the findings and conclusions of that study.

  6. Yield Potential of Soil Water and Its Sustainability for Dryland Spring Maize with Plastic Film Mulch on the Loess Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Wen; Liu, Wenzhao

    2016-04-01

    Plastic film mulch(PM) is an agronomic measure widely used in the dryland spring maize production system on the Loess Plateau of China. The measure can greatly increase yield of dryland maize due to its significant effects on soil water conservation. Few researches have been done to investigate how the yield potential is impacted by PM. The yield-water use (ET) boundary equation raised by French and Schultz provides a simple approach to calculate crop water limited yield potential and gives a benchmark for farmers in managing their crops. However, method used in building the equation is somewhat arbitrary and has no strict principle, which leads to the uncertainty of equation when it is applied. Though using PM can increase crop yield, it increases soil temperature, promotes crop growth and increases the water transpired by crop, which further leads to high water consumption as compared with crops without PM. This means that PM may lead to the overuse of soil water and hence is unsustainable in a long run. This research is mainly focused on the yield potential and sustainability of PMing for spring maize on the Loess Plateau. A principle that may be utilized by any other researchers was proposed based on French & Schultz's boundary equation and on part of quantile regression theory. We used a data set built by collecting the experimental data from published papers and analyzed the water-limited yield potential of spring maize on the Loess Plateau. Moreover, maize yield and soil water dynamics under PM were investigated by a long-term site field experiment. Results show that on the Loess Plateau, the water limited yield potential can be calculated using the boundary equation y = 60.5×(x - 50), with a platform yield of 15954 kghm-2 after the water use exceeds 314 mm. Without PMing, the water limited yield potential can be estimated by the boundary equation y = 47.5×(x - 62.3) , with a platform yield of 12840 kghm-2 when the water use exceeds 325 mm, which

  7. Critical Precipitation Period for Dryland Maize Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grain yields for dryland corn (Zea mays L.) production in the semi-arid Great Plains of the United States can be very unpredictable because of the erratic nature of growing season precipitation. Because inputs costs for corn production can be very high, farmers need to have a tool that will help the...

  8. Rational Phosphorus Application Facilitates the Sustainability of the Wheat/Maize/Soybean Relay Strip Intercropping System

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ke; Liu, Jing; Lu, Junyu; Xu, Kaiwei

    2015-01-01

    Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/maize (Zea mays L.)/soybean (Glycine max L.) relay strip intercropping (W/M/S) system is commonly used by the smallholders in the Southwest of China. However, little known is how to manage phosphorus (P) to enhance P use efficiency of the W/M/S system and to mitigate P leaching that is a major source of pollution. Field experiments were carried out in 2011, 2012, and 2013 to test the impact of five P application rates on yield and P use efficiency of the W/M/S system. The study measured grain yield, shoot P uptake, apparent P recovery efficiency (PRE) and soil P content. A linear-plateau model was used to determine the critical P rate that maximizes gains in the indexes of system productivity. The results show that increase in P application rates aggrandized shoot P uptake and crops yields at threshold rates of 70 and 71.5 kg P ha-1 respectively. With P application rates increasing, the W/M/S system decreased the PRE from 35.9% to 12.3% averaged over the three years. A rational P application rate, 72 kg P ha-1, or an appropriate soil Olsen-P level, 19.1 mg kg-1, drives the W/M/S system to maximize total grain yield while minimizing P surplus, as a result of the PRE up to 28.0%. We conclude that rational P application is an important approach for relay intercropping to produce high yield while mitigating P pollution and the rational P application-based integrated P fertilizer management is vital for sustainable intensification of agriculture in the Southwest of China. PMID:26540207

  9. Biochar helps enhance maize productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions under balanced fertilization in a rainfed low fertility inceptisol.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dengxiao; Pan, Genxing; Wu, Gang; Kibue, Grace Wanjiru; Li, Lianqing; Zhang, Xuhui; Zheng, Jinwei; Zheng, Jufeng; Cheng, Kun; Joseph, Stephen; Liu, Xiaoyu

    2016-01-01

    Maize production plays an important role in global food security, especially in arid and poor-soil regions. Its production is also increasing in China in terms of both planting area and yield. However, maize productivity in rainfed croplands is constrained by low soil fertility and moisture insufficiency. To increase the maize yield, local farmers use NPK fertilizer. However, the fertilization regime (CF) they practice is unbalanced with too much nitrogen in proportion to both phosphorus and potassium, which has led to low fertilizer use efficiency and excessive greenhouse gases emissions. A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess whether a high yielding but low greenhouse gases emission system could be developed by the combination of balanced fertilization (BF) and biochar amendment in a rainfed farmland located in the Northern region of China. Biochar was applied at rates of 0, 20, and 40 t/ha. Results show that BF and biochar increased maize yield and partial nutrient productivity and decreased nitrous oxide (N2O) emission. Under BF the maize yield was 23.7% greater than under CF. N2O emissions under BF were less than half that under CF due to a reduced N fertilizer application rate. Biochar amendment decreased N2O by more than 31% under CF, while it had no effect on N2O emissions under BF. Thus BF was effective at maintaining a high maize yield and reducing greenhouse gases emissions. If combined with biochar amendment, BF would be a good way of sustaining low carbon agriculture in rainfed areas. PMID:25959223

  10. Sustainable food consumption. Product choice or curtailment?

    PubMed

    Verain, Muriel C D; Dagevos, Hans; Antonides, Gerrit

    2015-08-01

    Food consumption is an important factor in shaping the sustainability of our food supply. The present paper empirically explores different types of sustainable food behaviors. A distinction between sustainable product choices and curtailment behavior has been investigated empirically and predictors of the two types of behavior have been identified. Respondents were classified into four segments based on their sustainable food behaviors: unsustainers, curtailers, product-oriented consumers, and sustainers. Significant differences between the segments were found with regard to food choice motives, personal and social norms, food involvement, subjective knowledge on sustainable food, ability to judge how sustainably a product has been produced and socio-demographics. It is concluded that distinguishing between behavioral strategies toward sustainable food consumption is important as consumer segments can be identified that differ both in their level of sustainable food consumption and in the type of behavior they employ. PMID:25913683

  11. Host-plant diversity of the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis: what value for sustainable transgenic insecticidal Bt maize?

    PubMed

    Bourguet, D; Bethenod, M T; Trouvé, C; Viard, F

    2000-06-22

    The strategies proposed for delaying the development of resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis toxins produced by transgenic maize require high levels of gene flow between individuals feeding on transgenic and refuge plants. The European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) may be found on several host plants, which may act as natural refuges. The genetic variability of samples collected on sagebrush (Artemisia sp.), hop (Humulus lupulus L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) was studied by comparing the allozyme frequencies for six polymorphic loci. We found a high level of gene flow within and between samples collected on the same host plant. The level of gene flow between the sagebrush and hop insect samples appeared to be sufficiently high for these populations to be considered a single genetic panmictic unit. Conversely, the samples collected on maize were genetically different from those collected on sagebrush and hop. Three of the six loci considered displayed greater between-host-plant than within-host-plant differentiation in comparisons of the group of samples collected on sagebrush or hop with the group of samples collected on maize. This indicates that either there is genetic isolation of the insects feeding on maize or that there is host-plant divergent selection at these three loci or at linked loci. These results have important implications for the potential sustainability of transgenic insecticidal maize. PMID:10902683

  12. Digestate as nutrient source for biomass production of sida, lucerne and maize

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bueno Piaz Barbosa, Daniela; Nabel, Moritz; Horsch, David; Tsay, Gabriela; Jablonowski, Nicolai

    2014-05-01

    Biogas as a renewable energy source is supported in many countries driven by climate and energy policies. Nowadays, Germany is the largest biogas producer in the European Union. A sustainable resource management has to be considered within this growing scenario of biogas production systems and its environmental impacts. In this respect, studies aiming to enhance the management of biogas residues, which represents a valuable source of nutrients and organic fertilization, are needed. Our objective was to evaluate the digestate (biogas residue after fermentation process) application as nutrient source for biomass production of three different plants: sida (Sida hermaphrodita - Malvaceae), lucerne (Medicago sativa - Fabaceae) and maize (Zea mays - Poaceae). The digestate was collected from an operating biogas facility (fermenter volume 2500m³, ADRW Natur Power GmbH & Co.KG Titz/Ameln, Germany) composed of maize silage as the major feedstock, and minor amounts of chicken manure, with a composition of 3,29% N; 1,07% P; 3,42% K; and 41,2% C. An arable field soil (Endogleyic Stagnosol) was collected from 0-30 cm depth and 5 mm sieved. The fertilizer treatments of the plants were established in five replicates including digestate (application amount equivalent to 40 t ha-1) and NPK fertilizer (application amount equivalent to 200:100:300 kg ha-1) applications, according to the recommended agricultural doses, and a control (no fertilizer application). The digestate and the NPK fertilizer were thoroughly mixed with the soil in a rotatory shaker for 30 min. The 1L pots were filled with the fertilized soil and the seedlings were transplanted and grown for 30 days under greenhouse conditions (16 h day/8 h night: 24ºC/18ºC; 60% air humidity). After harvesting, the leaf area was immediately measured, and the roots were washed to allow above and below-ground biomass determination. Subsequently, shoots and roots were dried at 60ºC for 48 hours. The biomass and leaf area of sida

  13. Bacterial Diversity and Mycotoxin Reduction During Maize Fermentation (Steeping) for Ogi Production.

    PubMed

    Okeke, Chiamaka A; Ezekiel, Chibundu N; Nwangburuka, Cyril C; Sulyok, Michael; Ezeamagu, Cajethan O; Adeleke, Rasheed A; Dike, Stanley K; Krska, Rudolf

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial diversity and community structure of two maize varieties (white and yellow) during fermentation/steeping for ogi production, and the influence of spontaneous fermentation on mycotoxin reduction in the gruel were studied. A total of 142 bacterial isolates obtained at 24-96 h intervals were preliminarily identified by conventional microbiological methods while 60 selected isolates were clustered into 39 OTUs consisting of 15 species, 10 genera, and 3 phyla by 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Lactic acid bacteria constituted about 63% of all isolated bacteria and the genus Pediococcus dominated (white maize = 84.8%; yellow maize = 74.4%). Pediococcus acidilactici and Lactobacillus paraplantarum were found at all steeping intervals of white and yellow maize, respectively, while P. claussenii was present only at the climax stage of steeping white maize. In both maize varieties, P. pentosaceus was found at 24-72 h. Mycotoxin concentrations (μg/kg) in the unsteeped grains were: white maize (aflatoxin B1 = 0.60; citrinin = 85.8; cyclopiazonic acid = 23.5; fumonisins (B1/B2/B3) = 68.4-483; zearalenone = 3.3) and yellow maize (aflatoxins (B1/B2/M1) = 22.7-513; citrinin = 16,800; cyclopiazonic acid = 247; fumonisins (B1/B2/B3) = 252-1,586; zearalenone = 205). Mycotoxins in both maize varieties were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced across steeping periods. This study reports for the first time: (a) the association of L. paraplantarum, P. acidilactici, and P. claussenii with ogi production from maize, (b) citrinin occurrence in Nigerian maize and ogi, and PMID:26697001

  14. Bacterial Diversity and Mycotoxin Reduction During Maize Fermentation (Steeping) for Ogi Production

    PubMed Central

    Okeke, Chiamaka A.; Ezekiel, Chibundu N.; Nwangburuka, Cyril C.; Sulyok, Michael; Ezeamagu, Cajethan O.; Adeleke, Rasheed A.; Dike, Stanley K.; Krska, Rudolf

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial diversity and community structure of two maize varieties (white and yellow) during fermentation/steeping for ogi production, and the influence of spontaneous fermentation on mycotoxin reduction in the gruel were studied. A total of 142 bacterial isolates obtained at 24–96 h intervals were preliminarily identified by conventional microbiological methods while 60 selected isolates were clustered into 39 OTUs consisting of 15 species, 10 genera, and 3 phyla by 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Lactic acid bacteria constituted about 63% of all isolated bacteria and the genus Pediococcus dominated (white maize = 84.8%; yellow maize = 74.4%). Pediococcus acidilactici and Lactobacillus paraplantarum were found at all steeping intervals of white and yellow maize, respectively, while P. claussenii was present only at the climax stage of steeping white maize. In both maize varieties, P. pentosaceus was found at 24–72 h. Mycotoxin concentrations (μg/kg) in the unsteeped grains were: white maize (aflatoxin B1 = 0.60; citrinin = 85.8; cyclopiazonic acid = 23.5; fumonisins (B1/B2/B3) = 68.4–483; zearalenone = 3.3) and yellow maize (aflatoxins (B1/B2/M1) = 22.7–513; citrinin = 16,800; cyclopiazonic acid = 247; fumonisins (B1/B2/B3) = 252–1,586; zearalenone = 205). Mycotoxins in both maize varieties were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced across steeping periods. This study reports for the first time: (a) the association of L. paraplantarum, P. acidilactici, and P. claussenii with ogi production from maize, (b) citrinin occurrence in Nigerian maize and ogi, and (c) aflatoxin M1, citrinin and cyclopiazonic acid degradation/loss due to fermentation in traditional cereal-based fermented food. PMID:26697001

  15. Effect of harvest maturity on carbohydrates for ethanol production from sugar enhanced temperate x tropical maize hybrid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A northern adapted sugar maize (Zea mays L.) hybrid was bred by crossing temperate x tropical maize for bioethanol production. Temperate x tropical maize (TTM) has a prolonged vegetative growth and accumulates more sugar in the stalk compared to its respective tropical and temperature parents. In th...

  16. An assessment of the effect of human faeces and urine on maize production and water productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzha, Edward; Nhapi, Innocent; Rockstrom, Johan

    The key challenge facing many catchment authorities in Zimbabwe and elsewhere is the challenge of feeding the growing populations within their catchment boundaries. Modern agricultural practices continue to mine valuable crop nutrients through increased food production to satisfy ever-increasing food demand. In recent diagnostic survey of smallholder agricultural sector in the Manyame catchments of Zimbabwe it was revealed that exhausted soils depleted of their natural mineral and organic constituents by many years of cropping with little fertilization or manuring were the major factors contributing to low yields and poor food security in this sector in Zimbabwe. The objective of the study was to assess the effect of using sanitized human excreta on maize production and water productivity. The study involved six volunteer farmers with four 10 m × 10 m trial plots each with the following treatments the control, commercial fertilizer treatment urine only plot, and the feacal matter and urine plot. Harvest determination was carried by weighing the yield from each of the treatment plots and comparisons done. Water productivity was computed by calculating the amount of water used to produce a tone of maize per ha. The study showed that human excreta improves maize crop production and water productivity in rain-fed agriculture. The study recommends that the ecological sanitation concept and the reuse of human excreta both humanure and (ecofert) urine can be considered as alternative excreta management options in catchment areas.

  17. Environmental life cycle assessment of grain maize production: An analysis of factors causing variability.

    PubMed

    Boone, Lieselot; Van Linden, Veerle; De Meester, Steven; Vandecasteele, Bart; Muylle, Hilde; Roldán-Ruiz, Isabel; Nemecek, Thomas; Dewulf, Jo

    2016-05-15

    To meet the growing demand, high yielding, but environmentally sustainable agricultural plant production systems are desired. Today, life cycle assessment (LCA) is increasingly used to assess the environmental impact of these agricultural systems. However, the impact results are very diverse due to management decisions or local natural conditions. The impact of grain maize is often generalized and an average is taken. Therefore, we studied variation in production systems. Four types of drivers for variability are distinguished: policy, farm management, year-to-year weather variation and innovation. For each driver, scenarios are elaborated using ReCiPe and CEENE (Cumulative Exergy Extraction from the Natural Environment) to assess the environmental footprint. Policy limits fertilisation levels in a soil-specific way. The resource consumption is lower for non-sandy soils than for sandy soils, but entails however more eutrophication. Farm management seems to have less influence on the environmental impact when considering the CEENE only. But farm management choices such as fertiliser type have a large effect on emission-related problems (e.g. eutrophication and acidification). In contrast, year-to-year weather variation results in large differences in the environmental footprint. The difference in impact results between favourable and poor environmental conditions amounts to 19% and 17% in terms of resources and emissions respectively, and irrigation clearly is an unfavourable environmental process. The best environmental performance is obtained by innovation as plant breeding results in a steadily increasing yield over 25 years. Finally, a comparison is made between grain maize production in Flanders and a generically applied dataset, based on Swiss practices. These very different results endorse the importance of using local data to conduct LCA of plant production systems. The results of this study show decision makers and farmers how they can improve the

  18. Compositional analysis of grain and forage from MON 87427, an inducible male sterile and tissue selective glyphosate-tolerant maize product for hybrid seed production.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, Tyamagondlu V; Breeze, Matthew L; Liu, Kang; Harrigan, George G; Culler, Angela H

    2014-02-26

    Conventional maize hybrid seed production has historically relied upon detasseling using either manual methods or semiautomated processes to ensure the purity of the hybrid cross. Monsanto Co. has developed biotechnology-derived MON 87427 maize with tissue-selective glyphosate tolerance to facilitate the production of hybrid maize seed. MON 87427 utilizes a specific promoter and intron combination to drive expression of CP4 EPSPS protein in vegetative and female reproductive tissues, conferring tolerance to glyphosate. This specific combination of regulatory elements also results in limited or no production of CP4 EPSPS protein in two key male reproductive tissues: pollen microspores, which develop into pollen grains, and tapetum cells that supply nutrients to the pollen. Thus, MON 87427 induces a male sterile phenotype after appropriately timed glyphosate applications. To confer additional benefits of herbicide tolerance and/or insect resistance, MON 87427 was combined with MON 89034 and NK603 by conventional breeding to develop MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603. The work described here is an assessment of the nutrient, antinutrient, and secondary metabolite levels in grain and forage tissues of MON 87427 and MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603. Results demonstrated that MON 87427 is compositionally equivalent to a near-isogenic conventional comparator. Results from this analysis established that the compositional equivalence observed for the single-event product MON 87427 is extendable to the combined-trait product, MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603. With increasing global demand for food production, the development of more efficient seed production strategies is important to sustainable agriculture. The study reported here demonstrated that biotechnology can be applied to simplify hybrid maize seed production without affecting crop composition. PMID:24397242

  19. Sustainability Analysis for Products and Processes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sustainability Analysis for Products and Processes Subhas K. Sikdar National Risk Management Research Laboratory United States Environmental protection Agency 26 W. M.L. King Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45237 Sikdar.subhas@epa.gov ABSTRACT Claims of both sustainable and unsu...

  20. Product Lifecycle Management and Sustainable Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.; Grieves, Michael

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of product lifecycle management (PLM) in the general aerospace industry, its use and development at NASA and at Marshall Space Flight Center, and how the use of PLM can lead to sustainable space exploration.

  1. Weed Dynamics during Transition to Conservation Agriculture in Western Kenya Maize Production

    PubMed Central

    Odhiambo, Judith A.; Norton, Urszula; Ashilenje, Dennis; Omondi, Emmanuel C.; Norton, Jay B.

    2015-01-01

    Weed competition is a significant problem in maize (Zea mays, L.) production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Better understanding of weed management and costs in maize intercropped with beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, L.) during transition to conservation agricultural systems is needed. Changes in weed population and maize growth were assessed for a period of three years at Bungoma where crops are grown twice per year and at Trans-Nzoia where crops are grown once per year. Treatments included three tillage practices: minimum (MT), no-till (NT) and conventional (CT) applied to three cropping systems: continuous maize/bean intercropping (TYPICAL), maize/bean intercropping with relayed mucuna after bean harvest (RELAY) and maize, bean and mucuna planted in a strip intercropping arrangement (STRIP). Herbicides were used in NT, shallow hand hoeing and herbicides were used in MT and deep hoeing with no herbicides were used in CT. Weed and maize performance in the maize phase of each cropping system were assessed at both locations and costs of weed control were estimated at Manor House only. Weed density of grass and forb species declined significantly under MT and NT at Manor House and of grass species only at Mabanga. The greatest declines of more than 50% were observed as early as within one year of the transition to MT and NT in STRIP and TYPICAL cropping systems at Manor House. Transitioning to conservation based systems resulted in a decline of four out of five most dominant weed species. At the same time, no negative impact of MT or NT on maize growth was observed. Corresponding costs of weed management were reduced by $148.40 ha-1 in MT and $149.60 ha-1 in NT compared with CT. In conclusion, farmers can benefit from effective and less expensive weed management alternatives early in the process of transitioning to reduced tillage operations. PMID:26237404

  2. Weed Dynamics during Transition to Conservation Agriculture in Western Kenya Maize Production.

    PubMed

    Odhiambo, Judith A; Norton, Urszula; Ashilenje, Dennis; Omondi, Emmanuel C; Norton, Jay B

    2015-01-01

    Weed competition is a significant problem in maize (Zea mays, L.) production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Better understanding of weed management and costs in maize intercropped with beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, L.) during transition to conservation agricultural systems is needed. Changes in weed population and maize growth were assessed for a period of three years at Bungoma where crops are grown twice per year and at Trans-Nzoia where crops are grown once per year. Treatments included three tillage practices: minimum (MT), no-till (NT) and conventional (CT) applied to three cropping systems: continuous maize/bean intercropping (TYPICAL), maize/bean intercropping with relayed mucuna after bean harvest (RELAY) and maize, bean and mucuna planted in a strip intercropping arrangement (STRIP). Herbicides were used in NT, shallow hand hoeing and herbicides were used in MT and deep hoeing with no herbicides were used in CT. Weed and maize performance in the maize phase of each cropping system were assessed at both locations and costs of weed control were estimated at Manor House only. Weed density of grass and forb species declined significantly under MT and NT at Manor House and of grass species only at Mabanga. The greatest declines of more than 50% were observed as early as within one year of the transition to MT and NT in STRIP and TYPICAL cropping systems at Manor House. Transitioning to conservation based systems resulted in a decline of four out of five most dominant weed species. At the same time, no negative impact of MT or NT on maize growth was observed. Corresponding costs of weed management were reduced by $148.40 ha(-1) in MT and $149.60 ha(-1) in NT compared with CT. In conclusion, farmers can benefit from effective and less expensive weed management alternatives early in the process of transitioning to reduced tillage operations. PMID:26237404

  3. Gene flow in the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis: implications for the sustainability of transgenic insecticidal maize.

    PubMed

    Bourguet, D; Bethenod, M T; Pasteur, N; Viard, F

    2000-01-22

    Strategies proposed for delaying resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins expressed by transgenic maize require intense gene flow between individuals that grew on transgenic and on normal (referred to as refuges) plants. To investigate gene flow in the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), the genetic variability at 29 sampled sites from France was studied by comparing allozyme frequencies at six polymorphic loci. Almost no deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations occurred, and a high stability of allelic distribution was found among samples collected in the same site over two or three different generations, indicating a high stability of the genetic structure over time. The overall genetic differentiation was low at the region and whole country level, suggesting a high and homogeneous gene flow. These results are discussed in relation to the sustainability of transgenic insecticidal maize. PMID:10687815

  4. Characterization, Genetic Variation, and Combining Ability of Maize Traits Beneficial to the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize stover has been identified as an important feedstock for the production of cellulosic ethanol. Our objectives were to measure hybrid effect and combining ability patterns of traits related to cellulosic ethanol production, determine if germplasm and mutations used for silage production would a...

  5. A large and deep root system underlies high nitrogen-use efficiency in maize production.

    PubMed

    Yu, Peng; Li, Xuexian; White, Philip J; Li, Chunjian

    2015-01-01

    Excessive N fertilization results in low N-use efficiency (NUE) without any yield benefits and can have profound, long-term environmental consequences including soil acidification, N leaching and increased production of greenhouse gases. Improving NUE in crop production has been a longstanding, worldwide challenge. A crucial strategy to improve NUE is to enhance N uptake by roots. Taking maize as a model crop, we have compared root dry weight (RDW), root/shoot biomass ratio (R/S), and NUE of maize grown in the field in China and in western countries using data from 106 studies published since 1959. Detailed analysis revealed that the differences in the RDW and R/S of maize at silking in China and the western countries were not derived from variations in climate, geography, and stress factors. Instead, NUE was positively correlated with R/S and RDW; R/S and NUE of maize varieties grown in western countries were significantly greater than those grown in China. We then testified this conclusion by conducting field trials with representative maize hybrids in China (ZD958 and XY335) and the US (P32D79). We found that US P32D79 had a better root architecture for increased N uptake and removed more mineral N than Chinese cultivars from the 0-60 cm soil profile. Reported data and our field results demonstrate that a large and deep root, with an appropriate architecture and higher stress tolerance (higher plant density, drought and N deficiency), underlies high NUE in maize production. We recommend breeding for these traits to reduce the N-fertilizer use and thus N-leaching in maize production and paying more attention to increase tolerance to stresses in China. PMID:25978356

  6. A Large and Deep Root System Underlies High Nitrogen-Use Efficiency in Maize Production

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Peng; Li, Xuexian; White, Philip J.; Li, Chunjian

    2015-01-01

    Excessive N fertilization results in low N-use efficiency (NUE) without any yield benefits and can have profound, long-term environmental consequences including soil acidification, N leaching and increased production of greenhouse gases. Improving NUE in crop production has been a longstanding, worldwide challenge. A crucial strategy to improve NUE is to enhance N uptake by roots. Taking maize as a model crop, we have compared root dry weight (RDW), root/shoot biomass ratio (R/S), and NUE of maize grown in the field in China and in western countries using data from 106 studies published since 1959. Detailed analysis revealed that the differences in the RDW and R/S of maize at silking in China and the western countries were not derived from variations in climate, geography, and stress factors. Instead, NUE was positively correlated with R/S and RDW; R/S and NUE of maize varieties grown in western countries were significantly greater than those grown in China. We then testified this conclusion by conducting field trials with representative maize hybrids in China (ZD958 and XY335) and the US (P32D79). We found that US P32D79 had a better root architecture for increased N uptake and removed more mineral N than Chinese cultivars from the 0-60 cm soil profile. Reported data and our field results demonstrate that a large and deep root, with an appropriate architecture and higher stress tolerance (higher plant density, drought and N deficiency), underlies high NUE in maize production. We recommend breeding for these traits to reduce the N-fertilizer use and thus N-leaching in maize production and paying more attention to increase tolerance to stresses in China. PMID:25978356

  7. Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Vishwanath; Tran, Khanh-Quang; Giselrød, Hans Ragnar

    2008-01-01

    Renewable and carbon neutral biofuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. The viability of the first generation biofuels production is however questionable because of the conflict with food supply. Microalgal biofuels are a viable alternative. The oil productivity of many microalgae exceeds the best producing oil crops. This paper aims to analyze and promote integration approaches for sustainable microalgal biofuel production to meet the energy and environmental needs of the society. The emphasis is on hydrothermal liquefaction technology for direct conversion of algal biomass to liquid fuel. PMID:19325798

  8. New value-added food ingredients from maize based ethanol processing by-products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some potentially useful food and health-promoting products were obtained from the by-products of ethanol processing including distillers dried grains (DDG) and maize bran. A DDG sample obtained from MCP Corporation in the USA was processed by jet cooking at various pH levels and fractionated. Rheo...

  9. Economic Analysis of Balanced Nutrient Management Technologies for Maize Production in Kaduna State, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omadachi, Ugbabe O.; Ahmed, Ben; Manyong, V. M.; Olukosi, James O.; Yusuf, Oseni

    The overall goal of Balanced Nutrient Management Systems (BNMS) a collaborative project between International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven) is to curb the vicious cycle of plant nutrient depletion in maize-based farming systems in the moist savanna and humid forest zone of West Africa. This is through integrated nutrient management systems geared to land use practices which are economically viable, ecologically sound and socially acceptable. In Kaduna state of Nigeria (Northern Guinea Savannah), three improved maize-based technologies were tested in a series of farmer-managed field trials since 2000. The first technology was a continuous maize treatment characterized by high fertilizer rates (Sasakawa Global 2000 (SG 2000)). In the second technology, half of the fertilizer quantity was replaced with organic manure (BNMS-manure). The third technology was a soybean-maize rotation treatment in which the fertilizer rates to the maize was reduced by a half (BNMS-soybean/maize). The broad objective of the study was to conduct economic analysis of the three introduced BNMS maize-based technologies along with the farmers` own practice of maize production. The specific objectives of the study were to: determine the costs and returns to the BNMS technologies and farmers` practice and to examine the farmers` perception of the BNMS technologies. The tools used for the analysis of the data were: partial budget analysis to determine the costs and returns to the introduced BNMS technologies and farmers` practice and the scoring technique to examine the farmer`s perception of the BNMS technologies. Findings from the partial budget analysis showed that, BNMS-soybean/maize was the best in both the demonstration and adaptation trials by having the highest gross margins of 18,462 and 19,785, respectively, with the inorganic fertilizer cost constituting over 50% of the

  10. Breeding drought-tolerant maize hybrids for the US corn-belt: discovery to product.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Mark; Gho, Carla; Leafgren, Roger; Tang, Tom; Messina, Carlos

    2014-11-01

    Germplasm, genetics, phenotyping, and selection, combined with a clear definition of product targets, are the foundation of successful hybrid maize breeding. Breeding maize hybrids with superior yield for the drought-prone regions of the US corn-belt involves integration of multiple drought-specific technologies together with all of the other technology components that comprise a successful maize hybrid breeding programme. Managed-environment technologies are used to enable scaling of precision phenotyping in appropriate drought environmental conditions to breeding programme level. Genomics and other molecular technologies are used to study trait genetic architecture. Genetic prediction methodology was used to breed for improved yield performance for drought-prone environments. This was enabled by combining precision phenotyping for drought performance with genetic understanding of the traits contributing to successful hybrids in the target drought-prone environments and the availability of molecular markers distributed across the maize genome. Advances in crop growth modelling methodology are being used to evaluate the integrated effects of multiple traits for their combined effects and evaluate drought hybrid product concepts and guide their development and evaluation. Results to date, lessons learned, and future opportunities for further improving the drought tolerance of maize for the US corn-belt are discussed. PMID:24596174

  11. DNA extraction techniques compared for accurate detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in maize food and feed products.

    PubMed

    Turkec, Aydin; Kazan, Hande; Karacanli, Burçin; Lucas, Stuart J

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, DNA extraction methods have been evaluated to detect the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in maize food and feed products commercialised in Turkey. All the extraction methods tested performed well for the majority of maize foods and feed products analysed. However, the highest DNA content was achieved by the Wizard, Genespin or the CTAB method, all of which produced optimal DNA yield and purity for different maize food and feed products. The samples were then screened for the presence of GM elements, along with certified reference materials. Of the food and feed samples, 8 % tested positive for the presence of one GM element (NOS terminator), of which half (4 % of the total) also contained a second element (the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S promoter). The results obtained herein clearly demonstrate the presence of GM maize in the Turkish market, and that the Foodproof GMO Screening Kit provides reliable screening of maize food and feed products. PMID:26243938

  12. Separating nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation water application in an alternating furrow irrigation system for maize production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The efficient use of water and nitrogen represents a primary concern to agricultural production in northwest of China. A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess and model the interactive effects between water and nitrogen (N) on maize (Zea mays L.) when grown with alternating furrow irriga...

  13. Radiation use efficiency, biomass production, and grain yield in two maize hybrids differing in drought tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drought tolerant (DT) maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids have potential to increase yield under drought conditions. However, little information is known about the physiological determinations of yield in DT hybrids. Our objective was to assess radiation use efficiency (RUE), biomass production, and yield ...

  14. Bioguided isolation, characterization, and biotransformation by Fusarium verticillioides of maize kernel compounds that inhibit fumonisin production.

    PubMed

    Atanasova-Penichon, Vessela; Bernillon, Stéphane; Marchegay, Gisèle; Lornac, Aurélia; Pinson-Gadais, Laetitia; Ponts, Nadia; Zehraoui, Enric; Barreau, Christian; Richard-Forget, Florence

    2014-10-01

    Fusarium verticillioides infects maize ears, causing ear rot disease and contamination of grain with fumonisin mycotoxins. This contamination can be reduced by the presence of bioactive compounds in kernels that are able to inhibit fumonisin biosynthesis. To identify such compounds, we used kernels from a maize genotype with moderate susceptibility to F. verticillioides, harvested at the milk-dough stage (i.e., when fumonisin production initiates in planta), and applied a bioguided fractionation approach. Chlorogenic acid was the most abundant compound in the purified active fraction and its contribution to fumonisin inhibitory activity was up to 70%. Moreover, using a set of maize genotypes with different levels of susceptibility, chlorogenic acid was shown to be significantly higher in immature kernels of the moderately susceptible group. Altogether, our data indicate that chlorogenic acid may considerably contribute to either maize resistance to Fusarium ear rot, fumonisin accumulation, or both. We further investigated the mechanisms involved in the inhibition of fumonisin production by chlorogenic acid and one of its hydrolyzed products, caffeic acid, by following their metabolic fate in supplemented F. verticillioides broths. Our data indicate that F. verticillioides was able to biotransform these phenolic compounds and that the resulting products can contribute to their inhibitory activity. PMID:25014591

  15. Pretreatment of Whole-Crop Harvested, Ensiled Maize for Ethanol Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, M. H.; Holm-Nielsen, J. B.; Oleskowicz-Popiel, P.; Thomsen, A. B.

    To have all-year-round available feedstock, whole-crop maize is harvested premature, when it still contains enough moisture for the anaerobic ensiling process. Silage preparation is a well-known procedure for preserving plant material. At first, this method was applied to obtain high-quality animal feed. However, it was found that such ensiled crops are very suitable for bioenergy production. Maize silage, which consists of hardly degradable lignocellulosic material, hemicellulosic material, and starch, was evaluated for its potential as a feedstock in the production of bioethanol. It was pretreated at low severity (185 °C, 15 min) giving very high glucan (˜100%) and hemicellulose recoveries (<80%)—as well as very high ethanol yield in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation experiments (98% of the theoretical production based on available glucan in the medium). The theoretical ethanol production of maize silage pretreated at 185 °C for 15 min without oxygen or catalyst was 392 kg ethanol per ton of dry maize silage.

  16. Allelopathic compound production influences fungal endophyte community assembly and establishment of a seed-borne primary colonizer in maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize was used to assess the influence of three biotic factors on fungal endophyte community assembly: production of host allelopathic compounds, proximity of a host to a neighboring plant producing allelopathic compounds, and presence of a primary colonizer tolerant to these compounds. Maize has b...

  17. Sustainable Multi-Product Seafood Production Planning Under Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simanjuntak, Ruth; Sembiring, Monalisa; Sinaga, Rani; Pakpahan, Endang J.; Mawengkang, Herman

    2013-04-01

    A multi-product fish production planning produces simultaneously multi fish products from several classes of raw resources. The goal in sustainable production planning is to meet customer demand over a fixed time horizon divided into planning periods by optimizing the tradeoff between economic objectives such as production cost, waste processed cost, and customer satisfaction level. The major decisions are production and inventory levels for each product and the number of workforce in each planning period. In this paper we consider the management of small scale traditional business at North Sumatera Province which performs processing fish into several local seafood products. The inherent uncertainty of data (e.g. demand, fish availability), together with the sequential evolution of data over time leads the sustainable production planning problem to a nonlinear mixed-integer stochastic programming model. We use scenario generation based approach and feasible neighborhood search for solving the model.

  18. Fate of the Cry1Ab protein from Bt-maize MON810 silage in biogas production facilities.

    PubMed

    Rauschen, Stefan; Schuphan, Ingolf

    2006-02-01

    Biogas plants fuelled with renewable sources of energy are a sustainable means for power generation. In areas with high infestation levels with the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hbn.), it is likely that transgenic Bt-maize will be fed into agricultural biogas plants. The fate of the entomotoxic protein Cry1Ab from MON810 maize was therefore investigated in silage and biogas production-related materials in the utilization chains of two farm-scale biogas plants. The Cry1Ab content in silage exhibited no clear-cut pattern of decrease over the experimental time of 4 months. Mean content for silage was 1878 +/- 713 ng Cry1Ab g(-1). After fermentation in the biogas plants, the Cry1Ab content declined to trace amounts of around 3.5 ng g(-1) in the effluents. The limit of detection of the employed ELISA test corresponded to 0.75 ng Cry1Ab g(-1) sample material. Assays with larvae of O. nubilalis showed no bioactivity of the reactor effluents. The utilization of this residual material as fertilizer in agriculture is therefore deemed to be ecotoxicologically harmless. PMID:16448198

  19. Sustainability of three apple production systems.

    PubMed

    Reganold, J P; Glover, J D; Andrews, P K; Hinman, H R

    2001-04-19

    Escalating production costs, heavy reliance on non-renewable resources, reduced biodiversity, water contamination, chemical residues in food, soil degradation and health risks to farm workers handling pesticides all bring into question the sustainability of conventional farming systems. It has been claimed, however, that organic farming systems are less efficient, pose greater health risks and produce half the yields of conventional farming systems. Nevertheless, organic farming became one of the fastest growing segments of US and European agriculture during the 1990s. Integrated farming, using a combination of organic and conventional techniques, has been successfully adopted on a wide scale in Europe. Here we report the sustainability of organic, conventional and integrated apple production systems in Washington State from 1994 to 1999. All three systems gave similar apple yields. The organic and integrated systems had higher soil quality and potentially lower negative environmental impact than the conventional system. When compared with the conventional and integrated systems, the organic system produced sweeter and less tart apples, higher profitability and greater energy efficiency. Our data indicate that the organic system ranked first in environmental and economic sustainability, the integrated system second and the conventional system last. PMID:11309616

  20. The influence of feeding crimped kernel maize silage on broiler production, nutrient digestibility and meat quality.

    PubMed

    Ranjitkar, S; Karlsson, A H; Petersen, M A; Bredie, W L P; Petersen, J S; Engberg, R M

    2016-02-01

    Two experiments were carried out in parallel with male Ross 308 broilers over 37 d. An experiment with a total of 736 broilers was performed to study the effect of dietary inclusion of crimped kernel maize silage (CKMS) on broiler production and meat quality. Another study with 32 broilers was carried out from 21 to 25 d to investigate the inclusion of CKMS on nutrient digestibility. In both trials, 4 dietary treatments were used: wheat-based feed (WBF), maize-based feed (MBF), maize-based feed supplemented with 15% CKMS (CKMS-15) and maize-based feed supplemented with 30% CKMS (CKMS-30). Compared with MBF, the dry matter (DM) intakes of broilers receiving CKMS-15 and CKMS-30, respectively, were numerically 7.5 and 6.2% higher and feed conversion ratio 6 and 12% poorer (significant for 30% CKMS), although there were no significant differences in AME content between the three diets. At 37 d, the body weight of birds receiving 15% CKMS was similar to birds fed with MBF. However, the inclusion of 30% CKMS decreased broiler growth. Dietary supplementation with CKMS significantly reduced the apparent digestibility of phosphorus. The fat digestibility was significantly lower for CKMS-30 than for the other three diets. Broiler mortality decreased significantly when CKMS was added to the diet. The consumption of drinking water was significantly lower in all maize-based diets as compared to WBF and was lowest in broilers fed with CKMS-30. An improved litter quality in terms of DM content and a lower frequency of foot pad lesions was observed with broilers supplemented with both dietary levels of CKMS. The addition of CKMS to maize-based diets increased juiciness, tenderness and crumbliness of the meat. In conclusion, the dietary supplementation of 15% CKMS had no negative effect on broiler growth and positively influenced bird welfare in terms of mortality and foot pad health. Therefore, the addition of 15% CKMS to maize-based diets is considered an advantageous feeding

  1. Crop and non-crop productivity in a traditional maize agroecosystem of the highland of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background In Mexico, the traditional maize cultivation system has resisted intensification attempts for many decades in some areas, even in some well-connected regions of the temperate highlands. We suggest that this is due to economics. Methods The total useful biomass of several fields in Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala, are evaluated for productivity and costs. Results Maize grain production is low (1.5 t ha-1) and does not cover costs. However, maize stover demands a relatively high price. If it included, a profit is possible (about 110 US $ ha-1). We show that non-crop production (weeds for food and forage) potentially has a higher value than the crop. It is only partially used, as there are constraints on animal husbandry, but it diversifies production and plays a role as a back-up system in case of crop failure. Conclusion The diversified system described is economically rational under current conditions and labor costs. It is also stable, low-input and ecologically benign, and should be recognized as an important example of integrated agriculture, though some improvements could be investigated. PMID:19943939

  2. The maize transcription factor EREB58 mediates the jasmonate-induced production of sesquiterpene volatiles.

    PubMed

    Li, Shengyan; Wang, Hai; Li, Fengqi; Chen, Zhongliang; Li, Xiuying; Zhu, Li; Wang, Guirong; Yu, Jingjuan; Huang, Dafang; Lang, Zhihong

    2015-10-01

    Over the past two decades, Zea mays (maize) has been established as a model system for the study of indirect plant defense against herbivores. When attacked by lepidopteran larvae, maize leaves emit a complex blend of volatiles, mainly composed of sesquiterpenes, to attract the natural enemies of the herbivores. This is associated with a swift transcriptional induction of terpene synthases such as TPS10; however, the molecular components controlling the complex transcriptional reprogramming in this process are still obscure. Here, by exploiting the finding that the maize TPS10 promoter retained its full responsiveness to herbivory in Arabidopsis, we identified the region from -300 to -200 of the TPS10 promoter as both necessary and sufficient for its herbivore inducibility through 5' deletion mapping. A high-throughput screening of an Arabidopsis transcription factor library using this promoter region as the bait identified seven AP2/ERF family transcription factors. Among their close homologs in maize, EREB58 was the only gene responsive to herbivory, with a spatiotemporal expression pattern highly similar to that of TPS10. Meanwhile, EREB58 was also responsive to Jasmonate. In vivo and in vitro assays indicated that EREB58 promotes TPS10 expression by directly binding to the GCC-box within the region from -300 to -200 of the TPS10 promoter. Transgenic maize plants overexpressing EREB58 constitutively over-accumulate TPS10 transcript, and also (E)-β-farnesene and (E)-α-bergamotene, two major sesquiterpenes produced by TPS10. In contrast, jasmonate induction of TPS10 and its volatiles was abolished in EREB58-RNAi transgenic lines. In sum, these results demonstrate that EREB58 is a positive regulator of sesquiterpene production by directly promoting TPS10 expression. PMID:26303437

  3. Assessing the Impact of Climatic Variability and Change on Maize Production in the Midwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, J.; Jain, A. K.; Niyogi, D. S.; Alagarswamy, G.; Biehl, L.; Delamater, P.; Doering, O.; Elias, A.; Elmore, R.; Gramig, B.; Hart, C.; Kellner, O.; Liu, X.; Mohankumar, E.; Prokopy, L. S.; Song, C.; Todey, D.; Widhalm, M.

    2013-12-01

    Weather and climate remain among the most important uncontrollable factors in agricultural production systems. In this study, three process-based crop simulation models were used to identify the impacts of climate on the production of maize in the Midwestern U.S.A. during the past century. The 12-state region is a key global production area, responsible for more than 80% of U.S. domestic and 25% of total global production. The study is a part of the Useful to Useable (U2U) Project, a USDA NIFA-sponsored project seeking to improve the resilience and profitability of farming operations in the region amid climate variability and change. Three process-based crop simulation models were used in the study: CERES-Maize (DSSAT, Hoogenboom et al., 2012), the Hybrid-Maize model (Yang et al., 2004), and the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM, Song et al., 2013). Model validation was carried out with individual plot and county observations. The models were run with 4 to 50 km spatial resolution gridded weather data for representative soils and cultivars, 1981-2012, to examine spatial and temporal yield variability within the region. We also examined the influence of different crop models and spatial scales on regional scale yield estimation, as well as a yield gap analysis between observed and attainable yields. An additional study was carried out with the CERES-Maize model at 18 individual site locations 1901-2012 to examine longer term historical trends. For all simulations, all input variables were held constant in order to isolate the impacts of climate. In general, the model estimates were in good agreement with observed yields, especially in central sections of the region. Regionally, low precipitation and soil moisture stress were chief limitations to simulated crop yields. The study suggests that at least part of the observed yield increases in the region during recent decades have occurred as the result of wetter, less stressful growing season weather conditions.

  4. Sustainable potato production: global case studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is grown in over 100 countries throughout the world. As a staple food, potato is the fourth most important crop after rice, wheat, and maize, and has historically contributed to food and nutrition security in the world. Global interest in potato increased sharply in 200...

  5. Hydrazine Catalyst Production: Sustaining S-405 Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wucherer, E. J.; Cook, Timothy; Stiefel, Mark; Humphries, Randy, Jr.; Parker, Janet

    2003-01-01

    The development of the iridium-based Shell 405 catalyst for spontaneous decomposition of hydrazine was one of the key enabling technologies for today's spacecraft and launch vehicles. To ensure that this crucial technology was not lost when Shell elected to exit the business, Aerojet, supported by NASA, has developed a dedicated catalyst production facility that will supply catalyst for future spacecraft and launch vehicle requirements. We have undertaken a program to transfer catalyst production from Shell Chemical USA (Houston, TX) to Aerojet's Redmond, WA location. This technology transition was aided by Aerojet's 30 years of catalyst manufacturing experience and NASA diligence and support in sustaining essential technologies. The facility has produced and tested S-405 catalyst to existing Shell 405 specifications and standards. Our presentation will describe the technology transition effort including development of the manufacturing facility, capture of the manufacturing process, test equipment validation, initial batch build and final testing.

  6. Climate change and sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Smith, Pete; Gregory, Peter J

    2013-02-01

    One of the greatest challenges we face in the twenty-first century is to sustainably feed nine to ten billion people by 2050 while at the same time reducing environmental impact (e.g. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity loss, land use change and loss of ecosystem services). To this end, food security must be delivered. According to the United Nations definition, 'food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life'. At the same time as delivering food security, we must also reduce the environmental impact of food production. Future climate change will make an impact upon food production. On the other hand, agriculture contributes up to about 30% of the anthropogenic GHG emissions that drive climate change. The aim of this review is to outline some of the likely impacts of climate change on agriculture, the mitigation measures available within agriculture to reduce GHG emissions and outlines the very significant challenge of feeding nine to ten billion people sustainably under a future climate, with reduced emissions of GHG. Each challenge is in itself enormous, requiring solutions that co-deliver on all aspects. We conclude that the status quo is not an option, and tinkering with the current production systems is unlikely to deliver the food and ecosystems services we need in the future; radical changes in production and consumption are likely to be required over the coming decades. PMID:23146244

  7. Improving aerobic stability and biogas production of maize silage using silage additives.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Christiane; Idler, Christine; Heiermann, Monika

    2015-12-01

    The effects of air stress during storage, exposure to air at feed-out, and treatment with silage additives to enhance aerobic stability on methane production from maize silage were investigated at laboratory scale. Up to 17% of the methane potential of maize without additive was lost during seven days exposure to air on feed-out. Air stress during storage reduced aerobic stability and further increased methane losses. A chemical additive containing salts of benzoate and propionate, and inoculants containing heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria were effective to increase aerobic stability and resulted in up to 29% higher methane yields after exposure to air. Exclusion of air to the best possible extent and high aerobic stabilities should be primary objectives when ensiling biogas feedstocks. PMID:26348286

  8. Osmoregulation and antioxidant production in maize under combined cadmium and arsenic stress.

    PubMed

    Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Tanveer, Mohsin; Hussain, Saddam; Shahzad, Babar; Ashraf, Umair; Fahad, Shah; Hassan, Waseem; Jan, Saad; Khan, Imran; Saleem, Muhammad Farrukh; Bajwa, Ali Ahsan; Wang, Longchang; Mahmood, Aqib; Samad, Rana Abdul; Tung, Shahbaz Atta

    2016-06-01

    An investigation was carried out to examine the combined and individual effects of cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) stress on osmolyte accumulation, antioxidant activities, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production at different growth stages (45, 60, 75, 90 days after sowing (DAS)) of two maize cultivars viz., Dong Dan 80 and Run Nong 35. The Cd (100 μM) and As (200 μM) were applied separately as well as in combination (Cd + As) at 30 DAS. Results revealed pronounced variations in the behavior of antioxidants, osmolytes, and ROS in both maize cultivars under the influence of Cd and As stress. Activities of enzymatic (SOD, POD, CAT and APX, GPX, GR) and non-enzymatic (GSH and AsA) antioxidants, generation of ROS, and accumulation of osmolytes were enhanced with the passage of time; therefore, the maximum values for these attributes were observed at 90 DAS for both cultivars. Exposure of plants to Cd or As stress considerably enhanced the antioxidant activities, ROS, and osmolyte accumulation compared with control, while combined application of Cd + As was more devastating in reducing plant biomass of both maize cultivars. Among cultivars, Dong Dan 80 was better able to negate the heavy metal-induced oxidative damage, which was associated with higher antioxidant activities, greater osmolytes accumulation, and lower ROS production in this cultivar. PMID:26957429

  9. Production and in vitro fermentation of soluble, non-digestible, feruloylated oligo- and polysaccharides from maize and wheat brans.

    PubMed

    Yang, Junyi; Maldonado-Gómez, María X; Hutkins, Robert W; Rose, Devin J

    2014-01-01

    High-pressure hydrothermal treatment of cereal bran results in fragmentation of the cell wall, releasing soluble, non-digestible, feruloylated oligo- and polysaccharides (FOPS), which may be beneficial to gut health. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine treatment temperatures for production of FOPS from maize bran and wheat bran and (2) determine the fermentation properties of partially purified FOPS from maize bran and wheat bran. FOPS were produced by heating bran and water (10%, w/v) in a high-pressure stirred reactor until the slurry reached 160-200 °C (in 10 °C increments). Final temperatures of 190 °C for maize bran and 200 °C for wheat bran resulted in the highest release of FOPS (49 and 50% of starting non-starch polysaccharide, respectively). Partial purification with ion exchange and dialysis resulted in a final product containing 63 and 57% total carbohydrate and 49 and 30% FOPS, respectively (other carbohydrate was starch). Following in vitro digestion (to remove starch), in vitro fermentation revealed that wheat FOPS were more bifidogenic than maize FOPS. However, maize FOPS led to continual production of short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), resulting in the highest SCFA and butyrate production at the end of the fermentation. In addition, maize FOPS showed significantly higher antioxidant activity than wheat FOPS. This study identified a process to produce FOPS from maize bran and wheat bran and showed that, considering the overall beneficial effects, FOPS from maize bran may exhibit enhanced benefits on gut health compared to those of wheat bran. PMID:24359228

  10. Soil water extraction, water use, and grain yield by drought tolerant maize on the Texas High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anticipated water shortages pose a challenge to the sustainability of maize (Zea mays L.) production on the Texas High Plains. Adoption of drought tolerant (DT) hybrids is a critical management strategy for maize production under water limited conditions. However, limited information is available co...

  11. Global nitrogen budgets in cereals: A 50-year assessment for maize, rice, and wheat production systems

    PubMed Central

    Ladha, J. K.; Tirol-Padre, A.; Reddy, C. K.; Cassman, K. G.; Verma, Sudhir; Powlson, D. S.; van Kessel, C.; de B. Richter, Daniel; Chakraborty, Debashis; Pathak, Himanshu

    2016-01-01

    Industrially produced N-fertilizer is essential to the production of cereals that supports current and projected human populations. We constructed a top-down global N budget for maize, rice, and wheat for a 50-year period (1961 to 2010). Cereals harvested a total of 1551 Tg of N, of which 48% was supplied through fertilizer-N and 4% came from net soil depletion. An estimated 48% (737 Tg) of crop N, equal to 29, 38, and 25 kg ha−1 yr−1 for maize, rice, and wheat, respectively, is contributed by sources other than fertilizer- or soil-N. Non-symbiotic N2 fixation appears to be the major source of this N, which is 370 Tg or 24% of total N in the crop, corresponding to 13, 22, and 13 kg ha−1 yr−1 for maize, rice, and wheat, respectively. Manure (217 Tg or 14%) and atmospheric deposition (96 Tg or 6%) are the other sources of N. Crop residues and seed contribute marginally. Our scaling-down approach to estimate the contribution of non-symbiotic N2 fixation is robust because it focuses on global quantities of N in sources and sinks that are easier to estimate, in contrast to estimating N losses per se, because losses are highly soil-, climate-, and crop-specific. PMID:26778035

  12. Characterization, Genetic Variation, and Combining Ability of Maize Traits Relevant to the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol

    SciTech Connect

    Lorenz, A. J.; Coors, J. G.; de Leon, N.; Wolfrum, E. J.; Hames, B. R.; Sluiter, A. D.; Weimer, P. J.

    2009-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) stover has been identified as an important feedstock for the production of cellulosic ethanol. Our objectives were to measure hybrid effect and combining ability patterns of traits related to cellulosic ethanol production, determine if germplasm and mutations used for silage production would also be beneficial for feedstock production, and examine relationships between traits that are relevant to selective breeding. We evaluated grain hybrids, germplasm bred for silage production, brown-midrib hybrids, and a leafy hybrid. Yield and composition traits were measured in four environments. There was a 53% difference in stover yield between commercial grain hybrids that were equivalent for other production-related traits. Silage germplasm may be useful for increasing stover yield and reducing lignin concentration. We found much more variation among hybrids than either in vitro ruminal fermentability or polysaccharide concentration. Correlations between traits were mostly favorable or nonexistent. Our results suggest that utilizing standing genetic variation of maize in breeding programs could substantially increase the amount of biofuels produced from stover per unit area of land.

  13. Sustainable and efficient biohydrogen production via electrohydrogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, S.; Logan, B.E.

    2007-11-20

    Hydrogen gas has tremendous potential as an environmentally acceptable energy carrier for vehicles, but most hydrogen is generated from nonrenewable fossil fuels such as natural gas. Here, the authors show that efficient and sustainable hydrogen production is possible from any type of biodegradable organic matter by electrohydrogenesis. In this process, protons and electrons released by exoelectrogenic bateria in specially designed reactors (based on modifying microbial fuel cells) are catalyzed to form hydrogen gas through the addition of a small voltage to the circuit. By improving the materials and reactor architecture, hydrogen gas was produced at yields of 2.01-3.95 mol/mol (50-99% of the theoretical maximum) at applied voltages of 0.2 to 0.8 V using acetic acid, a typical dead-end product of glucose or cellulose fermentation. At an applied voltage of 0.6 V, the overall energy efficiency of the process was 288% based solely on electricity applied, and 82% when the heat of combusion of acetic acid was included in the energy balance, at a gas production rate of 1.1 m{sup 3} of H{sub 2} per cubic meter of reactor per day. Direct high-yield hydrogen gas production was further demonstrated by using glucose, several volatile acids (acetic, butyric, lactic, propionic, and valeric), and cellulose at maximum stoichiometric yields of 54-91% and overall energy efficiencies of 64-82%. This electrohydrogenic process thus provides a highly efficient route for producting hydrogen gas from renewable and carbon-neutral biomass resources.

  14. Globally sustainable manganese metal production and use.

    PubMed

    Hagelstein, Karen

    2009-09-01

    The "cradle to grave" concept of managing chemicals and wastes has been a descriptive analogy of proper environmental stewardship since the 1970s. The concept incorporates environmentally sustainable product choices-such as metal alloys utilized steel products which civilization is dependent upon. Manganese consumption is related to the increasing production of raw steel and upgrading ferroalloys. Nonferrous applications of manganese include production of dry-cell batteries, plant fertilizer components, animal feed and colorant for bricks. The manganese ore (high grade 35% manganese) production world wide is about 6 million ton/year and electrolytic manganese metal demand is about 0.7 million ton/year. The total manganese demand is consumed globally by industries including construction (23%), machinery (14%), and transportation (11%). Manganese is recycled within scrap of iron and steel, a small amount is recycled within aluminum used beverage cans. Recycling rate is 37% and efficiency is estimated as 53% [Roskill Metals and Minerals Reports, January 13, 2005. Manganese Report: rapid rise in output caused by Chinese crude steel production. Available from: http://www.roskill.com/reports/manganese.]. Environmentally sustainable management choices include identifying raw material chemistry, utilizing clean production processes, minimizing waste generation, recycling materials, controlling occupational exposures, and collecting representative environmental data. This paper will discuss two electrolytically produced manganese metals, the metal production differences, and environmental impacts cited to date. The two electrolytic manganese processes differ due to the addition of sulfur dioxide or selenium dioxide. Adverse environmental impacts due to use of selenium dioxide methodology include increased water consumption and order of magnitude greater solid waste generation per ton of metal processed. The use of high grade manganese ores in the electrolytic process also

  15. Sustainable and efficient biohydrogen production via electrohydrogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shaoan; Logan, Bruce E

    2007-11-20

    Hydrogen gas has tremendous potential as an environmentally acceptable energy carrier for vehicles, but most hydrogen is generated from nonrenewable fossil fuels such as natural gas. Here, we show that efficient and sustainable hydrogen production is possible from any type of biodegradable organic matter by electrohydrogenesis. In this process, protons and electrons released by exoelectrogenic bacteria in specially designed reactors (based on modifying microbial fuel cells) are catalyzed to form hydrogen gas through the addition of a small voltage to the circuit. By improving the materials and reactor architecture, hydrogen gas was produced at yields of 2.01-3.95 mol/mol (50-99% of the theoretical maximum) at applied voltages of 0.2 to 0.8 V using acetic acid, a typical dead-end product of glucose or cellulose fermentation. At an applied voltage of 0.6 V, the overall energy efficiency of the process was 288% based solely on electricity applied, and 82% when the heat of combustion of acetic acid was included in the energy balance, at a gas production rate of 1.1 m(3) of H(2) per cubic meter of reactor per day. Direct high-yield hydrogen gas production was further demonstrated by using glucose, several volatile acids (acetic, butyric, lactic, propionic, and valeric), and cellulose at maximum stoichiometric yields of 54-91% and overall energy efficiencies of 64-82%. This electrohydrogenic process thus provides a highly efficient route for producing hydrogen gas from renewable and carbon-neutral biomass resources. PMID:18000052

  16. Transient and sustained increases in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate precede the differential growth response in gravistimulated maize pulvini

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perera, I. Y.; Heilmann, I.; Boss, W. F.; Davies, E. (Principal Investigator)

    1999-01-01

    The internodal maize pulvinus responds to gravistimulation with differential cell elongation on the lower side. As the site of both graviperception and response, the pulvinus is an ideal system to study how organisms sense changes in orientation. We observed a transient 5-fold increase in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) within 10 s of gravistimulation in the lower half of the pulvinus, indicating that the positional change was sensed immediately. Over the first 30 min, rapid IP3 fluctuations were observed between the upper and lower halves. Maize plants require a presentation time of between 2 and 4 h before the cells on the lower side of the pulvinus are committed to elongation. After 2 h of gravistimulation, the lower half consistently had higher IP3, and IP3 levels on the lower side continued to increase up to approximately 5-fold over basal levels before visible growth. As bending became visible after 8-10 h, IP3 levels returned to basal values. Additionally, phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase activity in the lower pulvinus half increased transiently within 10 min of gravistimulation, suggesting that the increased IP3 production was accompanied by an up-regulation of phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-bisphosphate biosynthesis. Neither IP3 levels nor phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase activity changed in pulvini halves from vertical control plants. Our data indicate the involvement of IP3 and inositol phospholipids in both short- and long-term responses to gravistimulation. As a diffusible second messenger, IP3 provides a mechanism to transmit and amplify the signal from the perceiving to the responding cells in the pulvinus, coordinating a synchronized growth response.

  17. The Black Aspergillus Species of Maize and Peanuts and Their Potential for Mycotoxin Production

    PubMed Central

    Palencia, Edwin R.; Hinton, Dorothy M.; Bacon, Charles W.

    2010-01-01

    The black spored fungi of the subgenera Circumdata, the section Nigri (=Aspergillus niger group) is reviewed relative to their production of mycotoxins and their effects on plants as pathogens. Molecular methods have revealed more than 18 cryptic species, of which several have been characterized as potential mycotoxin producers. Others are defined as benign relative to their ability to produce mycotoxins. However, these characterizations are based on in vitro culture and toxins production. Several can produce the ochratoxins that are toxic to livestock, poultry, and humans. The black aspergilli produce rots of grapes, maize, and numerous other fruits and grain and they are generally viewed as post-harvest pathogens. Data are review to suggest that black aspergilli, as so many others, are symptomless endophytes. These fungi and their mycotoxins contaminate several major grains, foodstuffs, and products made from them such as wine, and coffee. Evidence is presented that the black aspergilli are producers of other classes of mycotoxins such as the fumonisins, which are known carcinogenic and known prior investigations as being produced by the Fusarium species. Three species are identified in U.S. maize and peanuts as symptomless endophytes, which suggests the potential for concern as pathogens and as food safety hazards. PMID:22069592

  18. The black Aspergillus species of maize and peanuts and their potential for mycotoxin production.

    PubMed

    Palencia, Edwin R; Hinton, Dorothy M; Bacon, Charles W

    2010-04-01

    The black spored fungi of the subgenera Circumdata, the section Nigri (=Aspergillus niger group) is reviewed relative to their production of mycotoxins and their effects on plants as pathogens. Molecular methods have revealed more than 18 cryptic species, of which several have been characterized as potential mycotoxin producers. Others are defined as benign relative to their ability to produce mycotoxins. However, these characterizations are based on in vitro culture and toxins production. Several can produce the ochratoxins that are toxic to livestock, poultry, and humans. The black aspergilli produce rots of grapes, maize, and numerous other fruits and grain and they are generally viewed as post-harvest pathogens. Data are review to suggest that black aspergilli, as so many others, are symptomless endophytes. These fungi and their mycotoxins contaminate several major grains, foodstuffs, and products made from them such as wine, and coffee. Evidence is presented that the black aspergilli are producers of other classes of mycotoxins such as the fumonisins, which are known carcinogenic and known prior investigations as being produced by the Fusarium species. Three species are identified in U.S. maize and peanuts as symptomless endophytes, which suggests the potential for concern as pathogens and as food safety hazards. PMID:22069592

  19. Evapotranspiration partitioning and variation of sap flow in female and male parents of maize for hybrid seed production in arid region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the variation of sap flow in female and male parents of maize for hybrid seed production and evapotranspiration (ET) partitioning is useful in accurately determining water use of the female and male parents and improving irrigation management of maize for hybrid seed production. Sap fl...

  20. Soil Quality as an Indicator of Sustainable Biofuel Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable production of cellulosic feedstocks for second-generation biofuels must not degrade soil, water, or air resources. Critical functions such as (i) sustaining biological productivity, (ii) regulating and portioning soil water, (iii) storing and cycling nutrients, and (iv) filtering and buf...

