Science.gov

Sample records for improving plant availability

  1. Improved outage management techniques for better plant availability

    SciTech Connect

    Bemer, J.P.

    1989-01-01

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

  2. Soil management systems to improve water availability for plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klik, A.; Rosner, J.

    2009-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-09-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Advanced analysis of case histories as a mean for improved plant availability

    SciTech Connect

    Jovanovic, A.S.; Poloni, M.; Kautz, H.R.

    1996-12-31

    The paper presents the novel idea of using large collections of case histories for supporting operation and maintenance of power plants. Large systems for storage and management of case histories (operational problems, failures, inspection reports, etc.) have been developed at MPA Stuttgart. Their development has been supported, in terms of supplying data and providing suitable test bed, by GKM. Besides the data management and conventional statistical analysis, the systems are being upgraded nowadays with advanced intelligent analysis modules. These modules allow (e.g.) to select a subset of relevant case studies and to analyze possible trends and dependencies, both quantitative and qualitative, in the subset. For a new case, a subset of similar cases can be found and analyzed. The results of the analysis can then be used either for the diagnosis of possible problems or for assessment of risks in the given new case.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-10-01

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

  10. Packing developments improve valve availability

    SciTech Connect

    Aikin, J.

    1994-01-01

    Regulatory environment and clean air legislation demand improvements in valve stuffing box performance. In normally inaccessible or hazardous areas, the cost of valve maintenance and repair in terms of safety, radiation, and toxic gas exposure is very high. AECL Research`s Mechanical Equipment Development (MED) branch at Chalk River Laboratories (Chalk River, Ont.) has researched stem packing leakage problems since the early 1970s. Early research and development (R and D) significantly improved the understanding of operational characteristics of asbestos-based valve packing. Of note was the development of live loading, a stem packing method that reduces valve leakage to near zero under most operating conditions, and significantly prolongs packing life. This article describes how stem packing developments, including live loading techniques, are reducing valve fugitive emissions and leakage.

  11. Methodology for Scaling Fusion Power Plant Availability

    SciTech Connect

    Lester M. Waganer

    2011-01-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DOE Data Explorer

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

    2014-02-19

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

  16. Improved modeling of GPS selective availability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-10-01

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

  18. Compounds and methods for improving plant performance

    DOEpatents

    Unkefer, Pat J.; Knight, Thomas Joseph

    2016-09-20

    The invention is directed to methods and compositions for increasing a growth characteristic of a plant, increasing nutrient use efficiency of a plant, or improving a plant's ability to overcome stress comprising applying a composition comprising ketosuccinamate, a derivative thereof, or a salt thereof, to the plant or to a propagation material of the plant.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hernández, Iker; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Improving pulverized coal plant performance

    SciTech Connect

    Regan, J.W.; Borio, R.W.; Palkes, M.; Mirolli, M.; Wesnor, J.D.; Bender, D.J.

    1995-12-31

    A major deliverable of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project ``Engineering Development of Advanced Coal-Fired Low-Emissions Boiler Systems`` (LEBS) is the design of a large, in this case 400 MWe, commercial generating unit (CGU) which will meet the Project objectives. The overall objective of the LEBS Project is to dramatically improve environmental performance of future pulverized coal fired power plants without adversely impacting efficiency or the cost of electricity. The DOE specified the use of near-term technologies, i.e., advanced technologies that partially developed, to reduce NO{sub x}, SO{sub 2} and particulate emissions to be substantially less than current NSPS limits. In addition, air toxics must be in compliance and waste must be reduced and made more disposable. The design being developed by the ABB Team is projected to meet all the contract objectives and to reduce emission of NO{sub x}, SO{sub 2} and particulates to one-fifth to one-tenth NSPS limits while increasing net station efficiency significantly and reducing the cost of electricity. This design and future work are described in the paper.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Plant response to nutrient availability across variable bedrock geologies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Castle, S.C.; Neff, J.C.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the role of rock-derived mineral nutrient availability on the nutrient dynamics of overlying forest communities (Populus tremuloides and Picea engelmanni-Abies lasiocarpa v. arizonica) across three parent materials (andesite, limestone, and sandstone) in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Broad geochemical differences were observed between bedrock materials; however, bulk soil chemistries were remarkably similar between the three different sites. In contrast, soil nutrient pools were considerably different, particularly for P, Ca, and Mg concentrations. Despite variations in nutrient stocks and nutrient availability in soils, we observed relatively inflexible foliar concentrations and foliar stoichiometries for both deciduous and coniferous species. Foliar nutrient resorption (P and K) in the deciduous species followed patterns of nutrient content across substrate types, with higher resorption corresponding to lower bedrock concentrations. Work presented here indicates a complex plant response to available soil nutrients, wherein plant nutrient use compensates for variations in supply gradients and results in the maintenance of a narrow range in foliar stoichiometry. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  5. Perspectives on plant vulnerabilities & other plant and containment improvements

    SciTech Connect

    LaChance, J.; Kolaczkowski, A.; Kahn, J.

    1996-01-01

    The primary goal of the Individual Plant Examination (IPE) Program was for licensees to identify plant-unique vulnerabilities and actions to address these vulnerabilities. A review of these vulnerabilities and plant improvements that were identified in the IPEs was performed as part of the IPE Insights Program sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The purpose of this effort was to characterize the identified vulnerabilities and the impact of suggested plant improvements. No specific definition for {open_quotes}vulnerability{close_quotes} was provided in NRC Generic Letter 88-20 or in the subsequent NRC IPE submittal guidance documented in NUREG-1335. Thus licensees were left to use their own definitions. Only 20% of the plants explicitly stated that they had vulnerabilities. However, most licensees identified other plant improvements to address issues not explicitly classified as vulnerabilities, but pertaining to areas in which overall plant safety could potentially be increased. The various definitions of {open_quotes}vulnerability{close_quotes} used by the licensees, explicitly identified vulnerabilities, proposed plant improvements to address these vulnerabilities, and other plant improvements are summarized and discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  7. Idaho Chemical Processing Plant Process Efficiency improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Griebenow, B.

    1996-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Plant-Available Silica in Soils: A Mass Balance Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reyerson, P. E.; Jacobs, P. M.; Mason, J. A.

    2009-12-01

    The goals of this study were to measure the quantity of high solubility soil silica available for plant uptake (plant-available silica, or PAS, operationally defined using a chemical extraction method); estimate gains and losses (mass balance) of PAS; and identify forms of PAS in soils. We used a coupled chemical extraction-spectrometry technique to measure PAS levels in soils. Gains and losses of PAS were achieved by comparing concentrations of an immobile element by horizon, in this case Zr. Forms of PAS were identified by light microscopy. Two Alfisol soils formed in thick loess were used for this study, one from southeastern Minnesota and the other from west-central Illinois. We identified two distinct origins for PAS: that which is inherited from the parent material, and that which is formed from in situ silicate mineral weathering. We further identified two general forms of PAS: biogenic (e.g. phytoliths) and nonbiogenic (e.g. dissolved silica, cristobalite). Measured, relative PAS levels were found to “spike” in B horizons of both soils, while A and C horizons were much lower. Absolute PAS levels differed between the two soils: The Minnesota soil yielded much higher levels throughout the profile than the Illinois soil, which we attributed to a large amount of inherited nonbiogenic PAS in the former soil. Mass balance data indicated loss of PAS in A horizons, probably due to leaching. A large positive flux of PAS was recorded in B horizons indicating downward movement of PAS and/or in situ weathering of silicate minerals. Forms of PAS vary by horizon as well, with different processes dominating over vertical space. Biologic processes were found to be dominant in A horizons, while chemical weathering and illuviation were dominant in B horizons.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Evaluation of plant biomass resources available for replacement of fossil oil

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Robert J

    2010-01-01

    The potential of plants to replace fossil oil was evaluated by considering the scale of production required, the area of land needed and the types of plants available. High yielding crops (50 tonnes/ha) that have a high conversion efficiency (75%) would require a global land footprint of around 100 million ha to replace current (2008) oil consumption. Lower yielding or less convertible plants would require a larger land footprint. Domestication of new species as dedicated energy crops may be necessary. A systematic analysis of higher plants and their current and potential uses is presented. Plant biotechnology provides tools to improve the prospects of replacing oil with plant-derived biomass by increasing the amount of biomass produced per unit area of land and improving the composition of the biomass to increase the efficiency of conversion to biofuel and biomaterials. Options for the production of high value coproducts and the expression of processing aids such as enzymes in the plant may add further value to plants as bioenergy resources. PMID:20070873

  12. Optimization at Wyoming gas plant improves profitability

    SciTech Connect

    Saha, L.E. ); Chontos, A.J. ); Hatch, D.R. )

    1990-05-28

    This paper reports on a computer-aided manufacturing system for on-line optimization implemented at the Painter complex (Wyoming) gas-processing plant. The system is based on rigorous process modeling techniques using real time data. Early results show significant potential for improving the plant's profitability.

  13. Predicting plant available nitrogen in land-applied biosolids

    SciTech Connect

    Gilmour, J.T.; Skinner, V.

    1999-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Estimating plant available water content from remotely sensed evapotranspiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Azlz, Ann-Marie

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

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

    PubMed

    Azlz, Ann-Marie

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

  18. NREL Bioprocessing Pilot Plant: Available for Industrial Use

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2003-10-01

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

  19. Power plant productivity improvement in New York

    SciTech Connect

    1981-03-01

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

  20. Kriging as a Means of Improving WAAS Availability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sparks, Lawrence; Blanch, Juan; Pandya, Nitin

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Foliage Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.

    1988-01-01

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

  2. Role of RNA interference in plant improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  3. Optimal Plant Carbon Allocation Implies a Biological Control on Nitrogen Availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prentice, I. C.; Stocker, B. D.

    2015-12-01

    The degree to which nitrogen availability limits the terrestrial C sink under rising CO2 is a key uncertainty in carbon cycle and climate change projections. Results from ecosystem manipulation studies and meta-analyses suggest that plant C allocation to roots adjusts dynamically under varying degrees of nitrogen availability and other soil fertility parameters. In addition, the ratio of biomass production to GPP appears to decline under nutrient scarcity. This reflects increasing plant C exudation into the soil (Cex) with decreasing nutrient availability. Cex is consumed by an array of soil organisms and may imply an improvement of nutrient availability to the plant. Thus, N availability is under biological control, but incurs a C cost. In spite of clear observational support, this concept is left unaccounted for in Earth system models. We develop a model for the coupled cycles of C and N in terrestrial ecosystems to explore optimal plant C allocation under rising CO2 and its implications for the ecosystem C balance. The model follows a balanced growth approach, accounting for the trade-offs between leaf versus root growth and Cex in balancing C fixation and N uptake. We assume that Cex is proportional to root mass, and that the ratio of N uptake (Nup) to Cex is proportional to inorganic N concentration in the soil solution. We further assume that Cex is consumed by N2-fixing processes if the ratio of Nup:Cex falls below the inverse of the C cost of N2-fixation. Our analysis thereby accounts for the feedbacks between ecosystem C and N cycling and stoichiometry. We address the question of how the plant C economy will adjust under rising atmospheric CO2 and what this implies for the ecosystem C balance and the degree of N limitation.

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

    SciTech Connect

    William M. Bond; Salih Ersayin

    2007-03-30

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

  5. Roadside soils show low plant available zinc and copper concentrations.

    PubMed

    Morse, Natalie; Walter, M Todd; Osmond, Deanna; Hunt, William

    2016-02-01

    Vehicle combustion and component wear are a major source of metal contamination in the environment, which could be especially concerning where road ditches are actively farmed. The objective of this study was to assess how site variables, namely age, traffic (vehicles day(-1)), and percent carbon (%C) affect metal accumulation in roadside soils. A soil chronosequence was established with sites ranging from 3 to 37 years old and bioavailable, or mobile, concentrations of Zinc (Zn) and Copper (Cu) were measured along major highways in North Carolina using a Mehlich III extraction. Mobile Zn and Cu concentrations were low overall, and when results were scaled via literature values to "total metal", the results were still generally lower than previous roadside studies. This could indicate farming on lands near roads would pose a low plant toxicity risk. Zinc and Cu were not correlated with annual average traffic count, but were positively correlated with lifetime traffic load (the product of site age and traffic count). This study shows an often overlooked variable, site age, should be included when considering roadside pollution accumulation. Zinc and Cu were more strongly associated with %C, than traffic load. Because vehicle combustion is also a carbon source, it is not obvious whether the metals and carbon are simply co-accumulating or whether the soil carbon in roadside soils may facilitate previously overlooked roles in sequestering metals on-site.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Efficiency improvement of thermal coal power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Hourfar, D.

    1996-12-31

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

  9. Exposed medical staff: challenges, available tools, and opportunities for improvement.

    PubMed

    Dauer, Lawrence T

    2014-02-01

    Medical staff doses have increased over the past decade, as there is an increasing need for the benefits and use of radiation in medicine. While current average medical staff doses are well within limits, some doses to individuals could exceed 20 mSv y deep dose equivalent or lens dose equivalent (if unprotected), and there is the potential for some workers to exceed 500 mSv y shallow dose equivalent without careful assessment and protection. Nuclear medicine radiochemistry and patient dose preparation present challenging opportunities for improved dose control. In addition, fluoroscopically guided intervention procedures continue to represent an important area for careful protection implementation. Optimization of radiation protection in the medical setting should include tried and true principles of justification, optimization, and limitation with emphasis on training, credentialing, planning, and quality management. As newer and developing uses of radiation in medicine are tested and implemented, it is important to consider effective dosimetric monitoring, lens of eye doses, extremity doses, novel uses, and novel radionuclide characteristics. An ongoing assessment of current and future patterns of use for radiation in medicine is an essential activity to assist in prioritizing limited resources for staff protection. Introduction of Exposed Medical Staff (Video 1:27, http://links.lww.com/HP/A20).

  10. Household-level technologies to improve the availability and preparation of adequate and safe complementary foods.

    PubMed

    Mensah, Patience; Tomkins, Andrew

    2003-03-01

    Plant-based complementary foods are the main source of nutrients for many young children in developing countries. They may, however, present problems in providing nutritionally adequate and safe diets for older infants and young children. The high starch content leads to low-nutrient diets that are bulky and dense, with high levels of antinutritive factors such as phytates, tannins, lectins, and enzyme inhibitors. Phytates impair mineral bioavailability, lectins interfere with intestinal structure, and enzyme inhibitors inhibit digestive enzymes. In addition, there is often microbial contamination, which leads to diarrhea, growth-faltering, and impaired development, and the presence of chemical contaminants may lead to neurological disease and goiter. The fact that some fruits containing carotenoids are only available seasonally contributes to the vulnerability of children receiving predominantly plant-based diets. Traditional household food technologies have been used for centuries to improve the quality and safety of complementary foods. These include dehulling, peeling, soaking, germination, fermentation, and drying. While modern communities tend to reject these technologies in favor of more convenient fast-food preparations, there is now a resurgence of interest in older technologies as a possible means of improving the quality and safety of complementary foods when the basic diet cannot be changed for economic reasons. This paper describes the biology, safety, practicability, and acceptability of these traditional processes at the household or community level, as well as the gaps in research, so that more effective policies and programs can be implemented to improve the quality and safety of complementary foods.

  11. Improving plant bioaccumulation science through consistent reporting of experimental data.

    PubMed

    Fantke, Peter; Arnot, Jon A; Doucette, William J

    2016-10-01

    Experimental data and models for plant bioaccumulation of organic contaminants play a crucial role for assessing the potential human and ecological risks associated with chemical use. Plants are receptor organisms and direct or indirect vectors for chemical exposures to all other organisms. As new experimental data are generated they are used to improve our understanding of plant-chemical interactions that in turn allows for the development of better scientific knowledge and conceptual and predictive models. The interrelationship between experimental data and model development is an ongoing, never-ending process needed to advance our ability to provide reliable quality information that can be used in various contexts including regulatory risk assessment. However, relatively few standard experimental protocols for generating plant bioaccumulation data are currently available and because of inconsistent data collection and reporting requirements, the information generated is often less useful than it could be for direct applications in chemical assessments and for model development and refinement. We review existing testing guidelines, common data reporting practices, and provide recommendations for revising testing guidelines and reporting requirements to improve bioaccumulation knowledge and models. This analysis provides a list of experimental parameters that will help to develop high quality datasets and support modeling tools for assessing bioaccumulation of organic chemicals in plants and ultimately addressing uncertainty in ecological and human health risk assessments.

  12. Improving plant bioaccumulation science through consistent reporting of experimental data.

    PubMed

    Fantke, Peter; Arnot, Jon A; Doucette, William J

    2016-10-01

    Experimental data and models for plant bioaccumulation of organic contaminants play a crucial role for assessing the potential human and ecological risks associated with chemical use. Plants are receptor organisms and direct or indirect vectors for chemical exposures to all other organisms. As new experimental data are generated they are used to improve our understanding of plant-chemical interactions that in turn allows for the development of better scientific knowledge and conceptual and predictive models. The interrelationship between experimental data and model development is an ongoing, never-ending process needed to advance our ability to provide reliable quality information that can be used in various contexts including regulatory risk assessment. However, relatively few standard experimental protocols for generating plant bioaccumulation data are currently available and because of inconsistent data collection and reporting requirements, the information generated is often less useful than it could be for direct applications in chemical assessments and for model development and refinement. We review existing testing guidelines, common data reporting practices, and provide recommendations for revising testing guidelines and reporting requirements to improve bioaccumulation knowledge and models. This analysis provides a list of experimental parameters that will help to develop high quality datasets and support modeling tools for assessing bioaccumulation of organic chemicals in plants and ultimately addressing uncertainty in ecological and human health risk assessments. PMID:27393944

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

    PubMed

    White, Douglas C

    2007-06-01

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

  14. Method to improve drought tolerance in plants

    SciTech Connect

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Kwak, June Myoung

    2003-10-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Cyanobacterial-based approaches to improving photosynthesis in plants.

    PubMed

    Zarzycki, Jan; Axen, Seth D; Kinney, James N; Kerfeld, Cheryl A

    2013-01-01

    Plants rely on the Calvin-Benson (CB) cycle for CO(2) fixation. The key carboxylase of the CB cycle is ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). Efforts to enhance carbon fixation in plants have traditionally focused on RubisCO or on approaches that can help to remedy RubisCO's undesirable traits: its low catalytic efficiency and photorespiration. Towards reaching the goal of improving plant photosynthesis, cyanobacteria may be instrumental. Because of their evolutionary relationship to chloroplasts, they represent ideal model organisms for photosynthesis research. Furthermore, the molecular understanding of cyanobacterial carbon fixation provides a rich source of strategies that can be exploited for the bioengineering of chloroplasts. These strategies include the cyanobacterial carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM), which consists of active and passive transporter systems for inorganic carbon and a specialized organelle, the carboxysome. The carboxysome encapsulates RubisCO together with carbonic anhydrase in a protein shell, resulting in an elevated CO(2) concentration around RubisCO. Moreover, cyanobacteria differ from plants in the isoenzymes involved in the CB cycle and the photorespiratory pathways as well as in mechanisms that can affect the activity of RubisCO. In addition, newly available cyanobacterial genome sequence data from the CyanoGEBA project, which has more than doubled the amount of genomic information available for cyanobacteria, increases our knowledge on the CCM and the occurrence and distribution of genes of interest.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  20. Biotechnological interventions to improve plant developmental traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kiba, Takatoshi; Krapp, Anne

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kiba, Takatoshi; Krapp, Anne

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Improvement of water treatment at thermal power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Compositions and methods for improved plant feedstock

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-02

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

  5. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants

    PubMed Central

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

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

  6. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants.

    PubMed

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

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

  7. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants.

    PubMed

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

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

  8. The influence of maintenance system reliability and maintainability characteristics on overall plant availability

    SciTech Connect

    Prince, B.E.; Haire, M.J.

    1991-01-01

    Performance goals for complex processes are often linked with achieving high availability of plant equipment. This requires that maintenance systems, which sometimes include complex electromechanical equipment operating in a hostile environment, meet certain requirements for reliability and maintainability. This paper develops several Markov probability models to evaluate the impact of maintenance system availability on the overall plant. The models considered included the case when the maintenance equipment is itself under repair when a failure occurs on process equipment. Examination was also given to the situation where the maintenance equipment is operated in a degraded condition (i.e., longer times are required to complete repairs). The results of the analysis identified conditions under which failures in the maintenance system could have a significant adverse effect on plant availability. Maintenance system failures affect the average times required for process repairs, which can affect the availability of each process subsystem in the plant. A useful simple rule for incorporating effects of maintenance system failures into plant availability estimates is to multiply repair rates corresponding to ideal conditions (no maintenance failures) by the expected availability of the maintenance system. This rule applies when the maintenance system is available on a standby status when a process failure occurs. The effect is somewhat greater when the maintenance equipment is subject to interim breakdowns, between process failures. The analysis also indicated conditions under which overall plant availability could benefit by permitting some degradation in maintenance equipment capabilities, before repairing this equipment with a backup system. As a rough rule, the degradation should not increase average repair times by more than about a factor of two.

  9. Allometry and development in herbaceous plants: functional responses of meristem allocation to light and nutrient availability.

    PubMed

    Bonser, Stephen P; Aarssen, Lonnie W

    2003-03-01

    We examined the relationship between meristem allocation and plant size for four annual plant species: Arabidopsis thaliana, Arenaria serphyllifolia, Brassica rapa, and Chaenorrhinum minus. Gradients of light and nutrient availability were used to obtain a range of plant sizes for each of these species. Relative allocation to reproductive, inactive, and growth meristems were used to measure reproductive effort, apical dominance, and branching intensity, respectively. We measured allocation to each of these three meristem fates at weekly intervals throughout development and at final developmental stage. At all developmental stages reproductive effort and branching intensity tended to increase with increasing plant size (i.e., due to increasing resource availability) and apical dominance tended to decrease with increasing plant size. We interpret these responses as a strategy for plants to maximize fitness across a range of environments. In addition, significant differences in meristem response among species may be important in defining the range of habitats in which a species can exist and may help explain patterns of species competition and coexistence in habitats with variable resource availability.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 78 FR 24714 - Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for the Federal-State Marketing Improvement...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-26

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

  12. Use of the BCR sequential extraction procedure for the study of metal availability to plants.

    PubMed

    Li, Junhui; Lu, Ying; Shim, Hojae; Deng, Xianglian; Lian, Jin; Jia, Zhenglei; Li, Jianhua

    2010-02-01

    To investigate the mobility and availability of metals from soil to plant, concentrations of zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and arsenic (As) in topsoils and plants (lettuce, scallion, celery, tomato, carambola, wampee and longan) collected from the area around a petrochemical complex in Guangzhou, China, were analyzed. The modified European Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) three-step sequential extraction procedure was applied to determine the concentration of metal fractions in soils. The results showed that the distribution of Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd in four fractions varied greatly among the soil samples, and 18.8% of vegetable and fruit samples for Cd and 5.8% for Pb exceeded the maximum permissible levels in food of China. Soil-to-plant transfer coefficients were in the order of Cd>Zn>Cu>Hg>As>Pb, suggesting Cd being the most mobile and available to plants among the metals studied. Principal component analysis indicated that metal fractions and soil physicochemical properties (pH, organic matter, cation exchange capacity, clay content and electrical conductivity) affected metal uptake by plants. Furthermore, atmospheric deposition may be another important factor for the accumulation of metals in plants.

  13. Measuring plant available phosphorus using diffusive gradients in thin films and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothwell, Shane; Surridge, Ben; Dodd, Ian; Quinton, John; Zhang, Hao

    2015-04-01

    Global concerns of phosphorus (P) deficiency limiting crop yields, and finite supplies of mineral P reserves, suggest a need to maximise P use efficiency in agriculture. To accurately predict the availability of soil P to crops, and subsequent P fertiliser recommendations, soil P tests must determine only the P that will be accessed and utilised by a crop. However, there is growing doubt regarding the ability of current extraction techniques (water, bicarbonate, resin) to accurately determine plant-available P across a range of soils. Indeed, the most widely-used test (Olsen P) across all soil types was only designed for alkaline soils and therefore it is inappropriate as a national standard soil test. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop a standard approach to measuring P availability applicable across a range of soil types. Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films (DGT) may be a more accurate technique for measuring the P available to plants than P measured using current extraction techniques because the measurement responds to both soil solution P and the P rapidly resupplied from the solid phase. However, elution by acid extraction of P retained within the resin gel of a DGT device, followed by analysis via inductively coupled plasma-based techniques, typically results in a delay of several days between DGT deployment and reporting of P concentrations. This is currently a significant constraint on the adoption of DGT to determine plant-available P in agricultural soils. Our research seeks to develop a novel combination of two existing techniques, DGT with portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF) to achieve rapid, non-destructive analysis of P within a DGT device, thus significantly reducing the length of time between DGT deployment and the final determination of plant-available P in agricultural soils. We aim to develop DGT-pXRF as a robust routine analytical procedure suitable for analysis of plant available P in a wide range of agricultural soil types.

  14. Molecular marker technologies for plant improvement.

    PubMed

    Winter, P; Kahl, G

    1995-07-01

    The exploitation of DNA polymorphisms by an ever-increasing number of molecular marker technologies has begun to have an impact on plant genome research and breeding. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms, micro- and mini-satellites and PCR-based approaches are used to determine inter- and intra-specific genetic diversity and construct molecular maps of crops using specially designed mapping populations. Resistance genes and other agronomically important loci are tagged with tightly linked DNA markers and the genes isolated by magabase DNA technology and cloning into yeast artificial chromosomes (YAC). This review discusses some recent developments and results in this field.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Improving the Physical Plant and Residence-Life Department Relationship.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, Matthew C.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses the communication difficulties between educational-facility housing managers and plant management and ways to improve it so that maintenance problems can be resolved. Examples of successful housing and facility-management partnerships are highlighted. (GR)

  20. Compressed Air System Improvements at an Automotive Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2000-10-01

    In 1998, the Ford Motor Company implemented a compressed air system improvement project at its Woodhaven Stamping plant in Woodhaven, Michigan. As a result of the system approach that it took towards improving the plant's compressed air system, the plant was able to take an 800-hp air compressor offline, shut down several high pressure satellite compressors, and operate the remaining compressors more efficiently.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Boojar, Massod Mashhadi Akbar; Goodarzi, Faranak

    2008-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-06

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Quantification of risks from technology for improved plant reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Rode, D.M.

    1996-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Improved Austenitic Steels for Power Plant Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Alman, David E.; Dunning, John S.; Schrems, Karol K.; Rawers, James C.; Wilson, Rick D.; Hawk, Jeffrey A.; Petty, Arthur V., Jr.

    2002-08-06

    Using alloy design principles, an austenitic alloy, with base composition of Fe-16Cr-16Ni-2Mn-1Mo (in weight percent, wt%), was formulated to which up to 5 wt% Si and/or Al were added specifically to improve the oxidation resistance. Cyclic oxidation tests were carried out in air at 700 and 800 C for 1000 hours. For comparison, Fe-18Cr-8Ni type-304 stainless steel alloys was also tested. The results showed that at 700 C, all the alloys were twice as oxidation resistant as the type-304 alloy (i.e., the experimental alloys showed weight gains about half that of type-304). Surprisingly, at 800 C, alloys that contained both Al and Si additions were less oxidation resistant than the type-304 alloy. However, alloys containing only Si additions were significantly more oxidation resistant than the type 304 alloys (i.e., showed weight gains 4 times less than the type-304 alloy). Further, alloys with only Si additions pre-oxidized at 800 C, showed zero weight gain in subsequent testing for 1000 hours at 700 C. This implies the potential for producing in-situ protective coating for these alloys. Preliminary exposure tests (1%H2S at 700 C for 360 hrs) indicated that the Si-modified alloys are more sulfidation resistant than type-304 alloy. The mechanical properties of the alloys, modified with carbide forming elements, were also evaluated; and at 600, 700 and 800 C the yield stresses of the carbide modified alloys were twice that of type-304 stainless steel. In this temperature range, the tensile properties of these alloys were comparable to literature values for type-347 stainless steel. It should be emphasized that the microstructures of the carbide forming alloys were not optimized with respect to grain size, carbide size and/or carbide distribution. Also, presented are initial results of vari-strain weld tests used to determine parameters for joining these alloys.

  11. Root-zone plant available water estimation using the SMOS-derived soil water index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Zamora, Ángel; Sánchez, Nilda; Martínez-Fernández, José; Wagner, Wolfgang

    2016-10-01

    Currently, there are several space missions capable of measuring surface soil moisture, owing to the relevance of this variable in meteorology, hydrology and agriculture. However, the Plant Available Water (PAW), which in some fields of application could be more important than the soil moisture itself, cannot be directly measured by remote sensing. Considering the root zone as the first 50 cm of the soil, in this study, the PAW at 25 cm and 50 cm and integrated between 0 and 50 cm of soil depth was estimated using the surface soil moisture provided by the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission. For this purpose, the Soil Water Index (SWI) has been used as a proxy of the root-zone soil moisture, involving the selection of an optimal T (Topt), which can be interpreted as a characteristic soil water travel time. In this research, several tests using the correlation coefficient (R), the Nash-Sutcliffe score (NS), several error estimators and bias as predictor metrics were applied to obtain the Topt, making a comprehensive study of the T parameter. After analyzing the results, some differences were found between the Topt obtained using R and NS as decision metrics, and that obtained using the errors and bias, but the SWI showed good results as an estimator of the root-zone soil moisture. This index showed good agreement, with an R between 0.60 and 0.88. The method was tested from January 2010 to December 2014, using the database of the Soil Moisture Measurements Stations Network of the University of Salamanca (REMEDHUS) in Spain. The PAW estimation showed good agreement with the in situ measurements, following closely the dry-downs and wetting-up events, with R ranging between 0.60 and 0.92, and error values lower than 0.05 m3m-3. A slight underestimation was observed for both the PAW and root-zone soil moisture at the different depths; this could be explained by the underestimation pattern observed with the SMOS L2 soil moisture product, in line with previous

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Nutritional improvements in plants: time to bite on biofortified foods.

    PubMed

    Hirschi, Kendal

    2008-09-01

    Modern breeding, molecular genetic and biotechnology studies frequently describe changes in plant metabolism to improve nutritional content; however, this is often where the process of assessing biofortification ends. Ideally, these modified plants need to be used in controlled animal and human feeding studies to assess nutritional impact. Such bioavailability studies are crucial if any claims are to be made regarding health benefits and might be an important component in public acceptance of biofortified foods. PMID:18635389

  14. Improvement of wastewater treatment performance of the Fukashiba treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Hirose, K; Igarashi, T; Ochiai, E; Seya, H; Matsui, S

    2006-01-01

    The Fukashiba Treatment Plant Kashima Rinkai Specified Sewage Works has received wastewater from the petrochemical complex (90%) and public sewage of Kamisu and Hasaki town (10%). For this reason, the plant is facing many difficulties in producing good quality effluent. In order to solve these difficulties, we are reviewing the treatment performance and making efforts for its improvement with nitrification inhibition, control of bio-persistent substances and the PRTR approach.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kuboi, T.; Noguchi, A.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-10-01

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

  17. Opportunities for improving phosphorus-use efficiency in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Veneklaas, Erik J; Lambers, Hans; Bragg, Jason; Finnegan, Patrick M; Lovelock, Catherine E; Plaxton, William C; Price, Charles A; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Shane, Michael W; White, Philip J; Raven, John A

    2012-07-01

    Limitation of grain crop productivity by phosphorus (P) is widespread and will probably increase in the future. Enhanced P efficiency can be achieved by improved uptake of phosphate from soil (P-acquisition efficiency) and by improved productivity per unit P taken up (P-use efficiency). This review focuses on improved P-use efficiency, which can be achieved by plants that have overall lower P concentrations, and by optimal distribution and redistribution of P in the plant allowing maximum growth and biomass allocation to harvestable plant parts. Significant decreases in plant P pools may be possible, for example, through reductions of superfluous ribosomal RNA and replacement of phospholipids by sulfolipids and galactolipids. Improvements in P distribution within the plant may be possible by increased remobilization from tissues that no longer need it (e.g. senescing leaves) and reduced partitioning of P to developing grains. Such changes would prolong and enhance the productive use of P in photosynthesis and have nutritional and environmental benefits. Research considering physiological, metabolic, molecular biological, genetic and phylogenetic aspects of P-use efficiency is urgently needed to allow significant progress to be made in our understanding of this complex trait.

  18. Plant roots use a patterning mechanism to position lateral root branches toward available water.

    PubMed

    Bao, Yun; Aggarwal, Pooja; Robbins, Neil E; Sturrock, Craig J; Thompson, Mark C; Tan, Han Qi; Tham, Cliff; Duan, Lina; Rodriguez, Pedro L; Vernoux, Teva; Mooney, Sacha J; Bennett, Malcolm J; Dinneny, José R

    2014-06-24

    The architecture of the branched root system of plants is a major determinant of vigor. Water availability is known to impact root physiology and growth; however, the spatial scale at which this stimulus influences root architecture is poorly understood. Here we reveal that differences in the availability of water across the circumferential axis of the root create spatial cues that determine the position of lateral root branches. We show that roots of several plant species can distinguish between a wet surface and air environments and that this also impacts the patterning of root hairs, anthocyanins, and aerenchyma in a phenomenon we describe as hydropatterning. This environmental response is distinct from a touch response and requires available water to induce lateral roots along a contacted surface. X-ray microscale computed tomography and 3D reconstruction of soil-grown root systems demonstrate that such responses also occur under physiologically relevant conditions. Using early-stage lateral root markers, we show that hydropatterning acts before the initiation stage and likely determines the circumferential position at which lateral root founder cells are specified. Hydropatterning is independent of endogenous abscisic acid signaling, distinguishing it from a classic water-stress response. Higher water availability induces the biosynthesis and transport of the lateral root-inductive signal auxin through local regulation of tryptophan aminotransferase of Arabidopsis 1 and PIN-formed 3, both of which are necessary for normal hydropatterning. Our work suggests that water availability is sensed and interpreted at the suborgan level and locally patterns a wide variety of developmental processes in the root.

  19. Plant roots use a patterning mechanism to position lateral root branches toward available water

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Yun; Aggarwal, Pooja; Robbins, Neil E.; Sturrock, Craig J.; Thompson, Mark C.; Tan, Han Qi; Tham, Cliff; Duan, Lina; Rodriguez, Pedro L.; Vernoux, Teva; Mooney, Sacha J.; Bennett, Malcolm J.; Dinneny, José R.

    2014-01-01

    The architecture of the branched root system of plants is a major determinant of vigor. Water availability is known to impact root physiology and growth; however, the spatial scale at which this stimulus influences root architecture is poorly understood. Here we reveal that differences in the availability of water across the circumferential axis of the root create spatial cues that determine the position of lateral root branches. We show that roots of several plant species can distinguish between a wet surface and air environments and that this also impacts the patterning of root hairs, anthocyanins, and aerenchyma in a phenomenon we describe as hydropatterning. This environmental response is distinct from a touch response and requires available water to induce lateral roots along a contacted surface. X-ray microscale computed tomography and 3D reconstruction of soil-grown root systems demonstrate that such responses also occur under physiologically relevant conditions. Using early-stage lateral root markers, we show that hydropatterning acts before the initiation stage and likely determines the circumferential position at which lateral root founder cells are specified. Hydropatterning is independent of endogenous abscisic acid signaling, distinguishing it from a classic water-stress response. Higher water availability induces the biosynthesis and transport of the lateral root-inductive signal auxin through local regulation of TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE OF ARABIDOPSIS 1 and PIN-FORMED 3, both of which are necessary for normal hydropatterning. Our work suggests that water availability is sensed and interpreted at the suborgan level and locally patterns a wide variety of developmental processes in the root. PMID:24927545

  20. Plant roots use a patterning mechanism to position lateral root branches toward available water.

    PubMed

    Bao, Yun; Aggarwal, Pooja; Robbins, Neil E; Sturrock, Craig J; Thompson, Mark C; Tan, Han Qi; Tham, Cliff; Duan, Lina; Rodriguez, Pedro L; Vernoux, Teva; Mooney, Sacha J; Bennett, Malcolm J; Dinneny, José R

    2014-06-24

    The architecture of the branched root system of plants is a major determinant of vigor. Water availability is known to impact root physiology and growth; however, the spatial scale at which this stimulus influences root architecture is poorly understood. Here we reveal that differences in the availability of water across the circumferential axis of the root create spatial cues that determine the position of lateral root branches. We show that roots of several plant species can distinguish between a wet surface and air environments and that this also impacts the patterning of root hairs, anthocyanins, and aerenchyma in a phenomenon we describe as hydropatterning. This environmental response is distinct from a touch response and requires available water to induce lateral roots along a contacted surface. X-ray microscale computed tomography and 3D reconstruction of soil-grown root systems demonstrate that such responses also occur under physiologically relevant conditions. Using early-stage lateral root markers, we show that hydropatterning acts before the initiation stage and likely determines the circumferential position at which lateral root founder cells are specified. Hydropatterning is independent of endogenous abscisic acid signaling, distinguishing it from a classic water-stress response. Higher water availability induces the biosynthesis and transport of the lateral root-inductive signal auxin through local regulation of tryptophan aminotransferase of Arabidopsis 1 and PIN-formed 3, both of which are necessary for normal hydropatterning. Our work suggests that water availability is sensed and interpreted at the suborgan level and locally patterns a wide variety of developmental processes in the root. PMID:24927545

  1. Advanced thermometrics for fossil power plant process improvement

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-04-30

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

  2. Innovative applications of technology for nuclear power plant productivity improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Naser, J. A.

    2012-07-01

    The nuclear power industry in several countries is concerned about the ability to maintain high plant performance levels due to aging and obsolescence, knowledge drain, fewer plant staff, and new requirements and commitments. Current plant operations are labor-intensive due to the vast number of operational and support activities required by commonly used technology in most plants. These concerns increase as plants extend their operating life. In addition, there is the goal to further improve performance while reducing human errors and increasingly focus on reducing operations and maintenance costs. New plants are expected to perform more productively than current plants. In order to achieve and increase high productivity, it is necessary to look at innovative applications of modern technologies and new concepts of operation. The Electric Power Research Inst. is exploring and demonstrating modern technologies that enable cost-effectively maintaining current performance levels and shifts to even higher performance levels, as well as provide tools for high performance in new plants. Several modern technologies being explored can provide multiple benefits for a wide range of applications. Examples of these technologies include simulation, visualization, automation, human cognitive engineering, and information and communications technologies. Some applications using modern technologies are described. (authors)

  3. [Improving the nutritional value of plant foods through transgenic approaches].

    PubMed

    Wu, Yong-Mei; Mao, Xue; Wang, Shu-Jian; Li, Run-Zhi

    2004-07-01

    The most nutrients required in the human diet come from plants. The nutritional quality of plant products affects the human healthy. The advance of molecular cloning and transgenic technology has provided a new way to enhance the nutritional value of plant material. Transgenic modification of plant nutritional value has progressed greatly in the following aspects: improving the quality, composition and levels of protein, starch and fatty acid in different crops; increasing the levels of antioxidants (e.g. carotenoids and flavonoids); breeding the new type of plants with medical value for human. To date, many transgenic plants with nutritional enhancement have been developed. These transgenic plant products could be directly used as human diet or as valued materials in developing the "functional food" with especial nutritional quality and healthy effects after they are approved by a series of evaluations on their safety and nutritional efficiency for human being. We designed new zinc finger transcription factors (ZFP-TFs) that can specifically down-regulate the expression of the endogenous soybean FAD2-1 gene which catalyzes oleic acid to linoleic acid. Seed-specific expression of these ZFP-TFs in transgenic soybean somatic embryos repressed FAD2-1 transcription and increased significantly the levels of oleic acid, indicating that the engineered ZFP-TFs are capable of regulating fatty acid metabolism and modulating the expression of endogenous genes in plants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  6. OPTIMALITY PRINCIPLE INTEGRATES PLANT RESPONSES TO ELEVATED CO2 AND SOIL NITROGEN AVAILABILITY

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, O.

    2009-12-01

    INTRODUCTION Soil N availability is of particular importance for the response of forests to elevated CO2 (eCO2) because it often limits tree growth responses to eCO2 and changes C allocation among foliage, wood and root systems. Clearly, understanding the interactive effects of eCO2 and soil N availability is essential for accurate projections of forest responses to rising atmospheric CO2. HYPOTHESIS Plants acclimate to soil N availability and atmospheric CO2 by maximizing net growth through three nested optimizations operating on different time scales: short term - vertical canopy N distribution, medium term - Leaf area index (LAI) for a given total canopy N (Nc) and longer term - Nc and root allocation. N uptake is a function of root exploration for N (fine root production) and soil N availability. RESULTS The model explained a range of observed forest CO2 responses of productivity and LAI in FACE experiments (Franklin et al. 2009) (Franklin 2007). N use efficiency increased with soil N availability, which is in line with recent findings regarding resource use efficiency, but contrasts with some earlier conceptual models. The model gives rise to a relationship between root production and total plant N demand, which implies that root production and N uptake is always increased by eCO2 (fig. 1). The increased N uptake associated with increased demand for fine-root production may lead to declining soil N availability (progressive N limitation), which was observed in the ORNL FACE experiment. The principle of maximization of net growth to control allocation could serve as a basis for simplification and generalization of foliage/stem/root allocation in larger scale forest models. REFERENCES Franklin O. (2007) Optimal nitrogen allocation controls tree responses to elevated CO 2. New Phytologist, 174, 811-822 Franklin O., McMurtrie R.E., Iversen C.M., Crous K.Y., Finzi A.C., Tissue D.T., Ellsworth D.S., Oren R. & Norby R.J. (2009) Forest fine-root production and

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

    PubMed

    Ellison, Aaron M; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2002-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ellison, Aaron M; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2002-04-01

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

  9. Plant-available and water-soluble phosphorus in soils amended with separated manure solids.

    PubMed

    Gasser, M-O; Chantigny, M H; Angers, D A; Bittman, S; Buckley, K E; Rochette, P; Massé, D

    2012-01-01

    Physical, chemical, or biological treatment of animal liquid manure generally produces a dry-matter rich fraction (DMF) that contains most of the initial phosphorus (P). Our objective was to assess the solubility and plant availability of P from various DMFs as a function of soil P status. Eight different DMFs were obtained from liquid swine (LSM) and dairy cattle (LDC) manures treated by natural decantation, anaerobic digestion, chemical flocculation, composting, or mechanical separation. The DMFs were compared with mineral P fertilizer in a pot experiment with oat ( L.) grown in four soils with varied P-fixing capacities and P saturation levels. The DMFs were added at a rate of 50 mg P kg soil and incubated 14 d before seeding. Soil water-extractable P (P) at all water:soil extraction ratios (2:1, 20:1, and 200:1) was slightly higher when DMFs were derived from LDC rather than LSM. Soil P at the 2:1 ratio was lower with anaerobically digested LSM. At the 2:1 extraction ratio, DMF P was less soluble than mineral P as P saturation in soils increased. In soils with a lower P-fixing capacity, DMF P appeared less water soluble than mineral P under 20:1 and 200:1 extraction ratios. After 72 d of plant growth, DMFs produced yields comparable to mineral P fertilizer. Although the plant availability of P from DMFs was comparable to mineral P fertilizer, P from DMFs could be less vulnerable to leaching or runoff losses in soils with a high P saturation level or low P-fixing capacity.

