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Sample records for sustainable maize production

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. "Omics" of maize stress response for sustainable food production: opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Global maize production, utilization, and consumption.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  6. Use of tropical maize for bioethanol production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. High-value products from transgenic maize.

    PubMed

    Naqvi, Shaista; Ramessar, Koreen; Farré, Gemma; Sabalza, Maite; Miralpeix, Bruna; Twyman, Richard M; Capell, Teresa; Zhu, Changfu; Christou, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Maize (also known as corn) is a domesticated cereal grain that has been grown as food and animal feed for tens of thousands of years. It is currently the most widely grown crop in the world, and is used not only for food/feed but also to produce ethanol, industrial starches and oils. Maize is now at the beginning of a new agricultural revolution, where the grains are used as factories to synthesize high-value molecules. In this article we look at the diversity of high-value products from maize, recent technological advances in the field and the emerging regulatory framework that governs how transgenic maize plants and their products are grown, used and traded.

  8. Product engineering and sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janssen, L. P. B. M.; Janssen, C. H. C.

    2016-11-01

    Chemical engineering has made a substantial contribution to the improvement of the environment during the last decades. Many processes have become more sustainable and harmful waste streams are minimised. However, considerable improvement of sustainability can still be obtained in product engineering and design. Especially the aspects that are important at the end of the life cycle of the product can be improved considerably. A priority list for the design of more sustainable products is presented and illustrated with examples of daily chemical engineering practice.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Sustainable hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-01-01

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

  11. Processing maize flour and corn meal food products

    PubMed Central

    Gwirtz, Jeffrey A; Garcia-Casal, Maria Nieves

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Maize variety and method of production

    DOEpatents

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

    2014-05-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Household dietary exposure to aflatoxins from maize and maize products in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Kilonzo, Robert M; Imungi, Jasper K; Muiru, William M; Lamuka, Peter O; Njage, Patrick M Kamau

    2014-01-01

    Aflatoxicosis has repeatedly affected Kenyans, particularly in the eastern region, due to consumption of contaminated maize. However, save for the cases of acute toxicity, the levels of sub-lethal exposure have not been adequately assessed. It is believed that this type of exposure does exist even during the seasons when acute toxicity does not occur. This study, therefore, was designed to assess the exposure of households to aflatoxins through consumption of maize and maize products. Twenty samples each of maize kernels, muthokoi and maize meal were randomly sampled from households in Kibwezi District of Makueni County in Eastern Kenya and analysed for aflatoxin contamination. The samples were quantitatively analysed for aflatoxin contamination using HPLC. The uncertainty and variability in dietary exposure was quantitatively modelled in Ms Excel using Monte Carlo simulation in @Risk software. Aflatoxins were found in 45% of maize kernels at between 18 and 480 μg kg⁻¹, 20% of muthokoi at between 12 and 123 μg kg⁻¹, and 35% of maize meal at between 6 and 30 μg kg⁻¹. The mean dietary exposure to aflatoxin in maize kernels was 292 ± 1567 ng kg⁻¹ body weight day⁻¹, while the mean dietary exposure to aflatoxin in maize meal and muthokoi were 59 ± 62 and 27 ± 154 ng kg⁻¹ body weight day⁻¹ respectively. The results showed that the amount and frequency of consumption of the three foods is the more important contributing factor than the mean aflatoxin concentration levels, to the risk of dietary exposure to aflatoxins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Effects of temperature changes on maize production in Mozambique

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    VUČETIĆ, V.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. USDA-ARS Colorado maize water productivity data set

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The USDA-Agricultural Research Service conducted a water productivity field trial for irrigated maize in northeastern Colorado in 2008 through 2011. The dataset, which is available online from the USDA National Agricultural Library, includes measurements of irrigation, precipitation, soil water sto...

  1. Agroclimatological suitability mapping for dryland maize production in Lesotho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeletsi, Mokhele Edmond; Walker, Sue

    2013-10-01

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

  2. Using CERES-Maize and ENSO as Decision Support Tools to Evaluate Climate-Sensitive Farm Management Practices for Maize Production in the Northern Regions of Ghana

    PubMed Central

    MacCarthy, Dilys S.; Adiku, Samuel G. K.; Freduah, Bright S.; Gbefo, Francis; Kamara, Alpha Y.