  1. Comparative diversity of arthropods on Bt maize and non-Bt maize in two different cropping systems in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Truter, J; Van Hamburg, H; Van Den Berg, J

    2014-02-01

    The biodiversity of an agroecosystem is not only important for its intrinsic value but also because it influences ecological functions that are vital for crop production in sustainable agricultural systems and the surrounding environment. A concern about genetically modified (GM) crops is the potential negative impact that such crops could have on diversity and abundance of nontarget organisms, and subsequently on ecosystem functions. Therefore, it is essential to assess the potential environmental risk of the release of a GM crop and to study its effect on species assemblages within that ecosystem. Assessment of the impact of Bt maize on the environment is hampered by the lack of basic checklists of species present in maize agroecosystems. The aims of the study were to compile a checklist of arthropods that occur on maize in South Africa and to compare the diversity and abundance of arthropods and functional groups on Bt maize and non-Bt maize. Collections of arthropods were carried out during two growing seasons on Bt maize and non-Bt maize plants at two localities. Three maize fields were sampled per locality during each season. Twenty plants, each of Bt maize and non-Bt maize, were randomly selected from the fields at each site. The arthropods collected during this study were classified to morphospecies level and grouped into the following functional groups: detritivores, herbivores, predators, and parasitoids. Based on feeding strategy, herbivores and predators were further divided into sucking herbivores or predators (piercing-sucking mouthparts) and chewing herbivores or predators (chewing mouthparts). A total of 8,771 arthropod individuals, comprising 288 morphospecies and presenting 20 orders, were collected. Results from this short-term study indicated that abundance and diversity of arthropods in maize and the different functional guilds were not significantly affected by Bt maize, either in terms of diversity or abundance. PMID:24472209

  2. OCCURRENCE OF PYRROCIDINE PRODUCTION AMONG ACREMONIUM ZEAE POPULATIONS FROM MAIZE GROWN IN DIFFERENT REGIONS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Acremonium zeae is recognized as a protective endophyte of maize and a potential confounding variable in maize variety trials for resistance to pathogenic microbes and their mycotoxins. This fungus grows systemically in maize and produces pyrrocidines A and B, polyketide-amino acid-derived antibiot...

  3. Weeds and their effect on the performance of maize and fingermillet in the mid-hills of Nepal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Relay cropping of maize with fingermillet (maize/fingermillet) is the predominant cropping system for sustaining food security in the hilly regions of Nepal. In this region weed pressure severely reduces crop yields, yet basic information on weed species composition, biomass production and their eff...

  4. Maize: Overview

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize is an important cereal crop that is well-suited to industrial agriculture, both in grain production and in grain utilization. Starch, protein and oil are the three major components of the grain. Several processing methods yield many different food ingredients. In addition, whole grain is pr...

  5. Fungi Isolated from Maize (Zea mays L.) Grains and Production of Associated Enzyme Activities

    PubMed Central

    Lumi Abe, Camila Agnes; Bertechini Faria, Carla; Fernandes de Castro, Fausto; de Souza, Sandra Regina; dos Santos, Fabiane Cristina; Novais da Silva, Cleiltan; Tessmann, Dauri José; Barbosa-Tessmann, Ione Parra

    2015-01-01

    Filamentous fungi produce a great variety of enzymes, and research on their biotechnological potential has recently intensified. The objective of this work was to identify, at the species level, using DNA barcoding, 46 fungal isolates obtained from maize grains with rot symptoms. We also analyzed the production of extracellular amylases, cellulases, proteases and lipases of 33 of those fungal isolates. The enzymatic activities were evaluated by the formation of a clear halo or a white precipitate around the colonies in defined substrate media. The found fungi belong to the genera Talaromyces, Stenocarpella, Penicillium, Phlebiopsis, Cladosporium, Hyphopichia, Epicoccum, Trichoderma, Aspergillus, Irpex, Fusarium, Microdochium, Mucor and Sarocladium. In the genus Fusarium, the species Fusarium verticillioides was predominant and this genus presented the highest diversity, followed by the genera Aspergillus. The best genera for lipase production were Cladosporium and Penicillium; while Cladosporium, Aspergillus and Penicillium were best for cellulase activity; Hyphopichia, Aspergillus and Irpex for amylase activity; and Cladosporium and Sarocladium for proteases activity. In conclusion, a collection of fungi from maize seeds presenting rotten symptoms were obtained, among which exist important producers of hydrolases. PMID:26198227

  6. Biogas production from mono-digestion of maize silage-long-term process stability and requirements.

    PubMed

    Lebuhn, M; Liu, F; Heuwinkel, H; Gronauer, A

    2008-01-01

    Biogas production from mono-digestion of maize silage was studied for more than one year in six continuously stirred, daily fed 36 L fermenters. Chemical and microbiological parameters were analysed concomitantly. The reactors acidified already after 8 months of operation at a low organic loading rate (OLR) of 2 g VS*(L*d)(-1). The TVA/TAC ratio was the most reliable parameter to indicate early process instabilities leading to acidification. A TVA/TAC threshold of 0.5 should not be exceeded. After acidification and recovery of the fermenters, propionic acid was no reliable parameter anymore to indicate process failure, since values far below the threshold of 1 g*L(-1) were obtained although the process had collapsed.The acidified reactors recovered better, showed greatly improved stability and allowed a higher OLR when a trace element (TE) cocktail was supplemented. Hydrolysis was obviously not process-limiting, results indicated that methanogens were affected. The most limiting element in long-term mono-digestion of maize silage turned out to be cobalt, but data obtained suggest that molybdenum and selenium should also be provided. TE supplementation should be designed specifically in order to meet the actual needs. TE availability for the biocenosis appears to be a key issue in biogas production, not only in mono-but also in co-digestion processes. PMID:19001720

  7. Differences among auxin treatments on haploid production in durum wheat x maize crosses.

    PubMed

    García-Llamas, C; Martín, A; Ballesteros, J

    2004-08-01

    Three doubled haploid lines of durum wheat [Triticum turgidum ssp. durum (Desf.) Husn.] were crossed with maize (Zea mays L.), and five hormone treatments were applied to test their effect on the production of caryopses, embryos and haploid plants. The auxin treatments consisted of 100 mg/l 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 5 mg/l or 50 mg/l dicamba and two combination mixtures of 95/5 mg/l and 50/50 mg/l 2,4-D plus dicamba, respectively. Hormones were added to the culture medium of the detached tillers. Differences were not observed among the four hormone treatments that contained dicamba, nevertheless, these treatments significantly increased the production of caryopses, embryos and haploid plants. On average, 8.9 caryopses, 2.6 embryos and 1.3 haploid plants per spike were obtained following the treatment with 100 mg/l 2,4-D, and 15.0 caryopses, 6.0 embryos and 3.0 haploid plants per spike were obtained following the various treatments with dicamba. We propose the application of dicamba alone, or dicamba plus 2,4-D, as a means for improving the yield of haploid plants of durum wheat through crosses with maize. PMID:15048585

  8. Fungi Isolated from Maize (Zea mays L.) Grains and Production of Associated Enzyme Activities.

    PubMed

    Abe, Camila Agnes Lumi; Faria, Carla Bertechini; de Castro, Fausto Fernandes; de Souza, Sandra Regina; dos Santos, Fabiane Cristina; da Silva, Cleiltan Novais; Tessmann, Dauri José; Barbosa-Tessmann, Ione Parra

    2015-01-01

    Filamentous fungi produce a great variety of enzymes, and research on their biotechnological potential has recently intensified. The objective of this work was to identify, at the species level, using DNA barcoding, 46 fungal isolates obtained from maize grains with rot symptoms. We also analyzed the production of extracellular amylases, cellulases, proteases and lipases of 33 of those fungal isolates. The enzymatic activities were evaluated by the formation of a clear halo or a white precipitate around the colonies in defined substrate media. The found fungi belong to the genera Talaromyces, Stenocarpella, Penicillium, Phlebiopsis, Cladosporium, Hyphopichia, Epicoccum, Trichoderma, Aspergillus, Irpex, Fusarium, Microdochium, Mucor and Sarocladium. In the genus Fusarium, the species Fusarium verticillioides was predominant and this genus presented the highest diversity, followed by the genera Aspergillus. The best genera for lipase production were Cladosporium and Penicillium; while Cladosporium, Aspergillus and Penicillium were best for cellulase activity; Hyphopichia, Aspergillus and Irpex for amylase activity; and Cladosporium and Sarocladium for proteases activity. In conclusion, a collection of fungi from maize seeds presenting rotten symptoms were obtained, among which exist important producers of hydrolases. PMID:26198227

  9. Sustainability evaluation of pasteurized milk production with a life cycle assessment approach: An Iranian case study.

    PubMed

    Rafiee, Shahin; Khoshnevisan, Benyamin; Mohammadi, Issa; Aghbashlo, Mortaza; Mousazadeh, Hossein; Clark, Sean

    2016-08-15

    Agro-food systems play a significant role in the economies of all nations due to energy use and the resulting environmental consequences. The sustainability of these systems is determined by a multitude of interacting economic, social and environmental factors. Dairy production presents a relevant example of the sustainability trade-offs that occur within such systems. On the one hand, dairy production constitutes an important part of the human diet, but it is also responsible for significant emissions of potent greenhouse gases and other pollutants. In this study, the environmental aspects of pasteurized milk production in Iran were investigated using a life-cycle approach. Three sub-systems, namely feed production, dairy farm and dairy factory, were taken into account to determine how and where Iranian pasteurized milk production might be made more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The results clearly demonstrate that the feed production stage was the hot spot in pasteurized milk production in terms of energy consumption, environmental burdens and economic costs. The largest share of the total production costs belonged to animal feeds (43%), which were part of the feed production stage. The largest consumers of energy in the production of raw milk were alfalfa (30.3%), concentrate (24%), straw (17.8%) and maize (10.9%) for cows, followed by diesel fuel (6.6%) and electricity (5.6%). The global warming potential for the production of 1000kg of raw milk at the dairy-farm gate was estimated at 457kg CO2,eq. Thus, more than 69% of the total impact at the milk-processing gate resulted from the previous two sub-systems (feed production and dairy farm), with the feed-production stage accounting for the largest fractions of the environmental burdens. PMID:27110976

  10. Pretreatment of non-sterile, rotted silage maize straw by the microbial community MC1 increases biogas production.

    PubMed

    Hua, Binbin; Dai, Jiali; Liu, Bin; Zhang, Huan; Yuan, Xufeng; Wang, Xiaofen; Cui, Zongjun

    2016-09-01

    Using microbial community MC1 to pretreat lignocellulosic materials increased the yield of biogas production, and the substrate did not need to be sterilized, lowering the cost. Rotted silage maize straw carries many microbes. To determine whether such contamination affects MC1, rotted silage maize straw was pretreated with MC1 prior to biogas production. The decreases in the weights of unsterilized and sterilized rotted silage maize straw were similar, as were their carboxymethyl cellulase activities. After 5d pretreatment, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction results indicated that the proportions of five key strains in MC1 were the same in the unsterilized and sterilized groups; thus, MC1 was resistant to microbial contamination. However, its resistance to contamination decreased as the degradation time increased. Following pretreatment, volatile fatty acids, especially acetic acid, were detected, and MC1 enhanced biogas yields by 74.7% compared with the untreated group. PMID:27289062

  11. Genetic Relationships, Carbendazim Sensitivity and Mycotoxin Production of the Fusarium Graminearum Populations from Maize, Wheat and Rice in Eastern China

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Jianbo; Shi, Jianrong

    2014-01-01

    Members of the Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC) are important pathogens on wheat, maize, barley, and rice in China. Harvested grains are often contaminated by mycotoxins, such as the trichothecene nivalenol (NIV) and deoxynivalenol (DON) and the estrogenic mycotoxin zearalenone (ZEN), which is a big threat to humans and animals. In this study, 97 isolates were collected from maize, wheat, and rice in Jiangsu and Anhui provinces in 2013 and characterized by species- and chemotype-specific PCR. F. graminearum sensu stricto (s. str.) was predominant on maize, while most of the isolates collected from rice and wheat were identified as F. asiaticum. Fusarium isolates from three hosts varied in trichothecene chemotypes. The 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3ADON) chemotype predominated on wheat and rice population, while 15ADON was prevailing in the remaining isolates. Sequence analysis of the translation elongation factor 1α and trichodiene synthase indicated the accuracy of the above conclusion. Additionally, phylogenetic analysis suggested four groups with strong correlation with species, chemotype, and host. These isolates were also evaluated for their sensitivity to carbendazim and mycotoxins production. The maize population was less sensitive than the other two. The DON levels were similar in three populations, while those isolates on maize produced more ZEN. More DON was produced in carbendazim resistant strains than sensitive ones, but it seemed that carbendazim resistance had no effect on ZEN production in wheat culture. PMID:25093387

  12. Near-Continuous Isotopic Characterization of Soil N2O Fluxes from Maize Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anex, R. P.; Francis Clar, J.

    2015-12-01

    Isotopomer ratios of N2O and especially intramolecular 15N site preference (SP) have been proposed as indicators of the sources of N2O and for providing insight into the contributions of different microbial processes. Current knowledge, however, is mainly based on pure culture studies and laboratory flask studies using mass spectrometric analysis. Recent development of laser spectroscopic methods has made possible high-precision, in situ measurements. We present results from a maize production field in Columbia County, Wisconsin, USA. Data were collected from the fertilized maize phase of a maize-soybean rotation. N2O mole fractions and isotopic composition were determined using an automatic gas flux measurement system comprising a set of custom-designed automatic chambers, circulating gas paths and an OA-ICOS N2O Isotope Analyzer (Los Gatos Research, Inc., Model 914-0027). The instrument system allows for up to 15 user programmable soil gas chambers. Wide dynamic range and parts-per-billion precision of OA-ICOS laser absorption instrument allows for extremely rapid estimation of N2O fluxes. Current operational settings provide measurements of N2O and its isotopes every 20 seconds with a precision of 0.1 ± 0.050 PPB. Comparison of measurements from four chambers (two between row and two in-row) show very different aggregate N2O flux, but SP values suggest similar sources from nitrifier denitrification and incomplete bacterial denitrification. SP values reported are being measured throughout the current growing season. To date, the majority of values are consistent with an origin from bacterial denitrification and coincide with periods of high water filled pore space.

  13. Developing a Decision Model of Sustainable Product Design and Development from Product Servicizing in Taiwan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Yu-Chen; Tu, Jui-Che; Hung, So-Jeng

    2016-01-01

    In response to the global trend of low carbon and the concept of sustainable development, enterprises need to develop R&D for the manufacturing of energy-saving and sustainable products and low carbon products. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to construct a decision model for sustainable product design and development from product…

  14. Transcriptional silencing of heterologous anther promoters in maize: a genetic method to replace detasseling for seed production.

    PubMed

    Cigan, A Mark; Haug-Collet, Kristin; Clapp, Joshua

    2014-09-01

    The promoter of the maize male fertility gene ZmMs45, and other anther-specific maize promoters, was previously shown to be transcriptionally silenced by constitutively expressed promoter-inverted repeat RNAs (pIRs). In addition, ZmMS45pIR-mediated male sterility was reversed by co-expression of Ms45 transcribed by promoters not targeted by pIR RNA silencing. In this report, male fertility was restored to ms45 maize by fusing non-maize inflorescence promoters to the ZmMS45 coding region. This complementation assay also established that these rice or Arabidopsis promoters, when expressed as pIRs, functioned to silence sequence identical promoters. These observations were exploited to develop a genetic method to replace maize detasseling during hybrid seed production. In this system, the ZmMS45 coding region was fused to one of two dissimilar non-maize promoters to generate paired sets of ms45 recessive inbred parents which could be self-pollinated and maintained independently. Linked to each unique Ms45 gene was a non-maize pIR which targeted the promoter transcribing the Ms45 copy contained in the paired inbred parent plant. A cross of these pairs brings the dissimilar pIR cassettes together and resulted in silencing both transformed copies of Ms45. The net result uncovers the ms45 allele carried by the inbreds yielding male sterile progeny. The application of heterologous promoters and transcriptional silencing in plants provides an alternative to post-transcriptional gene silencing as a means to restore and silence gene function in plants. PMID:24966130

  15. Sustainable energy crop: An analysis of ethanol production from cassava in Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubolsook, Aerwadee

    The first essay formulates a dynamic general equilibrium optimal control model of an energy crop as part of a country's planned resource use over a period of time. The model attempts to allocate consumption, production, and factors of production to achieve the country's sustainable development goal. A Cobb-Douglas specification is used for both utility and production functions in the model. We calibrate the model with Thailand data. The selected model is used to generate the stationary state solution and to simulate the optimal policy function and optimal time paths. Two methods are used: a linear approximation method and the Runke-Kutta reverse shooting method. The model provides numerical results that can be used as information for decision makers and stakeholders to devise an economic plan to achieve sustainable development goals. The second essay studies the effect of international trade and changes in labor supply, land supply, and the price of imported energy on energy crop production for bio fuel and food, as well as impacts on social welfare. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to describe two baseline scenarios, a closed economy and an open economy. We find that international trade increases welfare and decreases the energy price. Furthermore, resources are allocated to produce more food under the open economy scenario than the quantities produced under a closed economy assumption. An increase in labor supply and land supply result in an increase in social welfare. An increase in imported energy price leads to a welfare loss, higher energy production, and lower food production. The third essay develops a partial equilibrium econometric model to project the impacts of an increase in ethanol production on the Thai agriculture sector over the next ten years. The model is applied to three scenarios for analyzing the effect of government ethanol production targets. The results from the baseline model and scenario analysis indicate that an expansion

  16. Factors Influencing the Production of MFSV Full-Length Clone: Maize Fine Streak Virus Proteins in Drosophila S2 Cells

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize fine streak virus (MFSV) is negative-sense RNA virus member of the genus Nucleorhabdovirus. Our goal is to determine whether Drosophila S2 cells can support the production of a full-length clone of MFSV. We have previously demonstrated that the full-length MFSV nucleoprotein (N) and phosphopro...

  17. Some thoughts on the factors that controlled prehistoric maize production in the American Southwest with application to southwestern Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, L.V.; Ramsey, D.K.; Stahle, D.W.; Petersen, K.L.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we present a model of prehistoric southwestern Colorado maize productivity. The model is based on a tree-ring reconstruction of water-year precipitation for Mesa Verde for the period A.D. 480 to 2011. Correlation of historic Mesa Verde precipitation with historic precipitation at 11 other weather stations enabled the construction of an elevation-dependent precipitation function. Prehistoric water-year precipitation values for Mesa Verde together with the elevation-dependent precipitation function allowed construction of the elevation of southwest Colorado precipitation contours for each year since A.D. 480, including the 30-cm contour, which represents the minimum amount of precipitation necessary for the production of maize and the 50-cm contour, which represents the optimum amount of precipitation necessary for the production of maize. In this paper, calculations of prehistoric maize productivity and field life for any specific elevation are also demonstrated. These calculations were performed using organic nitrogen measurements made on seven southwestern Colorado soil groups together with values of reconstructed water-year precipitation and estimations of the organic nitrogen mineralization rate.

  18. Multi crop model climate risk country-level management design: case study on the Tanzanian maize production system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavez, E.

    2015-12-01

    Future climate projections indicate that a very serious consequence of post-industrial anthropogenic global warming is the likelihood of the greater frequency and intensity of extreme hydrometeorological events such as heat waves, droughts, storms, and floods. The design of national and international policies targeted at building more resilient and environmentally sustainable food systems needs to rely on access to robust and reliable data which is largely absent. In this context, the improvement of the modelling of current and future agricultural production losses using the unifying language of risk is paramount. In this study, we use a methodology that allows the integration of the current understanding of the various interacting systems of climate, agro-environment, crops, and the economy to determine short to long-term risk estimates of crop production loss, in different environmental, climate, and adaptation scenarios. This methodology is applied to Tanzania to assess optimum risk reduction and maize production increase paths in different climate scenarios. The simulations carried out use inputs from three different crop models (DSSAT, APSIM, WRSI) run in different technological scenarios and thus allowing to estimate crop model-driven risk exposure estimation bias. The results obtained also allow distinguishing different region-specific optimum climate risk reduction policies subject to historical as well as RCP2.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios. The region-specific risk profiles obtained provide a simple framework to determine cost-effective risk management policies for Tanzania and allow to optimally combine investments in risk reduction and risk transfer.

  19. Introduction--the Socially Sustainable Egg Production project.

    PubMed

    Swanson, J C; Mench, J A; Thompson, P B

    2011-01-01

    The social and political pressure to change egg production from conventional cage systems to alternative systems has been largely driven by the desire to provide more behavioral freedom for egg-laying hens. However, a change of this magnitude can affect other components of the production system and may result in unintended outcomes. To understand this issue, a Socially Sustainable Egg Production project was formed to 1) conduct a holistic and integrated systematic review of the current state of knowledge about various aspects of sustainable egg production, and 2) develop a coordinated grant proposal for future extramural funding based on the research priorities identified from the review. Expert study groups were formed to write evidence-based papers in 5 critical sustainability areas: hen health and welfare, economics, food safety and quality, public attitudes, and environmental impacts. These papers were presented as the PSA Emerging Issues Symposium on Social Sustainability of Egg Production at the 2010 Poultry Science Association meeting. PMID:21177464

  20. Strategies for Sustainable Corn Stover Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Second-generation biofuels will be developed using cellulosic feedstocks rather than grain or oilseed crops that can also be used for food and feed. However, to be sustainable, soil and tillage management strategies used to produce those feedstocks must not irreversibly degrade soil resources. Our o...

  1. Wood Energy Production, Sustainable Farming Livelihood and Multifunctionality in Finland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huttunen, Suvi

    2012-01-01

    Climate change and the projected depletion of fossil energy resources pose multiple global challenges. Innovative technologies offer interesting possibilities to achieve more sustainable outcomes in the energy production sector. Local, decentralized alternatives have the potential to sustain livelihoods in rural areas. One example of such a…

  2. Sustainable Production of Chemicals--An Educational Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eissen, Marco

    2012-01-01

    "Sustainability" is a very general term and the question arises how to specify it within daily laboratory work. In this regard, appropriate metrics could support a socially acceptable, ecological and economic product development. The application of metrics for sustainability should be strengthened in education, because they do not belong to…

  3. How "Sustainability" is Changing How We Make and Choose Products

    SciTech Connect

    Cheryl O'Brien

    2006-07-01

    What does Sustainability mean, and why should people in the thermophysical properties business care? This paper will describe sustainability in the context of product development, which is where much of the buzz is currently being generated. Once described, it will discuss how expectations for Sustainability are changing product lines, and then discuss the controversial issues now emerging from trying to measure Sustainability. One of the most organized efforts in the U.S. is the U.S. Green Building Council revolutionizing how the built environment is conceptualized, designed, built, used, and disposed of - and born again. The appeal of the US Green Building Council is that it has managed to checklist how to "do" Sustainability. By following this checklist, better described as a rating system, a more Sustainable product should be achieved. That is, a product that uses less energy, less water, is less noxious to the user, and consumes fewer resources. We care because these Sustainable products are viewed as preferable by a growing number of consumers and, consequently, are more valuable. One of the most interesting aspects of the Sustainability movement is a quantitative assessment of how sustainable a product is. Life Cycle Assessment techniques (not to be confused with life cycle economic costs) developed since the early 1990s are gaining ground as a less biased method to measure the ultimate "bad" consequences of creating a product (depletion of natural resources, nutrification, acid rain, air borne particulates, solid waste, etc.). For example, one assertion is that these studies have shown that recycling can sometimes do more environmental harm than good.

  4. Production and characterization of a thermostable glucoamylase from Streptosporangium sp. endophyte of maize leaves.

    PubMed

    Stamford, T L M; Stamford, N P; Coelho, L C B B; Araújo, J M

    2002-06-01

    Thermostable amylolytic enzymes are currently investigated to improve industrial processes of starch degradation. Streptosporangium sp. an endophytic actinomycete isolated from leaves of maize (Zea mays L.) showed glucoamylase production, using starch-Czapek medium, and the highest rate was obtained in the initial growth phase, after incubation for 24 h at pH 8.0. Maximum glucoamylase activity (158 U mg(-1) protein) was obtained at pH 4.5 and 70 degrees C. The isolated enzyme exhibited thermostable properties as indicated by retention of 100% of residual activity at 70 degrees C for 30 min with total inhibition at 100 degrees C. Extracellular enzyme from Streptosporangium sp. was purified by fractionated precipitation with ammonium sulphate. After 60% saturation produced 421 U mg(-1) protein, and yield was 74% with purification 2.7 fold. The enzyme produced by Streptosporangium sp. has potential for industrial applications. PMID:12056484

  5. Review and appraisal of concept of sustainable food production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brklacich, Michael; Bryant, Christopher R.; Smit, Barry

    1991-01-01

    Environmental degradation, competition for resources, increasing food demands, and the integration of agriculture into the international economy threaten the sustainability of many food production systems. Despite these concerns, the concept of sustainable food production systems remains unclear, and recent attempts to appraise sustainability have been hampered by conceptual inconsistencies and the absence of workable definitions. Six perspectives are shown to underpin the concept. Environmental accounting identifies biophysical limits for agriculture. Sustained yield refers to output levels that can be maintained continuously. Carrying capacity defines maximum population levels that can be supported in perpetuity. Production unit viability refers to the capacity of primary producers to remain in agriculture. Product supply and security focuses on the adequacy of food supplies. Equity is concerned with the spatial and temporal distribution of products dervied from resource use. Many studies into sustainable agriculture cover more than one of these perspectives, indicating the concept is complex and embraces issues relating to the biophysical, social, and economic environments. Clarification of the concept would facilitate the development of frameworks and analytical systems for appraising the sustainability of food production systems.

  6. Stimulation by Hyphopichia burtonii and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens of aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus in irradiated maize and rice grains

    SciTech Connect

    Cuero, R.G.; Smith, J.E.; Lacey, J.

    1987-05-01

    Aspergillus flavus was grown on maize and rice extract agars and on irradiated viable cracked maize and rice grains, either in pure culture or in dual culture with wild strains of either Hyphopichia burtonii or Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. Aflatoxin production by A. flavus and its growth and interactions with the other microorganisms were studied at three water activities (a/sub w/) (0.98, 0.95, and 0.90) and two temperatures (25 and 16/sup 0/C). Both H. burtonii and B. amyloliquefaciens markedly stimulated growth and aflotoxin production by A. flavus on cracked maize, especially at 25/sup 0/C and 0.95 and 0.98 a/sub w/. No aflatoxin was detected in pure cultures of A. flavus on cracked rice after 12 days of incubation at 25/sup 0/C, but some was produced by mixed cultures at 16/sup 0/C and 0.98 a/sub w/. The morphological interactions among A. flavus, H. burtonii, and B. amyloliquefaciens were also examined on maize and rice extract agars under similar controlled conditions.

  7. Modeling Sustainability in Product Development and Commercialization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Robert C.; Rafinejad, Dariush

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the authors present the framework of a model that integrates strategic product development decisions with the product's impact on future conditions of resources and the environment. The impact of a product on stocks of nonrenewable sources and sinks is linked in a feedback loop to the cost of manufacturing and using the product…

  8. Assessment of impact of climate change and adaptation strategies on maize production in Uganda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikoyo, Duncan A.; Nobert, Joel

    2016-06-01

    Globally, various climatic studies have estimated a reduction of crop yields due to changes in surface temperature and precipitation especially for the developing countries which is heavily dependent on agriculture and lacks resources to counter the negative effects of climate change. Uganda's economy and the wellbeing of its populace depend on rain-fed agriculture which is susceptible to climate change. This study quantified the impacts of climate change and variability in Uganda and how coping strategies can enhance crop production against climate change and/or variability. The study used statistical methods to establish various climate change and variability indicators across the country, and uses the FAO AquaCrop model to simulate yields under possible future climate scenarios with and without adaptation strategies. Maize, the most widely grown crop was used for the study. Meteorological, soil and crop data were collected for various districts representing the maize growing ecological zones in the country. Based on this study, it was found that temperatures have increased by up to 1 °C across much of Uganda since the 1970s, with rates of warming around 0.3 °C per decade across the country. High altitude, low rainfall regions experience the highest level of warming, with over 0.5 °C/decade recorded in Kasese. Rainfall is variable and does not follow a specific significant increasing or decreasing trend. For both future climate scenarios, Maize yields will reduce in excess of 4.7% for the fast warming-low rainfall climates but increase on average by 3.5% for slow warming-high rainfall regions, by 2050. Improved soil fertility can improve yields by over 50% while mulching and use of surface water management practices improve yields by single digit percentages. The use of fertilizer application needs to go hand in hand with other water management strategies since more yields as a result of the improved soil fertility leads to increased water stress, especially

  9. Assessing the sustainability of egg production systems in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    van Asselt, E D; van Bussel, L G J; van Horne, P; van der Voet, H; van der Heijden, G W A M; van der Fels-Klerx, H J

    2015-08-01

    Housing systems for laying hens have changed over the years due to increased public concern regarding animal welfare. In terms of sustainability, animal welfare is just one aspect that needs to be considered. Social aspects as well as environmental and economic factors need to be included as well. In this study, we assessed the sustainability of enriched cage, barn, free-range, and organic egg production systems following a predefined protocol. Indicators were selected within the social, environmental, and economic dimensions, after which parameter values and sustainability limits were set for the core indicators in order to quantify sustainability. Uncertainty in the parameter values as well as assigned weights and compensabilities of the indicators influenced the outcome of the sustainability assessment. Using equal weights for the indicators showed that, for the Dutch situation, enriched cage egg production was most sustainable, having the highest score on the environmental dimension, whereas free-range egg production gave the highest score in the social dimension (covering food safety, animal welfare, and human welfare). In the economic dimension both enriched cage egg and organic egg production had the highest sustainability score. When weights were attributed according to stakeholder outputs, individual differences were seen, but the overall scores were comparable to the sustainability scores based on equal weights. The provided method enabled a quantification of sustainability using input from stakeholders to include societal preferences in the overall assessment. Allowing for different weights and compensabilities helps policymakers in communicating with stakeholders involved and provides a weighted decision regarding future housing systems for laying hens. PMID:26049800

  10. Assessment of fumonisins B1 and B2 levels in commercial maize-based food products by liquid chromatography with fluorimetric detection and postcolumn chemical derivatization.

    PubMed

    Lo Magro, Sonia; Campaniello, Maria; Nardiello, Donatella; Muscarella, Marilena

    2011-01-01

    The occurrence of the fumonisins B(1) and B(2) in maize-based food products marketed in Italy was examined. A simply and reliable chromatographic method with fluorimetric detection and postcolumn o-phtalaldehyde derivatization was used for a monitoring of 100 samples (8 flours, 21 corn-meal, 16 snacks, 7 maize samples, 13 gluten-free products, and 35 corn-flakes) bought in local supermarkets during the years 2008 and 2009. The presence of both fumonisins B(1) and B(2), at a concentration higher than 15 μg/kg, was observed in all samples of corn-meal and maize-flour, in 75% of snacks, in 57% of maize samples, in 54% of gluten-free products, and in 29% of corn-flakes. A total of 7 samples including 4 corn-meals, 2 maize-flours, and 1 maize showed a value exceeding the maximum level fixed in the Regulation 1126/2007/EC; no positive sample was observed in corn-flakes, snacks, and gluten-free foods. Fumonisins contamination, on the whole range of maize-based food products analyzed, emphasizes the need of improve agricultural practices, and increase official control and monitoring studies. PMID:21535723

  11. Sustainable residue removal for energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soils are an important natural resource allowing the production of food, feed, fiber and fuel. The growing demand for these services or products requires we protect the soil resource. Many characteristics of high quality soils can be related to the quantity and quality of soil organic matter (organi...

  12. Assessing the sustainability of beef production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a major food source, beef production provides an important service to our economy. Production of cattle and the associated feed crops also impact our environment, and this impact is not well understood. Although several studies have assessed the carbon footprint of beef, there are other environme...

  13. Impacts of intra-seasonal agricultural decision-making and forecast information on maize production in Zambia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, D.; Estes, L. D.; Evans, T. P.; Caylor, K. K.; Sheffield, J.; Wood, E. F.

    2015-12-01

    Maize is the most important food staple in sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change and rainfall variability pose great risks on maize production in this region. Intra-seasonal adaptive management combined with more skillful weather forecasts has the potential to improve the resilience of agricultural systems. Our aim is to understand the extent to which within-season agricultural management decisions can mitigate weather risks to maize production, and the degree to which this mitigation varies as a function of when the decision is made and the trajectory of weather. Using Zambia as a test case, we conducted crop-modeling experiments to determine which crop and water management decisions (typical of smallholder farmers) are most effective in mitigating rainfall-driven yield reductions under three precipitation scenarios (below normal, normal, and above normal). Yields were simulated using the DSSAT CERES-Maize model driven by an ensemble of historical weather data. Potential maize yields under different management options were simulated from different forecast points during the growing season, starting at planting and then in successive two-week intervals through the grain-filling period. The yield distributions were constructed as a function of the weather conditions and the management options, with results indicating which decision options provide the most mitigation in relation to a) the particular point in the growing season at which they are made, and b) the potential rainfall scenario. This study will help to understand how smallholder farmers in semi-arid systems may increase their resilience to highly variable weather by using typical within-season management options, and which decisions are most robust to forecast uncertainty.

  14. Phosphorus and Compost Management Influence Maize (Zea mays) Productivity Under Semiarid Condition with and without Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Amanullah

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) unavailability and lack of organic matter in the soils under semiarid climates are the two major constraints for low crop productivity. Field trial was conducted to study the effects of P levels, compost application times and seed inoculation with phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) on the yield and yield components of maize (Zea mays L., cv. Azam). The experiment was conducted at the Agronomy Research Farm of The University of Agriculture Peshawar-Pakistan during summer 2014. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with split plot arrangement using three replications. The two PSB levels [(1) inoculated seed with PSB (+) and (2) seed not inoculated with PSB (- or control)] and three compost application times (30, 15, and 0 days before sowing) combination (six treatments) were used as main plot factor, while four P levels (25, 50, 75, and 100 kg P ha-1) used as subplot factor. The results confirmed that compost applied at sowing time and P applied at the two higher rates (75 and 100 kg P ha-1) had significantly increased yield and yield components of maize under semiarid condition. Maize seed inoculated with PSB (+) had tremendously increased yield and yield components of maize over PSB-control plots (-) under semiarid condition. PMID:26697038

  15. Developing a global crop model for maize, wheat, and soybean production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deryng, D.; Ramankutty, N.; Sacks, W. J.

    2008-12-01

    Recently, the world food supply has faced a crisis due to increasing food prices driven by rising food demand, increasing fuel prices, poor harvests due to climate factors, and the use of crops such as maize and soybean to produce biofuel. In order to assess the future of global food availability, there is a need for understanding the factors underlying food production. Farmer management practices along with climatic conditions are the main elements directly influencing crop yield. As a consequence, estimations of future world food production require the use of a global crop model that simulates reasonably the effect of both climate and management practices on yield. Only a few global crop models have been developed to date, and currently none of them represent management factors adequately, principally due to the lack of spatially explicit datasets at the global scale. In this study, we present a global crop model designed for maize, wheat, and soybean production that incorporates planting and harvest decisions, along with irrigation options based on newly available data. The crop model is built on a simple water-balance algorithm based on the Penman- Monteith equation combined with a light use efficiency approach that calculates biomass production under non-nutrient-limiting conditions. We used a world crop calendar dataset to develop statistical relationships between climate variables and planting dates for different regions of the world. Development stages are defined based on total growing degree days required to reach the beginning of each phase. Irrigation options are considered in regions where water stress occurs and irrigation infrastructures exist. We use a global dataset on irrigated areas for each crop type. The quantity of water applied is then calculated in order to avoid water stress but with an upper threshold derived from total irrigation withdrawal quantity estimated by the global water use model WaterGAP 2. Our analysis will present the model

  16. Translational Genomics for Bioenergy Production from Fuelstock Grasses: Maize as the Model Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Meeting U.S. and world energy needs using biofuels rests on our ability to improve grasses that use the efficient C4 photosynthetic pathway in which carbon dioxide concentrating mechanisms sustain high biomass production, particularly when water is limiting. Today two C4 grasses yield substantial e...

  17. Environmental influences on maize-Aspergillus flavus interactions and aflatoxin production.

    PubMed

    Fountain, Jake C; Scully, Brian T; Ni, Xinzhi; Kemerait, Robert C; Lee, Robert D; Chen, Zhi-Yuan; Guo, Baozhu

    2014-01-01

    Since the early 1960s, the fungal pathogen Aspergillus flavus (Link ex Fr.) has been the focus of intensive research due to the production of carcinogenic and highly toxic secondary metabolites collectively known as aflatoxins following pre-harvest colonization of crops. Given this recurrent problem and the occurrence of a severe aflatoxin outbreak in maize (Zea mays L.), particularly in the Southeast U.S. in the 1977 growing season, a significant research effort has been put forth to determine the nature of the interaction occurring between aflatoxin production, A. flavus, environment and its various hosts before harvest. Many studies have investigated this interaction at the genetic, transcript, and protein levels, and in terms of fungal biology at either pre- or post-harvest time points. Later experiments have indicated that the interaction and overall resistance phenotype of the host is a quantitative trait with a relatively low heritability. In addition, a high degree of environmental interaction has been noted, particularly with sources of abiotic stress for either the host or the fungus such as drought or heat stresses. Here, we review the history of research into this complex interaction and propose future directions for elucidating the relationship between resistance and susceptibility to A. flavus colonization, abiotic stress, and its relationship to oxidative stress in which aflatoxin production may function as a form of antioxidant protection to the producing fungus. PMID:24550905

  18. Food production & availability - Essential prerequisites for sustainable food security

    PubMed Central

    Swaminathan, M.S.; Bhavani, R.V.

    2013-01-01

    Food and nutrition security are intimately interconnected, since only a food based approach can help in overcoming malnutrition in an economically and socially sustainable manner. Food production provides the base for food security as it is a key determinant of food availability. This paper deals with different aspects of ensuring high productivity and production without associated ecological harm for ensuring adequate food availability. By mainstreaming ecological considerations in technology development and dissemination, we can enter an era of evergreen revolution and sustainable food and nutrition security. Public policy support is crucial for enabling this. PMID:24135188

  19. Bioeconomic Sustainability of Cellulosic Biofuel Production on Marginal Lands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Andrew Paul; Ponti, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    The use of marginal land (ML) for lignocellulosic biofuel production is examined for system stability, resilience, and eco-social sustainability. A North American prairie grass system and its industrialization for maximum biomass production using biotechnology and agro-technical inputs is the focus of the analysis. Demographic models of ML biomass…

  20. Projecting climate change impacts on the stability of productivities of maize and soybean in terms of probability of concurrent failure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokozawa, M.; Sakurai, G.; Iizumi, T.

    2012-12-01

    The globalization of the trade of food commodities has arranged agricultural production areas in the world. Current main production areas of maize and soybean, which are major cereal crops for human food and animal diet, are localized in the United States, China and Brazil. The amounts of production of maize and soybean from these three countries reached 70% and 74% of total production in the world in 2009, respectively. These three countries are hubs for the world food supply network. Simultaneous external disturbances to the localized hubs can make the network system unstable. Here, we projected the changes in stability of the productivities of maize and soybean under climate change. We used a process-based model for evaluating crop yield at a large scale for maize and soybean. The parameters are determined based on the historical agricultural statistics issued by administrative agencies during a period of 1981 to 2006 and a reanalysis data JRA25 provided by Japan Meteorological Agency. We used the climate change scenarios from outputs of MIROC5.0 simulations. We projected the time changes in maize and soybean yields of three countries under four climate change scenarios: RCP 2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5 for a period of 2010 to 2070. The significant declining trend of maize yield with time was projected in RCP 8.5 for all countries, while the yield appeared to decrease after 2050 in other RCP scenarios. The extents to which maize yield decrease in 2060s compared to the average over 1980 to 2006 were projected to be about 20% for the United States, 10% for Brazil and China in RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 6.0; 30% for the United States and Brazil, 40% for China in RCP 8.5. On the other hand, the projected changes in soybean yield were complicated. The projected extent to which soybean yield decrease in 2060s compared to the average over 1980 to 2006 was about 30% for the United States and Brazil and 20% for China in RCP 2.6. In RCP 4.5 and 6.0, the yield was projected to be constant

  1. Assessing changes to South African maize production areas in 2055 using empirical and process-based crop models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estes, L.; Bradley, B.; Oppenheimer, M.; Beukes, H.; Schulze, R. E.; Tadross, M.

    2010-12-01

    Rising temperatures and altered precipitation patterns associated with climate change pose a significant threat to crop production, particularly in developing countries. In South Africa, a semi-arid country with a diverse agricultural sector, anthropogenic climate change is likely to affect staple crops and decrease food security. Here, we focus on maize production, South Africa’s most widely grown crop and one with high socio-economic value. We build on previous coarser-scaled studies by working at a finer spatial resolution and by employing two different modeling approaches: the process-based DSSAT Cropping System Model (CSM, version 4.5), and an empirical distribution model (Maxent). For climate projections, we use an ensemble of 10 general circulation models (GCMs) run under both high and low CO2 emissions scenarios (SRES A2 and B1). The models were down-scaled to historical climate records for 5838 quinary-scale catchments covering South Africa (mean area = 164.8 km2), using a technique based on self-organizing maps (SOMs) that generates precipitation patterns more consistent with observed gradients than those produced by the parent GCMs. Soil hydrological and mechanical properties were derived from textural and compositional data linked to a map of 26422 land forms (mean area = 46 km2), while organic carbon from 3377 soil profiles was mapped using regression kriging with 8 spatial predictors. CSM was run using typical management parameters for the several major dryland maize production regions, and with projected CO2 values. The Maxent distribution model was trained using maize locations identified using annual phenology derived from satellite images coupled with airborne crop sampling observations. Temperature and precipitation projections were based on GCM output, with an additional 10% increase in precipitation to simulate higher water-use efficiency under future CO2 concentrations. The two modeling approaches provide spatially explicit projections of

  2. Sustainable potato production and global food security

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The potato (Solanum spp.) is currently the leading non-grain commodity in the global food system with production exceeding 329 million metric tonnes in 2009. The extraordinary adaptive range of this species complex combined with ease of cultivation and high nutritional content have promoted steady i...

  3. High Yields for Enhanced Sustainable Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Globally, humankind is in the midst of one of the greatest technological, environmental, and social transitions since the industrial revolution as we strive to replace fossil energy with renewable sources. The Billion Ton Report established a target for U.S. bioenergy feedstock production and throug...

  4. Identification of Pathogenic Fusarium spp. Causing Maize Ear Rot and Potential Mycotoxin Production in China.

    PubMed

    Duan, Canxing; Qin, Zihui; Yang, Zhihuan; Li, Weixi; Sun, Suli; Zhu, Zhendong; Wang, Xiaoming

    2016-01-01

    Ear rot is a serious disease that affects maize yield and grain quality worldwide. The mycotoxins are often hazardous to humans and livestock. In samples collected in China between 2009 and 2014, Fusarium verticillioides and F. graminearum species complex were the dominant fungi causing ear rot. According to the TEF-1α gene sequence, F. graminearum species complex in China included three independent species: F. graminearum, F. meridionale, and F. boothii. The key gene FUM1 responsible for the biosynthesis of fumonisin was detected in all 82 F. verticillioides isolates. Among these, 57 isolates mainly produced fumonisin B₁, ranging from 2.52 to 18,416.44 µg/g for each gram of dry hyphal weight, in vitro. Three different toxigenic chemotypes were detected among 78 F. graminearum species complex: 15-ADON, NIV and 15-ADON+NIV. Sixty and 16 isolates represented the 15-ADON and NIV chemotypes, respectively; two isolates carried both 15-ADON and NIV-producing segments. All the isolates carrying NIV-specific segment were F. meridionale. The in vitro production of 15-ADON, 3-ADON, DON, and ZEN varied from 5.43 to 81,539.49; 6.04 to 19,590.61; 13.35 to 19,795.33; and 1.77 to 430.24 µg/g of dry hyphal weight, respectively. Altogether, our present data demonstrate potential main mycotoxin production of dominant pathogenic Fusarium in China. PMID:27338476

  5. Sensory characteristics of high-amylose maize-resistant starch in three food products

    PubMed Central

    Maziarz, Mindy; Sherrard, Melanie; Juma, Shanil; Prasad, Chandan; Imrhan, Victorine; Vijayagopal, Parakat

    2013-01-01

    Type 2 resistant starch from high-amylose maize (HAM-RS2) is considered a functional ingredient due to its positive organoleptic and physiochemical modifications associated with food and physiological benefits related to human health. The sensory characteristics of three types of food products (muffins, focaccia bread, and chicken curry) with and without HAM-RS2 were evaluated using a 9-point hedonic scale. The HAM-RS2-enriched muffins, focaccia bread, and chicken curry contained 5.50 g/100 g, 13.10 g/100 g, and 8.94 g/100 g RS, respectively, based on lyophilized dry weight. The HAM-RS2-enriched muffin had higher moisture content and was perceived as being significantly moister than the control according to the sensory evaluation. The addition of HAM-RS2 to muffins significantly enhanced all sensory characteristics and resulted in a higher mean overall likeability score. The HAM-RS2-enriched focaccia bread appeared significantly darker in color, was more dense, and had the perception of a well-done crust versus the control. A grainer texture was observed with the chicken curry containing HAM-RS2 which did not significantly affect overall likeability. We concluded that the addition of HAM-RS2 may not significantly alter consumer's acceptability in most food products. PMID:24804020

  6. Identification of Pathogenic Fusarium spp. Causing Maize Ear Rot and Potential Mycotoxin Production in China

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Canxing; Qin, Zihui; Yang, Zhihuan; Li, Weixi; Sun, Suli; Zhu, Zhendong; Wang, Xiaoming

    2016-01-01

    Ear rot is a serious disease that affects maize yield and grain quality worldwide. The mycotoxins are often hazardous to humans and livestock. In samples collected in China between 2009 and 2014, Fusarium verticillioides and F. graminearum species complex were the dominant fungi causing ear rot. According to the TEF-1α gene sequence, F. graminearum species complex in China included three independent species: F. graminearum, F. meridionale, and F. boothii. The key gene FUM1 responsible for the biosynthesis of fumonisin was detected in all 82 F. verticillioides isolates. Among these, 57 isolates mainly produced fumonisin B1, ranging from 2.52 to 18,416.44 µg/g for each gram of dry hyphal weight, in vitro. Three different toxigenic chemotypes were detected among 78 F. graminearum species complex: 15-ADON, NIV and 15-ADON+NIV. Sixty and 16 isolates represented the 15-ADON and NIV chemotypes, respectively; two isolates carried both 15-ADON and NIV-producing segments. All the isolates carrying NIV-specific segment were F. meridionale. The in vitro production of 15-ADON, 3-ADON, DON, and ZEN varied from 5.43 to 81,539.49; 6.04 to 19,590.61; 13.35 to 19,795.33; and 1.77 to 430.24 µg/g of dry hyphal weight, respectively. Altogether, our present data demonstrate potential main mycotoxin production of dominant pathogenic Fusarium in China. PMID:27338476

  7. Crop water productivity under increasing irrigation capacities in Romania. A spatially-explicit assessment of winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the southern lowlands of the country

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogaru, Diana

    2016-04-01

    Improved water use efficiency in agriculture is a key issue in terms of sustainable management and consumption of water resources in the context of peoples' increasing food demands and preferences, economic growth and agricultural adaptation options to climate variability and change. Crop Water Productivity (CWP), defined as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to actual evapotranspiration or as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to volume of supplied irrigation water (Molden et al., 1998), is a useful indicator in the evaluation of water use efficiency and ultimately of cropland management, particularly in the case of regions affected by or prone to drought and where irrigation application is essential for achieving expected productions. The present study investigates the productivity of water in winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the Romanian Plain (49 594 sq. km), an important agricultural region in the southern part of the country which is increasingly affected by drought and dry spells (Sandu and Mateescu, 2014). The scope of the analysis is to assess the gains and losses in CWP for the two crops, by considering increased irrigated cropland and improved fertilization, these being the most common measures potentially and already implemented by the farmers. In order to capture the effects of such measures on agricultural water use, the GIS-based EPIC crop-growth model (GEPIC) (Williams et al., 1989; Liu, 2009) was employed to simulate yields, seasonal evapotranspiration from crops and volume of irrigation water in the Romanian Plain for the 2002 - 2013 interval with focus on 2007 and 2010, two representative years for dry and wet periods, respectively. The GEPIC model operates on a daily time step, while the geospatial input datasets for this analysis (e.g. climate data, soil classes and soil parameters, land use) were harmonized at 1km resolution grid cell. The sources of the spatial data are mainly the national profile agencies

  8. Definition of animal breeding goals for sustainable production systems.

    PubMed

    Olesen, I; Groen, A F; Gjerde, B

    2000-03-01

    What we do is determined by the way we "view" a complex issue and what sample of issues or events we choose to deal with. In this paper, a model based on a communal, cultural, or people-centered worldview, informed by a subjective epistemology and a holistic ontology, is considered. Definitions and interpretations of sustainable agriculture are reviewed. Common elements in published definitions of sustainable agriculture and animal production among those who seek long-term and equitable solutions for food production are resource efficiency, profitability, productivity, environmental soundness, biodiversity, social viability, and ethical aspects. Possible characteristics of future sustainable production systems and further development are presented. The impact of these characteristics on animal breeding goals is reviewed. The need for long-term biologically, ecologically, and sociologically sound breeding goals is emphasized, because animal breeding determined only by short-term market forces leads to unwanted side effects. Hence, a procedure for defining animal breeding goals with ethical priorities and weighing of market and non-market values is suggested. Implementation of non-market as well as market economic trait values in the aggregate genotype, as suggested, may allow for breeding programs that contribute to sustainable production systems. Examples of breeding goals in salmon, cattle, and pigs are given, and the resulting genetic responses are evaluated with respect to economic profit (or costs) and other criteria of sustainability. Important prerequisites for breeding programs for sustainable production are appropriate governmental policies, awareness of our way of thinking, and a more communal worldview informed by a subjective epistemology and a holistic ontology. PMID:10764063

  9. Best Management of Irrigation Fertilization to Sustain Environment and High yield of Maize in the Arid land in Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gameh Ali, M.

    2012-04-01

    Assiut is a county in the middle of Egypt,located 600 km south of the Mediterranean Sea. Water and fertilization management experimental trails were conducted to search for the best water consumption of Maize beside the best rate and type of nitrogen fertilization to reduce nitrate pollution and reduce fertilizer and save energy. Three irrigation regimes ( 25, 50, and 75% of soil moisture depletion of the available water, SMD) were used to irrigate Corn (Maize : Zea mays L. ) variety Tri hybrid cross. Three nitrogen fertilizer sources (Urea 46.5% N; Ammonium nitrate 33.5%N and slow release nitrogen 40%N) were applied at three rates of 90; 120 and 150 kg/ Feddan (4200m2 about one Acre). The results suggested that the best management is to use the slow release fertilizer at rate of 150 kg N/ Feddan (4200m2 ) with 50% SMD the highest Maize yield with good quality and reducing the environmental hazardous. Key words: Slow release fertilizer, Nitrogen leaching; Irrigation management. Environmental protection.

  10. Influence of Soil Tillage Systems on Soil Respiration and Production on Wheat, Maize and Soybean Crop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moraru, P. I.; Rusu, T.

    2012-04-01

    Soil respiration leads to CO2 emissions from soil to the atmosphere, in significant amounts for the global carbon cycle. Soil capacity to produce CO2 varies depending on soil, season, intensity and quality of agrotechnical tillage, soil water, cultivated plant, fertilizer etc. The data presented in this paper were obtained on argic-stagnic Faeoziom (SRTS, 2003). These areas were was our research, presents a medium multiannual temperature of 8.20C, medium of multiannual rain drowns: 613 mm. The experimental variants chosen were: A. Conventional system (CS): V1-reversible plough (22-25 cm)+rotary grape (8-10 cm); B. Minimum tillage system (MT): V2 - paraplow (18-22 cm) + rotary grape (8-10 cm); V3 - chisel (18-22 cm) + rotary grape (8-10 cm);V4 - rotary grape (10-12 cm); C. No-Tillage systems (NT): V5 - direct sowing. The experimental design was a split-plot design with three replications. In one variant the area of a plot was 300 m2. The experimental variants were studied in the 3 years crop rotation: maize - soy-bean - autumn wheat. To soil respiration under different tillage practices, determinations were made for each crop in four vegetative stages (spring, 5-6 leaves, bean forming, harvest) using ACE Automated Soil CO2 Exchange System. Soil respiration varies throughout the year for all three crops of rotation, with a maximum in late spring (1383 to 2480 mmoli m-2s-1) and another in fall (2141 to 2350 mmoli m-2s-1). The determinations confirm the effect of soil tillage system on soil respiration, the daily average is lower at NT (315-1914 mmoli m-2s-1), followed by MT (318-2395 mmoli m-2s-1) and is higher in the CS (321-2480 mmol m-2s-1). Productions obtained at MT and NT don't have significant differences at wheat and are higher at soybean. The differences in crop yields are recorded at maize and can be a direct consequence of loosening, mineralization and intensive mobilization of soil fertility. Acknowledgments: This work was supported by CNCSIS

  11. Belowground ABA boosts aboveground production of DIMBOA and primes induction of chlorogenic acid in maize.

    PubMed

    Erb, Matthias; Gordon-Weeks, Ruth; Flors, Victor; Camañes, Gemma; Turlings, Ted C J; Ton, Jurriaan

    2009-07-01

    Plants are important mediators between above- and belowground herbivores. Consequently, interactions between root and shoot defenses can have far-reaching impacts on entire food webs. We recently reported that infestation of maize roots by larvae of the beetle Diabrotica virgifera virgifera induced shoot resistance against herbivores and pathogens. Root herbivory also enhanced aboveground DIMBOA and primed for enhanced induction of chlorogenic acid, two secondary metabolites that have been associated with plant stress resistance. Interestingly, the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) emerged as a putative long-distance signal in the regulation of these systemic defenses. In this addendum, we have investigated the role of root-derived ABA in aboveground regulation of DIMBOA and the phenolic compounds chlorogenic acid, caffeic and ferulic acid. Furthermore, we discuss the relevance of ABA in relation to defense against the leaf herbivore Spodoptera littoralis. Soil-drench treatment with ABA mimicked root herbivore-induced accumulation of DIMBOA in the leaves. Similarly, ABA mimicked aboveground priming of chlorogenic acid production, causing augmented induction of this compound after subsequent shoot attack by S. littoralis caterpillars. These findings confirm our notion that ABA acts as an important signal in the regulation of aboveground defenses during belowground herbivory. However, based on our previous finding that ABA alone is not sufficient to trigger aboveground resistance against S. littoralis caterpillars, our results also suggest that the ABA-inducible effects on DIMBOA and chlorogenic acid are not solely responsible for root herbivore-induced resistance against S. littoralis. PMID:19820311

  12. The influence of gadolinium and yttrium on biomass production and nutrient balance of maize plants.

    PubMed

    Saatz, Jessica; Vetterlein, Doris; Mattusch, Jürgen; Otto, Matthias; Daus, Birgit

    2015-09-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) are expected to become pollutants by enriching in the environment due to their wide applications nowadays. The uptake and distribution of gadolinium and yttrium and its influence on biomass production and nutrient balance was investigated in hydroponic solution experiments with maize plants using increasing application doses of 0.1, 1 and 10 mg L(-1). It could be shown that concentrations of up to 1 mg L(-1) of Gd and Y did not reduce or enhance the plant growth or alter the nutrient balance. 10 mg L(-1) Gd or Y resulted in REE concentrations of up to 1.2 weight-% in the roots and severe phosphate deficiency symptoms. Transfer rates showed that there was only little transport of Gd and Y from roots to shoots. Significant correlations were found between the concentration of Gd and Y in the nutrient solution and the root tissue concentration of Ca, Mg and P. PMID:25898235

  13. Analysis of the climatic constraints to maize production in the current agricultural region of Argentina—a probabilistic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maddonni, Gustavo Angel

    2012-02-01

    A simple method of analysis was proposed to characterize the impact of climatic conditions of a wide region of Argentina (from 27°05'S to 35°48'S, from 61°5'W to 64°21'W) on potential maize ( Zea mays L.) grain yield, and the occurrence of various climatic constraints (low temperatures and low soil water content, frost, drought stress and heat stress) along the cycle. The analysis was based on previous studies of the eco-physiology of maize crops and the use of climatic records of six locations in the region under study. Results were analyzed using a probabilistic method, later organized as a checklist to consider when deciding on sowing date in a location of the region. Thus, for each production scenario (combination of location and sowing date), farmers would have a tool enabling them to pay particular attention to the restrictions more likely to occur, to include some cultural practices to avoid or mitigate the most severe climatic constraint to maize production.

  14. Projected climate impacts to South African maize and wheat production in 2055: a comparison of empirical and mechanistic modeling approaches.

    PubMed

    Estes, Lyndon D; Beukes, Hein; Bradley, Bethany A; Debats, Stephanie R; Oppenheimer, Michael; Ruane, Alex C; Schulze, Roland; Tadross, Mark

    2013-12-01

    Crop model-specific biases are a key uncertainty affecting our understanding of climate change impacts to agriculture. There is increasing research focus on intermodel variation, but comparisons between mechanistic (MMs) and empirical models (EMs) are rare despite both being used widely in this field. We combined MMs and EMs to project future (2055) changes in the potential distribution (suitability) and productivity of maize and spring wheat in South Africa under 18 downscaled climate scenarios (9 models run under 2 emissions scenarios). EMs projected larger yield losses or smaller gains than MMs. The EMs' median-projected maize and wheat yield changes were -3.6% and 6.2%, respectively, compared to 6.5% and 15.2% for the MM. The EM projected a 10% reduction in the potential maize growing area, where the MM projected a 9% gain. Both models showed increases in the potential spring wheat production region (EM = 48%, MM = 20%), but these results were more equivocal because both models (particularly the EM) substantially overestimated the extent of current suitability. The substantial water-use efficiency gains simulated by the MMs under elevated CO2 accounted for much of the EM-MM difference, but EMs may have more accurately represented crop temperature sensitivities. Our results align with earlier studies showing that EMs may show larger climate change losses than MMs. Crop forecasting efforts should expand to include EM-MM comparisons to provide a fuller picture of crop-climate response uncertainties. PMID:23864352

  15. Effect of progressive drought stress on growth, leaf gas exchange, and antioxidant production in two maize cultivars.

    PubMed

    Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Tanveer, Mohsin; Ashraf, Umair; Hussain, Saddam; Shahzad, Babar; Khan, Imran; Wang, Longchang

    2016-09-01

    Drought stress is one of the major environmental factors responsible for reduction in crop productivity. In the present study, responses of two maize cultivars (Rung Nong 35 and Dong Dan 80) were examined to explicate the growth, yield, leaf gas exchange, leaf water contents, osmolyte accumulation, membrane lipid peroxidation, and antioxidant activity under progressive drought stress. Maize cultivars were subjected to varying field capacities (FC) viz., well-watered (80 % FC) and drought-stressed (35 % FC) at 45 days after sowing. The effects of drought stress were analyzed at 5, 10, 15, 20, ad 25 days after drought stress (DAS) imposition. Under prolonged drought stress, Rung Nong 35 exhibited higher reduction in growth and yield as compared to Dong Dan 80. Maize cultivar Dong Dan 80 showed higher leaf relative water content (RWC), free proline, and total carbohydrate accumulation than Run Nong 35. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide anion were increased with prolongation of drought stress, with higher rates in cultivar Run Nong 35 than cultivar Dong Dan 80. Higher production of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) and glutathione reductase (GR) resulted in improved growth and yield in Dong Dan 80. Overall, the cultivar Dong Dan 80 was better able to resist the detrimental effects of progressive drought stress as indicated by better growth and yield due to higher antioxidant enzymes, reduced lipid peroxidation, better accumulation of osmolytes, and maintenance of tissue water contents. PMID:27215981

  16. Projected Climate Impacts to South African Maize and Wheat Production in 2055: A Comparison of Empirical and Mechanistic Modeling Approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estes, Lyndon D.; Beukes, Hein; Bradley, Bethany A.; Debats, Stephanie R.; Oppenheimer, Michael; Ruane, Alex C.; Schulze, Roland; Tadross, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Crop model-specific biases are a key uncertainty affecting our understanding of climate change impacts to agriculture. There is increasing research focus on intermodel variation, but comparisons between mechanistic (MMs) and empirical models (EMs) are rare despite both being used widely in this field. We combined MMs and EMs to project future (2055) changes in the potential distribution (suitability) and productivity of maize and spring wheat in South Africa under 18 downscaled climate scenarios (9 models run under 2 emissions scenarios). EMs projected larger yield losses or smaller gains than MMs. The EMs' median-projected maize and wheat yield changes were 3.6% and 6.2%, respectively, compared to 6.5% and 15.2% for the MM. The EM projected a 10% reduction in the potential maize growing area, where the MM projected a 9% gain. Both models showed increases in the potential spring wheat production region (EM = 48%, MM = 20%), but these results were more equivocal because both models (particularly the EM) substantially overestimated the extent of current suitability. The substantial water-use efficiency gains simulated by the MMs under elevated CO2 accounted for much of the EMMM difference, but EMs may have more accurately represented crop temperature sensitivities. Our results align with earlier studies showing that EMs may show larger climate change losses than MMs. Crop forecasting efforts should expand to include EMMM comparisons to provide a fuller picture of crop-climate response uncertainties.

  17. Factors Controlling Pre-Columbian and Early Historic Maize Productivity in the American Southwest, Part 1: The Southern Colorado Plateau and Rio Grande Regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, L.V.

    2011-01-01

    Maize is the New World's preeminent grain crop and it provided the economic basis for human culture in many regions within the Americas. To flourish, maize needs water, sunlight (heat), and nutrients (e. g., nitrogen). In this paper, climate and soil chemistry data are used to evaluate the potential for dryland (rainon-field) agriculture in the semiarid southeastern Colorado Plateau and Rio Grande regions. Processes that impact maize agriculture such as nitrogen mineralization, infiltration of precipitation, bare soil evaporation, and transpiration are discussed and evaluated. Most of the study area, excepting high-elevation regions, receives sufficient solar radiation to grow maize. The salinities of subsurface soils in the central San Juan Basin are very high and their nitrogen concentrations are very low. In addition, soils of the central San Juan Basin are characterized by pH values that exceed 8.0, which limit the availability of both nitrogen and phosphorous. In general, the San Juan Basin, including Chaco Canyon, is the least promising part of the study area in terms of dryland farming. Calculations of field life, using values of organic nitrogen for the upper 50 cm of soil in the study area, indicate that most of the study area could not support a 10-bushel/acre crop of maize. The concepts, methods, and calculations used to quantify maize productivity in this study are applicable to maize cultivation in other environmental settings across the Americas. ?? 2010 US Government.