  10. Effects of sewage sludge biochar on plant metal availability after application to a Mediterranean soil.

    PubMed

    Méndez, A; Gómez, A; Paz-Ferreiro, J; Gascó, G

    2012-11-01

    Pyrolytic conversion of sewage sludge into biochar could be a sustainable management option for Mediterranean agricultural soils. The aim of this work is to evaluate the effects of biochar from sewage sludge pyrolysis on soil properties; heavy metals solubility and bioavailability in a Mediterranean agricultural soil and compared with those of raw sewage sludge. Biochar (B) was prepared by pyrolysis of selected sewage sludge (SL) at 500°C. The pyrolysis process decreased the plant-available of Cu, Ni, Zn and Pb, the mobile forms of Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd and Pb and also the risk of leaching of Cu, Ni, Zn and Cd. A selected Mediterranean soil was amended with SL and B at two different rates in mass: 4% and 8%. The incubation experiment (200 d) was conducted in order to study carbon mineralization and trace metal solubility and bioavailability of these treatments. Both types of amendments increased soil respiration with respect to the control soil. The increase was lower in the case of B than when SL was directly added. Metals mobility was studied in soil after the incubation and it can be established that the risk of leaching of Cu, Ni and Zn were lower in the soil treated with biochar that in sewage sludge treatment. Biochar amended samples also reduced plant availability of Ni, Zn, Cd and Pb when compared to sewage sludge amended samples.

  11. Spatial distribution of understory plants along gradients of water and light availability

    SciTech Connect

    Holmgren, M.; Huston, M.A.; Quiles, J.; Warner, S. )

    1994-06-01

    We measured the percent cover, stem densities, and heights of understory plant species in 72 3 [times] 3m plots on a southeast-facing slope of mature mixed oak forest. The 80 [times] 240 m site is intensively instrumented for monitoring soil water content using the Time Domain Reflectometry method as part of the Throughfall Displacement Experiment on Walker Branch Watershed. We estimated canopy openness in each of the plots using hemispherical photographs. The goal of the research was to determined if the spatial distribution of understory community structure was consistent with hypothesized limitations imposed by water availability on plant responses to light. We measured the natural patterns of size, abundance, and survival of seedlings of fourteen tree species under a range of light and soil water availability. Seedling densities ranged from 4 individuals per meter square under dry, low light conditions, to 27 per meter square under the high light, high moisture conditions. Red maple comprised about two thirds of the total number of seedlings. Several distinct types of responses can be identified from three-dimensional graphs of size, abundance, or survival in relation to light and water.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, Parul; Tripathi, Maheshwari

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, Parul; Tripathi, Maheshwari

    2016-12-01

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

  16. Integrating New Technology Solutions to Improve Plant Operations

    SciTech Connect

    HEAVIN, ERIC

    2004-06-29

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

  17. New catalyst improves sulfur recovery at Canadian plant

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-02-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Effects of ion pairing with calcium and magnesium on selenate availability to higher plants

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, D.R.; Tice, K.R.; Thomason, D.N.

    1997-03-01

    The effects of solution speciation on the bioavailability of trace metals are well documented, but the role of speciation in the bioavailability of oxyanionic trace elements that may form significant ion pairs with Ca and Mg in saline media has not been investigated. The authors assessed the effects of such ion pairing on the availability of selenate to representative monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous higher plants. Formation constants for the CaSO{sub 4}{sup 0} formation was confirmed, but the value of 10{sup 2.7} for CaSeO{sub 4}{sup 0} was found to be in error; a value of 10{sup 2.0} is proposed here as the correct formation constant. Five solution culture experiments were conducted using alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) or tall wheatgrass (Elytrigia pontica [Podp.] Holub) with treatments consisting of NaSeO{sub 4} levels in combination with various levels of MgCl{sub 2} or CaCl{sub 2}. Both shoot Se concentrations and whole-plant Se contents were highly correlated with the free SeO{sub 4}{sup 2{minus}} activity but were poorly correlated with the sum of the free ion plus Ca and Mg ion pair species. Thus, the authors have shown, for the first time, that the free ion model of trace metal bioavailability is also valid for oxyanions that form complexes with Ca and Mg in saline media but that this conclusion hinges critically on the accuracy of the pertinent formation constants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Inhibition of fungal plant pathogens by synergistic action of chito-oligosaccharides and commercially available fungicides.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Ways to Improve Russian Coal-Fired Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-15

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

  11. Plant density and nutrient availability constrain constitutive and wound-induced expression of trypsin inhibitors in Brassica napus.

    PubMed

    Cipollini, D F; Bergelson, J

    2001-03-01

    We investigated the effects of plant density on plant size, leaf total soluble protein content, and constitutive and wound-induced levels of proteinaceous trypsin inhibitors in pot-grown Brassica napus seedlings in two greenhouse studies. We manipulated plant density by varying the number of intraspecific neighbors surrounding a target plant in the center of each pot. In general, constitutive and induced levels of trypsin inhibitors were significantly reduced by competition in a density-dependent manner, to the extent that induction was greatly reduced or abolished in target plants surrounded by six neighbors. To investigate whether the effects of plant density on inhibitor production were mediated by nutrient availability, we manipulated the concentration of a complete fertilizer applied to target plants surrounded by six neighbors in two greenhouse studies. In general, constitutive and wound-induced levels of inhibitors in plants surrounded by six neighbors were increased by nutrient addition in a dose-dependent manner, such that wound-induction was completely restored in competing plants under conditions of high nutrient availability. Leaf total soluble protein content, measured only in the second trial of each experiment, was not affected by any of the treatments. The effects of plant density, nutrient addition, and wounding on inhibitor levels in all experiments were independent of their effects on above-ground plant size at the time of wounding. Overall, our results suggest that decreasing nutrient availability mediates the density-dependent reductions in inhibitor levels in B. napus seedings.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulian, Tiziana; Sacandé, Moctar; Mattana, Efisio

    2014-05-01

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

  13. [Improved biological availability of zinc in coarse meal and crisp meal bread].

    PubMed

    Harmuth-Hoene, A E; Meuser, F

    1988-12-01

    A study was undertaken to determine whether the reduction of the molar phytic acid/zinc ratio by enrichment of wholemeal and crispbread with zinc improves zinc availability to the same extent as does the reduction of phytic acid in whole meal cereal products. For three weeks, five diets (three samples of wholemeal bread and two samples of crispbread] were fed to growing rats. Significant increases in bone-zinc deposition and activity of serum alkaline phosphatase were induced by those bread samples in which the phytic acid/zinc ratio had been lowered either by enrichment with zinc or by reduction of phytic acid (enzymatic hydrolysis by adjusting the pH-value of the dough with lactic acid) when compared with untreated bread samples. Weight gain of the animals differed little between the groups. The results suggest that it is possible to improve zinc availability in wholemeal cereal products high in phytate by enrichment with zinc.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  15. Improving geothermal power plants with a binary cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Improving fractionation lowers butane sulfur level at Saudi gas plant

    SciTech Connect

    Harruff, L.G.; Martinie, G.D.; Rahman, A.

    1998-10-12

    Increasing the debutanizer reflux/feed ratio to improve fractionation at an eastern Saudi Arabian NGL plant reduced high sulfur in the butane product. The sulfur resulted from dimethyl sulfide (DMS) contamination in the feed stream from an offshore crude-oil reservoir in the northern Arabian Gulf. The contamination is limited to two northeastern offshore gas-oil separation plants operated by Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) and, therefore, cannot be transported to facilities outside the Eastern Province. Two technically acceptable solutions for removing this contaminant were investigated: 13X molecular-sieve adsorption of the DMS and increased fractionation efficiency. The latter would force DMS into the debutanizer bottoms.

  17. The Importance of Soil Mineralogy to Plant Nutrient Availability in the Northeastern U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nezat, C. A.; Blum, J. D.; Yanai, R. D.; Hamburg, S. P.

    2004-12-01

    In the northeastern U.S., acid deposition poses a threat to nutrient availability, via leaching of base cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na). While silicate mineral weathering may be the source of most base cations released from soils over millennia, more easily weathered minerals may provide nutrients necessary to meet short term demand resulting from acid deposition and forest harvesting. Through sequential leaching of soils and their parent materials, we can determine whether easily soluble trace minerals are potentially available to plants. Previous studies have shown that apatite, a calcium phosphate mineral present in trace amounts, may provide a significant source of Ca to vegetation at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. In this study, we explore the regional availability of apatite in soils across the northeastern United States. Soils derived from granitoid and sedimentary rocks were collected from 20 sites across the northeast U.S. and sequentially leached to determine relative availability of base cations. A leach using 1M nitric acid extracted Ca and P from soils developed on crystalline parent materials (0.02 to 0.04 mmol Ca/g soil, 0.01 to 0.03 mmol P/g soil). The Ca:P ratio is 5:3, the stoichiometric ratio of apatite. The presence of apatite in these soils was verified by SEM analysis. The lack of K, Na and Si in this leach suggests that silicate mineral dissolution is not the source of Ca. The Ca and P concentrations indicate that amount of apatite varies in granitoid soil parent materials across the northeastern U.S. Sedimentary rock-derived soils did not contain appreciable amounts of apatite. With the exception of carbonate-derived soils, only small concentrations of Ca (<0.006 mmol/g soil) were leached from sedimentary rocks in 1M nitric acid.

  18. Current Status of the Availability, Development, and Use of Host Plant Resistance to Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Philip A.

    1992-01-01

    Host plant resistance (HPR) to nematodes has been identified in many major crops and related wild germplasm. Most HPR is to the more specialized, sedentary endoparasitic genera and species, e.g., Globodera, Heterodera, Meloidogyne, Nacobbus, Rotylenchulus, and Tylenchulus. Some HPR has been developed or identified also to certain migratory endoparasites (Aphelenchoides, Ditylenchus, Pratylenchus, Radopholus) in a few hosts. Commercial use of HPR remains limited, despite its benefits to crop production when deployed appropriately. Restricted use and availability of HPR result from problems associated with transfer of resistance into acceptable cultivars. Difficulties occur in gene transfer to acceptable cultivars because of incompatibility barriers to hybridization or linkage to undesirable traits, for example in cucurbitaceous and solanaceous crops and sugarbeet. Specificity of HPR to only one species, or one or few pathotypes, as it relates to resistance durability and nematode virulence, and HPR response to abiotic factors such as high soil temperature, also limit availability and utility. A scheme for HPR development is presented to emphasize nematology research and information requirements for expanding HPR use in nematode control programs, for example in common bean, sugarbeet, and tomato. Nonbiological factors that influence HPR usage are discussed, including heavy reliance on nematicide programs, low priority of nematode HPR in many breeding programs, and insufficient breeder-nematologist collaboration. PMID:19282987

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  20. 76 FR 27303 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-11

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

  1. Are commercially available essential oils from Australian native plants repellent to mosquitoes?

    PubMed

    Maguranyi, Suzann K; Webb, Cameron E; Mansfield, Sarah; Russell, Richard C

    2009-09-01

    While the use of topical insect repellents, particularly those containing synthetic active ingredients such as deet (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), are a mainstay in personal protection strategies emphasized in public health messages, there is a growing demand in the community for alternative repellents, particularly those of botanical origin and thus deemed to be "natural." This study evaluated the repellency of essential oils from 11 Australian native plants in 5% v/v formulations against Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culex annulirostris under laboratory conditions. A blend of the top 3 performing oils was then compared with deet and a commercially available botanical insect repellent. All essential oils provided at least some protection against the 3 mosquito species, with the longest protection time (110 min) afforded by Prostanthera melissifolia against Cx. quinquefasciatus. Mean protection times against Ae. aegypti were substantially lower than those for the Culex spp. tested. Deet provided significantly longer protection against Ae. aegypti than both the 5% v/v blend of Leptospermum petersonii, Prostanthera melissifolia, and Melaleuca alternifolia (the 3 most effective oils) and the commercial botanical repellent. The results of this study indicate that these essential oils from Australian native plants offer limited protection against biting mosquitoes and that a blend of essential oils holds may offer commercial potential as a short-period repellent or under conditions of low mosquito abundance. However, it is important that public health messages continue to emphasize the greater effectiveness of deet-based repellents in areas with risks of mosquito-borne disease. PMID:19852219

  2. Climate and host plant availability impact the future distribution of the bean leaf beetle (Cerotoma trifurcata).

    PubMed

    Berzitis, Emily A; Minigan, Jordan N; Hallett, Rebecca H; Newman, Jonathan A

    2014-09-01

    The bean leaf beetle, Cerotoma trifurcata, has become a major pest of soybean throughout its North American range. With a changing climate, there is the potential for this pest to further expand its distribution and become an increasingly severe pest in certain regions. To examine this possibility, we developed bioclimatic envelope models for both the bean leaf beetle, and its most important agronomic host plant, soybean (Glycine max). These two models were combined to examine the potential future pest status of the beetle using climate change projections from multiple general circulation models (GCMs) and climate change scenarios. Despite the broad tolerances of soybean, incorporation of host plant availability substantially decreased the suitable and favourable areas for the bean leaf beetle as compared to an evaluation based solely on the climate envelope of the beetle, demonstrating the importance of incorporating biotic interactions in these predictions. The use of multiple GCM-scenario combinations also revealed differences in predictions depending on the choice of GCM, with scenario choice having less of an impact. While the Norwegian model predicted little northward expansion of the beetle from its current northern range limit of southern Ontario and overall decreases in suitable and favourable areas over time, the Canadian and Russian models predict that much of Ontario and Quebec will become suitable for the beetle in the future, as well as Manitoba under the Russian model. The Russian model also predicts expansion of the suitable and favourable areas for the beetle over time. Two predictions that do not depend on our choice of GCM include a decrease in suitability of the Mississippi Delta region and continued favourability of the southeastern United States.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Using Participatory Approach to Improve Availability of Spatial Data for Local Government

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kliment, T.; Cetl, V.; Tomič, H.; Lisiak, J.; Kliment, M.

    2016-09-01

    Nowadays, the availability of authoritative geospatial features of various data themes is becoming wider on global, regional and national levels. The reason is existence of legislative frameworks for public sector information and related spatial data infrastructure implementations, emergence of support for initiatives as open data, big data ensuring that online geospatial information are made available to digital single market, entrepreneurs and public bodies on both national and local level. However, the availability of authoritative reference spatial data linking the geographic representation of the properties and their owners are still missing in an appropriate quantity and quality level, even though this data represent fundamental input for local governments regarding the register of buildings used for property tax calculations, identification of illegal buildings, etc. We propose a methodology to improve this situation by applying the principles of participatory GIS and VGI used to collect observations, update authoritative datasets and verify the newly developed datasets of areas of buildings used to calculate property tax rates issued to their owners. The case study was performed within the district of the City of Požega in eastern Croatia in the summer 2015 and resulted in a total number of 16072 updated and newly identified objects made available online for quality verification by citizens using open source geospatial technologies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2001-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Improvements in plant growth rate using underwater discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Structure Determination and Improved Model of Plant Photosystem I*

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2001-07-01

    Waste Processors Management Inc. (WMPI), along with its subcontractors entered into a cooperative agreement with the USDOE to assess the techno-economic viability of building an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) in the US that produces ultra clean Fischer-Tropsch transportation fuels with either power or steam as the major co-product. The EECP will emphasize on reclaiming and gasifying low-cost coal waste and/or its mixture as the primary feedstocks. The project consists of three phases. Phase I objectives include conceptual development, technical assessment, feasibility design and economic evaluation of a Greenfield commercial co-production plant and a site specific demonstration EECP to be located adjacent to the existing WMPI Gilberton Power Station. There is very little foreseen design differences between the Greenfield commercial coproduction plant versus the EECP plant other than: The greenfield commercial plant will be a stand alone FT/power co-production plant, potentially larger in capacity to take full advantage of economy of scale, and to be located in either western Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Ohio, using bituminous coal waste (gob) and Pennsylvania No.8 coal or other comparable coal as the feedstock; The EECP plant, on the other hand, will be a nominal 5000 bpd plant, fully integrated into the Gilbertson Power Company's Cogeneration Plant to take advantage of the existing infrastructure to reduce cost and minimize project risk. The Gilberton EECP plant will be designed to use eastern Pennsylvania anthracite coal waste and/or its mixture as feedstock.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Improving the availability of intra-operative images created during trauma operations - a multidisciplinary team collaboration.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Thomas; Harrison, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Intraoperative x rays are regularly taken on multiple occasions during orthopaedic surgery, especially during the course of planned trauma lists where procedures are performed under x ray guidance. These images have an important role in demonstrating the nature of the operation to clinical staff and in permitting an assessment of the standard of surgery by colleagues at planned metalwork reviews. Furthermore, they represent an important medico-legal record of the fracture configuration at the time of completion of surgery. Various technologies are available for the creation, storage, and presentation of such images. In our hospital, relatively unsophisticated technology is employed to physically print such x rays before they are digitally uploaded to an electronic computer system to be stored. This system also allows the images to be viewed. Unfortunately, many opportunities existed within our systems which created opportunities for images to be lost so that they were not made available to clinical staff. We aimed to evaluate and improve this system with the aim of making all x rays taken intraoperatively available to clinical staff in a timely manner. By examining the processes through which images were handled, we were able to adopt strategies to ensure the prompt production of images. PMID:26734392

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Osuna, Daniel; Prieto, Pilar; Aguilar, Miguel

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Availability Improvement of Layer 2 Seamless Networks Using OpenFlow

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Improve the Diclofenac Availability in Vitreous after Intraocular Injection

    PubMed Central

    Abrishami, Majid; Vakili Ahrari Roodi, Mohammad

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. In order to improve the drug availability after intravitreal administration, solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) containing diclofenac were prepared. Methods. In this experimental study, 18 albino rabbits were included. In right and left eyes of all rabbits, SLNs containing diclofenac and commercial form of diclofenac (0.3 mg drug) were intravitreally injected, respectively. One, four, twelve, twenty-four, and forty-eight hours after injection, vitreous and aqueous humor samples were obtained in all cases. Then, the concentration of diclofenac sodium was evaluated in all samples. Results. Size of nanoparticles was around 170 nm after preparation. Drug concentration in eyes injected with SLNs was significantly higher than left eyes injected with commercial formulation up to 4 hours after intravitreal injection (p < 0.05). Diclofenac was quantified in samples up to 48 hours after intraocular injection. Four hours after intravitreal injection, the concentration of diclofenac in vitreous and aqueous humor of eyes receiving SLNs was, respectively, 2.5 and 6.5 times higher than eyes injected with commercial form of drug. Conclusions. Here, we demonstrate the potential of SLNs as a carrier of diclofenac for intraocular injection in order to prevent the systemic effects of the drug, increase the injection intervals, and improve the patient compliance. PMID:27803815

  10. A concept for fault tolerant design and improved availability of active composite elastic structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soeffker, D.; Wolters, K.; Krajcin, I.

    2005-05-01

    New functionalities, higher comfort and increasing performance requirements are often be solved by adding new technologies to existing (passive) solutions. Monitoring and control approaches uses additional sensors and actuators, new materials, microprocessors and new devices realizing new and improved functionalities. Two effects are becoming more and more interesting: (1) the lifetime of new actuators/materials strongly depends on the usage-history, (2) the functionality of the new composed systems depends on the fully functionality of all elements. In the consequence, the availability of such new systems is decreased by the number of elements and depends strongly on the use. These effects are known and act against new developments improving performance behavior also in mechanical engineering, automotive systems etc. This will be also the case for multifunctional composite or compound systems such as piezomaterials, magnetostrictive alloys or smart memory alloys (SMA) and is actually within the focus of the Structural-Health-Monitoring (SHM)-community. This contribution explains a new and systematically structured methodological approach to avoid and eliminate failures in mechatronical systems in an integrated and intelligent way to achieve a desirable or required amount of utilization in compliance with a defined failure rate. The result is an enhancement of the dependability of such a system.

  11. Publicly Available Database : Improved Spectral Line Measurements In SDSS DR7 Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Kyuseok; Sarzi, M.; Schawinski, K.; Yi, S. K.

    2012-01-01

    We present a new database of absorption and emission line measurements based on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey 7th data release for the galaxies within a redshift of 0.2. Our work makes use of the publicly available penalized pixel-fitting(pPXF) and GANDALF codes, aiming to improve the existing measurements for stellar kinematics, the strength of various absorption-line features, and the flux and width of the emissions from different species of ionized gas. The absorption line strengths measured by SDSS pipeline are seriously contaminated by emission fill-in. We effectively separate emission lines from absorption lines. For instance, this work successfully extract [NI] doublet from Mgb and it leads to more realistic result of alpha enhancement on late-type galaxies compared to the previous database. Besides accurately measuring line strengths, the database provides new parameters that are indicative of line strength measurement quality. Users can build a subset of database optimal for their studies using specific cuts in the fitting quality parameters as well as empirical signal-to-noise. Applying these parameters, we found `hidden’ broad-line-region galaxies and they turned out to be Seyfert I nuclei that were not picked up as AGN by SDSS. The database is publicly available at http://gem.yonsei.ac.kr/ossy

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

    PubMed

    Goodman, Richard E; Tetteh, Afua O

    2011-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Manika; Bolten, John; Lakshmi, Venkat

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Osuna, Daniel; Prieto, Pilar; Aguilar, Miguel

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Osuna, Daniel; Prieto, Pilar; Aguilar, Miguel

    2015-01-01

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

  16. PlantTFDB 2.0: update and improvement of the comprehensive plant transcription factor database.

    PubMed

    Zhang, He; Jin, Jinpu; Tang, Liang; Zhao, Yi; Gu, Xiaocheng; Gao, Ge; Luo, Jingchu

    2011-01-01

    We updated the plant transcription factor (TF) database to version 2.0 (PlantTFDB 2.0, http://planttfdb.cbi.pku.edu.cn) which contains 53,319 putative TFs predicted from 49 species. We made detailed annotation including general information, domain feature, gene ontology, expression pattern and ortholog groups, as well as cross references to various databases and literature citations for these TFs classified into 58 newly defined families with computational approach and manual inspection. Multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees for each family can be shown as Weblogo pictures or downloaded as text files. We have redesigned the user interface in the new version. Users can search TFs with much more flexibility through the improved advanced search page, and the search results can be exported into various formats for further analysis. In addition, we now provide web service for advanced users to access PlantTFDB 2.0 more efficiently.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  19. Improving hot gas filtration behavior in PFBC power plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-07-01

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

  20. Phytochemical profile of commercially available food plant powders: their potential role in healthier food reformulations.

    PubMed

    Neacsu, M; Vaughan, N; Raikos, V; Multari, S; Duncan, G J; Duthie, G G; Russell, W R

    2015-07-15

    Reformulation of existing processed food or formulation of new foods using natural products (plant-based) will inherently confer to new products with less calories, fat, salt, phosphates and other synthetic components, and higher amounts of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and other beneficial components. Plant ingredients, such as food plant powders, are currently being used in food manufacturing, predominantly for flavouring and colouring purposes. To expand their use as a food ingredient, freeze-dried powders representing major vegetable groups were characterised by targeted LC-MS/MS analysis of their phytochemicals. All the plant powders were found to be rich in flavonoids, phenolic acids and derivatives; total content in these compounds varied from around 130 mg kg(-1) (green pea) to around 930 mg kg(-1) (spinach). The food plant powders' phytochemical content represents valuable information for the food industry in the development of healthier novel foods and for the reformulation of existing food products in relation to antioxidants, food preservatives and alternatives to nitrite use.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Vogel, K.P.

    2001-01-11

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

  2. Competitive interactions between established grasses and woody plant seedlings under elevated CO₂ levels are mediated by soil water availability.

    PubMed

    Manea, A; Leishman, M R

    2015-02-01

    The expansion of woody plants into grasslands has been observed worldwide and is likely to have widespread ecological consequences. One proposal is that woody plant expansion into grasslands is driven in part by the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We have examined the effect of CO2 concentration on the competitive interactions between established C4 grasses and woody plant seedlings in a model grassland system. Woody plant seedlings were grown in mesocosms together with established C4 grasses in three competition treatments (root competition, shoot competition and root + shoot competition) under ambient and elevated CO2 levels. We found that the growth of the woody plant seedlings was suppressed by competition from grasses, with root and shoot competition having similar competitive effects on growth. In contrast to expectations, woody plant seedling growth was reduced at elevated CO2 levels compared to that at the ambient CO2 level across all competition treatments, with the most plausible explanation being reduced light and soil water availability in the elevated CO2 mesocosms. Reduced light and soil water availability in the elevated CO2 mesocosms was associated with an increased leaf area index of the grasses which offset the reductions in stomatal conductance and increased rainfall interception. The woody plant seedlings also had reduced 'escapability' (stem biomass and stem height) under elevated compared to ambient CO2 levels. Our results suggest that the expansion of woody plants into grasslands in the future will likely be context-dependent, with the establishment success of woody plant seedlings being strongly coupled to the CO2 response of competing grasses and to soil water availability.

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

    SciTech Connect

    L.T. Rader

    2001-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cline, Lauren C; Zak, Donald R

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cline, Lauren C; Zak, Donald R

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  8. 76 FR 37770 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-28

    ... Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason To... movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic... protein derived from the ] common soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. The petitioner states that...

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-29

    ... 340, ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which... products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to.... In a notice \\2\\ published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41364-41366, Docket...

  10. 78 FR 44924 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Environmental Assessment, Preliminary...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ... 340, ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which... products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to... the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41357-41358, Docket No. APHIS-2012- 0035),...

  11. 78 FR 47272 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental Assessment for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-05

    ... regulations in 7 CFR part 340, ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic... and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is...\\ published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, ] (77 FR 41354-41355, Docket No. APHIS-2012-0020),...

  12. 78 FR 44926 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Environmental Assessment, Preliminary...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ... 340, ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which... products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to... Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41359-41361, Docket No. APHIS-2012- 0027), APHIS announced...

  13. 76 FR 80871 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-27

    ... 340, ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which... products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to..., a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or other pathogen, or any...

  14. 78 FR 45169 - GENECTIVE SA; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Environmental Assessment, Preliminary...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-26

    ... in 7 CFR part 340, ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic... and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is... notice \\2\\ published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41353-41354, Docket No....

  15. 76 FR 27301 - Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-11

    ... Lepidopteran-Resistant Cotton AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY... petition from Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., seeking a determination of nonregulated status for cotton designated as event COT67B, which has been genetically engineered to express a protein to protect...

  16. Evaluation of H3A for determination of plant available P vs. FeAIO strips

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant growth but in excess is a source of environmental pollution. Fertilizer additions of P are recommended based on soil tests; however, the commonly applied P extractants are often applied outside of their design criteria (specifically soil pH). As a resu...

  17. 76 FR 44891 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-27

    ... in the Federal Register (76 FR 27303-27304, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0023) a notice\\1\\ advising the... Engineered for Drought Tolerance AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice... been genetically engineered for drought tolerance. This action will allow interested persons...

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

    PubMed Central

    Gornish, Elise S.; Miller, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-15

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

  1. Evaluation of copper availability to plants in copper-contaminated vineyard soils.

    PubMed

    Brun, L A; Maillet, J; Hinsinger, P; Pépin, M

    2001-01-01

    The repeated use of copper (Cu) fungicides to control vine downy mildew has led to long-term accumulation of Cu in vineyard soils which now raises the issue of the potential bioavailability of Cu for various living organisms including plant species. The bioavailable Cu can be defined as the portion of soil Cu that can be taken up by roots, for a given plant species. In order to evaluate the bioavailability of Cu to plants, a pot experiment was conducted in glasshouse conditions with a crop species (maize) and 12 soils sampled in the upper horizon of 10 vineyard plots (total Cu ranging from 38 to 251 mg kg-1) and two woodland plots (control soils that had not received any Cu application; total Cu amounting to 20-26 mg kg-1). These soils were selected for their diverse physical (large range of particle size distribution) and chemical (from acid to calcareous soils) properties. After 35 days of growth, plant shoots were harvested for analysis. The roots were separated from soil particles for further analysis. The concentrations of Cu in the roots and aerial parts of the maize were then compared with the amounts of Cu extracted from the soil by a range of conventional extractants. Observed Cu concentrations in maize roots which have grown in contaminated vineyard soils were very high (between 90 and 600 mg kg-1), whereas Cu concentrations in the aerial parts varied only slightly and remained low (< 18 mg kg-1). Root Cu concentrations observed for maize increased with increasing total Cu content in the soil and with decreasing soil CEC. Cu accumulation in maize roots may be as high in calcareous soils as in acid soils, suggesting that soil pH had little influence. In the case of the vineyard soils studied, the lack of correlation found for maize between Cu concentrations in roots and in the aerial parts, suggests that an analysis of the aerial parts would not be a good indicator of plant Cu uptake, as it provides no insight into the real amount of Cu transferred from

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

    SciTech Connect

    1992-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2003-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2002-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2001-12-01

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

  7. Biotechnological approach of improving plant salt tolerance using antioxidants as markers.

    PubMed

    Ashraf, M

    2009-01-01

    Salt stress causes multifarious adverse effects in plants. Of them, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a common phenomenon. These ROS are highly reactive because they can interact with a number of cellular molecules and metabolites thereby leading to a number of destructive processes causing cellular damage. Plants possess to a variable extent antioxidant metabolites, enzymes and non-enzymes, that have the ability to detoxify ROS. In the present review, the emphasis of discussion has been on understanding the role of different antioxidants in plants defense against oxidative stress caused by salt stress. The role of different antioxidants as potential selection criteria for improving plant salt tolerance has been critically discussed. With the advances in molecular biology and availability of advanced genetic tools considerable progress has been made in the past two decades in improving salt-induced oxidative stress tolerance in plants by developing transgenic lines with altered levels of antioxidants of different crops. The potential of this approach in counteracting stress-induced oxidative stress has been discussed at length in this review.

  8. Ecophysiological response to seasonal variations in water availability in the arborescent, endemic plant Vellozia gigantea.

    PubMed

    Morales, Melanie; Garcia, Queila S; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2015-03-01

    The physiological response of plants growing in their natural habitat is strongly determined by seasonal variations in environmental conditions and the interaction of abiotic and biotic stresses. Here, leaf water and nutrient contents, changes in cellular redox state and endogenous levels of stress-related phytohormones (abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid and jasmonates) were examined during the rainy and dry season in Vellozia gigantea, an endemic species growing at high elevations in the rupestrian fields of the Espinhaço Range in Brazil. Enhanced stomatal closure and increased ABA levels during the dry season were associated with an efficient control of leaf water content. Moreover, reductions in 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) levels during the dry season were observed, while levels of other jasmonates, such as jasmonic acid and jasmonoyl-isoleucine, were not affected. Changes in ABA and OPDA levels correlated with endogenous concentrations of iron and silicon, hydrogen peroxide, and vitamin E, thus indicating complex interactions between water and nutrient contents, changes in cellular redox state and endogenous hormone concentrations. Results also suggested crosstalk between activation of mechanisms for drought stress tolerance (as mediated by ABA) and biotic stress resistance (mediated by jasmonates), in which vitamin E levels may serve as a control point. It is concluded that, aside from a tight ABA-associated regulation of stomatal closure during the dry season, crosstalk between activation of abiotic and biotic defences, and nutrient accumulation in leaves may be important modulators of plant stress responses in plants growing in their natural habitat. PMID:25769340

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  11. 76 FR 37769 - Bayer CropScience LP; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-28

    ... Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status for Cotton... nonregulated status for cotton designated as TwinLink\\TM\\ cotton (events T304-40 and GHB119), which has been... genetically engineered cotton is likely to pose a plant pest risk. We are making available for public...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Ethylene resistance in flowering ornamental plantsimprovements and future perspectives

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    John W. Rich

    2003-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Aoyagi, Ryota; Kitayama, Kanehiro

    2016-07-01

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

  19. Free aluminium extraction from various reference materials and acid soils with relation to plant availability.

    PubMed

    Matús, Peter; Kubová, Jana; Bujdos, Marek; Medved', Ján

    2006-12-15

    The single extractions with 15 extractants (agents) (H(2)O, KCl, NH(4)Cl, NH(4)F, CaCl(2), BaCl(2), CuCl(2), LaCl(3), Na(2)S(2)O(4), (NH(4))(2)C(2)O(4), Na(4)P(2)O(7), NTA, EDTA, DTPA, HCl), the optimised BCR (Community Bureau of Reference) three-step sequential extraction procedure (SEP) and the solid phase extraction (SPE) by the chelating ion-exchanger Iontosorb Salicyl (cellulose resin containing covalently bound salicylic acid functional groups) were used for the partitioning of Al in very acid soil samples taken from an area influenced by acid mine solutions. The precision, accuracy and repeatibility for all steps of the optimised BCR SEP were checked on the various reference materials (CRM 483 sewage sludge amended soil, CRM BCR 701 freshwater sediment, SRM 2710 and SRM 2711 Montana soils). Also the new indicative values of the optimised BCR SEP fractional Al concentrations were obtained for these reference materials. The aluminium amounts obtained by the used extraction procedures were valuated and discussed from the aspect of the Al concentration in the plants (grass) growing on the same studied soils. The aluminium toxicity indexes (ATI) calculated for the studied soils, the BaCl(2) and acetic acid soil extracts and the grass stems and roots were used for the assessment of the Al toxicity to the plants. The ATI value was defined as the ratio of the nutrient cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na) concentration sum to the Al concentration. The flame atomic absorption spectrometry (LOQ=0.2mgl(-1)) and the inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (LOQ=0.03mgl(-1)) were used for the aluminium quantification. PMID:18970873

  20. Alien plant species with a wider global distribution are better able to capitalize on increased resource availability.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Wayne; Rohr, Rudolf P; van Kleunen, Mark; Fischer, Markus

    2012-05-01

    • A high ability of alien plant species to capitalize on increases in resource availability has been suggested as an explanation for being globally successful. Here, we tested this hypothesis meta-analytically using existing data from experiments manipulating plant resources (light, water and nutrients). • From these studies we extracted the response to resource increase of biomass, as an indicator of plant performance, and the responses of two traits related to resource capture: root : shoot ratio and specific leaf area (SLA). For 211 species recorded in the Global Compendium of Weeds, we assessed the relationship between effect sizes from such studies and the number of global regions where a species was established. • We found that globally widespread species exhibited greater biomass responses to increases in resources overall, compared to less widespread species. Root : shoot ratio and SLA responses to increased resource availability were not related to species global distribution. • In general, globally widespread alien plant species were better able to capitalize on increased availability of resources, through achieving increased growth and biomass accumulation, while greater plasticity of key resource-capture traits per se did not appear to be related to greater success.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mihaliak, C.A.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. High irradiance increases NH(4)(+) tolerance in Pisum sativum: Higher carbon and energy availability improve ion balance but not N assimilation.

    PubMed

    Ariz, Idoia; Artola, Ekhiñe; Asensio, Aaron Cabrera; Cruchaga, Saioa; Aparicio-Tejo, Pedro María; Moran, Jose Fernando

    2011-07-01

    The widespread use of NO(3)(-) fertilization has had a major ecological impact. NH(4)(+) nutrition may help to reduce this impact, although high NH(4)(+) concentrations are toxic for most plants. The underlying tolerance mechanisms are not yet fully understood, although they are thought to include the limitation of C, the disruption of ion homeostasis, and a wasteful NH(4)(+) influx/efflux cycle that carries an extra energetic cost for root cells. In this study, high irradiance (HI) was found to induce a notable tolerance to NH(4)(+) in the range 2.5-10mM in pea plants by inducing higher C availability, as shown by carbohydrate content. This capacity was accompanied by a general lower relative N content, indicating that tolerance is not achieved through higher net N assimilation on C-skeletons, and it was also not attributable to increased GS content or activity in roots or leaves. Moreover, HI plants showed higher ATP content and respiration rates. This extra energy availability is related to the internal NH(4)(+) content regulation (probably NH(4)(+) influx/efflux) and to an improvement of the cell ionic balance. The limited C availability at lower irradiance (LI) and high NH(4)(+) resulted in a series of metabolic imbalances, as reflected in a much higher organic acid content, thereby suggesting that the origin of the toxicity in plants cultured at high NH(4)(+) and LI is related to their inability to avoid large-scale accumulation of the NH(4)(+) ion.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cressey, Peter; Saunders, Darren; Goodman, Janet

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Slavov, Gancho; Allison, Gordon; Bosch, Maurice

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cressey, Peter; Saunders, Darren; Goodman, Janet

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Slavov, Gancho; Allison, Gordon; Bosch, Maurice

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Brian T.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. A biological sensor for iron available to bacteria in their habitats on plant surfaces.

    PubMed

    Loper, J E; Lindow, S E

    1994-06-01

    A sensor responsive to iron was constructed by fusing a promoterless ice nucleation activity gene (inaZ) to an iron-regulated promoter of a genomic region involved in pyoverdine (fluorescent siderophore) (pvd) production in Pseudomonas syringae. Cells of Pseudomonas fluorescens and P. syringae that contained the pvd-inaZ fusion expressed iron-responsive ice nucleation activity in the bean rhizosphere and phyllosphere, respectively, and in culture. Addition of Fe(III) to leaves or soil reduced the apparent transcription of the pvd-inaZ reporter gene, as shown by a reduction in the number of ice nuclei produced, indicating that Fe(III) was primarily responsible for mediating transcription of the pvd-inaZ gene even in natural environments. A Pseudomonas sp. strain having an intact iceC gene, which conferred Fe-insensitive expression of ice nucleation activity, was included in all studies to account for small strain- or environment-dependent differences in the ability of bacterial cells to produce ice nuclei. Thus, a comparison of the ice nucleation activity conferred by pvd-inaZ with the activity conferred by iceC revealed the bioavailability of iron in culture or natural habitats. The relative ice nucleation activities expressed by strains containing iceC or pvd-inaZ indicated that, while not abundant, Fe(III) is not present at extremely low concentrations at all microsites colonized by bacteria on plant surfaces. Biological sensors that are constructed by fusing inaZ to chemically responsive promoters provide a novel way to characterize chemical constituents of microbial habitats. PMID:16349283

  15. A Biological Sensor for Iron Available to Bacteria in Their Habitats on Plant Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Loper, J. E.; Lindow, S. E.

    1994-01-01

    A sensor responsive to iron was constructed by fusing a promoterless ice nucleation activity gene (inaZ) to an iron-regulated promoter of a genomic region involved in pyoverdine (fluorescent siderophore) (pvd) production in Pseudomonas syringae. Cells of Pseudomonas fluorescens and P. syringae that contained the pvd-inaZ fusion expressed iron-responsive ice nucleation activity in the bean rhizosphere and phyllosphere, respectively, and in culture. Addition of Fe(III) to leaves or soil reduced the apparent transcription of the pvd-inaZ reporter gene, as shown by a reduction in the number of ice nuclei produced, indicating that Fe(III) was primarily responsible for mediating transcription of the pvd-inaZ gene even in natural environments. A Pseudomonas sp. strain having an intact iceC gene, which conferred Fe-insensitive expression of ice nucleation activity, was included in all studies to account for small strain- or environment-dependent differences in the ability of bacterial cells to produce ice nuclei. Thus, a comparison of the ice nucleation activity conferred by pvd-inaZ with the activity conferred by iceC revealed the bioavailability of iron in culture or natural habitats. The relative ice nucleation activities expressed by strains containing iceC or pvd-inaZ indicated that, while not abundant, Fe(III) is not present at extremely low concentrations at all microsites colonized by bacteria on plant surfaces. Biological sensors that are constructed by fusing inaZ to chemically responsive promoters provide a novel way to characterize chemical constituents of microbial habitats. PMID:16349283

  16. Improvement of plant growth and nickel uptake by nickel resistant-plant-growth promoting bacteria.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ying; Rajkumar, Mani; Freitas, Helena

    2009-07-30

    In this study, among a collection of Ni-resistant bacterial strains isolated from the rhizosphere of Alyssum serpyllifolium and Phleum phleoides grown on serpentine soil, five plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) were selected based on their ability to utilize 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) as the sole N source and promote seedling growth. All of the strains tested positive for indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production and phosphate solubilization. In addition, four of the strains exhibited significant levels of siderophores production. Further, the efficiency of PGPB in enhancing Ni solubilization in soils was analyzed. Compared with control treatment, inoculation of PGPB strains significantly increased the concentrations of bioavailable Ni. Furthermore, a pot experiment was conducted to elucidate the effects of inoculating Ni-resistant PGPB on the plant growth and the uptake of Ni by Brassica juncea and B. oxyrrhina in soil contaminated with 450 mg kg(-1) Ni. Psychrobacter sp. SRA2 significantly increased the fresh (351%) and dry biomass (285%) of the B. juncea test plants (p<0.05), whereas Psychrobacter sp. SRA1 and Bacillus cereus SRA10 significantly increased the accumulation of Ni in the root and shoot tissues of B. juncea compared with non-inoculated controls. This result indicates that the strains SRA1 and SRA10 facilitated the release of Ni from the non-soluble phases in the soil, thus enhancing the availability of Ni to plants. A significant increase, greater than that of the control, was also noted for growth parameters of the B. oxyrrhina test plants when the seeds were treated with strain SRA2. This effect can be attributed to the utilization of ACC, solubilization of phosphate and production of IAA. The results of the study revealed that the inoculation of Ni mobilizing strains Psychrobacter sp. SRA1 and B. cereus SRA10 increases the efficiency of phytoextraction directly by enhancing the metal accumulation in plant tissues and the efficient

  17. Engineering plants for animal feed for improved nutritional value.

    PubMed

    Williams, Peter E V

    2003-05-01

    Feed formulation to meet nutritional requirements of livestock is becoming increasingly challenging. Regulations have banned the use of traditional high-quality protein supplements such as meat-and-bone meal, pollution from animal excreta of N and P is an issue and antibiotics are no longer available as insurance against the impact of enteric infection and feed anti-nutritional factors. The improved genetic potential of livestock is increasing daily requirement for energy and protein (essential amino acids). To benefit from the enhanced growth potential of livestock diets with high nutrient density are needed that can be formulated from crops without increased cost. Genetic modification of commodity crops used to manufacture animal feed in order to improve the density and quality of available nutrients is a potential solution to some of these problems. Furthermore, crops may be used as biofactories to produce molecules and products used in animal feed with considerable reductions in manufacturing fixed costs. Nevertheless, there are considerable not insurmountable challenges, such as the creation of sufficient economic value to deliver benefit to all members in the feed production chain, which is an essential element of identity preserving and delivering the technology to livestock producers. Individual output traits in the major commodity crops may not provide sufficient value to adequately compensate all the members of the feed production chain. Successful adoption of output traits may rely on inserting combinations of agronomic input traits with specific quality traits or increasing the value proposition by inserting combinations of output traits. PMID:14506877

  18. Engineering plants for animal feed for improved nutritional value.

    PubMed

    Williams, Peter E V

    2003-05-01

    Feed formulation to meet nutritional requirements of livestock is becoming increasingly challenging. Regulations have banned the use of traditional high-quality protein supplements such as meat-and-bone meal, pollution from animal excreta of N and P is an issue and antibiotics are no longer available as insurance against the impact of enteric infection and feed anti-nutritional factors. The improved genetic potential of livestock is increasing daily requirement for energy and protein (essential amino acids). To benefit from the enhanced growth potential of livestock diets with high nutrient density are needed that can be formulated from crops without increased cost. Genetic modification of commodity crops used to manufacture animal feed in order to improve the density and quality of available nutrients is a potential solution to some of these problems. Furthermore, crops may be used as biofactories to produce molecules and products used in animal feed with considerable reductions in manufacturing fixed costs. Nevertheless, there are considerable not insurmountable challenges, such as the creation of sufficient economic value to deliver benefit to all members in the feed production chain, which is an essential element of identity preserving and delivering the technology to livestock producers. Individual output traits in the major commodity crops may not provide sufficient value to adequately compensate all the members of the feed production chain. Successful adoption of output traits may rely on inserting combinations of agronomic input traits with specific quality traits or increasing the value proposition by inserting combinations of output traits.