    2017-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays) has traditionally been a major cereal staple in southern Ghana. Through breeding and other crop improvement efforts, the zone of cultivation of maize has now extended to the northern regions of Ghana which, hitherto, were the home to sorghum and millet as the major cereals. Maize yield in the northern Ghana is hampered by three major biophysical constraints, namely, poor soil fertility, low soil water storage capacity and climate variability. In this study we used the DSSAT crop model to assess integrated water and soil management strategies that combined the pre-season El-Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-based weather forecasting in selecting optimal planting time, at four locations in the northern regions of Ghana. It could be shown that the optimum planting date for a given year was predictable based on February-to-April (FMA) Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly for the locations with R2 ranging from 0.52 to 0.71. For three out of four locations, the ENSO-predicted optimum planting dates resulted in significantly higher maize yields than the conventional farmer selected planting dates. In Wa for instance, early optimum planting dates were associated with La Nina and El Niño (Julian Days 130-150; early May to late May) whereas late planting (mid June to early July) was associated with the Neutral ENSO phase. It was also observed that the addition of manure and fertilizer improved soil water and nitrogen use efficiency, respectively, and minimized yield variability, especially when combined with weather forecast. The use of ENSO-based targeted planting date choice together with modest fertilizer and manure application has the potential to improve maize yields and also ensure sustainable maize production in parts of northern Ghana. PMID:28184227

  3. Using CERES-Maize and ENSO as Decision Support Tools to Evaluate Climate-Sensitive Farm Management Practices for Maize Production in the Northern Regions of Ghana.

    PubMed

    MacCarthy, Dilys S; Adiku, Samuel G K; Freduah, Bright S; Gbefo, Francis; Kamara, Alpha Y

    2017-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays) has traditionally been a major cereal staple in southern Ghana. Through breeding and other crop improvement efforts, the zone of cultivation of maize has now extended to the northern regions of Ghana which, hitherto, were the home to sorghum and millet as the major cereals. Maize yield in the northern Ghana is hampered by three major biophysical constraints, namely, poor soil fertility, low soil water storage capacity and climate variability. In this study we used the DSSAT crop model to assess integrated water and soil management strategies that combined the pre-season El-Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-based weather forecasting in selecting optimal planting time, at four locations in the northern regions of Ghana. It could be shown that the optimum planting date for a given year was predictable based on February-to-April (FMA) Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly for the locations with R(2) ranging from 0.52 to 0.71. For three out of four locations, the ENSO-predicted optimum planting dates resulted in significantly higher maize yields than the conventional farmer selected planting dates. In Wa for instance, early optimum planting dates were associated with La Nina and El Niño (Julian Days 130-150; early May to late May) whereas late planting (mid June to early July) was associated with the Neutral ENSO phase. It was also observed that the addition of manure and fertilizer improved soil water and nitrogen use efficiency, respectively, and minimized yield variability, especially when combined with weather forecast. The use of ENSO-based targeted planting date choice together with modest fertilizer and manure application has the potential to improve maize yields and also ensure sustainable maize production in parts of northern Ghana.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Wen; Liu, Wenzhao

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Toward Sustainable Amino Acid Production.

    PubMed

    Usuda, Yoshihiro; Hara, Yoshihiko; Kojima, Hiroyuki

    2016-11-22

    Because the global amino acid production industry has been growing steadily and is expected to grow even more in the future, efficient production by fermentation is of great importance from economic and sustainability viewpoints. Many systems biology technologies, such as genome breeding, omics analysis, metabolic flux analysis, and metabolic simulation, have been employed for the improvement of amino acid-producing strains of bacteria. Synthetic biological approaches have recently been applied to strain development. It is also important to use sustainable carbon sources, such as glycerol or pyrolytic sugars from cellulosic biomass, instead of conventional carbon sources, such as glucose or sucrose, which can be used as food. Furthermore, reduction of sub-raw substrates has been shown to lead to reduction of environmental burdens and cost. Recently, a new fermentation system for glutamate production under acidic pH was developed to decrease the amount of one sub-raw material, ammonium, for maintenance of culture pH. At the same time, the utilization of fermentation coproducts, such as cells, ammonium sulfate, and fermentation broth, is a useful approach to decrease waste. In this chapter, further perspectives for future amino acid fermentation from one-carbon compounds are described.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. [Impacts of high temperature on maize production and adaptation measures in Northeast China].