  18. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25% by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental well-being. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be utilized to enhance yields of staple crops, incre...

  19. A Landscape Vision for Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feedstock production for biofuel and other bioproducts is poised to rejuvenate rural economies, but may lead to long-term degradation of soil resources or other adverse and unintended environmental consequences if the practices are not developed in a sustainable manner. This presentation will examin...

  20. Advances in Genetics and Genomics for Sustainable Peanut Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant breeding, genetics, and genomics have a critical role to play in sustainable agriculture. These technologies are contributing to rapid progress in improving crop productivity, quality, and resistance to pests and diseases. The advances in genetics and genomics are opening new frontiers in pean...

  1. Potentiality of botanical agents for the management of post harvest insects of maize: a review.

    PubMed

    Soujanya, P Lakshmi; Sekhar, J C; Kumar, P; Sunil, N; Prasad, Ch Vara; Mallavadhani, U V

    2016-05-01

    Natural products derived from plants are emerging as potent biorational alternatives to synthetic insecticides for the integrated management of post harvest insects of maize. In this paper, effectiveness of botanicals including plant extracts, essential oils, their isolated pure compounds, plant based nano formulations and their mode of action against storage insects have been reviewed with special reference to maize. Plant based insecticides found to be the most promising means of controlling storage insects of maize in an eco friendly and sustainable manner. This article also throws light on the commercialization of botanicals, their limitations, challenges and future trends of storage insect management. PMID:27407183

  2. Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Mei, Ying; Wei, Li

    2016-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management. PMID:27620092

  3. Targeted Sequencing Reveals Large-Scale Sequence Polymorphism in Maize Candidate Genes for Biomass Production and Composition

    PubMed Central

    Ulpinnis, Chris; Scholz, Uwe; Altmann, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    A major goal of maize genomic research is to identify sequence polymorphisms responsible for phenotypic variation in traits of economic importance. Large-scale detection of sequence variation is critical for linking genes, or genomic regions, to phenotypes. However, due to its size and complexity, it remains expensive to generate whole genome sequences of sufficient coverage for divergent maize lines, even with access to next generation sequencing (NGS) technology. Because methods involving reduction of genome complexity, such as genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), assess only a limited fraction of sequence variation, targeted sequencing of selected genomic loci offers an attractive alternative. We therefore designed a sequence capture assay to target 29 Mb genomic regions and surveyed a total of 4,648 genes possibly affecting biomass production in 21 diverse inbred maize lines (7 flints, 14 dents). Captured and enriched genomic DNA was sequenced using the 454 NGS platform to 19.6-fold average depth coverage, and a broad evaluation of read alignment and variant calling methods was performed to select optimal procedures for variant discovery. Sequence alignment with the B73 reference and de novo assembly identified 383,145 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), of which 42,685 were non-synonymous alterations and 7,139 caused frameshifts. Presence/absence variation (PAV) of genes was also detected. We found that substantial sequence variation exists among genomic regions targeted in this study, which was particularly evident within coding regions. This diversification has the potential to broaden functional diversity and generate phenotypic variation that may lead to new adaptations and the modification of important agronomic traits. Further, annotated SNPs identified here will serve as useful genetic tools and as candidates in searches for phenotype-altering DNA variation. In summary, we demonstrated that sequencing of captured DNA is a powerful approach for

  4. Development by extrusion of soyabari snack sticks: a nutritionally improved soya-maize product based on the Nigerian snack (kokoro).

    PubMed

    Omueti, O; Morton, I D

    1996-01-01

    A nutritionally improved local snack compared to existing kokoro has been developed by extrusion cooking of different formulations of maize, soybean and condiments such as pepper, onion, salt, palm oil, plantain and banana. The improved snack was named as the 'soyabari snack stick'. The chemical composition of representative extruded products indicates a high level of crude protein, fat, energy, available lysine and improved in vitro digestibility compared to the usual maize-based products. The level of stachyose and raffinose were greatly reduced in the extruded products compared to raw soya. Formulations using various additives yielded products suitable for different consumers' preferences such as hot, sweet, bland, gritty or crispy and acceptable to taste assessors. Soyabari snack sticks were equally acceptable as Bombay mix, a product on the market in London. Sensory analysis showed no significant differences in the two products but the crude fibre content of Bombay mix was higher while the protein was slightly lower than for soyabari sticks. Local ingredients can produce acceptable extrudates. PMID:8616673

  5. Production of highly concentrated, heat-stable hepatitis B surface antigen in maize.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Celine A; Egelkrout, Erin M; Moscoso, Alessa M; Enrique, Cristina; Keener, Todd K; Jimenez-Flores, Rafael; Wong, Jeffrey C; Howard, John A

    2012-10-01

    Plant-based oral vaccines are a promising emergent technology that could help alleviate disease burden worldwide by providing a low-cost, heat-stable, oral alternative to parenterally administered commercial vaccines. Here, we describe high-level accumulation of the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) at a mean concentration of 0.51%TSP in maize T1 seeds using an improved version of the globulin1 promoter. This concentration is more than fourfold higher than any previously reported lines. HBsAg expressed in maize seeds was extremely heat stable, tolerating temperatures up to 55 °C for 1 month without degradation. Optimal heat stability was achieved after oil extraction of ground maize material, either by supercritical fluid extraction or hexane treatment. The contributions of this material towards the development of a practical oral vaccine delivery system are discussed. PMID:22816734

  6. Assessment of energy crops alternative to maize for biogas production in the Greater Region.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Frédéric; Gerin, Patrick A; Noo, Anaïs; Lemaigre, Sébastien; Stilmant, Didier; Schmit, Thomas; Leclech, Nathael; Ruelle, Luc; Gennen, Jerome; von Francken-Welz, Herbert; Foucart, Guy; Flammang, Jos; Weyland, Marc; Delfosse, Philippe

    2014-08-01

    The biomethane yield of various energy crops, selected among potential alternatives to maize in the Greater Region, was assessed. The biomass yield, the volatile solids (VS) content and the biochemical methane potential (BMP) were measured to calculate the biomethane yield per hectare of all plant species. For all species, the dry matter biomass yield and the VS content were the main factors that influence, respectively, the biomethane yield and the BMP. Both values were predicted with good accuracy by linear regressions using the biomass yield and the VS as independent variable. The perennial crop miscanthus appeared to be the most promising alternative to maize when harvested as green matter in autumn and ensiled. Miscanthus reached a biomethane yield of 5.5 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) during the second year after the establishment, as compared to 5.3 ± 1 × 10(3)m(3)ha(-1) for maize under similar crop conditions. PMID:24929279

  7. Vegetation Health and Productivity Indicators for Sustained National Climate Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, M. O.; Running, S. W.

    2014-12-01

    The National Climate Assessment process is developing a system of physical, ecological, and societal indicators that communicate key aspects of the physical climate, climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and preparedness for the purpose of informing both decision makers and the public. Implementing a 14 year record of Gross and Net Primary Productivity (GPP/NPP) derived from the NASA EOS MODIS satellite sensor we demonstrate how these products can serve as Ecosystem Productivity and Vegetation Health National Climate Indicators for implementation in sustained National Climate Assessments. The NPP product combines MODIS vegetation data with daily global meteorology to calculate annual growth of all plant material at 1 sq. km resolution. NPP anomalies identify regions with above or below average plant growth that may result from climate fluctuations and can inform carbon source/sink dynamics, agricultural and forestry yield measures, and response to wildfire or drought conditions. The GPP product provides a high temporal resolution (8-day) metric of vegetation growth which can be used to monitor short-term vegetation response to extreme events and implemented to derive vegetation phenology metrics; growing season start, end, and length, which can elucidate land cover and regionally specific vegetation responses to a changing climate. The high spatial resolution GPP and NPP indicators can also inform and clarify responses seen from other proposed Pilot Indicators such as forest growth/productivity, land cover, crop production, and phenology. The GPP and NPP data are in continuous production and will be sustained into the future with the next generation satellite missions. The long-term Ecosystem Productivity and Vegetation Health Indicators are ideal for use in sustained National Climate Assessments, providing regionally specific responses to a changing climate and complete coverage at the national scale.

  8. Cu-Chitosan Nanoparticle Mediated Sustainable Approach To Enhance Seedling Growth in Maize by Mobilizing Reserved Food.

    PubMed

    Saharan, Vinod; Kumaraswamy, R V; Choudhary, Ram Chandra; Kumari, Sarita; Pal, Ajay; Raliya, Ramesh; Biswas, Pratim

    2016-08-10

    Food crop seedlings often have susceptibility to various abiotic and biotic stresses. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the impact of Cu-chitosan nanoparticles (NPs) on physiological and biochemical changes during maize seedling growth. Higher values of percent germination, shoot and root length, root number, seedling length, fresh and dry weight, and seed vigor index were obtained at 0.04-0.12% concentrations of Cu-chitosan NPs as compared to water, CuSO4, and bulk chitosan treatments. Cu-chitosan NPs at the same concentrations induced the activities of α-amylase and protease enzymes and also increased the total protein content in germinating seeds. The increased activities of α-amylase and protease enzymes corroborated with decreased content of starch and protein, respectively, in the germinating seeds. Cu-chitosan NPs at 0.16% and CuSO4 at 0.01% concentrations showed inhibitory effect on seedling growth. The observed results on seedling growth could be explained by the toxicity of excess Cu and growth promotory effect of Cu-chitosan NPs. Physiological and biochemical studies suggest that Cu-chitosan NPs enhance the seedling growth of maize by mobilizing the reserved food, primarily starch, through the higher activity of α-amylase. PMID:27460439

  9. Sustainable production of biologically active molecules of marine based origin.

    PubMed

    Murray, Patrick M; Moane, Siobhan; Collins, Catherine; Beletskaya, Tanya; Thomas, Olivier P; Duarte, Alysson W F; Nobre, Fernando S; Owoyemi, Ifeloju O; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Sette, L D; McHugh, Edward; Causse, Eric; Pérez-López, Paula; Feijoo, Gumersindo; Moreira, Ma T; Rubiolo, Juan; Leirós, Marta; Botana, Luis M; Pinteus, Susete; Alves, Celso; Horta, André; Pedrosa, Rui; Jeffryes, Clayton; Agathos, Spiros N; Allewaert, Celine; Verween, Annick; Vyverman, Wim; Laptev, Ivan; Sineoky, Sergei; Bisio, Angela; Manconi, Renata; Ledda, Fabio; Marchi, Mario; Pronzato, Roberto; Walsh, Daniel J

    2013-09-25

    The marine environment offers both economic and scientific potential which are relatively untapped from a biotechnological point of view. These environments whilst harsh are ironically fragile and dependent on a harmonious life form balance. Exploitation of natural resources by exhaustive wild harvesting has obvious negative environmental consequences. From a European industry perspective marine organisms are a largely underutilised resource. This is not due to lack of interest but due to a lack of choice the industry faces for cost competitive, sustainable and environmentally conscientious product alternatives. Knowledge of the biotechnological potential of marine organisms together with the development of sustainable systems for their cultivation, processing and utilisation are essential. In 2010, the European Commission recognised this need and funded a collaborative RTD/SME project under the Framework 7-Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) Theme 2 Programme 'Sustainable culture of marine microorganisms, algae and/or invertebrates for high value added products'. The scope of that project entitled 'Sustainable Production of Biologically Active Molecules of Marine Based Origin' (BAMMBO) is outlined. Although the Union is a global leader in many technologies, it faces increasing competition from traditional rivals and emerging economies alike and must therefore improve its innovation performance. For this reason innovation is placed at the heart of a European Horizon 2020 Strategy wherein the challenge is to connect economic performance to eco performance. This article provides a synopsis of the research activities of the BAMMBO project as they fit within the wider scope of sustainable environmentally conscientious marine resource exploitation for high-value biomolecules. PMID:23563183

  10. Efficacy of insect growth regulators as grain protectants against two stored-product pests in wheat and maize.

    PubMed

    Kavallieratos, Nickolas G; Athanassiou, Christos G; Vayias, Basileios J; Tomanović, Zeljko

    2012-05-01

    Insect growth regulators (IGRs) (two juvenile hormone analogues [fenoxycarb and pyriproxifen], four chitin synthesis inhibitors [diflubenzuron, flufenoxuron, lufenuron, and triflumuron], one ecdysteroid agonist [methoxyfenozide], and one combination of chitin synthesis inhibitors and juvenile hormone analogues [lufenuron plus fenoxycarb]) were tested in the laboratory against adults of Prostephanus truncatus in maize and against adults of Rhyzopertha dominica in wheat. The tested IGRs were applied in maize at three doses (1, 5, and 10 ppm) and assessed at three temperature levels (20, 25, and 30°C) in the case of P. truncatus, while in the case of R. dominica the above doses were assessed only at 25°C in wheat. In addition to progeny production, mortality of the treated adults after 14 days of exposure in the IGR-treated commodities was assessed. All IGRs were very effective (>88.5% suppression of progeny) against the tested species at doses of $ 5 ppm, while diflubenzuron at 25°C in the case of P. truncatus or lufenuron and pyriproxyfen in the case of R. dominica completely suppressed (100%) progeny production when they were applied at 1 ppm. At all tested doses, the highest values of R. dominica parental mortality were observed in wheat treated with lufenuron plus fenoxycarb. Temperature at the levels examined in the present study did not appear to affect the overall performance in a great extent of the tested IGRs in terms of adult mortality or suppression of progeny production against P. truncatus in treated maize. The tested IGRs may be considered viable grain protectants and therefore as potential components in stored-product integrated pest management. PMID:22564945

  11. Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Zhang, Gong; Yang, Xiahua; You, Shao-Hong

    2015-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2014 publications on the focus of the following sections: • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management. PMID:26420087

  12. Maize databases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter is a succinct overview of maize data held in the species-specific database MaizeGDB (the Maize Genomics and Genetics Database), and selected multi-species data repositories, such as Gramene/Ensembl Plants, Phytozome, UniProt and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), ...

  13. Surplus N in US maize production: Informing data-driven policies using the Adapt-N model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sela, Shai; van-Es, Harold; McLellan, Eileen; Margerison, Rebecca; Melkonian, Jeff

    2016-04-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) production accounts for the largest share of crop land area in the U.S, and is the largest consumer of nitrogen (N) fertilizers of all US crops. Over-application of N fertilizer in excess of crop needs often lead to surplus of N in the soil, resulting in well-documented environmental problems and social costs associated with high reactive N losses. There is a potential to reduce these costs through better application timing, use of enhanced efficiency products, and more precise rate calculations. However, promoting management changes by means of environmental policies requires robust analysis of the possible environmental outcomes associated with these policies. This research gap is addressed using Adapt-N, a computational tool that combines soil, crop and management information with near-real-time weather data to estimate optimum N application rates for maize. Using results from a large synthetic dataset of 8100 simulations spanning 6 years (2010-2015), we have explored the total applied N rates, surplus of N (total N applied minus N removed by the crop) and the environmental losses resulting from seven N management scenarios applied in the top 5 US maize production states - IL, IN, IA, MN and NE. To cover a wide range of weather and production environments, all scenarios were applied at five randomly selected locations in each state, using combinations of three soil texture classes and two organic matter contents. The results indicate that fall applications typically lead to the highest total amount of N applied, highest N surplus and substantial amounts of environmental N losses. Nitrification inhibitors were found to have a marginal benefits for fall applied N. Spring pre-plant N applications were found to have lower N surplus than fall applications, but could still lead to high N losses under wet spring conditions. These losses were reduced (12%) when nitrification and urease inhibitors were applied. Out of all simulated N management

  14. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Delhaize, Emmanuel; Frommer, Wolf B.; Guerinot, Mary Lou; Harrison, Maria J.; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Horie, Tomoaki; Kochian, Leon V.; Munns, Rana; Nishizawa, Naoko K.; Tsay, Yi-Fang; Sanders, Dale

    2013-01-01

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25 per cent by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental health. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be used to enhance yields of staple crops, increase nutrient content and increase resistance to key stresses, including salinity, pathogens and aluminium toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land. PMID:23636397

  15. Maize pathogens suppress inducible phytoalexin production to thwart innate plant immunity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Kauralexins (KA) and zealexins (ZA) are newly described secondary metabolites in maize that serve as inducible chemical defenses against insects and pathogens. In contrast to the abundance of terpene volatiles in leaves, these non-volatile terpenoid phytoalexins are only mildly produced in response ...

  16. Production of Feruloyated Arabinoxylo-oligosaccharides from Maize (Zea mays) Bran by Microwave-Assisted Autohydrolysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize bran was treated with microwave irradiation (160 – 200 °C for 2 – 20 min) to release feruolyated arabinoxylo-oligosaccharides (AXOS). Lower temperatures and shorter treatment times were consistent with low AXOS yields, while higher temperatures and longer reaction times also resulted in low y...

  17. Identification of the Pr1 gene product completes the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway of maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In maize, mutations in the pr1 locus lead to the accumulation of pelargonidin (red) rather than cyanidin (purple) pigments in aleurone cells where the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway is active. We characterized pr1 mutation and isolated a putative F3'H encoding gene (Zmf3'h1), and showed by segrega...

  18. Maize dwarf mosaic in sweet corn contributes to weed growth and seed production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize dwarf mosaic (MDM) stunts corn growth, delays development, and is the most prevalent viral disease of sweet corn. Although weeds evade control in most sweet corn fields, the extent to which MDM influences the crop’s weed suppressive ability is unknown. Field studies were conducted over a three...

  19. Fumonisins in conventional and transgenic, insect-resistant maize intended for fuel ethanol production: implications for fermentation efficiency and DDGS co-product quality.

    PubMed

    Bowers, Erin L; Munkvold, Gary P

    2014-09-01

    Mycotoxins in maize grain intended for ethanol production are enriched in co-product dried distiller's grains and solubles (DDGS) and may be detrimental to yeast in fermentation. This study was conducted to examine the magnitude of fumonisin enrichment in DDGS and to analyze the impacts of insect injury, Fusarium ear rot severity, and fumonisin contamination on final ethanol yield. Samples of naturally-contaminated grain (0 to 35 mg/kg fumonisins) from field trials conducted in 2008-2011 were fermented and DDGS collected and analyzed for fumonisin content. Ethanol yield (determined gravimetrically) was unaffected by fumonisins in the range occurring in this study, and was not correlated with insect injury or Fusarium ear rot severity. Ethanol production was unaffected in fumonisin B1-spiked grain with concentrations from 0 to 37 mg/kg. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize often has reduced fumonisins due to its protection from insect injury and subsequent fungal infection. DDGS derived from Bt and non-Bt maize averaged 2.04 mg/kg and 8.25 mg/kg fumonisins, respectively. Fumonisins were enriched by 3.0× for 50 out of 57 hybrid × insect infestation treatment combinations; those seven that differed were <3.0 (1.56 to 2.56×). This study supports the industry assumption of three-fold fumonisin enrichment in DDGS, with measurements traceable to individual samples. Under significant insect pest pressures, DDGS derived from Bt maize hybrids were consistently lower in fumonisins than DDGS derived from non-Bt hybrids. PMID:25247264

  20. Fumonisins in Conventional and Transgenic, Insect-Resistant Maize Intended for Fuel Ethanol Production: Implications for Fermentation Efficiency and DDGS Co-Product Quality

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, Erin L.; Munkvold, Gary P.

    2014-01-01

    Mycotoxins in maize grain intended for ethanol production are enriched in co-product dried distiller’s grains and solubles (DDGS) and may be detrimental to yeast in fermentation. This study was conducted to examine the magnitude of fumonisin enrichment in DDGS and to analyze the impacts of insect injury, Fusarium ear rot severity, and fumonisin contamination on final ethanol yield. Samples of naturally-contaminated grain (0 to 35 mg/kg fumonisins) from field trials conducted in 2008–2011 were fermented and DDGS collected and analyzed for fumonisin content. Ethanol yield (determined gravimetrically) was unaffected by fumonisins in the range occurring in this study, and was not correlated with insect injury or Fusarium ear rot severity. Ethanol production was unaffected in fumonisin B1-spiked grain with concentrations from 0 to 37 mg/kg. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize often has reduced fumonisins due to its protection from insect injury and subsequent fungal infection. DDGS derived from Bt and non-Bt maize averaged 2.04 mg/kg and 8.25 mg/kg fumonisins, respectively. Fumonisins were enriched by 3.0× for 50 out of 57 hybrid × insect infestation treatment combinations; those seven that differed were <3.0 (1.56 to 2.56×). This study supports the industry assumption of three-fold fumonisin enrichment in DDGS, with measurements traceable to individual samples. Under significant insect pest pressures, DDGS derived from Bt maize hybrids were consistently lower in fumonisins than DDGS derived from non-Bt hybrids. PMID:25247264

  1. Multi-scale modeling for sustainable chemical production.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Kai; Bakshi, Bhavik R; Herrgård, Markus J

    2013-09-01

    With recent advances in metabolic engineering, it is now technically possible to produce a wide portfolio of existing petrochemical products from biomass feedstock. In recent years, a number of modeling approaches have been developed to support the engineering and decision-making processes associated with the development and implementation of a sustainable biochemical industry. The temporal and spatial scales of modeling approaches for sustainable chemical production vary greatly, ranging from metabolic models that aid the design of fermentative microbial strains to material and monetary flow models that explore the ecological impacts of all economic activities. Research efforts that attempt to connect the models at different scales have been limited. Here, we review a number of existing modeling approaches and their applications at the scales of metabolism, bioreactor, overall process, chemical industry, economy, and ecosystem. In addition, we propose a multi-scale approach for integrating the existing models into a cohesive framework. The major benefit of this proposed framework is that the design and decision-making at each scale can be informed, guided, and constrained by simulations and predictions at every other scale. In addition, the development of this multi-scale framework would promote cohesive collaborations across multiple traditionally disconnected modeling disciplines to achieve sustainable chemical production. PMID:23520143

  2. Links between livestock production, the environment and sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Pradbre, J-P

    2014-12-01

    This study examines the prospects for strong growth in the supply and demand for animal products worldwide, especially in developing countries, where 80% of the world's population lives. Based on scientific publications, statistics and field observations, it reviews greenhouse gas emission levels from livestock, the ability of ruminant livestock systems to sequester carbon and the capacity of the livestock industry to meet the challenge of sustainable development and to share its benefits while minimising impacts to climate change. Special attention is paid to the situation of the 800 million livestock farmers in the world living at the extreme end of poverty. The study underlines the importance of improving livestock productivity and the interdependence of the economic, environmental and social components of sustainable development. It highlights how, in the least developed countries and most lower-middle-income countries, the pressure exerted by animal diseases hampers efforts to improve livestock productivity. Poor livestock farmers have not sufficiently benefited from development policies and need support to adopt technological advances to meet the challenges of sustainable development and poverty reduction. PMID:25812202

  3. The impact of climate change on grain maize production over Europe - adaptation with different irrigation strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceglar, A.; Srivastava, A. K.; Chukaliev, O.; Duveiller, G.; Niemeyer, S.

    2013-12-01

    The spatial distribution of water deficit and maize yield deficit across Europe has been compared between current and expected climatic conditions in the near future (time window 2030). Maize yields and water requirements were simulated using the WOFOST (World Food Studies) crop growth model. In our study, the priority has been given to future projections of the A1B emission scenario produced within the ENSEMBLE project: HadRM3 RCM nested within the HADCM3 GCM (HADLEY) and HIRHAM5 RCM nested within ECHAM5 GCM (ECHAM). The two realizations can be considered as warm (HADLEY) and cold (ECHAM5) according to simulated temperature in the near future and therefore represent the extremes in air temperature change within those analyzed in ENSEMBLES project, allowing us to evaluate the largest range of uncertainty in weather inputs to the impact model. In addition, we also explored the advantages of different irrigation strategies for the target crop to offset climate change impacts. In wake of limited amount of water availability for agriculture purposes, we explored effectiveness of three different irrigation strategies on maize yield over Europe, namely full, deficit and supplemental irrigation. The results of our study indicate that the maize yield under rainfed conditions is expected to decrease over the Southern Europe as well as regions around the Black Sea during the 2030s under both climate model realizations. Water deficit is expected to increase especially in the Mediterranean, whereas slightly less in parts of Central and Western Europe. However, adaptation strategies followed in this study negate the detrimental effect of climate change and result in an increased maize yield. Three irrigation strategies have been simulated differing in timing of water application and in the total volume of water supplied during the growing season. The results show that yields, achieved using deficit and full irrigation strategies, are not significantly different. Hence, at least

  4. Performance of growing pigs fed diets based on by-products of maize and wheat processing.

    PubMed

    Mwesigwa, Robert; Mutetikka, David; Kugonza, Donald Rugira

    2013-02-01

    Forty-eight crossbred Landrace × Large white pigs with an average body weight of 8.5 ± 0.4 kg and aged 2 months were used to evaluate performance and carcass characteristics of pigs fed two diets in which bran from maize or wheat was used as the energy source. A third diet based on whole maize grain was used as a control. Animals in groups of four, balanced for litter, sex and weight were allotted to dietary treatments in a completely randomised design with four replications. Data were collected on feed intake and weight gain for a period of 4 months. A digestibility trial was carried at the end of the feeding trial using two male pigs per treatment while six pigs per treatment were randomly selected for slaughter to determine carcass characteristics. Daily gain averaged 0.23, 0.31 and 0.13 kg/day, for pigs fed maize bran, wheat bran and whole maize diets, respectively. Average feed intake and final body weight were significantly (P < 0.05) affected by diets. Digestibility of dry matter, crude fibre and calcium were higher (P < 0.05) for pigs fed maize bran while crude protein digestibility was highest (P < 0.05) for the pigs fed wheat bran. There were significant differences (P < 0.05) between the diets in carcass yield, ham, head, trotters and heart weights and also for rib weight, rib eye muscle and other tissues. This study indicates that comparable performance of growing pigs fed cereal bran and full-grain diets are real. PMID:22836486

  5. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

    For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, independent of scale, and responsive to management. Major differences between algae and terrestrial plant feedstocks, as well as their supply chains for biofuel, are highlighted, for they influence the choice of appropriate sustainability indicators. Algae strain selection characteristics do not generally affect which indicators are selected. The use of water instead of soil as themore » growth medium for algae determines the higher priority of water- over soil-related indicators. The proposed set of environmental indicators provides an initial checklist for measures of biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts depending on data availability, goals of the stakeholders, and financial constraints. Ultimately, use of these indicators entails defining sustainability goals and targets in relation to stakeholder values in a particular context and can lead to improved management practices.« less

  6. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

    For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, independent of scale, and responsive to management. Major differences between algae and terrestrial plant feedstocks, as well as their supply chains for biofuel, are highlighted, for they influence the choice of appropriate sustainability indicators. Algae strain selection characteristics do not generally affect which indicators are selected. The use of water instead of soil as the growth medium for algae determines the higher priority of water- over soil-related indicators. The proposed set of environmental indicators provides an initial checklist for measures of biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts depending on data availability, goals of the stakeholders, and financial constraints. Ultimately, use of these indicators entails defining sustainability goals and targets in relation to stakeholder values in a particular context and can lead to improved management practices.

  7. Water footprints of cities - indicators for sustainable consumption and production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, H.; Döll, P.; Fader, M.; Gerten, D.; Hauser, S.; Siebert, S.

    2014-01-01

    Water footprints have been proposed as sustainability indicators, relating the consumption of goods like food to the amount of water necessary for their production and the impacts of that water use in the source regions. We further developed the existing water footprint methodology, by globally resolving virtual water flows from production to consumption regions for major food crops at 5 arcmin spatial resolution. We distinguished domestic and international flows, and assessed local impacts of export production. Applying this method to three exemplary cities, Berlin, Delhi and Lagos, we find major differences in amounts, composition, and origin of green and blue virtual water imports, due to differences in diets, trade integration and crop water productivities in the source regions. While almost all of Delhi's and Lagos' virtual water imports are of domestic origin, Berlin on average imports from more than 4000 km distance, in particular soy (livestock feed), coffee and cocoa. While 42% of Delhi's virtual water imports are blue water based, the fractions for Berlin and Lagos are 2 and 0.5%, respectively, roughly equal to the water volumes abstracted in these two cities for domestic water use. Some of the external source regions of Berlin's virtual water imports appear to be critically water scarce and/or food insecure. However, for deriving recommendations on sustainable consumption and trade, further analysis of context-specific costs and benefits associated with export production will be required.

  8. Genetic analysis of fumonisin production and virulence of Gibberella fujikuroi mating population A (Fusarium moniliforme) on maize (Zea mays) seedlings.

    PubMed Central

    Desjardins, A E; Plattner, R D; Nelsen, T C; Leslie, J F

    1995-01-01

    The phytopathogenic fungus Gibberella fujikuroi mating population A (anamorph, Fusarium moniliforme) produces fumonisins, which are toxic to a wide range of plant and animal species. Previous studies of field strains have identified a genetic locus, designated fum1, that can determine whether fumonisins are produced. To test the relationship between fumonisin production and virulence on maize seedlings, a cross between a fum1+ field strain that had a high degree of virulence and a fum1- field strain that had a low degree of virulence was made, and ascospore progeny were scored for these traits. Although a range of virulence levels was recovered among the progeny, high levels of virulence were associated with production of fumonisins, and highly virulent, fumonisin-nonproducing progeny were not obtained. A survey of field strains did identify a rare fumonisin-nonproducing strain that was quite high in virulence. Also, the addition of purified fumonisin B1 to virulence assays did not replicate all of the seedling blight symptoms obtained with autoclaved culture material containing fumonisin. These results support the hypothesis that fumonisin plays a role in virulence but also indicate that fumonisin production is not necessary or sufficient for virulence on maize seedlings. PMID:7887628

  9. Sustainability of organic food production: challenges and innovations.

    PubMed

    Niggli, Urs

    2015-02-01

    The greatest challenge for agriculture is to reduce the trade-offs between productivity and long-term sustainability. Therefore, it is interesting to analyse organic agriculture which is a given set of farm practices that emphasise ecological sustainability. Organic agriculture can be characterised as being less driven by off-farm inputs and being better embedded in ecosystem functions. The literature on public goods and non-commodity outputs of organic farms is overwhelming. Most publications address the positive effects of organic farming on soil fertility, biodiversity maintenance and protection of the natural resources of soil, water and air. As a consequence of focusing on public goods, organic agriculture is less productive. Meta-analyses show that organic agriculture yields range between 0·75 and 0·8 of conventional agriculture. Best practice examples from disadvantaged sites and climate conditions show equal or, in the case of subsistence farming in Sub-Saharan Africa, higher productivity of organic agriculture. Hence, organic agriculture is likely to be a good model for productive and sustainable food production. Underfunding in R&D addressing specific bottlenecks of organic agriculture are the main cause for both crop and livestock yield gaps. Therefore, the potential for improving the performance of organic agriculture through agricultural research is huge. Although organic farming is a niche in most countries, it is at the verge of becoming mainstream in leading European countries. Consumer demand has grown over the past two decades and does not seem to be a limiting factor for the future development of organic agriculture. PMID:25221987

  10. Water footprints of cities - indicators for sustainable consumption and production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, H.; Döll, P.; Fader, M.; Gerten, D.; Hauser, S.; Siebert, S.

    2013-02-01

    Water footprints have been proposed as sustainability indicators, relating the consumption of goods like food to the amount of water necessary for their production and the impacts of that water use in the source regions. We have further developed the existing water footprint methodology by globally resolving virtual water flows and import and source regions at 5 arc minutes spatial resolution, and by assessing local impacts of export production. Applying this method to three exemplary cities, Berlin, Delhi and Lagos, we find major differences in amounts, composition, and origin of green and blue virtual water imports, due to differences in diets, trade integration and crop water productivities in the source regions. While almost all of Delhi's and Lagos' virtual water imports are of domestic origin, Berlin on average imports from more than 4000 km distance, in particular soy (livestock feed), coffee and cocoa. While 42% of Delhi's virtual water imports are blue water based, the fractions for Berlin and Lagos are 2% and 0.5%, respectively, roughly equal to local drinking water abstractions of these cities. Some of the external source regions of Berlin's virtual water imports appear to be critically water scarce and/or food insecure. However for deriving recommendations on sustainable consumption and trade, further analysis of context-specific costs and benefits associated with export production will be required.

  11. Priming of Production in Maize of Volatile Organic Defence Compounds by the Natural Plant Activator cis-Jasmone.

    PubMed

    Oluwafemi, Sunday; Dewhirst, Sarah Y; Veyrat, Nathalie; Powers, Stephen; Bruce, Toby J A; Caulfield, John C; Pickett, John A; Birkett, Michael A

    2013-01-01

    cis-Jasmone (CJ) is a natural plant product that activates defence against herbivores in model and crop plants. In this study, we investigated whether CJ could prime defence in maize, Zea mays, against the leafhopper, Cicadulina storeyi, responsible for the transmission of maize streak virus (MSV). Priming occurs when a pre-treatment, in this case CJ, increases the potency and speed of a defence response upon subsequent attack on the plant. Here, we tested insect responses to plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using a Y-tube olfactometer bioassay. Our initial experiments showed that, in this system, there was no significant response of the herbivore to CJ itself and no difference in response to VOCs collected from unexposed plants compared to CJ exposed plants, both without insects. VOCs were then collected from C. storeyi-infested maize seedlings with and without CJ pre-treatment. The bioassay revealed a significant preference by this pest for VOCs from infested seedlings without the CJ pre-treatment. A timed series of VOC collections and bioassays showed that the effect was strongest in the first 22 h of insect infestation, i.e. before the insects had themselves induced a change in VOC emission. Chemical analysis showed that treatment of maize seedlings with CJ, followed by exposure to C. storeyi, led to a significant increase in emission of the defensive sesquiterpenes (E)-(1R,9S)-caryophyllene, (E)-α-bergamotene, (E)-β-farnesene and (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene, known to act as herbivore repellents. The chemical analysis explains the behavioural effects observed in the olfactometer, as the CJ treatment caused plants to emit a blend of VOCs comprising more of the repellent components in the first 22 h of insect infestation than control plants. The speed and potency of VOC emission was increased by the CJ pre-treatment. This is the first indication that CJ can prime plants for enhanced production of defensive VOCs antagonist towards herbivores. PMID

  12. Priming of Production in Maize of Volatile Organic Defence Compounds by the Natural Plant Activator cis-Jasmone

    PubMed Central

    Oluwafemi, Sunday; Dewhirst, Sarah Y.; Veyrat, Nathalie; Powers, Stephen; Bruce, Toby J. A.; Caulfield, John C.; Pickett, John A.; Birkett, Michael A.

    2013-01-01

    cis-Jasmone (CJ) is a natural plant product that activates defence against herbivores in model and crop plants. In this study, we investigated whether CJ could prime defence in maize, Zea mays, against the leafhopper, Cicadulina storeyi, responsible for the transmission of maize streak virus (MSV). Priming occurs when a pre-treatment, in this case CJ, increases the potency and speed of a defence response upon subsequent attack on the plant. Here, we tested insect responses to plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) using a Y-tube olfactometer bioassay. Our initial experiments showed that, in this system, there was no significant response of the herbivore to CJ itself and no difference in response to VOCs collected from unexposed plants compared to CJ exposed plants, both without insects. VOCs were then collected from C. storeyi-infested maize seedlings with and without CJ pre-treatment. The bioassay revealed a significant preference by this pest for VOCs from infested seedlings without the CJ pre-treatment. A timed series of VOC collections and bioassays showed that the effect was strongest in the first 22 h of insect infestation, i.e. before the insects had themselves induced a change in VOC emission. Chemical analysis showed that treatment of maize seedlings with CJ, followed by exposure to C. storeyi, led to a significant increase in emission of the defensive sesquiterpenes (E)-(1R,9S)-caryophyllene, (E)-α-bergamotene, (E)-β-farnesene and (E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene, known to act as herbivore repellents. The chemical analysis explains the behavioural effects observed in the olfactometer, as the CJ treatment caused plants to emit a blend of VOCs comprising more of the repellent components in the first 22 h of insect infestation than control plants. The speed and potency of VOC emission was increased by the CJ pre-treatment. This is the first indication that CJ can prime plants for enhanced production of defensive VOCs antagonist towards herbivores. PMID

  13. College Students' View of Biotechnology Products and Practices in Sustainable Agriculture Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, William A.

    2008-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture implies the use of products and practices that sustain production, protect the environment, ensure economic viability, and maintain rural community viability. Disagreement exists as to whether or not the products and practices of modern biotechnological support agricultural sustainability. The purpose of this study was to…

  14. South African maize production scenarios for 2055 using a combined empirical and process-based model approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estes, L.; Bradley, B.; Oppenheimer, M.; Wilcove, D.; Beukes, H.; Schulze, R. E.; Tadross, M.

    2011-12-01

    In South Africa, a semi-arid country with a diverse agricultural sector, climate change is projected to negatively impact staple crop production. Our study examines future impacts to maize, South Africa's most widely grown staple crop. Working at finer spatial resolution than previous studies, we combine the process-based DSSAT4.5 and the empirical MAXENT models to study future maize suitability. Climate scenarios were based on 9 GCMs run under SRES A2 and B1 emissions scenarios down-scaled (using self-organizing maps) to 5838 locations. Soil properties were derived from textural and compositional data linked to 26422 landforms. DSSAT was run with typical dryland planting parameters and mean projected CO2 values. MAXENT was trained using aircraft-observed distributions and monthly climatologies data derived from downscaled daily records, with future rainfall increased by 10% to simulate CO2 related water-use efficiency gains. We assessed model accuracy based on correlations between model output and a satellite-derived yield proxy (integrated NDVI), and the overlap of modeled and observed maize field distributions. DSSAT yields were linearly correlated to mean integrated NDVI (R2 = 0.38), while MAXENT's relationship was logistic. Binary suitability maps based on thresholding model outputs were slightly more accurate for MAXENT (88%) than for DSSAT (87%) when compared to current maize field distribution. We created 18 suitability maps for each model (9 GCMs X 2 SRES) using projected changes relative to historical suitability thresholds. Future maps largely agreed in eastern South Africa, but disagreed strongly in the semi-arid west. Using a 95% confidence criterion (17 models agree), MAXENT showed a 241305 km2 suitability loss relative to its modeled historical suitability, while DSSAT showed a potential loss of only 112446 km2. Even the smaller potential loss highlighted by DSSAT is uncertain, given that DSSAT's mean (across all 18 climate scenarios) projected yield

  15. Fusarium Poae (Peck) Wollenw. - Occurrence in maize ears, nivalenol production and mycotoxin accumulation in cobs.

    PubMed

    Chelkowski, J; Lew, H; Pettersson, H

    1994-09-01

    Fusarium poae (Peck) Wollenw. occurred In maize ears with "pink rot" during 1985-1993 up to 18% of Fusarium isolates, with maximum frequency in 1990. Nivalenol and fusarenone X were produced under laboratory conditions by 13 out of 14 isolates up to 115 μg/g and 13.3 μg/g respectively. The same isolates produced diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS) up to 21.7 μg/g and 15-monoacetoxyscirpenol (MAS) up to 12.3 μg/g. However, In none of the strain cultures were T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin detected. In samples of naturally Infected maize grain nivalenol was detected at levels of 1.8-32.5 μg/g and fusarenone X was not present. In corresponding axial stems were present both nivalenol (up to 13.5 μg/g) and fusarenone X (up to 2.4 μg/g). PMID:23605973

  16. Chromosome elimination and in vivo haploid production induced by Stock 6-derived inducer line in maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zili; Qiu, Fazhan; Liu, Yongzhong; Ma, Kejun; Li, Zaiyun; Xu, Shangzhong

    2008-12-01

    In vivo haploid production induced by inducer lines derived from Stock 6 is widely used in breeding program of maize (Zea mays L.), but the mechanisms behind have not yet been fully understood. In this study, average frequency of haploid induction in four inbred lines by Stock 6-derived inducer line HZI1 was above 10%. About 0.2% kernels from the cross Hua24 x HZI1 had mosaic endosperm showing yellow shrunken parts from Hua24 to normal parts with purple aleurone from HZI1. Individual lagged chromosomes and micronuclei were observed in mitotic cells of ovules pollinated by HZI1. Above 56.4% of the radicles from the kernels with purple aleurone and colorless embryos were mixoploid (2n = 9-21), and more than 45.22% cells were haploid cells (2n = 10) in three crosses. More than 62.5% of the radicles from the kernels with purple aleurone and purple embryos were mixoploid (2n = 9-21) having 54.27% cells with 2n = 20. SSR analysis showed that all haploids from the cross Hua24 x HZI1 shared the same genomic compositions as Hua24 except for plants Nos. 862 and 857 with some polymorphic DNA bands. The results revealed that chromosome elimination after fertilization caused the haploid production in maize. PMID:18807046

  17. Production of viable gametes without meiosis in maize deficient for an ARGONAUTE protein.

    PubMed

    Singh, Manjit; Goel, Shalendra; Meeley, Robert B; Dantec, Christelle; Parrinello, Hugues; Michaud, Caroline; Leblanc, Olivier; Grimanelli, Daniel

    2011-02-01

    Apomixis is a form of asexual reproduction through seeds in angiosperms. Apomictic plants bypass meiosis and fertilization, developing offspring that are genetically identical to their mother. In a genetic screen for maize (Zea mays) mutants mimicking aspects of apomixis, we identified a dominant mutation resulting in the formation of functional unreduced gametes. The mutant shows defects in chromatin condensation during meiosis and subsequent failure to segregate chromosomes. The mutated locus codes for AGO104, a member of the ARGONAUTE family of proteins. AGO104 accumulates specifically in somatic cells surrounding the female meiocyte, suggesting a mobile signal rather than cell-autonomous control. AGO104 is necessary for non-CG methylation of centromeric and knob-repeat DNA. Digital gene expression tag profiling experiments using high-throughput sequencing show that AGO104 influences the transcription of many targets in the ovaries, with a strong effect on centromeric repeats. AGO104 is related to Arabidopsis thaliana AGO9, but while AGO9 acts to repress germ cell fate in somatic tissues, AGO104 acts to repress somatic fate in germ cells. Our findings show that female germ cell development in maize is dependent upon conserved small RNA pathways acting non-cell-autonomously in the ovule. Interfering with this repression leads to apomixis-like phenotypes in maize. PMID:21325139

  18. Sustainability of pasta production under future climate in Central Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalla Marta, Anna; Baldi, Ada; Orlandini, Simone; Calanca, Pierluigi; Altobelli, Filiberto

    2016-04-01

    In this paper, the impact of future climate on pasta green water footprint (WF) was assessed. The model DSSAT CERES-Wheat was applied to simulate the production of rainfed winter durum wheat in Val d'Orcia (Central Italy), which provides the raw material for making traditional Italian pasta. The model was calibrated and validated for a 15-years period and used to estimate wheat yield and grain green WF. Further, the processing of grain for pasta making was analysed and taken into account for the calculation of the WF of final product. Then, the model was applied on future climate scenarios created with the stochastic generator LARS-WG, starting from a set of ENSEMBLES scenarios. The trend of wheat WF was analysed and the sustainability of the production of pasta in Central Italy was investigated and discussed.

  19. Values and public acceptability dimensions of sustainable egg production.

    PubMed

    Thompson, P B; Appleby, M; Busch, L; Kalof, L; Miele, M; Norwood, B F; Pajor, E

    2011-09-01

    The attributes of egg production that elicit values-based responses include the price and availability of eggs, environmental impacts, food safety or health concerns, and animal welfare. Different social groups have distinct interests regarding the sustainability of egg production that reflect these diverse values. Current scientifically based knowledge about how values and attitudes in these groups can be characterized is uneven and must be derived from studies conducted at varying times and using incomplete study methods. In general, some producer and consumer interests are translated through markets and are mediated by market mechanisms, whereas others are poorly reflected by economic behavior. An array of survey and focus group research has been performed to elicit consumer and activist beliefs about performance goals they would expect from an egg production system. These studies provide evidence that consumers' market behavior may be at odds with their ethical and political beliefs about performance goals. PMID:21844278

  20. Preparation and characterization of nanomaterials for sustainable energy production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang-jun; Burghaus, Uwe; Besenbacher, Flemming; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2010-10-26

    The use of nanotechnology to develop a suite of sustainable energy production schemes is one of the most important scientific challenges of the 21st century. The challenge is to design, to synthesize, and to characterize new functional nanomaterials with controllable sizes, shapes, and/or structures. To summarize the progress of the research and development made in this important field, the Fuel Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) organized a symposium on "Nanotechnology for Sustainable Energy and Fuels" during the 240th ACS National Meeting in Boston, MA on August 22-26, 2010, with the ACS Catalysis Division as the cosponsor. This symposium was a global gathering of leading scientists at the intersection of energy and nanotechnology. The topics discussed at the symposium included nanotechnology, not only for traditional fossil fuel production but also for novel processes for renewable energy applications. This article aims to highlight some of the most exciting advances presented at the symposium, including the preparation and characterization of nanomaterials for clean fuel production, CO(2) capture, solar cells and solar fuels, energy conversion and storage materials, hydrogen storage materials, and fuel cells. Finally, possible future developments in this important and timely area are discussed. PMID:20973572

  1. FUM Gene Expression Profile and Fumonisin Production by Fusarium verticillioides Inoculated in Bt and Non-Bt Maize

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Liliana O.; Barroso, Vinícius M.; Andrade, Ludmila J.; Pereira, Gustavo H. A.; Ferreira-Castro, Fabiane L.; Duarte, Aildson P.; Michelotto, Marcos D.; Correa, Benedito

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the levels of fumonisins produced by Fusarium verticillioides and FUM gene expression on Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and non-Bt maize, post harvest, during different periods of incubation. Transgenic hybrids 30F35 YG, 2B710 Hx and their isogenic (30F35 and 2B710) were collected from the field and a subset of 30 samples selected for the experiments. Maize samples were sterilized by gamma radiation at a dose of 20 kGy. Samples were then inoculated with F. verticillioides and analyzed under controlled conditions of temperature and relative humidity for fumonisin B1 and B2 (FB1 and FB2) production and FUM1, FUM3, FUM6, FUM7, FUM8, FUM13, FUM14, FUM15, and FUM19 expression. 2B710 Hx and 30F35 YG kernel samples were virtually intact when compared to the non-Bt hybrids that came from the field. Statistical analysis showed that FB1 production was significantly lower in 30F35 YG and 2B710 Hx than in the 30F35 and 2B710 hybrids (P < 0.05). However, there was no statistical difference for FB2 production (P > 0.05). The kernel injuries observed in the non-Bt samples have possibly facilitated F. verticillioides penetration and promoted FB1 production under controlled conditions. FUM genes were expressed by F. verticillioides in all of the samples. However, there was indication of lower expression of a few FUM genes in the Bt hybrids; and a weak association between FB1 production and the relative expression of some of the FUM genes were observed in the 30F35 YG hybrid. PMID:26779158

  2. FUM Gene Expression Profile and Fumonisin Production by Fusarium verticillioides Inoculated in Bt and Non-Bt Maize.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Liliana O; Barroso, Vinícius M; Andrade, Ludmila J; Pereira, Gustavo H A; Ferreira-Castro, Fabiane L; Duarte, Aildson P; Michelotto, Marcos D; Correa, Benedito

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the levels of fumonisins produced by Fusarium verticillioides and FUM gene expression on Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and non-Bt maize, post harvest, during different periods of incubation. Transgenic hybrids 30F35 YG, 2B710 Hx and their isogenic (30F35 and 2B710) were collected from the field and a subset of 30 samples selected for the experiments. Maize samples were sterilized by gamma radiation at a dose of 20 kGy. Samples were then inoculated with F. verticillioides and analyzed under controlled conditions of temperature and relative humidity for fumonisin B1 and B2 (FB1 and FB2) production and FUM1, FUM3, FUM6, FUM7, FUM8, FUM13, FUM14, FUM15, and FUM19 expression. 2B710 Hx and 30F35 YG kernel samples were virtually intact when compared to the non-Bt hybrids that came from the field. Statistical analysis showed that FB1 production was significantly lower in 30F35 YG and 2B710 Hx than in the 30F35 and 2B710 hybrids (P < 0.05). However, there was no statistical difference for FB2 production (P > 0.05). The kernel injuries observed in the non-Bt samples have possibly facilitated F. verticillioides penetration and promoted FB1 production under controlled conditions. FUM genes were expressed by F. verticillioides in all of the samples. However, there was indication of lower expression of a few FUM genes in the Bt hybrids; and a weak association between FB1 production and the relative expression of some of the FUM genes were observed in the 30F35 YG hybrid. PMID:26779158

  3. Brachypodium distachyon genomics for sustainable food and fuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grasses are a vital source of food for humanity and are projected to be become an important source of renewable fuel. To provide food, feed and fuel for an ever expanding human population it will be necessary to improve existing grass crops (e.g. wheat, maize, rice) and domesticate perennial grasses...

  4. MaizeGDB: The Maize Genetics and Genomics Database.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    MaizeGDB is the community database for biological information about the crop plant Zea mays. Genomic, genetic, sequence, gene product, functional characterization, literature reference, and person/organization contact information are among the datatypes stored at MaizeGDB. At the project’s website...

  5. MaizeGDB: The Maize Genetics and Genomics Database

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    MaizeGDB is the community database for biological information about the crop plant Zea mays. Genetic, genomic, sequence, gene product, functional characterization, literature reference, and person/organization contact information are among the datatypes stored at MaizeGDB. At the project's website...

  6. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Yusoff, Fatimah Md.; Shariff, M.

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties. PMID:25874216

  7. Microalgae as sustainable renewable energy feedstock for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Medipally, Srikanth Reddy; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Shariff, M

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties. PMID:25874216

  8. Establishing a Regional Nitrogen Management Approach to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emission Intensity from Intensive Smallholder Maize Production

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Liang; Chen, Xinping; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Weifeng; Zhang, Fusuo

    2014-01-01

    The overuse of Nitrogen (N) fertilizers on smallholder farms in rapidly developing countries has increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerated global N consumption over the past 20 years. In this study, a regional N management approach was developed based on the cost of the agricultural response to N application rates from 1,726 on-farm experiments to optimize N management across 12 agroecological subregions in the intensive Chinese smallholder maize belt. The grain yield and GHG emission intensity of this regional N management approach was investigated and compared to field-specific N management and farmers' practices. The regional N rate ranged from 150 to 219 kg N ha−1 for the 12 agroecological subregions. Grain yields and GHG emission intensities were consistent with this regional N management approach compared to field-specific N management, which indicated that this regional N rate was close to the economically optimal N application. This regional N management approach, if widely adopted in China, could reduce N fertilizer use by more than 1.4 MT per year, increase maize production by 31.9 MT annually, and reduce annual GHG emissions by 18.6 MT. This regional N management approach can minimize net N losses and reduce GHG emission intensity from over- and underapplications, and therefore can also be used as a reference point for regional agricultural extension employees where soil and/or plant N monitoring is lacking. PMID:24875747

  9. Modeling Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraxner, Florian; Leduc, Sylvain; Kindermann, Georg; Fuss, Sabine; Pietsch, Stephan; Lakyda, Ivan; Serrano Leon, Hernan; Shchepashchenko, Dmitry; Shvidenko, Anatoly

    2016-04-01

    Sustainability of bioenergy is often indicated by the neutrality of emissions at the conversion site while the feedstock production site is assumed to be carbon neutral. Recent research shows that sustainability of bioenergy systems starts with feedstock management. Even if sustainable forest management is applied, different management types can impact ecosystem services substantially. This study examines different sustainable forest management systems together with an optimal planning of green-field bioenergy plants in the Alps. Two models - the biophysical global forest model (G4M) and a techno-economic engineering model for optimizing renewable energy systems (BeWhere) are implemented. G4M is applied in a forward looking manner in order to provide information on the forest under different management scenarios: (1) managing the forest for maximizing the carbon sequestration; or (2) managing the forest for maximizing the harvestable wood amount for bioenergy production. The results from the forest modelling are then picked up by the engineering model BeWhere, which optimizes the bioenergy production in terms of energy demand (power and heat demand by population) and supply (wood harvesting potentials), feedstock harvesting and transport costs, the location and capacity of the bioenergy plant as well as the energy distribution logistics with respect to heat and electricity (e.g. considering existing grids for electricity or district heating etc.). First results highlight the importance of considering ecosystem services under different scenarios and in a geographically explicit manner. While aiming at producing the same amount of bioenergy under both forest management scenarios, it turns out that in scenario (1) a substantially larger area (distributed across the Alps) will need to be used for producing (and harvesting) the necessary amount of feedstock than under scenario (2). This result clearly shows that scenario (2) has to be seen as an "intensification

  10. Elucidating the apparent maize tolerance to weed competition in long-term organically managed systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In a long-term cropping systems trial comparing organically and conventionally managed systems, organic maize production sustained crop yields equal to conventional methods despite higher weed levels. In 2005 and 2006, an experiment nested within the trial was conducted to analyze the mechanisms und...

  11. Sustainability of biofuels and renewable chemicals production from biomass.

    PubMed

    Kircher, Manfred

    2015-12-01

    In the sectors of biofuel and renewable chemicals the big feedstock demand asks, first, to expand the spectrum of carbon sources beyond primary biomass, second, to establish circular processing chains and, third, to prioritize product sectors exclusively depending on carbon: chemicals and heavy-duty fuels. Large-volume production lines will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission significantly but also low-volume chemicals are indispensable in building 'low-carbon' industries. The foreseeable feedstock change initiates innovation, securing societal wealth in the industrialized world and creating employment in regions producing biomass. When raising the investments in rerouting to sustainable biofuel and chemicals today competitiveness with fossil-based fuel and chemicals is a strong issue. Many countries adopted comprehensive bioeconomy strategies to tackle this challenge. These public actions are mostly biased to biofuel but should give well-balanced attention to renewable chemicals as well. PMID:26256682

  12. Strategies for the Production of Maize-derived Pharmaceuticals using Cytoplasmic Male Sterile Lines: in vitro Tissue Culture/Transformation and Field Breeding Approaches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant-made pharmaceuticals (PMPs) offer great promise as efficient and cost-effective products for the treatment of human and animal diseases. Maize seed is known for its large storage capacity and stability of proteins and starches; hence, it is considered an ideal organ for manufacturing recombin...

  13. Feeding nine billion: the challenge to sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Peter J; George, Timothy S

    2011-11-01

    In the recent past there was a widespread working assumption in many countries that problems of food production had been solved, and that food security was largely a matter of distribution and access to be achieved principally by open markets. The events of 2008 challenged these assumptions, and made public a much wider debate about the costs of current food production practices to the environment and whether these could be sustained. As in the past 50 years, it is anticipated that future increases in crop production will be achieved largely by increasing yields per unit area rather than by increasing the area of cropped land. However, as yields have increased, so the ratio of photosynthetic energy captured to energy expended in crop production has decreased. This poses a considerable challenge: how to increase yield while simultaneously reducing energy consumption (allied to greenhouse gas emissions) and utilizing resources such as water and phosphate more efficiently. Given the timeframe in which the increased production has to be realized, most of the increase will need to come from crop genotypes that are being bred now, together with known agronomic and management practices that are currently under-developed. PMID:21841178

  14. MaizeGDB's New Data Types, Resources, and Activities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    MaizeGDB is the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database. Available at MaizeGDB are diverse data that support maize research including maps, gene product information, loci and their various alleles, phenotypes (both naturally occurring and as a result of directed mutagenesis), stocks, sequences, molecul...

  15. MaizeGDB's new data types, resources, and activities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    MaizeGDB is the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database. Available at MaizeGDB are diverse data that support maize research including maps, gene product information, loci and their various alleles, phenotypes (both naturally occurring and as a result of directed mutagenesis), stocks, sequences, molecul...

  16. The role of productivity in improving the environmental sustainability of ruminant production systems.

    PubMed

    Capper, Judith L; Bauman, Dale E

    2013-01-01

    The global livestock industry is charged with providing sufficient animal source foods to supply the global population while improving the environmental sustainability of animal production. Improved productivity within dairy and beef systems has demonstrably reduced resource use and greenhouse gas emissions per unit of food over the past century through the dilution of maintenance effect. Further environmental mitigation effects have been gained through the current use of technologies and practices that enhance milk yield or growth in ruminants; however, the social acceptability of continued intensification and use of productivity-enhancing technologies is subject to debate. As the environmental impact of food production continues to be a significant issue for all stakeholders within the field, further research is needed to ensure that comparisons among foods are made based on both environmental impact and nutritive value to truly assess the sustainability of ruminant products. PMID:25387028

  17. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Cook, R. James

    2006-01-01

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding. PMID:17130454

  18. How can we improve the environmental sustainability of poultry production?

    PubMed

    Leinonen, Ilkka; Kyriazakis, Ilias

    2016-08-01

    The review presents results of recent life cycle assessment studies aiming to quantify and improve the environmental performance of UK poultry production systems, including broiler meat, egg and turkey meat production. Although poultry production has been found to be relatively environmentally friendly compared with the production of other livestock commodities, it still contributes to environmental impacts, such as global warming, eutrophication and acidification. Amongst different sub-processes, feed production and transport contributes about 70 % to the global warming potential of poultry systems, whereas manure management contributes about 40-60 % to their eutrophication potential and acidification potential, respectively. All these impacts can be reduced by improving the feed efficiency, either by changing the birds through genetic selection or by making the feed more digestible (e.g. by using additives such as enzymes). However, although genetic selection has the potential to reduce the resources needed for broiler production (including feed consumption), the changing need of certain feed ingredients, most notably protein sources as a result of changes in bird requirements may limit the benefits of this strategy. The use of alternative feed ingredients, such as locally grown protein crops and agricultural by-products, as a replacement of South American grown soya, can potentially also lead to improvements in several environmental impact categories, as long as such feeding strategies have no negative effect on bird performance. Other management options, such as improving poultry housing and new strategies for manure management have also the potential to further improve the environmental sustainability of the poultry industries in Europe. PMID:26935025

  19. Production and Processing of siRNA Precursor Transcripts from the Highly Repetitive Maize Genome

    PubMed Central

    Hale, Christopher J.; Erhard, Karl F.; Lisch, Damon; Hollick, Jay B.

    2009-01-01

    Mutations affecting the maintenance of heritable epigenetic states in maize identify multiple RNA–directed DNA methylation (RdDM) factors including RMR1, a novel member of a plant-specific clade of Snf2-related proteins. Here we show that RMR1 is necessary for the accumulation of a majority of 24 nt small RNAs, including those derived from Long-Terminal Repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, the most common repetitive feature in the maize genome. A genetic analysis of DNA transposon repression indicates that RMR1 acts upstream of the RNA–dependent RNA polymerase, RDR2 (MOP1). Surprisingly, we show that non-polyadenylated transcripts from a sampling of LTR retrotransposons are lost in both rmr1 and rdr2 mutants. In contrast, plants deficient for RNA Polymerase IV (Pol IV) function show an increase in polyadenylated LTR RNA transcripts. These findings support a model in which Pol IV functions independently of the small RNA accumulation facilitated by RMR1 and RDR2 and support that a loss of Pol IV leads to RNA Polymerase II–based transcription. Additionally, the lack of changes in general genome homeostasis in rmr1 mutants, despite the global loss of 24 nt small RNAs, challenges the perceived roles of siRNAs in maintaining functional heterochromatin in the genomes of outcrossing grass species. PMID:19680464

  20. Animal welfare towards sustainability in pork meat production.

    PubMed

    Velarde, Antonio; Fàbrega, Emma; Blanco-Penedo, Isabel; Dalmau, Antoni

    2015-11-01

    Animal welfare is an important pillar of sustainability in meat production and is associated with other aspects of this concept, such as animal health, productivity, food safety, food quality and efficiency from a cost of production perspective. These interactions are present at all stages of the production cycle, from the beginning of the animals' farm life until their slaughter. On farm, some of the main welfare issues are related to neonatal mortality and low level of sensory input, which are likely to engender stereotypes and injurious behaviours, such as tail-biting. Pre-slaughter handling refers to the interaction between humans and animals prior to and during transport and at slaughter. Strategies to reduce pre-slaughter stress will benefit carcass and meat quality, being the training of stockpeople one of the most cost-effective policies to improve animal welfare. These strategies include also the implementation of standard monitoring procedures to detect signs of consciousness after stunning, before sticking and during bleeding until death occurs. PMID:26013042

  1. Crop water productivity under increasing irrigation capacities in Romania. A spatially-explicit assessment of winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the southern lowlands of the country

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogaru, Diana

    2016-04-01

    Improved water use efficiency in agriculture is a key issue in terms of sustainable management and consumption of water resources in the context of peoples' increasing food demands and preferences, economic growth and agricultural adaptation options to climate variability and change. Crop Water Productivity (CWP), defined as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to actual evapotranspiration or as the ratio of yield (or value of harvested crop) to volume of supplied irrigation water (Molden et al., 1998), is a useful indicator in the evaluation of water use efficiency and ultimately of cropland management, particularly in the case of regions affected by or prone to drought and where irrigation application is essential for achieving expected productions. The present study investigates the productivity of water in winter wheat and maize cropping systems in the Romanian Plain (49 594 sq. km), an important agricultural region in the southern part of the country which is increasingly affected by drought and dry spells (Sandu and Mateescu, 2014). The scope of the analysis is to assess the gains and losses in CWP for the two crops, by considering increased irrigated cropland and improved fertilization, these being the most common measures potentially and already implemented by the farmers. In order to capture the effects of such measures on agricultural water use, the GIS-based EPIC crop-growth model (GEPIC) (Williams et al., 1989; Liu, 2009) was employed to simulate yields, seasonal evapotranspiration from crops and volume of irrigation water in the Romanian Plain for the 2002 - 2013 interval with focus on 2007 and 2010, two representative years for dry and wet periods, respectively. The GEPIC model operates on a daily time step, while the geospatial input datasets for this analysis (e.g. climate data, soil classes and soil parameters, land use) were harmonized at 1km resolution grid cell. The sources of the spatial data are mainly the national profile agencies

  2. Attribution of maize yield increase in China to climate change and technological advancement between 1980 and 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jianping; Zhao, Junfang; Wu, Dingrong; Mu, Jia; Xu, Yanhong

    2014-12-01

    Crop yields are affected by climate change and technological advancement. Objectively and quantitatively evaluating the attribution of crop yield change to climate change and technological advancement will ensure sustainable development of agriculture under climate change. In this study, daily climate variables obtained from 553 meteorological stations in China for the period 1961-2010, detailed observations of maize from 653 agricultural meteorological stations for the period 1981-2010, and results using an Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) model, are used to explore the attribution of maize (Zea mays L.) yield change to climate change and technological advancement. In the AEZ model, the climatic potential productivity is examined through three step-by-step levels: photosynthetic potential productivity, photosynthetic thermal potential productivity, and climatic potential productivity. The relative impacts of different climate variables on climatic potential productivity of maize from 1961 to 2010 in China are then evaluated. Combined with the observations of maize, the contributions of climate change and technological advancement to maize yield from 1981 to 2010 in China are separated. The results show that, from 1961 to 2010, climate change had a significant adverse impact on the climatic potential productivity of maize in China. Decreased radiation and increased temperature were the main factors leading to the decrease of climatic potential productivity. However, changes in precipitation had only a small effect. The maize yields of the 14 main planting provinces in China increased obviously over the past 30 years, which was opposite to the decreasing trends of climatic potential productivity. This suggests that technological advancement has offset the negative effects of climate change on maize yield. Technological advancement contributed to maize yield increases by 99.6%-141.6%, while climate change contribution was from -41.4% to 0.4%. In particular, the actual

  3. Biogas production from undiluted chicken manure and maize silage: A study of ammonia inhibition in high solids anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chen; Cao, Weixing; Banks, Charles J; Heaven, Sonia; Liu, Ronghou

    2016-10-01

    The feasibility of co-digestion of chicken manure (CM) and maize silage (MS) without water dilution was investigated in 5-L digesters. Specific methane production (SMP) of 0.309LCH4g(-1) volatile solids (VS) was achieved but only at lower %CM. Above a critical threshold for total ammonia nitrogen (TAN), estimated at 7gNL(-1), VFA accumulated with a characteristic increase in acetic acid followed by its reduction and an increase in propionic acid. During this transition the predominant methanogenic pathway was hydrogenotrophic. Methanogenesis was completely inhibited at TAN of 9gNL(-1). The low digestibility of the mixed feedstock led to a rise in digestate TS and a reduction in SMP over the 297-day experimental period. Methanogenesis appeared to be failing in one digester but was recovered by reducing the %CM. Co-digestion was feasible with CM ⩽20% of feedstock VS, and the main limiting factor was ammonia inhibition. PMID:27474956

  4. Use of liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry for isolation and characterization of hydrolyzed fumonisins and relevant analysis in maize-based products.