  19. Advanced control strategy for plant heat rate improvement

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  20. 25 CFR 30.121 - What funds are available to assist schools identified for school improvement, corrective action...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Vegetation pattern formation due to interactions between water availability and toxicity in plant-soil feedback.

    PubMed

    Marasco, Addolorata; Iuorio, Annalisa; Cartení, Fabrizio; Bonanomi, Giuliano; Tartakovsky, Daniel M; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Giannino, Francesco

    2014-11-01

    Development of a comprehensive theory of the formation of vegetation patterns is still in progress. A prevailing view is to treat water availability as the main causal factor for the emergence of vegetation patterns. While successful in capturing the occurrence of multiple vegetation patterns in arid and semiarid regions, this hypothesis fails to explain the presence of vegetation patterns in humid environments. We explore the rich structure of a toxicity-mediated model of the vegetation pattern formation. This model consists of three PDEs accounting for a dynamic balance between biomass, water, and toxic compounds. Different (ecologically feasible) regions of the model's parameter space give rise to stable spatial vegetation patterns in Turing and non-Turing regimes. Strong negative feedback gives rise to dynamic spatial patterns that continuously move in space while retaining their stable topology.

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

    SciTech Connect

    2003-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Effects of light and soil water availability on leaf photosynthesis and growth of Arisaema heterophyllum, a riparian forest understorey plant.

    PubMed

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Tang, Yanhong; Koizumi, Hiroshi; Washitani, Izumi

    2002-12-01

    The effects of soil-water availability on leaf light acclimation and whole-plant carbon gain were examined in Arisaema heterophyllum Blume, a riparian deciduous forest understorey plant. Photosynthesis, above-ground morphology and ramet biomass accumulation (relative growth rate: RGR of a corm for a full leaf life-span) were measured on plants raised under three light treatments combined with two soil water conditions. The two higher light treatments during growth (high: max. 550 micro mol photons m(-2) s(-1); medium: 150 micro mol photons m(-2) s(-1)) resulted in a twofold increase in RGRs, 30% higher photosynthetic capacities and 20% less photosynthetic low-light use efficiency than those under a low light condition (50 micro mol photons m(-2) s(-1)). Leaf area was the smallest and leaf mass area ratio was the largest under the high light treatment. Water stress decreased both photosynthetic rate and leaf area and, hence, RGR in all the light regimes. However, water stress did not alter the general patterns of physiological and morphological responses to different light regimes. We estimated that higher photosynthetic low-light use efficiency and larger leaf area in the low light leaf would lead to a threefold carbon gain as compared with the high light leaf under simulated low light conditions. Both experimental and simulation results suggest that the physiological and morphological acclimations tend to be beneficial to carbon gain when light availability is low, whereas they favor increased water use efficiency when light availability is sufficiently high.

  9. Battery available power prediction of hybrid electric vehicle based on improved Dynamic Matrix Control algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Limei; Cheng, Yong; Zou, Ju

    2014-09-01

    The core technology to any hybrid engine vehicle (HEV) is the design of energy management strategy (EMS). To develop a reasonable EMS, it is necessary to monitor the state of capacity, state of health and instantaneous available power of battery packs. A new method that linearizes RC equivalent circuit model and predicts battery available power according to original Dynamic Matrix Control algorithm is proposed. To verify the validity of the new algorithm, a bench test with lithium-ion battery cell and a HEV test with lithium-ion battery packs are carried out. The bench test results indicate that a single RC block equivalent circuit model could be used to describe the dynamic and the steady state characteristics of a battery under testing conditions. However, lacking of long time constant of RC modules, there is a sample deviation in the open-circuit voltage identified and that measured. The HEV testing results show that the battery voltage predicted is in good agreement with that measured, the maximum difference is within 3.7%. Fixing the time constant to a numeric value, satisfactory results can still be achieved. After setting a battery discharge cut-off voltage, the instantaneous available power of the battery can be predicted.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, K. H.

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Patterns of prey capture and prey availability among populations of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) along an environmental gradient.

    PubMed

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2003-09-01

    In this study we explored the effect of the physical environment and the availability of prey (biomass and taxonomic composition) on the patterns of prey capture and reproduction on five populations of Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) in areas ranging from pine-oak forests to desert scrublands. Environmental variation was summarized using principal factor analysis. Prey availability and prey capture increased toward the shadiest, most humid, and fertile population. The probability of reproduction and average bud production per population did not follow the same tendency because both fitness components peaked at the middle of the environmental gradient. These results suggest that the benefits derived from carnivory are maximized at sites fulfilling a trade-off between light, moisture, and prey availability. We also found that the taxonomic composition of both the available prey and that of the prey captured by plants varied among populations. The results also indicated that the prey captured by plants are not a random sample of prey available within populations. Overall, the results from this study revealed a marked amount of heterogeneity in the physical and biotic environment among the populations of P. moranensis, which has the potential to affect the outcome of the interaction between this carnivorous species and its prey.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Comparison of the Insecticidal Characteristics of Commercially Available Plant Essential Oils Against Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Norris, Edmund J; Gross, Aaron D; Dunphy, Brendan M; Bessette, Steven; Bartholomay, Lyric; Coats, Joel R

    2015-09-01

    Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae are two mosquito species that represent significant threats to global public health as vectors of Dengue virus and malaria parasites, respectively. Although mosquito populations have been effectively controlled through the use of synthetic insecticides, the emergence of widespread insecticide-resistance in wild mosquito populations is a strong motivation to explore new insecticidal chemistries. For these studies, Ae. aegypti and An. gambiae were treated with commercially available plant essential oils via topical application. The relative toxicity of each essential oil was determined, as measured by the 24-h LD(50) and percentage knockdown at 1 h, as compared with a variety of synthetic pyrethroids. For Ae. aegypti, the most toxic essential oil (patchouli oil) was ∼1,700-times less toxic than the least toxic synthetic pyrethroid, bifenthrin. For An. gambiae, the most toxic essential oil (patchouli oil) was ∼685-times less toxic than the least toxic synthetic pyrethroid. A wide variety of toxicities were observed among the essential oils screened. Also, plant essential oils were analyzed via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to identify the major components in each of the samples screened in this study. While the toxicities of these plant essential oils were demonstrated to be lower than those of the synthetic pyrethroids tested, the large amount of GC/MS data and bioactivity data for each essential oil presented in this study will serve as a valuable resource for future studies exploring the insecticidal quality of plant essential oils.

  15. Improved stereo matching applied to digitization of greenhouse plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Peng; Xu, Lihong; Li, Dawei; Gu, Xiaomeng

    2015-03-01

    The digitization of greenhouse plants is an important aspect of digital agriculture. Its ultimate aim is to reconstruct a visible and interoperable virtual plant model on the computer by using state-of-the-art image process and computer graphics technologies. The most prominent difficulties of the digitization of greenhouse plants include how to acquire the three-dimensional shape data of greenhouse plants and how to carry out its realistic stereo reconstruction. Concerning these issues an effective method for the digitization of greenhouse plants is proposed by using a binocular stereo vision system in this paper. Stereo vision is a technique aiming at inferring depth information from two or more cameras; it consists of four parts: calibration of the cameras, stereo rectification, search of stereo correspondence and triangulation. Through the final triangulation procedure, the 3D point cloud of the plant can be achieved. The proposed stereo vision system can facilitate further segmentation of plant organs such as stems and leaves; moreover, it can provide reliable digital samples for the visualization of greenhouse tomato plants.

  16. [Assessment on the availability of nitrogen fertilization in improving carbon sequestration potential of China's cropland soil].

    PubMed

    Lu, Fei; Wang, Xiao-Ke; Han, Bing; Ouyang, Zhi-Yun; Duan, Xiao-Nan; Zheng, Hua

    2008-10-01

    With reference to the situation of nitrogen fertilization in 2003 and the recommendations from agricultural experts on fertilization to different crops, two scenarios, namely, 'current situation' and 'fertilization as recommended', were set for estimating the current and potential carbon sequestration of China's cropland soil under nitrogen fertilization. After collecting and analyzing the typical data from the long-term agricultural experiment stations all over China, and based on the recent studies of soil organic matter and nutrient dynamics, we plotted China into four agricultural regions, and estimated the carbon sequestration rate and potential of cropland soil under the two scenarios in each province of China. Meanwhile, with the data concerning fossil fuel consumption for fertilizer production and nitrogen fertilization, the greenhouse gas leakage caused by nitrogen fertilizer production and application was estimated with the help of the parameters given by domestic studies and IPCC. We further proposed that the available carbon sequestration potential of cropland soil could be taken as the criterion of the validity and availability of carbon sequestration measures. The results showed that the application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer could bring about a carbon sequestration potential of 21.9 Tg C x a(-1) in current situation, and 30.2 Tg C x a(-1) with fertilization as recommended. However, under the two scenarios, the greenhouse gas leakage caused by fertilizer production and application would reach 72.9 Tg C x a(-1) and 91.4 Tg C x a(-1), and thus, the actual available carbon sequestration potential would be -51.0 Tg C x a(-1) and -61.1 Tg C x a(-1), respectively. The situation was even worse under the 'fertilization as recommended' scenario, because the increase in the amount of nitrogen fertilization would lead to 10. 1 Tg C x a(-1) or more net greenhouse gas emission. All these results indicated that the application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer

  17. Milk-based phospholipids increase morning cortisol availability and improve memory in chronically stressed men.

    PubMed

    Schubert, Melanie; Contreras, Carina; Franz, Nadin; Hellhammer, Juliane

    2011-06-01

    Phospholipids (PLs) have been shown to dampen the activity and reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA). To further investigate stress protective effects of PL, 75 chronically stressed men aged 30 to 51 years were enrolled in a randomized and placebo-controlled trial. The subjects received a bovine milk drink with either 0.5% PL, 1% PL, or a placebo for 42 days to test the hypothesis that supplementation with specific phospholipids would normalize the cortisol response of the HPAA. For determining HPAA activity, the cortisol awakening response was studied before and after treatment. In addition, participants were exposed to an acute stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test, to assess treatment effects on stress reactivity and stress-related memory impairment. After receiving PL-enriched milk, both PL groups showed a delayed decline from peak levels in morning salivary cortisol, suggesting a prolonged availability of free cortisol. Treatment with 0.5% PL additionally resulted in a stronger increase of cortisol after awakening, whereas no such differences could be observed in the 1% PL group and the placebo group, respectively. The acute stress response did not significantly differ among placebo and PL groups. An exploratory data analysis further revealed that elderly participants receiving the higher PL dosage had a significant better memory performance after the Trier Social Stress Test as compared with elderly participants from the placebo and low-PL dosage group; no such difference was observed at baseline. Our results suggest that PL may increase the availability of cortisol in chronically stressed men and may attenuate stress-induced memory impairments. Results of the present study are discussed within the context of previous research and current state of knowledge.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herceg, Andras; Gribovszki, Zoltan; Kalicz, Peter

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Plant canopy gap-size analysis theory for improving optical measurements of leaf-area index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jing M.; Cihlar, Josef

    1995-09-01

    Optical instruments currently available for measuring the leaf-area index (LAI) of a plant canopy all utilize only the canopy gap-fraction information. These instruments include the Li-Cor LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer, Decagon, and Demon. The advantages of utilizing both the canopy gap-fraction and gap-size information are shown. For the purpose of measuring the canopy gap size, a prototype sunfleck-LAI instrument named Tracing Radiation and Architecture of Canopies (TRAC), has been developed and tested in two pure conifer plantations, red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb). A new gap-size-analysis theory is presented to quantify the effect of canopy architecture on optical measurements of LAI based on the gap-fraction principle. The theory is an improvement on that of Lang and Xiang [Agric. For. Meteorol. 37, 229 (1986)]. In principle, this theory can be used for any heterogeneous canopies.

  20. Improving intercropping: a synthesis of research in agronomy, plant physiology and ecology.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rob W; Bennett, Alison E; Cong, Wen-Feng; Daniell, Tim J; George, Timothy S; Hallett, Paul D; Hawes, Cathy; Iannetta, Pietro P M; Jones, Hamlyn G; Karley, Alison J; Li, Long; McKenzie, Blair M; Pakeman, Robin J; Paterson, Eric; Schöb, Christian; Shen, Jianbo; Squire, Geoff; Watson, Christine A; Zhang, Chaochun; Zhang, Fusuo; Zhang, Junling; White, Philip J

    2015-04-01

    Intercropping is a farming practice involving two or more crop species, or genotypes, growing together and coexisting for a time. On the fringes of modern intensive agriculture, intercropping is important in many subsistence or low-input/resource-limited agricultural systems. By allowing genuine yield gains without increased inputs, or greater stability of yield with decreased inputs, intercropping could be one route to delivering ‘sustainable intensification’. We discuss how recent knowledge from agronomy, plant physiology and ecology can be combined with the aim of improving intercropping systems. Recent advances in agronomy and plant physiology include better understanding of the mechanisms of interactions between crop genotypes and species – for example, enhanced resource availability through niche complementarity. Ecological advances include better understanding of the context-dependency of interactions, the mechanisms behind disease and pest avoidance, the links between above- and below-ground systems, and the role of microtopographic variation in coexistence. This improved understanding can guide approaches for improving intercropping systems, including breeding crops for intercropping. Although such advances can help to improve intercropping systems, we suggest that other topics also need addressing. These include better assessment of the wider benefits of intercropping in terms of multiple ecosystem services, collaboration with agricultural engineering, and more effective interdisciplinary research.

  1. Prospects for optimizing soil microbial functioning to improve plant nutrient uptake and soil carbon sequestration under elevated CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, M.; Pendall, E. G.

    2013-12-01

    Potential to mitigate climate change through increasing plant productivity and its carbon (C) input to soil may be limited by soil nitrogen (N) availability. Using a novel 13C-CO2 and 15N-soil dual labeling method, we investigated whether plant growth-promoting bacteria would interact with atmospheric CO2 concentration to alter plant productivity and soil C storage. We grew Bouteloua gracilis under ambient (380 ppm) or elevated CO2 (700 ppm) in climate-controlled chambers, and plant individuals were grown with or without Pseudomonas fluorescens inoculum, which can produce N catabolic enzymes. We observed that both eCO2 and P. fluorescens increased plant productivity and its C allocation to soil. P. fluorescens relative to eCO2 enhanced plant N uptake from soil organic matter, which highly correlated with soil N enzyme activities and rhizosphere exudate C. More importantly, P. fluorescens increased microbial biomass and deceased specific microbial respiration in comparison with eCO2. These results indicate that application of plant growth-promoting bacteria can increase microbial C utilization efficiency with subsequent N mineralization from soil organic matter, and may improve plant N availability and soil C sequestration. Together, our findings highlight the potential of plant growth-promoting bacteria for global change mitigation by terrestrial ecosystems.

  2. Effect of enhanced reactive nitrogen availability on plant-sediment mediated degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in contaminated mangrove sediment.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Shan; Lu, Haoliang; Zhang, Qiong; Liu, JingChun; Yan, Chongling

    2016-02-15

    As land-ocean interaction zones, mangrove systems receive substantial polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from sewage and combustion of fossil fuel. In this study, we investigated the relationship between dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) availability and degradation rate of phenanthrene, a typical PAH compound, in mangrove plant-sediment systems, using Avicennia marina as a model plant. After 50 day incubation, phenanthrene removal ratios in sediments ranged from 53.8% to 97.2%. In non-rhizosphere sediment, increasing DIN accessibility increased microbial biomass and total microbial activity, while enhancements in population size of phenanthrene degradation bacteria (PDB) and phenanthrene degradation rates were insignificant. In contrast, the presence of excessive DIN in rhizosphere sediment resulted in a significantly large number of PDB, leading to a rapid dissipation rate of phenanthrene. The differences in degradation rates and abundances of degrader in sediment may be explained by the enhanced root activity due to the elevation in DIN accessibility.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Productivity improvement handbook for fossil steam power plants. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Armor, A.F.; Wolk, R.H. |

    1998-09-01

    This book is written to help electric generation staff operate their plants more profitably in a competitive environment. Since responsibility for keeping the plant running falls directly on the shoulders of plant personnel, they want to understand what can go wrong, receive information on the current condition of equipment, and fix things when equipment fails or performs poorly. The information in this book is organized so a reader can quickly and easily grasp the current state-of-the-art in maintaining fossil steam units, obtain guidance on specific plant problems, and move ahead with solutions. Many reports and guidelines have been issued on boilers, turbines, generators, heat exchangers, and other plant equipment covering failure modes, causes, fixes, and maintenance practices. Liberal use has been made of these reports to extract the salient recommendations, and the citations and bibliographies acknowledge these sources. The reader is directed to the comprehensive list of reports and papers for further details on specific issues. The scope of this book does not permit a detailed and extensive treatment of each of the hundreds of potential in-plant problems, but does permit the reader to get a first assessment of likely symptoms and modes of failure, and enough information to do something about it. It`s a working handbook for fossil plant staff who are daily faced with protecting the integrity and reliability of the electric generation business.

  5. Crop Improvement through Modification of the Plant's Own Genome

    PubMed Central

    Rommens, Caius M.; Humara, Jaime M.; Ye, Jingsong; Yan, Hua; Richael, Craig; Zhang, Lynda; Perry, Rachel; Swords, Kathleen

    2004-01-01

    Plant genetic engineering has, until now, relied on the incorporation of foreign DNA into plant genomes. Public concern about the extent to which transgenic crops differ from their traditionally bred counterparts has resulted in molecular strategies and gene choices that limit, but not eliminate, the introduction of foreign DNA. Here, we demonstrate that a plant-derived (P-) DNA fragment can be used to replace the universally employed Agrobacterium transfer (T-) DNA. Marker-free P-DNAs are transferred to plant cell nuclei together with conventional T-DNAs carrying a selectable marker gene. By subsequently linking a positive selection for temporary marker gene expression to a negative selection against marker gene integration, 29% of derived regeneration events contain P-DNA insertions but lack any copies of the T-DNA. Further refinements are accomplished by employing Ω-mutated virD2 and isopentenyl transferase cytokinin genes to impair T-DNA integration and select against backbone integration, respectively. The presented methods are used to produce hundreds of marker-free and backbone-free potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants displaying reduced expression of a tuber-specific polyphenol oxidase gene in potato. The modified plants represent the first example of genetically engineered plants that only contain native DNA. PMID:15133156

  6. Modelling sugar diffusion across plant leaf cuticles: the effect of free water on substrate availability to phyllosphere bacteria.

    PubMed

    van der Wal, Annemieke; Leveau, Johan H J

    2011-03-01

    We present a continuous model for the diffusion of sugars across intact plant leaf cuticles. It is based on the flow of sugars from a source, representing the leaf apoplast, to a sink, in the shape of a hemispherical drop of water on the outside of the cuticle. Flow is a function of the difference between sugar concentrations C(Source) and C(Sink) , permeability P of the cuticle, volume V(Sink) of the water drop, as well as its contact angle α with the cuticle surface. Using a bacterial bioreporter for fructose, and a two-compartment experimental set-up consisting of isolated cuticles of walnut (Juglans regia) carrying water droplets while floating on solutions with increasing concentrations of fructose, we determined a value of 1 × 10⁻⁶ m h⁻¹ for P. Using this value, we explored different scenarios for the leaching of sugars across plant leaf cuticles to reveal in quantitative terms how diffusion takes longer when V(Sink) increases, P decreases or α increases. Bacterial growth was modelled as a function of changes in P, α and V(Sink) and was consistent with observations or suggestions from the literature in relation to the availability of free water on leaves. These results are discussed in the light of bacteria as ecosystem engineers, i.e. with the ability to modify the plant leaf surface environment in favour of their own survival, e.g. by increasing cuticle leakage or leaf wetness. Our model represents a first step towards a more comprehensive model which will enhance our quantitative understanding of the factors that play a role in nutrient availability to bacterial colonizers of the phyllosphere, or plant leaf surface.

  7. Biochar application to a contaminated soil reduces the availability and plant uptake of zinc, lead and cadmium.

    PubMed

    Puga, A P; Abreu, C A; Melo, L C A; Beesley, L

    2015-08-15

    Heavy metals in soil are naturally occurring but may be enhanced by anthropogenic activities such as mining. Bio-accumulation of heavy metals in the food chain, following their uptake to plants can increase the ecotoxicological risks associated with remediation of contaminated soils using plants. In the current experiment sugar cane straw-derived biochar (BC), produced at 700 °C, was applied to a heavy metal contaminated mine soil at 1.5%, 3.0% and 5.0% (w/w). Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) and Mucuna aterrima were grown in pots containing soil and biochar mixtures, and control pots without biochar. Pore water was sampled from each pot to confirm the effects of biochar on metal solubility, whilst soils were analyzed by DTPA extraction to confirm available metal concentrations. Leaves were sampled for SEM analysis to detect possible morphological and anatomical changes. The application of BC decreased the available concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn in 56, 50 and 54% respectively, in the mine contaminated soil leading to a consistent reduction in the concentration of Zn in the pore water (1st collect: 99 to 39 μg L(-1), 2nd: 97 to 57 μg L(-1) and 3rd: 71 to 12 μg L(-1)). The application of BC reduced the uptake of Cd, Pb and Zn by plants with the jack bean translocating high proportions of metals (especially Cd) to shoots. Metals were also taken up by Mucuna aterrima but translocation to shoot was more limited than for jack bean. There were no differences in the internal structures of leaves observed by scanning electron microscopy. This study indicates that biochar application during mine soil remediation reduce plant concentrations of potential toxic metals. PMID:26048395

  8. Biochar application to a contaminated soil reduces the availability and plant uptake of zinc, lead and cadmium.

    PubMed

    Puga, A P; Abreu, C A; Melo, L C A; Beesley, L

    2015-08-15

    Heavy metals in soil are naturally occurring but may be enhanced by anthropogenic activities such as mining. Bio-accumulation of heavy metals in the food chain, following their uptake to plants can increase the ecotoxicological risks associated with remediation of contaminated soils using plants. In the current experiment sugar cane straw-derived biochar (BC), produced at 700 °C, was applied to a heavy metal contaminated mine soil at 1.5%, 3.0% and 5.0% (w/w). Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) and Mucuna aterrima were grown in pots containing soil and biochar mixtures, and control pots without biochar. Pore water was sampled from each pot to confirm the effects of biochar on metal solubility, whilst soils were analyzed by DTPA extraction to confirm available metal concentrations. Leaves were sampled for SEM analysis to detect possible morphological and anatomical changes. The application of BC decreased the available concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn in 56, 50 and 54% respectively, in the mine contaminated soil leading to a consistent reduction in the concentration of Zn in the pore water (1st collect: 99 to 39 μg L(-1), 2nd: 97 to 57 μg L(-1) and 3rd: 71 to 12 μg L(-1)). The application of BC reduced the uptake of Cd, Pb and Zn by plants with the jack bean translocating high proportions of metals (especially Cd) to shoots. Metals were also taken up by Mucuna aterrima but translocation to shoot was more limited than for jack bean. There were no differences in the internal structures of leaves observed by scanning electron microscopy. This study indicates that biochar application during mine soil remediation reduce plant concentrations of potential toxic metals.

  9. Temporal changes in the structure of a plant-frugivore network are influenced by bird migration and fruit availability.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Robles, Michelle; Andresen, Ellen; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Background. Ecological communities are dynamic collections whose composition and structure change over time, making up complex interspecific interaction networks. Mutualistic plant-animal networks can be approached through complex network analysis; these networks are characterized by a nested structure consisting of a core of generalist species, which endows the network with stability and robustness against disturbance. Those mutualistic network structures can vary as a consequence of seasonal fluctuations and food availability, as well as the arrival of new species into the system that might disorder the mutualistic network structure (e.g., a decrease in nested pattern). However, there is no assessment on how the arrival of migratory species into seasonal tropical systems can modify such patterns. Emergent and fine structural temporal patterns are adressed here for the first time for plant-frugivorous bird networks in a highly seasonal tropical environment. Methods. In a plant-frugivorous bird community, we analyzed the temporal turnover of bird species comprising the network core and periphery of ten temporal interaction networks resulting from different bird migration periods. Additionally, we evaluated how fruit abundance and richness, as well as the arrival of migratory birds into the system, explained the temporal changes in network parameters such as network size, connectance, nestedness, specialization, interaction strength asymmetry and niche overlap. The analysis included data from 10 quantitative plant-frugivorous bird networks registered from November 2013 to November 2014. Results. We registered a total of 319 interactions between 42 plant species and 44 frugivorous bird species; only ten bird species were part of the network core. We witnessed a noteworthy turnover of the species comprising the network periphery during migration periods, as opposed to the network core, which did not show significant temporal changes in species composition. Our results

  10. Temporal changes in the structure of a plant-frugivore network are influenced by bird migration and fruit availability.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Robles, Michelle; Andresen, Ellen; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Background. Ecological communities are dynamic collections whose composition and structure change over time, making up complex interspecific interaction networks. Mutualistic plant-animal networks can be approached through complex network analysis; these networks are characterized by a nested structure consisting of a core of generalist species, which endows the network with stability and robustness against disturbance. Those mutualistic network structures can vary as a consequence of seasonal fluctuations and food availability, as well as the arrival of new species into the system that might disorder the mutualistic network structure (e.g., a decrease in nested pattern). However, there is no assessment on how the arrival of migratory species into seasonal tropical systems can modify such patterns. Emergent and fine structural temporal patterns are adressed here for the first time for plant-frugivorous bird networks in a highly seasonal tropical environment. Methods. In a plant-frugivorous bird community, we analyzed the temporal turnover of bird species comprising the network core and periphery of ten temporal interaction networks resulting from different bird migration periods. Additionally, we evaluated how fruit abundance and richness, as well as the arrival of migratory birds into the system, explained the temporal changes in network parameters such as network size, connectance, nestedness, specialization, interaction strength asymmetry and niche overlap. The analysis included data from 10 quantitative plant-frugivorous bird networks registered from November 2013 to November 2014. Results. We registered a total of 319 interactions between 42 plant species and 44 frugivorous bird species; only ten bird species were part of the network core. We witnessed a noteworthy turnover of the species comprising the network periphery during migration periods, as opposed to the network core, which did not show significant temporal changes in species composition. Our results

  11. Improvement of oral availability of ginseng fruit saponins by a proliposome delivery system containing sodium deoxycholate

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Fei; He, Yanxi; Sun, Yating; Zheng, Bin; Liu, Yan; Wang, Xinmei; Zhang, Yongkai; Lee, Robert J.; Teng, Lirong; Xie, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Ginseng fruit saponins (GFS) extracted from the ginseng fruit are the bioactive triterpenoid saponin components. The aim of the present study was to develop a drug delivery system called proliposome using sodium deoxycholate (NaDC) as a bile salt to improve the oral bioavailability of GFS in rats. The liposomes of GFS were prepared by a conventional ethanol injection and formed the solid proliposomes (P-GFS) using spray drying method on mannitol carriers. The formulation of P-GFS was optimized using the response surface methodology. The physicochemical properties of liposome suspensions including encapsulation efficiency, in vitro drug release studies, particle size of the reconstituted liposome were tested. The solid state characterization studies using the method of Field emission-scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and Differential scanning colorimetric (DSC) were tested to study the molecular state of P-GFS and to indicate the interactions among the formulation ingredients. In vitro studies showed a delayed release of ginsenoside Re (GRe). In vivo studies were carried out in rats. The concentrations of GRe in plasma of rats and its pharmacokinetic behaviors after oral administration of GFS, Zhenyuan tablets (commercial dosage form of GFS) and P-GFS were studied using ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. It was founded that the GRe concentration time curves of GFS, Zhenyuan tablets and P-GFS were much more different in rats. Pharmacokinetic behaviors of P-GFS showed a second absorption peak on the concentration time curve. The pharmacokinetic parameters of GFS, Zhenyuan tablets, P-GFS in rats were separately listed as follows: T max 0.25 h, C max 474.96 ± 66.06 ng/ml and AUC0−∞ 733.32 ± 113.82 ng/ml h for GFS; T max 0.31 ± 0.043 h, C max 533.94 ± 106.54 ng/ml and AUC0−∞ 1151.38 ± 198.29 ng/ml h for Zhenyuan tablets; T max 0.5 h, C max 680.62 ± 138.051 ng/ml and

  12. Selenium (Se) improves drought tolerance in crop plants--a myth or fact?

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Rashid; Waraich, Ejaz Ahmad; Nawaz, Fahim; Ashraf, Muhammad Y; Khalid, Muhammad

    2016-01-30

    Climate change has emerged as one of the most complex challenges of the 21st century and has become an area of interest in the past few decades. Many countries of the world have become extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The scarcity of water is a serious concern for food security of these countries and climate change has aggravated the risks of extreme events like drought. Oxidative stress, caused by a variety of active oxygen species formed under drought stress, damages many cellular constituents, such as carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, which ultimately reduces plant growth, respiration and photosynthesis. Se has become an element of interest to many biologists owing to its physiological and toxicological importance. It plays a beneficial role in plants by enhancing growth, reducing damage caused by oxidative stress, enhancing chlorophyll content under light stress, stimulating senesce to produce antioxidants and improving plant tolerance to drought stress by regulating water status. Researchers have adopted different strategies to evaluate the role of selenium in plants under drought stress. Some of the relevant work available regarding the role of Se in alleviating adverse effect of drought stress is discussed in this paper.

  13. Exogenous treatments with phytohormones can improve growth and nickel yield of hyperaccumulating plants.

    PubMed

    Cabello-Conejo, M I; Prieto-Fernández, A; Kidd, P S

    2014-10-01

    The application of plant growth regulators (PGRs) or phytohormones could be an interesting option for stimulating biomass production of hyperaccumulating plants and, consequently, their metal phytoextraction capacity. The effect of exogenous applications of phytohormones (PGR) on the Ni phytoextraction capacity of four Ni hyperaccumulating species (Alyssum corsicum, Alyssum malacitanum, Alyssum murale and Noccaea goesingense) was evaluated. Four different commercially available phytohormones (B, C, K and P) based on gibberellins, cytokinins and auxins were applied to the plant aerial tissues. Each product was applied at three different concentrations (B1-3, C1-3, K1-3 and P1-3). The effect on biomass production was dependent on the species, the PGR type and the concentration at which it was applied. Two of the four products (K and P) consistently increased biomass production compared to untreated control plants in all four plant species. On the other hand, all four products led to a significant increase in the number of branches (and leaves in the case of N. goesingense) of all four species compared to control plants. Application of phytohormones generally led to a reduction in shoot Ni concentration. Nonetheless, in some cases as a consequence of the increase observed in biomass after the application of phytohormones a significant increase in the Ni phytoextraction efficiency was also observed (but this was species- and PGR type-dependent). The results show that PGRs can be successfully used to improve the growth and biomass production of hyperaccumulating species such as Alyssum and Noccaea. However, an increase in biomass did not always lead to a higher Ni removal, and the most effective PGR for increasing Ni removal was the IAA-based product. PMID:25016589

  14. Bromeliad-living spiders improve host plant nutrition and growth.

    PubMed

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Mazzafera, Paulo; Vasconcellos-Neto, Joao; Trivelin, Paulo C O

    2006-04-01

    Although bromeliads are believed to obtain nutrients from debris deposited by animals in their rosettes, there is little evidence to support this assumption. Using stable isotope methods, we found that the Neotropical jumping spider Psecas chapoda (Salticidae), which lives strictly associated with the terrestrial bromeliad Bromelia balansae, contributed 18% of the total nitrogen of its host plant in a greenhouse experiment. In a one-year field experiment, plants with spiders produced leaves 15% longer than plants from which the spiders were excluded. This is the first study to show nutrient provisioning in a spider-plant system. Because several animal species live strictly associated with bromeliad rosettes, this type of facultative mutualism involving the Bromeliaceae may be more common than previously thought.

  15. Process energy efficiency improvement in Wisconsin cheese plants

    SciTech Connect

    Zehr, S.; Mitchell, J.; Reinemann, D.; Klein, S.; Reindl, D.

    1997-07-01

    Costs for the energy involved in cheese making has a major impact on profit. Although industrial cheese plants differ in size, production equipment, and the manner in which whey is processed, there are common elements in most plants. This paper evaluates several process integration opportunities at two representative cheese plants in Wisconsin. Pinch analysis is used to help assess the heat recovery potential for the major thermal processes in the plants. The potential of using packaged cheese as a thermal storage medium to allow electrical demand shifting in the cold storage warehouse is evaluated and shown to be feasible. Three major conservation measures are identified with a total cost savings of $130,000 to $160,000 annually.

  16. Formosa Plastics Corporation: Plant-Wide Assessment of Texas Plant Identifies Opportunities for Improving Process Efficiency and Reducing Energy Costs

    SciTech Connect

    2005-01-01

    At Formosa Plastics Corporation's plant in Point Comfort, Texas, a plant-wide assessment team analyzed process energy requirements, reviewed new technologies for applicability, and found ways to improve the plant's energy efficiency. The assessment team identified the energy requirements of each process and compared actual energy consumption with theoretical process requirements. The team estimated that total annual energy savings would be about 115,000 MBtu for natural gas and nearly 14 million kWh for electricity if the plant makes several improvements, which include upgrading the gas compressor impeller, improving the vent blower system, and recovering steam condensate for reuse. Total annual cost savings could be $1.5 million. The U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program cosponsored this assessment.

  17. Resveratrol biosynthesis: plant metabolic engineering for nutritional improvement of food.

    PubMed

    Giovinazzo, Giovanna; Ingrosso, Ilaria; Paradiso, Annalisa; De Gara, Laura; Santino, Angelo

    2012-09-01

    The plant polyphenol trans-resveratrol (3, 5, 4'-trihydroxystilbene) mainly found in grape, peanut and other few plants, displays a wide range of biological effects. Numerous in vitro studies have described various biological effects of resveratrol. In order to provide more information regarding absorption, metabolism, and bioavailability of resveratrol, various research approaches have been performed, including in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models. In recent years, the induction of resveratrol synthesis in plants which normally do not accumulate such polyphenol, has been successfully achieved by molecular engineering. In this context, the ectopic production of resveratrol has been reported to have positive effects both on plant resistance to biotic stress and the enhancement of the nutritional value of several widely consumed fruits and vegetables. The metabolic engineering of plants offers the opportunity to change the content of specific phytonutrients in plant - derived foods. This review focuses on the latest findings regarding on resveratrol bioproduction and its effects on the prevention of the major pathological conditions in man.

  18. Comparison of toxic heavy metals concentration in medicinal plants and their respective branded herbal formulations commonly available in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    PubMed

    Shah, Waheed Ali; Zakiullah; Khuda, Fazli; Khan, Faridullah; Saeed, Muhammad

    2016-07-01

    The present study was conducted on fifteen medicinal plants and their respective branded formulations, commonly used in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for the evaluation of toxic heavy metals. The purpose of the study was to assess the toxic profile of the crude medicinal plants with respect to the worldwide permissible limits of metal concentrations and to correlate it with their respective herbal formulations available on the market. Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Lead (Pb), Manganese (Mn) and Nickel (Ni) content were evaluated using wet digestion and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry technique. The results exhibited that in 100% of the analyzed medicinal plants Cr and Ni are present in excess of the maximum limits, Cu and Pb in 73% and 60% respectively, while Mn is in the normal range. Likewise in the respective branded formulations Cr and Ni exceed the normal limit in 100% of the products, Cu and Pb in 27% and 20% of the products respectively, while Mn is in the normal range. It indicates that majority of people in Pakistan who frequently use herbal drugs in various forms are exposed to the hazardous elements, which may pose serious health effects. Regulatory measures should therefore be taken to protect the general public from their hazardous health effects. PMID:27393438

  19. A natural plant growth promoter calliterpenone from a plant Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl improves the plant growth promoting effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs).

    PubMed

    Maji, Deepamala; Barnawal, Deepti; Gupta, Aakansha; King, Shikha; Singh, A K; Kalra, A

    2013-05-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of calliterpenone, a natural plant growth promoter from a shrub Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl., in enhancing the growth and yield promoting effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), in menthol mint (Mentha arvensis L).This study is based on our previous results indicating the microbial growth promotion by calliterpenone and assumption that application of calliterpenone along with PGPRs will improve the population of PGPRs resulting in higher impacts on plant growth and yield. Of the 15 PGPRs (identified as potent ones in our laboratory), 25 μl of 0.01 mM calliterpenone (8.0 μg/100 ml) was found to be useful in improving the population of nine PGPRs in culture media. The five selected strains of PGPRs exhibiting synergy with calliterpenone in enhancing growth of maize compared to PGPR or calliterpenone alone were selected and tested on two cultivars (cvs. Kosi and Kushal) of M. arvensis. Of the five strains, Bacillus subtilis P-20 (16S rDNA sequence homologous to Accession No NR027552) and B. subtilis Daz-26 (16SrDNA sequence homologuos to Accession No GU998816) were found to be highly effective in improving the herb and essential oil yield in the cultivars Kushal and Kosi respectively when co-treated with calliterpenone. The results open up the possibilities of using a natural growth promoter along with PGPRs as a bio-agri input for sustainable and organic agriculture.

  20. Improving the turbine district heating installations of single-circuit nuclear power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondurov, E. P.; Kruglikov, P. A.; Smolkin, Yu. V.

    2015-10-01

    Ways for improving the turbine district heating installations of single-circuit nuclear power plants are considered as a possible approach to improving the nuclear power plant energy efficiency. The results of thermal tests carried out at one of single-circuit NPPs in Russia with a view to reveal the possibilities of improving the existing heat-transfer equipment of the turbine district heating installation without making significant investments in it were taken as a basis for the analysis. The tests have shown that there is certain energy saving potential in some individual units and elements in the turbine district heating installation's process circuit. A significant amount of thermal energy can be obtained only by decreasing the intermediate circuit temperature at the inlet to the heater of the first district-heating extraction. The taking of this measure will also lead to an additional amount of generated electricity because during operation with the partially loaded first heater, the necessary amount of heat has to be obtained from the peaking heater by reducing live steam. An additional amount of thermal energy can also be obtained by eliminating leaks through the bypass control valves. The possibility of achieving smaller consumption of electric energy for power plant auxiliaries by taking measures on reducing the available head in the intermediate circuit installation's pump unit is demonstrated. Partial cutting of pump impellers and dismantling of control valves are regarded to be the most efficient methods. The latter is attributed to qualitative control of the turbine district heating installation's thermal load. Adjustment of the noncondensable gas removal system will make it possible to improve the performance of the turbine district heating installation's heat-transfer equipment owing to bringing the heat-transfer coefficients in the heaters to the design level. The obtained results can be used for estimating the energy saving potential at other

  1. Guide for prioritizing power plant productivity improvement projects: modification and simplification of the DOE/MRI methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-03-01

    In recent years, the subject of public utility power plant productivity and reliability has received significant attention from both federal and state agencies and from within the utilities. One study was a FEA-sponsored program that had as its purpose the development of improved techniques for assessing cause of power plant unavailability. The results of this study have become widely known as the DOE/MRI methodology for calculating increased power plant equivalent availability resulting from instituting improvement projects. To further the development of the DOE/MRI methodology for assessing and quantifying the effect of improvement projects, the DOE initiated studies with two states to demonstrate the methodology in operating plants. These studies were focused on applying the methodology to specific power plants (fossil-fueled and nuclear) and on identifying any difficulties in using the method. In the course of these investigations, several problems were uncovered. Various recommendations were made for both eliminating the identified deficiencies in the methodology and for simplifying several of the calculations needed to evaluate proposed plant improvements. The information provided here describes four major modifications to the DOE/MRI methodology which eliminate previously uncovered deficiencies and simplify calculational methods.

  2. Advances in RNA interference technology and its impact on nutritional improvement, disease and insect control in plants.

    PubMed

    Katoch, Rajan; Thakur, Neelam

    2013-03-01

    This review highlights the advances in the knowledge of RNA interference (RNAi) and discusses recent progress on the functionality of different components RNAi machinery operating in the organisms. The silencing of genes by RNA interference has become the technology of choice for investigation of gene functions in different organisms. The refinement in the knowledge of the endogenous RNAi pathways in plants along with the development of new strategies and applications for the improvement of nutritional value of important agricultural crops through suppression of genes in different plants have opened new vistas for nutritional security. The improvement in the nutritional status of the plants and reduction in the level of toxins or antinutrients was desired for long, but the available technology was not completely successful in achieving the tissue specific regulation of some genes. In the recent years, a number of economically important crop plants have been tested successfully for improving plant nutritional value through metabolic engineering using RNAi. The implications of this technology for crop improvement programs, including nutritional enrichment, reduction of antinutrients, disease, and insect control have been successfully tested in variety of crops with commercial considerations. The enhancement of the nutraceutical traits for the desired health benefits in common crop plants through manipulation of gene expression has been elaborated in this article. The tremendous potential with RNAi technology is expected to revolutionize the modern agriculture for meeting the growing challenges is discussed.

  3. Millwater Pumping System Optimization Improves Efficiency and Saves Energy at an Automotive Glass Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2003-03-01

    In 2001, the Visteon automotive glass plant in Nashville, Tennessee renovated its millwater pumping system. This improvement saved the plant $280,000 annually in energy and operating costs, reduced annual energy consumption by 3.2 million kilowatt-hours, reduced water consumption, improved system performance, and reduced use of water treatment chemicals.