    PubMed

    De Girolamo, Annalisa; Lattanzio, Veronica M T; Schena, Roberto; Visconti, Angelo; Pascale, Michelangelo

    2014-04-01

    The synthesis of partially hydrolyzed fumonisins (PHFB1 and PHFB2) and hydrolyzed fumonisins (HFB1 and HFB2) by chemical hydrolysis of pure fumonisins (FB1 and FB2) is reported together with the isolation and characterization by liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). Two structural isomers of partially hydrolyzed forms of FB1 and FB2 were identified, namely PHFB(1a) and PHFB(1b) and PHFB(2a) and PHFB(2b). Reaction yields were 21% for PHFB1 (sum of the two isomers), 52% for HFB1, 31% for PHFB2 (sum of the two isomers) and 30% for HFB2. Purity of each isolated compound was >98%. An LC-HRMS method for the simultaneous determination of fumonisins and their partially and totally hydrolyzed derivatives was applied to 24 naturally contaminated samples of maize and maize-based products. The majority of samples (18 out of 24) were contaminated with fumonisins B1 and B2. Fumonisins co-occurred with both partially hydrolyzed and hydrolyzed fumonisins in four nixtamalized samples (three masa flours and one tortilla chips). Co-occurrence of fumonisins with partially hydrolyzed fumonisins was also recorded in one sample of maize kernels and four samples of maize-based products (i.e. maize meal, cous-cous, corn-cakes and cornflakes). Mycotoxins levels ranged from 60 to 5700 µg/kg for fumonisins (sum of FB1 and FB2), from 10 to 210 µg/kg for partially hydrolyzed fumonisins (sum of PHFB1 and PHFB2) and from 30 to 200 µg/kg for hydrolyzed fumonisins (sum of HFB1 and HFB2). This is the first report of the isolation of PHFB2 and the co-occurrence of FB1, FB2, PHFB1, PHFB2, HFB1 and HFB2 in maize products. Considering the growing use of nixtamalized and maize-based products, the monitoring of fumonisins and their partially and totally hydrolyzed forms in these products may represent an important contributing factor in evaluating the relevant human risk exposure. PMID:24719345

  5. The political economy of maize production and poverty reduction in Zambia: analysis of the last 50 years.

    PubMed

    Hanjra, Munir A; Culas, Richard J

    2011-01-01

    Poverty and food security are endemic issues in much of sub-Saharan Africa. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in the region remains a key Millennium Development Goal. Many African governments have pursued economic reforms and agricultural policy interventions in order to accelerate economic growth that reduces poverty faster. Agricultural policy regimes in Zambia in the last 50 years (1964–2008) are examined here to better understand their likely impact on food security and poverty, with an emphasis on the political economy of maize subsidy policies. The empirical work draws on secondary sources and an evaluation of farm household data from three villages in the Kasama District of Zambia from 1986/87 and 1992/93 to estimate a two-period econometric model to examine the impact on household welfare in a pre- and post-reform period. The analysis shows that past interventions had mixed effects on enhancing the production of food crops such as maize. While such reforms were politically popular, it did not necessarily translate into household-level productivity or welfare gains in the short term. The political economy of reforms needs to respond to the inherent diversity among the poor rural and urban households. The potential of agriculture to generate a more pro-poor growth process depends on the creation of new market opportunities that most benefit the rural poor. The state should encourage private sector investments for addressing infrastructure constraints to improve market access and accelerate more pro-poor growth through renewed investments in agriculture, rural infrastructure, gender inclusion, smarter subsidies and regional food trade. However, the financing of such investments poses significant challenges. There is a need to address impediments to the effective participation of public private investors to generate more effective poverty reduction and hunger eradication programmes. This article also explores the opportunities for new public

  6. Towards sustainable sources for omega-3 fatty acids production.

    PubMed

    Adarme-Vega, T Catalina; Thomas-Hall, Skye R; Schenk, Peer M

    2014-04-01

    Omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docohexaenoic acid (DHA), provide significant health benefits for brain function/development and cardiovascular conditions. However, most EPA and DHA for human consumption is sourced from small fatty fish caught in coastal waters and, with depleting global fish stocks, recent research has been directed towards more sustainable sources. These include aquaculture with plant-based feeds, krill, marine microalgae, microalgae-like protists and genetically-modified plants. To meet the increasing demand for EPA and DHA, further developments are needed towards land-based sources. In particular large-scale cultivation of microalgae and plants is likely to become a reality with expected reductions in production costs, yield increasese and the adequate addressing of genetically modified food acceptance issues. PMID:24607804

  7. Assessing multimetric aspects of sustainability: Application to a bioenergy crop production system in East Tennessee

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Parish, Esther S.; Dale, Virginia H.; English, Burton C.; Jackson, Samuel W.; Tyler, Donald D.

    2016-02-26

    This paper connects the science of sustainability theory with applied aspects of sustainability deployment. A suite of 35 sustainability indicators spanning six environmental, three economic, and three social categories has been proposed for comparing the sustainability of bioenergy production systems across different feedstock types and locations. A recent demonstration-scale switchgrass-to-ethanol production system located in East Tennessee is used to assess the availability of sustainability indicator data and associated measurements for the feedstock production and logistics portions of the biofuel supply chain. Knowledge pertaining to the available indicators is distributed within a hierarchical decision tree framework to generate an assessment ofmore » the overall sustainability of this no-till switchgrass production system relative to two alternative business-as-usual scenarios of unmanaged pasture and tilled corn production. The relative contributions of the social, economic and environmental information are determined for the overall trajectory of this bioenergy system s sustainability under each scenario. Within this East Tennessee context, switchgrass production shows potential for improving environmental and social sustainability trajectories without adverse economic impacts, thereby leading to potential for overall enhancement in sustainability within this local agricultural system. Given the early stages of cellulosic ethanol production, it is currently difficult to determine quantitative values for all 35 sustainability indicators across the entire biofuel supply chain. This case study demonstrates that integration of qualitative sustainability indicator ratings may increase holistic understanding of a bioenergy system in the absence of complete information.« less

  8. Perspectives on achieving sustainable energy production and use

    EPA Science Inventory

    The traditional definition of sustainability calls for polices and strategies that meet society's present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Achieving operational sustainability requires three critical elements: advances in scien...

  9. Agronomic application of olive mill wastewater: Effects on maize production and soil properties.

    PubMed

    Belaqziz, Majdouline; El-Abbassi, Abdelilah; Lakhal, El Khadir; Agrafioti, Evita; Galanakis, Charis M

    2016-04-15

    This study investigates the effect of direct amendment of olive mill wastewater (OMW) on the fertility of soil, described as poor in the area of Marrakech (semi-arid region) in Morocco. The treated plots were amended with untreated OMW generated by a traditional extraction process at the amount of 10 L/m(2)/year during two consecutive years. Results of these two years treatments with crude OMW at relatively high dose reveal an important increase in soil physicochemical characteristics, namely electric conductivity (EC), Na(+,) K(+), phosphorus, nitrogen, organic matter and soluble phenolic compounds. EC of treated soil was enhanced from 0.34 to 2.91 mS/cm as compared to the control soil. After spreading OMW in soil, the amounts of its nutritive elements increased by 81% for nitrogen, 66% for phosphorus and 88% for potassium. The accumulation of phenolic compounds and the increase of total peroxidase activity in plants provide evidence of their protective role against the physiological stress induced by OMW. However, this enrichment in mineral and nutritive elements decreased three months after OMW application, revealing OMW biodegradation in the studied calcareous soil. In parallel, an increase in the contents of the soluble phenolic compounds on the upper layer of soil was denoted and maize plants growth was efficiently raised. Significant amelioration was obtained notably in terms of fresh and dry weight of leaves, leaves area, spikes fresh and dry weight, 100 seeds weight and straw yield (37, 54, 27, 24, 14 and 9% respectively). Along with the correct choice of convenient soils notably calcareous ones and tolerant crops such as maize, this method could constitute an efficient approach for avoiding problems attributed to the uncontrolled disposal of these effluents and an effective strategy to regenerate degraded soils and represents an economical alternative that provides a local fertilizer. PMID:26899012

  10. Environment factors influence in vitro interspecific interactions between A. ochraceus and other maize spoilage fungi, growth and ochratoxin production.

    PubMed

    Lee, H B; Magan, N

    1999-01-01

    The effect of water availability (water activity, aw; 0.995-0.90) and temperature (18-30 degrees C) on in vitro interactions between an ochratoxin producing strain of Aspergillus ochraceus and six other spoilage fungi was assessed in dual culture experiments on a maize meal-based agar medium. In primary resource capture of nutrient substrate, A. ochraceus was dominant against many of the interacting species, being able to overgrow and replace A. candidus, and sometimes A. flavus and the Eurotium spp. regardless of aw or temperature. However, with freely available water (0.995 aw) A. alternata and A. niger were dominant, with mutual antagonism between A. ochraceus and A. flavus at 25-30 degrees C. In the driest conditions tested (0.90 aw) there was also mutual antagonism between A. ochraceus and the two Eurotium spp. Overall, under all conditions tested the Index of Dominance for A. ochraceus was much higher than for other competing species combined suggesting that A. ochraceus was a good competitive colonist able to replace a number of other species. However, the growth rate of A. ochraceus was modified and decreased by the interaction with competitors. Interaction between A. ochraceus and species such as A. alternata (18 degrees C/0.995) and Eurotium spp. (0.995-0.95 and 25-30 degrees C) resulted in a significant stimulation of ochratoxin production. The results are discussed in relation to the effect that environmental factors have on the possible competitiveness of A. ochraceus in the maize grain ecosystem and the role of ochratoxin in niche exclusion of competitors. PMID:10721519

  11. Evaluation of the expression genes associated with resistance to Aspergillus flavus colonization and aflatoxin production in different maize lines.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aflatoxins are carcinogenic toxic compounds produced by Aspergillus flavus during infection of crops including maize (Zea mays L.). Contamination of maize with aflatoxin is exacerbated by late season drought stress. Previous studies have implicated numerous resistance-associated proteins (RAPs) that...

  12. Production of mycotoxins by members of the Aspergillus section Nigri isolated from peanuts and maize in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungi of the Aspergillus section Nigri (black aspergilli) are pathogenic to maize, grapes, onions, garlic, apples, mangoes, and peanuts. Although some black aspergilli are reported as opportunistic pathogens, other species are able to colonize maize seedlings as symptomless endophytes, which under ...

  13. PR10 expression in maize and its effect on host resistance against Aspergillus flavus infection and aflatoxin production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is a major crop susceptible to Aspergillus flavus infection and subsequent contamination with aflatoxins, the potent carcinogenic secondary metabolites of the fungus. Protein profiles of maize genotypes resistant and susceptible to A. flavus infection and/or aflatoxin contaminati...

  14. Effects of ensiling treatments on lactic acid production and supplementary methane formation of maize and amaranth--an advanced green biorefining approach.

    PubMed

    Haag, Nicola Leonard; Nägele, Hans-Joachim; Fritz, Thomas; Oechsner, Hans

    2015-02-01

    A green biorefinery enables the material and energetic use of biomass via lactic acid and methane production. Different ensiling techniques were applied to maize and amaranth with the aim to increase the amount of lactic acid in the silage. In addition the methane formation potential of the ensiled samples and the remaining solid residues after separating the organic juice were assessed. Treating maize with homofermentative lactic acid bacteria in combination with carbonated lime increased the amount of lactic acid about 91.9%. For amaranth no additional lactic acid production was obtained by treating the raw material. Specific methane yields for the solid residues of amaranth were significantly lower in comparison to the corresponding silages. The most promising treatment resulted in a production of 127.9±4.1 g kg(-1) DM lactic acid and a specific methane yield for the solid residue of 349.5±6.6 lN kg(-1) ODM. PMID:25219786

  15. Sixteen Years of Bt Maize in the EU Hotspot: Why Has Resistance Not Evolved?

    PubMed

    Castañera, Pedro; Farinós, Gema P; Ortego, Félix; Andow, David A

    2016-01-01

    The majority of Bt maize production in the European Union (EU) is concentrated in northeast Spain, which is Europe's only hotspot where resistance might evolve, and the main target pest, Sesamia nonagrioides, has been exposed to Cry1Ab maize continuously since 1998. The cropping system in northeast Spain has some similar characteristics to those that probably led to rapid resistance failures in two other target noctuid maize pests. These include repeated cultivation of Bt maize in the same fields, low use of refuges, recurring exposure of larvae to non-high dose concentrations of Cry1Ab toxin during the first years of cultivation, low migratory potential, and production concentrated in an irrigated region with few alternative hosts. Available data reveal no evidence of resistance in S. nonagrioides after 16 years of use. We explore the possible reasons for this resistance management success using evolutionary models to consider factors expected to accelerate resistance, and those expected to delay resistance. Low initial adoption rates and the EU policy decision to replace Event 176 with MON 810 Bt maize were key to delaying resistance evolution. Model results suggest that if refuge compliance continues at the present 90%, Bt maize might be used sustainably in northeast Spain for at least 20 more years before resistance might occur. However, obtaining good estimates of the present R allele frequency and level of local assortative mating are crucial to reduce uncertainty about the future success of resistance management. PMID:27144535

  16. Sixteen Years of Bt Maize in the EU Hotspot: Why Has Resistance Not Evolved?

    PubMed Central

    Castañera, Pedro; Farinós, Gema P.; Ortego, Félix; Andow, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The majority of Bt maize production in the European Union (EU) is concentrated in northeast Spain, which is Europe’s only hotspot where resistance might evolve, and the main target pest, Sesamia nonagrioides, has been exposed to Cry1Ab maize continuously since 1998. The cropping system in northeast Spain has some similar characteristics to those that probably led to rapid resistance failures in two other target noctuid maize pests. These include repeated cultivation of Bt maize in the same fields, low use of refuges, recurring exposure of larvae to non-high dose concentrations of Cry1Ab toxin during the first years of cultivation, low migratory potential, and production concentrated in an irrigated region with few alternative hosts. Available data reveal no evidence of resistance in S. nonagrioides after 16 years of use. We explore the possible reasons for this resistance management success using evolutionary models to consider factors expected to accelerate resistance, and those expected to delay resistance. Low initial adoption rates and the EU policy decision to replace Event 176 with MON 810 Bt maize were key to delaying resistance evolution. Model results suggest that if refuge compliance continues at the present 90%, Bt maize might be used sustainably in northeast Spain for at least 20 more years before resistance might occur. However, obtaining good estimates of the present R allele frequency and level of local assortative mating are crucial to reduce uncertainty about the future success of resistance management. PMID:27144535

  17. Screening survey of co-production of fusaric acid, fusarin C, and fumonisins B₁, B₂ and B₃ by Fusarium strains grown in maize grains.

    PubMed

    Han, Z; Tangni, E K; Huybrechts, B; Munaut, F; Scauflaire, J; Wu, A; Callebaut, A

    2014-11-01

    Fusarium species isolated from Belgian maize were screened for their ability to produce fusarin C, fusaric acid, fumonisins B1 (FB1), FB2 and FB3 in maize grains. First, cultivation of Fusarium species in Myro liquid medium allowed overcoming the shortage of the standard of fusarin C on the market. All Fusarium verticillioides produced much higher contents of mycotoxins in Myro compared to Fusarium graminearum or Fusarium venenatum. The optimization of the LC-MS/MS method resulted in low limits of detection and quantification for fusarin C, fusaric acid, FB1, FB2 and FB3 determination in maize grains. Its application for screening the potential toxin production ability evidenced that the concentrations of the analytes were significantly increased at various levels when F. verticillioides strains were cultivated in maize grains and reached 441 mg kg(-1) for fusaric acid, 74 mg kg(-1) for fusarin C, 1,301 mg kg(-1) for FB1, 367 mg kg(-1) for FB2 and 753 mg kg(-1) for FB3. PMID:25270005

  18. Simulating the impact of no-till systems on field water fluxes and maize productivity under semi-arid conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mupangwa, W.; Jewitt, G. P. W.

    Crop output from the smallholder farming sector in sub-Saharan Africa is trailing population growth leading to widespread household food insecurity. It is therefore imperative that crop production in semi-arid areas be improved in order to meet the food demand of the ever increasing human population. No-till farming practices have the potential to increase crop productivity in smallholder production systems of sub-Saharan Africa, but rarely do because of the constraints experienced by these farmers. One of the most significant of these is the consumption of mulch by livestock. In the absence of long term on-farm assessment of the no-till system under smallholder conditions, simulation modelling is a tool that provides an insight into the potential benefits and can highlight shortcomings of the system under existing soil, climatic and socio-economic conditions. Thus, this study was designed to better understand the long term impact of no-till system without mulch cover on field water fluxes and maize productivity under a highly variable rainfall pattern typical of semi-arid South Africa. The simulated on-farm experiment consisted of two tillage treatments namely oxen-drawn conventional ploughing (CT) and ripping (NT). The APSIM model was applied for a 95 year period after first being calibrated and validated using measured runoff and maize yield data. The predicted results showed significantly higher surface runoff from the conventional system compared to the no-till system. Predicted deep drainage losses were higher from the NT system compared to the CT system regardless of the rainfall pattern. However, the APSIM model predicted 62% of the annual rainfall being lost through soil evaporation from both tillage systems. The predicted yields from the two systems were within 50 kg ha -1 difference in 74% of the years used in the simulation. In only 9% of the years, the model predicted higher grain yield in the NT system compared to the CT system. It is suggested that

  19. Exploring the Usefulness of MISR-HR Products to Estimate Maize Crop Extent and Using Field Evidence to Evaluate the Results in South Africa's Free State Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verstraete, M. M.; Knox, N. M.; Hunt, L. A.; Kleyn, L.

    2014-12-01

    The MISR instrument on NASA's Terra platform has been operating for almost 15 years. Standard products are generated at a spatial resolution of 1.1 km or coarser, but a recently developed method to re-analyze the Level-1B2 data allows the retrieval of biogeophysical products at the native spatial resolution of the instrument (275 m). This development opens new opportunities to better address issues such as the management of agricultural production and food security. South African maize production is of great economic and social importance, not only nationally, but on the global market too, being one of the top ten maize producing countries. Seasonal maize production statistics are currently based on a combination of field measurements and estimates derived from manually digitizing high resolution imagery from the SPOT satellite. The field measurements are collected using the Producer Independent Crop Estimate System (PICES) developed by Crop Estimates Committee of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. There is a strong desire to improve the quality of these statistics, to generate those earlier, and to automate the process to encompass larger areas. This paper will explore the feasibility of using the MISR-HR spectral and directional products, combined with the finer spatial resolution and the relatively frequent coverage afforded by that instrument, to address these needs. The study area is based in the Free State, South Africa, one of the primary maize growing areas in the country, and took place during the 2012-2013 summer growing season. The significance of the outcomes will be evaluated in the context of the 14+ years of available MISR data.

  20. Effect of Natural Mineral on Methane Production and Process Stability During Semi-Continuous Mono-Digestion of Maize Straw.

    PubMed

    González-Suárez, A; Pereda-Reyes, I; Pozzi, E; da Silva, A José; Oliva-Merencio, D; Zaiat, M

    2016-04-01

    The effect of natural mineral on the mono-digestion of maize straw was evaluated in continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) at 38 °C. Different strategies of mineral addition were studied. The organic loading rate (OLR) was varied from 0.5 to 2.5 g volatile solid (VS) L(-1) d(-1). A daily addition of 1 g mineral L(-1) in reactor 2 (R2) diminished the methane production by about 11 % with respect to the initial phase. However, after a gradual addition of mineral, an average methane yield of 257 NmL CH4 g VS(-1) was reached and the methane production was enhanced by 30 % with regard to R1. An increase in the frequency of mineral addition did not enhance the methane production. The archaeal community was more sensitive to the mineral than the bacterial population whose similarity stayed high between R1 and R2. Significant difference in methane yield was found for both reactors throughout the operation. PMID:26728653

  1. Environmental impacts and sustainability of egg production systems.

    PubMed

    Xin, H; Gates, R S; Green, A R; Mitloehner, F M; Moore, P A; Wathes, C M

    2011-01-01

    As part of a systemic assessment toward social sustainability of egg production, we have reviewed current knowledge about the environmental impacts of egg production systems and identified topics requiring further research. Currently, we know that 1) high-rise cage houses generally have poorer air quality and emit more ammonia than manure belt (MB) cage houses; 2) manure removal frequency in MB houses greatly affects ammonia emissions; 3) emissions from manure storage are largely affected by storage conditions, including ventilation rate, manure moisture content, air temperature, and stacking profile; 4) more baseline data on air emissions from high-rise and MB houses are being collected in the United States to complement earlier measurements; 5) noncage houses generally have poorer air quality (ammonia and dust levels) than cage houses; 6) noncage houses tend to be colder during cold weather due to a lower stocking density than caged houses, leading to greater feed and fuel energy use; 7) hens in noncage houses are less efficient in resource (feed, energy, and land) utilization, leading to a greater carbon footprint; 8) excessive application of hen manure to cropland can lead to nutrient runoff to water bodies; 9) hen manure on open (free) range may be subject to runoff during rainfall, although quantitative data are lacking; 10) mitigation technologies exist to reduce generation and emission of noxious gases and dust; however, work is needed to evaluate their economic feasibility and optimize design; and 11) dietary modification shows promise for mitigating emissions. Further research is needed on 1) indoor air quality, barn emissions, thermal conditions, and energy use in alternative hen housing systems (1-story floor, aviary, and enriched cage systems), along with conventional housing systems under different production conditions; 2) environmental footprint for different US egg production systems through life cycle assessment; 3) practical means to mitigate air

  2. A look at product development with genetically modified crops: examples from maize.

    PubMed

    Mumm, Rita H

    2013-09-01

    Plant breeding for crop genetic improvement involves the cycle of creating genetic diversity and exploiting that diversity to derive an improved cultivar with outstanding performance for specific traits of interest. Genetic modification through transformation essentially expands the genepool to facilitate access to genes otherwise not available through crossing. Transgenic events are defined by the DNA sequence that has been incorporated into the target genome and the specific point(s) of insertion. In the development of a new transgenic trait, typically many events are generated and evaluated with the aim of identifying one exhibiting consistent trait expression at or above specified thresholds, stable inheritance, and the absence of any negative effects. With transgenic traits for maize, once commercial candidates have been identified, these events are introgressed into elite lines, often through the use of molecular markers that can accelerate the breeding process and aid in producing a quality conversion. Converted elite lines are yield-tested to ensure performance equivalency with their unconverted counterparts. Finally, before commercial sale of seed, quality control monitoring is conducted to ensure event identity and purity and the absence of any unintended events. This monitoring complements other quality control measures to confirm seed viability and line/hybrid purity and uniformity in seed treatments, all in an effort to ensure customer satisfaction and to comply with governmental regulations. Thus, genetically modified (GM) cultivars are subject to significant testing and auditing prior to seed sale and distribution to farmers, more testing and auditing than with non-GM cultivars. PMID:23668783

  3. Modeling potential freshwater ecotoxicity impacts due to pesticide use in biofuel feedstock production: the cases of maize, rapeseed, salix, soybean, sugar cane, and wheat.

    PubMed

    Nordborg, Maria; Cederberg, Christel; Berndes, Göran

    2014-10-01

    The inclusion of ecotoxicity impacts of pesticides in environmental assessments of biobased products has long been hampered by methodological challenges. We expanded the pesticide database and the regional coverage of the pesticide emission model PestLCI v.2.0, combined it with the impact assessment model USEtox, and assessed potential freshwater ecotoxicity impacts (PFEIs) of pesticide use in selected biofuel feedstock production cases, namely: maize (Iowa, US, two cases), rapeseed (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany), Salix (South Central Sweden), soybean (Mato Grosso, Brazil, two cases), sugar cane (São Paulo, Brazil), and wheat (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany). We found that PFEIs caused by pesticide use in feedstock production varied greatly, up to 3 orders of magnitude. Salix has the lowest PFEI per unit of energy output and per unit of cultivated area. Impacts per biofuel unit were 30, 750, and 1000 times greater, respectively, for the sugar cane, wheat and rapeseed cases than for Salix. For maize genetically engineered (GE) to resist glyphosate herbicides and to produce its own insecticidal toxin, maize GE to resist glyphosate, soybeans GE to resist glyphosate and conventional soybeans, the impacts were 110, 270, 305, and 310 times greater than for Salix, respectively. The significance of field and site-specific conditions are discussed, as well as options for reducing negative impacts in biofuel feedstock production. PMID:25207789

  4. Sustainable Energy Production from Jatropha Bio-Diesel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Amit Kumar; Krishna, Vijai

    2012-10-01

    The demand for petroleum has risen rapidly due to increasing industrialization and modernization of the world. This economic development has led to a huge demand for energy, where the major part of that energy is derived from fossil sources such as petroleum, coal and natural gas. Continued use of petroleum sourced fuels is now widely recognized as unsustainable because of depleting supplies. There is a growing interest in using Jatropha curcas L. oil as the feedstock for biodiesel production because it is non-edible and thus does not compromise the edible oils, which are mainly used for food consumption. Further, J. curcas L. seed has a high content of free fatty acids that is converted in to biodiesel by trans esterification with alcohol in the presence of a catalyst. The biodiesel produced has similar properties to that of petroleum-based diesel. Biodiesel fuel has better properties than petro diesel fuel; it is renewable, biodegradable, non-toxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. Biodiesel seems to be a realistic fuel for future. Biodiesel has the potential to economically, socially, and environmentally benefit communities as well as countries, and to contribute toward their sustainable development.

  5. GM crops, the environment and sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

    Today, over 7.1 billion people rely on the earth's resources for sustenance, and nearly a billion people are malnourished, their minds and bodies unable to develop properly. Globally, population is expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. Given the combined pressures of human population growth, the rapidly growing desire for increased levels of consumption, and the continued use of inappropriate technologies, it is not surprising that humans are driving organisms to extinction at an unprecedented rate. Many aspects of the sustainable functioning of the natural world are breaking down in the face of human-induced pressures including our individual and collective levels of consumption and our widespread and stubborn use of destructive technologies. Clearly, agriculture must undergo a redesign and be better and more effectively managed so as to contribute as well as possible to feeding people, while at the same time we strive to lessen the tragic loss of biodiversity and damage to all of its productive systems that the world is experiencing. For GM crops to be part of the solution, biosafety assessments should not be overly politically-driven or a burdensome impedance to delivering this technology broadly. Biosafety scientists and policy makers need to recognize the undeniable truth that inappropriate actions resulting in indecision also have negative consequences. It is no longer acceptable to delay the use of any strategy that is safe and will help us achieve the ability to feed the world's people. PMID:24150918

  6. The Role of Sustained Attention in the Production of Conjoined Noun Phrases: An Individual Differences Study

    PubMed Central

    Jongman, Suzanne R.; Meyer, Antje S.; Roelofs, Ardi

    2015-01-01

    It has previously been shown that language production, performed simultaneously with a nonlinguistic task, involves sustained attention. Sustained attention concerns the ability to maintain alertness over time. Here, we aimed to replicate the previous finding by showing that individuals call upon sustained attention when they plan single noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot") and perform a manual arrow categorization task. In addition, we investigated whether speakers also recruit sustained attention when they produce conjoined noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot and the bucket") describing two pictures, that is, when both the first and second task are linguistic. We found that sustained attention correlated with the proportion of abnormally slow phrase-production responses. Individuals with poor sustained attention displayed a greater number of very slow responses than individuals with better sustained attention. Importantly, this relationship was obtained both for the production of single phrases while performing a nonlinguistic manual task, and the production of noun phrase conjunctions in referring to two spatially separated objects. Inhibition and updating abilities were also measured. These scores did not correlate with our measure of sustained attention, suggesting that sustained attention and executive control are distinct. Overall, the results suggest that planning conjoined noun phrases involves sustained attention, and that language production happens less automatically than has often been assumed. PMID:26335441

  7. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER Special Forest Products § 223.219 Sustainable harvest of special...

  8. Effect of K-N-humates on dry matter production and nutrient use efficiency of maize in Sarawak, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Petrus, Auldry Chaddy; Ahmed, Osumanu Haruna; Muhamad, Ab Majid Nik; Nasir, Hassan Mohammad; Jiwan, Make

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural waste, such as sago waste (SW), is one of the sources of pollution to streams and rivers in Sarawak, particularly those situated near sago processing plants. In addition, unbalanced and excessive use of chemical fertilizers can cause soil and water pollution. Humic substances can be used as organic fertilizers, which reduce pollution. The objectives of this study were to produce K- and ammonium-based organic fertilizer from composted SW and to determine the efficiency of the organic-based fertilizer produced. Humic substances were isolated using standard procedures. Liquid fertilizers were formulated except for T2 (NPK fertilizer), which was in solid form. There were six treatments with three replications. Organic fertilizers were applied to soil in pots on the 10th day after sowing (DAS), but on the 28th DAS, only plants of T2 were fertilized. The plant samples were harvested on the 57th DAS during the tassel stage. The dry matter of plant parts (leaves, stems, and roots) were determined and analyzed for N, P, and K using standard procedures. Soil of every treatment was also analyzed for exchangeable K, Ca, Mg, and Na, organic matter, organic carbon, available P, pH, total N, P, nitrate and ammonium contents using standard procedures. Treatments with humin (T5 and T6) showed remarkable results on dry matter production; N, P, and K contents; their uptake; as well as their use efficiency by maize. The inclusion of humin might have loosened the soil and increased the soil porosity, hence the better growth of the plants. Humin plus inorganic fertilizer provided additional nutrients for the plants. The addition of inorganic fertilizer into compost is a combination of quick and slow release sources, which supplies N throughout the crop growth period. Common fertilization by surface application of T2 without any additives (acidic and high CEC materials) causes N and K to be easily lost. High Ca in the soil may have reacted with phosphate from fertilizer to

  9. Assessment of strip tillage systems for maize production in semi-arid Ethiopia: effects on grain yield and water balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temesgen, M.; Rockstrom, J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Hoogmoed, W. B.

    2007-07-01

    The traditional tillage implement, the Maresha plow, and the tillage systems that require repeated and cross plowing have caused poor rainfall partitioning, land degradation and hence low water productivity in Ethiopia. Conservation tillage could alleviate these problems. However, no-till can not be feasible for smallholder farmers in semi-arid regions of Ethiopia because of difficulties in maintaining soil cover due to low rainfall and communal grazing and because of high costs of herbicides. Strip tillage systems may offer a solution. This study was initiated to test strip tillage systems using implements that were modified forms of the Maresha plow, and to evaluate the impacts of the new tillage systems on water balance and grain yields of maize (Zea mays XX). Experiments were conducted in two dry semi arid areas called Melkawoba and Wulinchity, in the central Rift Valley of Ethiopia during 2003-2005. Strip tillage systems that involved cultivating planting lines at a spacing of 0.75 m using the Maresha plow followed by subsoiling along the same lines (STS) and without subsoiling (ST) were compared with the traditional tillage system of 3 to 4 times plowing with the Maresha plow (CONV). Soil moisture was monitored to a depth of 1.8 m using Time Domain Reflectometer while surface runoff was measured using rectangular trough installed at the bottom of each plot. STS resulted in the least surface runoff (Qs=17 mm-season-1), the highest transpiration (T=196 mm-season-1), the highest grain yields (Y=2130 kg-ha-1) and the highest water productivity using total evaporation (WPET=0.67 kg-m-3) followed by ST (Qs=25 mm-season-1, T=178 mm-season-1, Y=1840 kg-ha-1, WPET=0.60 kg-m-3) and CONV (Qs=40 mm-season-1,T=158 mm-season-1, Y=1720 kg-ha-1, WPET=0.58 kg-m-3). However, when the time between the last tillage operation and planting of maize was more than 26 days, the reverse occurred. There was no statistically significant change in soil physical and chemical properties

  10. Double- and relay-cropping oilseed and biomass crops for sustainable energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Economically and environmentally sustainable bioenergy production requires strategic integration of biofuel crops into modern cropping systems. Double- and relay-cropping can offer a means of increasing production efficiency to boost profits and provide environmental benefits through crop diversific...

  11. Sustainable bioenergy production from marginal lands in the US Midwest.

    PubMed

    Gelfand, Ilya; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, R César; Gross, Katherine L; Robertson, G Philip

    2013-01-24

    Legislation on biofuels production in the USA and Europe is directing food crops towards the production of grain-based ethanol, which can have detrimental consequences for soil carbon sequestration, nitrous oxide emissions, nitrate pollution, biodiversity and human health. An alternative is to grow lignocellulosic (cellulosic) crops on 'marginal' lands. Cellulosic feedstocks can have positive environmental outcomes and could make up a substantial proportion of future energy portfolios. However, the availability of marginal lands for cellulosic feedstock production, and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, remains uncertain. Here we evaluate the potential for marginal lands in ten Midwestern US states to produce sizeable amounts of biomass and concurrently mitigate GHG emissions. In a comparative assessment of six alternative cropping systems over 20 years, we found that successional herbaceous vegetation, once well established, has a direct GHG emissions mitigation capacity that rivals that of purpose-grown crops (-851 ± 46 grams of CO(2) equivalent emissions per square metre per year (gCO(2)e m(-2) yr(-1))). If fertilized, these communities have the capacity to produce about 63 ± 5 gigajoules of ethanol energy per hectare per year. By contrast, an adjacent, no-till corn-soybean-wheat rotation produces on average 41 ± 1 gigajoules of biofuel energy per hectare per year and has a net direct mitigation capacity of -397 ± 32 gCO(2)e m(-2) yr(-1); a continuous corn rotation would probably produce about 62 ± 7 gigajoules of biofuel energy per hectare per year, with 13% less mitigation. We also perform quantitative modelling of successional vegetation on marginal lands in the region at a resolution of 0.4 hectares, constrained by the requirement that each modelled location be within 80 kilometres of a potential biorefinery. Our results suggest that such vegetation could produce about 21 gigalitres of ethanol per year from

  12. Photosynthesis, productivity, and yield of maize are not affected by open-air elevation of CO2 concentration in the absence of drought.

    PubMed

    Leakey, Andrew D B; Uribelarrea, Martin; Ainsworth, Elizabeth A; Naidu, Shawna L; Rogers, Alistair; Ort, Donald R; Long, Stephen P

    2006-02-01

    While increasing temperatures and altered soil moisture arising from climate change in the next 50 years are projected to decrease yield of food crops, elevated CO2 concentration ([CO2]) is predicted to enhance yield and offset these detrimental factors. However, C4 photosynthesis is usually saturated at current [CO2] and theoretically should not be stimulated under elevated [CO2]. Nevertheless, some controlled environment studies have reported direct stimulation of C4 photosynthesis and productivity, as well as physiological acclimation, under elevated [CO2]. To test if these effects occur in the open air and within the Corn Belt, maize (Zea mays) was grown in ambient [CO2] (376 micromol mol(-1)) and elevated [CO2] (550 micromol mol(-1)) using Free-Air Concentration Enrichment technology. The 2004 season had ideal growing conditions in which the crop did not experience water stress. In the absence of water stress, growth at elevated [CO2] did not stimulate photosynthesis, biomass, or yield. Nor was there any CO2 effect on the activity of key photosynthetic enzymes, or metabolic markers of carbon and nitrogen status. Stomatal conductance was lower (-34%) and soil moisture was higher (up to 31%), consistent with reduced crop water use. The results provide unique field evidence that photosynthesis and production of maize may be unaffected by rising [CO2] in the absence of drought. This suggests that rising [CO2] may not provide the full dividend to North American maize production anticipated in projections of future global food supply. PMID:16407441

  13. The Future of Pork Production in the World: Towards Sustainable, Welfare-Positive Systems

    PubMed Central

    McGlone, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Simple Summary More pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. Making production systems and practices more sustainable will benefit the animals, the planet and people. A system is presented by which production practices are evaluated using a sustainability matrix. The matrix shows why some practices are more common in some countries and regions and the impediments to more sustainable systems. This method can be used to assess the sustainability of production practices in the future where objective, science-based information is presented alongside ethical and economic information to make the most informed decisions. Finally, this paper points to current pork production practices that are more and less sustainable. Abstract Among land animals, more pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. The earth holds about one billion pigs who deliver over 100 mmt of pork to people for consumption. Systems of pork production changed from a forest-based to pasture-based to dirt lots and finally into specially-designed buildings. The world pork industry is variable and complex not just in production methods but in economics and cultural value. A systematic analysis of pork industry sustainability was performed. Sustainable production methods are considered at three levels using three examples in this paper: production system, penning system and for a production practice. A sustainability matrix was provided for each example. In a comparison of indoor vs. outdoor systems, the food safety/zoonoses concerns make current outdoor systems unsustainable. The choice of keeping pregnant sows in group pens or individual crates is complex in that the outcome of a sustainability assessment leads to the conclusion that group penning is more sustainable in the EU and certain USA states, but the individual crate is currently more sustainable in other USA states, Asia and Latin America. A comparison of conventional physical castration with immunological castration shows that the less

  14. Relationships between in vivo and in vitro aflatoxin production: reliable prediction of fungal ability to contaminate maize with aflatoxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic mycotoxins frequently produced by Aspergillus flavus. Contamination of maize with aflatoxins imposes both economic and health burdens in many regions. Identification of the most important etiologic agents of contamination is complicated by mixed infections and vary...

  15. Two Cytosolic Glutamine Synthetase Isoforms of Maize Are Specifically Involved in the Control of Grain Production[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Antoine; Lee, Judy; Kichey, Thomas; Gerentes, Denise; Zivy, Michel; Tatout, Christophe; Dubois, Frédéric; Balliau, Thierry; Valot, Benoît; Davanture, Marlène; Tercé-Laforgue, Thérèse; Quilleré, Isabelle; Coque, Marie; Gallais, André; Gonzalez-Moro, María-Begoña; Bethencourt, Linda; Habash, Dimah Z.; Lea, Peter J.; Charcosset, Alain; Perez, Pascual; Murigneux, Alain; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; Edwards, Keith J.; Hirel, Bertrand

    2006-01-01

    The roles of two cytosolic maize glutamine synthetase isoenzymes (GS1), products of the Gln1-3 and Gln1-4 genes, were investigated by examining the impact of knockout mutations on kernel yield. In the gln1-3 and gln1-4 single mutants and the gln1-3 gln1-4 double mutant, GS mRNA expression was impaired, resulting in reduced GS1 protein and activity. The gln1-4 phenotype displayed reduced kernel size and gln1-3 reduced kernel number, with both phenotypes displayed in gln1-3 gln1-4. However, at maturity, shoot biomass production was not modified in either the single mutants or double mutants, suggesting a specific impact on grain production in both mutants. Asn increased in the leaves of the mutants during grain filling, indicating that it probably accumulates to circumvent ammonium buildup resulting from lower GS1 activity. Phloem sap analysis revealed that unlike Gln, Asn is not efficiently transported to developing kernels, apparently causing reduced kernel production. When Gln1-3 was overexpressed constitutively in leaves, kernel number increased by 30%, providing further evidence that GS1-3 plays a major role in kernel yield. Cytoimmunochemistry and in situ hybridization revealed that GS1-3 is present in mesophyll cells, whereas GS1-4 is specifically localized in the bundle sheath cells. The two GS1 isoenzymes play nonredundant roles with respect to their tissue-specific localization. PMID:17138698

  16. Analyzing the Effect of Variations in Soil and Management Practices on the Sustainability of Corn Stover-Based Bioethanol Production in Mississippi

    SciTech Connect

    Woli, Prem; Paz, Joel

    2011-08-07

    The inherent variability in corn stover productivity due to variations in soils and crop management practices might contribute to a variation in corn stover-based bioethanol sustainability. This study was carried out to examine how changes in soil types and crop management options would affect corn stover yield (CSY) and the sustainability of the stover-based ethanol production in the Delta region of Mississippi. Based on potential acreage and geographical representation, three locations were selected. Using CERES-Maize model, stover yields were simulated for several scenarios of soils and crop management options. Based on 'net energy value (NEV)' computed from CSYs, a sustainability indicator for stover-based bioethanol production was established. The effects of soils and crop management options on CSY and NEV were determined using ANOVA tests and regression analyses. Both CSY and NEV were significantly different across sandy loam, silt loam, and silty clay loam soils and also across high-, mid-, and low-yielding cultivars. With an increase in irrigation level, both CSY and NEV increased initially and decreased after reaching a peak. A third-degree polynomial relationship was found between planting date and CSY and NEV each. By moving from the lowest to the highest production scenario, values of CSY and NEV could be increased by 86 to 553%, depending on location and weather condition. The effects of variations in soils and crop management options on NEV were the same as on CSY. The NEV was positive for all scenarios, indicating that corn stover-based ethanol production system in the Delta region is sustainable.

  17. Results from a 3-year deficit irrigation experiment with drip-irrigated maize to improve water productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloss, Sebastian; Schütze, Niels; Grundmann, Jens

    2013-04-01

    Water for irrigation farming is severely limited in arid and semi-arid regions, hence reliable and robust strategies are needed that allow to use the available resources efficiently. Controlled deficit irrigation (DI) is one strategy that can help to use water in an effective way while still ensuring considerable yields from harvest. It needs precise irrigation control however where sensors are used to determine when to irrigate. Therefore, thresholds that trigger irrigation need to be chosen carefully. An irrigation experiment with drip-irrigated maize was conducted in three consecutive years (2010-2012) where different controlled DI strategies were tested. The experiments took place in a greenhouse at TU München in Freising, Germany, and comprised treatments with constant and varying irrigation thresholds throughout the growing season, which were compared to fully irrigated reference treatments. Thresholds were determined in soil tension as it is closely related to the working principle behind plant transpiration and treatments evaluated with regard to their water productivity (WP - yield over applied irrigation water). The irrigation thresholds were determined prior to the experiment by a stochastic simulation-based framework that consisted of a weather generator, the crop growth model Daisy, and an optimization algorithm for finding optimal thresholds under limiting water supply. Achieved results show similar or better WP compared to the reference and generally high WP compared to values from literature which suggests this methodology is a promising approach to improve WP.

  18. Effect of Equisetum arvense and Stevia rebaudiana extracts on growth and mycotoxin production by Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium verticillioides in maize seeds as affected by water activity.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Daiana; Ramos, Antonio J; Sanchis, Vicente; Marín, Sonia

    2012-02-01

    Cereals are a very important part of the human and animal diets. However, agricultural products can be contaminated by moulds and their mycotoxins. Plant extracts, particularly those of Equisetum arvense and Stevia rebaudiana have been reported previously to contain antioxidant compounds which may have antifungal properties. In this study, E. arvense and S. rebaudiana extracts were tested for their control of mycotoxigenic fungi in maize. The extracts were tested separately and as a mixture for their effect on growth of Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium verticillioides. Extracts were added to unsterilised inoculated maize at different water activity (a(w)) levels (0.85-0.95). Moulds were inoculated and incubated for 30 days. Results confirmed that the extract of E. arvense and a mixture 1:1 of Equisetum-Stevia may be effective for the inhibition of both growth of A. flavus and aflatoxin production at high water activity levels (pre-harvest conditions). In general, growth of the F. verticillioides was reduced by the use of plant extracts, especially at 0.95 a(w). However, fumonisin presence was not significantly affected. E. arvense and S. rebaudiana extracts could be developed as an alternative treatment to control aflatoxigenic mycobiota in moist maize. PMID:22104120

  19. A comprehensive study to explore differences in mycotoxin patterns from agro-ecological regions through maize, peanut, and cassava products: a case study, Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Ediage, Emmanuel Njumbe; Hell, Kerstin; De Saeger, Sarah

    2014-05-21

    A total of 420 samples were collected from agrarian households. Whereas 51% (215/420) of the samples were contaminated with one or more toxins, the contamination rates for maize, peanut, and cassava products were 74, 62, and 24%, respectively. The fumonisins (20-5412 μg/kg), aflatoxin B1 (6-645 μg/kg), roquefortine C (1-181 μg/kg), and deoxynivalenol (27-3842 μg/kg) were the most prevalent contaminants in maize. For peanut samples, aflatoxin B1 (6-125 μg/kg) and ochratoxin A (0.3-12 μg/kg) were the main contaminants, whereas aflatoxin B1 (6-194 μg/kg) and penicillic acid (25-184 μg/kg) were detected in the cassava products. Exposures calculated through maize intake for fumonisin B1 and aflatoxin B1 were several-fold higher (2-5 for fumonisin B1 and 10(4)-10(5) for aflatoxin B1) than the health-based guidance values of 2 μg/kg bw/day and 0.15 ng/kg bw/day, respectively. The study design constitutes a good model that can be implemented in other sub-Saharan African countries. PMID:24796244

  20. Antagonistic activity of Ocimum sanctum L. essential oil on growth and zearalenone production by Fusarium graminearum in maize grains

    PubMed Central

    Kalagatur, Naveen K.; Mudili, Venkataramana; Siddaiah, Chandranayaka; Gupta, Vijai K.; Natarajan, Gopalan; Sreepathi, Murali H.; Vardhan, Batra H.; Putcha, Venkata L. R.

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed to establish the antagonistic effects of Ocimum sanctum L. essential oil (OSEO) on growth and zearalenone (ZEA) production of Fusarium graminearum. GC–MS chemical profiling of OSEO revealed the existence of 43 compounds and the major compound was found to be eugenol (34.7%). DPPH free radical scavenging activity (IC50) of OSEO was determined to be 8.5 μg/mL. Minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum fungicidal concentration of OSEO on F. graminearum were recorded as 1250 and 1800 μg/mL, respectively. Scanning electron microscope observations showed significant micro morphological damage in OSEO exposed mycelia and spores compared to untreated control culture. Quantitative UHPLC studies revealed that OSEO negatively effected the production of ZEA; the concentration of toxin production was observed to be insignificant at 1500 μg/mL concentration of OSEO. On other hand ZEA concentration was quantified as 3.23 μg/mL in OSEO untreated control culture. Reverse transcriptase qPCR analysis of ZEA metabolic pathway genes (PKS4 and PKS13) revealed that increase in OSEO concentration (250–1500 μg/mL) significantly downregulated the expression of PKS4 and PKS13. These results were in agreement with the artificially contaminated maize grains as well. In conlusion, the antifungal and antimycotoxic effects of OSEO on F. graminearum in the present study reiterated that, the essential oil of O. sanctum could be a promising herbal fungicide in food processing industries as well as grain storage centers. PMID:26388846

  1. Antagonistic activity of Ocimum sanctum L. essential oil on growth and zearalenone production by Fusarium graminearum in maize grains.

    PubMed

    Kalagatur, Naveen K; Mudili, Venkataramana; Siddaiah, Chandranayaka; Gupta, Vijai K; Natarajan, Gopalan; Sreepathi, Murali H; Vardhan, Batra H; Putcha, Venkata L R

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed to establish the antagonistic effects of Ocimum sanctum L. essential oil (OSEO) on growth and zearalenone (ZEA) production of Fusarium graminearum. GC-MS chemical profiling of OSEO revealed the existence of 43 compounds and the major compound was found to be eugenol (34.7%). DPPH free radical scavenging activity (IC50) of OSEO was determined to be 8.5 μg/mL. Minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum fungicidal concentration of OSEO on F. graminearum were recorded as 1250 and 1800 μg/mL, respectively. Scanning electron microscope observations showed significant micro morphological damage in OSEO exposed mycelia and spores compared to untreated control culture. Quantitative UHPLC studies revealed that OSEO negatively effected the production of ZEA; the concentration of toxin production was observed to be insignificant at 1500 μg/mL concentration of OSEO. On other hand ZEA concentration was quantified as 3.23 μg/mL in OSEO untreated control culture. Reverse transcriptase qPCR analysis of ZEA metabolic pathway genes (PKS4 and PKS13) revealed that increase in OSEO concentration (250-1500 μg/mL) significantly downregulated the expression of PKS4 and PKS13. These results were in agreement with the artificially contaminated maize grains as well. In conlusion, the antifungal and antimycotoxic effects of OSEO on F. graminearum in the present study reiterated that, the essential oil of O. sanctum could be a promising herbal fungicide in food processing industries as well as grain storage centers. PMID:26388846

  2. Effects of artemisinin sustained-release granules on mixed alga growth and microcystins production and release.

    PubMed

    Ni, Lixiao; Li, Danye; Hu, Shuzhen; Wang, Peifang; Li, Shiyin; Li, Yiping; Li, Yong; Acharya, Kumud

    2015-12-01

    To safely and effectively apply artemisinin sustained-release granules to control and prevent algal water-blooms, the effects of artemisinin and its sustained-release granules on freshwater alga (Scenedesmus obliquus (S. obliquus) and Microcystis aeruginosa (M. aeruginosa)), as well as the production and release of microcystins (MCs) were studied. The results showed that artemisinin sustained-release granules inhibited the growth of M. aeruginosa (above 95% IR) and S. obliquus (about 90% IR), with M. aeruginosa more sensitive. The artemisinin sustained-release granules had a longer inhibition effect on growth of pure algae and algal coexistence than direct artemisinin dosing. The artemisinin sustained-release granules could decrease the production and release of algal toxins due to the continued stress of artemisinin released from artemisinin sustained-release granules. There was no increase in the total amount of MC-LR in the algal cell culture medium. PMID:26432265

  3. Reinventing MaizeGDB

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Maize Database (MaizeDB) to the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database (MaizeGDB) turns 20 this year, and such a significant milestone must be celebrated! With the release of the B73 reference sequence and more sequenced genomes on the way, the maize community needs to address various opportunitie...

  4. Sustainable production of bioactive compounds from sponges: primmorphs as bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Schröder, H C; Brümmer, F; Fattorusso, E; Aiello, A; Menna, M; de Rosa, S; Batel, R; Müller, W E G

    2003-01-01

    Sponges [phylum Porifera] are a rich source for the isolation of biologically active and pharmacologically valuable compounds with a high potential to become effective drugs for therapeutic use. However, until now, only one compound has been introduced into clinics because of the limited amounts of starting material available for extraction. To overcome this serious problem in line with the rules for a sustainable use of marine resources, the following routes can be pursued; first, chemical synthesis, second, cultivation of sponges in the sea (mariculture), third, growth of sponge specimens in a bioreactor, and fourth, cultivation of sponge cells in vitro in a bioreactor. The main efforts to follow the latter strategy have been undertaken with the marine sponge Suberites domuncula. This species produces compounds that affect neuronal cells, such as quinolinic acid, a well-known neurotoxin, and phospholipids. A sponge cell culture was established after finding that single sponge cells require cell-cell contact in order to retain their telomerase activity, one prerequisite for continuous cell proliferation. The sponge cell culture system, the primmorphs, comprises proliferating cells that have the potency to differentiate. While improving the medium it was found that, besides growth factors, certain ions (e.g. silicate and iron) are essential. In the presence of silicate several genes required for the formation of the extracellular matrix are expressed (silicatein, collagen and myotrophin). Fe3+ is essential for the synthesis of the spicules, and causes an increased expression of the ferritin-, septin- and scavenger receptor genes. Furthermore, high water current is required for growth and canal formation in the primmorphs. The primmorph system has already been successfully used for the production of pharmacologically useful, bioactive compounds, such as avarol or (2'-5')oligoadenylates. Future strategies to improve the sponge cell culture are discussed; these

  5. Review of doubled haploid production in durum and common wheat through wheat x maize hybridization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Production of doubled haploids (DHs) is an important methodology to speed up the process of breeding and development of mapping populations in crops. The procedure for DH production includes two major steps: haploid induction and chromosome doubling. Chromosome doubling of haploid plants has been ...

  6. Potential contribution of leucaena hedgerows intercropped with maize to the production of organic nitrogen and fuelwood in the lowland tropics. [L. leucocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Torres, F.

    1983-01-01

    Data from the literature was analysed. Annual N-production by L. leucocephala hedgerows planted more than 150 cm apart and cut every 8 weeks to 15-30 cm was estimated to be 45 g/linear m of hedgerow. The system is thought to be useful where soil-N availability is a limiting factor and where maize productivity is less than 1000 kg/ha (when increases of 112% for 1.5 m hedge spacings to 28% for 6 m spacings are predicted).

  7. Comprehensive national assessment of the sustainability of beef production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A national assessment is being conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the beef checkoff, to develop better scientific understanding of the sustainability of beef. This includes a life cycle assessment (LCA) of greenhouse gas emissions along with other environmental, ...

  8. Estimating Green Net National Product for Puerto Rico: An Economic Measure of Sustainability (Journal article)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net National Product (GNNP), an economic metric of sustainability, for Puerto Rico. Using the change in GNNP as a one-sided test of weak sustainability (i.e., positive growth in GNNP is not enough to show...

  9. The sustainability of organic dairy production in the U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Both organic and conventional dairy farming practices in the U.S. have unique challenges for maintaining sustainable production. Economic sustainability may be most important because milk will not be produced in our economy unless there is profit for the producer. The demand for organic milk has cre...

  10. The radiative and hydrologic effects of a local switch from maize to miscanthus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Gavin R.

    Miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), a lush, dense grass that grows to be 3-4 meters tall, has been proven to be a substantially more productive biofuel crop than maize (Zea mays) due to its higher biomass output per unit area for conversion into ethanol. Moreover, Miscanthus is a perennial, biogeochemically sustainable crop, returning most of its nutrients to the soil each fall and needing less year-to-year maintenance than maize after its initial planting. Due to these potential benefits, a switch to Miscanthus as a viable biofuel alternative to maize has been suggested as a way to meet the current US energy goal of 30% displacement of domestic petroleum use by ethanol in the transportation sector by 2030, a goal that the existing US maize crop alone cannot achieve. Because maize and Miscanthus have significantly different vegetation characteristics, however, it is hypothesized that such a switch will lead to changes in the local surface radiation budget and hydrology. This study seeks to evaluate these changes. Perennial agriculture such as Miscanthus contributes to a greener surface earlier in the spring and later in the fall than maize (annual agriculture), subsequently leading to higher year-round albedo and water usage. Due to the denser growth of Miscanthus, evapotranspiration and thus absolute water usage are also higher than maize, especially during the summer. However, Miscanthus exhibits a deeper rooting depth than maize and therefore has access to deeper soil water. In this study, representative shifts in year-round albedo, green vegetation fraction, rooting depth, and leaf area index are parameterized and their combined radiative and hydrologic effects evaluated through uncoupled retrospective runs of a well-tested land surface model over an existing area of maize in the US Corn Belt. Sensitivity experiments are undertaken that likewise evaluate the individual contributions of each shifted parameterization scheme. It is found that the combination of

  11. Combined effect of chitosan and water activity on growth and fumonisin production by Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum on maize-based media.

    PubMed

    Ferrochio, Laura V; Cendoya, Eugenia; Zachetti, Vanessa G L; Farnochi, Maria C; Massad, Walter; Ramirez, Maria L

    2014-08-18

    The objectives of the present study were to determine the in vitro efficacy of chitosan (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0mg/mL) under different water availabilities (0.995, 0.99, 0.98, 0.96 and 0.93) at 25°C on lag phase, growth rate and fumonisin production by isolates of Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum. The presence of chitosan affected growth and fumonisin production, and this effect was dependent on the dose and aW treatment used. The presence of chitosan increased the lag phase, and reduced the growth rate of both Fusarium species significantly at all concentrations used, especially at 0.93 aW. Also, significant reduction of fumonisin production was observed in both Fusarium species at all conditions assayed. The present study has shown the combined effects of chitosan and aW on growth and fumonisin production by the two most important Fusarium species present on maize. Low molecular weight (Mw) chitosan with more than 70% of degree of deacetylation (DD) at 0.5mg/mL was able to significantly reduce growth rate and fumonisin production on maize-based media, with maximum levels of reduction in both parameters obtained at the highest doses used. As fumonisins are unavoidable contaminants in food and feed chains, their presence needs to be reduced to minimize their effects on human and animal health and to diminish the annual market loss through rejected maize. In this scenario post-harvest use of chitosan could be an important alternative treatment. PMID:24929683

  12. Evaluation of optimum roughage to concentrate ratio in maize stover based complete rations for efficient microbial biomass production using in vitro gas production technique

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, Y. Ramana; Kumari, N. Nalini; Monika, T.; Sridhar, K.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: A study was undertaken to evaluate the optimum roughage to concentrate ratio in maize stover (MS) based complete diets for efficient microbial biomass production (EMBP) using in vitro gas production technique. Materials and Methods: MS based complete diets with roughage to concentrate ratio of 100:0, 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, 60:40, 50:50, 40:60, and 30:70 were formulated, and 200 mg of oven-dried sample was incubated in water bath at 39°C along with media (rumen liquor [RL] - buffer) in in vitro gas syringes to evaluate the gas production. The gas produced was recorded at 8 and 24 h of incubation. In vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD), metabolizable energy (ME), truly digestible organic matter (TDOM), partitioning factor (PF), and EMBP were calculated using appropriate formulae. Ammonia nitrogen and total volatile fatty acids (TVFAs) production were analyzed in RL fluid-media mixture after 24 h of incubation. Results: In vitro gas production (ml) at 24 h incubation, IVOMD, ME, TDOM, TVFA concentration, and ammonia nitrogen production were increased (p<0.01) in proportion to the increase in the level of concentrate in the diet. Significantly (p<0.01) higher PF and EMBP was noticed in total mixed ration with roughage to concentrate ratio of 60:40 and 50:50 followed by 70:30 and 40:60. Conclusion: Based on the results, it was concluded that the MS can be included in complete rations for ruminants at the level of 50-60% for better microbial biomass synthesis which in turn influences the performance of growing sheep. PMID:27397985

  13. An integrative modeling framework to evaluate the productivity and sustainability of biofuel crop production systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, X; Izaurralde, R. C.; Manowitz, D.; West, T. O.; Thomson, A. M.; Post, Wilfred M; Bandaru, Vara Prasad; Nichols, Jeff; Williams, J.

    2010-10-01

    The potential expansion of biofuel production raises food, energy, and environmental challenges that require careful assessment of the impact of biofuel production on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil erosion, nutrient loading, and water quality. In this study, we describe a spatially explicit integrative modeling framework (SEIMF) to understand and quantify the environmental impacts of different biomass cropping systems. This SEIMF consists of three major components: (1) a geographic information system (GIS)-based data analysis system to define spatial modeling units with resolution of 56 m to address spatial variability, (2) the biophysical and biogeochemical model Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) applied in a spatially-explicit way to predict biomass yield, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts of different biofuel crops production systems, and (3) an evolutionary multiobjective optimization algorithm for exploring the trade-offs between biofuel energy production and unintended ecosystem-service responses. Simple examples illustrate the major functions of the SEIMF when applied to a nine-county Regional Intensive Modeling Area (RIMA) in SW Michigan to (1) simulate biofuel crop production, (2) compare impacts of management practices and local ecosystem settings, and (3) optimize the spatial configuration of different biofuel production systems by balancing energy production and other ecosystem-service variables. Potential applications of the SEIMF to support life cycle analysis and provide information on biodiversity evaluation and marginal-land identification are also discussed. The SEIMF developed in this study is expected to provide a useful tool for scientists and decision makers to understand sustainability issues associated with the production of biofuels at local, regional, and national scales.

  14. An Integrative Modeling Framework to Evaluate the Productivity and Sustainability of Biofuel Crop Production Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Manowitz, David H.; West, T. O.; Post, W. M.; Thomson, Allison M.; Bandaru, V. P.; Nichols, J.; Williams, J.R.

    2010-09-08

    The potential expansion of biofuel production raises food, energy, and environmental challenges that require careful assessment of the impact of biofuel production on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil erosion, nutrient loading, and water quality. In this study, we describe a spatially-explicit integrative modeling framework (SEIMF) to understand and quantify the environmental impacts of different biomass cropping systems. This SEIMF consists of three major components: 1) a geographic information system (GIS)-based data analysis system to define spatial modeling units with resolution of 56 m to address spatial variability, 2) the biophysical and biogeochemical model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) applied in a spatially-explicit way to predict biomass yield, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts of different biofuel crops production systems, and 3) an evolutionary multi-objective optimization algorithm for exploring the trade-offs between biofuel energy production and unintended ecosystem-service responses. Simple examples illustrate the major functions of the SEIMF when applied to a 9-county Regional Intensive Modeling Area (RIMA) in SW Michigan to 1) simulate biofuel crop production, 2) compare impacts of management practices and local ecosystem settings, and 3) optimize the spatial configuration of different biofuel production systems by balancing energy production and other ecosystem-service variables. Potential applications of the SEIMF to support life cycle analysis and provide information on biodiversity evaluation and marginal-land identification are also discussed. The SEIMF developed in this study is expected to provide a useful tool for scientists and decision makers to understand sustainability issues associated with the production of biofuels at local, regional, and national scales.

  15. MaizeGDB: The Maize Model Organism Database for Basic, Translational, and Applied Research

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Carolyn J.; Harper, Lisa C.; Schaeffer, Mary L.; Sen, Taner Z.; Seigfried, Trent E.; Campbell, Darwin A.

    2008-01-01

    In 2001 maize became the number one production crop in the world with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reporting over 614 million tonnes produced. Its success is due to the high productivity per acre in tandem with a wide variety of commercial uses. Not only is maize an excellent source of food, feed, and fuel, but also its by-products are used in the production of various commercial products. Maize's unparalleled success in agriculture stems from basic research, the outcomes of which drive breeding and product development. In order for basic, translational, and applied researchers to benefit from others' investigations, newly generated data must be made freely and easily accessible. MaizeGDB is the maize research community's central repository for genetics and genomics information. The overall goals of MaizeGDB are to facilitate access to the outcomes of maize research by integrating new maize data into the database and to support the maize research community by coordinating group activities. PMID:18769488

  16. C2CAD: A SUSTAINABLE APPAREL DESIGN AND PRODUCTION CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many environmental problems related to apparel industry, such as toxicity in dyeing wastewater, could be minimized by apparel designers and manufacturers. However, no apparel design and production model put designers' role in environmental sustainability into consideration. ...

  17. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Transportation Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.

    2009-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews NASA Marshall's effort to sustain space transportation solutions through product lines that include: 1) Propulsion and Transportation Systems; 2) Life Support Systems; and 3) and Earth and Space Science Spacecraft Systems, and Operations.

  18. [Effects of nitrogen management on maize nitrogen utilization and residual nitrate nitrogen in soil under maize/soybean and maize/sweet potato relay strip intercropping systems].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Chun; Yang, Wen-Yu; Deng, Xiao-Yan; Zhang, Qun; Yong, Tai-Wen; Liu, Wei-Guo; Yang, Feng; Mao, Shu-Ming

    2014-10-01

    A large amount of nitrogen (N) fertilizers poured into the fields severely pollute the environment. Reasonable application of N fertilizer has always been the research hotpot. The effects of N management on maize N utilization and residual nitrate N in soil under maize/soybean and maize/ sweet potato relay strip intercropping systems were reported in a field experiment in southwest China. It was found that maize N accumulation, N harvest index, N absorption efficiency, N contribution proportion after the anthesis stage in maize/soybean relay strip intercropping were increased by 6.1%, 5.4%, 4.3%, and 15.1% than under maize/sweet potato with an increase of 22.6% for maize yield after sustainable growing of maize/soybean intercropping system. Nitrate N accumulation in the 0-60 cm soil layer was 12.9% higher under maize/soybean intercropping than under maize/sweet potato intercropping. However, nitrate N concentration in the 60-120 cm soil layer when intercropped with soybean decreased by 10.3% than when intercropped with sweet potato, indicating a decrease of N leaching loss. Increasing of N application rate enhanced N accumulation of maize and decreased N use efficiency and significantly increased nitrate concentration in the soil profile except in the 60-100 cm soil layer, where no significant difference was observed with nitrogen application rate at 0 to 270 kg · hm(-2). Further application of N fertilizer significantly enhanced nitrate leaching loss. Postponing N application increased nitrate accumulation in the 60-100 cm soil layer. The results suggested that N application rates and ratio of base to top dressing had different influences on maize N concentration and nitrate N between maize/soybean and maize/sweet potato intercropping. Maize N concentration in the late growing stage, N harvest index and N use efficiency under maize/soybean intercropping increased (with N application rate at 180-270 kg · hm(-2) and ratio of base to top dressing = 3:2:5) and

  19. Sustainable Harvest and marketing of rain forest products

    SciTech Connect

    Plotkin, M.J.; Famolare, L.M.

    1992-01-01

    The economics of nontimber rainforest products often make a strong case for forest protection and prevention of deforestation. This book contains 33 diverse papers falling into three catagories: tropical rainforests are underutilized sources of new plant products; increased use of tropical forest products should benefit human inhabitants of the rainforest; nontimber forest products many not be the panacea that some suggest.

  20. Development of a novel recessive genetic male sterility system for hybrid seed production in maize and other cross-pollinating crops.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yongzhong; Fox, Tim W; Trimnell, Mary R; Wang, Lijuan; Xu, Rui-Ji; Cigan, A Mark; Huffman, Gary A; Garnaat, Carl W; Hershey, Howard; Albertsen, Marc C

    2016-03-01

    We have developed a novel hybridization platform that utilizes nuclear male sterility to produce hybrids in maize and other cross-pollinating crops. A key component of this platform is a process termed Seed Production Technology (SPT). This process incorporates a transgenic SPT maintainer line capable of propagating nontransgenic nuclear male-sterile lines for use as female parents in hybrid production. The maize SPT maintainer line is a homozygous recessive male sterile transformed with a SPT construct containing (i) a complementary wild-type male fertility gene to restore fertility, (ii) an α-amylase gene to disrupt pollination and (iii) a seed colour marker gene. The sporophytic wild-type allele complements the recessive mutation, enabling the development of pollen grains, all of which carry the recessive allele but with only half carrying the SPT transgenes. Pollen grains with the SPT transgenes exhibit starch depletion resulting from expression of α-amylase and are unable to germinate. Pollen grains that do not carry the SPT transgenes are nontransgenic and are able to fertilize homozygous mutant plants, resulting in nontransgenic male-sterile progeny for use as female parents. Because transgenic SPT maintainer seeds express a red fluorescent protein, they can be detected and efficiently separated from seeds that do not contain the SPT transgenes by mechanical colour sorting. The SPT process has the potential to replace current approaches to pollen control in commercial maize hybrid seed production. It also has important applications for other cross-pollinating crops where it can unlock the potential for greater hybrid productivity through expanding the parental germplasm pool. PMID:26442654

  1. The black Aspergillus species of maize and peanuts and their potential for mycotoxin production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The black spored fungi of the subgenera Circumdata, the section Nigri (=Aspergillus niger group) is reviewed relative to their production of mycotoxins and their effects on plants as pathogens. Molecular methods have revealed more than 18 cryptic species, of which several have been characterized as...

  2. Integration: valuing stakeholder input in setting priorities for socially sustainable egg production.

    PubMed

    Swanson, J C; Lee, Y; Thompson, P B; Bawden, R; Mench, J A

    2011-09-01

    Setting directions and goals for animal production systems requires the integration of information achieved through internal and external processes. The importance of stakeholder input in setting goals for sustainable animal production systems should not be overlooked by the agricultural animal industries. Stakeholders play an integral role in setting the course for many aspects of animal production, from influencing consumer preferences to setting public policy. The Socially Sustainable Egg Production Project (SSEP) involved the development of white papers on various aspects of egg production, followed by a stakeholder workshop to help frame the issues for the future of sustainable egg production. Representatives from the environmental, food safety, food retail, consumer, animal welfare, and the general farm and egg production sectors participated with members of the SSEP coordination team in a 1.5-d workshop to explore socially sustainable egg production. This paper reviews the published literature on values integration methodologies and the lessons learned from animal welfare assessment models. The integration method used for the SSEP stakeholder workshop and its outcome are then summarized. The method used for the SSEP stakeholder workshop can be used to obtain stakeholder input on sustainable production in other farm animal industries. PMID:21844279

  3. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER, SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS, AND FOREST BOTANICAL PRODUCTS Special...

  4. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER, SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS, AND FOREST BOTANICAL PRODUCTS Special...

  5. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER, SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS, AND FOREST BOTANICAL PRODUCTS Special...

  6. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER, SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS, AND FOREST BOTANICAL PRODUCTS Special...

  7. Toward a sustainability label for food products: an analysis of experts' and consumers' acceptance.

    PubMed

    Engels, Stéphanie V; Hansmann, Ralf; Scholz, Roland W

    2010-01-01

    The recent proliferation of standards and labels for organic, fair-trade, locally produced, and healthy food products risks creating confusion among consumers. This study presents a standardized approach to developing a comprehensive sustainability label that incorporates ecological, economic, and social values. The methodology is based on an extension of modular life-cycle assessment to non-environmental sustainability criteria. Interviews with a wide range of experts (n=65) and a consumer survey (n=233) were conducted to analyze the feasibility and potential effectiveness of the approach. Responses indicated that a comprehensive sustainability label could considerably influence consumption patterns and facilitate cross-product comparisons. PMID:21883088

  8. Expanding lean thinking to the product and process design and development within the framework of sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorli, M.; Sopelana, A.; Salgado, M.; Pelaez, G.; Ares, E.

    2012-04-01

    Companies require tools to change towards a new way of developing and producing innovative products to be manufactured considering the economic, social and environmental impact along the product life cycle. Based on translating Lean principles in Product Development (PD) from the design stage and, along the entire product life cycle, it is aimed to address both sustainability and environmental issues. The drivers of sustainable culture within a lean PD have been identified and a baseline for future research on the development of appropriate tools and techniques has been provided. This research provide industry with a framework which balance environmental and sustainable factors with lean principles to be considered and incorporated from the beginning of product design and development covering the entire product lifecycle.

  9. Maize lethal necrosis (MLN), an emerging threat to maize-based food security in sub-Saharan Africa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In sub-Saharan Africa, maize is a staple food and key determinant of food security for smallholder farming communities. Pest and disease outbreaks are key constraints to maize productivity. In September 2011, a serious disease outbreak, later diagnosed as maize lethal necrosis (MLN), was reported on...

  10. Inhibitory effect of cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, oregano and palmarose essential oils on growth and fumonisin B1 production by Fusarium proliferatum in maize grain.

    PubMed

    Velluti, A; Sanchis, V; Ramos, A J; Egido, J; Marín, S

    2003-12-31

    The effect of cinnamon, clove, oregano, palmarose and lemongrass oils on growth and FB1 production by three different isolates of F. proliferatum in irradiated maize grain at 0.995 and 0.950 aw and at 20 and 30 degrees C was evaluated. The five essential oils inhibited growth of F. proliferatum isolates at 0.995 aw at both temperatures, while at 0.950 aw only cinnamon, clove and oregano oils were effective in inhibiting growth of F. proliferatum at 20 degrees C and none of them at 30 degrees C. Cinnamon, oregano and palmarose oils had significant inhibitory effect on FB1 production by the three strains of F. proliferatum at 0.995 aw and both temperatures, while clove and lemongrass oils had only significant inhibitory effect at 30 degrees C. No differences were found using 500 or 1000 microg essential oil g(-1). At 0.950 aw, none of the essential oils had any significant effect on FB1 production. The results suggest that mainly cinnamon and oregano oils could be effective in controlling growth and FB1 production by F. proliferatum in maize under preharvest conditions. PMID:14623380

  11. Evaluation of ability of ferulic acid to control growth and fumonisin production of Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum on maize based media.

    PubMed

    Ferrochio, Laura; Cendoya, Eugenia; Farnochi, María Cecilia; Massad, Walter; Ramirez, María Laura

    2013-10-15

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of ferulic acid (1, 10, 20 and 25 mM) at different water activity (aw) values (0.99, 0.98, 0.96 and 0.93) at 25 °C on growth and fumonisin production by Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum on maize based media. For both Fusarium species, the lag phase significantly decreased (p ≤ 0.001), and the growth rates increased (p ≤ 0.001) at the lowest ferulic acid concentration used (1mM), regardless of the aw. However, high doses of ferulic acid (10 to 25 mM) significantly reduced (p ≤ 0.001) the growth rate of both Fusarium species, regardless of the a(w). In general, growth rate inhibition increased as ferulic acid doses increased and as media aw decreased. Fumonisin production profiles of both Fusarium species showed that low ferulic acid concentrations (1-10mM) significantly increased (p ≤ 0.001) toxin production, regardless of the aw. High doses of ferulic acid (20-25 mM) reduced fumonisin production, in comparison with the controls, by both Fusarium species but they were not statistically significant in most cases. The results show that the use of ferulic acid as a post-harvest strategy to reduce mycotoxin accumulation on maize needs to be discussed. PMID:24140805

  12. Photosynthesis, Productivity, and Yield of Maize Are Not Affected by Open-Air Elevation of CO2 Concentration in the Absence of Drought1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Uribelarrea, Martin; Ainsworth, Elizabeth A.; Naidu, Shawna L.; Rogers, Alistair; Ort, Donald R.; Long, Stephen P.

    2006-01-01

    While increasing temperatures and altered soil moisture arising from climate change in the next 50 years are projected to decrease yield of food crops, elevated CO2 concentration ([CO2]) is predicted to enhance yield and offset these detrimental factors. However, C4 photosynthesis is usually saturated at current [CO2] and theoretically should not be stimulated under elevated [CO2]. Nevertheless, some controlled environment studies have reported direct stimulation of C4 photosynthesis and productivity, as well as physiological acclimation, under elevated [CO2]. To test if these effects occur in the open air and within the Corn Belt, maize (Zea mays) was grown in ambient [CO2] (376 μmol mol−1) and elevated [CO2] (550 μmol mol−1) using Free-Air Concentration Enrichment technology. The 2004 season had ideal growing conditions in which the crop did not experience water stress. In the absence of water stress, growth at elevated [CO2] did not stimulate photosynthesis, biomass, or yield. Nor was there any CO2 effect on the activity of key photosynthetic enzymes, or metabolic markers of carbon and nitrogen status. Stomatal conductance was lower (−34%) and soil moisture was higher (up to 31%), consistent with reduced crop water use. The results provide unique field evidence that photosynthesis and production of maize may be unaffected by rising [CO2] in the absence of drought. This suggests that rising [CO2] may not provide the full dividend to North American maize production anticipated in projections of future global food supply. PMID:16407441

  13. The effect of simple nitrogen fertilizer recommendation strategies on product carbon footprint and gross margin of wheat and maize production in the North China Plain.

    PubMed

    Ha, Nan; Feike, Til; Back, Hans; Xiao, Haifeng; Bahrs, Enno

    2015-11-01

    Overuse of nitrogen (N) fertilizer constitutes the major issue of current crop production in China, exerting a substantial effect on global warming through massive emission of greenhouse gas (GHG). Despite the ongoing effort, which includes the promotion of technologically sophisticated N management schemes, farmers' N rates maintain at excessive rates. Therefore the current study tests three simple and easily to apply N fertilizer recommendation strategies, which could be implemented on large scale through the existing agricultural advisory system of China, at comparatively low cost. Building on a detailed crop production dataset of 65 winter wheat (WW) and summer maize (SM) producing farm households of the North China Plain, scenario analysis is applied. The effects of the three N strategies under constant and changing yield levels on product carbon footprint (PCF) and gross margin (GM) are determined for the production condition of every individual farm household. The N fixed rate strategy realized the highest improvement potential in PCF and GM in WW; while the N coefficient strategy performed best in SM. The analysis furthermore revealed that improved N management has a significant positive effect on PCF, but only a marginal and insignificant effect on GM. On the other side, a potential 10% yield loss would have only a marginal effect on PCF, but a detrimental effect on farmers' income. With farmers currently applying excessive N rates as "cheap insurance" against potential N limitation, it will be of vital importance to avoid any yield reductions (caused by N limitation) and respective severe financial losses, when promoting and implementing advanced fertilization strategies. To achieve this, it is furthermore recommended to increase the price of fertilizer, improve the agricultural extensions system, and recognize farmers' fertilizer related decision-making processes as key research areas. PMID:26311087

  14. Surfactin A production and isoforms characterizations in strains of Bacillus mojavensis for control of a maize pathogen, Fusarium verticillioides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The endophytic bacterium, Bacillus mojavensis, RRC 101 controls fungal diseases in maize and other plants. The bacterium and its cultural extracts have been shown to be antagonistic to the pathogenic and mycotoxic fungus, Fusarium verticillioides. An antifungal cyclic lipopeptide produced by B. moj...

  15. Potential production of ochratoxins and fumonisins by members of the Aspergillus section Nigri isolated as endophytes from maize and peanuts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Members of the Aspergillus section Nigri (black aspergilli), are pathogenic to several plant hosts including maize, peanuts, grapes, onions, garlic, apples, and mangoes. Although some black aspergilli are reported as opportunistic pathogens, we have documented that some species within this section ...

  16. Heterogeneous catalysis for sustainable biodiesel production via esterification and transesterification.

    PubMed

    Lee, Adam F; Bennett, James A; Manayil, Jinesh C; Wilson, Karen

    2014-11-21

    Concern over the economics of accessing fossil fuel reserves, and widespread acceptance of the anthropogenic origin of rising CO2 emissions and associated climate change from combusting such carbon sources, is driving academic and commercial research into new routes to sustainable fuels to meet the demands of a rapidly rising global population. Here we discuss catalytic esterification and transesterification solutions to the clean synthesis of biodiesel, the most readily implemented and low cost, alternative source of transportation fuels to meet future societal demands. PMID:24957179

  17. Can the co-cultivation of rice and fish help sustain rice production?

    PubMed

    Hu, Liangliang; Zhang, Jian; Ren, Weizheng; Guo, Liang; Cheng, Yongxu; Li, Jiayao; Li, Kexin; Zhu, Zewen; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Shiming; Cheng, Lei; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Because rice feeds half of the world's population, a secure global food supply depends on sustainable rice production. Here we test whether the co-cultivation of rice and fish into one "rice-fish system" (RFS; fish refers to aquatic animals in this article) could help sustain rice production. We examined intensive and traditional RFSs that have been widely practiced in China. We found that rice yields did not decrease when fish yield was below a threshold value in each intensive RFS. Below the thresholds, moreover, fish yields in intensive RFSs can be substantially higher than those in traditional RFS without reducing rice yield. Relative to rice monoculture, the use of fertilizer-nitrogen and pesticides decreased, and the farmers' net income increased in RFSs. The results suggest that RFSs can help sustain rice production, and suggest that development of co-culture technologies (i.e. proper field configuration for fish and rice) is necessary to achieve the sustainability. PMID:27349875

  18. Modeling Gross Primary Production in Maize and Soybean Using Four Parameters: Light Quality, Temperature, Water Stress, and Phenology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguy-Robertson, A. L.; Suyker, A.; Xiao, X.; Thomas, T.

    2014-12-01

    Light use efficiency (LUE) models are used to estimate gross and net primary production (GPP, NPP). Earlier approaches have used one or more of the following factors impacting LUE to model GPP: (i) light climate, (ii) temperature, (iii) water stress, and (iv) phenology. In this study we seek to incorporate all four inputs as scalars for up- or down-regulating LUE in a daily GPP model. Traditional methods using satellite data are limited by cloudy conditions and revisit times. They require the use of interpolation to achieve daily estimates of GPP. Some parameters can vary greatly within a few days (i.e. light climate, temperature) and thus, reduce the accuracy of interpolations between scenes. Alternatively, methods that can combine spatially interpolated gridded meteorological and satellite data for parameters that change over the course of days to weeks (i.e. phenology) provide the best opportunity for a continuous daily estimate of GPP. This study seeks to develop the framework for such a model. Three Nebraska AmeriFlux sites between 2001 and 2012 (maize: 26 field-years; soybean: 10 field-years) were used to develop and validate a daily GPP model based on ground measurements of incoming photosynthetically active radiation, temperature, vapor pressure deficit, and leaf area index. This model was calibrated using eddy covariance data from 2001 to 2008 (RMSE = 2.2 g C m-2 d-1; MNB = 4.7%) and validated with 2009 to 2012 data (RMSE = 2.6 g C m-2 d-1; MNB = 1.7%). Modeled GPP was generally within 10% of measured growing season totals in each year from 2009 to 2012. Cumulatively, over the same four years, the sum of error and the sum of absolute error between the measured and modeled GPP, which provide measures of long-term bias, was ±5% and 2 to 9%, respectively, among the three sites. The inclusion of AmeriFlux cropland sites in Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota will support this approach and provide additional validation sites for a daily GPP model using gridded

  19. MaizeGDB: The Maize Model Organism Database for Basic, Translational, and Applied Research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2001, maize became the number one production crop in the world (with over 614 million tons produced; http://faostat.fao.org). Its success is due to the high productivity per acre in tandem with a wide variety of commercial uses: not only is maize an excellent source of food, feed, and fuel, its...

  20. [Applicability of agricultural production systems simulator (APSIM) in simulating the production and water use of wheat-maize continuous cropping system in North China Plain].

    PubMed

    Wang, Lin; Zheng, You-fei; Yu, Qiang; Wang, En-li

    2007-11-01

    The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) was applied to simulate the 1999-2001 field experimental data and the 2002-2003 water use data at the Yucheng Experiment Station under Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, aimed to verify the applicability of the model to the wheat-summer maize continuous cropping system in North China Plain. The results showed that the average errors of the simulations of leaf area index (LAI), biomass, and soil moisture content in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 field experiments were 27.61%, 24.59% and 7.68%, and 32.65%, 35.95% and 10.26%, respectively, and those of LAI and biomass on the soils with high and low moisture content in 2002-2003 were 26.65% and 14.52%, and 23.91% and 27.93%, respectively. The simulations of LAI and biomass accorded well with the measured values, with the coefficients of determination being > 0.85 in 1999-2000 and 2002-2003, and 0.78 in 2000-2001, indicating that APSIM had a good applicability in modeling the crop biomass and soil moisture content in the continuous cropping system, but the simulation error of LAI was a little larger. PMID:18260451

  1. Isolation and Screening of Bacteria for Their Diazotrophic Potential and Their Influence on Growth Promotion of Maize Seedlings in Greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Kifle, Medhin H; Laing, Mark D

    2015-01-01

    Poor soil fertility is one of the major constraints for crop production. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient for increasing crop productivity. Therefore, there is a need to identify diazotrophic inoculants as an alternative or supplement to N-fertilizers for sustainable agriculture. In the current study, a number of free-living diazotrophic bacteria were isolated from soils collected from maize rhizosphere and from leaves and roots of maize within the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa. Ninety-two isolates were selected for further screening because they were able to grow on N-free media containing different carbon sources. Isolates that were very slow to grow on N-free media were discarded. The isolates were screened in vitro for diazotrophic potential tests for ammonia production and acetylene reduction. Ethylene (C2H4) production was quantified and ranged from 4 to 73 nmoles of C2H4h(-1) culture(-1). The top 20 isolates were re-screened on maize seedlings, and eight isolates significantly (P = 0.001) enhanced some growth parameters of maize above the un-inoculated control. Isolates that showed significant effect on at least two growth parameters were identified at species or genera level. In conclusion, selected diazotrophic isolates may be potentially beneficial but they should be tested more in greenhouse and field conditions with maize to confirm their potential for application as biofertilizers. PMID:26779245

  2. Isolation and Screening of Bacteria for Their Diazotrophic Potential and Their Influence on Growth Promotion of Maize Seedlings in Greenhouses

    PubMed Central

    Kifle, Medhin H.; Laing, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

    Poor soil fertility is one of the major constraints for crop production. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient for increasing crop productivity. Therefore, there is a need to identify diazotrophic inoculants as an alternative or supplement to N-fertilizers for sustainable agriculture. In the current study, a number of free-living diazotrophic bacteria were isolated from soils collected from maize rhizosphere and from leaves and roots of maize within the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa. Ninety-two isolates were selected for further screening because they were able to grow on N-free media containing different carbon sources. Isolates that were very slow to grow on N-free media were discarded. The isolates were screened in vitro for diazotrophic potential tests for ammonia production and acetylene reduction. Ethylene (C2H4) production was quantified and ranged from 4 to 73 nmoles of C2H4h−1 culture−1. The top 20 isolates were re-screened on maize seedlings, and eight isolates significantly (P = 0.001) enhanced some growth parameters of maize above the un-inoculated control. Isolates that showed significant effect on at least two growth parameters were identified at species or genera level. In conclusion, selected diazotrophic isolates may be potentially beneficial but they should be tested more in greenhouse and field conditions with maize to confirm their potential for application as biofertilizers. PMID:26779245

  3. Sustain

    SciTech Connect

    2013-08-20

    Current building energy simulation technology requires excessive labor, time and expertise to create building energy models, excessive computational time for accurate simulations and difficulties with the interpretation of the results. These deficiencies can be ameliorated using modern graphical user interfaces and algorithms which take advantage of modern computer architectures and display capabilities. To prove this hypothesis, we developed an experimental test bed for building energy simulation. This novel test bed environment offers an easy-to-use interactive graphical interface, provides access to innovative simulation modules that run at accelerated computational speeds, and presents new graphics visualization methods to interpret simulation results. Our system offers the promise of dramatic ease of use in comparison with currently available building energy simulation tools. Its modular structure makes it suitable for early stage building design, as a research platform for the investigation of new simulation methods, and as a tool for teaching concepts of sustainable design. Improvements in the accuracy and execution speed of many of the simulation modules are based on the modification of advanced computer graphics rendering algorithms. Significant performance improvements are demonstrated in several computationally expensive energy simulation modules. The incorporation of these modern graphical techniques should advance the state of the art in the domain of whole building energy analysis and building performance simulation, particularly at the conceptual design stage when decisions have the greatest impact. More importantly, these better simulation tools will enable the transition from prescriptive to performative energy codes, resulting in better, more efficient designs for our future built environment.

  4. 3-β-D-Glucopyranosyl-6-methoxy-2-benzoxazolinone (MBOA-N-Glc) is an insect detoxification product of maize 1,4-benzoxazin-3-ones.

    PubMed

    Maag, Daniel; Dalvit, Claudio; Thevenet, Damien; Köhler, Angela; Wouters, Felipe C; Vassão, Daniel G; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Turlings, Ted C J; Erb, Matthias; Glauser, Gaetan

    2014-06-01

    In order to defend themselves against arthropod herbivores, maize plants produce 1,4-benzoxazin-3-ones (BXs), which are stored as weakly active glucosides in the vacuole. Upon tissue disruption, BXs come into contact with β-glucosidases, resulting in the release of active aglycones and their breakdown products. While some aglycones can be reglucosylated by specialist herbivores, little is known about how they detoxify BX breakdown products. Here we report on the structure of an N-glucoside, 3-β-d-glucopyranosyl-6-methoxy-2-benzoxazolinone (MBOA-N-Glc), purified from Spodoptera frugiperda faeces. In vitro assays showed that MBOA-N-Glc is formed enzymatically in the insect gut using the BX breakdown product 6-methoxy-2-benzoxazolinone (MBOA) as precursor. While Spodoptera littoralis and S. frugiperda caterpillars readily glucosylated MBOA, larvae of the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis were hardly able to process the molecule. Accordingly, Spodoptera caterpillar growth was unaffected by the presence of MBOA, while O. nubilalis growth was reduced. We conclude that glucosylation of MBOA is an important detoxification mechanism that helps insects tolerate maize BXs. PMID:24713572

  5. Life Cycle Assessment Software for Product and Process Sustainability Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vervaeke, Marina

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, life cycle assessment (LCA), a methodology for assessment of environmental impacts of products and services, has become increasingly important. This methodology is applied by decision makers in industry and policy, product developers, environmental managers, and other non-LCA specialists working on environmental issues in a wide…

  6. Sustain

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2013-08-20

    Current building energy simulation technology requires excessive labor, time and expertise to create building energy models, excessive computational time for accurate simulations and difficulties with the interpretation of the results. These deficiencies can be ameliorated using modern graphical user interfaces and algorithms which take advantage of modern computer architectures and display capabilities. To prove this hypothesis, we developed an experimental test bed for building energy simulation. This novel test bed environment offers an easy-to-use interactivemore » graphical interface, provides access to innovative simulation modules that run at accelerated computational speeds, and presents new graphics visualization methods to interpret simulation results. Our system offers the promise of dramatic ease of use in comparison with currently available building energy simulation tools. Its modular structure makes it suitable for early stage building design, as a research platform for the investigation of new simulation methods, and as a tool for teaching concepts of sustainable design. Improvements in the accuracy and execution speed of many of the simulation modules are based on the modification of advanced computer graphics rendering algorithms. Significant performance improvements are demonstrated in several computationally expensive energy simulation modules. The incorporation of these modern graphical techniques should advance the state of the art in the domain of whole building energy analysis and building performance simulation, particularly at the conceptual design stage when decisions have the greatest impact. More importantly, these better simulation tools will enable the transition from prescriptive to performative energy codes, resulting in better, more efficient designs for our future built environment.« less

  7. Genetic Properties of the Maize Nested Association Mapping Population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize is one of the world’s most diverse species, and this variation can be used to understand the molecular basis of phenotypic variation and to improve agricultural efficiency and sustainability. To access this genetic variation, 25 diverse inbred maize lines were crossed to the B73 reference lin...

  8. Effects of poultry manure, compost, and biochar amendments on soil nitrogen dynamics in maize production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryals, R.; Tang, J.; Hastings, M. G.; Dell, C. J.; Sims, T.

    2013-12-01

    Intensification of animal agriculture has profound impacts on the global and local biogeochemistry of nitrogen (N), resulting in consequences to environmental and human health. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, intensive agriculture is the primary contributor to N pollution, with animal manure comprising more than half of N from agriculture. Management interventions may play an important role in mitigating reactive N pollution in the Bay watershed. The objective of our research was to test management strategies that maximize benefits of poultry manure as an agricultural resource while minimizing it as a source of reactive nitrogen to the atmosphere and ground and surface waters. We conducted field experiments in two agricultural regions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed (Georgetown, Delaware and State College, Pennsylvania) to explore the effects of poultry manure amendments on gaseous N losses and soil N transformations. Treatments were applied at rates needed to meet the plant N demand at each site and included unfertilized controls, fertilizer N (urea), and raw, composted, or and biocharred poultry manure. The fate of the N from all sources was followed throughout the growing season. Global greenhouse gases emitted from soil (nitrous oxide [N2O] and carbon dioxide [CO2]) and regional air pollutants (nitrogen oxides [NOx] and ammonia [NH3]) were measured. Gas measurements were coupled with data on treatment effects on temperature, moisture, and concentrations of nitrate (NO3¬-) and ammonium (NH4+) in surface soils (0-10 cm). Soil NO3- and NH4+ were also measured approximately monthly in the soil profile (0-10, 10-30, 30-50, 50-70, and 70-100 cm) as an index of leaching potential. Plant N uptake and grain production were also quantified to quantify crop N use efficiency and compare measured N losses for each N source. Our results suggest that the form of poultry manure amendments can affect the magnitude of reactive N losses to the environment.

  9. Role of biochar in low carbon sustainable crop production of China: a synthesizing analysis of field studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Jufeng; Liu, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Afeng; Wu, Gang; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Kun; Li, Lianqing; Liu, Yuming; Qu, Jingjing; Zhang, Dengxiao; Kubie, Grace; Muhanmud, Siddie; Pan, Genxing

    2013-04-01

    BSA (BSA) has been proposed as a measure to enhance soil organic C sequestration and mitigate greenhouse gas emission from world croplands. In this study, results of BSA field experiments with rice paddy and dry croplands in 7 sites over China were synthesized for addressing an overall role of biochar in low carbon sustainable crop production. Soil amendment at rates of 0, 20 t ha-1 and 40 t ha-1 of biochar via pyrolysis from wheat straw at 35o-550°was performed consistently across the sites with local conventional fertilization and crop managements. Soil emission monitoring of non-CO2 greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O) was conducted at 1 week interval during crop growing season in the year of BSA all sites and the subsequent year after BSA in some sites. Yield and properties, greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O) and C intensity were assessed. The results from single experiments were synthesized for quantifying the relative changes in yield and GWP with BSA as well as changes in soil properties. BSA increased significantly soil pH, TN, SOC and decrease soil bulk density. On average, crop yield was significantly increased (~6% for rice and 10%~18% for maize) at an extent higher in croplands than in rice paddies. While BSA reduced slightly CH4 uptake in dry cropland, increases in CH4 emission showed a large uncertainty related to soil and climate condition as well as water regime from rice paddies. However,N2O emission from treated croplands were significantly reduced with BSA by 37~48% across sites. As the integration effect, global warming potential (GWP) and C intensity were decreased averagely by over 30% agriculture production (38% ~ 44% in dry cropland and 22% ~ 42% in paddy soil) with BSA, which was a great contribution to mitigation of CO2 in Chinese agriculture. The results further implicated BSA to cropland may to develop sustainable low carbon agriculture as a feasible measure. Key words: Biochar soil application, soil properties, C sequestration, CH4 and N2O

  10. Spatial Coordination of Aluminum Uptake, Production of Reactive Oxygen Species, Callose Production and Wall Rigidification in Maize Roots

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aluminum toxicity associated with acid soils represents one of the biggest limitations to crop production worldwide. Although Al specifically inhibits the elongation of root cells, the exact mechanism by which this growth reduction occurs remains controversial. The aim of this study was to investiga...

  11. 77 FR 10939 - Driving Innovation and Creating Jobs in Rural America Through Biobased and Sustainable Product...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-24

    ... memorandum in the Federal Register. (Presidential Sig.) THE WHITE HOUSE, Washington, February 21, 2012 [FR... Creating Jobs in Rural America Through Biobased and Sustainable Product Procurement Memorandum for the... procurement of biobased products to promote rural economic development, create new jobs, and provide...

  12. Conservation Considerations for Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production: If, What, Where, and How Much?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased awareness of the need to achieve energy independence and security has resulted in many questions regarding the use of agricultural products as feedstock for bioenergy production. Initial efforts with grain crops, though successful, raised many more questions regarding sustainability and po...

  13. Integrated Metrics for Improving the Life Cycle Approach to Assessing Product System Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    Life cycle approaches are critical for identifying and managing to reduce burdens in the sustainability of product systems. While these methods can indicate potential environmental impacts of a product, current Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods fail to integrate the multiple im...

  14. Biogeochemical research priorities for sustainable biofuel and bioenergy feedstock production in the Americas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demands on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustaina...

  15. Modification of evapotranspiration model based on effective resistance to estimate evapotranspiration of maize for seed production in an arid region of northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Xuelian; Kang, Shaozhong; Tong, Ling; Li, Fusheng

    2016-07-01

    To estimate evapotranspiration (ET) of heterogeneous canopy of maize for seed production accurately, an ET model was developed based on effective resistance after field experiments were conducted from March to September in 2013 and 2014 in an arid region of northwest China. The effective resistance of maize including effective surface (rce) and aerodynamic (rae) resistance was estimated using different methods, and then the Penman-Monteith model (P-M model) based on effective resistance was used to estimate daily ET of maize over the whole growing stage. Results showed that when the fraction cover of the canopy (fc) = 1, the estimated rce by aggregating female and male canopy resistances in parallel, was closer to the measured rce (rcec), which was obtained by inverting the P-M model based on effective resistance using measured ET by the eddy covariance (EC) system. When fc < 1, the calculated rce by aggregating female and male canopy resistances and soil resistance in parallel, weighed by fc, was significantly higher than rcec, but the estimated rce by aggregating female and male canopy resistances and soil resistance in parallel, weighed by leaf area index (LAI), was closer to rcec. The P-M model based on effective resistance by aggregating the plant and soil resistance in parallel, weighed by fc, underestimated ET measured by the EC system (ETEC) at the late stage, while the estimated ET using the P-M model based on effective resistance by aggregating the plant and soil resistances in parallel, weighed by LAI (ETPL), was closer to ETEC over the whole growing stage, with higher coefficient of determination and modified coefficient of efficiency, and lower mean absolute bias error and root mean square error. ETPL was only 2% lower than ETEC in 2013 and 1% higher than ETEC in 2014. Thus the P-M model using the effective resistance by aggregating the plant and soil resistances in parallel, weighed by LAI, is more suitable for estimating water use of maize for seed

  16. An investigation on different harvesting methods on young pods of KKU # 922 maize (Zea mays L.) cultivar for baby corn production.

    PubMed

    Kasikranan, S

    2011-04-01

    This study aimed to search for the best indicator to be used for the harvest of maize pods for baby corn production. A Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replications was used. The treatments are: T1 (Control) Taking sample when silks of female flower had extended from tip of pod up to 3 cm long T2, silks had extended 1 cm long T3, silks had extended 2 cm long T4, blooming of female flower for 2 days T5, blooming of female flowers for 4 days T6, blooming of female flower for 6 days T7, one third blooming of male flower T8, two third blooming of male flower and T9, full bloom of male flower. Five baby corn Characteristics were used i.e., (1) fresh weight of whole ears, (2) fresh weight of ears without husk, (3) commercial standard ears, (4) off standard ears and (5) disordered kernel-rows of ears. A range of scores from 1 to 9 was applied to judge quality and yield in each item of the five baby corn characteristics. A score of 1 = the best whilst further increases in scores indicated the decline in quality of baby corn. The results showed that an indicator for use in harvesting pods of maize for baby corn production was found with T6, i.e. the best time for the harvest of pods is when the female flowers had bloomed for 6 days after the appearance of silks. PMID:21902059

  17. Production of a Highly Protease-Resistant Fungal α-Galactosidase in Transgenic Maize Seeds for Simplified Feed Processing.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wenxia; Zhang, Yuhong; Zhou, Xiaojin; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Xiaolu; Chen, Rumei; Meng, Qingchang; Yuan, Jianhua; Yang, Peilong; Yao, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Raffinose-family oligosaccharide (RFO) in soybeans is one of the major anti-nutritional factors for poultry and livestocks. α-Galactosidase is commonly supplemented into the animal feed to hydrolyze α-1,6-galactosidic bonds on the RFOs. To simplify the feed processing, a protease-resistant α-galactosidase encoding gene from Gibberella sp. strain F75, aga-F75, was modified by codon optimization and heterologously expressed in the embryos of transgentic maize driven by the embryo-specific promoter ZM-leg1A. The progenies were produced by backcrossing with the commercial inbred variety Zheng58. PCR, southern blot and western blot analysis confirmed the stable integration and tissue specific expression of the modified gene, aga-F75m, in seeds over four generations. The expression level of Aga-F75M reached up to 10,000 units per kilogram of maize seeds. In comparison with its counterpart produced in Pichia pastoris strain GS115, maize seed-derived Aga-F75M showed a lower temperature optimum (50 °C) and lower stability over alkaline pH range, but better thermal stability at 60 °C to 70 °C and resistance to feed pelleting inactivation (80 °C). This is the first report of producing α-galactosidase in transgenic plant. The study offers an effective and economic approach for direct utilization of α-galactosidase-producing maize without any purification or supplementation procedures in the feed processing. PMID:26053048

  18. Production of a Highly Protease-Resistant Fungal α-Galactosidase in Transgenic Maize Seeds for Simplified Feed Processing

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiaojin; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Xiaolu; Chen, Rumei; Meng, Qingchang; Yuan, Jianhua; Yang, Peilong; Yao, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Raffinose-family oligosaccharide (RFO) in soybeans is one of the major anti-nutritional factors for poultry and livestocks. α-Galactosidase is commonly supplemented into the animal feed to hydrolyze α-1,6-galactosidic bonds on the RFOs. To simplify the feed processing, a protease-resistant α-galactosidase encoding gene from Gibberella sp. strain F75, aga-F75, was modified by codon optimization and heterologously expressed in the embryos of transgentic maize driven by the embryo-specific promoter ZM-leg1A. The progenies were produced by backcrossing with the commercial inbred variety Zheng58. PCR, southern blot and western blot analysis confirmed the stable integration and tissue specific expression of the modified gene, aga-F75m, in seeds over four generations. The expression level of Aga-F75M reached up to 10,000 units per kilogram of maize seeds. In comparison with its counterpart produced in Pichia pastoris strain GS115, maize seed-derived Aga-F75M showed a lower temperature optimum (50°C) and lower stability over alkaline pH range, but better thermal stability at 60°C to 70°C and resistance to feed pelleting inactivation (80°C). This is the first report of producing α-galactosidase in transgenic plant. The study offers an effective and economic approach for direct utilization of α-galactosidase-producing maize without any purification or supplementation procedures in the feed processing. PMID:26053048

  19. The Role of Diverse Strategies in Sustainable Knowledge Production.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lingfei; Baggio, Jacopo A; Janssen, Marco A

    2016-01-01

    Online communities are becoming increasingly important as platforms for large-scale human cooperation. These communities allow users seeking and sharing professional skills to solve problems collaboratively. To investigate how users cooperate to complete a large number of knowledge-producing tasks, we analyze Stack Exchange, one of the largest question and answer systems in the world. We construct attention networks to model the growth of 110 communities in the Stack Exchange system and quantify individual answering strategies using the linking dynamics on attention networks. We identify two answering strategies. Strategy A aims at performing maintenance by doing simple tasks, whereas strategy B aims at investing time in doing challenging tasks. Both strategies are important: empirical evidence shows that strategy A decreases the median waiting time for answers and strategy B increases the acceptance rate of answers. In investigating the strategic persistence of users, we find that users tends to stick on the same strategy over time in a community, but switch from one strategy to the other across communities. This finding reveals the different sets of knowledge and skills between users. A balance between the population of users taking A and B strategies that approximates 2:1, is found to be optimal to the sustainable growth of communities. PMID:26934733

  20. The Role of Diverse Strategies in Sustainable Knowledge Production

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Lingfei; Baggio, Jacopo A.; Janssen, Marco A.

    2016-01-01

    Online communities are becoming increasingly important as platforms for large-scale human cooperation. These communities allow users seeking and sharing professional skills to solve problems collaboratively. To investigate how users cooperate to complete a large number of knowledge-producing tasks, we analyze Stack Exchange, one of the largest question and answer systems in the world. We construct attention networks to model the growth of 110 communities in the Stack Exchange system and quantify individual answering strategies using the linking dynamics on attention networks. We identify two answering strategies. Strategy A aims at performing maintenance by doing simple tasks, whereas strategy B aims at investing time in doing challenging tasks. Both strategies are important: empirical evidence shows that strategy A decreases the median waiting time for answers and strategy B increases the acceptance rate of answers. In investigating the strategic persistence of users, we find that users tends to stick on the same strategy over time in a community, but switch from one strategy to the other across communities. This finding reveals the different sets of knowledge and skills between users. A balance between the population of users taking A and B strategies that approximates 2:1, is found to be optimal to the sustainable growth of communities. PMID:26934733

  1. Fine mapping of Msv1, a major QTL for resistance to Maize Streak Virus leads to development of production markers for breeding pipelines.

    PubMed

    Nair, Sudha K; Babu, Raman; Magorokosho, Cosmos; Mahuku, George; Semagn, Kassa; Beyene, Yoseph; Das, Biswanath; Makumbi, Dan; Lava Kumar, P; Olsen, Michael; Boddupalli, Prasanna M

    2015-09-01

    Msv1 , the major QTL for MSV resistance was delimited to an interval of 0.87 cM on chromosome 1 at 87 Mb and production markers with high prediction accuracy were developed. Maize streak virus (MSV) disease is a devastating disease in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which causes significant yield loss in maize. Resistance to MSV has previously been mapped to a major QTL (Msv1) on chromosome 1 that is germplasm and environment independent and to several minor loci elsewhere in the genome. In this study, Msv1 was fine-mapped through QTL isogenic recombinant strategy using a large F 2 population of CML206 × CML312 to an interval of 0.87 cM on chromosome 1. Genome-wide association study was conducted in the DTMA (Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa)-Association mapping panel with 278 tropical/sub-tropical breeding lines from CIMMYT using the high-density genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) markers. This study identified 19 SNPs in the region between 82 and 93 Mb on chromosome 1(B73 RefGen_V2) at a P < 1.00E-04, which coincided with the fine-mapped region of Msv1. Haplotype trend regression identified a haplotype block significantly associated with response to MSV. Three SNPs in this haplotype block at 87 Mb on chromosome 1 had an accuracy of 0.94 in predicting the disease reaction in a collection of breeding lines with known responses to MSV infection. In two biparental populations, selection for resistant Msv1 haplotype demonstrated a reduction of 1.03-1.39 units on a rating scale of 1-5, compared to the susceptible haplotype. High-throughput KASP assays have been developed for these three SNPs to enable routine marker screening in the breeding pipeline for MSV resistance. PMID:26081946

  2. Productivity ranges of sustainable biomass potentials from non-agricultural land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schueler, Vivian; Fuss, Sabine; Steckel, Jan Christoph; Weddige, Ulf; Beringer, Tim

    2016-07-01

    Land is under pressure from a number of demands, including the need for increased supplies of bioenergy. While bioenergy is an important ingredient in many pathways compatible with reaching the 2 °C target, areas where cultivation of the biomass feedstock would be most productive appear to co-host other important ecosystems services. We categorize global geo-data on land availability into productivity deciles, and provide a geographically explicit assessment of potentials that are concurrent with EU sustainability criteria. The deciles unambiguously classify the global productivity range of potential land currently not in agricultural production for biomass cultivation. Results show that 53 exajoule (EJ) sustainable biomass potential are available from 167 million hectares (Mha) with a productivity above 10 tons of dry matter per hectare and year (tD Mha‑1 a‑1), while additional 33 EJ are available on 264 Mha with yields between 4 and 10 tD M ha‑1 a‑1: some regions lose less of their highly productive potentials to sustainability concerns than others and regional contributions to bioenergy potentials shift when less productive land is considered. Challenges to limit developments to the exploitation of sustainable potentials arise in Latin America, Africa and Developing Asia, while new opportunities emerge for Transition Economies and OECD countries to cultivate marginal land.

  3. Developing sustainable management practices for organic rice production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Demand for organically produced rice has been increasing with up to 50,000 acres now produced in the USA. Although acreage of conventional rice production has decreased in Texas by 36% during the last 15 years, it is now home to some 15,000 acres of organic rice, which has brought new vitality to ot...

  4. Sustainable bioenergy production from marginal lands in the US Midwest

    SciTech Connect

    Gelfand, Ilya; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Gross, Katherine L.; Robertson, G. P.

    2013-01-24

    Long-term measurements of global warming impact coupled with spatially explicit modeling suggests that both climate benefits and the production potential of cellulosic crops grown on marginal lands of the US North Central region are substantial but will be insufficient to meet long-term biofuel needs.

  5. Sustainable Harvests Through Increased Utilization of Salmon By-Products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The growing demand for fish meals and oils has produced a steady rise in the market price garnered by these commodities. However, the practice of discarding fish-processing wastes is still widespread. Alaska’s fishing industry generates over one million metric tons of fish by-products each year, muc...

  6. Soil Biochar Applications Enhance Sustainability of Bioenergy Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop residues return plant nutrients to soils and are critically important for nutrient cycling, maintaining levels of soil organic matter, and stabilizing soil structure. Removal of crop residues for use as feedstock for bioenergy production could adversely impact soil quality, reduce net energy pr...

  7. Switchgrass: a productive, profitable, and sustainable biofuel feedstock

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass is a model biofuel feedstock for the USA. Progress has been made in all areas of switchgrass for bioenergy and a complete field-validated biomass production system has been developed. However, switchgrass for bioenergy has not been adopted on a large scale. This is a classic chicken-and-...

  8. Sustaining Motivation and Productivity during Significant Organizational Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pellak, Mary T.

    2001-01-01

    Discussion of organizational change and possible negative effects which can impact organizational performance focuses on ways a manager can identify problems with employee motivation and productivity and address them in a supportive manner. Topics include clear expectations, open communication, and recognizing employee efforts. (Author/LRW)

  9. Alfalfa -- a sustainable crop for biomass energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) has the potential to be a significant contributor to America's renewable energy future. In an alfalfa biomass energy production system, alfalfa forage would be separated into stem and leave fractions. The stems would be processed to produce energy, and the leaves would be s...

  10. A European perspective on maize history.

    PubMed

    Tenaillon, Maud Irène; Charcosset, Alain

    2011-03-01

    Maize was domesticated at least 8700 years ago in the highlands of Mexico. Genome-wide studies have greatly contributed to shed light into the diffusion of maize through the Americas from its center of origin. Also the presence of two European introductions in southern and northern Europe is now established. Such a spread was accompanied by an extreme diversification, and adaptation to the long days and low temperatures of temperate climates has been a key step in maize evolution. Linkage mapping and association mapping have successfully led to the identification of a handful set of the genetic factors that have contributed to maize adaptation, opening the way to new discoveries. Ultimately, these alleles will contribute to sustain breeding efforts to meet the new challenges raised by the evolution of mankind. PMID:21377617

  11. Investigation of water productivity for maize with focus on the difference in global radiation between a greenhouse and a field site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloss, Sebastian; Schütze, Niels

    2015-04-01

    Simulation models for crop growth become increasingly important to investigate yield development and water consumption, which help reducing the experimental expenditures and performing scenario analyses, particularly in the light of finding adaption strategies to cope with limited water supply. Often, small pot greenhouse experiments are conducted to evaluate the suitability of a crop or a certain irrigation strategy. Results from such experiments serve then as a recommended management practice for application in the field. Previous investigations on water productivity for maize from greenhouse experiments have shown, that crop growth modeling was only successful when observed global radiation was increased by more than 50%. This suggests a higher exposure to global radiation of the crop in greenhouses and makes the transfer of results to the field difficult. In this contribution, a study is presented that investigates WP of maize with focus on the difference in global radiation between a greenhouse and field site. An intensively monitored irrigation experiment with containers in a greenhouse was conducted. Two deficit and one full irrigation treatments for two different soils were investigated. Irrigation was controlled by a soil-water potential sensor capable of measuring tensions between pF0 and pF7 with the goal to achieve a high WP. Other sensors included tensiometers, TDR, VH400 soil water sensors, and Hydra probes. Two containers were placed on scales which served as minilysimeters to determine the soil-water balance throughout the growing period of the crop. All containers were placed so that no shading would occur between them. The greenhouse was compared to an outdoor site with an equal setup of maize grown in containers and a field site with maize growing under field conditions. Measurements of the global radiation between those three sites were taken in weekly intervals with a sensor measuring the global radiation from six spatial directions at the same

  12. Sustainable production of green feed from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

    PubMed

    Landau, Miron V; Vidruk, Roxana; Herskowitz, Moti

    2014-03-01

    Carbon dioxide hydrogenation to form hydrocarbons was conducted on two iron-based catalysts, prepared according to procedures described in the literature, and on a new iron spinel catalyst. The CO2 conversion measured in a packed-bed reactor was limited to about 60% because of excessive amounts of water produced in this process. Switching to a system of three packed-bed reactors in series with interim removal of water and condensed hydrocarbons increased CO2 conversion to as much as 89%. The pure spinel catalyst displayed a significantly higher activity and selectivity than those of the other iron catalysts. This process produces a product called green feed, which is similar in composition to the product of a high-temperature, iron-based Fischer–Tropsch process from syngas. The green feed can be readily converted into renewable fuels by well-established technologies. PMID:24678062

  13. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Explorations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2010-01-01

    Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an outcome of lean thinking to eliminate waste and increase productivity. PLM is inextricably tied to the systems engineering business philosophy, coupled with a methodology by which personnel, processes and practices, and information technology combine to form an architecture platform for product design, development, manufacturing, operations, and decommissioning. In this model, which is being implemented by the Engineering Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Marshall Space Flight Center, total lifecycle costs are important variables for critical decision-making. With the ultimate goal to deliver quality products that meet or exceed requirements on time and within budget, PLM is a powerful concept to shape everything from engineering trade studies and testing goals, to integrated vehicle operations and retirement scenarios. This paper will demonstrate how the Engineering Directorate is implementing PLM as part of an overall strategy to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable space exploration solutions. It has been 30 years since the United States fielded the Space Shuttle. The next generation space transportation system requires a paradigm shift such that digital tools and knowledge management, which are central elements of PLM, are used consistently to maximum effect. The outcome is a better use of scarce resources, along with more focus on stakeholder and customer requirements, as a new portfolio of enabling tools becomes second nature to the workforce. This paper will use the design and manufacturing processes, which have transitioned to digital-based activities, to show how PLM supports the comprehensive systems engineering and integration function. It also will go through a launch countdown scenario where an anomaly is detected to show how the virtual vehicle created from paperless processes will help solve technical challenges and improve the likelihood of launching on schedule

  14. Fuel cell systems for a sustainable energy production

    SciTech Connect

    Kivisaari, T.

    1996-12-31

    When talking about fuel cell systems for stationary applications, two of the advantages are claimed to be a high inherent efficiency and environmentally favourable characteristics. It should, however, be obvious to everybody that in order to call an energy production route environmentally benign, it is not enough that just the energy production step itself has a low negative environmental impact, but that all steps involved (e.g. fuel pre-treatment, fuel processing etc.) should be subjected to the same constraints if the overall production process is to be considered environmentally friendly. In order to evaluate the technical possibilities of a biomass fuelled MCFC unit for stationary applications a system study of a 40 MWe biomass-fired MCFC system is currently carried out at The Royal Institute of Technology, as part of the international co-operation within the IEA Advanced Fuel Cell Programme Annex 1, Balance of Plant of MCFC Systems. In addition to the present work, other recent studies involving biomass and fuel cells can be found in literature.

  15. Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas.

    PubMed

    Gollany, Hero T; Titus, Brian D; Scott, D Andrew; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Resh, Sigrid C; Chimner, Rodney A; Kaczmarek, Donald J; Leite, Luiz F C; Ferreira, Ana C C; Rod, Kenton A; Hilbert, Jorge; Galdos, Marcelo V; Cisz, Michelle E

    2015-12-01

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demand on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates, and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils, and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure the long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape. PMID:26006220

  16. Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gollany, Hero T.; Titus, Brian D.; Scott, D. Andrew; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Resh, Sigrid C.; Chimner, Rodney A.; Kaczmarek, Donald J.; Leite, Luiz F. C.; Ferreira, Ana C. C.; Rod, Kenton A.; Hilbert, Jorge; Galdos, Marcelo V.; Cisz, Michelle E.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demand on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates, and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils, and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure the long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape.

  17. [Sustainable production of bulk chemicals by application of "white biotechnology"].

    PubMed

    Patel, M K; Dornburg, V; Hermann, B G; Shen, Li; van Overbeek, Leo

    2008-12-01

    Practically all organic chemicals and plastics are nowadays produced from crude oil and natural gas. However, it is possible to produce a wide range of bulk chemicals from renewable resources by application of biotechnology. This paper focuses on White Biotechnology, which makes use of bacteria (or yeasts) or enzymes for the conversion of the fermentable sugar to the target product. It is shown that White Biotechnology offers substantial savings of non-renewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for nearly all of the products studied. Under favorable boundary conditions up to two thirds (67%) of the current non-renewable energy use for the production of the selected chemicals can be saved by 2050 if substantial technological progress is made and if the use of lignocellulosic feedstocks is successfully developed. The analysis for Europe (E.U. 25 countries) shows that land requirements related to White Biotechnology chemicals are not likely to become a critical issue in the next few decades, especially considering the large unused and underutilized resources in Eastern Europe. Substantial macroeconomic savings can be achieved under favourable boundary conditions. In principle, natural bacteria and enzymes can be used for White Biotechnology but, according to many experts in the fields, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) will be necessary in order to achieve the high yields, concentrations and productivities that are required to reach economic viability. Safe containment and inactivation of GMOs after release is very important because not all possible implications caused by the interaction of recombinant genes with other populations can be foreseen. If adequate precautionary measures are taken, the risks related to the use of genetically modified organisms in White Biotechnology are manageable. We conclude that the core requirements to be fulfilled in order to make clear steps towards a bio-based chemical industry are substantial technological progress in the

  18. Network analysis of maize RNA transport pathway genes associated with maize resistance to aflatoxin accumulation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus flavus is a pathogenic fungus producing alfatoxins that cause significant economic losses in maize production. This study analyzes the differences in expression levels of maize genes in response to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin accumulation. Identification of defense related genes an...

  19. Performance of a novel two-phase continuously fed leach bed reactor for demand-based biogas production from maize silage.

    PubMed

    Linke, Bernd; Rodríguez-Abalde, Ángela; Jost, Carsten; Krieg, Andreas

    2015-02-01

    This study investigated the potential of producing biogas on demand from maize silage using a novel two-phase continuously fed leach bed reactor (LBR) which is connected to an anaerobic filter (AF). Six different feeding patterns, each for 1week, were studied at a weekly average of a volatile solids (VS) loading rate of 4.5 g L(-1) d(-1) and a temperature of 38°C. Methane production from the LBR and AF responded directly proportional to the VS load from the different daily feeding and resulted in an increase up to 50-60% per day, compared to constant feeding each day. The feeding patterns had no impact on VS methane yield which corresponded on average to 330 L kg(-1). In spite of some daily shock loadings, carried out during the different feeding patterns study, the reactor performance was not affected. A robust and reliable biogas production from stalky biomass was demonstrated. PMID:25479391

  20. Maize, tropical (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Assem, Shireen K

    2015-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is the third most important food crop globally after wheat and rice. In sub-Saharan Africa, tropical maize has traditionally been the main staple of the diet; 95 % of the maize grown is consumed directly as human food and as an important source of income for the resource-poor rural population. The biotechnological approach to engineer biotic and abiotic traits implies the availability of an efficient plant transformation method. The production of genetically transformed plants depends both on the ability to integrate foreign genes into target cells and the efficiency with which plants are regenerated. Maize transformation and regeneration through immature embryo culture is the most efficient system to regenerate normal transgenic plants. However, this system is highly genotype dependent. Genotypes adapted to tropic areas are difficult to regenerate. Therefore, transformation methods used with model genotypes adapted to temperate areas are not necessarily efficient with tropical lines. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is the method of choice since it has been first achieved in 1996. In this report, we describe a transformation method used successfully with several tropical maize lines. All the steps of transformation and regeneration are described in details. This protocol can be used with a wide variety of tropical lines. However, some modifications may be needed with recalcitrant lines. PMID:25300835

  1. Sustained cyclic AMP production by parathyroid hormone receptor endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Ferrandon, Sébastien; Feinstein, Timothy N; Castro, Marian; Wang, Bin; Bouley, Richard; Potts, John T; Gardella, Thomas J; Vilardaga, Jean-Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Cell signaling mediated by the G protein-coupled parathyroid hormone receptor type 1 (PTHR) is fundamental to bone and kidney physiology. It has been unclear how the two ligand systems—PTH, endocrine and homeostatic, and PTH-related peptide (PTHrP), paracrine—can effectively operate with only one receptor and trigger different durations of the cAMP responses. Here we analyze the ligand response by measuring the kinetics of activation and deactivation for each individual reaction step along the PTHR signaling cascade. We found that during the time frame of G protein coupling and cAMP production, PTHrP1–36 action was restricted to the cell surface, whereas PTH1–34 had moved to internalized compartments where it remained associated with the PTHR and Gαs, potentially as a persistent and active ternary complex. Such marked differences suggest a mechanism by which PTH and PTHrP induce differential responses, and these results indicate that the central tenet that cAMP production originates exclusively at the cell membrane must be revised. PMID:19701185

  2. Novel transparent electrodes allow sustainable production of electronic devices

    SciTech Connect

    Constant, Kristen

    2010-12-27

    A novel technique for fabricating inexpensive, transparent electrodes from common metals has been developed by engineers and scientists at Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory. They exhibit very high transparency and are very good electrical conductors. This is a combination of properties that is difficult to achieve with common materials. The most frequently used transparent electrode in today's high-technology devices (such as LCD screens) is indium tin oxide (ITO). While ITO performs well in these applications, the supply of indium is very limited. In addition, it is rapidly decreasing as consumer demand for flat-panel electronics is skyrocketing. According to a 2004 US Geological Survey report, as little as 14 years exploitation of known indium reserves remains. In addition to increasing prices, the dwindling supply of indium suggests its use is not sustainable for future generations of electronics enthusiasts. Solar cells represent another application where transparent electrodes are used. To make solar-energy collection economically feasible, all parts of solar photovoltaics must be made more efficient and cost-effective. Our novel transparent electrodes have the potential to do both. In addition, there is much interest in developing more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly lighting. Incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient, because most of their energy consumption is wasted as heat. Fluorescent lighting is much more efficient but still uses mercury, an environmental toxin. An attractive alternative is offered by LEDs, which have very high efficiencies and long lifetimes, and do not contain mercury. If made bright enough, LED use for general lighting could provide a viable alternative. We have fabricated electrodes from more commonly available materials, using a technique that is cost effective and environmentally friendly. Most of today's electronic devices are made in specialized facilities equipped with low

  3. Agriculture: Weather dilemma for African maize

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auffhammer, Maximilian

    2011-04-01

    The impact of climate change on food production remains uncertain, particularly in the tropics. Research that exploits the results of historical crop trials indicates that Africa's maize crop could be at risk of significant yield losses.

  4. Molecular Genetics of Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Maize.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The mitochondrial genome encodes proteins essential for mitochondrial respiration and ATP synthesis. Nuclear gene products, however, are required for the expression of mitochondrial genes and the elaboration of functional mitochondrial protein complexes. We are exploiting a unique collection of maiz...

  5. Tailoring lignin biosynthesis for efficient and sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang-Jun; Cai, Yuanheng; Zhang, Xuebin; Gou, Mingyue; Yang, Huijun

    2014-12-01

    Increased global interest in a bio-based economy has reinvigorated the research on the cell wall structure and composition in plants. In particular, the study of plant lignification has become a central focus, with respect to its intractability and negative impact on the utilization of the cell wall biomass for producing biofuels and bio-based chemicals. Striking progress has been achieved in the last few years both on our fundamental understanding of lignin biosynthesis, deposition and assembly, and on the interplay of lignin synthesis with the plant growth and development. With the knowledge gleaned from basic studies, researchers are now able to invent and develop elegant biotechnological strategies to sophisticatedly manipulate the quantity and structure of lignin and thus to create economically viable bioenergy feedstocks. These concerted efforts open an avenue for the commercial production of cost-competitive biofuel to meet our energy needs. PMID:25209835

  6. Denitrification 'Woodchip' Bioreactors for Productive and Sustainable Agricultural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christianson, L. E.; Summerfelt, S.; Sharrer, K.; Lepine, C.; Helmers, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Growing alarm about negative cascading effects of reactive nitrogen in the environment has led to multifaceted efforts to address elevated nitrate-nitrogen levels in water bodies worldwide. The best way to mitigate N-related impacts, such as hypoxic zones and human health concerns, is to convert nitrate to stable, non-reactive dinitrogen gas through the natural process of denitrification. This means denitrification technologies need to be one of our major strategies for tackling the grand challenge of managing human-induced changes to our global nitrogen cycle. While denitrification technologies have historically been focused on wastewater treatment, there is great interest in new lower-tech options for treating effluent and drainage water from one of our largest reactive nitrogen emitters -- agriculture. Denitrification 'woodchip' bioreactors are able to enhance this natural N-conversion via addition of a solid carbon source (e.g., woodchips) and through designs that facilitate development of anoxic conditions required for denitrification. Wood-based denitrification technologies such as woodchip bioreactors and 'sawdust' walls for groundwater have been shown to be effective at reducing nitrate loads in agricultural settings around the world. Designing these systems to be low-maintenance and to avoid removing land from agricultural production has been a primary focus of this "farmer-friendly" technology. This presentation provides a background on woodchip bioreactors including design considerations, N-removal performance, and current research worldwide. Woodchip bioreactors for the agricultural sector are an accessible new option to address society's interest in improving water quality while simultaneously allowing highly productive agricultural systems to continue to provide food in the face of increasing demand, changing global diets, and fluctuating weather.