  4. Lab to Farm: Applying Research on Plant Genetics and Genomics to Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela C.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last 300 years, plant science research has provided important knowledge and technologies for advancing the sustainability of agriculture. In this Essay, I describe how basic research advances have been translated into crop improvement, explore some lessons learned, and discuss the potential for current and future contribution of plant genetic improvement technologies to continue to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability. PMID:24915201

  5. Temporal changes in the structure of a plant-frugivore network are influenced by bird migration and fruit availability

    PubMed Central

    Andresen, Ellen; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Background. Ecological communities are dynamic collections whose composition and structure change over time, making up complex interspecific interaction networks. Mutualistic plant–animal networks can be approached through complex network analysis; these networks are characterized by a nested structure consisting of a core of generalist species, which endows the network with stability and robustness against disturbance. Those mutualistic network structures can vary as a consequence of seasonal fluctuations and food availability, as well as the arrival of new species into the system that might disorder the mutualistic network structure (e.g., a decrease in nested pattern). However, there is no assessment on how the arrival of migratory species into seasonal tropical systems can modify such patterns. Emergent and fine structural temporal patterns are adressed here for the first time for plant-frugivorous bird networks in a highly seasonal tropical environment. Methods. In a plant-frugivorous bird community, we analyzed the temporal turnover of bird species comprising the network core and periphery of ten temporal interaction networks resulting from different bird migration periods. Additionally, we evaluated how fruit abundance and richness, as well as the arrival of migratory birds into the system, explained the temporal changes in network parameters such as network size, connectance, nestedness, specialization, interaction strength asymmetry and niche overlap. The analysis included data from 10 quantitative plant-frugivorous bird networks registered from November 2013 to November 2014. Results. We registered a total of 319 interactions between 42 plant species and 44 frugivorous bird species; only ten bird species were part of the network core. We witnessed a noteworthy turnover of the species comprising the network periphery during migration periods, as opposed to the network core, which did not show significant temporal changes in species composition. Our

  6. Comparison of the Insecticidal Characteristics of Commercially Available Plant Essential Oils Against Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Norris, Edmund J; Gross, Aaron D; Dunphy, Brendan M; Bessette, Steven; Bartholomay, Lyric; Coats, Joel R

    2015-09-01

    Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae are two mosquito species that represent significant threats to global public health as vectors of Dengue virus and malaria parasites, respectively. Although mosquito populations have been effectively controlled through the use of synthetic insecticides, the emergence of widespread insecticide-resistance in wild mosquito populations is a strong motivation to explore new insecticidal chemistries. For these studies, Ae. aegypti and An. gambiae were treated with commercially available plant essential oils via topical application. The relative toxicity of each essential oil was determined, as measured by the 24-h LD(50) and percentage knockdown at 1 h, as compared with a variety of synthetic pyrethroids. For Ae. aegypti, the most toxic essential oil (patchouli oil) was ∼1,700-times less toxic than the least toxic synthetic pyrethroid, bifenthrin. For An. gambiae, the most toxic essential oil (patchouli oil) was ∼685-times less toxic than the least toxic synthetic pyrethroid. A wide variety of toxicities were observed among the essential oils screened. Also, plant essential oils were analyzed via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to identify the major components in each of the samples screened in this study. While the toxicities of these plant essential oils were demonstrated to be lower than those of the synthetic pyrethroids tested, the large amount of GC/MS data and bioactivity data for each essential oil presented in this study will serve as a valuable resource for future studies exploring the insecticidal quality of plant essential oils. PMID:26336230

  7. Cisgenesis strongly improves introgression breeding and induced translocation breeding of plants.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Evert; Schouten, Henk J

    2007-05-01

    There are two ways for genetic improvement in classical plant breeding: crossing and mutation. Plant varieties can also be improved through genetic modification; however, the present GMO regulations are based on risk assessments with the transgenes coming from non-crossable species. Nowadays, DNA sequence information of crop plants facilitates the isolation of cisgenes, which are genes from crop plants themselves or from crossable species. The increasing number of these isolated genes, and the development of transformation protocols that do not leave marker genes behind, provide an opportunity to improve plant breeding while remaining within the gene pool of the classical breeder. Compared with induced translocation and introgression breeding, cisgenesis is an improvement for gene transfer from crossable plants: it is a one-step gene transfer without linkage drag of other genes, whereas induced translocation and introgression breeding are multiple step gene transfer methods with linkage drag. The similarity of the genes used in cisgenesis compared with classical breeding is a compelling argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants. In the case of the classical breeding method induced translocation breeding, the insertion site of the genes is a priori unknown, as it is in cisgenesis. This provides another argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants, by exempting cisgenesis of plants from the GMO legislations.

  8. ERC product improvement activities for direct fuel cell power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Bentley, C.; Carlson, G.; Doyon, J.

    1995-08-01

    This program is designed to advance the carbonate fuel cell technology from the current power plant demonstration status to the commercial design in an approximately five-year period. The specific objectives which will allow attainment of the overall program goal are: (1) Define market-responsive power plant requirements and specifications, (2) Establish the design for a multifuel, low-cost, modular, market-responsive power plant, (3) Resolve power plant manufacturing issues and define the design for the commercial manufacturing facility, (4) Define the stack and BOP equipment packaging arrangement and define module designs, (5) Acquire capability to support developmental testing of stacks and BOP equipment as required to prepare for commercial design, and (6) Resolve stack and BOP equipment technology issues and design, build, and field test a modular commercial prototype power plant to demonstrate readiness for commercial entry. A seven-task program, dedicated to attaining objective(s) in the areas noted above, was initiated in December 1994. Accomplishments of the first six months are discussed in this paper.

  9. ERC product improvement activities for direct fuel cell power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Maru, H.C.; Farooque, M.; Bentley, C.

    1995-12-01

    This program is designed to advance the carbonate fuel cell technology from the current power plant demonstration status to the commercial design in an approximately five-year period. The specific objectives which will allow attainment of the overall program goal are: (1) Define market-responsive power plant requirements and specifications, (2) Establish the design for a multifuel, low-cost, modular, market-responsive power plant, (3) Resolve power plant manufacturing issues and define the design for the commercial manufacturing facility, (4) Define the stack and BOP equipment packaging arrangement and define module designs, (5) Acquire capability to support developmental testing of stacks and BOP equipment as required to prepare for commercial design, and (6) Resolve stack and BOP equipment technology issues and design, build, and field test a modular commercial prototype power plant to demonstrate readiness for commercial entry. A seven-task program, dedicated to attaining objective(s) in the areas noted above, was initiated in December 1994. Accomplishments of the first six months are discussed in this paper.

  10. Carbon cost of plant nitrogen acquisition: global carbon cycle impact from an improved plant nitrogen cycle in the Community Land Model.

    PubMed

    Shi, Mingjie; Fisher, Joshua B; Brzostek, Edward R; Phillips, Richard P

    2016-03-01

    Plants typically expend a significant portion of their available carbon (C) on nutrient acquisition - C that could otherwise support growth. However, given that most global terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) do not include the C cost of nutrient acquisition, these models fail to represent current and future constraints to the land C sink. Here, we integrated a plant productivity-optimized nutrient acquisition model - the Fixation and Uptake of Nitrogen Model - into one of the most widely used TBMs, the Community Land Model. Global plant nitrogen (N) uptake is dynamically simulated in the coupled model based on the C costs of N acquisition from mycorrhizal roots, nonmycorrhizal roots, N-fixing microbes, and retranslocation (from senescing leaves). We find that at the global scale, plants spend 2.4 Pg C yr(-1) to acquire 1.0 Pg N yr(-1) , and that the C cost of N acquisition leads to a downregulation of global net primary production (NPP) by 13%. Mycorrhizal uptake represented the dominant pathway by which N is acquired, accounting for ~66% of the N uptake by plants. Notably, roots associating with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi - generally considered for their role in phosphorus (P) acquisition - are estimated to be the primary source of global plant N uptake owing to the dominance of AM-associated plants in mid- and low-latitude biomes. Overall, our coupled model improves the representations of NPP downregulation globally and generates spatially explicit patterns of belowground C allocation, soil N uptake, and N retranslocation at the global scale. Such model improvements are critical for predicting how plant responses to altered N availability (owing to N deposition, rising atmospheric CO2 , and warming temperatures) may impact the land C sink.

  11. Carbon cost of plant nitrogen acquisition: global carbon cycle impact from an improved plant nitrogen cycle in the Community Land Model.

    PubMed

    Shi, Mingjie; Fisher, Joshua B; Brzostek, Edward R; Phillips, Richard P

    2016-03-01

    Plants typically expend a significant portion of their available carbon (C) on nutrient acquisition - C that could otherwise support growth. However, given that most global terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) do not include the C cost of nutrient acquisition, these models fail to represent current and future constraints to the land C sink. Here, we integrated a plant productivity-optimized nutrient acquisition model - the Fixation and Uptake of Nitrogen Model - into one of the most widely used TBMs, the Community Land Model. Global plant nitrogen (N) uptake is dynamically simulated in the coupled model based on the C costs of N acquisition from mycorrhizal roots, nonmycorrhizal roots, N-fixing microbes, and retranslocation (from senescing leaves). We find that at the global scale, plants spend 2.4 Pg C yr(-1) to acquire 1.0 Pg N yr(-1) , and that the C cost of N acquisition leads to a downregulation of global net primary production (NPP) by 13%. Mycorrhizal uptake represented the dominant pathway by which N is acquired, accounting for ~66% of the N uptake by plants. Notably, roots associating with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi - generally considered for their role in phosphorus (P) acquisition - are estimated to be the primary source of global plant N uptake owing to the dominance of AM-associated plants in mid- and low-latitude biomes. Overall, our coupled model improves the representations of NPP downregulation globally and generates spatially explicit patterns of belowground C allocation, soil N uptake, and N retranslocation at the global scale. Such model improvements are critical for predicting how plant responses to altered N availability (owing to N deposition, rising atmospheric CO2 , and warming temperatures) may impact the land C sink. PMID:26473512

  12. Environmental regulation of carbon isotope composition and crassulacean acid metabolism in three plant communities along a water availability gradient

    PubMed Central

    Ricalde, M. Fernanda; Durán, Rafael; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Simá, J. Luis; Us-Santamaría, Roberth; Santiago, Louis S.

    2010-01-01

    Expression of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is characterized by extreme variability within and between taxa and its sensitivity to environmental variation. In this study, we determined seasonal fluctuations in CAM photosynthesis with measurements of nocturnal tissue acidification and carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of bulk tissue and extracted sugars in three plant communities along a precipitation gradient (500, 700, and 1,000 mm year−1) on the Yucatan Peninsula. We also related the degree of CAM to light habitat and relative abundance of species in the three sites. For all species, the greatest tissue acid accumulation occurred during the rainy season. In the 500 mm site, tissue acidification was greater for the species growing at 30% of daily total photon flux density (PFD) than species growing at 80% PFD. Whereas in the two wetter sites, the species growing at 80% total PFD had greater tissue acidification. All species had values of bulk tissue δ13C less negative than −20‰, indicating strong CAM activity. The bulk tissue δ13C values in plants from the 500 mm site were 2‰ less negative than in plants from the wetter sites, and the only species growing in the three communities, Acanthocereus tetragonus (Cactaceae), showed a significant negative relationship between both bulk tissue and sugar δ13C values and annual rainfall, consistent with greater CO2 assimilation through the CAM pathway with decreasing water availability. Overall, variation in the use of CAM photosynthesis was related to water and light availability and CAM appeared to be more ecologically important in the tropical dry forests than in the coastal dune. PMID:20652592

  13. Environmental regulation of carbon isotope composition and crassulacean acid metabolism in three plant communities along a water availability gradient.

    PubMed

    Ricalde, M Fernanda; Andrade, José Luis; Durán, Rafael; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Simá, J Luis; Us-Santamaría, Roberth; Santiago, Louis S

    2010-12-01

    Expression of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is characterized by extreme variability within and between taxa and its sensitivity to environmental variation. In this study, we determined seasonal fluctuations in CAM photosynthesis with measurements of nocturnal tissue acidification and carbon isotopic composition (δ(13)C) of bulk tissue and extracted sugars in three plant communities along a precipitation gradient (500, 700, and 1,000 mm year(-1)) on the Yucatan Peninsula. We also related the degree of CAM to light habitat and relative abundance of species in the three sites. For all species, the greatest tissue acid accumulation occurred during the rainy season. In the 500 mm site, tissue acidification was greater for the species growing at 30% of daily total photon flux density (PFD) than species growing at 80% PFD. Whereas in the two wetter sites, the species growing at 80% total PFD had greater tissue acidification. All species had values of bulk tissue δ(13)C less negative than -20‰, indicating strong CAM activity. The bulk tissue δ(13)C values in plants from the 500 mm site were 2‰ less negative than in plants from the wetter sites, and the only species growing in the three communities, Acanthocereus tetragonus (Cactaceae), showed a significant negative relationship between both bulk tissue and sugar δ(13)C values and annual rainfall, consistent with greater CO(2) assimilation through the CAM pathway with decreasing water availability. Overall, variation in the use of CAM photosynthesis was related to water and light availability and CAM appeared to be more ecologically important in the tropical dry forests than in the coastal dune. PMID:20652592

  14. Environmental regulation of carbon isotope composition and crassulacean acid metabolism in three plant communities along a water availability gradient.

    PubMed

    Ricalde, M Fernanda; Andrade, José Luis; Durán, Rafael; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Simá, J Luis; Us-Santamaría, Roberth; Santiago, Louis S

    2010-12-01

    Expression of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is characterized by extreme variability within and between taxa and its sensitivity to environmental variation. In this study, we determined seasonal fluctuations in CAM photosynthesis with measurements of nocturnal tissue acidification and carbon isotopic composition (δ(13)C) of bulk tissue and extracted sugars in three plant communities along a precipitation gradient (500, 700, and 1,000 mm year(-1)) on the Yucatan Peninsula. We also related the degree of CAM to light habitat and relative abundance of species in the three sites. For all species, the greatest tissue acid accumulation occurred during the rainy season. In the 500 mm site, tissue acidification was greater for the species growing at 30% of daily total photon flux density (PFD) than species growing at 80% PFD. Whereas in the two wetter sites, the species growing at 80% total PFD had greater tissue acidification. All species had values of bulk tissue δ(13)C less negative than -20‰, indicating strong CAM activity. The bulk tissue δ(13)C values in plants from the 500 mm site were 2‰ less negative than in plants from the wetter sites, and the only species growing in the three communities, Acanthocereus tetragonus (Cactaceae), showed a significant negative relationship between both bulk tissue and sugar δ(13)C values and annual rainfall, consistent with greater CO(2) assimilation through the CAM pathway with decreasing water availability. Overall, variation in the use of CAM photosynthesis was related to water and light availability and CAM appeared to be more ecologically important in the tropical dry forests than in the coastal dune.

  15. Use of near-infrared spectroscopy to assess phosphorus fractions of different plant availability in forest soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todt, B.; Niederberger, J.; Boča, A.; Nitschke, R.; Kohler, M.; Kühn, P.; Bauhus, J.

    2015-01-01

    The fractionation of soil P into fractions of different plant availability is a common approach to characterize the P status of forest soils. However, quantification of organic and inorganic P fractions in different extracts is labour-intensive and therefore rarely applied for large sample numbers. Therefore, we examined whether different P fractions can be predicted using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). We used the Hedley method with increasingly strong extractants to determine P in fractions of different plant availability and measured NIR spectra for soil samples from sites of the German forest soil inventory and from a nature reserve in south-eastern China. The R2 of NIRS calibrations to predict P in individual Hedley fractions ranged between 0.08 and 0.85. When these were pooled into labile, moderately labile and stable fractions, R2 of calibration models was between 0.38 and 0.88. Model prediction quality was higher for organic than for inorganic P fractions and increased with the homogeneity of soil sample sets. Useful models were obtained for samples originating from one soil type in subtropical China, whereas prediction models for sample sets from a range of soil types in Germany were only moderately useful or not useful. Our results indicate that prediction of Hedley P fractions with NIRS is a promising approach to replace conventional analysis, if models are developed for sets of soil samples with similar physical and chemical properties.

  16. Nutrient availability and nutrient use efficiency in plants growing in the transition zone between land and water.

    PubMed

    Cavalli, G; Baattrup-Pedersen, A; Riis, T

    2016-03-01

    The transition zone between terrestrial and freshwater habitats is highly dynamic, with large variability in environmental characteristics. Here, we investigate how these characteristics influence the nutritional status and performance of plant life forms inhabiting this zone. Specifically, we hypothesised that: (i) tissue nutrient content differs among submerged, amphibious and terrestrial species, with higher content in submerged species; and (ii) PNUE gradually increases from submerged over amphibious to terrestrial species, reflecting differences in the availability of N and P relative to inorganic C across the land-water ecotone. We found that tissue nutrient content was generally higher in submerged species and C:N and C:P ratios indicated that content was limiting for growth for ca. 20% of plant individuals, particularly those belonging to amphibious and terrestrial species groups. As predicted, the PNUE increased from submerged over amphibious to terrestrial species. We suggest that this pattern reflects that amphibious and terrestrial species allocate proportionally more nutrients into processes of importance for photosynthesis at saturating CO2 availability, i.e. enzymes involved in substrate regeneration, compared to submerged species that are acclimated to lower availability of CO2 in the aquatic environment. Our results indicate that enhanced nutrient loading may affect relative abundance of the three species groups in the land-water ecotone of stream ecosystems. Thus, species of amphibious and terrestrial species groups are likely to benefit more from enhanced nutrient availability in terms of faster growth compared to aquatic species, and that this can be detrimental to aquatic species growing in the land-water ecotone, e.g. Ranunculus and Callitriche. PMID:26414531

  17. Using a plant hormone and a thioligand to improve phytoremediation of Hg-contaminated soil from a petrochemical plant.

    PubMed

    Cassina, L; Tassi, E; Pedron, F; Petruzzelli, G; Ambrosini, P; Barbafieri, M

    2012-09-15

    Mercury-contaminated soils from a petrochemical plant in southern Italy were investigated to assess the phytoextraction efficiency of crop plants treated with the phytohormone, cytokinine (CK foliar treatment), and with the thioligand, ammonium thiosulfate (TS, soil application). Plant biomass, evapotranspiration, Hg uptake and distribution in plant tissues following treatment were compared. Results indicate the effectiveness of CK in increasing plant biomass and the evapotranspiration rate while TS treatment promoted soil Hg solubility and availability. The simultaneous addition of CK and TS treatments increased Hg uptake and translocation in both tested plants with up to 248 and 232% in Brassica juncea (Indian mustard) and Helianthus annuus (sunflower) respectively. B. juncea was more effective in Hg uptake, whereas H. annuus gave better response regarding plant biomass production. The effectiveness of the treatments was confirmed by the calculation of Hg phytoextraction and evaluation of labile-Hg residue in the soil after plant growth. In one growing cycle the plants subject to simultaneous CK and TS treatment significantly reduced labile-Hg pools that were characterized by the soil sequential extraction, but did not significantly affect the pseudototal metal content in the soil. Results support the use of plant growth regulators in the assisted phytoextraction process for Hg-contaminated soils.

  18. Optimization of the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) method for simultaneous assay of potassium and plant-available phosphorus in soils.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yulin; Mason, Sean; McNeill, Ann; McLaughlin, Michael J

    2013-09-15

    Potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) are two important macronutrients for crops, and are usually applied to soils as granular fertilizer before seeding. Therefore, accurate soil tests prior to planting to predict crop response to fertilizers are important in optimizing crop yields. Traditional methods used for testing both available K and P in soils, which are based on chemical extraction procedures, are to be soil-type dependent, and the predictive relationships across a broad range of soils are generally poor. The diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique, based on diffusion theory, is extensively used to measure the diffusive supply of trace elements, metals and some nutrients in soils and water. When DGT is used to assess plant-available P in soils, a good relationship is found between crop response to P fertilizer and concentrations of P in soil measured by DGT, and therefore the DGT method provides a more precise recommendation of P fertilizer requirements. Adaptation of the DGT method to measure plant-available K in soils has already been attempted [1], but limitations were reported due to the non-uniform size of the resin gel, decreased K binding rate of the gel at long deployment times and a limited ability to measure a wide range of K concentrations. To eliminate these problems, a new resin gel has been developed by combining Amberlite and ferrihydrite. This mixed Amberlite and ferrihydrite (MAF) gel has improved properties in terms of handling and even distribution of Amberlite in the gel. The elution efficiencies of the MAF gel for K and P were 90% and 96%, respectively. The diffusion coefficient of K through the diffusive gel was 1.30 × 10(-5)cm(2)s(-1) at 22 ± 1°C and was stable through time. Since ferrihydrite is already used in DGT P testing, the ability of the MAF gel to assess available P simultaneously was also assessed. The MAF gel performed the same as the traditional ferrihydrite gel for available P assessment in a wide variety of

  19. Using plant canopy temperature to improve irrigated crop management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Remotely sensed plant canopy temperature has long been recognized as having potential as a tool for irrigation management. However, a number of barriers have prevented its routine use in practice, such as the spatial and temporal resolution of remote sensing platforms, limitations in computing capac...

  20. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. This study develops a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which was used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Methods Snow cover in the French Alps was mapped at 15-m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years, and a generalized additive model (GAM) was fitted for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation data at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots, including species richness, community-weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content. Key Results Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared without led to an average gain in R2 of 0·26 and reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. Conclusions The results show that in alpine environments high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. The results further indicate that

  1. The use of fault tolerant and testable high performance integrated circuits for improved military electronic system availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bart, J. J.

    1985-08-01

    The rapid evolution of high performance Very Large Scale Integrated Circuits (VLSICs) has resulted in accelerated opportunities for improving the operational performance of military electronic systems. In addition, the microelectronics technology base also holds the promise of providing improvements in the operational availability, survivability and logistics supportability of these complex systems. The basics for these advances lies in the ability to design microelectronics based systems which are much more fault tolerant and more easily testable than those which have been developed to date. The current activities in the design of testable/fault tolerant integrated circuits are reviewed and areas for future emphasis are suggested.

  2. Genetic improvement of plants for enhanced bio-ethanol production.

    PubMed

    Saha, Sanghamitra; Ramachandran, Srinivasan

    2013-04-01

    The present world energy situation urgently requires exploring and developing alternate, sustainable sources for fuel. Biofuels have proven to be an effective energy source but more needs to be produced to meet energy goals. Whereas first generation biofuels derived from mainly corn and sugarcane continue to be used and produced, the contentious debate between "feedstock versus foodstock" continues. The need for sources that can be grown under different environmental conditions has led to exploring newer sources. Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive source for production of biofuel, but pretreatment costs to remove lignin are high and the process is time consuming. Genetically modified plants that have increased sugar or starch content, modified lignin content, or produce cellulose degrading enzymes are some options that are being explored and tested. This review focuses on current research on increasing production of biofuels by genetic engineering of plants to have desirable characteristics. Recent patents that have been filed in this area are also discussed.

  3. AN INDEX OF THE AVAILABLE MEDICINAL PLANTS, USED IN INDIAN SYSTEM OF MEDICINE FROM JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, T. N.; Rajasekharan, S.; Badola, D. P.; Shah, D. C.

    1986-01-01

    The medicinal plants used in Indian system of medicine and its distribution in Jammu and Kashmir has been categorized systematically here. The paper deals with 246 medicinal plants and has to off-set an index which is not there so far. Out of 246 medicinal plants 12 plants are considered to be controversial. Substitutes, Adulterants of these plants which are being used in various parts of India were also recorded separately in this study. PMID:22557549

  4. Improvement of existing nightsoil treatment plant for nitrogen removal.

    PubMed

    Lim, B S; Kim, J U; Park, H D

    2004-01-01

    This study was performed to increase the treatment efficiency and to reduce operation and maintenance costs of the existing nightsoil treatment plant. The existing nightsoil plant was not established by the nitrogen removal process, and was operated ineffectively with deterioration of treatment efficiency rate, and according to the demand of many operators, the expenses of operation and maintenance have become excessive. Modified plant has been changed through two steps. The first step, liquid decayed tank using closed oxidation ditch is operated to increase retention time only for nitrification. The second step, modified liquid decayed tank including anoxic tank is operated, it has an excellent nitrogen removal rate. In first step, when HRT was increased from 10 days to 13 days in liquid decayed tank including aeration tank using closed oxidation ditch, TN concentration of effluent appeared below 51 mg/L less than discharge limit, 60 mg/L. In second step, when anoxic tank and oxic tank were installed, HRT has been increased to 13 days and 26 days, respectively. Then average TN concentration of effluent was detected less than 13 mg/L for over one year. The simple process modified the existing two processes resulted in the reduction of costs for operation and maintenance in the personnel, chemical, and filter change sphere.

  5. Mathematical modeling and fuzzy availability analysis for serial processes in the crystallization system of a sugar plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aggarwal, Anil Kr.; Kumar, Sanjeev; Singh, Vikram

    2016-08-01

    The binary states, i.e., success or failed state assumptions used in conventional reliability are inappropriate for reliability analysis of complex industrial systems due to lack of sufficient probabilistic information. For large complex systems, the uncertainty of each individual parameter enhances the uncertainty of the system reliability. In this paper, the concept of fuzzy reliability has been used for reliability analysis of the system, and the effect of coverage factor, failure and repair rates of subsystems on fuzzy availability for fault-tolerant crystallization system of sugar plant is analyzed. Mathematical modeling of the system is carried out using the mnemonic rule to derive Chapman-Kolmogorov differential equations. These governing differential equations are solved with Runge-Kutta fourth-order method.

  6. Use of near-infrared spectroscopy to assess phosphorus fractions of different plant availability in forest soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niederberger, J.; Todt, B.; Boča, A.; Nitschke, R.; Kohler, M.; Kühn, P.; Bauhus, J.

    2015-06-01

    The analysis of soil phosphorus (P) in fractions of different plant availability is a common approach to characterize the P status of forest soils. However, quantification of organic and inorganic P fractions in different extracts is labor intensive and therefore rarely applied for large sample numbers. Therefore, we examined whether different P fractions can be predicted using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). We used the Hedley sequential extraction method (modified by Tiessen and Moir, 2008) with increasingly strong extractants to determine P in fractions of different plant availability and measured near-infrared (NIR) spectra for soil samples from sites of the German forest soil inventory and from a nature reserve in southeastern China. The R2 of NIRS calibrations to predict P in individual Hedley fractions ranged between 0.08 and 0.85. When these fractions were combined into labile, moderately labile and stable P pools, R2 of calibration models was between 0.38 and 0.88 (all significant). Model prediction quality was higher for organic than for inorganic P fractions and increased with the homogeneity of soil properties in soil sample sets. Useable models were obtained for samples originating from one soil type in subtropical China, whereas prediction models for sample sets from a range of soil types in Germany were only moderately useable or not useable. Our results indicate that prediction of Hedley P fractions with NIRS can be a promising approach to replace conventional analysis, if models are developed for sets of soil samples with similar physical and chemical properties, e.g., from the same soil type or study site.

  7. Potential of hypocotyl diameter in family selection aiming at plant architecture improvement of common bean.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, A M C; Batista, R O; Carneiro, P C S; Carneiro, J E S; Cruz, C D

    2015-09-28

    Cultivars of common bean with more erect plant architecture and greater tolerance to degree of lodging are required by producers. Thus, to evaluate the potential of hypocotyl diameter (HD) in family selection for plant architecture improvement of common bean, the HDs of 32 F2 plants were measured in 3 distinct populations, and the characteristics related to plant architecture were analyzed in their progenies. Ninety-six F2:3 families and 4 controls were evaluated in a randomized block design, with 3 replications, analyzing plant architecture grade, HD, and grain yield during the winter 2010 and drought 2011 seasons. We found that the correlation between the HD of F2 plants and traits related to plant architecture of F2:3 progenies were of low magnitude compared to the estimates for correlations considering the parents, indicating a high environmental influence on HD in bean plants. There was a predominance of additive genetic effects on the determination of hypocotyl diameter, which showed higher precision and accuracy compared to plant architecture grade. Thus, this characteristic can be used to select progenies in plant architecture improvement of common beans; however, selection must be based on the means of at least 39 plants in the plot, according to the results of repeatability analysis.

  8. Marble wastes and pig slurry improve the environmental and plant-relevant properties of mine tailings.

    PubMed

    Kabas, S; Faz, A; Acosta, J A; Arocena, J M; Zornoza, R; Martínez-Martínez, S; Carmona, D M

    2014-02-01

    Poor soil fertility is often the biggest challenge to the establishment of vegetation in mine wastes deposits. We conducted field trials in the El Gorguel and El Lirio sites in SE Spain, two representative tailing ponds of similar properties except for pH, to understand the environmental and plant-relevant benefits of marble waste (MW) and pig slurry (PS) applications to mine tailings. Low pH (5.4) tailings (El Lirio) exhibit reduction of up to fourfold in bio-availability of metals as shown by the DTPA-Zn, Pb, water-soluble Zn, Pb and up to 3× for water-soluble Cd. Tailings in El Gorguel have high pH (7.4) and did not exhibit significant trends in the reductions of water-extractable Zn, Pb, Cd and Cu. Improvements to the edaphic (plant-relevant) properties of tailings after the amendments are not as sensitive to pH compared to the environmental characteristics. The two sites had increases in aggregate stability, organic matter (total N and organic C) although total N is higher in the El Gorguel (up to 212 μg N kg(-1)) than the El Lirio (up to 26 μg N kg(-1)). However, cation exchange capacities are similar in both sites at 15.2 cmol(+) kg(-1). We conclude that the characteristics, especially pH, of tailing materials significantly influence the fate of metals but not improvements to plant-relevant properties such as cation exchange capacity and aggregate stability 1 year after the application of MW and PS amendments.

  9. Vermicomposting of herbal pharmaceutical industry waste: earthworm growth, plant-available nutrient and microbial quality of end materials.

    PubMed

    Singh, Deepika; Suthar, Surindra

    2012-05-01

    Efforts were made to decompose herbal pharmaceutical industrial waste (HPIW) spiked with cow dung (CD) using Eisenia fetida. A total of five vermibeds: T(1) - HPIW (0%+CD 100%, control), T(2) - HPIW (25%), T(3) - HPIW (50%), T(4) - HPIW (75%) and T(5) - HPIW (100%) were used for vermicomposting. The changes in biology and chemistry of vermibeds were measured after ten days interval. E. fetida showed high growth and cocoon production rate in all vermibeds. The vermicomposted material contained great population of fungi 6.0-40.6 (CFU × 10(5)g(-1)), bacteria 220-1276.0 (CFU × 10(8)g(-1)) and actinomycetes 410.0-2962.0 (CFU × 10(5)g(-1)) than initial material. Vermicomposted material was rich in plant-available forms of nutrients (N-NO(3)(-),PO(4)(3-),available K and SO(4)(-2)). Results suggested that noxious industrial waste can be converted into valuable product for sustainable soil fertility programme.

  10. 78 FR 13312 - Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-27

    ... 7 CFR part 340, ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic... and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is... or plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman animal, a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a...

  11. Difficulties in using soil-based methods to assess plant availability of potentially toxic elements in biochars and their feedstocks.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Mark; Rangott, Glen; Krull, Evelyn

    2013-04-15

    The use of biochars in agriculture to improve soil function and carbon sequestration is expected to increase into the future. We aimed to identify the most suitable chemical extractants for the risk assessment of potentially toxic element (PTE) availability in biochars produced from a range of feedstocks, and to investigate the changes in PTE extractability that occur as a result of feedstock pyrolysis using five common extraction methods. We evaluated these methods with regard to their ability to predict PTE phytoavailability in four different biochars against metal uptake by wheat. No single extractant significantly correlated well with ≥ 4 PTEs from the 10 examined, highlighting that the availability and binding mechanism of individual PTEs differed by biochar type. Commonly used PTE extraction methods need to be reviewed for use with biochars, and that some biochars may be able to stabilise PTEs, reducing risks of contamination upon land application.

  12. Improved method for the isolation of RNA from plant tissues.

    PubMed

    Logemann, J; Schell, J; Willmitzer, L

    1987-05-15

    A fast and efficient method for the isolation of RNA from plant tissues is described. Tuber tissue is homogenized in a guanidine hydrochloride-containing buffer followed by direct extraction with phenol/chloroform. The RNA is precipitated from the aqueous phase, washed with 3 M sodium acetate and 70% ethanol, and finally dissolved in water. The yield of RNA is up to 500 micrograms/g of tissue and several tests indicate intact and nondegraded RNA. This method can be adapted to a small-scale version by the use of 1.5-ml tubes, allowing rapid isolation of RNA from a larger number of samples. Finally, this method is of particular use for isolating RNA from tissues with a high polysaccharide and nuclease content such as wounded potato tubers. PMID:2441623

  13. Edwin I. Hatch nuclear plant implementation of improved technical specifications

    SciTech Connect

    Mahler, S.R.; Pendry, D.

    1994-12-31

    Edwin I. Hatch nuclear plant consists of two General Electric boiling water reactor/4 units, with a common control room and a common refueling floor. In March 1993, Hatch began conversion of both units` technical specifications utilizing NUREG 1433. The technical specifications amendment request was submitted February 25, 1994. Issuance is scheduled for October 21, 1994, with implementation on March 15, 1994. The current unit-1 technical specifications are in the {open_quotes}custom{close_quotes} format, and the unit-2 technical specifications are in the old standard format. Hatch previously relocated the fire protection and radiological technical specifications requirements. The Hatch conversion will provide consistency between the two units, to the extent practicable.

  14. Novel enabling technologies of gene isolation and plant transformation for improved crop protection

    SciTech Connect

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

    Meeting the needs of agricultural producers requires the continued development of improved transgenic crop protection products. The completed project focused on developing novel enabling technologies of gene discovery and plant transformation to facilitate the generation of such products.

  15. Remote Sensing and Modeling for Improving Operational Aquatic Plant Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, Dave

    2016-01-01

    The California Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the hub for California’s water supply, conveying water from Northern to Southern California agriculture and communities while supporting important ecosystem services, agriculture, and communities in the Delta. Changes in climate, long-term drought, water quality changes, and expansion of invasive aquatic plants threatens ecosystems, impedes ecosystem restoration, and is economically, environmentally, and sociologically detrimental to the San Francisco Bay/California Delta complex. NASA Ames Research Center and the USDA-ARS partnered with the State of California and local governments to develop science-based, adaptive-management strategies for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The project combines science, operations, and economics related to integrated management scenarios for aquatic weeds to help land and waterway managers make science-informed decisions regarding management and outcomes. The team provides a comprehensive understanding of agricultural and urban land use in the Delta and the major water sheds (San Joaquin/Sacramento) supplying the Delta and interaction with drought and climate impacts on the environment, water quality, and weed growth. The team recommends conservation and modified land-use practices and aids local Delta stakeholders in developing management strategies. New remote sensing tools have been developed to enhance ability to assess conditions, inform decision support tools, and monitor management practices. Science gaps in understanding how native and invasive plants respond to altered environmental conditions are being filled and provide critical biological response parameters for Delta-SWAT simulation modeling. Operational agencies such as the California Department of Boating and Waterways provide testing and act as initial adopter of decision support tools. Methods developed by the project can become routine land and water management tools in complex river delta systems.

  16. Chemical and plant tests to assess the viability of amendments to reduce metal availability in mine soils and tailings.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Luis; Gómez, Rocío; Sánchez, Virtudes; Alonso-Azcárate, Jacinto

    2016-04-01

    The goal of this research was to assess the potential of several industrial wastes to immobilise metals in two polluted soils deriving from an old Pb/Zn mine. Two different approaches were used to assess the performance of different amendments: a chemical one, using extraction by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and a biological one, using Lupinus albus as a bio-indicator. Four amendments were used: inorganic sugar production waste (named 'sugar foam', SF), sludge from a drinking water treatment sludge (DWS), organic waste from olive mill waste (OMW) and paper mill sludge (PMS). Amendment to soil ratios ranged from 0.1 to 0.3 (w/w). All the amendments were capable of significantly decreasing (p < 0.05) EDTA-extractable Pb, Zn and Cu concentrations in the two soils used, with decreases in ranges 21-100, 25-100 and 2-100 % for Pb, Zn and Cu, respectively. The amendments tested were also effective in reducing the bioavailability of Pb and Zn for L. albus, which gave rise to a decrease in shoot metal accumulation by the lupine plants compared to that found in the control soil. That decrease reached up to 5.6 and 2.8 times for Pb and Zn, respectively, being statistically significant in most cases. Moreover, application of the OMW, DWS and SF amendments led to higher average values of plant biomass (up to 71%) than those obtained in the control soil. The results obtained showed the technology put forward to be a viable means of remediating mine soils as it led to a decrease in the availability and toxicity of metals and, thus, facilitated the growth of a vegetation layer. PMID:25772873

  17. Limited mate availability decreases reproductive success of fragmented populations of Linnaea borealis, a rare, clonal self-incompatible plant

    PubMed Central

    Scobie, A. R.; Wilcock, C. C.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Small populations of rare plant species are increasingly reported to have high levels of reproductive failure. The objective of this study was to understand the principal constraints on sexual reproduction in small fragmented populations of a rare clonal self-incompatible plant. Methods The pollinator spectrum, diversity of flower colour, natural pollination and fruit-set levels of L. borealis were examined in Scotland. Artificially crossed seed production was compared within and between different flower colour types and patches. Key Results Linnaea borealis was pollinated by a diverse spectrum of insect species and the principal pollinators were muscid, syrphid and empid flies which mostly moved only small distances (<0·25 m) between flowers when foraging. Natural pollination levels were high, indicating high pollinator effectiveness, but fruit set was very low in most patches. Flower colour diversity was low in most patches and only those with a diversity of flower colour types had high fruiting success. Pollination experiments showed L. borealis to be highly self-incompatible and artificial crosses within and between patches and flower colour types confirmed that low fruit success was the result of a lack of compatible mates and limited pollen movement between them. Evidence of isolation from pollen exchange was apparent at as little as 6 m and severe at 30 m and beyond. Conclusions Limited mate availability and isolation from pollen exchange compromise the reproductive success of fragmented populations of L. borealis in Scotland. A diversity of compatible mates situated within close proximity (<6 m) is the key requirement to ensure high natural fruiting success. This study emphasizes that an understanding of the breeding system, pollinator spectrum and potential for interconnectivity via pollinator movement are fundamental to identify isolation distances and to establish when conservation intervention is necessary for rare species. PMID

  18. Plant available nitrogen from anaerobically digested sludge and septic tank sludge applied to crops grown in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Sripanomtanakorn, S; Polprasert, C

    2002-04-01

    Agricultural land is an attractive alternative for the disposal of biosolids since it utilises the recyclable nutrients in the production of crops. In Thailand and other tropical regions, limited field-study information exists on the effect of biosolids management strategies on crop N utilisation and plant available N (PAN) of biosolids. A field study was conducted to quantify the PAN of the applied biosolids, and to evaluate the N uptake rates of some tropical crops. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) were chosen in this study. Two types of biosolids used were: anaerobically digested sludge and septic tank sludge. The soil is acid sulfate and is classified as Sulfic Tropaquepts with heavy clay in texture. The anaerobically digested sludge applied rates were: 0, 156 and 312 kg N ha(-1) for the sunflower plots, and 0, 586, and 1172 kg N ha(-1) for the tomato plots. The septic tank sludge applied rates were: 0, 95 and 190 kg N ha(-1) for the sunflower plots, and 0, 354 and 708 kg N ha(-1) for the tomato plots, respectively. The results indicated the feasibility of applying biosolids to grow tropical crops. The applications of the anaerobically digested sludge and the septic tank sludge resulted in the yields of sunflower seeds and tomato fruits and the plant N uptakes comparable or better than that applied with only the chemical fertiliser. The estimated PAN of the anaerobically digested sludge was about 27-42% of the sludge organic N during the growing season. For the septic tank sludge, the PAN was about 15-58% of the sludge organic N. It is interesting to observe that an increase of the rate of septic tank sludge incorporated into this heavy clay soil under the cropping system resulted in the decrease of N mineralisation rate. This situation could cause the reduction of yield and N uptake of crops.

  19. Groundwater Availability Alters Soil-plant Nutrient Cycling in a Stand of Invasive, N-fixing Phreatophytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudley, B. D.; Miyazawa, Y.; Hughes, F.; Ostertag, R.; Kettwich, S. K.; MacKenzie, R.; Dulaiova, H.; Waters, C. A.; Bishop, J.; Giambelluca, T. W.

    2013-12-01

    N-fixing phreatophytic trees are common in arid and semi-arid regions worldwide, and can play significant roles in modifying hydrology and soil-plant nutrient cycling where they are present. In light of reductions in groundwater levels in many arid regions we estimated annual transpiration rates at a stand level, and alterations to C, N and P accretion in soils as a function of groundwater depth in a ca.120 year old stand of Prosopis pallida along an elevation gradient in coastal leeward Hawaii. We measured sapflow and stand level sapwood area to quantify transpiration, and calculated groundwater transpiration rates using P. pallida stem water δ18O values. By measuring soil resistivity, we were able to compare the volume of groundwater transpired by these trees to groundwater depth across the stand. We examined nutrient deposition and accretion in soils in lowland areas of the stand with accessible shallow groundwater, compared to upland areas with no groundwater access, as indicated by stem water δ18O values. Resistivity results suggested that groundwater was at a height close to sea level throughout the stand. Transpiration was around 1900 m3 ha-1 year-1 in the areas of the stand closest to the sea (where groundwater was at around 1-4 m below ground level) and decreased to around a tenth of that volume where groundwater was not accessible. Litterfall rates over the course of the year studied were 17 times greater at lowland sites, but this litterfall contributed ca. 24 times the N, and 35 times the P of upland sites. Thus, groundwater access contributed to the total mass of nitrogen and phosphorus deposited in the form of litter through higher litter quantity and quality. Total N content of soils was 4.7 times greater and inorganic N pools were eight times higher at lowland plots. These results suggest that groundwater depth can have strong effects on soil-plant nutrient cycling, so that reductions in the availability of shallow groundwater are likely to impact

  20. Lubrication contributes to improved landfill cogeneration plant operation

    SciTech Connect

    1995-10-01

    The Prince George`s county, Maryland, cogeneration plant consists of three lean-burn, 12-cylinder, Waukesha 5790GL turbocharged gas engines, each powering an 850 kW Kato generator. Four Waukesha F1197G engines run gas compressors that draw and compress gas from the landfill, pumping an average of 28000 m{sup 3}/day at 6.2 bar from 29 wells. Landfill gas is 50% methane, 30% carbon dioxide, 10% nitrogen and 10% other gas constituents. These other gas constituents consist of 160 chemical compounds, many of which are very destructive to engines and other equipment. Probably the worst of these are the total organic halide expressed as chloride (TOH/CL), formed from the decomposition of household cleaning preparations and other materials containing chlorides. Landfill gas also contains an abundance of water, which combines not only with the TOH/CLs but with oxides of nitrogen, which are by-products of the combustion process, to form acids. To handle the highly contaminated landfill gas, the Waukesha Engine Division and people from Curtis Engine and Equipment modified the equipment and maintenance practices. One of the first changes was in lubrication. Curtis switched from a standard gas engine oil to Mobile Pegasus 446 oil, an SAE 40 oil that has a total base number (TBN) of 9.5, because of its extended acid-neutralizing capabilities.

  1. Improved conversion of herbaceous biomass to biofuels: Potential for modification of key plant characteristics

    SciTech Connect

    Sladden, S.E.; Bransby, D.I. . Dept. of Agronomy and Soils)

    1989-10-01

    Biomass crops are converted to fuels via biochemical and thermochemical processes. The process preferred depends on properties and cost of available feedstocks, and on the specific products desired. Since most mature biomass crops are composed of up to 80% cell wall fibers, the properties of these fibers determine, to a large degree, the conversion potential of the crop. However, biomass crops also contain small amounts of proteins, soluble carbohydrates and interfering materials (e.g., tannins and silica) which also influence the desirability of the feedstock in specific conversion processes. Fortunately, wide variation exists in the chemical composition of potential biomass crops. Although the chemical composition of feedstocks can be influenced significantly with judicious management has species selection, some traits are sufficiently heritable to permit breeding for improved feedstock composition. In addition to breeding for specific compositional traits directly, selection for in vitro digestibility or for easily-measured canopy or physiological traits may lead to more rapid and efficient progress in feedstock improvement, provided those measurements are highly-correlated with desirable feedstock composition. At the same time breeders must improve, or at least avoid damaging, stand longevity, tendency of plants to lodge, and establishment traits (e.g., disease resistance and seedling vigor). 46 refs., 8 tabs.

  2. Improvement of growth rate of plants by bubble discharge in water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahata, Junichiro; Takaki, Koichi; Satta, Naoya; Takahashi, Katsuyuki; Fujio, Takuya; Sasaki, Yuji

    2015-01-01

    The effect of bubble discharge in water on the growth rate of plants was investigated experimentally for application to plant cultivation systems. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea), radish (Raphanus sativus var. sativus), and strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) were used as specimens to clarify the effect of the discharge treatment on edible parts of the plants. The specimens were cultivated in pots filled with artificial soil, which included chicken manure charcoal. Distilled water was sprayed on the artificial soil and drained through a hole in the pots to a water storage tank. The water was circulated from the water storage tank to the cultivation pots after 15 or 30 min discharge treatment on alternate days. A magnetic compression-type pulsed power generator was used to produce the bubble discharge with a repetition rate of 250 pps. The plant height in the growth phase and the dry weight of the harvested plants were improved markedly by the discharge treatment in water. The soil and plant analyzer development (SPAD) value of the plants also improved in the growth phase of the plants. The concentration of nitrate nitrogen, which mainly contributed to the improvement of the growth rate, in the water increased with the discharge treatment. The Brix value of edible parts of Fragaria × ananassa increased with the discharge treatment. The inactivation of bacteria in the water was also confirmed with the discharge treatment.

  3. Contamination Time Effect on Plant Available Fractions of Cadmium and Zinc in a Mexican Clay Loam Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehsan, Muhammad; Augustine Molumeli, Polile; Espinosa Hernandez, Vicente; Baeza Reyes, Alejandro; Perez Moreno, Jesus; Hernandez, Marcos Soto; Ojeda Trejo, Enrique; Jaen Contreras, David; Ruiz Bello, Alejandrina; Robledo Santoyo, Edmundo

    Knowledge of plant available fractions of heavy metals in soil can assist directing phytoremediation efforts for contaminated soils. For this reason different doses of ZnCl2 (0, 200, 400 and 600 mg kg-1) and CdCl2, 2½ H2O (0, 9, 18 and 27 mg kg-1) were applied to an uncontaminated slightly acidic clay loam soil from Sate of Mexico, Mexico incubated under ambient temperature and humidity for 90 days. Both the metals were extracted with a DTPA-TEA-CaCl2 mixture after 1, 5, 15, 25, 60 and 90 days and analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy. The results showed that DTPA extractable contents of Zn and Cd followed a decreasing trend with increase in incubation time. Maximum contents were found at day 01 in all the treatments. After 15 days of incubation, the variation in extractable contents was non-significant. The rapid adsorption of the metals might be due to elevated clay content (34%) of the incubated soil.

  4. Optimum combinations of visible and near-infrared reflectances for estimating the fraction of photosynthetically available radiation absorbed by plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Podaire, Alain; Deschamps, Pierre-Yves; Frouin, R.; Asrar, Ghassem

    1991-01-01

    A useful parameter to estimate terrestrial primary productivity, that can be sensed from space, is the daily averaged fraction of Photosynthetically Available Radiation (PAR) absorbed by plants. To evaluate this parameter, investigators have relied on the fact that the relative amount of radiation reflected by a vegetated surface in the visible and near infrared depends on the fraction of the surface covered by the vegetation and therefore, correlates with absorbed PAR. They have used vegetation indices, namely normalized difference and simple ratio, to derive absorbed PAR. The problem with normalized difference and simple ratio is first, they are non linear functions of radiance or reflectance and therefore, cannot be readily applied to heterogeneous targets, second, they are used in generally nonlinear relationships, which make time integrals of the indices not proportional to primary productivity, and third, the relationships depend strongly on the type of canopy and background. To remove these limitations, linear combinations of visible and near infrared reflectances at optimum (one or two) viewing zenith angles are proposed.

  5. Application of plant genomics for improved symbiotic nitrogen fixation in plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because genome sequencing, transcript profiling, proteome analysis, metabolite profiling, mutant analysis, and comparative genomics have progressed at a logarithmic pace, we know more about the plant genes involved in symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) than could have been imagined a decade ago. Howe...

  6. Improving the efficiency of phytoremediation using electrically charged plant and chelating agents.

    PubMed

    Tahmasbian, Iman; Safari Sinegani, Ali Akbar

    2016-02-01

    The low efficiency of phytoremediation is a considerable problem that limits the application of this environmentally friendly method on heavy metal-polluted soils. The combination of chelate-assisted phytoextraction and electrokinetic remediation could offer new opportunities to improve the effectiveness of phytoextraction. The current experiment aims to investigate the effects of electrical fields and chelating agents on phytoremediation efficiency. In a pot experiment using mine soil, poultry manure extract (PME), cow manure extract (CME), and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) were applied to soil as chelating agents (2 g kg(-1)) at the beginning of the flowering stage. A week later, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) was negatively charged by inserting a stainless steel needle with 10 and 30 V DC electricity in the lowest part of the stems for 1 h each day for a 14-day period. At the end of the experiment, the shoot and root dry weight, lead (Pb) concentration in plant organs, translocation factor (TF), metal uptake index (UI), and soil available Pb (diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) extractable) were detected. Results indicated that the application of electrical fields had no significant impact on the shoot and root dry weights, while Pb concentration and UI increased in the 10-V EDTA treatment by 500 % compared to control. There was no significant difference between UI in 30- and 10-V EDTA treatments. Soil available Pb significantly increased in the 30-V treated soil. A positive correlation was observed between the available Pb in soil near the root and Pb concentration in shoot, its TF, and UI. In conclusion, a negatively charged plant along with the application of EDTA significantly increased the phytoremediation efficiency.

  7. Improving the efficiency of phytoremediation using electrically charged plant and chelating agents.

    PubMed

    Tahmasbian, Iman; Safari Sinegani, Ali Akbar

    2016-02-01

    The low efficiency of phytoremediation is a considerable problem that limits the application of this environmentally friendly method on heavy metal-polluted soils. The combination of chelate-assisted phytoextraction and electrokinetic remediation could offer new opportunities to improve the effectiveness of phytoextraction. The current experiment aims to investigate the effects of electrical fields and chelating agents on phytoremediation efficiency. In a pot experiment using mine soil, poultry manure extract (PME), cow manure extract (CME), and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) were applied to soil as chelating agents (2 g kg(-1)) at the beginning of the flowering stage. A week later, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) was negatively charged by inserting a stainless steel needle with 10 and 30 V DC electricity in the lowest part of the stems for 1 h each day for a 14-day period. At the end of the experiment, the shoot and root dry weight, lead (Pb) concentration in plant organs, translocation factor (TF), metal uptake index (UI), and soil available Pb (diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) extractable) were detected. Results indicated that the application of electrical fields had no significant impact on the shoot and root dry weights, while Pb concentration and UI increased in the 10-V EDTA treatment by 500 % compared to control. There was no significant difference between UI in 30- and 10-V EDTA treatments. Soil available Pb significantly increased in the 30-V treated soil. A positive correlation was observed between the available Pb in soil near the root and Pb concentration in shoot, its TF, and UI. In conclusion, a negatively charged plant along with the application of EDTA significantly increased the phytoremediation efficiency. PMID:26423283

  8. Aquatic plant debris improve phosphorus sorption into sediment under anoxic condition.

    PubMed

    Jin, Chong-Wei; Du, Shao-Ting; Dong, Wu-Yuan; Wang, Jue-Hua; Shen, Cheng; Zhang, Yong-Song

    2013-11-01

    The effects of plant debris on phosphorus sorption by anoxic sediment were investigated. Addition of plant debris significantly enhanced the decrease of soluble relative phosphorus (SRP) in overlying water at both 10 and 30 °C during the 30-day investigation. Both cellulose and glucose, two typical plant components, also clearly enhanced the SRP decrease in anoxic overlying water. The measurement of phosphorus (P) fractions in sediment revealed that the levels of unstable P forms were decreased by plant debris addition, whereas the opposites were true for stable P forms. However, under sterilized condition, plant debris/glucose addition has no effect on the SRP decrease in overlying water. Overall, our results suggested that plant debris improve P sorption into sediment under anoxic condition through a microorganism-mediated mechanism. PMID:23686758

  9. Improvement of plant abiotic stress tolerance through modulation of the polyamine pathway.

    PubMed

    Shi, Haitao; Chan, Zhulong

    2014-02-01

    Polyamines (mainly putrescine (Put), spermidine (Spd), and spermine (Spm)) have been widely found in a range of physiological processes and in almost all diverse environmental stresses. In various plant species, abiotic stresses modulated the accumulation of polyamines and related gene expression. Studies using loss-of-function mutants and transgenic overexpression plants modulating polyamine metabolic pathways confirmed protective roles of polyamines during plant abiotic stress responses, and indicated the possibility to improve plant tolerance through genetic manipulation of the polyamine pathway. Additionally, putative mechanisms of polyamines involved in plant abiotic stress tolerance were thoroughly discussed and crosstalks among polyamine, abscisic acid, and nitric oxide in plant responses to abiotic stress were emphasized. Special attention was paid to the interaction between polyamine and reactive oxygen species, ion channels, amino acid and carbon metabolism, and other adaptive responses. Further studies are needed to elucidate the polyamine signaling pathway, especially polyamine-regulated downstream targets and the connections between polyamines and other stress responsive molecules.

  10. Genes from mycoparasitic fungi as a source for improving plant resistance to fungal pathogens.

    PubMed

    Lorito, M; Woo, S L; Garcia, I; Colucci, G; Harman, G E; Pintor-Toro, J A; Filippone, E; Muccifora, S; Lawrence, C B; Zoina, A; Tuzun, S; Scala, F; Fernandez, I G

    1998-07-01

    Disease resistance in transgenic plants has been improved, for the first time, by the insertion of a gene from a biocontrol fungus. The gene encoding a strongly antifungal endochitinase from the mycoparasitic fungus Trichoderma harzianum was transferred to tobacco and potato. High expression levels of the fungal gene were obtained in different plant tissues, which had no visible effect on plant growth and development. Substantial differences in endochitinase activity were detected among transformants. Selected transgenic lines were highly tolerant or completely resistant to the foliar pathogens Alternaria alternata, A. solani, Botrytis cinerea, and the soilborne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. The high level and the broad spectrum of resistance obtained with a single chitinase gene from Trichoderma overcome the limited efficacy of transgenic expression in plants of chitinase genes from plants and bacteria. These results demonstrate a rich source of genes from biocontrol fungi that can be used to control diseases in plants.

  11. A critical review on the improvement of photosynthetic carbon assimilation in C3 plants using genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Ruan, Cheng-Jiang; Shao, Hong-Bo; Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A

    2012-03-01

    Global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing us today. It may be linked to the increase in atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), leading to a rise in sea level, notable shifts in ecosystems, and in the frequency and intensity of wild fires. There is a strong interest in stabilizing the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and other GHGs by decreasing carbon emission and/or increasing carbon sequestration. Biotic sequestration is an important and effective strategy to mitigate the effects of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations by increasing carbon sequestration and storage capacity of ecosystems using plant photosynthesis and by decreasing carbon emission using biofuel rather than fossil fuel. Improvement of photosynthetic carbon assimilation, using transgenic engineering, potentially provides a set of available and effective tools for enhancing plant carbon sequestration. In this review, firstly different biological methods of CO2 assimilation in C3, C4 and CAM plants are introduced and three types of C4 pathways which have high photosynthetic performance and have evolved as CO2 pumps are briefly summarized. Then (i) the improvement of photosynthetic carbon assimilation of C3 plants by transgenic engineering using non-C4 genes, and (ii) the overexpression of individual or multiple C4 cycle photosynthetic genes (PEPC, PPDK, PCK, NADP-ME and NADP-MDH) in transgenic C3 plants (e.g. tobacco, potato, rice and Arabidopsis) are highlighted. Some transgenic C3 plants (e.g. tobacco, rice and Arabidopsis) overexpressing the FBP/SBPase, ictB and cytochrome c6 genes showed positive effects on photosynthetic efficiency and growth characteristics. However, over the last 28 years, efforts to overexpress individual, double or multiple C4 enzymes in C3 plants like tobacco, potato, rice, and Arabidopsis have produced mixed results that do not confirm or eliminate the possibility of improving photosynthesis of C3 plants by this approach. Finally, a prospect

  12. Improvement of phosphate solubilization and Medicago plant yield by an indole-3-acetic acid-overproducing strain of Sinorhizobium meliloti.

    PubMed

    Bianco, Carmen; Defez, Roberto

    2010-07-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the most limiting factors for plant growth. Some microorganisms improve the uptake and availability of N and P, minimizing chemical fertilizer dependence. It has been published that the RD64 strain, a Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 strain engineered to overproduce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), showed improved nitrogen fixation ability compared to the wild-type 1021 strain. Here, we present data showing that RD64 is also highly effective in mobilizing P from insoluble sources, such as phosphate rock (PR). Under P-limiting conditions, the higher level of P-mobilizing activity of RD64 than of the 1021 wild-type strain is connected with the upregulation of genes coding for the high-affinity P transport system, the induction of acid phosphatase activity, and the increased secretion into the growth medium of malic, succinic, and fumaric acids. Medicago truncatula plants nodulated by RD64 (Mt-RD64), when grown under P-deficient conditions, released larger amounts of another P-solubilizing organic acid, 2-hydroxyglutaric acid, than plants nodulated by the wild-type strain (Mt-1021). It has already been shown that Mt-RD64 plants exhibited higher levels of dry-weight production than Mt-1021 plants. Here, we also report that P-starved Mt-RD64 plants show significant increases in both shoot and root fresh weights when compared to P-starved Mt-1021 plants. We discuss how, in a Rhizobium-legume model system, a balanced interplay of different factors linked to bacterial IAA overproduction rather than IAA production per se stimulates plant growth under stressful environmental conditions and, in particular, under P starvation. PMID:20511434

  13. 76 FR 80872 - Dow AgroScience LLC; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-27

    ... Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe..., or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic..., a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or other...

  14. Insect stings to change gear for healthy plant: Improving maize drought tolerance by whitefly infestation.

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Soon; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2016-05-01

    Since plants first appeared about 1.1 billion years ago, they have been faced with biotic and abiotic stresses in their environment. To overcome these stresses, plants developed defense strategies. Accumulating evidence suggests that the whitefly [Bemisia tabaci (Genn.)] affects the regulation of plant defenses and physiology. A recent study demonstrates that aboveground whitefly infestation positively modulates root biomass and anthocyanin pigmentation on brace roots of maize plants (Zea mays L.). In agreement with these observations, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and jasmonic acid (JA) contents and the expression of IAA- and JA-related genes are higher in whitefly-infested maize plants than in non-infected control plants. Interestingly, the fresh weight of whitefly-infested maize plants is approximately 20% higher than in non-infected control plants under water stress conditions. Further investigation has revealed that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) accumulates in whitefly-infested maize plants after water stoppage. Taken together, these results suggest that activation of phytohormones- (i.e., IAA and JA) and H2O2-mediated maize signaling pathways triggered by aboveground whitefly infestation promotes drought resistance. They also provide an insight into how inter-kingdom interactions can improve drought tolerance in plants. PMID:27164447

  15. Genetic improvement of biofuel plants: recent progress and patents.

    PubMed

    Johnson, T Sudhakar; Badri, Jyothi; Sastry, R Kalpana; Shrivastava, Anshul; Kishor, P B Kavi; Sujatha, M

    2013-04-01

    Due to depleting reserves of fossil fuels, political uncertainties, increase in demand of energy needs and growing concerns of environmental effects, bioenergy as an alternative source of energy needs had taken centre stage globally. In this report, we review the progress made in lignocellulose, cellulose and fermentation based biofuels in addition to tree borne oil seeds. Algae as a source of feedstock for the biofuel has also been reviewed. Recent efforts in genome sequencing of biofuel crops and molecular breeding approaches have increased our understanding towards crop improvement of major feedstocks. Besides, patenting trends in bioenergy sector were assessed by patent landscape analysis. The results showed an increasing trend in published patents during the last decade which is maximum during 2011. A conceptual framework of "transgenesis in biofuels to industrial application" was developed based on the patent analytics viz., International Patent Classification (IPC) analysis and Theme Maps. A detailed claim analysis based on the conceptual framework assessed the patenting trends that provided an exhaustive dimension of the technology. The study emphasizes the current thrust in bioenergy sector by various public and private institutions to expedite the process of biofuel production.

  16. Using remote sensing to calculate plant available nitrogen needed by crops on swine factory farm sprayfields in North Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christenson, Elizabeth; Serre, Marc

    2015-10-01

    North Carolina (NC) is the second largest producer of hogs in the United States with Duplin county, NC having the densest population of hogs in the world. In NC, liquid swine manure is generally stored in open-air lagoons and sprayed onto sprayfields with sprinkler systems to be used as fertilizer for crops. Swine factory farms, termed concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), are regulated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) based on nutrient management plans (NMPs) having balanced plant available nitrogen (PAN). The estimated PAN in liquid manure being sprayed must be less than the estimated PAN needed crops during irrigation. Estimates for PAN needed by crops are dependent on crop and soil types. Objectives of this research were to develop a new, time-efficient method to identify PAN needed by crops on Duplin county sprayfields for years 2010-2014. Using remote sensing data instead of NMP data to identify PAN needed by crops allowed calendar year identification of which crops were grown on sprayfields instead of a five-year range of values. Although permitted data have more detailed crop information than remotely sensed data, identification of PAN needed by crops using remotely sensed data is more time efficient, internally consistent, easily publically accessible, and has the ability to identify annual changes in PAN on sprayfields. Once PAN needed by crops is known, remote sensing can be used to quantify PAN at other spatial scales, such as sub-watershed levels, and can be used to inform targeted water quality monitoring of swine CAFOs.

  17. Available, accessible, aware, appropriate, and acceptable: a strategy to improve participation of teenagers and young adults in cancer trials.

    PubMed

    Fern, Lorna A; Lewandowski, Jennifer A; Coxon, Katy M; Whelan, Jeremy

    2014-07-01

    Under-representation of teenagers and young adults in clinical trials for cancer is acknowledged internationally and might account for the lower survival gains noted for this group. Little research has focused on strategies to increase participation of teenagers and young adults in clinical trials. We applied a conceptual framework for barriers to recruitment of under-represented populations to data for cancer clinical trials in teenagers and young adults. We did a systematic analysis of data for clinical trial enrolment in Great Britain over 6 years (2005-10), and reviewed the published work for the origins and scientific rationale of age eligibility criteria in clinical trials for cancer. Our Review revealed little scientific evidence for use of age eligibility criteria in cancer clinical trials. Participation in cancer trials fell as age increased. Between 2005 and 2010, participation rates increased for children and young people aged 0-24 years. The highest increase in participation was for teenagers aged 15-19 years, with smaller improvements in rates for 20-24 year olds. Improvements were related to five key criteria, the five As: available, accessible, aware, appropriate, and acceptable. In studies for which age eligibility criteria were appropriate for inclusion of teenagers or young adults or amended during the study period, participation rates for 15-19 year olds were similar to those for 10-14 year olds. We propose a conceptual model for a strategic approach to improve recruitment of teenagers and younger adults to clinical trials for cancer, with use of the five As, which is applicable worldwide for investigators, regulatory authorities, representatives in industry, policy makers, funders, and health-care professionals.

  18. Voltage control for a wind power plant based on the available reactive current of a DFIG and its impacts on the point of interconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Usman, Yasir; Kim, Jinho; Muljadi, Eduard; Kang, Yong Cheol

    2016-01-01

    Wake effects cause wind turbine generators (WTGs) within a wind power plant (WPP) to produce different levels of active power and subsequent reactive power capabilities. Further, the impedance between a WTG and the point of interconnection (POI)-which depends on the distance between them-impacts the WPP's reactive power injection capability at the POI. This paper proposes a voltage control scheme for a WPP based on the available reactive current of the doubly-fed induction generators (DFIGs) and its impacts on the POI to improve the reactive power injection capability of the WPP. In this paper, a design strategy for modifying the gain of DFIG controller is suggested and the comprehensive properties of these control gains are investigated. In the proposed scheme, the WPP controller, which operates in a voltage control mode, sends the command signal to the DFIGs based on the voltage difference at the POI. The DFIG controllers, which operate in a voltage control mode, employ a proportional controller with a limiter. The gain of the proportional controller is adjusted depending on the available reactive current of the DFIG and the series impedance between the DFIG and the POI. The performance of the proposed scheme is validated for various disturbances such as a reactive load connection and grid fault using an EMTP-RV simulator. Furthermore, simulation results demonstrate that the proposed scheme promptly recovers the POI voltage by injecting more reactive power after a disturbance than the conventional scheme.

  19. Voltage control for a wind power plant based on the available reactive current of a DFIG and its impacts on the point of interconnection

    DOE PAGES

    Usman, Yasir; Kim, Jinho; Muljadi, Eduard; Kang, Yong Cheol

    2016-01-01

    Wake effects cause wind turbine generators (WTGs) within a wind power plant (WPP) to produce different levels of active power and subsequent reactive power capabilities. Further, the impedance between a WTG and the point of interconnection (POI)-which depends on the distance between them-impacts the WPP's reactive power injection capability at the POI. This paper proposes a voltage control scheme for a WPP based on the available reactive current of the doubly-fed induction generators (DFIGs) and its impacts on the POI to improve the reactive power injection capability of the WPP. In this paper, a design strategy for modifying the gainmore » of DFIG controller is suggested and the comprehensive properties of these control gains are investigated. In the proposed scheme, the WPP controller, which operates in a voltage control mode, sends the command signal to the DFIGs based on the voltage difference at the POI. The DFIG controllers, which operate in a voltage control mode, employ a proportional controller with a limiter. The gain of the proportional controller is adjusted depending on the available reactive current of the DFIG and the series impedance between the DFIG and the POI. The performance of the proposed scheme is validated for various disturbances such as a reactive load connection and grid fault using an EMTP-RV simulator. Furthermore, simulation results demonstrate that the proposed scheme promptly recovers the POI voltage by injecting more reactive power after a disturbance than the conventional scheme.« less

  20. Archimede solar energy molten salt parabolic trough demo plant: Improvements and second year of operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccari, Augusto; Donnola, Sandro; Matino, Francesca; Tamano, Shiro

    2016-05-01

    Since July 2013, the first stand-alone Molten Salt Parabolic Trough (MSPT) demo plant, which was built in collaboration with Archimede Solar Energy and Chiyoda Corporation, is in operation, located adjacent to the Archimede Solar Energy (ASE) manufacturing plant in Massa Martana (Italy). During the two year's operating time frame, the management of the demo plant has shown that MSPT technology is a suitable and reliable option. Several O&M procedures and tests have been performed, as Heat Loss and Minimum Flow Test, with remarkable results confirming that this technology is ready to be extended to standard size CSP plant, if the plant design takes into account molten salt peculiarities. Additionally, the plant has been equipped on fall 2014 with a Steam Generator system by Chiyoda Corporation, in order to test even this important MSPT plant subsystem and to extend the solar field active time, overcoming the previous lack of an adequate thermal load. Here, a description of the plant improvements and the overall plant operation figures will be presented.

  1. Global Change and Response of Coastal Dune Plants to the Combined Effects of Increased Sand Accretion (Burial) and Nutrient Availability

    PubMed Central

    Frosini, Silvia; Lardicci, Claudio; Balestri, Elena

    2012-01-01

    Coastal dune plants are subjected to natural multiple stresses and vulnerable to global change. Some changes associated with global change could interact in their effects on vegetation. As vegetation plays a fundamental role in building and stabilizing dune systems, effective coastal habitat management requires a better understanding of the combined effects of such changes on plant populations. A manipulative experiment was conducted along a Mediterranean dune system to examine the individual and combined effects of increased sediment accretion (burial) and nitrogen enrichment associated with predicted global change on the performance of young clones of Sporobolus virginicus, a widespread dune stabilizing species. Increased burial severity resulted in the production of taller but thinner shoots, while nutrient enrichment stimulated rhizome production. Nutrient enrichment increased total plant biomass up to moderate burial levels (50% of plant height), but it had not effect at the highest burial level (100% of plant height). The effects of such factors on total biomass, shoot biomass and branching were influenced by spatial variation in natural factors at the scale of hundreds of metres. These results indicate that the effects of burial and nutrient enrichment on plant performance were not independent. Their combined effects may not be predicted by knowing the individual effects, at least under the study conditions. Under global change scenarios, increased nutrient input could alleviate nutrient stress in S. virginicus, enhancing clonal expansion and productivity, but this benefit could be offset by increased sand accretion levels equal or exceeding 100% of plant height. Depletion of stored reserves for emerging from sand could increase plant vulnerability to other stresses in the long-term. The results emphasize the need to incorporate statistical designs for detecting non-independent effects of multiple changes and adequate spatial replication in future works to

  2. Available nutrients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biochar technology may contribute to the recovery and recycling of plant nutrients and thus add a fertilizer value to the biochar. Total nutrient content in biochars varies greatly and is mainly dependent on feedstock elemental composition and to a lesser extent on pyrolysis conditions. Availability...

  3. Hydroponics: A Versatile System to Study Nutrient Allocation and Plant Responses to Nutrient Availability and Exposure to Toxic Elements.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Nga T; McInturf, Samuel A; Mendoza-Cózatl, David G

    2016-01-01

    Hydroponic systems have been utilized as one of the standard methods for plant biology research and are also used in commercial production for several crops, including lettuce and tomato. Within the plant research community, numerous hydroponic systems have been designed to study plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Here we present a hydroponic protocol that can be easily implemented in laboratories interested in pursuing studies on plant mineral nutrition. This protocol describes the hydroponic system set up in detail and the preparation of plant material for successful experiments. Most of the materials described in this protocol can be found outside scientific supply companies, making the set up for hydroponic experiments less expensive and convenient. The use of a hydroponic growth system is most advantageous in situations where the nutrient media need to be well controlled and when intact roots need to be harvested for downstream applications. We also demonstrate how nutrient concentrations can be modified to induce plant responses to both essential nutrients and toxic non-essential elements. PMID:27500800

  4. Hydroponics: A Versatile System to Study Nutrient Allocation and Plant Responses to Nutrient Availability and Exposure to Toxic Elements.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Nga T; McInturf, Samuel A; Mendoza-Cózatl, David G

    2016-07-13

    Hydroponic systems have been utilized as one of the standard methods for plant biology research and are also used in commercial production for several crops, including lettuce and tomato. Within the plant research community, numerous hydroponic systems have been designed to study plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Here we present a hydroponic protocol that can be easily implemented in laboratories interested in pursuing studies on plant mineral nutrition. This protocol describes the hydroponic system set up in detail and the preparation of plant material for successful experiments. Most of the materials described in this protocol can be found outside scientific supply companies, making the set up for hydroponic experiments less expensive and convenient. The use of a hydroponic growth system is most advantageous in situations where the nutrient media need to be well controlled and when intact roots need to be harvested for downstream applications. We also demonstrate how nutrient concentrations can be modified to induce plant responses to both essential nutrients and toxic non-essential elements.

  5. Circadian rhythms of hydraulic conductance and growth are enhanced by drought and improve plant performance.

    PubMed

    Caldeira, Cecilio F; Jeanguenin, Linda; Chaumont, François; Tardieu, François

    2014-11-05

    Circadian rhythms enable plants to anticipate daily environmental variations, resulting in growth oscillations under continuous light. Because plants daily transpire up to 200% of their water content, their water status oscillates from favourable during the night to unfavourable during the day. We show that rhythmic leaf growth under continuous light is observed in plants that experience large alternations of water status during an entrainment period, but is considerably buffered otherwise. Measurements and computer simulations show that this is due to oscillations of plant hydraulic conductance and plasma membrane aquaporin messenger RNA abundance in roots during continuous light. A simulation model suggests that circadian oscillations of root hydraulic conductance contribute to acclimation to water stress by increasing root water uptake, thereby favouring growth and photosynthesis. They have a negative effect in favourable hydraulic conditions. Climate-driven control of root hydraulic conductance therefore improves plant performances in both stressed and non-stressed conditions.

  6. Circadian rhythms of hydraulic conductance and growth are enhanced by drought and improve plant performance

    PubMed Central

    Caldeira, Cecilio F.; Jeanguenin, Linda; Chaumont, François; Tardieu, François

    2014-01-01

    Circadian rhythms enable plants to anticipate daily environmental variations, resulting in growth oscillations under continuous light. Because plants daily transpire up to 200% of their water content, their water status oscillates from favourable during the night to unfavourable during the day. We show that rhythmic leaf growth under continuous light is observed in plants that experience large alternations of water status during an entrainment period, but is considerably buffered otherwise. Measurements and computer simulations show that this is due to oscillations of plant hydraulic conductance and plasma membrane aquaporin messenger RNA abundance in roots during continuous light. A simulation model suggests that circadian oscillations of root hydraulic conductance contribute to acclimation to water stress by increasing root water uptake, thereby favouring growth and photosynthesis. They have a negative effect in favourable hydraulic conditions. Climate-driven control of root hydraulic conductance therefore improves plant performances in both stressed and non-stressed conditions. PMID:25370944

  7. ECONOMICS AND FEASIBILITY OF RANKINE CYCLE IMPROVEMENTS FOR COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS

    SciTech Connect

    Richard E. Waryasz; Gregory N. Liljedahl

    2004-09-08

    ALSTOM Power Inc.'s Power Plant Laboratories (ALSTOM) has teamed with the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE NETL), American Electric Company (AEP) and Parsons Energy and Chemical Group to conduct a comprehensive study evaluating coal fired steam power plants, known as Rankine Cycles, equipped with three different combustion systems: Pulverized Coal (PC), Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB), and Circulating Moving Bed (CMB{trademark}). Five steam cycles utilizing a wide range of steam conditions were used with these combustion systems. The motivation for this study was to establish through engineering analysis, the most cost-effective performance potential available through improvement in the Rankine Cycle steam conditions and combustion systems while at the same time ensuring that the most stringent emission performance based on CURC (Coal Utilization Research Council) 2010 targets are met: > 98% sulfur removal; < 0.05 lbm/MM-Btu NO{sub x}; < 0.01 lbm/MM-Btu Particulate Matter; and > 90% Hg removal. The final report discusses the results of a coal fired steam power plant project, which is comprised of two parts. The main part of the study is the analysis of ten (10) Greenfield steam power plants employing three different coal combustion technologies: Pulverized Coal (PC), Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB), and Circulating Moving Bed (CMB{trademark}) integrated with five different steam cycles. The study explores the technical feasibility, thermal performance, environmental performance, and economic viability of ten power plants that could be deployed currently, in the near, intermediate, and long-term time frame. For the five steam cycles, main steam temperatures vary from 1,000 F to 1,292 F and pressures from 2,400 psi to 5,075 psi. Reheat steam temperatures vary from 1,000 F to 1,328 F. The number of feedwater heaters varies from 7 to 9 and the associated feedwater temperature varies from 500 F to 626 F. The main part of the study

  8. Assessing the ecotoxicological effects of long-term contaminated mine soils on plants and earthworms: relevance of soil (total and available) and body concentrations.

    PubMed

    García-Gómez, Concepción; Esteban, Elvira; Sánchez-Pardo, Beatriz; Fernández, María Dolores

    2014-09-01

    The interactions and relevance of the soil (total and available) concentrations, accumulation, and acute toxicity of several essential and non-essential trace elements were investigated to determine their importance in environmental soil assessment. Three plant species (T. aestivum, R. sativum, and V. sativa) and E. fetida were simultaneously exposed for 21 days to long-term contaminated soils collected from the surroundings of an abandoned pyrite mine. The soils presented different levels of As and metals, mainly Zn and Cu, and were tested at different soil concentrations [12.5, 25, 50, and 100% of contaminated soil/soil (w/w)] to increase the range of total and available soil concentrations necessary for the study. The total concentrations in the soils (of both As and metals) were better predictors of earthworm uptake than were the available concentrations. In plants, the accumulation of metals was related to the available concentrations of Zn and Cu, which could indicate that plants and earthworms accumulate elements from different pools of soil contaminants. Moreover, Zn and Cu, which are essential elements, showed controlled uptake at low concentrations. The external metal concentrations predicted earthworm mortality, whereas in plants, the effects on growth were correlated to the As and metal contents in the plants. In general, the bioaccumulation factors were lower at higher exposure levels, which implies the existence of auto-regulation in the uptake of both essential and non-essential elements by plants and earthworms.

  9. Assessing the ecotoxicological effects of long-term contaminated mine soils on plants and earthworms: relevance of soil (total and available) and body concentrations.

    PubMed

    García-Gómez, Concepción; Esteban, Elvira; Sánchez-Pardo, Beatriz; Fernández, María Dolores

    2014-09-01

    The interactions and relevance of the soil (total and available) concentrations, accumulation, and acute toxicity of several essential and non-essential trace elements were investigated to determine their importance in environmental soil assessment. Three plant species (T. aestivum, R. sativum, and V. sativa) and E. fetida were simultaneously exposed for 21 days to long-term contaminated soils collected from the surroundings of an abandoned pyrite mine. The soils presented different levels of As and metals, mainly Zn and Cu, and were tested at different soil concentrations [12.5, 25, 50, and 100% of contaminated soil/soil (w/w)] to increase the range of total and available soil concentrations necessary for the study. The total concentrations in the soils (of both As and metals) were better predictors of earthworm uptake than were the available concentrations. In plants, the accumulation of metals was related to the available concentrations of Zn and Cu, which could indicate that plants and earthworms accumulate elements from different pools of soil contaminants. Moreover, Zn and Cu, which are essential elements, showed controlled uptake at low concentrations. The external metal concentrations predicted earthworm mortality, whereas in plants, the effects on growth were correlated to the As and metal contents in the plants. In general, the bioaccumulation factors were lower at higher exposure levels, which implies the existence of auto-regulation in the uptake of both essential and non-essential elements by plants and earthworms. PMID:24875255

  10. Evolving Methanococcoides burtonii archaeal Rubisco for improved photosynthesis and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robert H; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M

    2016-03-01

    In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted "trial and error" protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth.

  11. Biochar increases plant-available water in a sandy loam soil under an aerobic rice crop system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Exudation of organic acids by a marsh plant and implications on trace metal availability in the rhizosphere of estuarine sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mucha, Ana P.; Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Bordalo, Adriano A.; Vasconcelos, M. Teresa S. D.

    2005-10-01

    The aim of this work was to identify a variety of low molecular weight organic acids exuded by the sea rush Juncus maritimus collected at two locations with different sediment characteristics (sandy and muddy) and to examine whether specific differences in physico-chemical sediment characteristics influenced plant exudation. Just after collection, plant roots were rinsed and put in contact with deionised water for 2 h. In the obtained solution the organic acids, exuded by the plants, were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Juncus maritimus was shown to be capable of releasing malonate and oxalate. Sediments and rhizosediments (sediment in contact with the plant roots and rhizomes, corresponding to the area of higher belowground biomass) from the areas where the plants had been collected were characterised in terms of physical and chemical composition, including acid volatile sulphide and total-recoverable metals (Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Ni and Cd). It was found that the extent of exudation varied markedly between sites. The identified organic acids were used as extractants of metals from sediments and rhizosediments and the results were compared with those provided by a very commonly used sequential extraction approach, which was carried out in parallel. This work demonstrates that J. maritimus can release organic compounds that can act as complexing agents of trace metal and therefore organic exudates should be accounted for when dealing with estuarine environment quality.

  13. Availability of Structured and Unstructured Clinical Data for Comparative Effectiveness Research and Quality Improvement: A Multisite Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Capurro, Daniel; PhD, Meliha Yetisgen; van Eaton, Erik; Black, Robert; Tarczy-Hornoch, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: A key attribute of a learning health care system is the ability to collect and analyze routinely collected clinical data in order to quickly generate new clinical evidence, and to monitor the quality of the care provided. To achieve this vision, clinical data must be easy to extract and stored in computer readable formats. We conducted this study across multiple organizations to assess the availability of such data specifically for comparative effectiveness research (CER) and quality improvement (QI) on surgical procedures. Setting: This study was conducted in the context of the data needed for the already established Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP), a clinician-led, performance benchmarking, and QI registry for surgical and interventional procedures in Washington State. Methods: We selected six hospitals, managed by two Health Information Technology (HIT) groups, and assessed the ease of automated extraction of the data required to complete the SCOAP data collection forms. Each data element was classified as easy, moderate, or complex to extract. Results: Overall, a significant proportion of the data required to automatically complete the SCOAP forms was not stored in structured computer-readable formats, with more than 75 percent of all data elements being classified as moderately complex or complex to extract. The distribution differed significantly between the health care systems studied. Conclusions: Although highly desirable, a learning health care system does not automatically emerge from the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs). Innovative methods to improve the structured capture of clinical data are needed to facilitate the use of routinely collected clinical data for patient phenotyping. PMID:25848594

  14. An optimized procedure for plant recovery from somatic embryos significantly facilitates the genetic improvement of Vitis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhijian T; Kim, Kyung-Hee; Dhekney, Sadanand A; Jasinski, Jonathan R; Creech, Matthew R; Gray, Dennis J

    2014-01-01

    Plant regeneration from grapevine (Vitis spp.) via somatic embryogenesis typically is poor. Recovery of plants from Vitis rotundifolia Michx. (muscadine grape) is particularly problematic due to extremely low efficiency, including extended culture durations required for embryo–plant conversion. Poor plant recovery is an obstacle to the selection of improved genetically modified lines. Somatic embryos (SEs) of V. rotundifolia cultivar Delicious (Del-HS) and Vitis vinifera L cultivar Thompson Seedless (TS) were used to identify culture media and conditions that promoted embryo differentiation and plant conversion; this resulted in a two-step culture system. In comparative culture experiments, C2D medium containing 6% sucrose was the most effective, among four distinct formulae tested, for inducing precocious SE germination and cell differentiation. This medium, further supplemented with 4 µM 6-benzylaminopurine (C2D4B), was subsequently determined to enhance post-germinative growth of SE. MS medium supplemented with 0.5 µM 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (MSN) was then utilized to stimulate root and shoot growth of germinated SE. An average of 35% and 80% ‘Del-HS’ and ‘TS’ SE, respectively, developed into plants. All plants developed robust root and shoot systems and exhibited excellent survival following transfer to soil. Over 150 plants of ‘Del-HS’ were regenerated and established within 2.5 months, which is a dramatic reduction from the 6- to 12-month time period previously required. Similarly, 88 ‘TS’ plant lines were obtained within the same time period. Subsequently, seven out of eight Vitis cultivars exhibited significantly increased plant conversion percentages, demonstrating broad application of the two-step culture system to produce the large numbers of independent plant lines needed for selection of desired traits. PMID:26504540

  15. Constitutive overexpression of the sucrose transporter SoSUT1 in potato plants increases arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal root colonization under high, but not under low, soil phosphorus availability.

    PubMed

    Gabriel-Neumann, Elke; Neumann, Günter; Leggewie, Georg; George, Eckhard

    2011-06-15

    The sucrose transporter SUT1 functions in phloem loading of photoassimilates in solanaceous plant species. In the present study, wildtype and transgenic potato plants with either constitutive overexpression or antisense inhibition of SUT1 were grown under high or low phosphorus (P) fertilization levels in the presence or absence of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus intraradices. At a low soil P fertilization level, the extent of AM fungal root colonization was not different among the genotypes. In all plants, the AM symbiosis contributed significantly to P uptake under these conditions. In response to a high soil P fertilization level, all genotypes showed a decrease in AM fungal root colonization, indicating that the expression level of SUT1 does not constitute a major mechanism of control over AM development in response to the soil P availability. However, plants with overexpression of SUT1 showed a higher extent of AM fungal root colonization compared with the other genotypes when the soil P availability was high. Whether an increased symbiotic C supply, alterations in the phytohormonal balance, or a decreased synthesis of antimicrobial compounds was the major cause for this effect requires further investigation. In plants with impaired phloem loading, a low C status of plant sink tissues did apparently not negatively affect plant C supply to the AM symbiosis. It is possible that, at least during vegetative and early generative growth, source rather than sink tissues exert control over amounts of C supplied to AM fungi.

  16. Constitutive overexpression of the sucrose transporter SoSUT1 in potato plants increases arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal root colonization under high, but not under low, soil phosphorus availability.

    PubMed

    Gabriel-Neumann, Elke; Neumann, Günter; Leggewie, Georg; George, Eckhard

    2011-06-15

    The sucrose transporter SUT1 functions in phloem loading of photoassimilates in solanaceous plant species. In the present study, wildtype and transgenic potato plants with either constitutive overexpression or antisense inhibition of SUT1 were grown under high or low phosphorus (P) fertilization levels in the presence or absence of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus intraradices. At a low soil P fertilization level, the extent of AM fungal root colonization was not different among the genotypes. In all plants, the AM symbiosis contributed significantly to P uptake under these conditions. In response to a high soil P fertilization level, all genotypes showed a decrease in AM fungal root colonization, indicating that the expression level of SUT1 does not constitute a major mechanism of control over AM development in response to the soil P availability. However, plants with overexpression of SUT1 showed a higher extent of AM fungal root colonization compared with the other genotypes when the soil P availability was high. Whether an increased symbiotic C supply, alterations in the phytohormonal balance, or a decreased synthesis of antimicrobial compounds was the major cause for this effect requires further investigation. In plants with impaired phloem loading, a low C status of plant sink tissues did apparently not negatively affect plant C supply to the AM symbiosis. It is possible that, at least during vegetative and early generative growth, source rather than sink tissues exert control over amounts of C supplied to AM fungi. PMID:21382646

  17. Heat-Rate Improvement Obtained by Retubing Power-Plant Condenser Enhanced Tubes

    SciTech Connect

    1994-01-21

    A utility will only retube a condenser with enhanced tubes if the incremental cost of the enhanced tubes can be offset with reduced fuel costs. The reduced fuel cost is obtained for some units because of the higher heat-transfer coefficient of enhanced tubes. They lead to improved condenser performance measured by a lower condenser pressure and therefore a more efficient power plant. However, the higher haet-transfer coefficients do not always guarantee that enhanced tubes will be more cost effective. Other issues must be considered such as the cooling-water flow reduction due to the increased pressure drop, the low-pressure turbine heat-rate variation with backpressure, and the cooling-water pump and system characteristics. These and other parameters must be considered to calculate the efficiency improvement of the power plant as commonly measured by the quantity known as the heat rate. Knowing the heat-rate improvement, the fuel cost, and the incremental increase of the enhanced tubes from the supplier, the payback time can be determined. This program calculates the heat-rate improvement that can be obtained by retubing a power plant condenser with enhanced tubes of a particular type called Korodense LPD made by Wolverine Tube, Inc. The fuel savings are easily established knowing the heat-rate improvement. All electrical utilities are potential users because a condenser is used as the heat sink for every power plant.

  18. HTRATE; Heat-Rate Improvement Obtained by Retubing Power-Plant Condenser Enhanced Tubes

    SciTech Connect

    Rabas, T.J.