  7. Paths Forward: Current International and US Initiatives to Support More Sustainable Options for Uranium Production

    SciTech Connect

    Rehmann, M.; Rood, C.; Keefe, M.

    2008-07-01

    With the nuclear renaissance, the uranium mining industry has undergone a dramatic renaissance, as well. This has been evidenced in the past 2 years with forums such as those organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and in the United States (US) the National Mining Association/Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NMA/NRC) workshops drawing record attendance by established and junior uranium mining firms. In addition, IAEA meetings, as well as meetings of the NMA, industry, and agencies have begun to focus, not on only on site closure - but on the growing industry and plans for permitting new uranium recovery facilities. Finally, the International Forum on Sustainable Options for Uranium Production (IFSOUP) has emerged to carry forward many recent cooperative dialogs and concepts developed in sustainability initiatives, bringing together industry, agencies and NGOs - with the view to developing more sustainable, socially-acceptable uranium recovery practices. In this context, this paper will present current international and US initiatives which are intended to support more sustainable options for uranium production. First, we will describe a new initiative for international cooperative dialogues, to build industry, agency and NGO cooperation for enhancing global sustainability in uranium production operations, and avoid the legacy issues found in past operations: the inaugural meeting of the International Forum on Sustainable Options for Uranium Production, or IFSOUP. IFSOUP will carry forward discussions of recent and present initiatives including the Global Mining Initiative; the Mining, Minerals, and Sustainable Development Initiative (MMSD); the International Council on Mining and Metals; and the sustainable development initiatives of the US National Mining Association. Consistent with the process of ensuring development of a sustainable uranium recovery industry, while factoring in stakeholder concerns, an initiative to promote strong regulation in

  8. Sustainability evaluation of Sicily's lemon and orange production: an energy, economic and environmental analysis.

    PubMed

    Pergola, M; D'Amico, M; Celano, G; Palese, A M; Scuderi, A; Di Vita, G; Pappalardo, G; Inglese, P

    2013-10-15

    The island of Sicily has a long standing tradition in citrus growing. We evaluated the sustainability of orange and lemon orchards, under organic and conventional farming, using an energy, environmental and economic analysis of the whole production cycle by using a life cycle assessment approach. These orchard systems differ only in terms of a few of the inputs used and the duration of the various agricultural operations. The quantity of energy consumption in the production cycle was calculated by multiplying the quantity of inputs used by the energy conversion factors drawn from the literature. The production costs were calculated considering all internal costs, including equipment, materials, wages, and costs of working capital. The performance of the two systems (organic and conventional), was compared over a period of fifty years. The results, based on unit surface area (ha) production, prove the stronger sustainability of the organic over the conventional system, both in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact, especially for lemons. The sustainability of organic systems is mainly due to the use of environmentally friendly crop inputs (fertilizers, not use of synthetic products, etc.). In terms of production costs, the conventional management systems were more expensive, and both systems were heavily influenced by wages. In terms of kg of final product, the organic production system showed better environmental and energy performances. PMID:23850762

  9. Development Of Sustainable Biobased Products And Bioenergy In Cooperation With The Midwest Consortium For Sustainable Biobased Products And Energy

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Ladisch; Randy Woodson

    2009-03-18

    Collaborative efforts of Midwest Consortium have been put forth to add value to distiller's grains by further processing them into fermentable sugars, ethanol, and a protein rich co-product consistent with a pathway to a biorenewables industry (Schell et al, 2008). These studies were recently published in the enclosed special edition (Volume 99, Issue 12) of Bioresource Technology journal. Part of them have demonstrated the utilization of distillers grains as additional feedstock for increased ethanol production in the current dry grind process (Kim et al., 2008a, b; Dien et al.,2008, Ladisch et al., 2008a, b). Results showed that both liquid hot water (LHW) pretreatment and ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) were effective for enhancing digestibility of distiller's grains. Enzymatic digestion of distiller's grains resulted in more than 90% glucose yield under standard assay conditions, although the yield tends to drop as the concentration of dry solids increases. Simulated process mass balances estimated that hydrolysis and fermentation of distillers grains can increase the ethanol yield by 14% in the current dry milling process (Kim et al., 2008c). Resulting co-products from the modified process are richer in protein and oil contents than conventional distiller's grains, as determined both experimentally and computationally. Other research topics in the special edition include water solubilization of DDGS by transesterification reaction with phosphite esters (Oshel el al., 2008) to improve reactivity of the DDGS to enzymes, hydrolysis of soluble oligomers derived from DDGS using functionalized mesoporous solid catalysts (Bootsma et al., 2008), and ABE (acetone, butanol, ethanol) production from DDGS by solventogenic Clostridia (Ezeji and Blaschek, 2008). Economic analysis of a modified dry milling process, where the fiber and residual starch is extracted and fermented to produce more ethanol from the distillers grains while producing highly concentrated protein co-product

  10. Technological challenges for boosting coal production with environmental sustainability.

    PubMed

    Ghose, Mrinal K

    2009-07-01

    The global energy requirement has grown at a phenomenon rate and the consumption of primary energy sources has been a very high positive growth. This paper focuses on the consumption of different primary energy sources and it identifies that coal will continue to remain as the prime energy source in foreseeable future. It examines the energy requirement perspective for India and demand of coal as the prime energy source. Economic development and poverty alleviation depend on securing affordable energy sources and Indian coal mining industry offers a bright future for the country's energy security, provided the industry is allowed to develop by supportive government policies and adopts latest technologies for mining. It is an irony that in-spite of having a plentiful reserves, India is not able to jack up coal production to meet its current and future demand. It discusses the strategies to be adopted for growth and meeting the coal demand. But such energy are very much concerned with environmental degradation and must be driven by contemporary managerial acumen addressing environmental and social challenges effectively The paper highlights the emissions of greenhouse gases due to burning of fossil fuels and environmental consequences of global warming and sea-level rise. Technological solutions for environment friendly coal mining and environmental laws for the abatement of environmental degradation are discussed in this paper. PMID:18604635

  11. ChLae1 and ChVel1 Regulate T-toxin Production, Virulence, Oxidative Stress Response, and Development of the Maize Pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Dongliang; Oide, Shinichi; Zhang, Ning; Choi, May Yee; Turgeon, B. Gillian

    2012-01-01

    LaeA and VeA coordinate secondary metabolism and differentiation in response to light signals in Aspergillus spp. Their orthologs, ChLae1 and ChVel1, were identified in the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus, known to produce a wealth of secondary metabolites, including the host selective toxin, T-toxin. Produced by race T, T-toxin promotes high virulence to maize carrying Texas male sterile cytoplasm (T-cms). T-toxin production is significantly increased in the dark in wild type (WT), whereas Chvel1 and Chlae1 mutant toxin levels are much reduced in the dark compared to WT. Correspondingly, expression of T-toxin biosynthetic genes (Tox1) is up-regulated in the dark in WT, while dark-induced expression is much reduced/minimal in Chvel1 and Chlae1 mutants. Toxin production and Tox1 gene expression are increased in ChVEL1 overexpression (OE) strains grown in the dark and in ChLAE1 strains grown in either light or dark, compared to WT. These observations establish ChLae1 and ChVel1 as the first factors known to regulate host selective toxin production. Virulence of Chlae1 and Chvel1 mutants and OE strains is altered on both T-cms and normal cytoplasm maize, indicating that both T-toxin mediated super virulence and basic pathogenic ability are affected. Deletion of ChLAE1 or ChVEL1 reduces tolerance to H2O2. Expression of CAT3, one of the three catalase genes, is reduced in the Chvel1 mutant. Chlae1 and Chvel1 mutants also show decreased aerial hyphal growth, increased asexual sporulation and female sterility. ChLAE1 OE strains are female sterile, while ChVEL1 OE strains are more fertile than WT. ChLae1 and ChVel1 repress expression of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin biosynthesis genes, and, accordingly, melanization is enhanced in Chlae1 and Chvel1 mutants, and reduced in OE strains. Thus, ChLae1 and ChVel1 positively regulate T-toxin biosynthesis, pathogenicity and super virulence, oxidative stress responses, sexual development, and aerial hyphal

  12. PLETS model: a sustainability-concept-based approach to product end-of-life management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunmade, Israel

    2004-12-01

    The need for sustainable product end-of-life management technologies is critical in today's globally competitive environment. The ever-increasing environmental consciousness of consumers and strictness in legislative regulations necessitate more prudent product decisions. The ability to make sound decisions on which product end-of-life management technologies to adopt is crucial to achieving sustainability of the product systems. It is essential that effective assessments of these technologies for future investment and applications indicate the total economic, environmental and social impacts of each option as well as the trade-offs between the various product end-of-life management technologies. The tendency in modeling this decision scenario is to base the formulation and the analysis on crisp, deterministic, and precise data. The product end-of-life management decision environment is however characterized by a mix of crisp and linguistically expressed parameters, most of which are uncertain in nature. Furthermore, the decision makers are interested in selecting an option that both satisfies certain minimum requirements and maximize their utility from a set of feasible alternatives. The goal of this study therefore is to develop a simple, efficient procedure that provides the manufacturing and allied industry with the ability to assess and evaluate the sustainability of remanufacturing and related technologies based on lifecycle thinking. This methodology, termed "product lifecycle extension techniques selection (PLETS) model," is a hybrid of fuzzy logic and a number of multi-attribute decision making models. It can be used to determine the remanufacturability of each product. In addition, it can also be employed to compare the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the feasible set of the product end-of-life management technologies being considered. The proposed methodology is illustrated with an example of end-of-life management for a peanut

  13. Grain production versus resource and environmental costs: towards increasing sustainability of nutrient use in China.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Xiaoqiang; Lyu, Yang; Wu, Xiaobin; Li, Haigang; Cheng, Lingyun; Zhang, Chaochun; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Jiang, Baiwen; Rengel, Zed; Zhang, Fusuo; Davies, William J; Shen, Jianbo

    2016-09-01

    Over the past five decades, Chinese grain production has increased 4-fold, from 110 Mt in 1961 to 557 Mt in 2014, with less than 9% of the world's arable land feeding 22% of the world's population, indicating a substantial contribution to global food security. However, compared with developed economies, such as the USA and the European Union, more than half of the increased crop production in China can be attributed to a rapid increase in the consumption of chemicals, particularly fertilizers. Excessive fertilization has caused low nutrient use efficiency and high environmental costs in grain production. We analysed the key requirements underpinning increased sustainability of crop production in China, as follows: (i) enhance nutrient use efficiency and reduce nutrient losses by fertilizing roots not soil to maximize root/rhizosphere efficiency with innovative root zone nutrient management; (ii) improve crop productivity and resource use efficiency by matching the best agronomic management practices with crop improvement; and (iii) promote technology transfer of the root zone nutrient management to achieve the target of high yields and high efficiency with low environmental risks on a broad scale. Coordinating grain production and environmental protection by increasing the sustainability of nutrient use will be a key step in achieving sustainable crop production in Chinese agriculture. PMID:27489235

  14. Evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions in relation to irrigation methods and sustainable production in California orchard

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    California (CA) is one of the top agricultural production states in the United States of America (USA). Increasing water use efficiency and minimizing environmental impact are two of the major elements affecting sustainability of irrigated agriculture in CA. Field research has been conducted to eval...

  15. Influence of School Climate on Students' Achievement and Teachers' Productivity for Sustainable Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adeogun, A. A.; Olisaemeka, Blessing U.

    2011-01-01

    The study covers ten secondary schools in Lagos State of Nigeria. The purpose is to ascertain the relationship between school climate and student achievements and teachers' productivity for sustainable development. A total sample of 150 respondents was taken. Ten principals, seven teachers and seven students were randomly picked per school. This…

  16. Workshop on the Design of Sustainable Product Systems and Supply Chains; Final Report,

    EPA Science Inventory

    ABOUT THE WORKSHOP The Workshop on the Design of Sustainable Product Systems and Supply Chains was held September 12–13, 2011 at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) offices in Arlington, Virginia. The Workshop was co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (...

  17. DO BIO-BASED PRODUCTS MOVE US TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY? A LOOK AT THREE USEPA CASE STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory


    Do Bio-Based Products Move Us Toward Sustainability? A Look at Three Case Studies within the US EPA
    Mary Am Curran
    US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research & Development, Cincinnati, OH 45268; curran.maryann@epagov
    Abstract The movement to buy "...

  18. Watershed scale environmental sustainability analysis of biofuel production in changing land use and climate scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    RAJ, C.; Chaubey, I.; Cherkauer, K. A.; Brouder, S. M.; Volenec, J. J.

    2013-12-01

    One of the grand challenges in meeting the US biofuel goal is producing large quantities of cellulosic biofeedstock materials for the production of biofuels in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner. The possible land use and land management practice changes induce concerns over the environmental impacts of these bioenergy crop production scenarios both in terms of water availability and water quality, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate variability and change. This study aims to evaluate environmental sustainability of various plausible land and crop management scenarios for biofuel production under changing climate scenarios for a Midwest US watershed. The study considers twelve environmental sustainability indicators related hydrology and water quality with thirteen plausible biofuels scenarios in the watershed under nine climate change scenarios. The land use change scenarios for evaluation includes, (1) bioenergy crops in highly erodible soils (3) bioenergy crops in low row crop productive fields (marginal lands); (3) bioenergy crops in pasture and range land use areas and (4) combinations of these scenarios. Future climate data bias corrected and downscaled to daily values from the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP's) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) multi-model dataset were used in this study. The distributed hydrological model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) was used to simulate bioenergy crops growth, hydrology and water quality. The watershed scale sustainability analysis was done in Wildcat Creek basin, which is located in North-Central Indiana, USA.

  19. Butanol production from food waste: a novel process for producing sustainable energy and reducing environmental pollution

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Efficient utilization of food waste for fuel and chemical production can positively influence both the energy and environmental sustainability. In these studies we investigated use of food waste to produce butanol by Clostridium beijerinckii P260. In control fermentation, 40.5 g/L of glucose (initia...

  20. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: I. Algal strains and nutrient supply.

    PubMed

    Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Leite, Gustavo B; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae hold promise for the production of sustainable replacement of fossil fuels due to their high growth rates, ability to grow on non-arable land and their high content, under the proper conditions, of high energy compounds that can be relatively easily chemically converted to fuels using existing technology. However, projected large-scale algal production raises a number of sustainability concerns concerning land use, net energy return, water use and nutrient supply. The state-of-the-art of algal production of biofuels is presented with emphasis on some possible avenues to provide answers to the sustainability questions that have been raised. Here, issues concerning algal strains and supply of nutrients for large-scale production are discussed. Since sustainability concerns necessitate the use of wastewaters for supply of bulk nutrients, emphasis is placed on the composition and suitability of different wastewater streams. At the same time, algal cultivation has proven useful in waste treatment processes, and thus this aspect is also treated in some detail. PMID:24350435

  1. Evaluating Consumer Product Life Cycle Sustainability with Integrated Metrics: A Paper Towel Case Study

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated sustainability metrics provide an enriched set of information to inform decision-making. However, such approaches are rarely used to assess product supply chains. In this work, four integrated metrics—presented in terms of land, resources, value added, and stability—ar...

  2. Expanding the Utilization of Sustainable Plant Products in Aquafeeds – A Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Continued growth and intensification of aquaculture production depends upon the development of sustainable protein sources to replace fish meal in aquafeeds. This document reviews various plant feedstuffs which currently are or potentially may be incorporated into aquafeeds to support the sustainab...

  3. Engineering oilseeds for sustainable production of industrial and nutritional feedstocks: solving bottlenecks in fatty acid flux

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetable oils provide a platform for the production of high-value fatty acids that can replace non-sustainable petroleum and oceanic sources of specialty chemicals and aquaculture feed. Recent efforts to engineer seeds of crop and model species to produce new types of fatty acid structures for thes...

  4. Moving toward energy security and sustainability in 2050 by reconfiguring biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To achieve energy security and sustainability by 2050 requires reconfiguring biofuel production both by building on current infrastructure and existing technology and also by making substantial improvements and changes in the feedstocks used, the process technologies applied, and the fuels produced....

  5. Novel Effects of Nanoparticulate Delivery of Zinc on Growth, Productivity, and Zinc Biofortification in Maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Subbaiah, Layam Venkata; Prasad, Tollamadugu Naga Venkata Krishna Vara; Krishna, Thimmavajjula Giridhara; Sudhakar, Palagiri; Reddy, Balam Ravindra; Pradeep, Thalappil

    2016-05-18

    In the present investigation, nanoscale zinc oxide particulates (ZnO-nanoparticulates) were prepared using a modified oxalate decomposition method. Prepared ZnO-nanoparticulates (mean size = 25 nm) were characterized using techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and zeta potential analyzer. Different concentrations (50, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000 ppm) of ZnO-nanoparticulates were examined to reveal their effects on maize crop on overall growth and translocation of zinc along with bulk ZnSO4 and control. Highest germination percentage (80%) and seedling vigor index (1923.20) were observed at 1500 ppm of ZnO-nanoparticulates. The yield was 42% more compared to control and 15% higher compared to 2000 ppm of ZnSO4. Higher accumulation of zinc (35.96 ppm) in grains was recorded with application of 100 ppm followed by 400 ppm (31.05 ppm) of ZnO-nanoparticulates. These results indicate that ZnO-nanoparticulates have significant effects on growth, yield, and zinc content of maize grains, which is an important feature in terms of human health. PMID:27089102

  6. Production of α-L-iduronidase in maize for the potential treatment of a human lysosomal storage disease.

    PubMed

    He, Xu; Haselhorst, Thomas; von Itzstein, Mark; Kolarich, Daniel; Packer, Nicolle H; Gloster, Tracey M; Vocadlo, David J; Clarke, Lorne A; Qian, Yi; Kermode, Allison R

    2012-01-01

    Lysosomal storage diseases are a class of over 70 rare genetic diseases that are amenable to enzyme replacement therapy. Towards developing a plant-based enzyme replacement therapeutic for the lysosomal storage disease mucopolysaccharidosis I, here we expressed α-L-iduronidase in the endosperm of maize seeds by a previously uncharacterized mRNA-targeting-based mechanism. Immunolocalization, cellular fractionation and in situ RT-PCR demonstrate that the α-L-iduronidase protein and mRNA are targeted to endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived protein bodies and to protein body-ER regions, respectively, using regulatory (5'- and 3'-UTR) and signal-peptide coding sequences from the γ-zein gene. The maize α-L-iduronidase exhibits high activity, contains high-mannose N-glycans and is amenable to in vitro phosphorylation. This mRNA-based strategy is of widespread importance as plant N-glycan maturation is controlled and the therapeutic protein is generated in a native form. For our target enzyme, the N-glycan structures are appropriate for downstream processing, a prerequisite for its potential as a therapeutic protein. PMID:22990858

  7. Effect of the particle size of maize, rice, and sorghum in extruded diets for dogs on starch gelatinization, digestibility, and the fecal concentration of fermentation products.

    PubMed

    Bazolli, R S; Vasconcellos, R S; de-Oliveira, L D; Sá, F C; Pereira, G T; Carciofi, A C

    2015-06-01

    The influence of rice, maize, and sorghum raw material particle size in extruded dry dog food on the digestibility of nutrients and energy and the fecal concentration of fermentation products was investigated. Three diets with similar nutrient compositions were formulated, each with 1 starch source. Before incorporation into diets, the cereals were ground into 3 different particle sizes (approximately 300, 450, and 600 µm); therefore, a total of 9 diets were in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement (3 cereals and 3 particle sizes). Fifty-four beagle dogs (12.0 ± 0.1 kg BW) were randomly assigned to the diets, with 6 dogs per diet. The digestibility was measured with the chromium oxide method. The data were evaluated with ANOVA considering the carbohydrate source, grinding effect, and interactions. The means were compared with the Tukey test and polynomial contrasts (P < 0.05). With the same grinding procedure, rice was reduced to smaller particles than other cereals. The cereal mean geometric diameter (MGD) was directly related to starch gelatinization (SG) during extrusion. For rice diets, the MGD and SG did not change nutrient digestibility (P > 0.05); only GE digestibility was reduced at the largest MGD (P < 0.01). For maize and sorghum diets, the total tract apparent nutrient digestibility was reduced for foods with greater MGD and less SG (P < 0.01). A linear reduction in nutrient digestibility according to cereal particle size was observed for sorghum (r2 < 0.72; P < 0.01). Higher concentrations of fecal total short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were observed for sorghum diets (P < 0.05) than for other diets. The rice diets led to the production of feces with less lactate (P < 0.05). The increase in raw material MGD did not influence fecal SCFA for rice diets, but for the dogs fed maize and sorghum foods, an increase in propionate and butyrate concentrations were observed as MGD increased (P < 0.05). In conclusion, for dogs fed different particle sizes of the cereal

  8. Maize aluminum tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize is one of the most economically important food crops grown on acid soils, where aluminum (Al) toxicity greatly limits crop yields. Considerable variation for Al tolerance exists in maize, and this variation has been exploited for many years by plant breeders to enhance maize Al tolerance. Curr...

  9. Impacts of elevated CO2 concentration on the productivity and surface energy budget of the soybean and maize agroecosystem in the Midwest USA.

    PubMed

    Twine, Tracy E; Bryant, Jarod J; T Richter, Katherine; Bernacchi, Carl J; McConnaughay, Kelly D; Morris, Sherri J; Leakey, Andrew D B

    2013-09-01

    The physiological response of vegetation to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2 ]) modifies productivity and surface energy and water fluxes. Quantifying this response is required for assessments of future climate change. Many global climate models account for this response; however, significant uncertainty remains in model simulations of this vegetation response and its impacts. Data from in situ field experiments provide evidence that previous modeling studies may have overestimated the increase in productivity at elevated [CO2 ], and the impact on large-scale water cycling is largely unknown. We parameterized the Agro-IBIS dynamic global vegetation model with observations from the SoyFACE experiment to simulate the response of soybean and maize to an increase in [CO2 ] from 375 ppm to 550 ppm. The two key model parameters that were found to vary with [CO2 ] were the maximum carboxylation rate of photosynthesis and specific leaf area. Tests of the model that used SoyFACE parameter values showed a good fit to site-level data for all variables except latent heat flux over soybean and sensible heat flux over both crops. Simulations driven with historic climate data over the central USA showed that increased [CO2 ] resulted in decreased latent heat flux and increased sensible heat flux from both crops when averaged over 30 years. Thirty-year average soybean yield increased everywhere (ca. 10%); however, there was no increase in maize yield except during dry years. Without accounting for CO2 effects on the maximum carboxylation rate of photosynthesis and specific leaf area, soybean simulations at 550 ppm overestimated leaf area and yield. Our results highlight important model parameter values that, if not modified in other models, could result in biases when projecting future crop-climate-water relationships. PMID:23716193

  10. Assessment of strip tillage systems for maize production in semi-arid Ethiopia: Effects on grain yield, water balance and water productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temesgen, Melesse; Savenije, H. H. G.; Rockström, J.; Hoogmoed, W. B.

    The Maresha, the traditional Ethiopian plow, requires repeated cross-plowing which causes increased surface runoff, less infiltration and hence lower water availability to crops. The main reasons for increased surface runoff and reduced infiltration are plowing along the slope and the formation of a plow pan at shallow depths. Conservation tillage is seen as a way to alleviate these problems. The widely advocated zero-tillage, however, is not feasible for smallholder farmers in semi-arid regions of Ethiopia because of difficulties in maintaining adequate soil cover, the practice of communal grazing, and high costs of herbicides. Strip tillage systems, on the other hand, may offer a solution. This study was initiated to test strip tillage systems and to evaluate the impacts of new tillage systems on the water balance and grain yields of maize. Experiments have been conducted in a semi-arid area called Melkawoba in the central Rift Valley of Ethiopia during 2003-2005. Strip tillage systems involved cultivation along planting lines at a spacing of 0.75 m using the Maresha plow followed by subsoiling along the same lines (STS) or without subsoiling (ST). Results have been compared with traditional tillage involving 3-4 overpasses with the Maresha plow (CONV). Soil moisture has been monitored to a depth of 1.8 m using a Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR) while surface runoff has been measured using a specially designed rectangular trough installed at the bottom of each plot. STS resulted in the least surface runoff (Qs = 18 mm season-1) and the highest grain yields (Y = 2130 kg ha-1) followed by ST (Qs = 26 mm season-1, Y = 1840 kg ha-1) and CONV (Qs = 43 mm season-1, Y = 1720 kg ha-1) provided sowing was carried out within a week after subsoiling. Thus, STS resulted in the highest water productivity, WP = 0.60 kg m-3, followed by ST (WP = 0.52 kg m-3) and CONV (WP = 0.48 kg m-3). The main conclusion of the paper is that even in dry areas reasonable yields can be obtained

  11. Can the co-cultivation of rice and fish help sustain rice production?

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Liangliang; Zhang, Jian; Ren, Weizheng; Guo, Liang; Cheng, Yongxu; Li, Jiayao; Li, Kexin; Zhu, Zewen; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Shiming; Cheng, Lei; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Because rice feeds half of the world’s population, a secure global food supply depends on sustainable rice production. Here we test whether the co-cultivation of rice and fish into one “rice-fish system” (RFS; fish refers to aquatic animals in this article) could help sustain rice production. We examined intensive and traditional RFSs that have been widely practiced in China. We found that rice yields did not decrease when fish yield was below a threshold value in each intensive RFS. Below the thresholds, moreover, fish yields in intensive RFSs can be substantially higher than those in traditional RFS without reducing rice yield. Relative to rice monoculture, the use of fertilizer-nitrogen and pesticides decreased, and the farmers’ net income increased in RFSs. The results suggest that RFSs can help sustain rice production, and suggest that development of co-culture technologies (i.e. proper field configuration for fish and rice) is necessary to achieve the sustainability. PMID:27349875

  12. Energy and CO2 balance of maize and grass as energy crops for anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Gerin, Patrick A; Vliegen, François; Jossart, Jean-Marc

    2008-05-01

    Energy crops can be used to feed anaerobic digesters and produce renewable energy. However, sustainability of this option requires that it contributes to a net production of renewable energy and a net reduction of fossil CO2 emission. In this paper, the net balance of CO2 emission and renewable energy production is assessed for maize and grass energy crops produced in several agricultural systems relevant for Southern Belgium and surrounding areas. The calculated net energy yields are 8-25 (maize) and 7.4-15.5 (grass) MWh of renewable CH4 per MWh of fossil energy invested, depending on the agricultural option considered. After conversion to electricity, the specific CO2 emissions range from 31 to 104 kg(CO2)MWhelectricity(-1), depending on the case considered. This corresponds to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the current reference gas-steam turbine technology which produces 456 kg(CO2)MWhelectricity(-1). PMID:17574409

  13. Economic viability of phytoremediation of a cadmium contaminated agricultural area using energy maize. Part I: effect on the farmer's income.

    PubMed

    Thewys, T; Witters, N; Van Slycken, S; Ruttens, A; Meers, E; Tack, F M G; Vangronsveld, J

    2010-09-01

    This paper deals with the economic viability of using energy maize as a phytoremediation crop in a vast agricultural area moderately contaminated with metals. The acceptance of phytoremediation as a remediation technology is, besides the extraction rate, determined by its profitability, being the effects it has on the income of the farmer whose land is contaminated. This income can be supported by producing renewable energy through anaerobic digestion of energy maize, a crop that takes up only relatively low amounts of metals, but that can be valorised as a feedstock for energy production. The effect on the income per hectare of growing energy maize instead of fodder maize seems positive, given the most likely values of variables and while keeping the basic income stable, originating from dairy cattle farming activities. We propose growing energy maize aiming at risk-reduction, and generating an alternative income for farmers, yet in the long run also generating a gradual reduction of the pollution levels. In this way, remediation is demoted to a secondary objective with sustainable risk-based land use as primary objective. PMID:21166274

  14. MaizeCyc: Metabolic networks in maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    MaizeCyc is a catalog of known and predicted metabolic and transport pathways that enables plant researchers to graphically represent the metabolome of maize (Zea mays), thereby supporting integrated systems-biology analysis. Supported analyses include molecular and genetic/phenotypic profiling (e.g...

  15. Variation in ruminal in situ degradation of crude protein and starch from maize grains compared to in vitro gas production kinetics and physical and chemical characteristics.

    PubMed

    Seifried, Natascha; Steingaß, Herbert; Schipprack, Wolfgang; Rodehutscord, Markus

    2016-10-01

    The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate in situ ruminal dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP) and starch degradation characteristics and in vitro gas production (GP) kinetics using a set of 20 different maize grain genotypes and (2) to predict the effective degradation (ED) of CP and starch from chemical and physical characteristics alone or in combination with in vitro GP measurements. Maize grains were characterised by different chemical and physical characteristics. Ruminal in situ degradation was measured in three lactating Jersey cows. Ground grains (sieve size: 2 mm) were incubated in bags for 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 48 and 72 h. Bag residues were analysed for CP and starch content. Degradation kinetics was determined and the ED of DM, CP and starch calculated using a ruminal passage rate of 5%/h and 8%/h. The GP of the grains (sieve size: 1 mm) was recorded after 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48 and 72 h incubation in buffered rumen fluid and fitted to an exponential equation to determine GP kinetics. Correlations and stepwise multiple linear regressions were evaluated for the prediction of ED calculated for a passage rate of 5%/h (ED5) for CP (EDCP5) and starch (EDST5). The in situ parameters and ED5 varied widely between genotypes with average values (±SD) of 64% ± 4.2, 62% ± 4.1 and 65% ± 5.2 for ED5 of DM, EDCP5 and EDST5 and were on average 10 percentage points lower for a passage rate of 8%/h. Degradation rates varied between 4.8%/h and 7.4%/h, 4.1%/h and 6.5%/h and 5.3%/h and 8.9%/h for DM, CP and starch, respectively. These rates were in the same range as GP rates (6.0-8.3%/h). The EDCP5 and EDST5 were related to CP concentration and could be evaluated in detail using CP fractions and specific amino acids. In vitro GP measurements and GP rates correlated well with EDCP5 and EDST5 and predicted EDCP5 and EDST5 in combination with the chemical characteristics of the samples. Equations can be used to obtain quick and cost effective information

  16. Breeding maize for silage and biofuel production, an illustration of a step forward with the genome sequence.

    PubMed

    Barrière, Yves; Courtial, Audrey; Chateigner-Boutin, Anne-Laure; Denoue, Dominique; Grima-Pettenati, Jacqueline

    2016-01-01

    The knowledge of the gene families mostly impacting cell wall digestibility variations would significantly increase the efficiency of marker-assisted selection when breeding maize and grass varieties with improved silage feeding value and/or with better straw fermentability into alcohol or methane. The maize genome sequence of the B73 inbred line was released at the end of 2009, opening up new avenues to identify the genetic determinants of quantitative traits. Colocalizations between a large set of candidate genes putatively involved in secondary cell wall assembly and QTLs for cell wall digestibility (IVNDFD) were then investigated, considering physical positions of both genes and QTLs. Based on available data from six RIL progenies, 59 QTLs corresponding to 38 non-overlapping positions were matched up with a list of 442 genes distributed all over the genome. Altogether, 176 genes colocalized with IVNDFD QTLs and most often, several candidate genes colocalized at each QTL position. Frequent QTL colocalizations were found firstly with genes encoding ZmMYB and ZmNAC transcription factors, and secondly with genes encoding zinc finger, bHLH, and xylogen regulation factors. In contrast, close colocalizations were less frequent with genes involved in monolignol biosynthesis, and found only with the C4H2, CCoAOMT5, and CCR1 genes. Close colocalizations were also infrequent with genes involved in cell wall feruloylation and cross-linkages. Altogether, investigated colocalizations between candidate genes and cell wall digestibility QTLs suggested a prevalent role of regulation factors over constitutive cell wall genes on digestibility variations. PMID:26566848

  17. Estimating Green Net National Product for Puerto Rico: An Economic Measure of Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shanshan; Heberling, Matthew T

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net National Product (GNNP), an economic metric of sustainability, for Puerto Rico. Using the change in GNNP as a one-sided test of weak sustainability (i.e., positive growth in GNNP is not enough to show the economy is sustainable), we measure the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNNP from 1993 to 2009. In order to calculate GNNP, we require both economic and natural capital data, but limited data for Puerto Rico require a number of simplifying assumptions. Based on the environmental challenges faced by Puerto Rico, we include damages from air emissions and solid waste, the storm protection value of mangroves and the value of extracting crushed stone as components in the depreciation of natural capital. Our estimate of GNNP also includes the value of time, which captures the effects of technological progress. The results show that GNNP had an increasing trend over the 17 years studied with two periods of negative growth (2004-2006 and 2007-2008). Our additional analysis suggests that the negative growth in 2004-2006 was possibly due to a temporary economic downturn. However, the negative growth in 2007-2008 was likely from the decline in the value of time, suggesting the island of Puerto Rico was moving away from sustainability during this time. PMID:26721472

  18. The usability of a product can be an ally of sustainability.

    PubMed

    Anjos, Thaiana P; Matias, Márcio; Gontijo, Leila A

    2012-01-01

    Few steps like turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, turn off the lights when leaving a room, recycle waste or using recycling bags are considered sustainable attitudes. Sustainable development is one that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the future generations and it doesn't deplete resources for the future. Consume with conscious is a sustainable habit and usability of products contributes to this. The goal of this paper is to prove that the usability of software contributes positivity or negativity for sustainability. By calculating the amount of electrical power dissipated by an electronic device, you can discover the amount of energy lost by it, and consequently, to relate this quantity with the amount charged by the concessionaire for each kWh of energy used. It was concluded that a software with low usability cause users to lose a lot of time interacting with it and thus spend more energy and money that goes against the concept of sustainability. PMID:22317029

  19. Estimating Green Net National Product for Puerto Rico: An Economic Measure of Sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Shanshan; Heberling, Matthew T.

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net National Product (GNNP), an economic metric of sustainability, for Puerto Rico. Using the change in GNNP as a one-sided test of weak sustainability (i.e., positive growth in GNNP is not enough to show the economy is sustainable), we measure the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNNP from 1993 to 2009. In order to calculate GNNP, we require both economic and natural capital data, but limited data for Puerto Rico require a number of simplifying assumptions. Based on the environmental challenges faced by Puerto Rico, we include damages from air emissions and solid waste, the storm protection value of mangroves and the value of extracting crushed stone as components in the depreciation of natural capital. Our estimate of GNNP also includes the value of time, which captures the effects of technological progress. The results show that GNNP had an increasing trend over the 17 years studied with two periods of negative growth (2004-2006 and 2007-2008). Our additional analysis suggests that the negative growth in 2004-2006 was possibly due to a temporary economic downturn. However, the negative growth in 2007-2008 was likely from the decline in the value of time, suggesting the island of Puerto Rico was moving away from sustainability during this time.

  20. Genetic Diversity and Molecular Evolution of Chinese Waxy Maize Germplasm

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Hongjian; Wang, Hui; Yang, Hua; Wu, Jinhong; Shi, Biao; Cai, Run; Xu, Yunbi; Wu, Aizhong; Luo, Lijun

    2013-01-01

    Waxy maize (Zea mays L. var. certaina Kulesh), with many excellent characters in terms of starch composition and economic value, has grown in China for a long history and its production has increased dramatically in recent decades. However, the evolution and origin of waxy maize still remains unclear. We studied the genetic diversity of Chinese waxy maize including typical landraces and inbred lines by SSR analysis and the results showed a wide genetic diversity in the Chinese waxy maize germplasm. We analyzed the origin and evolution of waxy maize by sequencing 108 samples, and downloading 52 sequences from GenBank for the waxy locus in a number of accessions from genus Zea. A sharp reduction of nucleotide diversity and significant neutrality tests (Tajima’s D and Fu and Li’s F*) were observed at the waxy locus in Chinese waxy maize but not in nonglutinous maize. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that Chinese waxy maize originated from the cultivated flint maize and most of the modern waxy maize inbred lines showed a distinct independent origin and evolution process compared with the germplasm from Southwest China. The results indicated that an agronomic trait can be quickly improved to meet production demand by selection. PMID:23818949

  1. Nutrient absorbtion of weeds in maize.

    PubMed

    Lehoczky, E; Kismányoky, A; Nagy, P; Németh, T

    2008-01-01

    Our study was carried out in Hungary at Keszthely, in 2007. The effect of different cultivation methods: no-till drill, disk tillage, conventional tillage (ploughing) and five increasing N doses were studied on the weediness. The bi-factorial trial was arranged in split plot design with four replications. Crop rotation: winter wheat-winter wheat-maize-maize. The seeding of maize was 23rd of April in 2007. The weed survey was made with Balázs-Ujvárosi coenological method on the 17th of May. In the experiment were found 21 weed species. We collected all plants of every weed species by plots. The sample area was 1 m2. Furthermore five maize plants per plot were sampled on the 22nd of May. Maize was at 3-4 leaves stage. For reason of competition studies no herbicides were applied on sampling sites. The aerial parts of weeds and maize plants were collected, and the fresh and dry matter weight was measured. We analyzed in detail, the occurrence of weed species, and the biomass production of weeds in comparison with maize. The effect of different cultivation methods markedly demonstrated the weed cover, the number of perennial and annual weeds and the number of occurring weed species. PMID:19226848

  2. Sustained production of multi-decadal climate records - Lessons from the NOAA Climate Data Record Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    NOAA's Climate Data Record (CDR) Program was designed to be responsive to the needs of climate monitoring, research, and services with the ultimate aim of serving decision making across a spectrum of users for the long term. It requires the sustained production of high quality, multidecadal time series data describing the global atmosphere, oceans, and land surface that can be used for informed decision making. The challenges of a long-term program of sustaining CDRs, as contrasted with short-term efforts of traditional three-year research programs, are substantial and different. The sustained production of CDRs requires collaboration between experts in the climate community, data management, and software development and maintenance. It is also informed by scientific application and associated user feedback on the accessibility and usability of the produced CDRs. The CDR Program has developed a metric for assessing the maturity of CDRs with respect to data management, software, and user application and applied it to over 28 CDRs. The main/primary lesson learned over the past seven years is that a rigorous, team approach to data management, employing subject matter experts at every step, is critical to open and transparent production. This approach also makes it much easier to support the needs of users who want near-real-time production of "interim" CDRs for monitoring and users who want to use CDRs for tailored authoritative information, such as a drought index. This talk will review of the history of the CDR program, current status, and plans.

  3. Sustainable, efficient livestock production with high biodiversity and good welfare for animals

    PubMed Central

    Broom, D. M.; Galindo, F. A.; Murgueitio, E.

    2013-01-01

    What is the future for livestock agriculture in the world? Consumers have concerns about sustainability but many widely used livestock production methods do not satisfy consumers' requirements for a sustainable system. However, production can be sustainable, occurring in environments that: supply the needs of the animals resulting in good welfare, allow coexistence with a wide diversity of organisms native to the area, minimize carbon footprint and provide a fair lifestyle for the people working there. Conservation need not just involve tiny islands of natural vegetation in a barren world of agriculture, as there can be great increases in biodiversity in farmed areas. Herbivores, especially ruminants that consume materials inedible by humans, are important for human food in the future. However, their diet should not be just ground-level plants. Silvopastoral systems, pastures with shrubs and trees as well as herbage, are described which are normally more productive than pasture alone. When compared with widely used livestock production systems, silvopastoral systems can provide efficient feed conversion, higher biodiversity, enhanced connectivity between habitat patches and better animal welfare, so they can replace existing systems in many parts of the world and should be further developed. PMID:24068362

  4. Catalytic oxidation of biorefinery lignin to value-added chemicals to support sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ruoshui; Xu, Yan; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

    Transforming plant biomass to biofuel is one of the few solutions that can truly sustain mankind's long-term needs for liquid transportation fuel with minimized environmental impact. However, despite decades of effort, commercial development of biomass-to-biofuel conversion processes is still not an economically viable proposition. Identifying value-added co-products along with the production of biofuel provides a key solution to overcoming this economic barrier. Lignin is the second most abundant component next to cellulose in almost all plant biomass; the emerging biomass refinery industry will inevitably generate an enormous amount of lignin. Development of selective biorefinery lignin-to-bioproducts conversion processes will play a pivotal role in significantly improving the economic feasibility and sustainability of biofuel production from renewable biomass. The urgency and importance of this endeavor has been increasingly recognized in the last few years. This paper reviews state-of-the-art oxidative lignin depolymerization chemistries employed in the papermaking process and oxidative catalysts that can be applied to biorefinery lignin to produce platform chemicals including phenolic compounds, dicarboxylic acids, and quinones in high selectivity and yield. The potential synergies of integrating new catalysts with commercial delignification chemistries are discussed. We hope the information will build on the existing body of knowledge to provide new insights towards developing practical and commercially viable lignin conversion technologies, enabling sustainable biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass to be competitive with fossil fuel. PMID:25272962

  5. Sustainable biochar effects for low carbon crop production: A 5-crop season field experiment on a low fertility soil from Central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.

    2014-12-01

    GHGs emission than with soil property and crop yield. Thus, our study suggested that biochar amended in dry land could sustain a low carbon production both of maize and wheat in terms of its efficient carbon sequestration, lower GHGs emission intensity and soil improvement over 5 crop seasons after a single amendment.

  6. Impact of sustaining a controlled residual growth on polyhydroxybutyrate yield and production kinetics in Cupriavidus necator.

    PubMed

    Grousseau, Estelle; Blanchet, Elise; Déléris, Stéphane; Albuquerque, Maria G E; Paul, Etienne; Uribelarrea, Jean-Louis

    2013-11-01

    In this study a complementary modeling and experimental approach was used to explore how growth controls the NADPH generation and availability, and the resulting impact on PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate) yields and kinetics. The results show that the anabolic demand allowed the NADPH production through the Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway, leading to a high maximal theoretical PHB production yield of 0.89 C mole C mole(-1); whereas without biomass production, NADPH regeneration is only possible via the isocitrate dehydrogenase leading to a theoretical yield of 0.67 C mole C mole(-1). Furthermore, the maximum specific rate of NADPH produced at maximal growth rate (to fulfil biomass requirement) was found to be the maximum set in every conditions, which by consequence determines the maximal PHB production rate. These results imply that sustaining a controlled residual growth improves the PHB specific production rate without altering production yield. PMID:24035890

  7. Enhanced water stress tolerance of transgenic maize plants over-expressing LEA Rab28 gene.

    PubMed

    Amara, Imen; Capellades, Montserrat; Ludevid, M Dolors; Pagès, Montserrat; Goday, Adela

    2013-06-15

    Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins participate in plant stress responses and contribute to the acquisition of desiccation tolerance. In this report Rab28 LEA gene has been over-expressed in maize plants under a constitutive maize promoter. The expression of Rab28 transcripts led to the accumulation and stability of Rab28 protein in the transgenic plants. Native Rab28 protein is localized to nucleoli in wild type maize embryo cells; here we find by whole-mount immunocytochemistry that in root cells of Rab28 transgenic and wild-type plants the protein is also associated to nucleolar structures. Transgenic plants were tested for stress tolerance and resulted in sustained growth under polyethyleneglycol (PEG)-mediated dehydration compared to wild-type controls. Under osmotic stress transgenic seedlings showed increased leaf and root areas, higher relative water content (RWC), reduced chlorophyll loss and lower Malondialdehyde (MDA) production in relation to wild-type plants. Moreover, transgenic seeds exhibited higher germination rates than wild-type seeds under water deficit. Overall, our results highlight the presence of transgenic Rab28 protein in nucleolar structures and point to the potential of group 5 LEA Rab28 gene as candidate to enhance stress tolerance in maize plants. PMID:23384757

  8. RNAi silencing of the 14 kDa trypsin inhibitor protein in maize and its effect on host resistance against Aspergillus flavus infection/aflatoxin production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the major crops susceptible to Aspergillus flavus Link ex. Fries infection and subsequent aflatoxin contamination. Previous studies found the expression of an antifungal 14 kDa trypsin inhibitor (TI) was associated with maize aflatoxin resistance. To further investigate...

  9. Hardness methods for testing maize kernels.

    PubMed

    Fox, Glen; Manley, Marena

    2009-07-01

    Maize is a highly important crop to many countries around the world, through the sale of the maize crop to domestic processors and subsequent production of maize products and also provides a staple food to subsistance farms in undeveloped countries. In many countries, there have been long-term research efforts to develop a suitable hardness method that could assist the maize industry in improving efficiency in processing as well as possibly providing a quality specification for maize growers, which could attract a premium. This paper focuses specifically on hardness and reviews a number of methodologies as well as important biochemical aspects of maize that contribute to maize hardness used internationally. Numerous foods are produced from maize, and hardness has been described as having an impact on food quality. However, the basis of hardness and measurement of hardness are very general and would apply to any use of maize from any country. From the published literature, it would appear that one of the simpler methods used to measure hardness is a grinding step followed by a sieving step, using multiple sieve sizes. This would allow the range in hardness within a sample as well as average particle size and/or coarse/fine ratio to be calculated. Any of these parameters could easily be used as reference values for the development of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy calibrations. The development of precise NIR calibrations will provide an excellent tool for breeders, handlers, and processors to deliver specific cultivars in the case of growers and bulk loads in the case of handlers, thereby ensuring the most efficient use of maize by domestic and international processors. This paper also considers previous research describing the biochemical aspects of maize that have been related to maize hardness. Both starch and protein affect hardness, with most research focusing on the storage proteins (zeins). Both the content and composition of the zein fractions affect

  10. Transgenic Hybrid Poplar for Sustainable and Scalable Production of the Commodity/Specialty Chemical, 2-Phenylethanol

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Michael A.; Marques, Joaquim V.; Dalisay, Doralyn S.; Herman, Barrington; Bedgar, Diana L.; Davin, Laurence B.; Lewis, Norman G.

    2013-01-01

    Fast growing hybrid poplar offers the means for sustainable production of specialty and commodity chemicals, in addition to rapid biomass production for lignocellulosic deconstruction. Herein we describe transformation of fast-growing transgenic hybrid poplar lines to produce 2-phenylethanol, this being an important fragrance, flavor, aroma, and commodity chemical. It is also readily converted into styrene or ethyl benzene, the latter being an important commodity aviation fuel component. Introducing this biochemical pathway into hybrid poplars marks the beginnings of developing a platform for a sustainable chemical delivery system to afford this and other valuable specialty/commodity chemicals at the scale and cost needed. These modified plant lines mainly sequester 2-phenylethanol via carbohydrate and other covalently linked derivatives, thereby providing an additional advantage of effective storage until needed. The future potential of this technology is discussed. MALDI metabolite tissue imaging also established localization of these metabolites in the leaf vasculature. PMID:24386157

  11. Transgenic hybrid poplar for sustainable and scalable production of the commodity/specialty chemical, 2-phenylethanol.

    PubMed

    Costa, Michael A; Marques, Joaquim V; Dalisay, Doralyn S; Herman, Barrington; Bedgar, Diana L; Davin, Laurence B; Lewis, Norman G

    2013-01-01

    Fast growing hybrid poplar offers the means for sustainable production of specialty and commodity chemicals, in addition to rapid biomass production for lignocellulosic deconstruction. Herein we describe transformation of fast-growing transgenic hybrid poplar lines to produce 2-phenylethanol, this being an important fragrance, flavor, aroma, and commodity chemical. It is also readily converted into styrene or ethyl benzene, the latter being an important commodity aviation fuel component. Introducing this biochemical pathway into hybrid poplars marks the beginnings of developing a platform for a sustainable chemical delivery system to afford this and other valuable specialty/commodity chemicals at the scale and cost needed. These modified plant lines mainly sequester 2-phenylethanol via carbohydrate and other covalently linked derivatives, thereby providing an additional advantage of effective storage until needed. The future potential of this technology is discussed. MALDI metabolite tissue imaging also established localization of these metabolites in the leaf vasculature. PMID:24386157

  12. Sustained H2 Production Driven by Photosynthetic Water Splitting in a Unicellular Cyanobacterium

    PubMed Central

    Melnicki, Matthew R.; Pinchuk, Grigoriy E.; Hill, Eric A.; Kucek, Leo A.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan; Beliaev, Alexander S.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT The relationship between dinitrogenase-driven H2 production and oxygenic photosynthesis was investigated in a unicellular cyanobacterium, Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142, using a novel custom-built photobioreactor equipped with advanced process control. Continuously illuminated nitrogen-deprived cells evolved H2 at rates up to 400 µmol ⋅ mg Chl−1 ⋅ h−1 in parallel with uninterrupted photosynthetic O2 production. Notably, sustained coproduction of H2 and O2 occurred over 100 h in the presence of CO2, with both gases displaying inverse oscillations which eventually dampened toward stable rates of 125 and 90 µmol ⋅ mg Chl−1 ⋅ h−1, respectively. Oscillations were not observed when CO2 was omitted, and instead H2 and O2 evolution rates were positively correlated. The sustainability of the process was further supported by stable chlorophyll content, maintenance of baseline protein and carbohydrate levels, and an enhanced capacity for linear electron transport as measured by chlorophyll fluorescence throughout the experiment. In situ light saturation analyses of H2 production displayed a strong dose dependence and lack of O2 inhibition. Inactivation of photosystem II had substantial long-term effects but did not affect short-term H2 production, indicating that the process is also supported by photosystem I activity and oxidation of endogenous glycogen. However, mass balance calculations suggest that carbohydrate consumption in the light may, at best, account for no more than 50% of the reductant required for the corresponding H2 production over that period. Collectively, our results demonstrate that uninterrupted H2 production in unicellular cyanobacteria can be fueled by water photolysis without the detrimental effects of O2 and have important implications for sustainable production of biofuels. PMID:22872781

  13. Sustained H2 Production Driven by Photosynthetic Water Splitting in a Unicellular Cyanobacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Melnicki, Matthew R.; Pinchuk, Grigoriy E.; Hill, Eric A.; Kucek, Leo A.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan; Beliaev, Alex S.

    2012-08-07

    Continuously illuminated nitrogen-deprived Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 evolved H2 via dinitrogenase at rates up to 400 μmol•mg Chl-1•h-1 in parallel with photosynthetic O2 production. Notably, sustained co-production of H2 and O2 occurred over 100 h in the presence of CO2, with both gases displaying inverse oscillations which eventually dampened to stable rates. Oscillations were not observed when CO2 was omitted, while H2 and O2 evolution rates were positively correlated. In situ light saturation analyses of H2 production displayed dose-dependence and lack of O2 inhibition. Inactivation of photosystem II had substantial long-term effects but did not affect the short-term H2 production indicating that the process is also supported by photosystem I activity and oxidation of endogenous glycogen. Collectively, our results demonstrate that uninterrupted H2 production in unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacteria can be fueled by water photolysis without the detrimental effects of O2 and have important implications for sustainable production of biofuels.

  14. Concept for Sustained Plant Production on ISS Using VEGGIE Capillary Mat Rooting System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stutte, Gary W.; Newsham, Gerard; Morrow, Robert M.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2011-01-01

    Plant growth in microgravity presents unique challenges associated with maintaining appropriate conditions for seed germination, seedling establishment, maturation and harvest. They include maintaining appropriate soil moisture content, nutrient balance, atmospheric mixing and containment. Sustained production imposes additional challenges of harvesting, replanting, and safety. The VEGGIE is a deployable (collapsible) plant growth chamber developed as part of a NASA SBIR Phase II by Orbitec, Madison, WI. The intent of VEGGIE is to provide a low-resource system to produce fresh vegetables for the crew on long duration missions. The VEGGIE uses and LED array for lighting, an expandable bellows for containment, and a capillary matting system for nutrient and water delivery. The project evaluated a number of approaches to achieve sustained production, and repeated plantings, using the capillary rooting system. A number of different root media, seed containment, and nutrient delivery systems were evaluated and effects on seed germination and growth were evaluated. A number of issues limiting sustained production, such as accumulation of nutrients, uniform water, elevated vapor pressure deficit, and media containment were identified. A concept using pre-planted rooting packs shown to effectively address a number of those issues and is a promising approach for future development as a planting system for microgravity conditions.

  15. Within-Leaf Nitrogen Allocation in Adaptation to Low Nitrogen Supply in Maize during Grain-Filling Stage

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Xiaohuan; Chen, Qinwu; Chen, Fanjun; Yuan, Lixing; Mi, Guohua

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) plays a vital role in photosynthesis and crop productivity. Maize plants may be able to increase physiological N utilization efficiency (NUtE) under low-N stress by increasing photosynthetic rate (Pn) per unit leaf N, that is, photosynthetic N-use efficiency (PNUE). In this study, we analyzed the relationship between PNUE and N allocation in maize ear-leaves during the grain-filling stage under low N (no N application) and high N (180 kg N ha-1) in a 2-year field experiment. Under low N, grain yield decreased while NUtE increased. Low-N treatment reduced the specific N content of ear leaves by 38% without significant influencing Pn, thereby increasing PNUE by 54%. Under low-N stress, maize plants tended to invest relatively more N into bioenergetics to sustain electron transport. In contrast, N allocated to chlorophyll and light-harvesting proteins was reduced to control excess electron production. Soluble proteins were reduced to shrink the N storage reservoir. We conclude that optimization of N allocation within leaves is a key adaptive mechanism to maximize Pn and crop productivity when N is limited during the grain-filling stage in maize under low-N conditions. PMID:27252716

  16. Sustainable biomass products development and evaluation, Hamakua project. Final draft report

    SciTech Connect

    1998-05-01

    The PICHTR Sustainable Biomass Energy Program was developed to evaluate the potential to cultivate crops for energy production as an alternative use of lands made available by the closing of large sugar plantations. In particular, the closing of the Hamakua Sugar Company on the island of Hawaii brought a great deal of attention to the future of agriculture in this region and in the state. Many options were proposed. Several promising alternatives had been proposed for cane lands. These included dedicated feedstock supply systems (DFSS) for electrical energy production, cultivation of sugarcane to produce ethanol and related by-products, and the production of feed and crops to support animal agriculture. Implementation of some of the options might require preservation of large tracts of land and maintenance of the sugar mills and sugar infrastructure. An analysis of the technical, financial, and other issues necessary to reach conclusions regarding the optimal use of these lands was required. At the request of the Office of State Planning and Senator Akaka`s office, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) established and coordinated a working group composed of state, county, federal, and private sector representatives to identify sustainable energy options for the use of idle sugar lands on the island of Hawaii. The Sustainable Biomass Energy Program`s Hamakua Project was established to complete a comprehensive evaluation of the most viable alternatives and assess the options to grow crops as a source of raw materials for the production of transportation fuel and/or electricity on the island of Hawaii. The motivation for evaluating biomass to energy conversion embraced the considerations that Hawaii`s energy security would be improved by diversifying the fuels used for transportation and reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels. The use of waste products as feedstocks could divert wastes from landfills.

  17. Comparative analysis of environmental impacts of maize-biogas and photovoltaics on a land use basis

    SciTech Connect

    Graebig, Markus; Fenner, Richard; Bringezu, Stefan

    2010-07-15

    This study aims to stimulate the discussion on how to optimize a sustainable energy mix from an environmental perspective and how to apply existing renewable energy sources in the most efficient way. Ground-mounted photovoltaics (PV) and the maize-biogas-electricity route are compared with regard to their potential to mitigate environmental pressure, assuming that a given agricultural area is available for energy production. Existing life cycle assessment (LCA) studies are taken as a basis to analyse environmental impacts of those technologies in relation to conventional technology for power and heat generation. The life-cycle-wide mitigation potential per area used is calculated for the impact categories non-renewable energy input, green house gas (GHG) emissions, acidification and eutrophication. The environmental performance of each system depends on the scenario that is assumed for end energy use (electricity and heat supply have been contemplated). In all scenarios under consideration, PV turns out to be superior to biogas in almost all studied impact categories. Even when maize is used for electricity production in connection with very efficient heat usage, and reduced PV performance is assumed to account for intermittence, PV can still mitigate about four times the amount of green house gas emissions and non-renewable energy input compared to maize-biogas. Soil erosion, which can be entirely avoided with PV, exceeds soil renewal rates roughly 20-fold on maize fields. Regarding the overall Eco-indicator 99 (H) score under most favourable assumptions for the maize-biogas route, PV has still a more than 100% higher potential to mitigate environmental burden. At present, the key advantages of biogas are its price and its availability without intermittence. In the long run, and with respect to more efficient land use, biogas might preferably be produced from organic waste or manure, whereas PV should be integrated into buildings and infrastructures. (author)

  18. Flavone-rich maize: an opportunity to improve the nutritional value of an important commodity crop

    PubMed Central

    Casas, María I.; Duarte, Silvia; Doseff, Andrea I.; Grotewold, Erich

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural outputs have resulted in food production continuously expanding. To satisfy the needs of a fast growing human population, higher yields, more efficient food processing, and food esthetic value, new crop varieties with higher caloric intake have and continue to be developed, but which lack many phytochemicals important for plant protection and adequate human nutrition. The increasing incidence of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, combined with social disparity worldwide prompted the interest in developing enhanced crops that can simultaneously address the two sides of the current malnutrition sword, increasing yield while providing added nutritional value. Flavones, phytochemicals associated with the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet, have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. However, many Mediterranean diet-associated vegetables are inaccessible, or lowly consumed, in many parts of the world. Maize is the most widely grown cereal crop, yet most lines used for hybrid maize production lack flavones. As a first step toward a sustainable strategy to increasing the nutritional value of maize-based diets, we investigated the accumulation and chemical properties of flavones in maize seeds of defined genotypes. We show that the pericarps of the P1-rr genotype accumulate flavones at levels comparable to those present in some flavone-rich vegetables, and are mostly present in their C- and O-glycosylated forms. Some of these glycosides can be readily converted into the corresponding more active health beneficial aglycones during food processing. Our results provide evidence that nutritionally beneficial flavones could be re-introduced into elite lines to increase the dietary benefits of maize. PMID:25250036

  19. Flavone-rich maize: an opportunity to improve the nutritional value of an important commodity crop.

    PubMed

    Casas, María I; Duarte, Silvia; Doseff, Andrea I; Grotewold, Erich

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural outputs have resulted in food production continuously expanding. To satisfy the needs of a fast growing human population, higher yields, more efficient food processing, and food esthetic value, new crop varieties with higher caloric intake have and continue to be developed, but which lack many phytochemicals important for plant protection and adequate human nutrition. The increasing incidence of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, combined with social disparity worldwide prompted the interest in developing enhanced crops that can simultaneously address the two sides of the current malnutrition sword, increasing yield while providing added nutritional value. Flavones, phytochemicals associated with the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet, have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. However, many Mediterranean diet-associated vegetables are inaccessible, or lowly consumed, in many parts of the world. Maize is the most widely grown cereal crop, yet most lines used for hybrid maize production lack flavones. As a first step toward a sustainable strategy to increasing the nutritional value of maize-based diets, we investigated the accumulation and chemical properties of flavones in maize seeds of defined genotypes. We show that the pericarps of the P1-rr genotype accumulate flavones at levels comparable to those present in some flavone-rich vegetables, and are mostly present in their C- and O-glycosylated forms. Some of these glycosides can be readily converted into the corresponding more active health beneficial aglycones during food processing. Our results provide evidence that nutritionally beneficial flavones could be re-introduced into elite lines to increase the dietary benefits of maize. PMID:25250036

  20. Fusarium species identification and fumonisin production in maize kernels from Shandong Province, China, from 2012 to 2014.

    PubMed

    Guo, Congcong; Liu, Yanxing; Jiang, Yan; Li, Renjie; Pang, Minhao; Liu, Yingchao; Dong, Jingao

    2016-09-01

    A total of 225 maize kernel samples were collected from Shandong Province in China from 2012 to 2014 and analysed for contamination with Fusarium spp. and fumonisins (FBs) using molecular methods and high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. The results showed that the average incidences of Fusarium spp. in 2012, 2013 and 2014 were 23.3%, 37.1% and 36.5%, respectively, Fusarium verticillioides being the predominant species. In 2012, the average contamination level of FBs was 3071 ng g(-1), which was higher than that in 2014 (2913 ng g(-1)) and 2013 (2072 ng g(-1)). Of all samples, 13% and 19% had FB contamination levels higher than 2000 and 4000 ng g(-1), which are the maximum limits as set by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States and the European Commission, respectively. Therefore, efforts should be taken to minimise the potential risk of FBs to the health of humans and animals. PMID:27076384

  1. Production of starch nanoparticles using normal maize starch via heat-moisture treatment under mildly acidic conditions and homogenization.