    1990-06-01

    A utility will only retube a condenser with enhanced tubes if the incremental cost of the enhanced tubes can be offset with reduced fuel costs. The reduced fuel cost is obtained for some units because of the higher heat-transfer coefficient of enhanced tubes. They lead to improved condenser performance measured by a lower condenser pressure and therefore a more efficient power plant. However, the higher haet-transfer coefficients do not always guarantee that enhanced tubes will be more cost effective. Other issues must be considered such as the cooling-water flow reduction due to the increased pressure drop, the low-pressure turbine heat-rate variation with backpressure, and the cooling-water pump and system characteristics. These and other parameters must be considered to calculate the efficiency improvement of the power plant as commonly measured by the quantity known as the heat rate. Knowing the heat-rate improvement, the fuel cost, and the incremental increase of the enhanced tubes from the supplier, the payback time can be determined. This program calculates the heat-rate improvement that can be obtained by retubing a power plant condenser with enhanced tubes of a particular type called Korodense LPD made by Wolverine Tube, Inc. The fuel savings are easily established knowing the heat-rate improvement. All electrical utilities are potential users because a condenser is used as the heat sink for every power plant.

  19. Heat-Rate Improvement Obtained by Retubing Power-Plant Condenser Enhanced Tubes

    1994-01-21

    A utility will only retube a condenser with enhanced tubes if the incremental cost of the enhanced tubes can be offset with reduced fuel costs. The reduced fuel cost is obtained for some units because of the higher heat-transfer coefficient of enhanced tubes. They lead to improved condenser performance measured by a lower condenser pressure and therefore a more efficient power plant. However, the higher haet-transfer coefficients do not always guarantee that enhanced tubes willmore » be more cost effective. Other issues must be considered such as the cooling-water flow reduction due to the increased pressure drop, the low-pressure turbine heat-rate variation with backpressure, and the cooling-water pump and system characteristics. These and other parameters must be considered to calculate the efficiency improvement of the power plant as commonly measured by the quantity known as the heat rate. Knowing the heat-rate improvement, the fuel cost, and the incremental increase of the enhanced tubes from the supplier, the payback time can be determined. This program calculates the heat-rate improvement that can be obtained by retubing a power plant condenser with enhanced tubes of a particular type called Korodense LPD made by Wolverine Tube, Inc. The fuel savings are easily established knowing the heat-rate improvement. All electrical utilities are potential users because a condenser is used as the heat sink for every power plant.« less

  20. Warming does not stimulate mitochondrial respiration and it responds to leaf carbohydrates availability in soybean plants grown under elevated CO2 concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz Vera, U. M.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Bernacchi, C.; Ort, D. R.; Siebers, M.

    2015-12-01

    There is a lack of understanding on the mechanism underlying the response of mitochondrial respiration (Rs) to the single and combined effects of increasing CO2 concentration ([CO2]) and warming. We investigated the response of Rs to the single and combined effects of elevated [CO2] and warming in soybean plants over a complete growing season using Temperature by Free Air CO2 enrichment technology under field conditions. The treatments were: control, elevated [CO2] (eC), high temperature (eT), and elevated [CO2]+high temperature (eT+eC). Given that photosynthetic rates in eT+eC grown plants were not higher than in plants grown under eC, we hypothesized that Rs would increase only slightly in plants grown under eT+eC compared to eC plants, due to the increase of temperature. Contrary to our prediction, our preliminary results showed that plants grown under the warming treatments had low Rs, thus eT+eC had lower Rs than eC. The response of Rs to these factors was consistent at two different plant high levels (canopy and five nodes down the canopy). Changes in Rs were explained by variations in the carbohydrate content. Our results indicate that the response of Rs to changes in [CO2] and temperature will depend on the carbohydrate availability of plant tissues and thus on how photosynthesis is affected by this environmental factors.

  1. Biochar from sugarcane filtercake reduces soil CO2 emissions relative to raw residue and improves water retention and nutrient availability in a highly-weathered tropical soil.

    PubMed

    Eykelbosh, Angela Joy; Johnson, Mark S; Santos de Queiroz, Edmar; Dalmagro, Higo José; Guimarães Couto, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, the degradation of nutrient-poor Ferralsols limits productivity and drives agricultural expansion into pristine areas. However, returning agricultural residues to the soil in a stabilized form may offer opportunities for maintaining or improving soil quality, even under conditions that typically promote carbon loss. We examined the use of biochar made from filtercake (a byproduct of sugarcane processing) on the physicochemical properties of a cultivated tropical soil. Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake. Filtercake biochar was primarily composed of aromatic carbon, with some residual cellulose and hemicellulose. In a three-week laboratory incubation, CO2 effluxes from a highly weathered Ferralsol soil amended with 5% biochar (dry weight, d.w.) were roughly four-fold higher than the soil-only control, but 23-fold lower than CO2 effluxes from soil amended with 5% (d.w.) raw filtercake. We also applied vinasse, a carbon-rich liquid waste from bioethanol production typically utilized as a fertilizer on sugarcane soils, to filtercake- and biochar-amended soils. Total CO2 efflux from the biochar-amended soil in response to vinasse application was only 5% of the efflux when vinasse was applied to soil amended with raw filtercake. Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w.) in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability. Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions. PMID:24897522

  2. Biochar from Sugarcane Filtercake Reduces Soil CO2 Emissions Relative to Raw Residue and Improves Water Retention and Nutrient Availability in a Highly-Weathered Tropical Soil

    PubMed Central

    Eykelbosh, Angela Joy; Johnson, Mark S.; Santos de Queiroz, Edmar; Dalmagro, Higo José; Guimarães Couto, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, the degradation of nutrient-poor Ferralsols limits productivity and drives agricultural expansion into pristine areas. However, returning agricultural residues to the soil in a stabilized form may offer opportunities for maintaining or improving soil quality, even under conditions that typically promote carbon loss. We examined the use of biochar made from filtercake (a byproduct of sugarcane processing) on the physicochemical properties of a cultivated tropical soil. Filtercake was pyrolyzed at 575°C for 3 h yielding a biochar with increased surface area and porosity compared to the raw filtercake. Filtercake biochar was primarily composed of aromatic carbon, with some residual cellulose and hemicellulose. In a three-week laboratory incubation, CO2 effluxes from a highly weathered Ferralsol soil amended with 5% biochar (dry weight, d.w.) were roughly four-fold higher than the soil-only control, but 23-fold lower than CO2 effluxes from soil amended with 5% (d.w.) raw filtercake. We also applied vinasse, a carbon-rich liquid waste from bioethanol production typically utilized as a fertilizer on sugarcane soils, to filtercake- and biochar-amended soils. Total CO2 efflux from the biochar-amended soil in response to vinasse application was only 5% of the efflux when vinasse was applied to soil amended with raw filtercake. Furthermore, mixtures of 5 or 10% biochar (d.w.) in this highly weathered tropical soil significantly increased water retention within the plant-available range and also improved nutrient availability. Accordingly, application of sugarcane filtercake as biochar, with or without vinasse application, may better satisfy soil management objectives than filtercake applied to soils in its raw form, and may help to build soil carbon stocks in sugarcane-cultivating regions. PMID:24897522

  3. Availability of surface boron species in improved oxygen reduction activity of Pt catalysts: A first-principles study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Libo; Zhou, Gang

    2016-04-14

    The oxidation process of boron (B) species on the Pt(111) surface and the beneficial effects of boron oxides on the oxygen reduction activity are investigated by first-principles calculations. The single-atom B anchored on the Pt surface has a great attraction for the oxygen species in the immediate environment. With the dissociation of molecular oxygen, a series of boron oxides is formed in succession, both indicating exothermic oxidation reactions. After BO2 is formed, the subsequent O atom immediately participates in the oxygen reduction reaction. The calculated O adsorption energy is appreciably decreased as compared to Pt catalysts, and more approximate to the optimal value of the volcano plot, from which is clear that O hydrogenation kinetics is improved. The modulation mechanism is mainly based on the electron-deficient nature of stable boron oxides, which normally reduces available electronic states of surface Pt atoms that bind the O by facilitating more electron transfer. This modification strategy from the exterior opens the new way, different from the alloying, to efficient electrocatalyst design for PEMFCs. PMID:27083744

  4. ADVANCED MONITORING TO IMPROVE COMBUSTION TURBINE/COMBINED CYCLE CT/(CC) RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY AND MAINTAINABILITY (RAM)

    SciTech Connect

    Leonard Angello

    2004-09-30

    Power generators are concerned with the maintenance costs associated with the advanced turbines that they are purchasing. Since these machines do not have fully established operation and maintenance (O&M) track records, power generators face financial risk due to uncertain future maintenance costs. This risk is of particular concern, as the electricity industry transitions to a competitive business environment in which unexpected O&M costs cannot be passed through to consumers. These concerns have accelerated the need for intelligent software-based diagnostic systems that can monitor the health of a combustion turbine in real time and provide valuable information on the machine's performance to its owner/operators. EPRI, Impact Technologies, Boyce Engineering, and Progress Energy have teamed to develop a suite of intelligent software tools integrated with a diagnostic monitoring platform that will, in real time, interpret data to assess the ''total health'' of combustion turbines. The Combustion Turbine Health Management System (CTHM) will consist of a series of dynamic link library (DLL) programs residing on a diagnostic monitoring platform that accepts turbine health data from existing monitoring instrumentation. The CTHM system will be a significant improvement over currently available techniques for turbine monitoring and diagnostics. CTHM will interpret sensor and instrument outputs, correlate them to a machine's condition, provide interpretative analyses, project servicing intervals, and estimate remaining component life. In addition, it will enable real-time anomaly detection and diagnostics of performance and mechanical faults, enabling power producers to more accurately predict critical component remaining useful life and turbine degradation.

  5. Availability of surface boron species in improved oxygen reduction activity of Pt catalysts: A first-principles study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Libo; Zhou, Gang

    2016-04-01

    The oxidation process of boron (B) species on the Pt(111) surface and the beneficial effects of boron oxides on the oxygen reduction activity are investigated by first-principles calculations. The single-atom B anchored on the Pt surface has a great attraction for the oxygen species in the immediate environment. With the dissociation of molecular oxygen, a series of boron oxides is formed in succession, both indicating exothermic oxidation reactions. After BO2 is formed, the subsequent O atom immediately participates in the oxygen reduction reaction. The calculated O adsorption energy is appreciably decreased as compared to Pt catalysts, and more approximate to the optimal value of the volcano plot, from which is clear that O hydrogenation kinetics is improved. The modulation mechanism is mainly based on the electron-deficient nature of stable boron oxides, which normally reduces available electronic states of surface Pt atoms that bind the O by facilitating more electron transfer. This modification strategy from the exterior opens the new way, different from the alloying, to efficient electrocatalyst design for PEMFCs.

  6. ADVANCED MONITORING TO IMPROVE COMBUSTION TURBINE/COMBINED CYCLE CT/(CC) RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY AND MAINTAINABILITY (RAM)

    SciTech Connect

    Leonard Angello

    2004-03-31

    Power generators are concerned with the maintenance costs associated with the advanced turbines that they are purchasing. Since these machines do not have fully established operation and maintenance (O&M) track records, power generators face financial risk due to uncertain future maintenance costs. This risk is of particular concern, as the electricity industry transitions to a competitive business environment in which unexpected O&M costs cannot be passed through to consumers. These concerns have accelerated the need for intelligent software-based diagnostic systems that can monitor the health of a combustion turbine in real time and provide valuable information on the machine's performance to its owner/operators. EPRI, Impact Technologies, Boyce Engineering, and Progress Energy have teamed to develop a suite of intelligent software tools integrated with a diagnostic monitoring platform that will, in real time, interpret data to assess the ''total health'' of combustion turbines. The Combustion Turbine Health Management System (CTHM) will consist of a series of dynamic link library (DLL) programs residing on a diagnostic monitoring platform that accepts turbine health data from existing monitoring instrumentation. The CTHM system will be a significant improvement over currently available techniques for turbine monitoring and diagnostics. CTHM will interpret sensor and instrument outputs, correlate them to a machine's condition, provide interpretative analyses, project servicing intervals, and estimate remaining component life. In addition, it will enable real-time anomaly detection and diagnostics of performance and mechanical faults, enabling power producers to more accurately predict critical component remaining useful life and turbine degradation.

  7. Lathyrus diversity: available resources with relevance to crop improvement – L. sativus and L. cicera as case studies

    PubMed Central

    Vaz Patto, M. C.; Rubiales, D.

    2014-01-01

    Background The Lathyrus genus includes 160 species, some of which have economic importance as food, fodder and ornamental crops (mainly L. sativus, L. cicera and L. odoratus, respectively) and are cultivated in >1·5 Mha worldwide. However, in spite of their well-recognized robustness and potential as a source of calories and protein for populations in drought-prone and marginal areas, cultivation is in decline and there is a high risk of genetic erosion. Scope In this review, current and past taxonomic treatments of the Lathyrus genus are assessed and its current status is examined together with future prospects for germplasm conservation, characterization and utilization. A particular emphasis is placed on the importance of diversity analysis for breeding of L. sativus and L. cicera. Conclusions Efforts for improvement of L. sativus and L. cicera should concentrate on the development of publicly available joint core collections, and on high-resolution genotyping. This will be critical for permitting decentralized phenotyping. Such a co-ordinated international effort should result in more efficient and faster breeding approaches, which are particularly needed for these neglected, underutilized Lathyrus species. PMID:24623333

  8. Investments in blood safety improve the availability of blood to underserved areas in a sub-Saharan African country

    PubMed Central

    Pitman, J. P.; Wilkinson, R.; Basavaraju, S. V.; von Finckenstein, B.; Sibinga, C. Smit; Marfin, A. A.; Postma, M. J.; Mataranyika, M.; Tobias, J.; Lowrance, D. W.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives Since 2004, several African countries, including Namibia, have received assistance from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Gains have been documented in the safety and number of collected units in these countries, but the distribution of blood has not been described. Materials and Methods Nine years of data on blood requests and issues from Namibia were stratified by region to describe temporal and spatial changes in the number and type of blood components issued to Namibian healthcare facilities nationally. Results Between 2004 and 2007 (early years of PEPFAR support) and 2008–2011 (peak years of PEPFAR support), the average number of red cell units issued annually increased by 23.5% in seven densely populated but less-developed regions in northern Namibia; by 30% in two regions with urban centres; and by 35.1% in four sparsely populated rural regions. Conclusion Investments in blood safety and a policy decision to emphasize distribution of blood to underserved regions improved blood availability in remote rural areas and increased the proportion of units distributed as components. However, disparities persist in the distribution of blood between Namibia’s urban and rural regions. PMID:26478742

  9. Making products available among community health workers: Evidence for improving community health supply chains from Ethiopia, Malawi, and Rwanda

    PubMed Central

    Chandani, Yasmin; Andersson, Sarah; Heaton, Alexis; Noel, Megan; Shieshia, Mildred; Mwirotsi, Amanda; Krudwig, Kirstin; Nsona, Humphreys; Felling, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    best when three key elements (product flow, data flow, and effective people) are deliberately included as an integral part of the system design. Although these elements may be designed differently in different settings, streamlining and synchronizing them while ensuring inclusion of all components for each element improves supply chain performance and promotes product availability at the community level. PMID:25520795

  10. Plant rhizosphere influence on microbial C metabolism: the role of elevated CO2, N availability and root stoichiometry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial decomposer C metabolism is considered a factor controlling soil C stability, a key regulator of global climate. The plant rhizosphere is now recognized as a crucial driver of soil C dynamics but specific mechanisms are unclear. Climate change could affect microbial C metabolism via impacts...

  11. Evaluation of thrombolytic potential of three medicinal plants available in Bangladesh, as a potent source of thrombolytic compounds

    PubMed Central

    Ramjan, Ali; Hossain, Marjan; Runa, Jannatul Ferdous; Md, Hasanuzzaman; Mahmodul, Islam

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The present study is aimed to investigate in vitro thrombolytic activity of three Bangladeshi medicinal plants Averrhoa bilimbi (Oxalidiaceae), Clerodendrum viscosum (Verbanaceae) and Drynaria quercifolia (Polypodiaceae). Materials and methods: Each the plant was extracted with methanol at room temperature and the concentrated methanolic extracts (MEF) were fractionated by the modified Kupchan partitioning method to render pet-ether soluble fraction (PESF), carbon tetrachloride soluble fraction (CTSF), chloroform soluble fraction (CSF) and aqueous soluble fraction (AQSF). To observe their thrombolytic potential, a prompt and swift method was involved where streptokinase and water were used as positive and negative control, respectively. Result: Among the three plants, AQSF and PESF of D. quercifolia with CTSF of C. viscosum exhibited highest thrombolytic activity by clot lysis of 34.38%, 34.27% and 28.64%, respectively. Among other extracts A. bilimbi, C. viscosun and D.quercifolia showed significant percentage (%) of clot lysis compared to standard streptokinase (41.05%) while the negative control water revealed 3.31 % lysis of clot. Conclusion: From our findings it is observed that all the plants revealed remarkable thrombolytic activity. Therefore, steps should be taken to observe in vivo clot dissolving potential and to isolate active component(s) of these extracts. PMID:25386407

  12. 76 FR 16439 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Availability of a Technical/Agency Draft...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-23

    ... 26, 1990 (55 FR 49046). A plant, S. gentianoides, comprises two varieties: Var. gentianoides is.... alabamensis is a narrow endemic limited to the Bibb County Glades in Alabama. The loss or alteration of..., Bibb County, Alabama) located on public land are stable (where fertility and mortality are...

  13. Trends in plant virus epidemiology: opportunities from new or improved technologies.

    PubMed

    Jones, R A C

    2014-06-24

    This review focuses on new or improved technologies currently being applied, or likely to be applied in the future, to worldwide research on plant virus epidemiology. Recent technological advances and innovations provide many opportunities to improve understanding of the way diverse types of plant virus epidemics develop and how to manage them. The review starts at the macro level by considering how recent innovations in remote sensing and precision agriculture can provide valuable information about (i) virus epidemics occurring at continental, regional or district scales (via satellites) and within individual crops (mostly via lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles), and (ii) exactly where to target control measures. It then considers recent improvements in information systems and innovations in modelling that improve (i) understanding of virus epidemics and ability to predict them, and (ii) delivery to end-users of critical advice on control measures, such as Internet-based Decision Support Systems. The review goes on to discuss how advances in analysis of spatiotemporal virus spread patterns within crops can help to enhance understanding of how virus epidemics develop and validate potentially useful virus control measures. At the micro level, the review then considers the many insights that advances in molecular epidemiology can provide about genetic variation within plant virus populations involved in epidemics, and how this variation drives what occurs at the macro level. Next, it describes how recent innovations in virus detection technologies are providing many opportunities to collect and analyse new types, and ever increasing amounts, of data about virus epidemics, and the genetic variability of the virus populations involved. Finally, the implications for plant virus epidemiology of technologies likely to be important in the future are considered. To address looming world food insecurity and threats to plant biodiversity resulting from climate change and

  14. 75 FR 29588 - Notice of Availability of the Models for Plant-Specific Adoption of Technical Specifications Task...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-26

    ..., Revision 1, is available in the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) under Accession... Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS... Control'' AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). ACTION: Notice of availability. SUMMARY: As part...

  15. The functional and taxonomic richness of wastewater treatment plant microbial communities are associated with each other and with ambient nitrogen and carbon availability.

    PubMed

    Johnson, David R; Lee, Tae Kwon; Park, Joonhong; Fenner, Kathrin; Helbling, Damian E

    2015-12-01

    The number of functional traits of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) microbial community (i.e. functional richness) is thought to be an important determinant of its overall functional performance, but the ecological factors that determine functional richness remain unclear. The number of taxa within a community (i.e. taxonomic richness) is one ecological factor that might be important. Communities that contain more taxa are more likely to have more functional traits, and a positive association is therefore expected between functional and taxonomic richness. Empirical tests for this positive association among WWTP communities, however, are lacking. We address this knowledge gap by measuring the functional and taxonomic richness of 10 independent WWTP communities. We demonstrate that functional and taxonomic richness are positively associated with each other. We further demonstrate that functional and taxonomic richness are negatively associated with the effluent NH4 -N and BOD5 concentrations. This led us to hypothesize that correlated variation in functional and taxonomic richness is likely related to variation in ambient nitrogen and carbon availability. We finally demonstrate that this hypothesis is consistent with the functional and taxonomic attributes of the WWTP communities. Together, our results improve our basic understanding of the ecology and functioning of WWTP communities. PMID:24552172

  16. Plant cell wall engineering: applications in biofuel production and improved human health.

    PubMed

    Burton, Rachel A; Fincher, Geoffrey B

    2014-04-01

    Plant cell walls consist largely of cellulose, non-cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin. Concerted attempts are underway to convert wall polysaccharides from crop plant residues into renewable transport fuels and other valuable products, and to exploit the dietary benefits of cereal grain wall polysaccharides in human health. Attempts to improve plant performance for these applications have involved the manipulation of the levels and structures of wall components. Some successes in altering non-cellulosic polysaccharides has been achieved, but it would appear that drastic changes in cellulose are more difficult to engineer. Nevertheless, future prospects for both genetically modified (GM) and non-GM technologies to modify plant cell wall composition and structure remain bright, and will undoubtedly find applications beyond the current focus on human health and biofuel production.

  17. Improved method for HPLC analysis of polyamines, agmatine and aromatic monoamines in plant tissue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slocum, R. D.; Flores, H. E.; Galston, A. W.; Weinstein, L. H.

    1989-01-01

    The high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method of Flores and Galston (1982 Plant Physiol 69: 701) for the separation and quantitation of benzoylated polyamines in plant tissues has been widely adopted by other workers. However, due to previously unrecognized problems associated with the derivatization of agmatine, this important intermediate in plant polyamine metabolism cannot be quantitated using this method. Also, two polyamines, putrescine and diaminopropane, also are not well resolved using this method. A simple modification of the original HPLC procedure greatly improves the separation and quantitation of these amines, and further allows the simulation analysis of phenethylamine and tyramine, which are major monoamine constituents of tobacco and other plant tissues. We have used this modified HPLC method to characterize amine titers in suspension cultured carrot (Daucas carota L.) cells and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) leaf tissues.

  18. Exploiting plant-microbe partnerships to improve biomass production and remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Weyens, N.; van der Lelie, D.; Taghavi, S.; Newman, L.; Vangronsveld, J.

    2009-10-01

    Although many plant-associated bacteria have beneficial effects on their host, their importance during plant growth and development is still underestimated. A better understanding of their plant growth-promoting mechanisms could be exploited for sustainable growth of food and feed crops, biomass for biofuel production and feedstocks for industrial processes. Such plant growth-promoting mechanisms might facilitate higher production of energy crops in a more sustainable manner, even on marginal land, and thus contribute to avoiding conflicts between food and energy production. Furthermore, because many bacteria show a natural capacity to cope with contaminants, they could be exploited to improve the efficiency of phytoremediation or to protect the food chain by reducing levels of agrochemicals in food crops.

  19. Improved Method for HPLC Analysis of Polyamines, Agmatine and Aromatic Monoamines in Plant Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Slocum, Robert D.; Flores, Hector E.; Galston, Arthur W.; Weinstein, Leonard H.

    1989-01-01

    The high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method of Flores and Galston (1982 Plant Physiol 69: 701) for the separation and quantitation of benzoylated polyamines in plant tissues has been widely adopted by other workers. However, due to previously unrecognized problems associated with the derivatization of agmatine, this important intermediate in plant polyamine metabolism cannot be quantitated using this method. Also, two polyamines, putrescine and diaminopropane, also are not well resolved using this method. A simple modification of the original HPLC procedure greatly improves the separation and quantitation of these amines, and further allows the simulation analysis of phenethylamine and tyramine, which are major monoamine constituents of tobacco and other plant tissues. We have used this modified HPLC method to characterize amine titers in suspension cultured carrot (Daucus carota L.) cells and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) leaf tissues. Images Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:11537449

  20. An overview of the US Department of Energy Plant Lifetime Improvement Program

    SciTech Connect

    Moonka, A.K.; Harrison, D.L.

    1995-08-01

    This paper provides a brief summary of the U.S. Department of Energy`s (USDOE`s) cooperative effort with the nuclear industry to develop technology to manage the effects of material degradation in systems, structures and components (SSCs) that impact plant safety or can significantly improve plant performance/economics and to establish and demonstrate the license renewal process. Also included are efforts to reduce decontamination/decommission costs, and reduce the uncertainty in long-term service-life decision making. During 1995, the Plant Lifetime Improvement (PLIM) Program was renamed the Commercial Operating Light Water Reactor (COLWR) Program activities are focused on sustaining the LWR option for domestic electricity generation by supporting operation of existing LWRs as long as they are safe, efficient, and economical. The status of the key projects is discussed in this paper.

  1. Value impact assessment: A preliminary assessment of improvement opportunities at the Quantico Central Heating Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Brambley, M.R.; Weakley, S.A.

    1990-09-01

    This report presents the results of a preliminary assessment of opportunities for improvement at the US Marine Corps (USMC) Quantico, Virginia, Central Heating Plant (CHP). This study is part of a program intended to provide the CHP staff with a computerized Artificial Intelligence (AI) decision support system that will assist in a more efficient, reliable, and safe operation of their plant. As part of the effort to provide the AI decision support system, a team of six scientists and engineers from the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) visited the plant to characterize the conditions and environment of the CHP. This assessment resulted in a list of potential performance improvement opportunities at the CHP. In this report, 12 of these opportunities are discussed and qualitatively analyzed. 70 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  2. An improved, low-cost, hydroponic system for growing Arabidopsis and other plant species under aseptic conditions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hydroponics is a plant growth system that provides a more precise control of growth media composition. Several hydroponic systems have been reported for Arabidopsis and other model plants. The ease of system set up, cost of the growth system and flexibility to characterize and harvest plant material are features continually improved in new hydroponic system reported. Results We developed a hydroponic culture system for Arabidopsis and other model plants. This low cost, proficient, and novel system is based on recyclable and sterilizable plastic containers, which are readily available from local suppliers. Our system allows a large-scale manipulation of seedlings. It adapts to different growing treatments and has an extended growth window until adult plants are established. The novel seed-holder also facilitates the transfer and harvest of seedlings. Here we report the use of our hydroponic system to analyze transcriptomic responses of Arabidopsis to nutriment availability and plant/pathogen interactions. Conclusions The efficiency and functionality of our proposed hydroponic system is demonstrated in nutrient deficiency and pathogenesis experiments. Hydroponically grown Arabidopsis seedlings under long-time inorganic phosphate (Pi) deficiency showed typical changes in root architecture and high expression of marker genes involved in signaling and Pi recycling. Genome-wide transcriptional analysis of gene expression of Arabidopsis roots depleted of Pi by short time periods indicates that genes related to general stress are up-regulated before those specific to Pi signaling and metabolism. Our hydroponic system also proved useful for conducting pathogenesis essays, revealing early transcriptional activation of pathogenesis-related genes. PMID:24649917

  3. Giprokoks proposals for improvement in air quality at coke battery 1A of Radlin coke plant

    SciTech Connect

    T.F. Trembach; A.G. Klimenko

    2009-07-15

    Coke battery 1A, which uses rammed batch, has gone into production at Radlin coke plant (Poland), on the basis of Giprokoks designs. Up-to-date dust-trapping methods are used for the first time within the aspiration systems in the coal-preparation shop and in improving dust collection within the production buildings.

  4. Coal flow aids reduce coke plant operating costs and improve production rates

    SciTech Connect

    Bedard, R.A.; Bradacs, D.J.; Kluck, R.W.; Roe, D.C.; Ventresca, B.P.

    2005-06-01

    Chemical coal flow aids can provide many benefits to coke plants, including improved production rates, reduced maintenance and lower cleaning costs. This article discusses the mechanisms by which coal flow aids function and analyzes several successful case histories. 2 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Practical aspects of running DOE for improving growth media for in vitro plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Experiments using DOE software to improve plant tissue culture growth medium are complicated and require complex setups. Once the experimental design is set and the treatment points calculated, media sheets and mixing charts must be developed. Since these experiments require three passages on the sa...

  6. Amending metal contaminated mine soil with biochars to sequester metals and improve plant growth cover

    EPA Science Inventory

    There are numerous mine spoil sites in the U.S. Pacific Northwest that contain highly acidic, heavy metal-laden soils, which limits establishment of a soil-stabilizing plant cover. Biochars may be a suitable soil amendment to reduce toxic metals, improve soil fertility, soil wa...

  7. SF3M 2.0: improvement of 3D photo-reconstruction interface based on freely available software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, Carlos; James, Michael R.; Pérez, Rafael; Gómez, Jose A.

    2016-04-01

    During recent years, a number of tools based on Structure-from-Motion algorithms have been released for full image-based 3D reconstruction either freely (e.g. Bundler, PMVS2, VisualSFM, MicMac) or commercially (e.g. Agisoft PhotoScan). The SF3M interface was developed in Matlab® to use link software developments (VisualSFM, CloudCompare) and new applications to create a semi-automated workflow including reconstruction, georeferencing and point-cloud filtering, and has been tested for gully erosion assessment with terrestrial images (Castillo et al., 2015). The main aim of this work to provide an improved freely-available and easy-to-use alternative for 3D reconstruction intended for public agencies, non-profit organisations, researchers and other stakeholders interested in 3D modelling. In this communication we present SF3M 2.0, a new version of the graphical user interface. In this case, the SfM module is based on MicMac, an open-software tool (Pierrot-Deseilligny and Cléry, 2011) which provides advanced features such as camera calibration and constrained bundle adjustment using ground control points. SF3M 2.0 will be tested in two scenarios: a) using the same ground-based image set tested in Castillo et al. (2015) to compare the performance of both versions and b) using aerial images taken from a helium balloon to assess a gully network in a 40-hectares catchment. In this study we explore the advantages of SF3M 2.0, explain its operation and evaluate its accuracy and performance. This tool will be also available for free download. References Castillo, C., James, M.R., Redel-Macías, M. D., Pérez, R., and Gómez, J.A.: SF3M software: 3-D photo-reconstruction for non-expert users and its application to a gully network, SOIL, 1, 583-594. Pierrot-Deseilligny, M and Cléry, I. APERO, an Open Source Bundle Adjusment Software for Automatic Calibration and Orientation of a Set of Images. Proceedings of the ISPRS Commission V Symposium, Image Engineering and Vision

  8. Application of plant growth regulators, a simple technique for improving the establishment success of plant cuttings in coastal dune restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balestri, Elena; Vallerini, Flavia; Castelli, Alberto; Lardicci, Claudio

    2012-03-01

    high survival potential and greater area cover. In contrast, a pre-treatment of cuttings of S. virginicus with Kinetin would achieve more acceptable plant survival rates. This easy and low cost-effective technique may be extended to other dune plant species and applied on a large scale to improve the chance of dune restoration success.

  9. Nitrogen availability impacts oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) plant water status and proline production efficiency under water-limited conditions.

    PubMed

    Albert, Benjamin; Le Cahérec, Françoise; Niogret, Marie-Françoise; Faes, Pascal; Avice, Jean-Christophe; Leport, Laurent; Bouchereau, Alain

    2012-08-01

    Large amounts of nitrogen (N) fertilizers are used in the production of oilseed rape. However, as low-input methods of crop management are introduced crops will need to withstand temporary N deficiency. In temperate areas, oilseed rape will also be affected by frequent drought periods. Here we evaluated the physiological and metabolic impact of nitrate limitation on the oilseed rape response to water deprivation. Different amounts of N fertilizer were applied to plants at the vegetative stage, which were then deprived of water and rehydrated. Both water and N depletion accelerated leaf senescence and reduced leaf development. N-deprived plants exhibited less pronounced symptoms of wilting during drought, probably because leaves were smaller and stomata were partially closed. Efficiency of proline production, a major stress-induced diversion of nitrogen metabolism, was assessed at different positions along the whole plant axis and related to leaf developmental stage and water status indices. Proline accumulation, preferentially in younger leaves, accounted for 25-85% of the free amino acid pool. This was mainly due to a better capacity for proline synthesis in fully N-supplied plants whether they were subjected to drought or not, as deduced from the expression patterns of the proline metabolism BnP5CS and BnPDH genes. Although less proline accumulated in the oldest leaves, a significant amount was transported from senescing to emerging leaves. Moreover, during rehydration proline was readily recycled. Our results therefore suggest that proline plays a significant role in leaf N remobilization and in N use efficiency in oilseed rape. PMID:22526495

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

    SciTech Connect

    John W. Rich

    2001-03-01

    Waste Processors Management, Inc. (WMPI), along with its subcontractors Texaco Power and Gasification (now ChevronTexaco), SASOL Technology Ltd., and Nexant Inc. entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the USDOE, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to assess the techno-economic viability of building an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) in the US to produce ultra clean Fischer-Tropsch (FT) transportation fuels with either power or steam as the major co--product. The EECP design includes recovery and gasification of low-cost coal waste (culm) from physical coal cleaning operations and will assess blends of the culm with coal or petroleum coke. The project has three phases: Phase 1 is the concept definition and engineering feasibility study to identify areas of technical, environmental and financial risk. Phase 2 is an experimental testing program designed to validate the coal waste mixture gasification performance. Phase 3 updates the original EECP design based on results from Phase 2, to prepare a preliminary engineering design package and financial plan for obtaining private funding to build a 5,000 barrel per day (BPD) coal gasification/liquefaction plant next to an existing co-generation plant in Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The current report is WMPI's third quarterly technical progress report. It covers the period performance from October 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown

    2002-07-01

    Waste Processors Management, Inc. (WMPI), along with its subcontractors entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to assess the techno-economic viability of building an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) in the US to produce ultra clean Fischer-Tropsch (FT) transportation fuels with either power or steam as the major co-product. The EECP design includes recovery and gasification of low-cost coal waste (culm) from physical coal cleaning operations and will assess blends of the culm with coal or petroleum coke. The project has three phases. Phase 1 is the concept definition and engineering feasibility study to identify areas of technical, environmental and financial risk. Phase 2 is an experimental testing program designed to validate the coal waste mixture gasification performance. Phase 3 updates the original EECP design based on results from Phase 2, to prepare a preliminary engineering design package and financial plan for obtaining private funding to build a 5,000 barrel per day (BPD) coal gasification/liquefaction plant next to an existing co-generation plant in Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The current report covers the period performance from April 1, 2002 through June 30, 2002.

  12. ADVANCED MONITORING TO IMPROVE COMBUSTION TURBINE/COMBINED CYCLE CT/(CC) RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY AND MAINTAINABILITY (RAM)

    SciTech Connect

    Leonard Angello

    2003-09-30

    Power generators are concerned with the maintenance costs associated with the advanced turbines that they are purchasing. Since these machines do not have fully established operation and maintenance (O&M) track records, power generators face financial risk due to uncertain future maintenance costs. This risk is of particular concern, as the electricity industry transitions to a competitive business environment in which unexpected O&M costs cannot be passed through to consumers. These concerns have accelerated the need for intelligent software-based diagnostic systems that can monitor the health of a combustion turbine in real time and provide valuable information on the machine's performance to its owner/operators. Such systems would interpret sensor and instrument outputs, correlate them to the machine's condition, provide interpretative analyses, forward projections of servicing intervals, estimate remaining component life, and identify faults. EPRI, Impact Technologies, Boyce Engineering, and Progress Energy have teamed to develop a suite of intelligent software tools integrated with a diagnostic monitoring platform that will, in real time, interpret data to assess the ''total health'' of combustion turbines. The Combustion Turbine Health Management System (CTHM) will consist of a series of dynamic link library (DLL) programs residing on a diagnostic monitoring platform that accepts turbine health data from existing monitoring instrumentation. The CTHM system will be a significant improvement over currently available techniques for turbine monitoring and diagnostics. CTHM will interpret sensor and instrument outputs, correlate them to a machine's condition, provide interpretative analyses, project servicing intervals, and estimate remaining component life. In addition, it will enable real-time anomaly detection and diagnostics of performance and mechanical faults, enabling power producers to more accurately predict critical component remaining useful life and

  13. Dark exposure of petunia cuttings strongly improves adventitious root formation and enhances carbohydrate availability during rooting in the light.

    PubMed

    Klopotek, Yvonne; Haensch, Klaus-Thomas; Hause, Bettina; Hajirezaei, Mohammad-Reza; Druege, Uwe

    2010-05-01

    The effect of temporary dark exposure on adventitious root formation (ARF) in Petuniaxhybrida 'Mitchell' cuttings was investigated. Histological and metabolic changes in the cuttings during the dark treatment and subsequent rooting in the light were recorded. Excised cuttings were exposed to the dark for seven days at 10 degrees C followed by a nine-day rooting period in perlite or were rooted immediately for 16 days in a climate chamber at 22/20 degrees C (day/night) and a photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) of 100micromolm(-2)s(-1). Dark exposure prior to rooting increased, accelerated and synchronized ARF. The rooting period was reduced from 16 days (non-treated cuttings) to 9 days (treated cuttings). Under optimum conditions, despite the reduced rooting period, dark-exposed cuttings produced a higher number and length of roots than non-treated cuttings. An increase in temperature to 20 degrees C during the dark treatment or extending the cold dark exposure to 14 days caused a similar enhancement of root development compared to non-treated cuttings. Root meristem formation had already started during the dark treatment and was enhanced during the subsequent rooting period. Levels of soluble sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and starch in leaf and basal stem tissues significantly decreased during the seven days of dark exposure. This depletion was, however, compensated during rooting after 6 and 24h for soluble sugars in leaves and the basal stem, respectively, whereas the sucrose level in the basal stem was already increased at 6h. The association of higher carbohydrate levels with improved rooting in previously dark-exposed versus non-treated cuttings indicates that increased post-darkness carbohydrate availability and allocation towards the stem base contribute to ARF under the influence of dark treatment and provide energy for cell growth subject to a rising sink intensity in the base of the cutting. PMID:20047776

  14. Dietary and plant polyphenols exert neuroprotective effects and improve cognitive function in cerebral ischemia.

    PubMed

    Panickar, Kiran S; Jang, Saebyeol

    2013-08-01

    Cerebral ischemia is caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain which generally leads to irreversible brain damage. Ischemic injury is associated with vascular leakage, inflammation, tissue injury, and cell death. Cellular changes associated with ischemia include impairment of metabolism, energy failure, free radical production, excitotoxicity, altered calcium homeostasis, and activation of proteases all of which affect brain functioning and also contribute to longterm disabilities including cognitive decline. Inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, increased oxidative/nitrosative stress, and intracellular calcium overload contribute to brain injury including cell death and brain edema. However, there is a paucity of agents that can effectively reduce cerebral damage and hence considerable attention has focused on developing newer agents with more efficacy and fewer side-effects. Polyphenols are natural compounds with variable phenolic structures and are rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. Most polyphenols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties and their protective effects on mitochondrial functioning, glutamate uptake, and regulating intracellular calcium levels in ischemic injury in vitro have been demonstrated. This review will assess the current status of the potential effects of polyphenols in reducing cerebral injury and improving cognitive function in ischemia in animal and human studies. In addition, the review will also examine available patents in nutrition and agriculture that relates to cerebral ischemic injury with an emphasis on plant polyphenols.

  15. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar.

    PubMed

    Kammann, Claudia I; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Joseph, Stephen; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars' positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BC(comp)). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BC(pure)) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BC(comp)) as well as growth-reducing (BC(pure)) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BC(comp) was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils.

  16. Microbial inoculants and organic amendment improves plant establishment and soil rehabilitation under semiarid conditions.

    PubMed

    Mengual, Carmen; Schoebitz, Mauricio; Azcón, Rosario; Roldán, Antonio

    2014-02-15

    The re-establishment of autochthonous shrub species is an essential strategy for recovering degraded soils under semiarid Mediterranean conditions. A field assay was carried out to determine the combined effects of the inoculation with native rhizobacteria (Bacillus megaterium, Enterobacter sp, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sp) and the addition of composted sugar beet (SB) residue on physicochemical soil properties and Lavandula dentata L. establishment. One year after planting, Bacillus sp. and B. megaterium + SB were the most effective treatments for increasing shoot dry biomass (by 5-fold with respect to control) and Enterobacter sp + SB was the most effective treatments for increasing dry root biomass. All the treatments evaluated significantly increased the foliar nutrient content (NPK) compared to control values (except B. thuringiensis + SB). The organic amendment had significantly increased available phosphorus content in rhizosphere soil by 29% respect to the control. Enterobacter sp combined with sugar beet residue improved total N content in soil (by 46% respect to the control) as well as microbiological and biochemical properties. The selection of the most efficient rhizobacteria strains and their combined effect with organic residue seems to be a critical point that drives the effectiveness of using these biotechnological tools for the revegetation and rehabilitation of degraded soils under semiarid conditions. PMID:24463051

  17. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar.

    PubMed

    Kammann, Claudia I; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Joseph, Stephen; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars' positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BC(comp)). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BC(pure)) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BC(comp)) as well as growth-reducing (BC(pure)) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BC(comp) was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils. PMID:26057083

  18. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar

    PubMed Central

    Kammann, Claudia I.; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars’ positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BCcomp). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BCpure) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BCcomp) as well as growth-reducing (BCpure) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BCcomp was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils. PMID:26057083

  19. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammann, Claudia I.; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-06-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars’ positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BCcomp). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BCpure) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BCcomp) as well as growth-reducing (BCpure) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BCcomp was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils.

  20. Measurement of zinc stable isotope ratios in biogeochemical matrices by double-spike MC-ICPMS and determination of the isotope ratio pool available for plants from soil.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Tim; Schönbächler, Maria; Rehkämper, Mark; Dong, Schuofei; Zhao, Fang-Jie; Kirk, Guy J D; Coles, Barry J; Weiss, Dominik J

    2010-12-01

    investigate the isotopic signature of plant available Zn. We find that the isotopic composition is heavier than the residual, indicating the presence of loosely bound Zn deposited by atmospheric pollution, which is readily available to plants.

  1. Criteria for determining alternative plants to improve the resource recovery efficiency in constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Chiarawatchai, N; Heers, M; Otterpohl, R

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study is to find the macrophytes that possess high resource recovery efficiency in subsurface-flow constructed wetlands (SFCWs) while not pose any negative effects to the treatment performance. Five criteria were included in this analysis. The suitable alternative plants were proposed according to their availabilities in each climate zone. For their potentials as an energy sources, they are related to plants' productivity as well as growth rate. Concerning the utilization options, plants that possess high economical value and/or versatilities were encouraged. Among the options are handicrafts, fertilizers, animal feeds, construction materials, paper making, and pharmaceutical products. In term of nutrient uptakes, in most cases they were relatively minor comparing to other removal mechanisms in SFCWs. No significant differences in term of treatment efficiency could be found. The proposed species have to be able to tolerate the municipal wastewater. The cost differences of plant propagules between each species are marginal, hence they should not be considered as the main selection criteria. Based on an investigation of 45 species worldwide, the recommendation table is developed with 13 suitable species that fit all the criteria. It appears that there are more than one "most appropriate plant species" in each climatic region. To perform the selection, the operators should weight their preferences on each criteria and the availability of plants in the area.