    PubMed

    Park, Eun Young; Kim, Min-Jung; Cho, MyoungLae; Lee, Ju Hun; Kim, Jong-Yea

    2016-10-20

    Normal maize starch was subjected to heat-moisture treatment (HMT) under mildly acidic conditions (0.000, 0.050, or 0.075M H2SO4) for various treatment times (3, 5, or 8h) followed by homogenization up to 60min to prepare nanoparticles. The combination of HMT (0.075M, for 8h) and homogenization (60min) produced nanoparticles with diameters of less than 50nm at a yield higher than 80%. X-ray diffractometry and size-exclusion chromatography revealed that HMT under mildly acidic conditions selectively hydrolyzed the starch chains (especially amylose and/or long chains of amylopectin) in the amorphous region of the granules without significant damage to the crystalline structure, however, modification of the molecular structure in the amorphous region increased fragility of the granules during homogenization. Homogenization for 60min caused obvious damage in the long-range crystalline structure of the HMT starch (0.15N, for 8h), while the short-range chain associations (FT-IR) remained intact. PMID:27474568

  2. Gene flow scenarios with transgenic maize in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Serratos-Hernández, José-Antonio; Islas-Gutiérrez, Fabián; Buendía-Rodríguez, Enrique; Berthaud, Julien

    2004-01-01

    Maize diversity is widespread in Mexico and it has been stewarded by campesinos in small communities until the present. With the arrival of transgenic maize, the objective of this study is to analyze possible scenarios that could result if genetically modified maize were not regulated and openly available in Mexico. By applying a simple logistic model based on the conditions of maize production in Mexico, the dispersion of transgenic maize in different situations within fields of farmers is described. In traditional open systems of freely exchanged seed within communities it is concluded that the most likely outcome of GM maize release is the incorporation of transgenes in the genome of Mexican germplasm and possibly in that of teosinte. PMID:15901097

  3. Sustainable Utilization of Traditional Chinese Medicine Resources: Systematic Evaluation on Different Production Modes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiwen; Chen, Yuning; Yang, Qing; Wang, Yitao

    2015-01-01

    The usage amount of medicinal plant rapidly increased along with the development of traditional Chinese medicine industry. The higher market demand and the shortage of wild herbal resources enforce us to carry out large-scale introduction and cultivation. Herbal cultivation can ease current contradiction between medicinal resources supply and demand while they bring new problems such as pesticide residues and plant disease and pests. Researchers have recently placed high hopes on the application of natural fostering, a new method incorporated herbal production and diversity protecting practically, which can solve the problems brought by artificial cultivation. However no modes can solve all problems existing in current herbal production. This study evaluated different production modes including cultivation, natural fostering, and wild collection to guide the traditional Chinese medicine production for sustainable utilization of herbal resources. PMID:26074987

  4. Development of Sustainable Landscape Designs for Improved Biomass Production in the U.S. Corn Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonner, Ian J.

    Demand for renewable and sustainable energy options has resulted in a significant commitment by the US Government to research pathways for fuel production from biomass. The research presented in this thesis describes one potential pathway to increase the amount of biomass available for biofuel production by integrating dedicated energy crops into agricultural fields. In the first chapter an innovative landscape design method based on subfield placement of an energy crop into row crop fields in central Iowa is used to reduce financial loss for farmers, increase and diversify biomass production, and improve soil resources. The second chapter explores how subfield management decisions may be made using high fidelity data and modeling to balance concerns of primary crop production and economics. This work provides critical forward looking support to agricultural land managers and stakeholders in the biomass and bioenergy industry for pathways to improving land stewardship and energy security.

  5. Effects of maize (Zea mays L.) silage feeding on dry matter intake and milk production of dairy buffalo and cattle in Tarai, Nepal.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Yoshiaki; Thapa, Bhim B; Sharma, Mohan P; Sapkota, Maheshwor; Kumagai, Hajime

    2009-08-01

    To identify the effects of whole crop maize silage (MS) as a substitute for rice straw (RS) on feed intake and milk production of mid-late lactating buffalo and cattle in Tarai, Nepal, eight Murrah and eight Jersey-Hariana were fed the basal diet, RS (ad libitum) with concentrate (0.68% of bodyweight [BW] on a dry matter [DM] basis). A 4 x 4 Latin square design experiment was conducted in each animal species with graded levels of MS substitution for RS (0%, T1; 33%, T2; 67%, T3 and 100%, T4). The MS had higher digestibility and total digestible nutrient (TDN) than RS. The DM intake per BW of the both species was highest in T3. The substitution of MS for RS increased the crude protein intake and the TDN intake in the both species. Although the buffalo showed the highest milking performance in T4, the cattle showed no significant differences in their milking performance among the treatments. The substitution of MS for RS improved the feed intake and milk production in the buffalo. On the other hand, the milk yield was not raised in the cattle, though the feed intake was increased by the substitution. PMID:20163602

  6. Production of maize tortillas and cookies from nixtamalized flour enriched with anthocyanins, flavonoids and saponins extracted from black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) seed coats.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Santoscoy, Rocio A; Gutiérrez-Uribe, Janet A; Serna-Saldivar, Sergio O; Perez-Carrillo, Esther

    2016-02-01

    Ethanolic extract from black beans coat is a source of flavonoids, saponins and antocyanins. Nixtamalized maize flours (NF) are used for the preparation of products such as tortillas, tortillas chips, cookies among others. The objective of this research was to study the effect on textural parameters and color after adding flavonoids, saponins and anthocyanins from black bean seed coat in NF used for the production of tortillas and gluten-free cookies. Furthermore, the retention of bioactive compounds after tortilla and gluten-free-cookie preparation was assessed. Ethanolic extracts of black bean seed coats were added (3g/kg or 7 g/kg) to NF in order to prepare corn tortillas and gluten free cookies characterized in terms of dimensions, color and texture. Addition of 7 g/kg affected the color of cookies and tortillas without effect on texture and dimensions. It was possible to retain more than 80% and 60% of bioactives into baked tortillas and cookies, respectively. PMID:26304324

  7. Production and supply of high-quality food protein for human consumption: sustainability, challenges, and innovations.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guoyao; Fanzo, Jessica; Miller, Dennis D; Pingali, Prabhu; Post, Mark; Steiner, Jean L; Thalacker-Mercer, Anna E

    2014-08-01

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 843 million people worldwide are hungry and a greater number suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Approximately one billion people have inadequate protein intake. The challenge of preventing hunger and malnutrition will become even greater as the global population grows from the current 7.2 billion people to 9.6 billion by 2050. With increases in income, population, and demand for more nutrient-dense foods, global meat production is projected to increase by 206 million tons per year during the next 35 years. These changes in population and dietary practices have led to a tremendous rise in the demand for food protein, especially animal-source protein. Consuming the required amounts of protein is fundamental to human growth and health. Protein needs can be met through intakes of animal and plant-source foods. Increased consumption of food proteins is associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions and overutilization of water. Consequently, concerns exist regarding impacts of agricultural production, processing and distribution of food protein on the environment, ecosystem, and sustainability. To address these challenging issues, the New York Academy of Sciences organized the conference "Frontiers in Agricultural Sustainability: Studying the Protein Supply Chain to Improve Dietary Quality" to explore sustainable innovations in food science and programming aimed at producing the required quality and quantity of protein through improved supply chains worldwide. This report provides an extensive discussion of these issues and summaries of the presentations from the conference. PMID:25123207

  8. Effects of social sustainability signaling on neural valuation signals and taste-experience of food products.

    PubMed

    Enax, Laura; Krapp, Vanessa; Piehl, Alexandra; Weber, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Value-based decision making occurs when individuals choose between different alternatives and place a value on each alternative and its attributes. Marketing actions frequently manipulate product attributes, by adding, e.g., health claims on the packaging. A previous imaging study found that an emblem for organic products increased willingness to pay (WTP) and activity in the ventral striatum (VS). The current study investigated neural and behavioral processes underlying the influence of Fair Trade (FT) labeling on food valuation and choice. Sustainability is an important product attribute for many consumers, with FT signals being one way to highlight ethically sustainable production. Forty participants valuated products in combination with an FT emblem or no emblem and stated their WTP in a bidding task while in an MRI scanner. After that, participants tasted-objectively identical-chocolates, presented either as "FT" or as "conventionally produced". In the fMRI task, WTP was significantly higher for FT products. FT labeling increased activity in regions important for reward-processing and salience, that is, in the VS, anterior and posterior cingulate, as well as superior frontal gyrus. Subjective value, that is, WTP was correlated with activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We find that the anterior cingulate, VS and superior frontal gyrus exhibit task-related increases in functional connectivity to the vmPFC when an FT product was evaluated. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a highly probable directed modulation of the vmPFC by those three regions, suggesting a network which alters valuation processes. We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates. Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products. The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as designing

  9. Effects of social sustainability signaling on neural valuation signals and taste-experience of food products

    PubMed Central

    Enax, Laura; Krapp, Vanessa; Piehl, Alexandra; Weber, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Value-based decision making occurs when individuals choose between different alternatives and place a value on each alternative and its attributes. Marketing actions frequently manipulate product attributes, by adding, e.g., health claims on the packaging. A previous imaging study found that an emblem for organic products increased willingness to pay (WTP) and activity in the ventral striatum (VS). The current study investigated neural and behavioral processes underlying the influence of Fair Trade (FT) labeling on food valuation and choice. Sustainability is an important product attribute for many consumers, with FT signals being one way to highlight ethically sustainable production. Forty participants valuated products in combination with an FT emblem or no emblem and stated their WTP in a bidding task while in an MRI scanner. After that, participants tasted—objectively identical—chocolates, presented either as “FT” or as “conventionally produced”. In the fMRI task, WTP was significantly higher for FT products. FT labeling increased activity in regions important for reward-processing and salience, that is, in the VS, anterior and posterior cingulate, as well as superior frontal gyrus. Subjective value, that is, WTP was correlated with activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We find that the anterior cingulate, VS and superior frontal gyrus exhibit task-related increases in functional connectivity to the vmPFC when an FT product was evaluated. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a highly probable directed modulation of the vmPFC by those three regions, suggesting a network which alters valuation processes. We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates. Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products. The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as

  10. SALSA: a simulation tool to assess ecological sustainability of agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Ingrid Strid; Elmquist, Helena; Nybrant, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    In order to assess the ecological sustainability of agricultural production systems, there is a need for effective tools. We describe an environmental systems analysis tool called SALSA (Systems Ana/ysis for Sustainable Agriculture). It consists of substance/material flow models in which the simulation results are interpreted with life-cycle assessment methodology. The application of SALSA is demonstrated in a case study in which three different ways of producing pigs are compared with respect to energy input and the environmental impacts of global warming, eutrophication, and acidification. The scenario that combined a low-protein diet without soy meal with an improved manure-management technique with low nitrogen losses was the best for all impact categories studied. The strength of the SALSA models was their capacity to capture consequences of management options that had an influence on several processes on a farm, which enabled the type of complex studies we describe. PMID:16092274

  11. [Contamination with genetically modified maize MON863 of processed foods on the market].

    PubMed

    Ohgiya, Yoko; Sakai, Masaaki; Miyashita, Taeko; Yano, Koichi

    2009-06-01

    Genetically modified maize MON863 (MON863), which has passed a safety examination in Japan, is commercially cultivated in the United States as a food and a resource for fuel. Maize is an anemophilous flower, which easily hybridizes. However, an official method for quantifying the content of MON863 has not been provided yet in Japan. We here examined MON863 contamination in maize-processed foods that had no labeling indicating of the use of genetically modified maize.From March 2006 to July 2008, we purchased 20 frozen maize products, 8 maize powder products, 7 canned maize products and 4 other maize processed foods. Three primer pairs named MON 863 primer, MON863-1, and M3/M4 for MON863-specific integrated cassette were used for qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A primer pair "SSIIb-3" for starch synthase gene was used to confirm the quality of extracted DNA. The starch synthase gene was detected in all samples. In qualitative tests, the MON863-specific fragments were detected in 7 (18%) maize powder products out of the 39 processed foods with all the three primer pairs.We concluded that various maize processed foods on the market were contaminated with MON863. It is important to accumulate further information on MON863 contamination in maize-processed foods that have no label indication of the use of genetically modified maize. PMID:19602862

  12. Physiological and molecular analysis of selected Kenyan maize lines for aluminum tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aluminum (Al) toxicity is an important limitation to maize production in many tropical and sub-tropical acid soil areas. The aim of this study was to survey the variation in Al tolerance in a panel of maize lines adapted for Kenya and look for novel sources of Al tolerance. 112 Kenyan maize accessio...

  13. Functional significance of dinitrogen fixation in sustaining coral productivity under oligotrophic conditions.

    PubMed

    Cardini, Ulisse; Bednarz, Vanessa N; Naumann, Malik S; van Hoytema, Nanne; Rix, Laura; Foster, Rachel A; Al-Rshaidat, Mamoon M D; Wild, Christian

    2015-11-01

    Functional traits define species by their ecological role in the ecosystem. Animals themselves are host-microbe ecosystems (holobionts), and the application of ecophysiological approaches can help to understand their functioning. In hard coral holobionts, communities of dinitrogen (N2)-fixing prokaryotes (diazotrophs) may contribute a functional trait by providing bioavailable nitrogen (N) that could sustain coral productivity under oligotrophic conditions. This study quantified N2 fixation by diazotrophs associated with four genera of hermatypic corals on a northern Red Sea fringing reef exposed to high seasonality. We found N2 fixation activity to be 5- to 10-fold higher in summer, when inorganic nutrient concentrations were lowest and water temperature and light availability highest. Concurrently, coral gross primary productivity remained stable despite lower Symbiodinium densities and tissue chlorophyll a contents. In contrast, chlorophyll a content per Symbiodinium cell increased from spring to summer, suggesting that algal cells overcame limitation of N, an essential element for chlorophyll synthesis. In fact, N2 fixation was positively correlated with coral productivity in summer, when its contribution was estimated to meet 11% of the Symbiodinium N requirements. These results provide evidence of an important functional role of diazotrophs in sustaining coral productivity when alternative external N sources are scarce. PMID:26511052

  14. Expansion of Sugarcane area for Ethanol production in Brazil: a Threat to Food Production and Environmental Sustainability?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monteiro, J. M.; Coutinho, H. L.; Veiga, L. B.

    2012-12-01

    The raise in fossil fuels prices and the increase in Greenhouse Gas emissions is leading nations to adopt non-fossil fuels based energy sources. Sugarcane crops for biofuel production are expanding fast in Brazil, mainly through land use change (LUC) processes, in substitution of pasturelands and grain crops plantations. Would these changes affect negatively sustainability assessments of bioethanol production in the future? We estimate the extent of sugarcane cropland needed to produce sufficient ethanol to attend to market demands. This work presents a baseline scenario for sugarcane cropping area in Brazil in 2017, taking into account market forces (supply and demand). We also comment on a policy instrument targetting sustainable sugarcane production in Brazil. The expansion scenarios took into account the demand for ethanol from 2008-2017, produced by the Energy Research Corporation, of Brazil. In order to develop the expansion scenario, we estimated the amount of sugarcane needed to attend the ethanol demand. We then calculated the area needed to generate that amount of sugarcane. The analytical parameters were: 1) one tonne of sugarcane produces an average 81.6 liters of ethanol; 2) the average sugarcane crop productivity varied linearly from 81.4 tons/hectare in 2008 to 86.2 tons/hectare in 2017. We also assumed that sugarcane productivity in 2017 as the current average productivity of sugarcane in the State of São Paulo. The results show that the requirement for 3.5 million ha in 2007 will increase to 9 million ha in 2017. The Sugarcane Agroecologic Zoning (ZAECANA), published by Embrapa (2009), is a tool that not only informs the territory occupation and use policies, but also classifies land as qualified, restricted or non-qualified for the plantation of sugarcane crops. The ZAECANA is based on soil and climate suitability assessments, and is presented in a spatially-explicit format. Adopting the precautionary principle, a national policy was established

  15. Climate change and maize yield in Iowa

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Xu, Hong; Twine, Tracy E.; Girvetz, Evan

    2016-05-24

    Climate is changing across the world, including the major maize-growing state of Iowa in the USA. To maintain crop yields, farmers will need a suite of adaptation strategies, and choice of strategy will depend on how the local to regional climate is expected to change. Here we predict how maize yield might change through the 21st century as compared with late 20th century yields across Iowa, USA, a region representing ideal climate and soils for maize production that contributes substantially to the global maize economy. To account for climate model uncertainty, we drive a dynamic ecosystem model with output frommore » six climate models and two future climate forcing scenarios. Despite a wide range in the predicted amount of warming and change to summer precipitation, all simulations predict a decrease in maize yields from late 20th century to middle and late 21st century ranging from 15% to 50%. Linear regression of all models predicts a 6% state-averaged yield decrease for every 1°C increase in warm season average air temperature. When the influence of moisture stress on crop growth is removed from the model, yield decreases either remain the same or are reduced, depending on predicted changes in warm season precipitation. Lastly, our results suggest that even if maize were to receive all the water it needed, under the strongest climate forcing scenario yields will decline by 10-20% by the end of the 21st century.« less

  16. Climate Change and Maize Yield in Iowa.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hong; Twine, Tracy E; Girvetz, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Climate is changing across the world, including the major maize-growing state of Iowa in the USA. To maintain crop yields, farmers will need a suite of adaptation strategies, and choice of strategy will depend on how the local to regional climate is expected to change. Here we predict how maize yield might change through the 21st century as compared with late 20th century yields across Iowa, USA, a region representing ideal climate and soils for maize production that contributes substantially to the global maize economy. To account for climate model uncertainty, we drive a dynamic ecosystem model with output from six climate models and two future climate forcing scenarios. Despite a wide range in the predicted amount of warming and change to summer precipitation, all simulations predict a decrease in maize yields from late 20th century to middle and late 21st century ranging from 15% to 50%. Linear regression of all models predicts a 6% state-averaged yield decrease for every 1°C increase in warm season average air temperature. When the influence of moisture stress on crop growth is removed from the model, yield decreases either remain the same or are reduced, depending on predicted changes in warm season precipitation. Our results suggest that even if maize were to receive all the water it needed, under the strongest climate forcing scenario yields will decline by 10-20% by the end of the 21st century. PMID:27219116

  17. Climate Change and Maize Yield in Iowa

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hong; Twine, Tracy E.; Girvetz, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Climate is changing across the world, including the major maize-growing state of Iowa in the USA. To maintain crop yields, farmers will need a suite of adaptation strategies, and choice of strategy will depend on how the local to regional climate is expected to change. Here we predict how maize yield might change through the 21st century as compared with late 20th century yields across Iowa, USA, a region representing ideal climate and soils for maize production that contributes substantially to the global maize economy. To account for climate model uncertainty, we drive a dynamic ecosystem model with output from six climate models and two future climate forcing scenarios. Despite a wide range in the predicted amount of warming and change to summer precipitation, all simulations predict a decrease in maize yields from late 20th century to middle and late 21st century ranging from 15% to 50%. Linear regression of all models predicts a 6% state-averaged yield decrease for every 1°C increase in warm season average air temperature. When the influence of moisture stress on crop growth is removed from the model, yield decreases either remain the same or are reduced, depending on predicted changes in warm season precipitation. Our results suggest that even if maize were to receive all the water it needed, under the strongest climate forcing scenario yields will decline by 10–20% by the end of the 21st century. PMID:27219116

  18. Climate change compromises the immune response of maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize is by quantity the most important C4 cereal crop in the US; however, future climate changes are expected to increase maize susceptibility to mycotoxigenic fungal pathogens and reduce productivity. While rising atmospheric [CO2] is a driving force behind the warmer temperatures and drought, whi...

  19. Constructing a Cytogenetic Map of the Maize Genome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We are developing a pachytene cytogenetic FISH (Fluorescence in situ Hybridization) map of the maize (Zea mays L.) genome using maize marker-selected sorghum BACs (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) as described by Koumbaris and Bass (2003, Plant J. 35:647). The two main projects are the production of...

  20. Photosynthetic response of field-grown maize to fertilizer N

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    While N supply has a large effect on growth and productivity of field-grown maize, its impact on leaf and canopy photosynthesis is less clear. Our objective was to characterize how N supply, and use of N by the maize plant impacts photosynthesis under field conditions. The N supply/N use was altered...

  1. Silicification-induced cell aggregation for the sustainable production of H2 under aerobic conditions.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Wei; Zhao, Xiaohong; Zhu, Genxing; Shao, Changyu; Li, Yaling; Ma, Weimin; Xu, Xurong; Tang, Ruikang

    2015-10-01

    Photobiological hydrogen production is of great importance because of its promise for generating clean renewable energy. In nature, green algae cannot produce hydrogen as a result of the extreme sensitivity of hydrogenase to oxygen. However, we find that silicification-induced green algae aggregates can achieve sustainable photobiological hydrogen production even under natural aerobic conditions. The core-shell structure of the green algae aggregates creates a balance between photosynthetic electron generation and hydrogenase activity, thus allowing the production of hydrogen. This finding provides a viable pathway for the solar-driven splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen to develop green energy alternatives by using rationally designed cell-material complexes. PMID:26302695

  2. Banana production systems: identification of alternative systems for more sustainable production.

    PubMed

    Bellamy, Angelina Sanderson

    2013-04-01

    Large-scale, monoculture production systems dependent on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, increase yields, but are costly and have deleterious impacts on human health and the environment. This research investigates variations in banana production practices in Costa Rica, to identify alternative systems that combine high productivity and profitability, with reduced reliance on agrochemicals. Farm workers were observed during daily production activities; 39 banana producers and 8 extension workers/researchers were interviewed; and a review of field experiments conducted by the National Banana Corporation between 1997 and 2002 was made. Correspondence analysis showed that there is no structured variation in large-scale banana producers' practices, but two other banana production systems were identified: a small-scale organic system and a small-scale conventional coffee-banana intercropped system. Field-scale research may reveal ways that these practices can be scaled up to achieve a productive and profitable system producing high-quality export bananas with fewer or no pesticides. PMID:23055273

  3. MaizeGDB, the maize model organism database

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    MaizeGDB is the maize research community's database for maize genetic and genomic information. In this seminar I will outline our current endeavors including a full website redesign, the status of maize genome assembly and annotation projects, and work toward genome functional annotation. Mechanis...

  4. Adaptation to climate change in industry: improving resource efficiency through sustainable production applications.

    PubMed

    Alkayal, Emrah; Bogurcu, Merve; Ulutas, Ferda; Demirer, Göksel Niyazi

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the climate change adaptation opportunities of six companies from different sectors through resource efficiency and sustainable production. A total of 77 sustainable production options were developed for the companies based on the audits conducted. After screening these opportunities with each company's staff, 19 options were selected and implemented. Significant water savings (849,668 m3/year) were achieved as a result of the applications that targeted reduction of water use. In addition to water savings, the energy consumption was reduced by 3,607 MWh, which decreased the CO2 emissions by 904.1 tons/year. Moreover, the consumption of 278.4 tons/year of chemicals (e.g., NaCl, CdO, NaCN) was avoided, thus the corresponding pollution load to the wastewater treatment plant was reduced. Besides the tangible improvements, other gains were achieved, such as improved product quality, improved health and safety conditions, reduced maintenance requirements, and ensured compliance with national and EU regulations. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is the first ever activity in Turkey devoted to climate change adaptation in the private sector. This study may serve as a building block in Turkey for the integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation approach in the industry, since water efficiency (adaptation) and carbon reduction (mitigation) are achieved simultaneously. PMID:25630123

  5. Land-based production of animal protein: impacts, efficiency, and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guoyao; Bazer, Fuller W; Cross, H Russell

    2014-11-01

    Land-based production of high-quality protein by livestock and poultry plays an important role in improving human nutrition, growth, and health, as well as economical and social developments worldwide. With exponential growth of the global population and marked rises in meat consumption per capita, demands for animal-source protein are expected to increase by 72% between 2013 and 2050. This raises concerns about the sustainability and environmental impacts of animal agriculture. An attractive solution to meeting the increasing needs for animal products and mitigating undesired effects of agricultural practices is to enhance the efficiency of animal growth, reproduction, and lactation. Breeding techniques may help achieve this goal, but have only met with limited success. A promising, mechanism-based approach is to optimize the proportion and amounts of amino acids in diets for maximizing whole-body protein synthesis and feed efficiency. Improvements in farm animal productivity will not only decrease the contamination of soils, groundwater, and air by excessive manure, but will also help sustain animal agriculture to produce high-quality protein for the expanding population in the face of diminishing resources. PMID:25376888

  6. Effects of different levels of wheat bran, rice bran and maize powder supplementation with saw dust on the production of shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Singer)

    PubMed Central

    Moonmoon, Mahbuba; Shelly, Nasrat Jahan; Khan, Md. Asaduzzaman; Uddin, Md. Nazim; Hossain, Kamal; Tania, Mousumi; Ahmed, Saleh

    2010-01-01

    The cultivation of shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) is increasing rapidly in Bangladesh due to its nutritional and medicinal importance with excellent flavor and longer shelf life. With the aim of increased production, we have cultivated L. edodes on saw dust (SD) supplemented with different levels (10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35% and 40%) of wheat bran (WB), rice bran (RB), maize powder (MP) and their combination (WB+RB+MP = 1:1:1) to investigate the growth, yield and quality of this mushroom. Most of the growth, yield and quality parameters varied significantly when mushrooms were cultivated with different levels of supplementation. The yield of mushroom was increased with the level of each supplementation upto a certain level, and then decreased. SD supplemented with 25% WB produced the highest number of fruiting bodies (34.8/500 g packet), highest biological yield (153.3/500 g packet), and biological efficiency (76.6%) of L. edodes. But the yield of the best quality mushroom was observed on SD with 40% WB supplementation; however, the qualities were not always supplementation dose dependent. In this study, we report that 25% WB supplementation with SD may be very effective for higher yield and 40% WB supplementation for better quality of L. edodes. PMID:23961143

  7. Integrated nutrient management (INM) for sustaining crop productivity and reducing environmental impact: a review.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Ma, Baoluo

    2015-04-15

    The increasing food demands of a growing human population and the need for an environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agricultural development require significant attention when addressing the issue of enhancing crop productivity. Here we discuss the role of integrated nutrient management (INM) in resolving these concerns, which has been proposed as a promising strategy for addressing such challenges. INM has multifaceted potential for the improvement of plant performance and resource efficiency while also enabling the protection of the environment and resource quality. This review examines the concepts, objectives, procedures and principles of INM. A comprehensive literature search revealed that INM enhances crop yields by 8-150% compared with conventional practices, increases water-use efficiency, and the economic returns to farmers, while improving grain quality and soil health and sustainability. Model simulation and fate assessment further reveal that reactive nitrogen (N) losses and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are reduced substantially under advanced INM practices. Lower inputs of chemical fertilizer and therefore lower human and environmental costs (such as intensity of land use, N use, reactive N losses and GHG emissions) were achieved under advanced INM practices without compromising crop yields. Various approaches and perspectives for further development of INM in the near future are also proposed and discussed. Strong and convincing evidence indicates that INM practice could be an innovative and environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agriculture worldwide. PMID:25644838

  8. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration

    PubMed Central

    To, Jennifer PC; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N

    2010-01-01

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration. PMID:21173868

  9. Phylogeny in Defining Model Plants for Lignocellulosic Ethanol Production: A Comparative Study of Brachypodium distachyon, Wheat, Maize, and Miscanthus x giganteus Leaf and Stem Biomass

    PubMed Central

    Meineke, Till; Manisseri, Chithra; Voigt, Christian A.

    2014-01-01

    The production of ethanol from pretreated plant biomass during fermentation is a strategy to mitigate climate change by substituting fossil fuels. However, biomass conversion is mainly limited by the recalcitrant nature of the plant cell wall. To overcome recalcitrance, the optimization of the plant cell wall for subsequent processing is a promising approach. Based on their phylogenetic proximity to existing and emerging energy crops, model plants have been proposed to study bioenergy-related cell wall biochemistry. One example is Brachypodium distachyon, which has been considered as a general model plant for cell wall analysis in grasses. To test whether relative phylogenetic proximity would be sufficient to qualify as a model plant not only for cell wall composition but also for the complete process leading to bioethanol production, we compared the processing of leaf and stem biomass from the C3 grasses B. distachyon and Triticum aestivum (wheat) with the C4 grasses Zea mays (maize) and Miscanthus x giganteus, a perennial energy crop. Lambda scanning with a confocal laser-scanning microscope allowed a rapid qualitative analysis of biomass saccharification. A maximum of 108–117 mg ethanol·g−1 dry biomass was yielded from thermo-chemically and enzymatically pretreated stem biomass of the tested plant species. Principal component analysis revealed that a relatively strong correlation between similarities in lignocellulosic ethanol production and phylogenetic relation was only given for stem and leaf biomass of the two tested C4 grasses. Our results suggest that suitability of B. distachyon as a model plant for biomass conversion of energy crops has to be specifically tested based on applied processing parameters and biomass tissue type. PMID:25133818

  10. Maize Genetic Resources

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter describes the resources held at the Maize Genetics Cooperation • Stock Center in detail and also provides some information about the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) in Ames, IA, Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT) in Mexico, and the N...

  11. Sorghum and Maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sorghum and maize are closely related cereal grains grown throughout the world. Sorghum, a drought tolerant crop grown in semi-arid regions, is a basic food staple in many parts of the developing world, while primarily an animal feed in western countries. Maize, a major worldwide crop, is used for...

  12. MAIZE ALLELIC DIVERSITY PROJECT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Of the estimated 250-300 races of maize, only 24 races are represented in materials utilized by the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project, a collaborative effort between USDA-ARS and public and private sector research scientists. This is largely a result of poor performance of many races in ...

  13. Sustainability of egg production in the United States--the policy and market context.

    PubMed

    Mench, J A; Sumner, D A; Rosen-Molina, J T

    2011-01-01

    The US egg industry is being pressured from many directions to change its production practices, particularly to address concerns about hen welfare in conventional cage systems. Responding to similar pressures, in 1999, the European Union banned conventional laying cages starting in 2012. This now impending European ban has led to the development of several alternative housing systems. These include noncage systems like aviaries and modified (enriched or furnished) cages that include perches, areas in which the hens can forage and dustbathe, and nests. Understanding the European experience is valuable as the United States considers the future direction of the egg industry. In the United States, the proportion of eggs produced in alternative systems is small (less than 5% of output) but growing, in part due to market and political incentives for systems that provide hens with more behavioral freedom than conventional cages. Animal welfare, however, is only one element of a sustainable production system. Other elements include those related to public values, the environment, economics, worker health, and food safety and quality. Eggs are a primary source of animal protein globally, and the United States is the third largest producer of eggs in the world, behind China and the European Union. The national table egg flock comprises about 280 million hens housed in all regions but with approximately 60% of eggs produced in the 10 leading states. Adopting new housing systems will have substantial effects on costs and other aspects of egg production on both a regional and national scale, with some positive effects but also potential negative effects that need to be carefully considered. This paper discusses the US egg industry in the context of legislation and standards related to hen housing systems. It also addresses initiatives by retailers, nongovernmental organizations, and private certification organizations to shape production practices in the egg industry as well as

  14. Technology for Improving Production, Economic Efficiency, Quality and Sustainability in Peanut Production and Handling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proper crop rotation is essential to maintaining high peanut yield and quality. However, the economic considerations of maintaining or altering crop rotation sequences must incorporate the commodity prices, production costs, and yield responses of all crops in, or potentially in, the crop rotation ...

  15. Food and sustainability: do consumers recognize, understand and value on-package information on production standards?

    PubMed

    Hoogland, Carolien T; de Boer, Joop; Boersema, Jan J

    2007-07-01

    We tested how consumers recognize, understand and value on-package information about food production methods that may contribute to a more sustainable agriculture. Nine copy tests were formed, each containing one out of three products and one out of three panels of information. The products were (1) fillet of chicken, (2) semi-skimmed milk and (3) fillet of salmon. The panels of information were (a) a certified organic logo and details about the animal welfare standards of organic products, (b) just the logo, or (c) a statement in which the product was attributed to the world market. About 371 customers of a supermarket in the city of Amsterdam filled in a questionnaire, which included a subset of three copy tests. The results showed that many consumers did not realize that the organic logo already covers all the standards. They were inclined to underestimate the distinctive advantage of the logo; products with logo and details got higher ratings of positive attributes but were also considered more expensive. As a consequence, the detailed information panels enabled consumers to choose more in agreement with their personal values but the net impacts on purchase intentions were small. PMID:17303285

  16. Sustainable Systems Analysis of Production and Transportation Scenarios for Conventional and Bio-based Energy Commodities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doran, E. M.; Golden, J. S.; Nowacek, D. P.

    2013-12-01

    International commerce places unique pressures on the sustainability of water resources and marine environments. System impacts include noise, emissions, and chemical and biological pollutants like introduction of invasive species into key ecosystems. At the same time, maritime trade also enables the sustainability ambition of intragenerational equity in the economy through the global circulation of commodities and manufactured goods, including agricultural, energy and mining resources (UN Trade and Development Board 2013). This paper presents a framework to guide the analysis of the multiple dimensions of the sustainable commerce-ocean nexus. As a demonstration case, we explore the social, economic and environmental aspects of the nexus framework using scenarios for the production and transportation of conventional and bio-based energy commodities. Using coupled LCA and GIS methodologies, we are able to orient the findings spatially for additional insight. Previous work on the sustainable use of marine resources has focused on distinct aspects of the maritime environment. The framework presented here, integrates the anthropogenic use, governance and impacts on the marine and coastal environments with the natural components of the system. A similar framework has been highly effective in progressing the study of land-change science (Turner et al 2007), however modification is required for the unique context of the marine environment. This framework will enable better research integration and planning for sustainability objectives including mitigation and adaptation to climate change, sea level rise, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, protection of critical marine habitat and species, and better management of the ocean as an emerging resource base for the production and transport of commodities and energy across the globe. The framework can also be adapted for vulnerability analysis, resilience studies and to evaluate the trends in production, consumption and

  17. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Dale; Bell, Samuel D.; Fay, John; Bothi, Kim L.; Gatere, Lydiah; Kabila, Makando; Mukamba, Mwangala; Matokwani, Edwin; Mushimbalume, Matthews; Moraru, Carmen I.; Lehmann, Johannes; Lassoie, James; Wolfe, David; Lee, David R.; Buck, Louise; Travis, Alexander J.

    2011-01-01

    In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873184

  18. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K Thomas; Mullen, Robert T; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2016-01-01

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds. PMID:26916792

  19. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A.; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N.; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J.; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C.; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G.; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K. Thomas; Mullen, Robert T.; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M.; Cahoon, Edgar B.

    2016-01-01

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds. PMID:26916792

  20. Iron control in west Texas sour-gas wells provides sustained production increases

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, M.L.; Dill, W.R.; Besler, M.R.; McFatridge, D.G. )

    1991-05-01

    Permian Basin operators have recorded sustained production increases in oil wells by preventing precipitation of iron sulfide and other sulfur-containing species. This improvement has resulted largely from cleaning out tubing before acidizing and from preventing the precipitation of ferrous sulfide and the formation of elemental sulfur by simultaneous use of iron chelants and sulfide-control agents. Previously used methods gave only temporary production increases that terminated when iron dissolved by the stimulation acid reprecipitated in the pay zone and damage the formation after the stimulation acid was spent. This paper describes a method to optimize iron sulfide control, methods to minimize reprecipitation, and case histories from the Permian Basin that show improved methods to control iron in sour-well environments.

  1. Fuelling the future: microbial engineering for the production of sustainable biofuels.

    PubMed

    Liao, James C; Mi, Luo; Pontrelli, Sammy; Luo, Shanshan

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change linked to the accumulation of greenhouse gases has caused concerns regarding the use of fossil fuels as the major energy source. To mitigate climate change while keeping energy supply sustainable, one solution is to rely on the ability of microorganisms to use renewable resources for biofuel synthesis. In this Review, we discuss how microorganisms can be explored for the production of next-generation biofuels, based on the ability of bacteria and fungi to use lignocellulose; through direct CO2 conversion by microalgae; using lithoautotrophs driven by solar electricity; or through the capacity of microorganisms to use methane generated from landfill. Furthermore, we discuss how to direct these substrates to the biosynthetic pathways of various fuel compounds and how to optimize biofuel production by engineering fuel pathways and central metabolism. PMID:27026253

  2. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers deplete soil nitrogen: a global dilemma for sustainable cereal production.

    PubMed

    Mulvaney, R L; Khan, S A; Ellsworth, T R

    2009-01-01

    Cereal production that now sustains a world population of more than 6.5 billion has tripled during the past 40 yr, concurrent with an increase from 12 to 104 Tg yr(-1) of synthetic N applied largely in ammoniacal fertilizers. These fertilizers have been managed as a cost-effective form of insurance against low yields, without regard to the inherent effect of mineral N in promoting microbial C utilization. Such an effect is consistent with a net loss of soil organic C recently observed for the Morrow Plots, America's oldest experiment field, after 40 to 50 yr of synthetic N fertilization that substantially exceeded grain N removal. A similar decline in total soil N is reported herein for the same site and would be expected from the predominantly organic occurrence of soil N. This decline is in agreement with numerous long-term baseline data sets from chemical-based cropping systems involving a wide variety of soils, geographic regions, and tillage practices. The loss of organic N decreases soil productivity and the agronomic efficiency (kg grain kg(-1) N) of fertilizer N and has been implicated in widespread reports of yield stagnation or even decline for grain production in Asia. A major global evaluation of current cereal production systems should be undertaken, with a view toward using scientific and technological advances to increase input efficiencies. As one aspect of this strategy, the input of ammoniacal N should be more accurately matched to crop N requirement. Long-term sustainability may require agricultural diversification involving a gradual transition from intensive synthetic N inputs to legume-based crop rotations. PMID:19875786

  3. Interactions of woody biofuel feedstock production systems with water resources: Considerations for sustainability.

    SciTech Connect

    Trettin, Carl,C.; Amatya, Devendra; Coleman, Mark.

    2008-07-01

    Abstract. Water resources are important for the production of woody biofuel feedstocks. It is necessary to ensure that production systems do not adversely affect the quantity or quality of surface and ground water. The effects of woody biomass plantations on water resources are largely dependent on the prior land use and the management regime. Experience from both irrigated and non-irrigated systems has demonstrated that woody biofuel production systems do not impair water quality. Water quality actually improves from conversion of idle or degraded agricultural lands to woody biomass plantations. Site water balance may be altered by cultivation of woody biomass plantations relative to agricultural use, due to increases in evapostranspiration (ET) and storage. Incorporation of woody biomass production plantations within the landscape provides an opportunity to improve the quality of runoff water and soil conservation. Given the centrality of water resources to the sustainability of ecosystem services and other values derived, the experience with woody biofuels feedstock production systems is positive. Keywords. Short rotation woody crop, forest hydrology, water quality, hardwood plantation.

  4. Progress toward evaluating the sustainability of switchgrass production as a bioenergy crop using the SWAT model

    SciTech Connect

    Baskaran, Latha Malar; Jager, Yetta; Schweizer, Peter E; Srinivasan, Raghavan

    2010-01-01

    Adding bioenergy to the US energy portfolio requires long-term profitability for bioenergy producers and the long-term protection of affected ecosystems. In this study, we present steps along the path towards evaluating both sides of the sustainability equation (production and environmental) for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). We modeled production of switchgrass and river flow using SWAT for current landscapes at a regional scale. To quantify feedstock production, we compared lowland switchgrass yields simulated by SWAT with estimates from a model based on empirical data for the eastern US. Geographic patterns were very similar. Average yields reported in field trials tended to be higher than average SWAT-predicted yields, which may nevertheless be more representative of production-scale yields. As a preliminary step toward quantifying bioenergy-related changes in water quality, we evaluated flow predictions by the SWAT model for the Arkansas-Red-White river basin. Monthly SWAT flow predictions were compared to USGS measurements from 86 subbasins across the region. Although agreement was good, analysis of residuals (functional validation) identified patterns to guide future improvements. Our next step will be to continue model improvement, after which we will forecast changes in water quality associated with incorporating bioenergy crops into future landscapes. This analysis will help us, in future, to identify areas with the highest economic and environmental potential for feedstock production.

  5. Study of the Assessment Method for N Excretion in Sustainable Heavy Pigs Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Kaijun; Liu, Fenghua; Xu, Xiaolong; Xu, Jianqin; Zoccarato, Ivo

    Italian heavy pigs, with an average slaughtering body weight of 150-170 kg, are world-wide famous for its Parma ham production. Because the requirement of market diversity, producers are interested in ham production following the procedure of Italian pork industry. However, with ever growing public concern about nitrogen (N) pollution in the environment, it is necessary to determine a suitable method to measure N excretion from heavy pig production. The N retention was calculated by factorial method and compared with estimations of other methods available in literature. The results showed that the N percentage of heavy pigs is 2.43% ± 0.07% on body weight basis and the percentage of N excretion was approximately 69.62% ± 0.20 of N intake. Regarding the N excretion of estimation methods, the proposal of Xiccato et al. was closer to reality of the heavy pig production than other methods and could be used as a standard way to calculate the N excretion. Besides the overall standard, it is opportune to make a N balance sheet for every individual farm under specific conditions. Only in this way, the farmers can realize their deficiencies and will voluntarily follow the Good Management Practice (GMP) indications so as to guarantee a sustainable development of pig production.

  6. Knowledge and tools to enhance resilience of beef grazing systems for sustainable animal protein production.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Jean L; Engle, David M; Xiao, Xiangming; Saleh, Ali; Tomlinson, Peter; Rice, Charles W; Cole, N Andy; Coleman, Samuel W; Osei, Edward; Basara, Jeffrey; Middendorf, Gerad; Gowda, Prasanna; Todd, Richard; Moffet, Corey; Anandhi, Aavudai; Starks, Patrick J; Ocshner, Tyson; Reuter, Ryan; Devlin, Daniel

    2014-11-01

    Ruminant livestock provides meat and dairy products that sustain health and livelihood for much of the world's population. Grazing lands that support ruminant livestock provide numerous ecosystem services, including provision of food, water, and genetic resources; climate and water regulation; support of soil formation; nutrient cycling; and cultural services. In the U.S. southern Great Plains, beef production on pastures, rangelands, and hay is a major economic activity. The region's climate is characterized by extremes of heat and cold and extremes of drought and flooding. Grazing lands occupy a large portion of the region's land, significantly affecting carbon, nitrogen, and water budgets. To understand vulnerabilities and enhance resilience of beef production, a multi-institutional Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP), the "grazing CAP," was established. Integrative research and extension spanning biophysical, socioeconomic, and agricultural disciplines address management effects on productivity and environmental footprints of production systems. Knowledge and tools being developed will allow farmers and ranchers to evaluate risks and increase resilience to dynamic conditions. The knowledge and tools developed will also have relevance to grazing lands in semiarid and subhumid regions of the world. PMID:25376887

  7. The iojap gene in maize

    SciTech Connect

    Martienssen, Robert

    2001-12-01

    The classical maize mutant iojap (Iodent japonica) has variegated green and white leaves. Green sectors have cells with normal chloroplasts whereas white sectors have cells where plastids fail to differentiate. These mutant plastids, when transmitted through the female gametophyte, do not recover in the presence of wild type Iojap. We cloned the Ij locus, and we have investigated the mechanism of epigenetic inheritance and phenotypic expression. More recently, a modifier of this type of variegation, ''Inhibitor of striate'', has also been cloned. Both the iojap and inhibitor of striate proteins have homologs in bacteria and are members of ancient conserved families found in multiple species. These tools can be used to address fundamental questions of inheritance and variegation associated with this classical conundrum of maize genetics. Since the work of Rhoades there has been considerable speculation concerning the nature of the Iojap gene product, the origin of leaf variegation and the mechanism behind the material inheritance of defective plastids. This has made Iojap a textbook paradigm for cytoplasmic inheritance and nuclear-organellar interaction for almost 50 years. Cloning of the Iojap gene in maize, and homologs in other plants and bacteria, provides a new means to address the origin of heteroplastidity, variegation and cytoplasmic inheritance in higher plants.

  8. Links between surface productivity and deep ocean particle flux at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain sustained observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frigstad, H.; Henson, S. A.; Hartman, S. E.; Omar, A. M.; Jeansson, E.; Cole, H.; Pebody, C.; Lampitt, R. S.

    2015-10-01

    In this study we present hydrography, biogeochemistry and sediment trap observations between 2003 and 2012 at Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) sustained observatory in the Northeast Atlantic. The time series is valuable as it allows for investigation of the link between surface productivity and deep ocean carbon flux. The region is a perennial sink for CO2, with an average uptake of around 1.5 mmol m-2 day-1. The average monthly drawdowns of inorganic carbon and nitrogen were used to quantify the net community production (NCP) and new production. Seasonal NCP and new production were found to be 4.57 ± 0.85 mol C m-2 and 0.37 ± 0.14 mol N m-2, respectively. The C : N ratio was high (12) compared to the Redfield ratio (6.6), and the production calculated from carbon was higher than production calculated from nitrogen, which is indicative of carbon overconsumption. The export ratio and transfer efficiency were 16 and 4 %, respectively, and the site thereby showed high flux attenuation. Particle tracking was used to examine the source region of material in the sediment trap, and there was large variation in source regions, both between and within years. There were higher correlations between surface productivity and export flux when using the particle-tracking approach, than by comparing with the mean productivity in a 100 km box around the PAP site. However, the differences in correlation coefficients were not significant, and a longer time series is needed to draw conclusions on applying particle tracking in sediment trap analyses.

  9. Cadmium induces acidosis in maize root cells.

    PubMed

    Nocito, Fabio Francesco; Espen, Luca; Crema, Barbara; Cocucci, Maurizio; Sacchi, Gian Attilio

    2008-01-01

    * Cadmium (Cd) stress increases cell metabolic demand for sulfur, reducing equivalents, and carbon skeletons, to sustain phytochelatin biosynthesis for Cd detoxification. In this condition the induction of potentially acidifying anaplerotic metabolism in root tissues may be expected. For these reasons the effects of Cd accumulation on anaplerotic metabolism, glycolysis, and cell pH control mechanisms were investigated in maize (Zea mays) roots. * The study compared root apical segments, excised from plants grown for 24 h in a nutrient solution supplemented, or not, with 10 microM CdCl(2), using physiological, biochemical and (31)P-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) approaches. * Cadmium exposure resulted in a significant decrease in both cytosolic and vacuolar pH of root cells and in a concomitant increase in the carbon fluxes through anaplerotic metabolism leading to malate biosynthesis, as suggested by changes in dark CO2 fixation, metabolite levels and enzyme activities along glycolysis, and mitochondrial alternative respiration capacity. This scenario was accompanied by a decrease in the net H(+) efflux from the roots, probably related to changes in plasma membrane permeability. * It is concluded that anaplerotic metabolism triggered by Cd detoxification processes might lead to an imbalance in H(+) production and consumption, and then to cell acidosis. PMID:18537888

  10. Production of Singlet Oxygen in a Non-Self-Sustained Discharge

    SciTech Connect

    Vasil'eva, A.N.; Klopovskii, K.S.; Kovalev, A.S.; Lopaev, D.V.; Mankelevich, Yu.A.; Popov, N.A.; Rakhimov, A.T.; Rakhimova, T.V.

    2005-04-15

    The production of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) singlet oxygen in non-self-sustained discharges in pure oxygen and mixtures of oxygen with noble gases (Ar or He) was studied experimentally. It is shown that the energy efficiency of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) production can be optimized with respect to the reduced electric field E/N. It is shown that the optimal E/N values correspond to electron temperatures of 1.2-1.4 eV. At these E/N values, a decrease in the oxygen percentage in the mixture leads to an increase in the excitation rate of singlet oxygen because of the increase in the specific energy deposition per O{sub 2} molecule. The onset of discharge instabilities not only greatly reduces the energy efficiency of singlet oxygen production but also makes it impossible to achieve high energy deposition in a non-self-sustained discharge. A model of a non-self-sustained discharge in pure oxygen is developed. It is shown that good agreement between the experimental and computed results for a discharge in oxygen over a wide range of reduced electric fields can be achieved only by taking into account the ion component of the discharge current. The cross section for the electron-impact excitation of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) and the kinetic scheme of the discharge processes with the participation of singlet oxygen are verified by comparing the experimental and computed data on the energy efficiency of the production of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) and the dynamics of its concentration. It is shown that, in the dynamics of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) molecules in the discharge afterglow, an important role is played by their deexcitation in a three-body reaction with the participation of O({sup 3}P) atoms. At high energy depositions in a non-self-sustained discharge, this reaction can reduce the maximal attainable concentration of singlet oxygen. The effect of a hydrogen additive to an Ar : O{sub 2} mixture is analyzed based on the results

  11. From the Academy: Colloquium perspective. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Cook, R James

    2006-12-01

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding. PMID:17130454

  12. Effect of parity on productivity and sustainability of Lotka-Volterra food chains: bounded orbits in food chains.

    PubMed

    Massarelli, Nicole; Hoffman, Kathleen; Previte, Joseph P

    2014-12-01

    Hairston, Slobodkin, and Smith conjectured that top down forces act on food chains, which opposed the previously accepted theory that bottom up forces exclusively dictate the dynamics of populations. We model food chains using the Lotka-Volterra predation model and derive sustainability constants which determine which species will persist or go extinct. Further, we show that the productivity of a sustainable food chain with even trophic levels is predator regulated, or top down, while a sustainable food chain with odd trophic levels is resource limited, which is bottom up, which is consistent with current ecological theory. PMID:24362648

  13. SYNBIOCHEM-a SynBio foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals.

    PubMed

    Carbonell, Pablo; Currin, Andrew; Dunstan, Mark; Fellows, Donal; Jervis, Adrian; Rattray, Nicholas J W; Robinson, Christopher J; Swainston, Neil; Vinaixa, Maria; Williams, Alan; Yan, Cunyu; Barran, Perdita; Breitling, Rainer; Chen, George Guo-Qiang; Faulon, Jean-Loup; Goble, Carole; Goodacre, Royston; Kell, Douglas B; Feuvre, Rosalind Le; Micklefield, Jason; Scrutton, Nigel S; Shapira, Philip; Takano, Eriko; Turner, Nicholas J

    2016-06-15

    The Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SYNBIOCHEM) is a foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals. The Centre's integrated technology platforms provide a unique capability to facilitate predictable engineering of microbial bio-factories for chemicals production. An overview of these capabilities is described. PMID:27284023

  14. SYNBIOCHEM–a SynBio foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Carbonell, Pablo; Currin, Andrew; Dunstan, Mark; Fellows, Donal; Jervis, Adrian; Rattray, Nicholas J.W.; Robinson, Christopher J.; Swainston, Neil; Vinaixa, Maria; Williams, Alan; Yan, Cunyu; Barran, Perdita; Breitling, Rainer; Chen, George Guo-Qiang; Faulon, Jean-Loup; Goble, Carole; Goodacre, Royston; Kell, Douglas B.; Feuvre, Rosalind Le; Micklefield, Jason; Scrutton, Nigel S.; Shapira, Philip; Takano, Eriko; Turner, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    The Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SYNBIOCHEM) is a foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals. The Centre's integrated technology platforms provide a unique capability to facilitate predictable engineering of microbial bio-factories for chemicals production. An overview of these capabilities is described. PMID:27284023

  15. Farmers' Perception of Integrated Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of Rural Areas in Bangladesh

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farouque, Md. Golam; Takeya, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to determine farmers' perception of integrated soil fertility and nutrient management for sustainable crop production. Integrated soil fertility (ISF) and nutrient management (NM) is an advanced approach to maintain soil fertility and to enhance crop productivity. A total number of 120 farmers from eight villages in four districts…

  16. Genetic engineering and sustainable production of ornamentals: current status and future directions.

    PubMed

    Lütken, Henrik; Clarke, Jihong Liu; Müller, Renate

    2012-07-01

    Through the last decades, environmentally and health-friendly production methods and conscientious use of resources have become crucial for reaching the goal of a more sustainable plant production. Protection of the environment requires careful consumption of limited resources and reduction of chemicals applied during production of ornamental plants. Numerous chemicals used in modern plant production have negative impacts on human health and are hazardous to the environment. In Europe, several compounds have lost their approval and further legal restrictions can be expected. This review presents the more recent progress of genetic engineering in ornamental breeding, delivers an overview of the biological background of the used technologies and critically evaluates the usefulness of the strategies to obtain improved ornamental plants. First, genetic engineering is addressed as alternative to growth retardants, comprising recombinant DNA approaches targeting relevant hormone pathways, e.g. the gibberellic acid (GA) pathway. A reduced content of active GAs causes compact growth and can be facilitated by either decreased anabolism, increased catabolism or altered perception. Moreover, compactness can be accomplished by using a natural transformation approach without recombinant DNA technology. Secondly, metabolic engineering approaches targeting elements of the ethylene signal transduction pathway are summarized as a possible alternative to avoid the use of chemical ethylene inhibitors. In conclusion, molecular breeding approaches are dealt with in a way allowing a critical biological assessment and enabling the scientific community and public to put genetic engineering of ornamental plants into a perspective regarding their usefulness in plant breeding. PMID:22527196

  17. Geodecision system for traceability and sustainable production of beef cattle in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Victoria, D. D.; Andrade, R. G.; Bolfe, L.; Batistella, M.; Pires, P. P.; Vicente, L. E.; Visoli, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    Beef cattle production sustainability depends on incorporating innovative tools and technologies which are easy to comprehend, economically viable, and spatially explicit into the registration of precise, reliable data about production practices. This research developed from the needs and demands of food safety and food quality in extensive beef cattle production within the scope of the policies of Southern Cone and European Union's countries. Initially, the OTAG project (Operational Management and Geodecisional Prototype to Track and Trace Agricultural Production) focused on the development of a prototype traceability of cattle. The aim for the project's next phase is to enhance the electronic devices used in the identification and positioning of the animals, and the incorporation of more management and sanitary information. Besides, we intend to structure a database that enables the inclusion of greater amount of geospatial information linked to environmental aspects, such as water deficit, vegetation vigour, degradation indices of pasture areas, among others. For the extraction of knowledge, and the presentation of the results, we propose the development of a friendly interface to facilitate the exploration of the textual, tabular and geospatial information useful for the user.

  18. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Exploration Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.; Grieves, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an outcome of lean thinking to eliminate waste and increase productivity. PLM is inextricably tied to the systems engineering business philosophy, coupled with a methodology by which personnel, processes and practices, and information technology combine to form an architecture platform for product design, development, manufacturing, operations, and decommissioning. In this model, which is being implemented by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Engineering Directorate, total lifecycle costs are important variables for critical decision-making. With the ultimate goal to deliver quality products that meet or exceed requirements on time and within budget, PLM is a powerful concept to shape everything from engineering trade studies and testing goals, to integrated vehicle operations and retirement scenarios. This briefing will demonstrate how the MSFC Engineering Directorate is implementing PLM as part of an overall strategy to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable space exploration solutions and how that strategy aligns with the Agency and Center systems engineering policies and processes. Sustainable space exploration solutions demand that all lifecycle phases be optimized, and engineering the next generation space transportation system requires a paradigm shift such that digital tools and knowledge management, which are central elements of PLM, are used consistently to maximum effect. Adopting PLM, which has been used by the aerospace and automotive industry for many years, for spacecraft applications provides a foundation for strong, disciplined systems engineering and accountable return on investment. PLM enables better solutions using fewer resources by making lifecycle considerations in an integrative decision-making process.

  19. Target Cultivation and Financing Parameters for Sustainable Production of Fuel and Feed from Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Gerber, Léda N; Tester, Jefferson W; Beal, Colin M; Huntley, Mark E; Sills, Deborah L

    2016-04-01

    Production of economically competitive and environmentally sustainable algal biofuel faces technical challenges that are subject to high uncertainties. Here we identify target values for algal productivity and financing conditions required to achieve a biocrude selling price of $5 per gallon and beneficial environmental impacts. A modeling framework--combining process design, techno-economic analysis, life cycle assessment, and uncertainty analysis--was applied to two conversion pathways: (1) "fuel only (HTL)", using hydrothermal liquefaction to produce biocrude, heat and power, and (2) "fuel and feed", using wet extraction to produce biocrude and lipid-extracted algae, which can substitute components of animal and aqua feeds. Our results suggest that with supporting policy incentives, the "fuel and feed" scenario will likely achieve a biocrude selling price of less than $5 per gallon at a productivity of 39 g/m(2)/day, versus 47 g/m(2)/day for the "fuel only (HTL)" scenario. Furthermore, if lipid-extracted algae are used to substitute fishmeal, the process has a 50% probability of reaching $5 per gallon with a base case productivity of 23 g/m(2)/day. Scenarios with improved economics were associated with beneficial environmental impacts for climate change, ecosystem quality, and resource depletion, but not for human health. PMID:26942694

  20. Strengths and Limitations of Operational Use of 1 Km EO Biophysical Products for Regional Prediction of Grain Yelds in Europe (wheat, barley and maize)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meroni, M.; LEO, O.; Lopez-Lozano, R.; Baruth, B.; Duveiller, G.; Garcia-Condado, S.; Hooker, J.; Seguini, L.

    2014-12-01

    The site-specific relationship between EO indicators and actual crop yields has been explored in many different studies, describing semi-empirical regression models between spatially aggregated biophysical parameters or vegetation indices and observed yields (from field measurements or official statistics). However, when considering larger extensions -from countries to continents- agro-climatic conditions and crop management may differ substantially among regions, and these differences may greatly influence the relationship between biophysical indicators and the observed yields, which may be also driven by limiting factors other than green biomass formation. The present study aims to better assess the contribution of EO indicators within an operational crop yield forecasting system in Europe and neighbouring countries, by evaluating how these above mentioned geographic differences influence the relationship between biophysical indicators and crop yield. We therefore explore, as a first step, the correspondence between fAPAR time-series (1999-2013) and the inter-annual yield variability of wheat, barley and grain maize, at sub-national level across Europe (270-450 Administrative Units, depending on crop). In a second step, we map the agro-climatic contexts in which EO indicators better explain the observed yield inter-annual variability, identify the influence of some meteorological events on the fAPAR -yield relationship and provide some recommendations for further investigation. The results indicate that in water-limited environments (e.g. Mediterranean and Black Sea areas), fAPAR is highly correlated with yields whereas in northern Europe, crop yield appears much less limited by leaf area expansion along the season, and the relationship between yield and EO products becomes more difficult to interpret.

  1. Use of the SWAT model to evaluate the sustainability of bioenergy production at a National scale

    SciTech Connect

    Baskaran, Latha Malar; Jager, Yetta; Schweizer, Peter E; Srinivasan, Raghavan

    2009-01-01

    As the US begins to integrate biomass crops and residues into its mix of energy feedstocks, tools are needed to measure the long-term sustainability of these feedstocks. Two aspects of sustainability are long-term potential for profitably producing energy and protection of ecosystems influenced by energy-related activities. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is an important model used in the efforts to quantify both aspects. To quantify potential feedstock production, they used SWAT to estimate switchgrass yields at a national scale. The results from this analysis produced a map of the potential switchgrass yield along its natural eastern range. To quantify ecological protection, they are using the SWAT model to forecast changes in water quality and fish richness as a result of landscape alterations due to incorporating bioenergy crops. They have implemented the SWAT model in the Arkansas-Red-White region, which drains into the Mississippi River, and they present their methods here. They identified two sub-watersheds for sensitivity analysis and calibration of the water quality results, and then, explored ways to apply the calibration results to the whole region and validate the model setup. They also present an overview of their research in which results from the calibrated regional SWAT model were used to analyze potential changes in fish biodiversity. Only by evaluating the energy and environmental implications of landscape changes can we make informed decisions about bioenergy at the national scale, and the SWAT model will enable us to reach that goal.

  2. Parameterizing ecosystem light use efficiency and water use efficiency to estimate maize gross primary production and evapotranspiration using MODIS EVI

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantifying global carbon and water balances requires accurate estimation of gross primary production (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET), respectively, across space and time. Models that are based on the theory of light use efficiency (LUE) and water use efficiency (WUE) have emerged as efficient met...

  3. Integration of microalgal cultivation system for wastewater remediation and sustainable biomass production.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Prabuddha L; Lee, Seung-Mok; Choi, Hee-Jeong

    2016-08-01

    Untreated wastewaters have been a great concern and can cause major pollution problems for environment. Conventional approaches for treating wastewater involve tremendous capital cost, have major short comings and are not sustainable. Microalgae culture offers an interesting step for wastewater treatment. Microalgae serve the dual purpose of phycoremediation along with the production of potentially valuable biomass, which can be used for several purposes. The ability of microalgae to accumulate nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals and other toxic compounds can be integrated with wastewater treatment system to offer an elegant solution towards tertiary and quaternary treatment. The current review explores possible role of microalgal based wastewater treatment and explores the current progress, key challenges, limitations and future prospects with special emphasis on strategies involved in harvesting, boosting biomass and lipid yield. PMID:27357407

  4. Engineering oilseeds for sustainable production of industrial and nutritional feedstocks: solving bottlenecks in fatty acid flux.

    PubMed

    Cahoon, Edgar B; Shockey, Jay M; Dietrich, Charles R; Gidda, Satinder K; Mullen, Robert T; Dyer, John M

    2007-06-01

    Oilseeds provide a unique platform for the production of high-value fatty acids that can replace non-sustainable petroleum and oceanic sources of specialty chemicals and aquaculture feed. However, recent efforts to engineer the seeds of crop and model plant species to produce new types of fatty acids, including hydroxy and conjugated fatty acids for industrial uses and long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for farmed fish feed, have met with only modest success. The collective results from these studies point to metabolic 'bottlenecks' in the engineered plant seeds that substantially limit the efficient or selective flux of unusual fatty acids between different substrate pools and ultimately into storage triacylglycerol. Evidence is emerging that diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2, which catalyzes the final step in triacylglycerol assembly, is an important contributor to the synthesis of unusual fatty acid-containing oils, and is likely to be a key target for future oilseed metabolic engineering efforts. PMID:17434788

  5. Improvement in the yield and quality of kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata Nees) under the sustainable production system.

    PubMed

    Verma, Rajesh Kumar; Verma, Sanjeet K; Pankaj, Umesh; Gupta, Anand K; Khan, Khushboo; Shankar, Karuna

    2015-02-01

    Andrographis paniculata Nees is an annual erect herb with wide medicinal and pharmacological applications due to the presence of andrographolide and other active chemical constituents. The large-scale cultivation of the kalmegh is not in practice. The aim of this study was to establish sustainable production systems of A. paniculata cv CIM-Megha with the application of different bioinoculants and chemical fertilisers. A. paniculata herb and andrographolide yield in the dried leaves was found to be highest (218% and 61.3%, respectively) in treatment T3 (NPK+Bacillus sp.) compared with T1 (control). The soil organic carbon, soil microbial respiration, soil enzymes activity and available nutrients improved significantly with combined application of bioinoculants and chemical fertilisers. PMID:25348874

  6. Sustainable, alternative farming practices as a means to simultaneously secure food production and reduce air pollution in East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tai, A. P. K.; Fung, K. M.; Yong, T.; Liu, X.