  2. Can citrate efflux from roots improve phosphorus uptake by plants? Testing the hypothesis with near-isogenic lines of wheat.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Peter R; James, Richard A; Weligama, Chandrakumara; Delhaize, Emmanuel; Rattey, Allan; Lewis, David C; Bovill, William D; McDonald, Glenn; Rathjen, Tina M; Wang, Enli; Fettell, Neil A; Richardson, Alan E

    2014-07-01

    Phosphorus (P) deficiency in some plant species triggers the release of organic anions such as citrate and malate from roots. These anions are widely suggested to enhance the availability of phosphate for plant uptake by mobilizing sparingly-soluble forms in the soil. Carazinho is an old wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivar from Brazil, which secretes citrate constitutively from its root apices, and here we show that it also produces relatively more biomass on soils with low P availability than two recent Australian cultivars that lack citrate efflux. To test whether citrate efflux explains this phenotype, we generated two sets of near-isogenic lines that differ in citrate efflux and compared their biomass production in different soil types and with different P treatments in glasshouse experiments and field trials. Citrate efflux improved relative biomass production in two of six glasshouse trials but only at the lowest P treatments where growth was most severely limited by P availability. Furthermore, citrate efflux provided no consistent advantage for biomass production or yield in multiple field trials. Theoretical modeling indicates that the effectiveness of citrate efflux in mobilizing soil P is greater as the volume of soil into which it diffuses increases. As efflux from these wheat plants is restricted to the root apices, the potential for citrate to mobilize sufficient P to increase shoot biomass may be limited. We conclude that Carazinho has other attributes that contribute to its comparatively good performance in low-P soils.

  3. Replace, reuse, recycle: improving the sustainable use of phosphorus by plants.

    PubMed

    Baker, Alison; Ceasar, S Antony; Palmer, Antony J; Paterson, Jaimie B; Qi, Wanjun; Muench, Stephen P; Baldwin, Stephen A

    2015-06-01

    The 'phosphorus problem' has recently received strong interest with two distinct strands of importance. The first is that too much phosphorus (P) is entering into waste water, creating a significant economic and ecological problem. Secondly, while agricultural demand for phosphate fertilizer is increasing to maintain crop yields, rock phosphate reserves are rapidly declining. Unravelling the mechanisms by which plants sense, respond to, and acquire phosphate can address both problems, allowing the development of crop plants that are more efficient at acquiring and using limited amounts of phosphate while at the same time improving the potential of plants and other photosynthetic organisms for nutrient recapture and recycling from waste water. In this review, we attempt to synthesize these important but often disparate parts of the debate in a holistic fashion, since solutions to such a complex problem require integrated and multidisciplinary approaches that address both P supply and demand. Rapid progress has been made recently in our understanding of local and systemic signalling mechanisms for phosphate, and of expression and regulation of membrane proteins that take phosphate up from the environment and transport it within the plant. We discuss the current state of understanding of such mechanisms involved in sensing and responding to phosphate stress. We also discuss approaches to improve the P-use efficiency of crop plants and future direction for sustainable use of P, including use of photosynthetic organisms for recapture of P from waste waters. PMID:25944926

  4. Advances in plant proteomics toward improvement of crop productivity and stress resistancex

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Junjie; Rampitsch, Christof; Bykova, Natalia V.

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic and biotic stresses constrain plant growth and development negatively impacting crop production. Plants have developed stress-specific adaptations as well as simultaneous responses to a combination of various abiotic stresses with pathogen infection. The efficiency of stress-induced adaptive responses is dependent on activation of molecular signaling pathways and intracellular networks by modulating expression, or abundance, and/or post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins primarily associated with defense mechanisms. In this review, we summarize and evaluate the contribution of proteomic studies to our understanding of stress response mechanisms in different plant organs and tissues. Advanced quantitative proteomic techniques have improved the coverage of total proteomes and sub-proteomes from small amounts of starting material, and characterized PTMs as well as protein–protein interactions at the cellular level, providing detailed information on organ- and tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms responding to a variety of individual stresses or stress combinations during plant life cycle. In particular, we address the tissue-specific signaling networks localized to various organelles that participate in stress-related physiological plasticity and adaptive mechanisms, such as photosynthetic efficiency, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, plant growth, tolerance and common responses to environmental stresses. We also provide an update on the progress of proteomics with major crop species and discuss the current challenges and limitations inherent to proteomics techniques and data interpretation for non-model organisms. Future directions in proteomics research toward crop improvement are further discussed. PMID:25926838

  5. Replace, reuse, recycle: improving the sustainable use of phosphorus by plants.

    PubMed

    Baker, Alison; Ceasar, S Antony; Palmer, Antony J; Paterson, Jaimie B; Qi, Wanjun; Muench, Stephen P; Baldwin, Stephen A

    2015-06-01

    The 'phosphorus problem' has recently received strong interest with two distinct strands of importance. The first is that too much phosphorus (P) is entering into waste water, creating a significant economic and ecological problem. Secondly, while agricultural demand for phosphate fertilizer is increasing to maintain crop yields, rock phosphate reserves are rapidly declining. Unravelling the mechanisms by which plants sense, respond to, and acquire phosphate can address both problems, allowing the development of crop plants that are more efficient at acquiring and using limited amounts of phosphate while at the same time improving the potential of plants and other photosynthetic organisms for nutrient recapture and recycling from waste water. In this review, we attempt to synthesize these important but often disparate parts of the debate in a holistic fashion, since solutions to such a complex problem require integrated and multidisciplinary approaches that address both P supply and demand. Rapid progress has been made recently in our understanding of local and systemic signalling mechanisms for phosphate, and of expression and regulation of membrane proteins that take phosphate up from the environment and transport it within the plant. We discuss the current state of understanding of such mechanisms involved in sensing and responding to phosphate stress. We also discuss approaches to improve the P-use efficiency of crop plants and future direction for sustainable use of P, including use of photosynthetic organisms for recapture of P from waste waters.

  6. 76 FR 9614 - Notice of Availability of the Proposed Models for Plant-Specific Adoption of Technical...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-18

    ..., published in the Federal Register on March 23, 2006 (71 FR 14726-14745, ADAMS Accession Number ML060760206... created or received at the NRC are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http..., 2005 (70 FR 74037), is available electronically under ADAMS Accession Number ML102700373....

  7. 75 FR 26294 - Notice of Availability of the Models for Plant-Specific Adoption of Technical Specifications Task...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-11

    ... available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html... (74 FR 58065-58067), is available electronically under ADAMS Accession Number ML100780154. Federal... http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID: NRC-2009-0487. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION...

  8. Final Report on the Operation and Maintenance Improvement Program for Concentrating Solar Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen Gilbert E.; Kearney, David W.; Kolb, Gregory J.

    1999-06-01

    This report describes the results of a six-year, $6.3 million project to reduce operation and maintenance (O&M) costs at power plants employing concentrating solar power (CSP) technology. Sandia National Laboratories teamed with KJC Operating Company to implement the O&M Improvement Program. O&M technologies developed during the course of the program were demonstrated at the 150-MW Kramer Junction solar power park located in Boron, California. Improvements were made in the following areas: (a) efficiency of solar energy collection, (b) O&M information management, (c) reliability of solar field flow loop hardware, (d) plant operating strategy, and (e) cost reduction associated with environmental issues. A 37% reduction in annual O&M costs was achieved. Based on the lessons learned, an optimum solar- field O&M plan for future CSP plants is presented. Parabolic trough solar technology is employed at Kramer Junction. However, many of the O&M improvements described in the report are also applicable to CSP plants based on solar power tower or dish/engine concepts.

  9. Silicon moderated the K deficiency by improving the plant-water status in sorghum

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Daoqian; Cao, Beibei; Wang, Shiwen; Liu, Peng; Deng, Xiping; Yin, Lina; Zhang, Suiqi

    2016-01-01

    Although silicon (Si) has been widely reported to alleviate plant nutrient deficiency, the underlying mechanism in potassium (K) deficiency is poorly understood. In this study, sorghum seedlings were treated with Si under a K deficiency condition for 15 days. Under control conditions, plant growth was not affected by Si application. The growth and water status were reduced by K-deficient stress, but Si application significantly alleviated these decreases. The leaf gas exchanges, whole-plant hydraulic conductance (Kplant), and root hydraulic conductance (Lpr) were reduced by K deficiency, but Si application moderated the K-deficiency-induced reductions, suggesting that Si alleviated the plant hydraulic conductance. In addition, 29% of Si-alleviated transpiration was eliminated by HgCl2 treatment, suggesting that aquaporin was not the primary cause for the reversal of plant hydraulic conductance. Moreover, the K+ concentration in xylem sap was significantly increased and the xylem sap osmotic potential was decreased by Si application, suggesting that the major cause of Si-induced improvement in hydraulic conductance could be ascribed to the enhanced xylem sap K+ concentration, which increases the osmotic gradient and xylem hydraulic conductance. The results of this study show that Si mediates K+ accumulation in xylem, which ultimately alleviates the plant-water status under the K-deficient condition. PMID:26961070

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

    SciTech Connect

    John W. Rich

    2003-06-01

    Waste Processors Management, Inc. (WMPI), along with its subcontractors Texaco Power & Gasification (now ChevronTexaco), SASOL Technology Ltd., and Nexant Inc. entered into a Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-00NT40693 with the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to assess the technoeconomic viability of building an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) in the United States to produce ultra clean Fischer-Tropsch (FT) transportation fuels with either power or steam as the major co-product. The EECP design includes recovery and gasification of low-cost coal waste (culm) from physical coal cleaning operations and will assess blends of the culm with coal or petroleum coke. The project has three phases. Phase I is the concept definition and engineering feasibility study to identify areas of technical, environmental and financial risk. Phase II is an experimental testing program designed to validate the coal waste mixture gasification performance. Phase III updates the original EECP design based on results from Phase II, to prepare a preliminary engineering design package and financial plan for obtaining private funding to build a 5,000 barrel per day (BPD) coal gasification/liquefaction plant next to an existing co-generation plant in Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The current report covers the period performance from January 1, 2003 through March 31, 2003. Phase I Task 6 activities of Preliminary Site Analysis were documented and reported as a separate Topical Report on February 2003. Most of the other technical activities were on hold pending on DOE's announcement of the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) awards. WMPI was awarded one of the CCPI projects in late January 2003 to engineer, construct and operate a first-of-kind gasification/liquefaction facility in the U.S. as a continued effort for the current WMPI EECP engineering feasibility study. Since then, project technical activities were focused on: (1

  11. Global scale analysis and evaluation of an improved mechanistic representation of plant nitrogen and carbon dynamics in the Community Land Model (CLM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghimire, B.; Riley, W. J.; Koven, C. D.; Randerson, J. T.; Mu, M.; Kattge, J.; Rogers, A.; Reich, P. B.

    2014-12-01

    In many ecosystems, nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient for plant growth and productivity. However mechanistic representation of nitrogen uptake linked to root traits, and functional nitrogen allocation among different leaf enzymes involved in respiration and photosynthesis is currently lacking in Earth System models. The linkage between nitrogen availability and plant productivity is simplistically represented by potential photosynthesis rates, and is subsequently downregulated depending on nitrogen supply and other nitrogen consumers in the model (e.g., nitrification). This type of potential photosynthesis rate calculation is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, plants do not photosynthesize at potential rates and then downregulate. Secondly, there is considerable subjectivity on the meaning of potential photosynthesis rates. Thirdly, there exists lack of understanding on modeling these potential photosynthesis rates in a changing climate. In addition to model structural issues in representing photosynthesis rates, the role of plant roots in nutrient acquisition have been largely ignored in Earth System models. For example, in CLM4.5, nitrogen uptake is linked to leaf level processes (e.g., primarily productivity) rather than root scale process involved in nitrogen uptake. We present a new plant model for CLM with an improved mechanistic presentation of plant nitrogen uptake based on root scale Michaelis Menten kinetics, and stronger linkages between leaf nitrogen and plant productivity by inferring relationships observed in global databases of plant traits (including the TRY database and several individual studies). We also incorporate improved representation of plant nitrogen leaf allocation, especially in tropical regions where significant over-prediction of plant growth and productivity in CLM4.5 simulations exist. We evaluate our improved global model simulations using the International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) framework. We conclude that

  12. 32 CFR 644.486 - Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar contracts. 644.486 Section 644.486 National... Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar... defined to mean plant equipment which: (1) Is held under a facilities contract of the Department; (2)...

  13. Review of nuclear power plant safety cable aging studies with recommendations for improved approaches and for future work.

    SciTech Connect

    Gillen, Kenneth Todd; Bernstein, Robert

    2010-11-01

    Many U. S. nuclear power plants are approaching 40 years of age and there is a desire to extend their life for up to 100 total years. Safety-related cables were originally qualified for nuclear power plant applications based on IEEE Standards that were published in 1974. The qualifications involved procedures to simulate 40 years of life under ambient power plant aging conditions followed by simulated loss of coolant accident (LOCA). Over the past 35 years or so, substantial efforts were devoted to determining whether the aging assumptions allowed by the original IEEE Standards could be improved upon. These studies led to better accelerated aging methods so that more confident 40-year lifetime predictions became available. Since there is now a desire to potentially extend the life of nuclear power plants way beyond the original 40 year life, there is an interest in reviewing and critiquing the current state-of-the-art in simulating cable aging. These are two of the goals of this report where the discussion is concentrated on the progress made over the past 15 years or so and highlights the most thorough and careful published studies. An additional goal of the report is to suggest work that might prove helpful in answering some of the questions and dealing with some of the issues that still remain with respect to simulating the aging and predicting the lifetimes of safety-related cable materials.

  14. Leaf δ15N as a physiological indicator of the responsiveness of N2-fixing alfalfa plants to elevated [CO2], temperature and low water availability

    PubMed Central

    Ariz, Idoia; Cruz, Cristina; Neves, Tomé; Irigoyen, Juan J.; Garcia-Olaverri, Carmen; Nogués, Salvador; Aparicio-Tejo, Pedro M.; Aranjuelo, Iker

    2015-01-01

    The natural 15N/14N isotope composition (δ15N) of a tissue is a consequence of its N source and N physiological mechanisms in response to the environment. It could potentially be used as a tracer of N metabolism in plants under changing environmental conditions, where primary N metabolism may be complex, and losses and gains of N fluctuate over time. In order to test the utility of δ15N as an indicator of plant N status in N2-fixing plants grown under various environmental conditions, alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plants were subjected to distinct conditions of [CO2] (400 vs. 700 μmol mol−1), temperature (ambient vs. ambient +4°C) and water availability (fully watered vs. water deficiency—WD). As expected, increased [CO2] and temperature stimulated photosynthetic rates and plant growth, whereas these parameters were negatively affected by WD. The determination of δ15N in leaves, stems, roots, and nodules showed that leaves were the most representative organs of the plant response to increased [CO2] and WD. Depletion of heavier N isotopes in plants grown under higher [CO2] and WD conditions reflected decreased transpiration rates, but could also be related to a higher N demand in leaves, as suggested by the decreased leaf N and total soluble protein (TSP) contents detected at 700 μmol mol−1 [CO2] and WD conditions. In summary, leaf δ15N provides relevant information integrating parameters which condition plant responsiveness (e.g., photosynthesis, TSP, N demand, and water transpiration) to environmental conditions. PMID:26322051

  15. Leaf δ(15)N as a physiological indicator of the responsiveness of N2-fixing alfalfa plants to elevated [CO2], temperature and low water availability.

    PubMed

    Ariz, Idoia; Cruz, Cristina; Neves, Tomé; Irigoyen, Juan J; Garcia-Olaverri, Carmen; Nogués, Salvador; Aparicio-Tejo, Pedro M; Aranjuelo, Iker

    2015-01-01

    The natural (15)N/(14)N isotope composition (δ(15)N) of a tissue is a consequence of its N source and N physiological mechanisms in response to the environment. It could potentially be used as a tracer of N metabolism in plants under changing environmental conditions, where primary N metabolism may be complex, and losses and gains of N fluctuate over time. In order to test the utility of δ(15)N as an indicator of plant N status in N2-fixing plants grown under various environmental conditions, alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plants were subjected to distinct conditions of [CO2] (400 vs. 700 μmol mol(-1)), temperature (ambient vs. ambient +4°C) and water availability (fully watered vs. water deficiency-WD). As expected, increased [CO2] and temperature stimulated photosynthetic rates and plant growth, whereas these parameters were negatively affected by WD. The determination of δ(15)N in leaves, stems, roots, and nodules showed that leaves were the most representative organs of the plant response to increased [CO2] and WD. Depletion of heavier N isotopes in plants grown under higher [CO2] and WD conditions reflected decreased transpiration rates, but could also be related to a higher N demand in leaves, as suggested by the decreased leaf N and total soluble protein (TSP) contents detected at 700 μmol mol(-1) [CO2] and WD conditions. In summary, leaf δ(15)N provides relevant information integrating parameters which condition plant responsiveness (e.g., photosynthesis, TSP, N demand, and water transpiration) to environmental conditions. PMID:26322051

  16. Comparing hydraulic properties of soil-less substrates with natural soils: a more detailed look at hydraulic properties and their impact on plant water availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawford, L.; Rivera, L. D.; van Iersel, M.

    2013-12-01

    Moisture release curves are often used when assessing plant-water relationships in soil-less substrates. However, differences between natural soils and soilless substrates make traditional assumptions about plant available water potentially invalid. If soil-less substrates are supposed to be treated like natural soils; why do plants begin wilting at very low water potentials (-10 to -30 kPa) and there is anywhere between 20 to 40 % water left (on a volumetric basis) in the soil (Abad et al., 2005; Arguedas et al., 2006; Ristvey et al, 2008) . We hypothesize that the fault lies in the methods used and the assumption that water potential is the only limiting factor in water availability to plants. Hydraulic properties, including the relationships that exist between plant available water, water content, and hydraulic conductivity of soil-less substrates have traditionally been characterized using instrumentation such as pressure plates, hanging water columns, and tempe cells. These approaches typically take a months and only provide data on select segments of the soil moisture release curve, and in the case of pressure plates and hanging water columns hydraulic conductivity is ignored and not very well understood. Using the Wind/Schindler Evaporation method more detailed measurements of these hydraulic properties can be measured in a less than a week. A more detailed look at the hydraulic properties of soil-less substrates and how they compare with natural soils may give us more insight into soil-plant-water-relations and what limits availability of water to plants. Soil moisture release curves and hydraulic conductivity curves of different soil-less substrates were compared with curves from typical agriculture soils to give insight into how these properties compare. Results of the soil moisture release curves showed that some soil-less substrates had comparable moisture release curves to agricultural soils while others had bi-modal curves indicating gap-gradation in

  17. Tilting Plant Metabolism for Improved Metabolite Biosynthesis and Enhanced Human Benefit.

    PubMed

    Ncube, Bhekumthetho; Van Staden, Johannes

    2015-07-13

    The immense chemical diversity of plant-derived secondary metabolites coupled with their vast array of biological functions has seen this group of compounds attract considerable research interest across a range of research disciplines. Medicinal and aromatic plants, in particular, have been exploited for this biogenic pool of phytochemicals for products such as pharmaceuticals, fragrances, dyes, and insecticides, among others. With consumers showing increasing interests in these products, innovative biotechnological techniques are being developed and employed to alter plant secondary metabolism in efforts to improve on the quality and quantity of specific metabolites of interest. This review provides an overview of the biosynthesis for phytochemical compounds with medicinal and other related properties and their associated biological activities. It also provides an insight into how their biosynthesis/biosynthetic pathways have been modified/altered to enhance production.

  18. Metabolic engineering of medicinal plants: transgenic Atropa belladonna with an improved alkaloid composition.

    PubMed Central

    Yun, D J; Hashimoto, T; Yamada, Y

    1992-01-01

    The tropane alkaloid scopolamine is a medicinally important anticholinergic drug present in several solanaceous plants. Hyoscyamine 6 beta-hydroxylase (EC 1.14.11.11) catalyzes the oxidative reactions in the biosynthetic pathway leading from hyoscyamine to scopolamine. We introduced the hydroxylase gene from Hyoscyamus niger under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter into hyoscyamine-rich Atropa belladonna by the use of an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system. A transgenic plant that constitutively and strongly expressed the transgene was selected, first by screening for kanamycin resistance and then by immunoscreening leaf samples with an antibody specific for the hydroxylase. In the primary transformant and its selfed progeny that inherited the transgene, the alkaloid contents of the leaf and stem were almost exclusively scopolamine. Such metabolically engineered plants should prove useful as breeding materials for obtaining improved medicinal components. Images PMID:1465402

  19. Improved Exact Enumerative Algorithms for the Planted (l, d)-Motif Search Problem.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Shunji

    2014-01-01

    In this paper efficient exact algorithms are proposed for the planted ( l, d)-motif search problem. This problem is to find all motifs of length l that are planted in each input string with at most d mismatches. The "quorum" version of this problem is also treated in this paper to find motifs planted not in all input strings but in at least q input strings. The proposed algorithms are based on the previous algorithms called qPMSPruneI and qPMS7 that traverse a search tree starting from a l-length substring of an input string. To improve these previous algorithms, several techniques are introduced, which contribute to reducing the computation time for the traversal. In computational experiments, it will be shown that the proposed algorithms outperform the previous algorithms.

  20. Experimental Warming and Precipitation Effects on Plant Community Composition, Productivity, Nutrient Availability, and Soil Respiration in Pacific Northwest Prairies along a Natural Climate Gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridgham, S. D.; Pfeifer-Meister, L.; Tomaszewski, T.; Reynolds, L.; Goklany, M.; Wilson, H.; Johnson, B. R.

    2011-12-01

    Climate change effects on soil respiration and carbon stores in grasslands globally may have significant implications for future atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Climate change may also may negatively impact native plant species and favor exotic species. We are experimentally increasing temperature by 3 degrees C and increasing precipitation by 25% above ambient in three upland prairie sites along a natural climate gradient from southwestern Oregon to central-western Washington to determine how future climate change will affect (i) plant community composition and the relative success of native versus introduced plant species and (ii) above- and belowground carbon and nutrient dynamics. Sixty plots (20 at each site) were restored by mowing, raking, and herbicide application followed by the sowing of the same 34 native grass and forb species in each plot. Differences in total cover, net primary productivity, and community composition were much greater among sites than among treatments within sites in both 2010--the establishment year, and 2011-the first full year of treatment. Strong successional dynamics occurred over the two years as competition intensified, but these were dependent on a site-treatment interaction, with lower native plant survival in heated plots because of competitive exclusion by exotic, invasive plants. A strong treatment - season interaction in canopy cover (as determined by canopy reflectance) also occurred, with heating causing greater cover during the wet season and lower cover during the dry season. This effect was strongest in the southernmost site which experiences earlier and more intense drought conditions. There were also strong site, treatment, and season interactions on nutrient availability as determined by cation-anion exchange resins. Heating increased nutrient availability in all but the northernmost site during the growing season, and that site also had much lower nutrient availability, but overall availability and

  1. Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for the Pharmaceutical Industry. An ENERGY STAR Guide for Energy and Plant Managers

    SciTech Connect

    Galitsky, Christina; Galitsky, Christina; Chang, Sheng-chieh; Worrell, Ernst; Masanet, Eric

    2008-03-01

    The U.S. pharmaceutical industry consumes almost $1 billion in energy annually. Energy efficiency improvement is an important way to reduce these costs and to increase predictable earnings, especially in times of high energy price volatility. There are a variety of opportunities available at individual plants in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry to reduce energy consumption in a cost-effective manner. This Energy Guide discusses energy efficiency practices and energy efficient technologies that can be implemented at the component, process, system, and organizational levels. A discussion of the trends, structure, and energy consumption characteristics of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry is provided along with a description of the major process steps in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process. Expected savings in energy and energy-related costs are given for many energy efficiency measures, based on case study data from real-world applications in pharmaceutical and related facilities worldwide. Typical measure payback periods and references to further information in the technical literature are also provided, when available. The information in this Energy Guide is intended to help energy and plant managers reduce energy consumption in a cost-effective manner while meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining the quality of products manufactured. At individual plants, further research on the economics of the measures?as well as their applicability to different production practices?is needed to assess potential implementation of selected technologies.

  2. 76 FR 19510 - Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Models For Plant-Specific Adoption of Technical...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-07

    ... the Federal Register on July 5, 2005 (70 FR 38729-38731, ADAMS Package Accession Number ML051650144... created or received at the NRC are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http... of Opportunity for Public Comment announced in the Federal Register on May 4, 2005 (70 FR...

  3. 75 FR 81637 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Availability of the St. Andrew Beach...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-28

    ... (63 FR 70053). The endangered St. Andrew beach mouse is now found in two populations: East Crooked... recovery plan available for public comment from April 22, 2009 through June 22, 2009 (74 FR 18403). We... feral cats and hogs in beach mouse habitat. 4. In areas with known populations of beach mice...

  4. Chemical speciation of cadmium: an approach to evaluate plant-available cadmium in Ecuadorian soils under cacao production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elevated concentration of cadmium (Cd) in cacao beans has raised serious concerns about the safety of chocolate consumption. Accumulation of Cd cacao bean in southern Ecuador has been reported to relate soil contamination. In this study, soil fractionation was conducted to identify available Cd poo...

  5. 76 FR 54510 - Notice of Availability of Proposed Models for Plant-Specific Adoption of Technical Specifications...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-01

    ...--Update to TSTF-360'' (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML092670242... Controls program, titled ``Battery Monitoring and Maintenance Program,'' is added to Section 5.5... Traveler TSTF-500, Revision 2. You can access publicly available documents related to this notice using...

  6. Comparing PAH availability from manufactured gas plant soils and sediments with chemical and biological tests. 1. PAH release during water desorption and supercritical carbon dioxide extraction.

    PubMed

    Hawthorne, Steven B; Poppendieck, Dustin G; Grabanski, Carol B; Loehr, Raymond C

    2002-11-15

    Soil and sediment samples from oil gas (OG) and coal gas (CG) manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites were selected to represent a range of PAH concentrations (150-40,000 mg/kg) and sample matrix compositions. Samples varied from vegetated soils to lampblack soot and had carbon contents from 3 to 87 wt %. SFE desorption (120 min) and water/XAD2 desorption (120 days) curves were determined and fit with a simple two-site model to determine the rapid-released fraction (F) for PAHs ranging from naphthalene to benzo[ghi]perylene. F values varied greatly among the samples, from ca. 10% to >90% for the two- and three-ring PAHs and from <1% to ca. 50% for the five- and six-ring PAHs. Release rates did not correlate with sample matrix characteristics including PAH concentrations, elemental composition (C, H, N, S), or "hard" and "softs" organic carbon, indicating that PAH release cannot easily be estimated on the basis of sample matrix composition. Fvalues for CG site samples obtained with SFE and water desorption agreed well (linear correlation coefficient, r2 = 0.87, slope = 0.93), but SFE yielded higher F values for the OG samples. These behaviors were attributed to the stronger ability of carbon dioxide than water to desorb PAHs from the highly aromatic (hard) carbon of the OG matrixes, while carbon dioxide and water showed similar abilities to desorb PAHs from the more polar (soft) carbon of the CG samples. The combined SFE and water desorption approaches should improve the understanding of PAH sequestration and release from contaminated soils and sediments and provide the basis for subsequent studies using the same samples to compare PAH release with PAH availability to earthworms. PMID:12487302

  7. Improvements to the HYLIFE-II inertial fusion power plant design

    SciTech Connect

    Moir, R.W.

    1994-06-01

    If the present research program is successful, heavy-ion beams can be used to ignite targets and to produce high gain for yields of about 350 MJ. HYLIFE-II is a power plant design based on surrounding such targets with thick liquid (Flibe, Li{sub 2}BeF{sub 4}) so that the chamber and other apparatus can not only stand up to these 350 MJ bursts of energy but do so without replacing components during the plant`s 30-year life. The capacity factor will be increased and the cost of component replacement will be decreased. Continuous improvements to the design are being made to increase safety, decrease the generation of radioactive material, and reduce the cost of electricity (COE). Improvements discussed in this paper decreased COE for each effect by the amount in parentheses: increased plant size (22%), increased capacity factor and reduced component replacement (20%), reduced remote maintenance equipment (3.2%), use of nonnuclear grade chamber, pumps and piping (2.9%), reduced tritium inventory by a factor of 2.4, reduced excess tritium production with attendant increase energy release in the blanket (1.8%), corrected treatment of Flibe inventory costs (3.4%).

  8. Utilizing clad piping to improve process plant piping integrity, reliability, and operations

    SciTech Connect

    Chakravarti, B.

    1996-07-01

    During the past four years carbon steel piping clad with type 304L (UNS S30403) stainless steel has been used to solve the flow accelerated corrosion (FAC) problem in nuclear power plants with exceptional success. The product is designed to allow ``like for like`` replacement of damaged carbon steel components where the carbon steel remains the pressure boundary and type 304L (UNS S30403) stainless steel the corrosion allowance. More than 3000 feet of piping and 500 fittings in sizes from 6 to 36-in. NPS have been installed in the extraction steam and other lines of these power plants to improve reliability, eliminate inspection program, reduce O and M costs and provide operational benefits. This concept of utilizing clad piping in solving various corrosion problems in industrial and process plants by conservatively selecting a high alloy material as cladding can provide similar, significant benefits in controlling corrosion problems, minimizing maintenance cost, improving operation and reliability to control performance and risks in a highly cost effective manner. This paper will present various material combinations and applications that appear ideally suited for use of the clad piping components in process plants.

  9. [Rhizospheria bacteria of Poplus euphratica improve resistance of wood plants to heavy metals].

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen; Ouyang, Li-ming; Kong, Pei-jun; Yang, Ze-yu; Wu, Wei; Zhu, Dong-lin; Zhang, Li-li

    2015-09-01

    Populus euphratica is a special kind of woody plant, which lives in desert area of northwestern China and is strongly resistant to multiple abiotic stresses. However, the knowledge about the ecology and physiological roles of microbes associated with P. euphratica is still not enough. In this paper, we isolated 72 strains resistant to heavy metals from rhizospheric soil of wild P. euphratica forest in Shaya County of Xinjiang. There were 50 strains conveying resistance to one of four heavy metals (Cu2+, Ni2+, Pb2+ or Zn2+), and 9 strains were resistant to at least three kinds of these heavy metals. Five of the multi-heavy metal resistant bacteria were inoculated to bamboo willow and the growth inhibition of plant under stresses of Cu2+ or Zn2+ was found to be alleviated to different extent. Among the 5 strains, Pseudomonas sp. Z30 and Cupriavidus sp. N8 significantly improved the growth of plant under stresses of both zinc and copper when compared to the uninoculated controls. The results showed the diversity of heavy metal resistant bacteria associated with P. euphratica which lived in a non-heavy metal polluted area and some of the multi-heavy metal resistant bacteria may greatly improve the growth of host plant under heavy metal.stress. The PGPB associated with P. euphratica has potential application in the xylophyte-microbe remediation of environmental heavy metal pollution. PMID:26785565

  10. Improving Compressed Air Energy Efficiency in Automotive Plants - Practical Examples and Implementation

    SciTech Connect

    Alkadi, Nasr E; Kissock, Professor Kelly

    2011-01-01

    The automotive industry is the largest industry in the United States in terms of the dollar value of production [1]. U.S. automakers face tremendous pressure from foreign competitors, which have an increasing manufacturing presence in this country. The Big Three North American Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are reacting to declining sales figures and economic strain by working more efficiently and seeking out opportunities to reduce production costs without negatively affecting the production volume or the quality of the product. Successful, cost-effective investment and implementation of the energy efficiency technologies and practices meet the challenge of maintaining the output of high quality product with reduced production costs. Automotive stamping and assembly plants are typically large users of compressed air with annual compressed air utility bills in the range of $2M per year per plant. This paper focuses on practical methods that the authors have researched, analyzed and implemented to improve compressed air system efficiency in automobile manufacturing facilities. It describes typical compressed air systems in automotive stamping and assembly plants, and compares these systems to best practices. The paper then presents a series of examples, organized using the method of inside-out approach, which strategically identifies the energy savings in the compressed air system by first minimizing end-use demand, then minimizing distribution losses, and finally making improvements to primary energy conversion equipment, the air compressor plant.

  11. High irradiance improves ammonium tolerance in wheat plants by increasing N assimilation.

    PubMed

    Setién, Igor; Fuertes-Mendizabal, Teresa; González, Azucena; Aparicio-Tejo, Pedro Ma; González-Murua, Carmen; González-Moro, María Begoña; Estavillo, José María

    2013-05-15

    Ammonium is a paradoxical nutrient ion. Despite being a common intermediate in plant metabolism whose oxidation state eliminates the need for its reduction in the plant cell, as occurs with nitrate, it can also result in toxicity symptoms. Several authors have reported that carbon enrichment in the root zone enhances the synthesis of carbon skeletons and, accordingly, increases the capacity for ammonium assimilation. In this work, we examined the hypothesis that increasing the photosynthetic photon flux density is a way to increase plant ammonium tolerance. Wheat plants were grown in a hydroponic system with two different N sources (10mM nitrate or 10mM ammonium) and with two different light intensity conditions (300 μmol photon m(-2)s(-1) and 700 μmol photon m(-2)s(-1)). The results show that, with respect to biomass yield, photosynthetic rate, shoot:root ratio and the root N isotopic signature, wheat behaves as a sensitive species to ammonium nutrition at the low light intensity, while at the high intensity, its tolerance is improved. This improvement is a consequence of a higher ammonium assimilation rate, as reflected by the higher amounts of amino acids and protein accumulated mainly in the roots, which was supported by higher tricarboxylic acid cycle activity. Glutamate dehydrogenase was a key root enzyme involved in the tolerance to ammonium, while glutamine synthetase activity was low and might not be enough for its assimilation.

  12. [Rhizospheria bacteria of Poplus euphratica improve resistance of wood plants to heavy metals].

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen; Ouyang, Li-ming; Kong, Pei-jun; Yang, Ze-yu; Wu, Wei; Zhu, Dong-lin; Zhang, Li-li

    2015-09-01

    Populus euphratica is a special kind of woody plant, which lives in desert area of northwestern China and is strongly resistant to multiple abiotic stresses. However, the knowledge about the ecology and physiological roles of microbes associated with P. euphratica is still not enough. In this paper, we isolated 72 strains resistant to heavy metals from rhizospheric soil of wild P. euphratica forest in Shaya County of Xinjiang. There were 50 strains conveying resistance to one of four heavy metals (Cu2+, Ni2+, Pb2+ or Zn2+), and 9 strains were resistant to at least three kinds of these heavy metals. Five of the multi-heavy metal resistant bacteria were inoculated to bamboo willow and the growth inhibition of plant under stresses of Cu2+ or Zn2+ was found to be alleviated to different extent. Among the 5 strains, Pseudomonas sp. Z30 and Cupriavidus sp. N8 significantly improved the growth of plant under stresses of both zinc and copper when compared to the uninoculated controls. The results showed the diversity of heavy metal resistant bacteria associated with P. euphratica which lived in a non-heavy metal polluted area and some of the multi-heavy metal resistant bacteria may greatly improve the growth of host plant under heavy metal.stress. The PGPB associated with P. euphratica has potential application in the xylophyte-microbe remediation of environmental heavy metal pollution.

  13. In vitro assessment of the pulmonary toxicity and gastric availability of lead-rich particles from a lead recycling plant.

    PubMed

    Uzu, Gaëlle; Sauvain, Jean-Jacques; Baeza-Squiban, Armelle; Riediker, Michael; Hohl, Magdalena Sánchez Sandoval; Val, Stéphanie; Tack, Karine; Denys, Sébastien; Pradère, Philippe; Dumat, Camille

    2011-09-15

    Epidemiological studies in urban areas have linked increasing respiratory and cardiovascular pathologies with atmospheric particulate matter (PM) from anthropic activities. However, the biological fate of metal-rich PM industrial emissions in urban areas of developed countries remains understudied. Lead toxicity and bioaccessibility assessments were therefore performed on emissions from a lead recycling plant, using complementary chemical acellular tests and toxicological assays, as a function of PM size (PM(10-2.5), PM(2.5-1) and PM(1)) and origin (furnace, refining and channeled emissions). Process PM displayed differences in metal content, granulometry, and percentage of inhalable fraction as a function of their origin. Lead gastric bioaccessibility was relatively low (maximum 25%) versus previous studies; although, because of high total lead concentrations, significant metal quantities were solubilized in simulated gastrointestinal fluids. Regardless of origin, the finest PM(1) particles induced the most significant pro-inflammatory response in human bronchial epithelial cells. Moreover, this biological response correlated with pro-oxidant potential assay results, suggesting some biological predictive value for acellular tests. Pulmonary effects from lead-rich PM could be driven by thiol complexation with either lead ions or directly on the particulate surface. Finally, health concern of PM was discussed on the basis of pro-inflammatory effects, accellular test results, and PM size distribution.

  14. Optimisation of Noosa BNR plant to improve performance and reduce operating costs.

    PubMed

    Thomas, M; Wright, P; Blackall, L; Urbain, V; Keller, J

    2003-01-01

    Noosa WWTP is publicly owned and privately operated by Australian Water Services. The process includes primary sedimentation, raw sludge fermentation, biological nutrient removal (BNR), sand filtration and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. An innovative feature of the plant is the supplementary carbon dosing facility to avoid the use of metal salts (alum or ferric) for phosphorus removal. The average flow treated during 2000 was 9.0 ML/d. The annual 50 percentile effluent quality requirements for nutrients are total N < 5 mg/L and total P < 1 mg/L. The objectives of this project were to: determine the cause of variability in phosphorus removal; develop a strategy to control the variability in phosphorus removal; and minimise the operating cost of supplementary carbon dosing while achieving the effluent quality requirements. An investigation of chemical and microbiological parameters was implemented and it was concluded that there were several factors causing variability in phosphorus removal, rather than a single cause. The following four major causes were identified, and the control strategies that were adopted resulted in the plant achieving annual 50 percentile effluent total P = 0.37 mg/L and total N = 3.0 mg/L during 2001. First, phosphorus removal was limited by the available VFA supply due to consumption of VFA by other organisms competing with phosphate accumulating organisms (PAO), and due to diurnal variations in the sewage VFA and phosphate concentrations. Therefore, supplementary carbon dosing was essential to make allowance for competing reactions. Second, increasing the fermenter VFA yield via supplementary carbon dosing with molasses was found to be an effective and economic way of ensuring reliable phosphorus removal. Third, nitrate in the RAS resulted in consumption of VFA by denitrifying bacteria, particularly with process configurations where the RAS was recycled directly into the anaerobic zone. Incorporating a RAS denitrification zone into the

  15. 25 CFR 30.121 - What funds are available to assist schools identified for school improvement, corrective action...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... that the funds enable the lowest-achieving schools to meet progress goals in the school improvement... other entities such as school support teams or educational service agencies. (b) In allocating funds under this section, the Bureau will give priority to schools that: (1) Are the lowest-achieving...

  16. Evaluation and improvement of wastewater treatment plant performance using BioWin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oleyiblo, Oloche James; Cao, Jiashun; Feng, Qian; Wang, Gan; Xue, Zhaoxia; Fang, Fang

    2015-03-01

    In this study, the activated sludge model implemented in the BioWin® software was validated against full-scale wastewater treatment plant data. Only two stoichiometric parameters ( Y p/acetic and the heterotrophic yield ( Y H)) required calibration. The value 0.42 was used for Y p/acetic in this study, while the default value of the BioWin® software is 0.49, making it comparable with the default values of the corresponding parameter (yield of phosphorus release to substrate uptake ) used in ASM2, ASM2d, and ASM3P, respectively. Three scenarios were evaluated to improve the performance of the wastewater treatment plant, the possibility of wasting sludge from either the aeration tank or the secondary clarifier, the construction of a new oxidation ditch, and the construction of an equalization tank. The results suggest that construction of a new oxidation ditch or an equalization tank for the wastewater treatment plant is not necessary. However, sludge should be wasted from the aeration tank during wet weather to reduce the solids loading of the clarifiers and avoid effluent violations. Therefore, it is recommended that the design of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) should include flexibility to operate the plants in various modes. This is helpful in selection of the appropriate operating mode when necessary, resulting in substantial reductions in operating costs.

  17. Engineering plastid fatty acid biosynthesis to improve food quality and biofuel production in higher plants.

    PubMed

    Rogalski, Marcelo; Carrer, Helaine

    2011-06-01

    The ability to manipulate plant fatty acid biosynthesis by using new biotechnological approaches has allowed the production of transgenic plants with unusual fatty acid profile and increased oil content. This review focuses on the production of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLCPUFAs) and the increase in oil content in plants using molecular biology tools. Evidences suggest that regular consumption of food rich in VLCPUFAs has multiple positive health benefits. Alternative sources of these nutritional fatty acids are found in cold-water fishes. However, fish stocks are in severe decline because of decades of overfishing, and also fish oils can be contaminated by the accumulation of toxic compounds. Recently, there is also an increase in oilseed use for the production of biofuels. This tendency is partly associated with the rapidly rising costs of petroleum, increased concern about the environmental impact of fossil oil and the attractive need to develop renewable sources of fuel. In contrast to this scenario, oil derived from crop plants is normally contaminant free and less environmentally aggressive. Genetic engineering of the plastid genome (plastome) offers a number of attractive advantages, including high-level foreign protein expression, marker-gene excision and transgene containment because of maternal inheritance of plastid genome in most crops. Here, we describe the possibility to improve fatty acid biosynthesis in plastids, production of new fatty acids and increase their content in plants by genetic engineering of plastid fatty acid biosynthesis via plastid transformation.

  18. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant-Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism.

    PubMed

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant-microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant-microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  19. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant-Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism.

    PubMed

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant-microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant-microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies.

  20. PCS Nitrogen: Combustion Fan System Optimization Improves Performance and Saves Energy at a Chemical Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2005-01-01

    This U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program case study describes how, in 2003, PCS Nitrogen, Inc., improved the efficiency of the combustion fan on a boiler at the company's chemical fertilizer plant in Augusta, Georgia. The project saved $420,000 and 76,400 million British thermal units (MBtu) per year. In addition, maintenance needs declined, because there is now less stress on the fan motor and bearings and less boiler feed water usage. This project was so successful that the company has implemented more efficiency improvements that should result in energy cost savings of nearly $1 million per year.

  1. Physicochemical characterization of coke-plant soil for the assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon availability and the feasibility of phytoremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Ahn, S.; Werner, D.; Luthy, R.G.

    2005-09-01

    Coke oven site soil was characterized to assess the particle association and availability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We identified various carbonaceous materials including coal, coke, pitch, and tar decanter sludge. Most of the PAHs were associated with the polymeric matrix of tar sludge or hard pitch as discrete particles, coatings on soil mineral particles, or complex aggregates. The PAH availability from these particles was very low due to hindered diffusive release from solid tar or pitch with apparent diffusivities of 6 x 10{sup -15} for phenanthrene, 3 x 10{sup -15} for pyrene, and 1 x 10{sup -15} cm{sup 2}/s for benzo(a)pyrene. Significant concentrations of PAHs were observed in the interior of solid tar aggregates with up to 40,000 mg/kg total PAHs. The release of PAHs from the interior of such particles requires diffusion over a substantial distance, and semipermeable membrane device tests confirmed a very limited availability of PAHs. These findings explain the results from three years of phytoremediation of the site soil, for which no significant changes in the total PAH concentrations were observed in the test plot samples. The observed low bioavailability of PAHs probably inhibited PAH phytoremediation, as diffusion-limited mass transfer would limit the release of PAHs to the aqueous phase.