    2015-12-01

    Proper agricultural land management is essential for securing food supply and minimizing damage to the environment. Among available farming practices, relay strip intercropping and fertilizer application are commonly used, but to study their wider environmental implications and possible feedbacks we require an Earth system modeling framework. In this study, the effectiveness of a maize-soybean relay strip intercropping system and fertilizer reduction is investigated using a multi-model method. The DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition) model is used to simulate agricultural activities and their impacts on the environment through nitrogen emissions and changes in soil chemical composition. Crop yield, soil nutrient content and nitrogen emissions to the atmosphere in major agricultural regions of China are predicted under various cultivation scenarios. The GEOS-Chem global chemical transport model is then used to estimate the effects on downwind particle and ozone air pollution. We show that relay strip intercropping and optimal fertilization not only improve crop productivity, but also retain soil nutrients, reduce ammonia emission and mitigate downwind air pollution. By cutting 25% fertilization inputs but cultivating maize and soybean together in a relay strip intercropping system used with field studies, total crop production was improved slightly by 4.4% compared to monoculture with conventional amount of fertilizers. NH3 volatilization decreases by 29%, equivalent to saving the pollution-induced health damage costs by about US$2.5 billion per year. The possible feedback effects from atmospheric nitrogen deposition onto the croplands are also investigated. We show that careful management and better quantitative understanding of alternative farming practices hold huge potential in simultaneously addressing different global change issues including the food crisis, air pollution and climate change, and calls for greater collaboration between scientists, farmers and

  7. Green Net Regional Product for the San Luis Basin, Colorado: an economic measure of regional sustainability.

    PubMed

    Heberling, Matthew T; Templeton, Joshua J; Wu, Shanshan

    2012-11-30

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net Regional Product (GNRP), a green accounting approach, for the San Luis Basin (SLB). We measured the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNRP over time. Any attempt at green accounting requires both economic and natural capital data. However, limited data for the Basin requires a number of simplifying assumptions and requires transforming economic data at the national, state, and county levels to the level of the SLB. Given the contribution of agribusiness to the SLB, we included the depletion of both groundwater and soil as components in the depreciation of natural capital. We also captured the effect of the consumption of energy on climate change for future generations through carbon dioxide (CO(2)) emissions. In order to estimate the depreciation of natural capital, the shadow price of water for agriculture, the economic damages from soil erosion due to wind, and the social cost of carbon emissions were obtained from the literature and applied to the SLB using benefit transfer. We used Colorado's total factor productivity for agriculture to estimate the value of time (i.e., to include the effects of exogenous technological progress). We aggregated the economic data and the depreciation of natural capital for the SLB from 1980 to 2005. The results suggest that GNRP had a slight upward trend through most of this time period, despite temporary negative trends, the longest of which occurred during the period 1985-86 to 1987-88. However, given the upward trend in GNRP and the possibility of business cycles causing the temporary declines, there is no definitive evidence of moving away from sustainability. PMID:22483369

  8. Vertical Integration of Biomass Saccharification of Enzymes for Sustainable Cellulosic Biofuel Production in a Biorefinery

    SciTech Connect

    Manoj Kumar, PhD

    2011-05-09

    Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant, least expensive renewable natural biological resource for the production of biobased products and bioenergy is important for the sustainable development of human civilization in 21st century. For making the fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic biomass, a reduction in cellulase production cost, an improvement in cellulase performance, and an increase in sugar yields are all vital to reduce the processing costs of biorefineries. Improvements in specific cellulase activities for non-complexed cellulase mixtures can be implemented through cellulase engineering based on rational design or directed evolution for each cellulase component enzyme, as well as on the reconstitution of cellulase components. In this paper, we will provide DSM's efforts in cellulase research and developments and focus on limitations. Cellulase improvement strategies based on directed evolution using screening on relevant substrates, screening for higher thermal tolerance based on activity screening approaches such as continuous culture using insoluble cellulosic substrates as a powerful selection tool for enriching beneficial cellulase mutants from the large library. We will illustrate why and how thermostable cellulases are vital for economic delivery of bioproducts from cellulosic biomass using biochemical conversion approach.

  9. Exploration of upstream and downstream process for microwave assisted sustainable biodiesel production from microalgae Chlorella vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Amit Kumar; Sahoo, Pradeepta Kumar; Singhal, Shailey; Joshi, Girdhar

    2016-09-01

    The present study explores the integrated approach for the sustainable production of biodiesel from Chlorella vulgaris microalgae. The microalgae were cultivated in 10m(2) open raceway pond at semi-continuous mode with optimum volumetric and areal production of 28.105kg/L/y and 71.51t/h/y, respectively. Alum was used as flocculent for harvesting the microalgae and optimized at different pH. Lipid was extracted using chloroform: methanol (2:1) and having 12.39% of FFA. Effect of various reaction conditions such as effect of catalyst, methanol:lipid ratio, reaction temperature and time on biodiesel yields were studied under microwave irradiation; and 84.01% of biodiesel yield was obtained under optimized reaction conditions. A comparison was also made between the biodiesel productions under conventional heating and microwave irradiation. The synthesized biodiesel was characterized by (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, FTIR and GC; however, fuel properties of biodiesel were also studied using specified test methods as per ASTM and EN standards. PMID:27318156

  10. Research and development of eco-sustainable solutions for the production of innovative rigid suitcases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domenico, Acierno; Pietro, Russo; Francesco, Costa; Irma, Nedi; Salvatore, Cioffi; Simona, Giudice; Massimiliano, Fraldi

    2015-12-01

    The huge difficulty recorded in the years about the disposal of an increasing amounts of plastic items at the end of their useful life has significantly influenced the choice of new materials in almost all industrial fields favouring the development of innovative eco-friendly solutions. In light of this consideration, under a national project, funded by the Research Ministry and specifically related to the luggage field, authors focused their attention on the production of new environmentally friendly suitcases based on the use of plastic scraps from the recycling chains and the use of biodegradable resins or coming from renewable resources. In the first case, recycled polyesters from bottle flakes were adequately modified by inclusion of opportune toughening and chain extender agents to meet quantitative specifications of the reference market. Alternatively, different commercial grades of poly(lactic acid) and poly(hydroxy alkanoates) resins have been considered still including organic modifiers to improve mechanical performances of products and natural reinforcement fabrics as cotton, jute and flax. All materials, always modified by reactive extrusion and transformed in pure sheets or woven fabric reinforced laminates by compression moulding, were characterized in terms of mechanical properties under static, dynamic and impulsive conditions, highlighting good perspectives for the reference applications. Suitcase prototypes, specifically designed in order to further improve mechanical performances of products and based on some selected formulations, were produced by thermoforming and validated by specific tests. Results confirmed a significant competitiveness of new eco-sustainable rigid suitcases with respect to commercial ones.

  11. Maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Frame, Bronwyn; Warnberg, Katey; Main, Marcy; Wang, Kan

    2015-01-01

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation is an effective method for introducing genes into maize. In this chapter, we describe a detailed protocol for genetic transformation of the maize genotype Hi II. Our starting plant material is immature embryos cocultivated with an Agrobacterium strain carrying a standard binary vector. In addition to step-by-step laboratory transformation procedures, we include extensive details in growing donor plants and caring for transgenic plants in the greenhouse. PMID:25300834

  12. A first generation haplotype map of maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is the top production crop in the world and possesses more genetic diversity than any other major crop species. By using low-copy-enrichment and rapid sequencing-by-synthesis (SBS) approaches, we simultaneously discovered and genotyped several million sequence polymorphisms among...

  13. Cytokinin metabolism in maize: Novel evidence of cytokinin abundance, interconversions and formation of a new trans-zeatin metabolic product with a weak anticytokinin activity.

    PubMed

    Hluska, Tomáš; Dobrev, Petre I; Tarkowská, Dana; Frébortová, Jitka; Zalabák, David; Kopečný, David; Plíhal, Ondřej; Kokáš, Filip; Briozzo, Pierre; Zatloukal, Marek; Motyka, Václav; Galuszka, Petr

    2016-06-01

    Cytokinins (CKs) are an important group of phytohormones. Their tightly regulated and balanced levels are essential for proper cell division and plant organ development. Here we report precise quantification of CK metabolites and other phytohormones in maize reproductive organs in the course of pollination and kernel maturation. A novel enzymatic activity dependent on NADP(+) converting trans-zeatin (tZ) to 6-(3-methylpyrrol-1-yl)purine (MPP) was detected. MPP shows weak anticytokinin properties and inhibition of CK dehydrogenases due to their ability to bind to an active site in the opposite orientation than substrates. Although the physiological significance of tZ side-chain cyclization is not anticipated as the MPP occurrence in maize tissue is very low, properties of the novel CK metabolite indicate its potential for utilization in plant in vitro tissue culture. Furthermore, feeding experiments with different isoprenoid CKs revealed distinct preferences in glycosylation of tZ and cis-zeatin (cZ). While tZ is preferentially glucosylated at the N9 position, cZ forms mainly O-glucosides. Since O-glucosides, in contrast to N9-glucosides, are resistant to irreversible cleavage catalyzed by CK dehydrogenases, the observed preference of maize CK glycosyltransferases to O-glycosylate zeatin in the cis-position might be a reason why cZ derivatives are over-accumulated in different maize tissues and organs. PMID:27095406

  14. Effect of exogenous jasmonic acid application on Aspergillus flavus kernel infection and aflatoxin production in two maize hybrids (Zea mays L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Jasmonic acid (JA), produced by the octadecanoid pathway, is a phytohormone that triggers induced resistance against certain pathogens and arthropod herbivores. The octadecanoid pathway has been implicated in playing a role in the Aspergillus flavus-maize seed interaction. In field studies, the ef...

  15. Nitrous oxide emissions in Midwest US maize production vary widely with band-injected liquid N fertilizer rates, timing and nitrapyrin presence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrification inhibitors have potential to reduce N2O emissions from maize fields. A new micro-encapsulated formulation of nitrapyrin, optimized to be used with liquid fertilizers became available to US farmers in 2010. Our objectives were to: i) 15assess the impacts of urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) m...

  16. Surfactin A Production and Isoform Characterizations in Strains of Bacillus mojavensis for Potential Control of Fusarium verticillioides and Fumonisin in Maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bacillus mojavensis, a species recently distinguished as a cryptic species within Bacillus subtilis, was discovered in maize kernels and later determined to possess endophytic characteristics. The bacterium was also determined to have biocontrol potential due to its strong antagonism to the fungus...

  17. Participation, Value Rationality and Mutual Learning in Transdisciplinary Knowledge Production for Sustainable Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polk, Merritt; Knutsson, Per

    2008-01-01

    Given the complexity of current social structures and environmental problems, attaining a truly sustainable society seems rather improbable today. Not only has society not been planned for the complexity of the preconditions and effects that sustainability entails, sustainability is also unlikely given current individual consumption patterns,…

  18. Indirect water management through Life Cycle Assessment: Fostering sustainable production in developing countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfister, S.; Bayer, P.; Koehler, A.; Hellweg, S.

    2009-04-01

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) represents a methodological framework for analyzing the total environmental impact of any product or service of our daily life. After tracking all associated emissions and the consumption of resources, this impact is expressed with respect to a few common impact categories. These are supposed to reflect major societal and environmental priorities. However, despite their central role in environmental processes, to date hydrological as well as hydrogeological aspects are only rarely considered in LCA. Compared with standard impact categories within LCA, water is special. In contrast to other abiotic resources such as crude oil, it can be replenished. Total freshwater resources are immense, but not evenly distributed and often scarce in regions of high demand. Consequently, threads to natural water bodies have immense spatial dependency. Setting up functional relationships in order to derive a generally valid and practicable evaluation is tedious due to the complex, insufficiently understood, and uncertain natural processes involved. LCA that includes the environmental effects of water consumption means global indirect water resource management. It supports goal-directed consumer behaviour that aims to reduce pressure on natural water systems. By developing a hydrologically-based assessment of potential impacts from human interaction with natural water bodies, "greener" products can be prioritised. More sustainable and environmentally friendly water management is the result. The proposed contribution presents an operational assessment method of global surface water consumption for impacts on human health and ecosystem quality within a LCA framework. A major focus is the issue of how such global assessment helps to quantify potential impacts from water-intensive production in developing countries, where the means for proper water management are often limited. We depict a compensation scheme for impacts related to water consumption that

  19. Inducible Resistance to Maize Streak Virus

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Dionne N.; Dugdale, Benjamin; Martin, Darren P.; Varsani, Arvind; Lakay, Francisco M.; Bezuidenhout, Marion E.; Monjane, Adérito L.; Thomson, Jennifer A.; Dale, James; Rybicki, Edward P.

    2014-01-01

    Maize streak virus (MSV), which causes maize streak disease (MSD), is the major viral pathogenic constraint on maize production in Africa. Type member of the Mastrevirus genus in the family Geminiviridae, MSV has a 2.7 kb, single-stranded circular DNA genome encoding a coat protein, movement protein, and the two replication-associated proteins Rep and RepA. While we have previously developed MSV-resistant transgenic maize lines constitutively expressing “dominant negative mutant” versions of the MSV Rep, the only transgenes we could use were those that caused no developmental defects during the regeneration of plants in tissue culture. A better transgene expression system would be an inducible one, where resistance-conferring transgenes are expressed only in MSV-infected cells. However, most known inducible transgene expression systems are hampered by background or “leaky” expression in the absence of the inducer. Here we describe an adaptation of the recently developed INPACT system to express MSV-derived resistance genes in cell culture. Split gene cassette constructs (SGCs) were developed containing three different transgenes in combination with three different promoter sequences. In each SGC, the transgene was split such that it would be translatable only in the presence of an infecting MSV’s replication associated protein. We used a quantitative real-time PCR assay to show that one of these SGCs (pSPLITrepIII-Rb-Ubi) inducibly inhibits MSV replication as efficiently as does a constitutively expressed transgene that has previously proven effective in protecting transgenic maize from MSV. In addition, in our cell-culture based assay pSPLITrepIII-Rb-Ubi inhibited replication of diverse MSV strains, and even, albeit to a lesser extent, of a different mastrevirus species. The application of this new technology to MSV resistance in maize could allow a better, more acceptable product. PMID:25166274

  20. Evaluating the composition and processing potential of novel sources of Brazilian biomass for sustainable biorenewables production

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The search for promising and renewable sources of carbohydrates for the production of biofuels and other biorenewables has been stimulated by an increase in global energy demand in the face of growing concern over greenhouse gas emissions and fuel security. In particular, interest has focused on non-food lignocellulosic biomass as a potential source of abundant and sustainable feedstock for biorefineries. Here we investigate the potential of three Brazilian grasses (Panicum maximum, Pennisetum purpureum and Brachiaria brizantha), as well as bark residues from the harvesting of two commercial Eucalyptus clones (E. grandis and E. grandis x urophylla) for biofuel production, and compare these to sugarcane bagasse. The effects of hot water, acid, alkaline and sulfite pretreatments (at increasing temperatures) on the chemical composition, morphology and saccharification yields of these different biomass types were evaluated. Results The average yield (per hectare), availability and general composition of all five biomasses were compared. Compositional analyses indicate a high level of hemicellulose and lignin removal in all grass varieties (including sugarcane bagasse) after acid and alkaline pretreatment with increasing temperatures, whilst the biomasses pretreated with hot water or sulfite showed little variation from the control. For all biomasses, higher cellulose enrichment resulted from treatment with sodium hydroxide at 130°C. At 180°C, a decrease in cellulose content was observed, which is associated with high amorphous cellulose removal and 5-hydroxymethyl-furaldehyde production. Morphological analysis showed the effects of different pretreatments on the biomass surface, revealing a high production of microfibrillated cellulose on grass surfaces, after treatment with 1% sodium hydroxide at 130°C for 30 minutes. This may explain the higher hydrolysis yields resulting from these pretreatments, since these cellulosic nanoparticles can be easily

  1. Whole genome association study for drought, aflatoxin resistance, and important agronomic traits in maize in a sub-tropical environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The primary maize (Zea mays L.) production areas are in temperate regions throughout the world, where most maize breeding is focused. Important but lower yielding maize growing regions, such as the sub-tropics, experience unique challenges the greatest of which are drought stress and aflatoxin conta...

  2. Mine land valorization through energy maize production enhanced by the application of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Helena; Pereira, Sofia I A; Marques, Ana P G C; Rangel, António O S S; Castro, Paula M L

    2016-04-01

    The use of heavy metals (HM) contaminated soils to grow energy crops can diminish the negative impact of HM in the environment improving land restoration. The effect of two PGPR (B1--Chryseobacterium humi ECP37(T) and B2--Pseudomonas reactans EDP28) and an AMF (F--Rhizophagus irregularis) on growth, Cd and Zn accumulation, and nutritional status of energy maize plants grown in a soil collected from an area adjacent to a Portuguese mine was assessed in a greenhouse experiment. Both bacterial strains, especially when co-inoculated with the AMF, acted as plant growth-promoting inoculants, increasing root and shoot biomass as well as shoot elongation. Cadmium was not detected in the maize tissues and a decrease in Zn accumulation was observed for all microbial treatments in aboveground and belowground tissues--with inoculation of maize with AMF and strain B2 leading to maximum reductions in Zn shoot and root accumulation of up to 48 and 43%, respectively. Although microbial single inoculation generally did not increase N and P levels in maize plants, co-inoculation of the PGPR and the AMF improved substantially P accumulation in roots. The DGGE analysis of the bacterial rhizosphere community showed that the samples inoculated with the AMF clustered apart of those without the AMF and the Shannon-Wiener Index (H') increased over the course of the experiment when both inoculants were present. This work shows the benefits of combined inoculation of AMF and PGPR for the growth energy maize in metal contaminated soils and their potential for the application in phytomanagement strategies. PMID:26676544

  3. Considerations for Sustainable Biomass Production in Quercus-Dominated Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruckman, Viktor; Yan, Shuai; Hochbichler, Eduard

    2013-04-01

    Our current energy system is mainly based on carbon (C) intensive metabolisms, resulting in great effects on the earth's biosphere. The majority of the energy sources are fossil (crude oil, coal, natural gas) and release CO2 in the combustion (oxidation) process which takes place during utilization of the energy. C released to the atmosphere was once sequestered by biomass over a time span of millions of years and is now being released back into the atmosphere within a period of just decades. In the context of green and CO2 neutral Energy, there is an on-going debate regarding the potentials of obtaining biomass from forests on multiple scales, from stand to international levels. Especially in the context of energy, it is highlighted that biomass is an entirely CO2 neutral feedstock since the carbon stored in wood originates from the atmospheric CO2 pool and it was taken up during plant growth. It needs systems approaches in order to justify this statement and ensure sustainability covering the whole life-cycle from biomass production to (bio)energy consumption. There are a number of Quercus woodland management systems focussing solely on woody biomass production for energetic utilization or a combination with traditional forestry and high quality timber production for trades and industry. They have often developed regionally as a consequence of specific demands and local production capacities, which are mainly driven by environmental factors such as climate and soil properties. We assessed the nutritional status of a common Quercus-dominated forest ecosystem in northern Austria, where we compared biomass- with belowground C and nutrient pools in order to identify potential site limits if the management shifts towards systems with a higher level of nutrient extraction. Heterogeneity of soils, and soil processes are considered, as well as other, growth-limiting factors (e.g. precipitation) and species-specific metabolisms and element translocation.

  4. Activated human valvular interstitial cells sustain interleukin-17 production to recruit neutrophils in infective endocarditis.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Chiou-Yueh; Shun, Chia-Tung; Kuo, Yu-Min; Jung, Chiau-Jing; Hsieh, Song-Chou; Chiu, Yen-Ling; Chen, Jeng-Wei; Hsu, Ron-Bin; Yang, Chia-Ju; Chia, Jean-San

    2015-06-01

    The mechanisms that underlie valvular inflammation in streptococcus-induced infective endocarditis (IE) remain unclear. We previously demonstrated that streptococcal glucosyltransferases (GTFs) can activate human heart valvular interstitial cells (VIC) to secrete interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine involved in T helper 17 (Th17) cell differentiation. Here, we tested the hypothesis that activated VIC can enhance neutrophil infiltration through sustained IL-17 production, leading to valvular damage. To monitor cytokine and chemokine production, leukocyte recruitment, and the induction or expansion of CD4(+) CD45RA(-) CD25(-) CCR6(+) Th17 cells, primary human VIC were cultured in vitro and activated by GTFs. Serum cytokine levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and neutrophils and Th17 cells were detected by immunohistochemistry in infected valves from patients with IE. The expression of IL-21, IL-23, IL-17, and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor C (Rorc) was upregulated in GTF-activated VIC, which may enhance the proliferation of memory Th17 cells in an IL-6-dependent manner. Many chemokines, including chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1), were upregulated in GTF-activated VIC, which might recruit neutrophils and CD4(+) T cells. Moreover, CXCL1 production in VIC was induced in a dose-dependent manner by IL-17 to enhance neutrophil chemotaxis. CXCL1-expressing VIC and infiltrating neutrophils could be detected in infected valves, and serum concentrations of IL-17, IL-21, and IL-23 were increased in patients with IE compared to healthy donors. Furthermore, elevated serum IL-21 levels have been significantly associated with severe valvular damage, including rupture of chordae tendineae, in IE patients. Our findings suggest that VIC are activated by bacterial modulins to recruit neutrophils and that such activities might be further enhanced by the production of Th17-associated cytokines. Together, these factors can amplify

  5. Biosynthesis of hydroxycinnamate conjugates: Implications for sustainable biomass and biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Liu C. J.

    2010-09-01

    Hydroxycinnamic acids constitute a large class of phenylpropanoid metabolites that are distributed ubiquitously in terrestrial plants. They occur most frequently as esters, amides or glycosides within the cytosol, the particular subcellular compartments such as the vacuole or the cell wall. Hydroxycinnamate conjugates play a vital role in the plant's growth and development and in its defense responses against biotic- and abiotic-stresses. Furthermore, the incorporation of hydroxycinnamate conjugates into the cell wall is a major factor attenuating the wall's biodegradability. Understanding the biosyntheses of hydroxycinnamate conjugates and its molecular regulation may well facilitate the sustainable production of cell wall biomass, and the efficient conversion of lignocellulosic materials. This paper reviews our current molecular and biochemical understandings on the formation of several classes of hydroxycinnamate esters and amides, including the soluble conjugates and the 'wall-bound' phenolics. It also discusses the emerging biotechnological applications in manipulating hydroxycinnamates to improve the degradability of the cell wall biomass and enhance the production of valuable chemicals and biomaterials.

  6. The Sustainable Release of Vancomycin and Its Degradation Products From Nanostructured Collagen/Hydroxyapatite Composite Layers.

    PubMed

    Suchý, Tomáš; Šupová, Monika; Klapková, Eva; Horný, Lukáš; Rýglová, Šárka; Žaloudková, Margit; Braun, Martin; Sucharda, Zbyněk; Ballay, Rastislav; Veselý, Jan; Chlup, Hynek; Denk, František

    2016-03-01

    Infections of the musculoskeletal system present a serious problem with regard to the field of orthopedic and trauma medicine. The aim of the experiment described in this study was to develop a resorbable nanostructured composite layer with the controlled elution of antibiotics. The layer is composed of collagen, hydroxyapatite nanoparticles, and vancomycin hydrochloride (10 wt%). The stability of the collagen was enhanced by means of cross-linking. Four cross-linking agents were studied, namely an ethanol solution, a phosphate buffer solution of N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride/N-hydroxysuccinimide, genipin, and nordihydroguaiaretic acid. High performance liquid chromatography was used so as to characterize the in vitro release rates of the vancomycin and its crystalline degradation antibiotically inactive products over a 21-day period. The maximum concentration of the released active form of vancomycin (approximately 265 mg/L) exceeded the minimum inhibitory concentration up to an order of 17 times without triggering the burst releasing effect. At the end of the experiment, the minimum inhibitory concentration was exceeded by up to 6 times (approximately 100 mg/L). It was determined that the modification of collagen with hydroxyapatite nanoparticles does not negatively influence the sustainable release of vancomycin. The balance of vancomycin and its degradation products was observed after 14 days of incubation. PMID:26886321

  7. A novel framework to classify marginal land for sustainable biomass feedstock production.

    PubMed

    Gopalakrishnan, Gayathri; Cristina Negri, M; Snyder, Seth W

    2011-01-01

    To achieve food and energy security, sustainable bioenergy has become an important goal for many countries. The use of marginal lands to produce energy crops is one strategy for achieving this goal, but what is marginal land? Current definitions generally focus on a single criterion, primarily agroeconomic profitability. Herein, we present a framework that incorporates multiple criteria including profitability of current land use, soil health indicators (erosion, flooding, drainage, or high slopes), and environmental degradation resulting from contamination of surface water or groundwater resources. We tested this framework for classifying marginal land in the state of Nebraska and estimated the potential for using marginal land to produce biofuel crops. Our results indicate that approximately 1.6 million ha, or 4 million acres, of land (approximately 8% of total land area) could be classified as marginal on the basis of at least two criteria. Second-generation lignocellulosic bioenergy crops such as switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.), miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), native prairie grasses, and short-rotation woody crops could be grown on this land in redesigned landscapes that meet energy and environmental needs, without significant impacts on food or feed production. Calculating tradeoffs between the economics of redesigned landscapes and current practices at the field scale is the next step for determining functional designs for integrating biofuel feedstock production into current land management practices. PMID:21869522

  8. Conceptual design of an integrated hydrothermal liquefaction and biogas plant for sustainable bioenergy production.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Jessica; Rudra, Souman; Toor, Saqib S; Holm-Nielsen, Jens Bo; Rosendahl, Lasse A

    2013-02-01

    Initial process studies carried out in Aspen Plus on an integrated thermochemical conversion process are presented herein. In the simulations, a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) plant is combined with a biogas plant (BP), such that the digestate from the BP is converted to a biocrude in the HTL process. This biorefinery concept offers a sophisticated and sustainable way of converting organic residuals into a range of high-value biofuel streams in addition to combined heat and power (CHP) production. The primary goal of this study is to provide an initial estimate of the feasibility of such a process. By adding a diesel-quality-fuel output to the process, the product value is increased significantly compared to a conventional BP. An input of 1000 kg h(-1) manure delivers approximately 30-38 kg h(-1) fuel and 38-61 kg h(-1) biogas. The biogas can be used to upgrade the biocrude, to supply the gas grid or for CHP. An estimated 62-84% of the biomass energy can be recovered in the biofuels. PMID:23262018

  9. Application of Biotechnology to Construct a Sustainable Biodiesel Production System on Wastewater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaodan; Liu, Yuhuan; Xu, Erni; Liu, Jianqiang; Ruan, Roger; Fu, Guiming

    2010-11-01

    The potential of microalgae biodiesel is unlimited. The ingenious combination of microalgae biomass exploitation, decontamination of municipal wastewater, and CO2 fixation may gestate the ultimate hope for solving the problem of liquid alternative fuel. However, the municipal wastewater has some characteristics, such as high content of nitrogen and phosphorus, low C/N ratio, fluctuation of loading rate, toxicity of heavy metal, etc. To overcome these problems, studies are currently underway in our laboratory. In this paper, an idea of constructing a sustainable biodiesel production system from microalgae on wastewater is assumed. The system could realize CO2 fixation, decontamination of municipal wastewater, and production of high value-added biodiesel by microalgae. Firstly, municipal wastewater is used as the cultivation media and CO2 as gaseous fertilizer for mass culture of Shuihua microalgae. So with the harvest of large quantities of low-price Shuihua microalgae, the nitrogen, phosphorus and heavy metals can be removed from the wastewater, and the emission of greenhouse gas can be reduced. Secondly, try to breed a high-oil content engineering microalgae by heterotrophic cultivation which could realize high-density growth through the conjunction of the advanced methods of fermentation engineering with the microalgae breeding technology. Finally, make the high-oil content engineering microalgae cultivated on the decomposed Shuihua microalgae cells, and try to make the high-oil content engineering microalgae grow rapidly in the initial stage and start oil accumulation when nitrogen is exhausted by controlling the conditions of fermentation.

  10. Immunoadjuvant and anti-inflammatory plant saponins: characteristics and biotechnological approaches towards sustainable production.

    PubMed

    de Costa, F; Yendo, A C A; Fleck, J D; Gosmann, G; Fett-Neto, A G

    2011-09-01

    Saponins can be classified as triterpenoid (C30) or steroidal (C27), based on their carbon nucleus (aglycone). Sugar residues are linked to the aglycone, conferring an amphiphilic nature on these molecules, which is relevant for their biological activities. Saponins include a large variety of molecules that find several applications in pharmacology. Saponins have been shown to display immunoadjuvant, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, hypocholesterolemic, antitumoral, anti-HIV, antibacterial, insecticide, fungicide and anti-leishmanial activities. Anti-inflammatory medicines are increasingly demanded to treat various forms of arthritis in aging and obese populations and to help reduce the doses and duration of conventional corticotherapy with less side effects and without immunosuppression. The vaccine market for both human and veterinary uses is close to US$ 15 billion, progressively inflated by the recurrent threat of global pandemics.This paper provides an overview of recent advances (main focus on the last five years) on plant saponins that show anti-inflammatory and/or immunoadjuvant activities: source plants, isolation procedures, mechanism of action and biotechnological approaches towards sustainable production of bioactive saponins. Special attention is given to ginseng and Quillaja saponins. Strategies based on plant cultivation, cell and tissue culture, elicitation, and metabolic engineering for improved production of saponins are described. Future directions for research in the field and strategies to overcome bottlenecks are also discussed. PMID:21762102

  11. Sustainable design for automotive products: dismantling and recycling of end-of-life vehicles.

    PubMed

    Tian, Jin; Chen, Ming

    2014-02-01

    The growth in automotive production has increased the number of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) annually. The traditional approach ELV processing involves dismantling, shredding, and landfill disposal. The "3R" (i.e., reduce, reuse, and recycle) principle has been increasingly employed in processing ELVs, particularly ELV parts, to promote sustainable development. The first step in processing ELVs is dismantling. However, certain parts of the vehicle are difficult to disassemble and use in practice. The extended producer responsibility policy requires carmakers to contribute in the processing of scrap cars either for their own developmental needs or for social responsibility. The design for dismantling approach can be an effective solution to the existing difficulties in dismantling ELVs. This approach can also provide guidelines in the design of automotive products. This paper illustrates the difficulty of handling polymers in dashboards. The physical properties of polymers prevent easy separation and recycling by using mechanical methods. Thus, dealers have to rely on chemical methods such as pyrolysis. Therefore, car designers should use a single material to benefit dealers. The use of materials for effective end-of-life processing without sacrificing the original performance requirements of the vehicle should be explored. PMID:24326159

  12. Combined Sustainability Assessment and Techno-Economic Analysis for the Production of Biomass-Derived High-Octane Gasoline Blendstock

    SciTech Connect

    Tan, Eric C. D.; Talmadge, Michael; Dutta, Abhijit

    2015-11-13

    Conversion technologies for biomass to liquid hydrocarbon fuels are being actively developed. Converting biomass into advanced hydrocarbon fuels requires detailed assessments to help prioritize research; techno-economic analysis (TEA) is a long established tool used to assess feasibility and progress. TEA provides information needed to make informed judgments about the viability of any given conceptual conversion process; it is particularly useful to identify technical barriers and measure progress toward overcoming those barriers. Expansion of the cellulosic biofuels industry at the scale needed to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard goals is also expected to have environmental impacts. Hence, the success of the biofuels industry depends not only on economic viability, but also on environmental sustainability. A biorefinery process that is economically feasible but suffers from key sustainability drawbacks is not likely to represent a long-term solution to replace fossil-derived fuels. Overarching concerns like environmental sustainability need to be addressed for biofuels production. Combined TEA and environmental sustainability assessment of emerging pathways helps facilitate biorefinery designs that are both economically feasible and minimally impactful to the environment. This study focuses on environmental sustainability assessment and techno-economic analysis for the production of high-octane gasoline blendstock via gasification and methanol/dimethyl ether intermediates. Results from the conceptual process design with economic analysis, along with the quantification and assessment of the environmental sustainability, are presented and discussed. Sustainability metrics associated with the production of high-octane gasoline include carbon conversion efficiency, consumptive water use, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, fossil energy consumption, energy return on investment and net energy value.

  13. Factors Controlling Pre-Columbian and Early Historic Maize Productivity in the American Southwest, Part 2: The Chaco Halo, Mesa Verde, Pajarito Plateau/Bandelier, and Zuni Archaeological Regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, L.V.

    2011-01-01

    Chemical and nutrient analyses of 471 soil samples from 161 sites within four archaeological regions (Pajarito Plateau/Bandelier, Zuni, Mesa Verde, and the Chaco Halo) were combined with historical climate data in order to evaluate the agricultural productivity of each region. In addition, maize productivity and field-life calculations were performed using organic-nitrogen (N) values from the upper 50 cm of soil in each region and a range (1-3%/year) of N-mineralization rates. The endmember values of this range were assumed representative of dry and wet climate states. With respect to precipitation and heat, the Pajarito Plateau area has excellent agricultural potential; the agricultural potentials of the Zuni and Mesa Verde regions are good; and the agricultural potential of the Chaco Halo is poor. Calculations of N mineralization and field life indicate that Morfield Valley in Mesa Verde should be able to provide 10 bu/ac of maize for decades (without the addition of N) when organic N-mineralization rates exceed 2%. Productivity and field-life potential decrease in the following order: Zuni, Mesa Verde, Bandelier, Chaco Halo. The Chaco Halo is very unproductive; e. g., 10 bushels per acre can be achieved within the Halo only from soils having the highest organic N concentration (third quartile) and which undergo the highest rate (3%) of N mineralization. ?? 2010 US Government.

  14. Diversity in global maize germplasm: characterization and utilization.

    PubMed

    Prasanna, B M

    2012-11-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is not only of worldwide importance as a food, feed and as a source of diverse industrially important products, but is also a model genetic organism with immense genetic diversity. Although it was first domesticated in Mexico, maize landraces are widely found across the continents. Several studies in Mexico and other countries highlighted the genetic variability in the maize germplasm. Applications of molecular markers, particularly in the last two decades, have led to new insights into the patterns of genetic diversity in maize globally, including landraces as well as wild relatives (especially teosintes) in Latin America, helping in tracking the migration routes of maize from the centers of origin, and understanding the fate of genetic diversity during maize domestication. The genome sequencing of B73 (a highly popular US Corn Belt inbred) and Palomero (a popcorn landrace in Mexico) in the recent years are important landmarks in maize research, with significant implications to our understanding of the maize genome organization and evolution. Next-generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping platforms promise to further revolutionize our understanding of genetic diversity and for designing strategies to utilize the genomic information for maize improvement. However, the major limiting factor to exploit the genetic diversity in crops like maize is no longer genotyping, but high-throughput and precision phenotyping. There is an urgent need to establish a global phenotyping network for comprehensive and efficient characterization of maize germplasm for an array of target traits, particularly for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and nutritional quality. 'Seeds of Discovery' (SeeD), a novel initiative by CIMMYT with financial support from the Mexican Government for generating international public goods, has initiated intensive exploration of phenotypic and molecular diversity of maize germplasm conserved in the CIMMYT Gene Bank; this is

  15. Genetic analysis of visually scored orange kernel color in maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing levels of provitamin A carotenoids in maize (Zea mays L.) grain through plant breeding, termed biofortification, is an economical and sustainable way to help humans suffering from vitamin A deficiency (VAD). Unfortunately, in parts of Africa where VAD is prevalent, there is frequently a c...

  16. Crop water use efficiency following biochar application on maize cropping systems on sandy soils of tropical semiarid eastern Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sukartono, S.; Utomo, W.

    2012-04-01

    A field study was conducted to evaluate the effect of biochar on crop water use efficiency under three consecutive maize cropping system on sandy loam of Lombok, eastern Indonesia from December 2010 to October 2011.The treatments tested were: coconut shell- biochar (CSB), cattle dung-biochar (CDB), cattle manure applied at only early first crop (CM1) and cattle manure applied at every planting time (CM2) and no organic amendment as the control. Evaluation after the end of third maize, the application of organic amendments (biochar and cattle manure) slightly altered the pore size distribution resulting changes in water retention and the available water capacity. The available water capacity was relatively comparable between biochar treated soils (0.206 cm3 cm-3) and soil treated with cattle manure applied at every planting time (0.220 cm3 cm-3). Water use efficiency (WUE) of maize under biochars were 9.44 kg/mm (CSB) and 9.24 kg/mm (CDB) while WUE for CM1 and CM2 were 8.54 and 9.97 kg/mm respectively, and control was 8.08 kg/mm. Thus, biochars as well as cattle manure applied at every planting time improved water use efficiency by 16.83% and 23.39 respectively compared to control. Overall, this study confirms that biochar and cattle manure are both valuable amendments for improving water use efficiency and to sustain maize production in the sandy loam soils of semiarid North Lombok, eastern Indonesia. However, unlike bicohar, in order to maintain its posivtive effect, cattle manure should be applied at every planting time, and this make cattle manure application is more costly. Keywords: Biochar, organic management, catle manure, water retention, maize yield

  17. Forest Productivity and Diversity: Using Ecological Theory and Landscape Models to Guide Sustainable Forest Management

    SciTech Connect

    Huston, M.A.

    1998-11-01

    Sustainable forest management requires maintaining or increasing ecosystem productivity, while preserving or restoring natural levels of biodiversity. Application of general concepts from ecological theory, along with use of mechanistic, landscape-based computer models, can contribute to the successful achievement of both of these objectives. Ecological theories based on the energetics and dynamics of populations can be used to predict the general distribution of individual species, the diversity of different types of species, ecosystem process rates and pool sizes, and patterns of spatial and temporal heterogeneity over a broad range of environmental conditions. This approach requires subdivision of total biodiversity into functional types of organisms, primarily because different types of organisms respond very differently to the spatial and temporal variation of environmental conditions on landscapes. The diversity of species of the same functional type (particularly among plants) tends to be highest at relatively low levels of net primary productivity, while the total number of different functional types (particularly among animals) tends to be highest at high levels of productivity (e.g., site index or potential net primary productivity). In general, the diversity of animals at higher trophic levels (e.g., predators) reaches its maximum at much higher levels of productivity than the diversity of lower trophic levels (e.g., plants). This means that a single environment cannot support high diversity of all types of organisms. Within the framework of the general patterns described above, the distributions, population dynamics, and diversity of organisms in specific regions can be predicted more precisely using a combination of computer simulation models and GIS data based on satellite information and ground surveys. Biophysical models that use information on soil properties, climate, and hydrology have been developed to predict how the abundance and spatial

  18. Global Maize Trade and Food Security: Implications from a Social Network Model

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Felicia; Guclu, Hasan

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we developed a social network model of the global trade of maize: one of the most important food, feed, and industrial crops worldwide, and critical to food security. We used this model to analyze patterns of maize trade among nations, and to determine where vulnerabilities in food security might arise if maize availability were decreased due to factors such as diversion to non-food uses, climatic factors, or plant diseases. Using data on imports and exports from the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database for each year from 2000 to 2009 inclusive, we summarized statistics on volumes of maize trade between pairs of nations for 217 nations. There is evidence of market segregation among clusters of nations; with three prominent clusters representing Europe, Brazil and Argentina, and the United States. The United States is by far the largest exporter of maize worldwide, while Japan and the Republic of Korea are the largest maize importers. In particular, the star-shaped cluster of the network that represents US maize trade to other nations indicates the potential for food security risks because of the lack of trade these other nations conduct with other maize exporters. If a scenario arose in which US maize could not be exported in as large quantities, maize supplies in many nations could be jeopardized. We discuss this in the context of recent maize ethanol production and its attendant impacts on food prices elsewhere worldwide. PMID:23656551

  19. Global maize trade and food security: implications from a social network model.

    PubMed

    Wu, Felicia; Guclu, Hasan

    2013-12-01

    In this study, we developed a social network model of the global trade of maize: one of the most important food, feed, and industrial crops worldwide, and critical to food security. We used this model to analyze patterns of maize trade among nations, and to determine where vulnerabilities in food security might arise if maize availability was decreased due to factors such as diversion to nonfood uses, climatic factors, or plant diseases. Using data on imports and exports from the U.N. Commodity Trade Statistics Database for each year from 2000 to 2009 inclusive, we summarized statistics on volumes of maize trade between pairs of nations for 217 nations. There is evidence of market segregation among clusters of nations; with three prominent clusters representing Europe, Brazil and Argentina, and the United States. The United States is by far the largest exporter of maize worldwide, whereas Japan and the Republic of Korea are the largest maize importers. In particular, the star-shaped cluster of the network that represents U.S. maize trade to other nations indicates the potential for food security risks because of the lack of trade these other nations conduct with other maize exporters. If a scenario arose in which U.S. maize could not be exported in as large quantities, maize supplies in many nations could be jeopardized. We discuss this in the context of recent maize ethanol production and its attendant impacts on food prices elsewhere worldwide. PMID:23656551

  20. Commercialization of bacterial cell factories for the sustainable production of polyhydroxyalkanoate thermoplastics: progress and prospects.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Abhishek; Srivastava, Janmejai K; Mallick, Nirupama; Singh, Akhilesh K

    2015-01-01

    Ubiquitous conventional plastics, generally manufactured from finite, nonsustainable fossil fuels are non-biodegradable wonder entities but their ill effect on Mother Nature has subsequently raised major environmental concerns like their safe disposal, solid waste management and several potential hazards. Such concerns have fuelled initiatives for research globally towards development of sustainable and eco-friendly bioplastics. The new generation of plastics called 'bioplastics' are polymers of long chain of repeating monomer units that are classified as photodegradable, semi-biodegradable, chemically synthesized and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). The commonly emerged novel bioplastics are polyesters of hydroxyalkanoates (HAs) called PHAs, which are lipoidic storage materials found in the cytosol of vast and diverse forms of bacteria. Among 150 different PHAs known so far, poly- 3-hydroxybutyrate is the most common and comprehensively characterized PHA. Interestingly, PHAs are only completely biodegradable plastics with material properties comparable to conventional plastics that can be achieved by regulating the co-monomers incorporation into PHAs backbone. PHA bioplastics are exploited in the form of user-friendly goods viz. films, absorbable sutures, bone plates, drug carriers, etc. Besides advantages, such useful entity(s) has major shortcomings as well like high production cost compared to conventional plastics. Precisely, in PHAs production, about fifty percent of the overall price is due to the carbon substrates. Consequently, exploring novel cost-effective substrates is a major compulsion for successful commercialization of this bioplastic, which is anticipated to reduce the cost of production as a result of advancing and intensifying research work. This review presents an insight and patent developments in the field of PHAs bioplastics. PMID:26073514

  1. [Development of transgenic maize with anti-rough dwarf virus artificial miRNA vector and their disease resistance].

    PubMed

    Xuan, Ning; Zhao, Chuanzhi; Peng, Zhenying; Chen, Gao; Bian, Fei; Lian, Mingzheng; Liu, Guoxia; Wang, Xingjun; Bi, Yuping

    2015-09-01

    Maize is one of the most important food crops. Rice black-streaked dwarf virus is a maize rough dwarf disease pathogen. The occurrence and transmission of maize rough dwarf disease brings great damage to maize production. The technology of using artificial miRNA to build antiviral plant has been proven effective in a variety of plants. However, such trials in maize have not been reported. We designed primers based on the sequence of maize zea-miR159a precursor and sequence of function protein genes and silencing RBSDV coding genes in RBSDV genome. We constructed amiRNA (artificial miRNA) gene for silencing RBSDV coding gene and gene silencing suppressor. We constructed pCAMBIA3301-121-amiRNA plant expression vector for transforming maize inbred lines Z31 by using agrobacterium mediated method. After molecular analysis of transgenic maize, homozygous lines with high miRNA expression were selected by molecular detection for a subsequent natural infection experiment. We studied the severity of maize rough dwarf disease according to a grading standard (grade 0 to 4). The experiment results showed that the disease resistance of transgenic homozygous maize with the anti-rough dwarf virus amiRNA vector was better than that of wild type. Among the transgenic maize, S6-miR159 transgenic maize had high disease resistance. It is feasible to create new maize variety by the use of artificial miRNA. PMID:26955715

  2. Maize Photoperiod Control: Part II

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the staff of the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize Project and the Maize Curatorial Project staff of the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station experimented with various types of structures to ensure that field plantings of tropical maize germplasm were expo...

  3. Recycling of quarry waste as part of sustainable aggregate production: Norwegian and Italian point of view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonella Dino, Giovanna; Willy Danielsen, Svein; Chiappino, Claudia; Primavori, Piero; Engelsen, Christian John

    2016-04-01

    Resource preservation is one of the main challenges in Europe, together with waste management and recycling; recently several researchers are interested in the recovering of critical raw materials and secondary raw materials from landfill. Aggregate supply, even if it is not "critical" sensus stricto (s.s.), is one of the European priorities (low value but high volume needs). On the other side, the management of quarry waste , mainly from dimension stones, but also as fines from aggregate crushing, is still a matter of concern. Such materials are managed in different ways both locally and nationwide, and often they are landfilled, because of an unclear legislation and a general lack of data. Most of time the local authorities adopt the maximum precaution principle or the enterprises find it little profitable to recover them, so that the sustainable recycling of such material is not valued. Several studies have shown, depending on the material specific characteristics, the viability of recycling quarry waste into new raw materials used in glass and ceramic industries, precast concrete production, infrastructures etc. (Loudes et al. 2012, Dino&Marian 2015, Bozzola et al 2012, Dino et al. 2012, etc.). Thus, aggregate production may be one of the profitable ways to use quarry waste and is falling under the priority of EU (aggregate supply). Positive economic and environmental effects are likely to be achieved by systematic recycling of quarry waste planned by industries (industrial planning) and public authorities (national and local planning of aggregate exploitation). Today, the recycling level varies to a great extent and systematic recovery is not common among European Countries. In Italy and Norway no significant incentives on recycling or systematic approaches for local aggregate exploitation exist. The environmental consequences can be overexploitation of the natural resources, land take for the landfills, environmental contamination and landscape alteration by

  4. Downregulation of caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT) by RNA interference leads to reduced lignin production in maize straw

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaoyu; Chen, Wenjuan; Zhao, Yang; Xiang, Yan; Jiang, Haiyang; Zhu, Suwen; Cheng, Beijiu

    2013-01-01

    Lignin is a major cell wall component of vascular plants that provides mechanical strength and hydrophobicity to vascular vessels. However, the presence of lignin limits the effective use of crop straw in many agroindustrial processes. Here, we generated transgenic maize plants in which the expression of a lignin biosynthetic gene encoding CCoAOMT, a key enzyme involved in the lignin biosynthesis pathway was downregulated by RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi of CCoAOMT led to significantly downregulated expression of this gene in transgenic maize compared with WT plants. These transgenic plants exhibited a 22.4% decrease in Klason lignin content and a 23.3% increase in cellulose content compared with WT plants, which may reflect compensatory regulation of lignin and cellulose deposition. We also measured the lignin monomer composition of the RNAi plants by GC-MS and determined that transgenic plants had a 57.08% higher S/G ratio than WT plants. In addition, histological staining of lignin with Wiesner reagent produced slightly more coloration in the xylem and sclerenchyma than WT plants. These results provide a foundation for breeding maize with low-lignin content and reveal novel insights about lignin regulation via genetic manipulation of CCoAOMT expression. PMID:24385858

  5. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    ScienceCinema

    Danuso, Francesco [University of Udine, Italy

    2010-01-08

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed.  SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Jørgensen, 1994) in which systems are modelled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower  management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  6. Unrecognized delayed toxic lithium peak concentration in an acute poisoning with sustained release lithium product.

    PubMed

    Borrás-Blasco, Joaquín; Sirvent, Ana Esther; Navarro-Ruiz, Andrés; Murcia-López, Ana; Romero-Crespo, Isabel; Enriquez, Ricardo

    2007-03-01

    A 32-year-old female with a history of bipolar disorder was admitted after taking approximately 16 g of an extended-release lithium carbonate formulation in an attempted suicide. Five hours after consumption, the lithium serum level was 3.2 mEq/L. Fourteen hours after consumption, the lithium level was 5.1 mEq/L and the patient was asymptomatic. Due to a level > 4 mEq/L, the patient was transferred to a renal medicine service for hemodialysis. The lithium concentration 6 hours after the hemodialysis was 2.54 mEq/L. Thirty seven hours after the consumption (15 hours after hemodialysis), lithium levels increased up to 6.09 mEq/L. A second hemodialysis session was performed, which successfully reduced the serum lithium concentration to 1.86 mEq/L. Lithium levels 85 hours after the consumption were 0.61 mEq/L and the patient was transferred to the Psychiatry Department. Unrecognized delayed toxic peak lithium concentration may appear in an acute poisoning with a sustained release lithium product. Therefore, patients presenting with acute intoxication with extended release formulations should be managed with caution, and continued drug monitoring is suggested. PMID:17396741

  7. Phyto-products may be essential for sustainability and implementation of phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Bañuelos, G S

    2006-11-01

    Interest in selenium pollution and remediation technology has escalated during the past two decades. Although not known to be essential for plants, selenium is essential but could be toxic for humans and animals, depending on its concentration. A major selenium controversy in the 1980's emerged in California when the general public and scientific community became aware of selenium's potential as an environmental contaminant. After extensive research on several strategies to reduce loads of mobile Se for entering the agricultural ecosystem a plant-based technology, defined as 'phytoremediation' received increasing recognition, as a low-cost environmentally friendly approach for managing soluble Se in the soil and water environment. Successful long-term field remediation of Se by plants is, however, dependent upon acceptance and widespread use by growers, who are also concerned about potential commercial value from using the plant-based technology. Obtaining products with economic value from plants used in the cleanup of soil would certainly be an additional benefit to phytoremediation, which could help sustain its long-term use. PMID:16519976

  8. Food system advances towards more nutritious and sustainable mantou production in China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xinzhong; Sheng, Xialu; Liu, Liu; Ma, Zhen; Li, Xiaoping; Zhao, Wuqi

    2015-01-01

    Mantou, a traditional Chinese food, is widely consumed in the North China due to its nutritional value and good mouth-feel. However, its current family-style production is impeded due to short shelf-life caused by mold and starch retrogradation. The current packaging and storage methods are not efficient enough for mantou preservation. Recently, a novel, hot online package technology has attracted attention due to its high processing efficiency and low cost. Most importantly, by using this methodology, secondary contamination by microbes can be avoided and starch retrogradation can be markedly delayed, with mantou shelf-life under room temperature extended from a few to at least 90 days without any additives. In this review, the mechanisms of mantou quality deterioration are explained and the advantages of hot package technology addressed and compared with other packaging methods, such as frozen chain storage. In this way, not only wheat, but also other grains (including whole-grains) and ingredients may be mantou constituents, to enhance nutrition of traditional mantou. There is now a technological opportunity for mantou to become a more nutritious, sustainable and affordable foodstuff in local communities. PMID:26078235

  9. Land-Use Analysis of Croplands for Sustainable Food and Energy Production in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zumkehr, Andrew Lee

    Energy security and environmental sustainability are major concerns to many in the U.S. Energy from biomass has been proposed as a strategy to help meet future energy needs; however, widespread cultivation for biofuels could have significant impacts on food security and the environment. One solution to minimizing the impacts of biofuel cultivation is to limit production to abandoned croplands where competition from food crops and environmental degradation will be minimized. Here I estimate the spatial distribution of historical U.S. cropland areas from 1850 to 2000 and subsequently calculate abandoned cropland areas for the year 2000. From this data I estimate the potential biomass energy that could be obtained from abandoned croplands. I also estimate the potential for biomass energy to contribute to a renewable energy system consisting of wind and solar power by meeting seasonal energy storage needs that are a result of the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources. Lastly, I use the historical cropland areas result to estimate the ability of U.S. croplands to supply food to local populations at the county level.

  10. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Danuso, Francesco

    2008-06-18

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed. SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Joergensen, 1994) in which systems are modeled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  11. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Danuso, Francesco

    2008-06-18

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed.  SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Jørgensen, 1994) in which systems are modelled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower  management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  12. Micronutrient and functional compounds biofortification of maize grains.

    PubMed

    Messias, Rafael da Silva; Galli, Vanessa; Silva, Sérgio Delmar Dos Anjos E; Schirmer, Manoel Artigas; Rombaldi, César Valmor

    2015-01-01

    Maize, in addition to being the main staple food in many countries, is used in the production of hundreds of products. It is rich in compounds with potential benefits to health, such as carotenoids, phenolic compounds, vitamin E, and minerals that act as cofactors for antioxidant enzymes. Many of these compounds have been neglected thus far in the scientific literature. Nevertheless, deficiencies in the precursors of vitamin A and some minerals, such as iron and zinc, in maize, in association with the great genetic variability in its cultivars and our genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic knowledge of this species make targeted biofortification strategies for maize promising. This review discusses the potential of the main microconstituents found in maize with a focus on studies aimed at biofortification. PMID:24915397

  13. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Exploration Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2010-01-01

    Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an outcome of lean thinking to eliminate waste and increase productivity. PLM is inextricably tied to the systems engineering business philosophy, coupled with a methodology by which personnel, processes and practices, and information technology combine to form an architecture platform for product design, development, manufacturing, operations, and decommissioning. In this model, which is being implemented by the Engineering Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Marshall Space Flight Center, total lifecycle costs are important variables for critical decisionmaking. With the ultimate goal to deliver quality products that meet or exceed requirements on time and within budget, PLM is a powerful tool to shape everything from engineering trade studies and testing goals, to integrated vehicle operations and retirement scenarios. This paper will demonstrate how the Engineering Directorate is implementing PLM as part of an overall strategy to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable space exploration solutions. It has been 30 years since the United States fielded the Space Shuttle. The next generation space transportation system requires a paradigm shift such that digital tools and knowledge management, which are central elements of PLM, are used consistently to maximum effect. The outcome is a better use of scarce resources, along with more focus on stakeholder and customer requirements, as a new portfolio of enabling tools becomes second nature to the workforce. This paper will use the design and manufacturing processes, which have transitioned to digital-based activities, to show how PLM supports the comprehensive systems engineering and integration function. It also will go through a launch countdown scenario where an anomaly is detected to show how the virtual vehicle created from paperless processes will help solve technical challenges and improve the likelihood of launching on schedule, with

  14. Exploring the sustainability of industrial production and energy generation with a model system

    EPA Science Inventory

    The importance and complexity of sustainability has been well recognized and a formal study of sustainability based on system theory approaches is imperative as many of the relationships between the various components of the system could be non-linear, intertwined, and non-intuit...

  15. Western corn rootworm and Bt maize: challenges of pest resistance in the field.

    PubMed

    Gassmann, Aaron J; Petzold-Maxwell, Jennifer L; Keweshan, Ryan S; Dunbar, Mike W

    2012-01-01

    Crops genetically engineered to produce insecticidal toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) manage many key insect pests while reducing the use of conventional insecticides. One of the primary pests targeted by Bt maize in the United States is the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. Beginning in 2009, populations of western corn rootworm were identified in Iowa, USA that imposed severe root injury to Cry3Bb1 maize. Subsequent laboratory bioassays revealed that these populations were resistant to Cry3Bb1 maize, with survival on Cry3Bb1 maize that was three times higher than populations not associated with such injury. Here we report the results of research that began in 2010 when western corn rootworm were sampled from 14 fields in Iowa, half of which had root injury to Cry3Bb1 maize of greater than 1 node. Of these samples, sufficient eggs were collected to conduct bioassays on seven populations. Laboratory bioassays revealed that these 2010 populations had survival on Cry3Bb1 maize that was 11 times higher and significantly greater than that of control populations, which were brought into the laboratory prior to the commercialization of Bt maize for control of corn rootworm. Additionally, the developmental delays observed for control populations on Cry3Bb1 maize were greatly diminished for 2010 populations. All 2010 populations evaluated in bioassays came from fields with a history of continuous maize production and between 3 and 7 y of Cry3Bb1 maize cultivation. Resistance to Cry34/35Ab1 maize was not detected and there was no correlation between survival on Cry3Bb1 maize and Cry34/35Ab1 maize, suggesting a lack of cross resistance between these Bt toxins. Effectively dealing with the challenge of field-evolved resistance to Bt maize by western corn rootworm will require better adherence to the principles of integrated pest management. PMID:22688688

  16. Growing sensitivity of maize to water scarcity under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Qingfeng; Chen, Xinping; Lobell, David B.; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Yi; Yang, Haishun; Zhang, Fusuo

    2016-01-01

    Climate change can reduce crop yields and thereby threaten food security. The current measures used to adapt to climate change involve avoiding crops yield decrease, however, the limitations of such measures due to water and other resources scarcity have not been well understood. Here, we quantify how the sensitivity of maize to water availability has increased because of the shift toward longer-maturing varieties during last three decades in the Chinese Maize Belt (CMB). We report that modern, longer-maturing varieties have extended the growing period by an average of 8 days and have significantly offset the negative impacts of climate change on yield. However, the sensitivity of maize production to water has increased: maize yield across the CMB was 5% lower with rainfed than with irrigated maize in the 1980s and was 10% lower (and even >20% lower in some areas) in the 2000s because of both warming and the increased requirement for water by the longer-maturing varieties. Of the maize area in China, 40% now fails to receive the precipitation required to attain the full yield potential. Opportunities for water saving in maize systems exist, but water scarcity in China remains a serious problem.

  17. Growing sensitivity of maize to water scarcity under climate change.

    PubMed

    Meng, Qingfeng; Chen, Xinping; Lobell, David B; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Yi; Yang, Haishun; Zhang, Fusuo

    2016-01-01

    Climate change can reduce crop yields and thereby threaten food security. The current measures used to adapt to climate change involve avoiding crops yield decrease, however, the limitations of such measures due to water and other resources scarcity have not been well understood. Here, we quantify how the sensitivity of maize to water availability has increased because of the shift toward longer-maturing varieties during last three decades in the Chinese Maize Belt (CMB). We report that modern, longer-maturing varieties have extended the growing period by an average of 8 days and have significantly offset the negative impacts of climate change on yield. However, the sensitivity of maize production to water has increased: maize yield across the CMB was 5% lower with rainfed than with irrigated maize in the 1980s and was 10% lower (and even >20% lower in some areas) in the 2000s because of both warming and the increased requirement for water by the longer-maturing varieties. Of the maize area in China, 40% now fails to receive the precipitation required to attain the full yield potential. Opportunities for water saving in maize systems exist, but water scarcity in China remains a serious problem. PMID:26804136

  18. Growing sensitivity of maize to water scarcity under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Qingfeng; Chen, Xinping; Lobell, David B.; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Yi; Yang, Haishun; Zhang, Fusuo

    2016-01-01

    Climate change can reduce crop yields and thereby threaten food security. The current measures used to adapt to climate change involve avoiding crops yield decrease, however, the limitations of such measures due to water and other resources scarcity have not been well understood. Here, we quantify how the sensitivity of maize to water availability has increased because of the shift toward longer-maturing varieties during last three decades in the Chinese Maize Belt (CMB). We report that modern, longer-maturing varieties have extended the growing period by an average of 8 days and have significantly offset the negative impacts of climate change on yield. However, the sensitivity of maize production to water has increased: maize yield across the CMB was 5% lower with rainfed than with irrigated maize in the 1980s and was 10% lower (and even >20% lower in some areas) in the 2000s because of both warming and the increased requirement for water by the longer-maturing varieties. Of the maize area in China, 40% now fails to receive the precipitation required to attain the full yield potential. Opportunities for water saving in maize systems exist, but water scarcity in China remains a serious problem. PMID:26804136

  19. Sustainable clinical research, health economic aspects and medical marketing: drivers of product innovation.

    PubMed

    Haschke, Ferdinand; Klassen-Wigger, Petra

    2010-01-01

    Marketing-driven innovation in the field of pediatric nutrition, in particular in the infant formula segment is not sustainable. New benefits of products must be scientifically proven and safety and efficacy of new formulae established in clinical trials. The scientific innovation process of three infant formulae is described. Improvement in protein quality allowed to reduce the protein concentration in whey-based infant formula. Weight gain and BMI of infants fed those formulae corresponds to breastfed infants and is lower than in infants fed traditional formulae with higher protein concentration. A meta-analysis indicates associations between rapid weight gain in infancy and obesity later in life. If infants cannot be exclusively breastfed until 4-6 months of age, feeding low-protein formulae may contribute to positive long-term health outcome with potentially important health economic effects. A partially hydrolyzed whey based formula for prevention of allergic symptoms in children with hereditary risk for allergic diseases was developed more than 25 years ago. The most recent meta-analysis which included 15 randomized clinical trials indicates that the risk of all allergic diseases and atopic dermatitis/eczema is significantly reduced in infants at risk when the partially hydrolyzed formula is fed. The partially hydrolyzed formula had the same protective effect as casein-based high-degree extensively hydrolyzed formula. Because of substantial price differences between the two formulae, feeding the partially hydrolyzed whey formula is cost saving. Hypoallergenic claims can be made in many countries, and international nutrition committees have positively commented the preventive effect of those formulae. Acidified formulae have been widely used during the last decade in replacement feeding programs for infants whose mothers are HIV positive. The formula was innovated by improving whey protein quality and lowering protein concentration. The bacteriostatic

  20. Renewable energy from biomass: a sustainable option? - Hydrogen production from alcohols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balla, Zoltán; Kith, Károly; Tamás, András; Nagy, Orsolya

    2015-04-01

    Sustainable development requires us to find new energy sources instead of fossil fuels. One possibility is the hydrogen fuel cell, which uses significantly more efficient than the current combustion engines. The task of the hydrogen is clean, carbon-free renewable energy sources to choose in the future by growing degree. Hungary can play a role in the renewable energy sources of biomass as a renewable biomass annually mass of about 350 to 360 million tons. The biomass is only a very small proportion of fossil turn carbonaceous materials substitution, while we may utilize alternative energy sources as well. To the hydrogen production from biomass, the first step of the chemical transformations of chemical bonds are broken, which is always activation energy investment needs. The methanol and ethanol by fermentation from different agricultural products is relatively easy to produce, so these can be regarded as renewable energy carriers of. The ethanol can be used directly, and used in several places in the world are mixed with the petrol additive. This method is the disadvantage that the anhydrous alcohol is to be used in the combustion process in the engine more undesired by-products may be formed, and the fuel efficiency of the engine is significantly lower than the efficiency of the fuel cells. More useful to produce hydrogen from the alcohol and is used in a fuel cell electric power generation. Particularly attractive option for the so-called on-board reforming of alcohols, that happens immediately when the vehicle hydrogen production. It does not need a large tank of hydrogen, because the hydrogen produced would be directly to the fuel cell. The H2 tank limit use of its high cost, the significant loss evaporation, the rare-station network, production capacity and service background and lack of opportunity to refuel problems. These can be overcome, if the hydrogen in the vehicle is prepared. As volume even 700 bar only about half the H2 pressure gas can be stored