  2. 75 FR 19670 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the I-65 to US 31W Access Improvement Final...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-15

    ... availability of the ROD to implement the I-65 to US 31W Access Improvement project in Warren County, Kentucky... northeast of the city of Bowling Green, in Warren County, Kentucky. The road will be six lanes with...

  3. Evolving Methanococcoides burtonii archaeal Rubisco for improved photosynthesis and plant growth

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Robert H.; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M.

    2016-01-01

    In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted “trial and error” protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth. PMID:26926260

  4. Recent Advances in Utilizing Transcription Factors to Improve Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance by Transgenic Technology

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongyan; Wang, Honglei; Shao, Hongbo; Tang, Xiaoli

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural production and quality are adversely affected by various abiotic stresses worldwide and this will be exacerbated by the deterioration of global climate. To feed a growing world population, it is very urgent to breed stress-tolerant crops with higher yields and improved qualities against multiple environmental stresses. Since conventional breeding approaches had marginal success due to the complexity of stress tolerance traits, the transgenic approach is now being popularly used to breed stress-tolerant crops. So identifying and characterizing the critical genes involved in plant stress responses is an essential prerequisite for engineering stress-tolerant crops. Far beyond the manipulation of single functional gene, engineering certain regulatory genes has emerged as an effective strategy now for controlling the expression of many stress-responsive genes. Transcription factors (TFs) are good candidates for genetic engineering to breed stress-tolerant crop because of their role as master regulators of many stress-responsive genes. Many TFs belonging to families AP2/EREBP, MYB, WRKY, NAC, bZIP have been found to be involved in various abiotic stresses and some TF genes have also been engineered to improve stress tolerance in model and crop plants. In this review, we take five large families of TFs as examples and review the recent progress of TFs involved in plant abiotic stress responses and their potential utilization to improve multiple stress tolerance of crops in the field conditions. PMID:26904044

  5. Recent Advances in Utilizing Transcription Factors to Improve Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance by Transgenic Technology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongyan; Wang, Honglei; Shao, Hongbo; Tang, Xiaoli

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural production and quality are adversely affected by various abiotic stresses worldwide and this will be exacerbated by the deterioration of global climate. To feed a growing world population, it is very urgent to breed stress-tolerant crops with higher yields and improved qualities against multiple environmental stresses. Since conventional breeding approaches had marginal success due to the complexity of stress tolerance traits, the transgenic approach is now being popularly used to breed stress-tolerant crops. So identifying and characterizing the critical genes involved in plant stress responses is an essential prerequisite for engineering stress-tolerant crops. Far beyond the manipulation of single functional gene, engineering certain regulatory genes has emerged as an effective strategy now for controlling the expression of many stress-responsive genes. Transcription factors (TFs) are good candidates for genetic engineering to breed stress-tolerant crop because of their role as master regulators of many stress-responsive genes. Many TFs belonging to families AP2/EREBP, MYB, WRKY, NAC, bZIP have been found to be involved in various abiotic stresses and some TF genes have also been engineered to improve stress tolerance in model and crop plants. In this review, we take five large families of TFs as examples and review the recent progress of TFs involved in plant abiotic stress responses and their potential utilization to improve multiple stress tolerance of crops in the field conditions.

  6. Evolving Methanococcoides burtonii archaeal Rubisco for improved photosynthesis and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robert H; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M

    2016-01-01

    In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted "trial and error" protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth. PMID:26926260

  7. Temperature, water availability, and nutrient levels at various soil depths-consequences for shallow-rooted desert succulents, including nurse plant effects. [Agave deserti; Ferocactus acanthodes; hilaria rigida

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S. )

    1989-10-01

    Soil conditions were evaluated over the rooting depths for Agave deserti and Ferocactus acanthodes from the northwestern Sonoran Desert. These succulents have mean root depths of only 10 cm when adults and even shallower distribution when seedlings, which often occur is association with the nurse plant Hilaria rigida, which also has shallow roots. Maximum soil temperatures in the 2 cm beneath bare ground were predicted to exceed 65 C, which is lethal to the roots of A. deserti and F. acanthodes, whereas H. rigida reduced the maximum surface temperatures by over 10 C, providing a microhabitat suitable for seedling establishment. Water Availability was defined as the soil-to-plant drop in water potential, for periods when the plants could take up water, integrated over time. Below 4 cm under bare ground, simulated Water Availability increased slightly with depth (to 35 cm) for a wet year, was fairly constant for an average year, and decreased for a dry year, indicating that the shallow rooting habit is more advantageous in drier years. Water uptake by H. rigida substantially reduced Water Availability for seedlings associated with this nurse plant. On the other hand, a 66-90% higher soil nitrogen level occurred under H. rigida, possibly representing its harvesting of this macronutrient from a wide ground area. Phosphorus was slightly less abundant in the soil under H. rigida compared with under bare ground, the potassium level was substantially higher, and the sodium level was substantially lower. All four elements varied greatly with depth, N and K decreasing and P and Na increasing. Based on the known growth responses of A. deserti and F. acanthodes to these four elements, growth was predicted to be higher for plants in soil from the shallower layers, most of the differences being due to nitrogen.

  8. Chemical speciation of cadmium: An approach to evaluate plant-available cadmium in Ecuadorian soils under cacao production.

    PubMed

    Chavez, E; He, Z L; Stoffella, P J; Mylavarapu, R S; Li, Y C; Baligar, V C

    2016-05-01

    Elevated concentration of cadmium (Cd) in cacao beans has raised serious concerns about the chocolate consumption on human health. Accumulation of Cd in cacao bean in southern Ecuador has been related to soil contamination. In this study, soil fractionation approach was used to identify available Cd pools in the soils and to correlate these Cd pools with bean Cd concentration and soil test indexes. The distribution of soil Cd fractions decreased in the order: oxidizable > acid-soluble > residual > reducible > water-soluble (+exchangeable). Oxidizable and acid-soluble fractions accounted for 59 and 68% of the total recoverable Cd for the 0-5 and 5-15 cm soil depth, respectively. Acid-soluble fraction was closely related to bean-Cd, with correlation coefficients (r) of 0.70 and 0.81 (P < 0.01) for the 0-5 and 5-15 cm soil depth, respectively. Acid-soluble Cd was significantly correlated with 0.01 M HCl- (r = 0.99, P < 0.01) or Mehlich 3- extractable Cd (r = 0.97, P < 0.01). These results indicate that acid-soluble Cd fraction is an important part of available Cd pool. Since approximately 60% of Cd in the cacao-growing soils is related to the acid-soluble fraction and bound to organic matter, remediation of the contaminated soils should consider to the dynamics of soil pH and organic matter content. PMID:26891357

  9. Chemical speciation of cadmium: An approach to evaluate plant-available cadmium in Ecuadorian soils under cacao production.

    PubMed

    Chavez, E; He, Z L; Stoffella, P J; Mylavarapu, R S; Li, Y C; Baligar, V C

    2016-05-01

    Elevated concentration of cadmium (Cd) in cacao beans has raised serious concerns about the chocolate consumption on human health. Accumulation of Cd in cacao bean in southern Ecuador has been related to soil contamination. In this study, soil fractionation approach was used to identify available Cd pools in the soils and to correlate these Cd pools with bean Cd concentration and soil test indexes. The distribution of soil Cd fractions decreased in the order: oxidizable > acid-soluble > residual > reducible > water-soluble (+exchangeable). Oxidizable and acid-soluble fractions accounted for 59 and 68% of the total recoverable Cd for the 0-5 and 5-15 cm soil depth, respectively. Acid-soluble fraction was closely related to bean-Cd, with correlation coefficients (r) of 0.70 and 0.81 (P < 0.01) for the 0-5 and 5-15 cm soil depth, respectively. Acid-soluble Cd was significantly correlated with 0.01 M HCl- (r = 0.99, P < 0.01) or Mehlich 3- extractable Cd (r = 0.97, P < 0.01). These results indicate that acid-soluble Cd fraction is an important part of available Cd pool. Since approximately 60% of Cd in the cacao-growing soils is related to the acid-soluble fraction and bound to organic matter, remediation of the contaminated soils should consider to the dynamics of soil pH and organic matter content.

  10. The potential of beech seedlings to adapt to low P availability in soil - plant versus microbial effects on P mobilising potential in the rhizosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meller, Sonia; Frey, Beat; Frossard, Emmanuel; Spohn, Marie; Schack-Kirchner, Helmer; Luster, Jörg

    2016-04-01

    The objective of our work was to investigate to what extent tree seedlings (Fagus sylvatica) are able to adapt the process of P mobilisation in the rhizosphere according to P speciation in the soil. Such mobilisation activity can include root exudation of P mobilising compounds or stimulation of specific P mobilising soil microbes. We hypothesized that Fagus sylvatica seedlings can adapt their own activity based on their P nutritional status and genetic memory of how to react under a given nutritional situation. To test the hypothesis, we set up a cross-growth experiment with beech of different provenances growing in soil from their own provenance site and in soil differing in P availability. Experiments were performed as a greenhouse experiment, with temperature control and natural light, during one vegetation period in rhizoboxes . We used two acidic forest soils, contrasting in P availability, collected at field sites of the German research priority program "Ecosystem Nutrition". Juvenile trees were collected along with the soils at the sites and planted respectively. The occurrence of P mobilising compounds and available P in the rhizosphere and in bulk soil were measured during the active growth season of the plants. In particular, we assessed phosphatase activity, (measured with zymography and plate enzymatic assay at pH 4,6.5, and 11) carboxylates and phosphate (measured by application of ion exchange membranes to specific soil micro zones, and by microdialysis), and pH (mapping with optodes). Plant P nutrition status was assessed by total P, N/P, phosphatase activity, and metabolic (TCA extractable) P in the leaves. The P-nutritional status of the beech provenances differed markedly independent from the P status of the soil where they were actually grown during experiment. In particular, the juvenile trees from the site rich in mineral P were sufficient in P, while those from the P-poor site with mostly organic P, were deficient. Enzymatic activity at the

  11. Breeding for genetic improvement of forage plants in relation to increasing animal production with reduced environmental footprint.

    PubMed

    Kingston-Smith, A H; Marshall, A H; Moorby, J M

    2013-03-01

    Animal production is a fundamental component of the food supply chain, and with an increasing global population production levels are set to increase. Ruminant animals in particular are valuable in their ability to convert a fibre-rich forage diet into a high-quality protein product for human consumption, although this benefit is offset by inefficiencies in rumen fermentation that contribute to emission of significant quantities of methane and nitrogenous waste. Through co-operation between plant and animal sciences, we can identify how the nutritional requirements of ruminants can be satisfied by high-quality forages for the future. Selective forage plant breeding has supported crop improvement for nearly a century. Early plant breeding programmes were successful in terms of yield gains (4% to 5% per decade), with quality traits becoming increasingly important breeding targets (e.g. enhanced disease resistance and digestibility). Recently, demands for more sustainable production systems have required high yielding, high-quality forages that enable efficient animal production with minimal environmental impact. Achieving this involves considering the entire farm system and identifying opportunities for maximising nutrient use efficiency in both forage and animal components. Forage crops of the future must be able to utilise limited resources (water and nutrients) to maximise production on a limited land area and this may require us to consider alternative plant species to those currently in use. Furthermore, new breeding targets will be identified as the interactions between plants and the animals that consume them become better understood. This will ensure that available resources are targeted at delivering maximum benefits to the animal through enhanced transformation efficiency.

  12. Energy dissipation is an essential mechanism to sustain the viability of plants: The physiological limits of improved photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Christian; Selmar, Dirk

    2011-01-15

    In bright sunlight photosynthetic activity is limited by the enzymatic machinery of carbon dioxide assimilation. This supererogation of energy can be easily visualized by the significant increases of photosynthetic activity under high CO(2) conditions or other metabolic strategies which can increase the carbon flux from CO(2) to metabolic pools. However, even under optimal CO(2) conditions plants will provide much more NADPH+H(+) and ATP that are required for the actual demand, yielding in a metabolic situation, in which no reducible NADP(+) would be available. As a consequence, excited chlorophylls can activate oxygen to its singlet state or the photosynthetic electrons can be transferred to oxygen, producing highly active oxygen species such as the superoxide anion, hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide. All of them can initiate radical chain reactions which degrade proteins, pigments, lipids and nucleotides. Therefore, the plants have developed protection and repair mechanism to prevent photodamage and to maintain the physiological integrity of metabolic apparatus. The first protection wall is regulatory energy dissipation on the level of the photosynthetic primary reactions by the so-called non-photochemical quenching. This dissipative pathway is under the control of the proton gradient generated by the electron flow and the xanthophyll cycle. A second protection mechanism is the effective re-oxidation of the reduction equivalents by so-called "alternative electron cycling" which includes the water-water cycle, the photorespiration, the malate valve and the action of antioxidants. The third system of defence is the repair of damaged components. Therefore, plants do not suffer from energy shortage, but instead they have to invest in proteins and cellular components which protect the plants from potential damage by the supererogation of energy. Under this premise, our understanding and evaluation for certain energy dissipating processes such as non

  13. Hydrological management for improving nutrient assimilative capacity in plant-dominated wetlands: A modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhihao; Yang, Zhifeng; Yin, Xinan; Cai, Yanpeng; Sun, Tao

    2016-07-15

    Wetland eutrophication is a global environmental problem. Besides reducing pollutant emissions, improving nutrient assimilative capacity in wetlands is also significant for preventing eutrophication. Hydrological management can improve nutrient assimilative capacity in wetlands through physical effects on the dilution capacity of water body and ecological effects on wetland nutrient cycles. The ecological effects are significant while were rarely considered in previous research. This study focused on the ecological effects of hydrological management on two crucial nutrient removal processes, plant uptake and biological denitrification, in plant-dominated wetlands. A dual-objective optimization model for hydrological management was developed to improve wetland nitrogen and phosphorus assimilative capacities, using upstream reservoir release as water regulating measure. The model considered the interactions between ecological processes and hydrological cycles in wetlands, and their joint effects on nutrient assimilative capacity. Baiyangdian Wetland, the largest freshwater wetland in northern China, was chosen as a case study. The results found that the annual total assimilative capacity of nitrogen (phosphorus) was 4754 (493) t under the optimal scheme for upstream reservoir operation. The capacity of nutrient removal during the summer season accounted for over 80% of the annual total removal capacity. It was interesting to find that the relationship between water inflow and nutrient assimilative capacity in a plant-dominated wetland satisfied a dose-response relationship commonly describing the response of an organism to an external stressor in the medical field. It illustrates that a plant-dominated wetland shows similar characteristics to an organism. This study offers a useful tool and some fresh implications for future management of wetland eutrophication prevention. PMID:27085151

  14. Improved Predictions of the Geographic Distribution of Invasive Plants Using Climatic Niche Models.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E; Bustamante, Ramiro O; Badano, Ernesto I

    2016-01-01

    Climatic niche models for invasive plants are usually constructed with occurrence records taken from literature and collections. Because these data neither discriminate among life-cycle stages of plants (adult or juvenile) nor the origin of individuals (naturally established or man-planted), the resulting models may mispredict the distribution ranges of these species. We propose that more accurate predictions could be obtained by modelling climatic niches with data of naturally established individuals, particularly with occurrence records of juvenile plants because this would restrict the predictions of models to those sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of the species. To test this proposal, we focused on the Peruvian peppertree (Schinus molle), a South American species that has largely invaded Mexico. Three climatic niche models were constructed for this species using high-resolution dataset gathered in the field. The first model included all occurrence records, irrespective of the life-cycle stage or origin of peppertrees (generalized niche model). The second model only included occurrence records of naturally established mature individuals (adult niche model), while the third model was constructed with occurrence records of naturally established juvenile plants (regeneration niche model). When models were compared, the generalized climatic niche model predicted the presence of peppertrees in sites located farther beyond the climatic thresholds that naturally established individuals can tolerate, suggesting that human activities influence the distribution of this invasive species. The adult and regeneration climatic niche models concurred in their predictions about the distribution of peppertrees, suggesting that naturally established adult trees only occur in sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of juvenile stages. These results support the proposal that climatic niches of invasive plants should be modelled with data of

  15. Improved Predictions of the Geographic Distribution of Invasive Plants Using Climatic Niche Models

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E.; Bustamante, Ramiro O.

    2016-01-01

    Climatic niche models for invasive plants are usually constructed with occurrence records taken from literature and collections. Because these data neither discriminate among life-cycle stages of plants (adult or juvenile) nor the origin of individuals (naturally established or man-planted), the resulting models may mispredict the distribution ranges of these species. We propose that more accurate predictions could be obtained by modelling climatic niches with data of naturally established individuals, particularly with occurrence records of juvenile plants because this would restrict the predictions of models to those sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of the species. To test this proposal, we focused on the Peruvian peppertree (Schinus molle), a South American species that has largely invaded Mexico. Three climatic niche models were constructed for this species using high-resolution dataset gathered in the field. The first model included all occurrence records, irrespective of the life-cycle stage or origin of peppertrees (generalized niche model). The second model only included occurrence records of naturally established mature individuals (adult niche model), while the third model was constructed with occurrence records of naturally established juvenile plants (regeneration niche model). When models were compared, the generalized climatic niche model predicted the presence of peppertrees in sites located farther beyond the climatic thresholds that naturally established individuals can tolerate, suggesting that human activities influence the distribution of this invasive species. The adult and regeneration climatic niche models concurred in their predictions about the distribution of peppertrees, suggesting that naturally established adult trees only occur in sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of juvenile stages. These results support the proposal that climatic niches of invasive plants should be modelled with data of

  16. Improved Predictions of the Geographic Distribution of Invasive Plants Using Climatic Niche Models.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E; Bustamante, Ramiro O; Badano, Ernesto I

    2016-01-01

    Climatic niche models for invasive plants are usually constructed with occurrence records taken from literature and collections. Because these data neither discriminate among life-cycle stages of plants (adult or juvenile) nor the origin of individuals (naturally established or man-planted), the resulting models may mispredict the distribution ranges of these species. We propose that more accurate predictions could be obtained by modelling climatic niches with data of naturally established individuals, particularly with occurrence records of juvenile plants because this would restrict the predictions of models to those sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of the species. To test this proposal, we focused on the Peruvian peppertree (Schinus molle), a South American species that has largely invaded Mexico. Three climatic niche models were constructed for this species using high-resolution dataset gathered in the field. The first model included all occurrence records, irrespective of the life-cycle stage or origin of peppertrees (generalized niche model). The second model only included occurrence records of naturally established mature individuals (adult niche model), while the third model was constructed with occurrence records of naturally established juvenile plants (regeneration niche model). When models were compared, the generalized climatic niche model predicted the presence of peppertrees in sites located farther beyond the climatic thresholds that naturally established individuals can tolerate, suggesting that human activities influence the distribution of this invasive species. The adult and regeneration climatic niche models concurred in their predictions about the distribution of peppertrees, suggesting that naturally established adult trees only occur in sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of juvenile stages. These results support the proposal that climatic niches of invasive plants should be modelled with data of

  17. Effects of agri-environmental schemes on farmland birds: do food availability measurements improve patterns obtained from simple habitat models?

    PubMed

    Ponce, Carlos; Bravo, Carolina; Alonso, Juan Carlos

    2014-07-01

    Studies evaluating agri-environmental schemes (AES) usually focus on responses of single species or functional groups. Analyses are generally based on simple habitat measurements but ignore food availability and other important factors. This can limit our understanding of the ultimate causes determining the reactions of birds to AES. We investigated these issues in detail and throughout the main seasons of a bird's annual cycle (mating, postfledging and wintering) in a dry cereal farmland in a Special Protection Area for farmland birds in central Spain. First, we modeled four bird response parameters (abundance, species richness, diversity and "Species of European Conservation Concern" [SPEC]-score), using detailed food availability and vegetation structure measurements (food models). Second, we fitted new models, built using only substrate composition variables (habitat models). Whereas habitat models revealed that both, fields included and not included in the AES benefited birds, food models went a step further and included seed and arthropod biomass as important predictors, respectively, in winter and during the postfledging season. The validation process showed that food models were on average 13% better (up to 20% in some variables) in predicting bird responses. However, the cost of obtaining data for food models was five times higher than for habitat models. This novel approach highlighted the importance of food availability-related causal processes involved in bird responses to AES, which remained undetected when using conventional substrate composition assessment models. Despite their higher costs, measurements of food availability add important details to interpret the reactions of the bird community to AES interventions and thus facilitate evaluating the real efficiency of AES programs.

  18. Effects of agri-environmental schemes on farmland birds: do food availability measurements improve patterns obtained from simple habitat models?

    PubMed Central

    Ponce, Carlos; Bravo, Carolina; Alonso, Juan Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Studies evaluating agri-environmental schemes (AES) usually focus on responses of single species or functional groups. Analyses are generally based on simple habitat measurements but ignore food availability and other important factors. This can limit our understanding of the ultimate causes determining the reactions of birds to AES. We investigated these issues in detail and throughout the main seasons of a bird's annual cycle (mating, postfledging and wintering) in a dry cereal farmland in a Special Protection Area for farmland birds in central Spain. First, we modeled four bird response parameters (abundance, species richness, diversity and “Species of European Conservation Concern” [SPEC]-score), using detailed food availability and vegetation structure measurements (food models). Second, we fitted new models, built using only substrate composition variables (habitat models). Whereas habitat models revealed that both, fields included and not included in the AES benefited birds, food models went a step further and included seed and arthropod biomass as important predictors, respectively, in winter and during the postfledging season. The validation process showed that food models were on average 13% better (up to 20% in some variables) in predicting bird responses. However, the cost of obtaining data for food models was five times higher than for habitat models. This novel approach highlighted the importance of food availability-related causal processes involved in bird responses to AES, which remained undetected when using conventional substrate composition assessment models. Despite their higher costs, measurements of food availability add important details to interpret the reactions of the bird community to AES interventions and thus facilitate evaluating the real efficiency of AES programs. PMID:25165523

  19. Effects of agri-environmental schemes on farmland birds: do food availability measurements improve patterns obtained from simple habitat models?

    PubMed

    Ponce, Carlos; Bravo, Carolina; Alonso, Juan Carlos

    2014-07-01

    Studies evaluating agri-environmental schemes (AES) usually focus on responses of single species or functional groups. Analyses are generally based on simple habitat measurements but ignore food availability and other important factors. This can limit our understanding of the ultimate causes determining the reactions of birds to AES. We investigated these issues in detail and throughout the main seasons of a bird's annual cycle (mating, postfledging and wintering) in a dry cereal farmland in a Special Protection Area for farmland birds in central Spain. First, we modeled four bird response parameters (abundance, species richness, diversity and "Species of European Conservation Concern" [SPEC]-score), using detailed food availability and vegetation structure measurements (food models). Second, we fitted new models, built using only substrate composition variables (habitat models). Whereas habitat models revealed that both, fields included and not included in the AES benefited birds, food models went a step further and included seed and arthropod biomass as important predictors, respectively, in winter and during the postfledging season. The validation process showed that food models were on average 13% better (up to 20% in some variables) in predicting bird responses. However, the cost of obtaining data for food models was five times higher than for habitat models. This novel approach highlighted the importance of food availability-related causal processes involved in bird responses to AES, which remained undetected when using conventional substrate composition assessment models. Despite their higher costs, measurements of food availability add important details to interpret the reactions of the bird community to AES interventions and thus facilitate evaluating the real efficiency of AES programs. PMID:25165523

  20. Improvement of water and light availability after thinning at a xeric site: which matters more? A dual isotope approach.

    PubMed

    Giuggiola, Arnaud; Ogée, Jérôme; Rigling, Andreas; Gessler, Arthur; Bugmann, Harald; Treydte, Kerstin

    2016-04-01

    Thinning fosters individual tree growth by increasing the availability of water, light and nutrients. At sites where water rather than light is limiting, thinning also enhances soil evaporation and might not be beneficial. Detailed knowledge of the short- to long-term physiological response underlying the growth responses to thinning is crucial for the management of forests already suffering from recurrent drought-induced dieback. We applied a dual isotope approach together with mechanistic isotope models to study the physiological processes underlying long-term growth enhancement of heavily thinned Pinus sylvestris in a xeric forest in Switzerland. This approach allowed us to identify and disentangle thinning-induced changes in stomatal conductance and assimilation rate. At our xeric study site, the increase in stomatal conductance far outweighed the increase in assimilation, implying that growth release in heavily thinned trees is primarily driven by enhanced water availability rather than increased light availability. We conclude that in forests with relatively isohydric species (drought avoiders) that are growing close to their physiological limits, thinning is recommended to maintain a less negative water balance and thus foster tree growth, and ultimately the survival of forest trees under drought.

  1. Improvement of water and light availability after thinning at a xeric site: which matters more? A dual isotope approach.

    PubMed

    Giuggiola, Arnaud; Ogée, Jérôme; Rigling, Andreas; Gessler, Arthur; Bugmann, Harald; Treydte, Kerstin

    2016-04-01

    Thinning fosters individual tree growth by increasing the availability of water, light and nutrients. At sites where water rather than light is limiting, thinning also enhances soil evaporation and might not be beneficial. Detailed knowledge of the short- to long-term physiological response underlying the growth responses to thinning is crucial for the management of forests already suffering from recurrent drought-induced dieback. We applied a dual isotope approach together with mechanistic isotope models to study the physiological processes underlying long-term growth enhancement of heavily thinned Pinus sylvestris in a xeric forest in Switzerland. This approach allowed us to identify and disentangle thinning-induced changes in stomatal conductance and assimilation rate. At our xeric study site, the increase in stomatal conductance far outweighed the increase in assimilation, implying that growth release in heavily thinned trees is primarily driven by enhanced water availability rather than increased light availability. We conclude that in forests with relatively isohydric species (drought avoiders) that are growing close to their physiological limits, thinning is recommended to maintain a less negative water balance and thus foster tree growth, and ultimately the survival of forest trees under drought. PMID:26639082

  2. Rhizobacterial Strain Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 Induces Cellular Polyamine Changes that Improve Plant Growth and Drought Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Cheng; Ma, Zhongyou; Zhu, Lin; Xiao, Xin; Xie, Yue; Zhu, Jian; Wang, Jianfei

    2016-01-01

    Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria can improve plant growth, development, and stress adaptation. However, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. We investigated the effects of Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 on Arabidopsis plants. BOFC15 produced and secreted spermidine (Spd), a type of polyamine (PA) that plays an important role in plant growth. Moreover, BOFC15 induced changes in the cellular PAs of plants that promoted an increase of free Spd and spermine levels. However, these effects were remarkably abolished by the addition of dicyclohexylamine (DCHA), a Spd biosynthetic inhibitor. Additionally, the inoculation with BOFC15 remarkably increased plant biomass, improved root system architecture, and augmented photosynthetic capacity. Inoculated plants also displayed stronger ability to tolerate drought stress than non-inoculated (control) plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content was notably higher in the inoculated plants than in the control plants under drought stress and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced stress conditions. However, the BOFC15-induced ABA synthesis was markedly inhibited by DCHA. Thus, microbial Spd participated in the modulation of the ABA levels. The Spd-producing BOFC15 improved plant drought tolerance, which was associated with altered cellular ABA levels and activated adaptive responses. PMID:27338359

  3. Rhizobacterial Strain Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 Induces Cellular Polyamine Changes that Improve Plant Growth and Drought Resistance.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Cheng; Ma, Zhongyou; Zhu, Lin; Xiao, Xin; Xie, Yue; Zhu, Jian; Wang, Jianfei

    2016-01-01

    Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria can improve plant growth, development, and stress adaptation. However, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. We investigated the effects of Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 on Arabidopsis plants. BOFC15 produced and secreted spermidine (Spd), a type of polyamine (PA) that plays an important role in plant growth. Moreover, BOFC15 induced changes in the cellular PAs of plants that promoted an increase of free Spd and spermine levels. However, these effects were remarkably abolished by the addition of dicyclohexylamine (DCHA), a Spd biosynthetic inhibitor. Additionally, the inoculation with BOFC15 remarkably increased plant biomass, improved root system architecture, and augmented photosynthetic capacity. Inoculated plants also displayed stronger ability to tolerate drought stress than non-inoculated (control) plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content was notably higher in the inoculated plants than in the control plants under drought stress and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced stress conditions. However, the BOFC15-induced ABA synthesis was markedly inhibited by DCHA. Thus, microbial Spd participated in the modulation of the ABA levels. The Spd-producing BOFC15 improved plant drought tolerance, which was associated with altered cellular ABA levels and activated adaptive responses. PMID:27338359

  4. An improved chemically inducible gene switch that functions in the monocotyledonous plant sugar cane.

    PubMed

    Kinkema, Mark; Geijskes, R Jason; Shand, Kylie; Coleman, Heather D; De Lucca, Paulo C; Palupe, Anthony; Harrison, Mark D; Jepson, Ian; Dale, James L; Sainz, Manuel B

    2014-03-01

    Chemically inducible gene switches can provide precise control over gene expression, enabling more specific analyses of gene function and expanding the plant biotechnology toolkit beyond traditional constitutive expression systems. The alc gene expression system is one of the most promising chemically inducible gene switches in plants because of its potential in both fundamental research and commercial biotechnology applications. However, there are no published reports demonstrating that this versatile gene switch is functional in transgenic monocotyledonous plants, which include some of the most important agricultural crops. We found that the original alc gene switch was ineffective in the monocotyledonous plant sugar cane, and describe a modified alc system that is functional in this globally significant crop. A promoter consisting of tandem copies of the ethanol receptor inverted repeat binding site, in combination with a minimal promoter sequence, was sufficient to give enhanced sensitivity and significantly higher levels of ethanol inducible gene expression. A longer CaMV 35S minimal promoter than was used in the original alc gene switch also substantially improved ethanol inducibility. Treating the roots with ethanol effectively induced the modified alc system in sugar cane leaves and stem, while an aerial spray was relatively ineffective. The extension of this chemically inducible gene expression system to sugar cane opens the door to new opportunities for basic research and crop biotechnology.

  5. Development of an improved ground-based prototype of space plant-growing facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, S.; Liu, X.; Ai, W.; Tang, Y.; Zhu, J.; Wang, X.; Wei, M.; Qin, L.; Yang, Y.

    Based on a formerly developed ground-based prototype of space plant-growing facility, the development of its improved prototype has been finished, so as to make its operating principle better adapt to the space microgravity environment. According to the developing experience of its first generation prototype and detailed demonstration and design of technique plan, its blueprint design and machining of related components, whole facility installment, debugging and trial operations were all done gradually. Its growing chamber contains a volume of about 0.5 m3 and a growing area of approximate 0.5 m2; the atmospheric environmental parameters in the growing chamber and water content in the growing media were controlled totally and effectively; lighting source is a combination of both red and blue light emitting diodes (LED). The following demonstrating results showed that the entire system design of the prototype is reasonable and its operating principle can nearly meet the requirements of space microgravity environment. Therefore, our plant-growing technique in space was advanced further, which laid an important foundation for next development of the space plant-growing facility and plant-cultivating experimental research in space microgravity condition.

  6. An improved chemically inducible gene switch that functions in the monocotyledonous plant sugar cane.

    PubMed

    Kinkema, Mark; Geijskes, R Jason; Shand, Kylie; Coleman, Heather D; De Lucca, Paulo C; Palupe, Anthony; Harrison, Mark D; Jepson, Ian; Dale, James L; Sainz, Manuel B

    2014-03-01

    Chemically inducible gene switches can provide precise control over gene expression, enabling more specific analyses of gene function and expanding the plant biotechnology toolkit beyond traditional constitutive expression systems. The alc gene expression system is one of the most promising chemically inducible gene switches in plants because of its potential in both fundamental research and commercial biotechnology applications. However, there are no published reports demonstrating that this versatile gene switch is functional in transgenic monocotyledonous plants, which include some of the most important agricultural crops. We found that the original alc gene switch was ineffective in the monocotyledonous plant sugar cane, and describe a modified alc system that is functional in this globally significant crop. A promoter consisting of tandem copies of the ethanol receptor inverted repeat binding site, in combination with a minimal promoter sequence, was sufficient to give enhanced sensitivity and significantly higher levels of ethanol inducible gene expression. A longer CaMV 35S minimal promoter than was used in the original alc gene switch also substantially improved ethanol inducibility. Treating the roots with ethanol effectively induced the modified alc system in sugar cane leaves and stem, while an aerial spray was relatively ineffective. The extension of this chemically inducible gene expression system to sugar cane opens the door to new opportunities for basic research and crop biotechnology. PMID:24142380

  7. Improving arable land heterogeneity information in available land cover products for land surface modelling using MERIS NDVI data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabel, F.; Hank, T. B.; Mauser, W.

    2010-10-01

    Regionalization of physical land surface models requires the supply of detailed land cover information. Numerous global and regional land cover maps already exist but generally, they do not resolve arable land into different crop types. However, arable land comprises a huge variety of different crops with characteristic phenological behaviour, demonstrated in this paper with Leaf Area Index (LAI) measurements exemplarily for maize and winter wheat. This affects the mass and energy fluxes on the land surface and thus its hydrology. The objective of this study is the generation of a land cover map for central Europe based on CORINE Land Cover (CLC) 2000, merged with CORINE Switzerland, but distinguishing different crop types. Accordingly, an approach was developed, subdividing the land cover class arable land into the regionally most relevant subclasses for central Europe using multiseasonal MERIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data. The satellite data were used for the separation of spring and summer crops due to their different phenological behaviour. Subsequently, the generated phenological classes were subdivided following statistical data from EUROSTAT. This database was analysed concerning the acreage of different crop types. The impact of the improved land use/cover map on evapotranspiration was modelled exemplarily for the Upper Danube catchment with the hydrological model PROMET. Simulations based on the newly developed land cover approach showed a more detailed evapotranspiration pattern compared to model results using the traditional CLC map, which is ignorant of most arable subdivisions. Due to the improved temporal behaviour and spatial allocation of evapotranspiration processes in the new land cover approach, the simulated water balance more closely matches the measured gauge.

  8. Silicon application increases drought tolerance of kentucky bluegrass by improving plant water relations and morphophysiological functions.

    PubMed

    Saud, Shah; Li, Xin; Chen, Yang; Zhang, Lu; Fahad, Shah; Hussain, Saddam; Sadiq, Arooj; Chen, Yajun

    2014-01-01

    Drought stress encumbers the growth of turfgrass principally by disrupting the plant-water relations and physiological functions. The present study was carried out to appraise the role of silicon (Si) in improving the drought tolerance in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Drought stress and four levels (0, 200, 400, and 800 mg L(-1)) of Si (Na2SiO3·9H2O) were imposed after 2 months old plants cultured under glasshouse conditions. Drought stress was found to decrease the photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, leaf water content, relative growth rate, water use efficiency, and turf quality, but to increase in the root/shoot and leaf carbon/nitrogen ratio. Such physiological interferences, disturbances in plant water relations, and visually noticeable growth reductions in Kentucky bluegrass were significantly alleviated by the addition of Si after drought stress. For example, Si application at 400 mg L(-1) significantly increased the net photosynthesis by 44%, leaf water contents by 33%, leaf green color by 42%, and turf quality by 44% after 20 days of drought stress. Si application proved beneficial in improving the performance of Kentucky bluegrass in the present study suggesting that manipulation of endogenous Si through genetic or biotechnological means may result in the development of drought resistance in grasses.

  9. Small RNAs in plants: recent development and application for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2015-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) which involves sequence-specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs, i.e., small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects) and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold, etc.). Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. microRNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development, and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20-24 nt), miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. microRNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA (sRNA) based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over-expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of sRNAs and its application for crop improvement. PMID:25883599

  10. Small RNAs in plants: recent development and application for crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2015-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) which involves sequence-specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs, i.e., small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects) and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold, etc.). Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. microRNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development, and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20–24 nt), miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. microRNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA (sRNA) based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over-expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of sRNAs and its application for crop improvement. PMID:25883599

  11. Kentucky Department for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection permit application for air contaminant source: SRC-I Demonstruation Plant, Newman, Kentucky. Appendix B. Best available control technology (BACT) proposals. [Demonstration plant at Newman, KY

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-11-21

    The best available control technology (BACT) proposals for the following areas of the SRC-I demonstration plant are described: coal preparation and handling, SRC process and deashing, coke and liquid fuels (control of particles and hydrocarbon vapors), cryogenic systems and fuel gas purification (including sulfur recovery system and venting of gaseous wastes). (LTN)

  12. Development of an engineered soil bacterium enabling to convert both insoluble inorganic and organic phosphate into plant available phosphate and its use as a biofertilizer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lili; Du, Wenya; Luo, Wenyu; Su, Yi; Hui, Jiejie; Ma, Shengwu

    2015-05-01

    Phosphorus (P) is one of the most important nutrient elements for plant growth and metabolism. We previously isolated a P-solubilizing bacterium 9320-SD with the ability to utilize inorganic P and convert it into plant-available P. The present study aims to enhance the P-solubilizing capacity of 9320-SD, as our long-term goal is to develop a more effective P-solubilizing bacterial strain for use as a biofertilizer. In this end, we introduced a bacterial phytase encoding gene into 9320-SD. One randomly selected transformant, SDLiuTP02, was examined for recombinant protein expression and phytase activity, and assessed for its ability to promote plant growth. Our results indicate that SDLiuTP02 is capable of expressing high levels of phytase activity. Importantly, corn seedlings treated with the SDLiuTP02 cell culture exhibited increased rates of photosynthesis, transpiration, and stomatal conductance as well as increased growth rate under laboratory conditions and increased growth rate in pot assays compared to seedlings treated with cell cultures of the parental strain 9320-SD. Field experiments further indicated that application of SDLiuTP02 promoted a greater growth rate in young cucumber plant and a higher foliar chlorophyll level in chop suey greens when compared to 9320-SD treated controls. These results indicate that SDLiuTP02 has the potential to be a more effective P biofertilizer to increase agricultural productivity.

  13. 31P NMR characterization and efficiency of new types of water-insoluble phosphate fertilizers to supply plant-available phosphorus in diverse soil types.

    PubMed

    Erro, Javier; Baigorri, Roberto; Yvin, Jean-Claude; Garcia-Mina, Jose M

    2011-03-01

    Hydroponic plant experiments demonstrated the efficiency of a type of humic acid-based water-insoluble phosphate fertilizers, named rhizosphere controlled fertilizers (RCF), to supply available phosphorus (P) to different plant species. This effect was well correlated to the root release of specific organic acids. In this context, the aims of this study are (i) to study the chemical nature of RCF using solid-state (31)P NMR and (ii) to evaluate the real efficiency of RCF matrix as a source of P for wheat plants cultivated in an alkaline and acid soil in comparison with traditional water-soluble (simple superphosphate, SSP) and water-insoluble (dicalcium phosphate, DCP) P fertilizers. The (31)P NMR study revealed the formation of multimetal (double and triple, MgZn and/or MgZnCa) phosphates associated with chelating groups of the humic acid through the formation of metal bridges. With regard to P fertilizer efficiency, the results obtained show that the RCF matrix produced higher plant yields than SSP in both types of soil, with DCP and the water-insoluble fraction from the RCF matrix (WI) exhibiting the best results in the alkaline soil. By contrast, in the acid soil, DCP showed very low efficiency, WI performed on a par with SSP, and RCF exhibited the highest efficiency, thus suggesting a protector effect of humic acid from soil fixation. PMID:21254775

  14. 31P NMR characterization and efficiency of new types of water-insoluble phosphate fertilizers to supply plant-available phosphorus in diverse soil types.

    PubMed

    Erro, Javier; Baigorri, Roberto; Yvin, Jean-Claude; Garcia-Mina, Jose M

    2011-03-01

    Hydroponic plant experiments demonstrated the efficiency of a type of humic acid-based water-insoluble phosphate fertilizers, named rhizosphere controlled fertilizers (RCF), to supply available phosphorus (P) to different plant species. This effect was well correlated to the root release of specific organic acids. In this context, the aims of this study are (i) to study the chemical nature of RCF using solid-state (31)P NMR and (ii) to evaluate the real efficiency of RCF matrix as a source of P for wheat plants cultivated in an alkaline and acid soil in comparison with traditional water-soluble (simple superphosphate, SSP) and water-insoluble (dicalcium phosphate, DCP) P fertilizers. The (31)P NMR study revealed the formation of multimetal (double and triple, MgZn and/or MgZnCa) phosphates associated with chelating groups of the humic acid through the formation of metal bridges. With regard to P fertilizer efficiency, the results obtained show that the RCF matrix produced higher plant yields than SSP in both types of soil, with DCP and the water-insoluble fraction from the RCF matrix (WI) exhibiting the best results in the alkaline soil. By contrast, in the acid soil, DCP showed very low efficiency, WI performed on a par with SSP, and RCF exhibited the highest efficiency, thus suggesting a protector effect of humic acid from soil fixation.

  15. The Integrated Role of Water Availability, Nutrient Dynamics, and Xylem Hydraulic Dysfunction on Plant Rooting Strategies in Managed and Natural Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, D. S.; Savoy, P.; Pleban, J. R.; Tai, X.; Ewers, B. E.

    2015-12-01

    Plants adapt or acclimate to changing environments in part by allocating biomass to roots and leaves to strike a balance between water and nutrient uptake requirements on the one hand and growth and hydraulic safety on the other hand. In a recent study examining experimental drought with the TREES model, which couples plant ecophysiology with rhizosphere-and-xylem hydraulics, we hypothesized that the asynchronous nature of soil water availability and xylem repair supported root-to-leaf area (RLA) proportionality that favored long-term survival over short-term carbon gain or water use. To investigate this as a possible general principal of plant adjustment to changing environmental conditions, TREES was modified to allocate carbon to fine and coarse roots organized in ten orders differing in biomass allocated per unit absorbing root area, root lifespan, and total absorbing root area in each of several soil-root zones with depth. The expanded model allowed for adjustment of absorbing root area and rhizosphere volume based on available carbohydrate production and nitrogen (N) availability, resulting in dynamic expansion and contraction of the supply-side of the rhizosphere-plant hydraulics and N uptake capacity in response to changing environmental conditions and plant-environment asynchrony. The study was conducted partly in a controlled experimental setting with six genotypes of a widely grown crop species, Brassica rapa. The implications for forests were investigated in controlled experiments and at Fluxnet sites representing temperate mixed forests, semi-arid evergreen needle-leaf, and Mediterranean biomes. The results showed that the effects of N deficiency on total plant growth was modulated by a relative increase in fine root biomass representing a larger absorbing root volume per unit biomass invested. We found that the total absorbing root area per unit leaf area was consistently lower than that needed to maximize short-term water uptake and carbohydrate gain

  16. Improving the Availability and Delivery of Critical Information for Tight Gas Resource Development in the Appalachian Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Mary Behling; Susan Pool; Douglas Patchen; John Harper

    2008-12-31

    To encourage, facilitate and accelerate the development of tight gas reservoirs in the Appalachian basin, the geological surveys in Pennsylvania and West Virginia collected widely dispersed data on five gas plays and formatted these data into a large database that can be accessed by individual well or by play. The database and delivery system that were developed can be applied to any of the 30 gas plays that have been defined in the basin, but for this project, data compilation was restricted to the following: the Mississippian-Devonian Berea/Murrysville sandstone play and the Upper Devonian Venango, Bradford and Elk sandstone plays in Pennsylvania and West Virginia; and the 'Clinton'/Medina sandstone play in nort