    PubMed

    Yin, Xiao-gang; Wang, Meng; Kong, Qing-xin; Wang, Zhan-biao; Zhang, Hai-lin; Chu, Qing-quan; Wen, Xin-ya; Chen, Fu

    2015-01-01

    Heat stress is one of the major agro-meteorological hazards that affect maize production significantly in the farming region of Northeast China (NFR). This study analyzed the temporal and spatial changes of the accumulated temperature above 30 °C (AT) and the accumulated days with the maximum temperature above 30 °C (AD) in different maize growing phases under global warming. It further evaluated the impacts of extreme heat on maize yield in different regions, and put forward some adaptation measures to cope with heat stress for maize production in NFR. The results showed that during 1961 to 2010, the temperature in the maize growing season increased significantly. The maximum temperature in flowering phase was much larger than that in the other growing phases. Temperature increased at rates of 0. 16, 0. 14, 0.06 and 0.23 °C every ten years in the whole maize growing season, vegetative growth phase (from sowing to 11 days before flowering), flowering phase, and late growth phase (from 11 days after flowering to maturity), respectively. The AT in the whole maize growing season increased in NFR during the last 50 years with the highest in the southwest part of NFR, and that in the vegetative growth phase increased faster than in the other two phases. The AD in the whole maize growing season increased during the last 50 years with the highest in the southwest part of NFR, and that in the late growth phase increased faster than in the other two phases. Heat stress negatively affected maize yield during the maize growing season, particularly in the vegetative growth phase. The heat stress in Songliao Plain was much higher in comparison to the other regions. The adaptation measures of maize production to heat stress in NFR included optimizing crop structure, cultivating high temperature resistant maize varieties, improving maize production management and developing the maize production system that could cope with disasters.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Feasibility of hydrothermal pretreatment on maize silage for bioethanol production.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jian; Thomsen, Mette Hedegaard; Thomsen, Anne Belinda

    2010-09-01

    The potential of maize silage as a feedstock to produce bioethanol was evaluated in the present study. The hydrothermal pretreatment with five different pretreatment severity factors (PSF) was employed to pretreat the maize silage and compared in terms of sugar recovery, toxic test, and ethanol production by prehydrolysis and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation. After pretreatment, most of the cellulose remained in the residue, ranging between 85.87% by the highest PSF (185 degrees C, 15 min) and 92.90% obtained at the lowest PSF (185 degrees C, 3 min). A larger part of starch, varying from 71.64% by the highest PSF to 78.28% by the lowest, was liberated into liquor part, leaving 8.05-11.74% in the residues. Xylan recovery in the residues increased from 44.25% at the highest PSF to 82.95% at the lowest. The recovery of xylan in liquor changed from 20.13% to 50.33%. Toxic test indicated that all the liquors from the five conditions were not toxic to the Baker's yeast. Pretreatment under 195 degrees C for 7 min had the similar PSF with that of 185 degrees C for 15 min, and both gave the higher ethanol concentration of 19.92 and 19.98 g/L, respectively. The ethanol concentration from untreated maize silage was only 7.67 g/L.

  12. Sustainable food consumption. Product choice or curtailment?

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Antifungal-protein production in maize (Zea mays) suspension cultures.

    PubMed

    Perri, Fabio; Della Penna, Serena; Rufini, Francesca; Patamia, Maria; Bonito, Mariantonietta; Angiolella, Letizia; Vitali, Alberto

    2009-04-01

    The growing emergency due to the phenomenon of drug resistance to micro-organisms has pushed forward the search for new potential drug alternatives to those already in use. Plants represent a suitable source of new antifungal molecules, as they produce a series of defensive proteins. Among them are the PRPs (pathogenesis-related proteins), shown to be effective in vitro against human pathogens. An optimized and established cell-suspension culture of maize (Zea mays) was shown to constitutively secrete in the medium a series of PRPs comprising the antifungal protein zeamatin (P33679) with a final yield of approx. 3 mg/litre. The in-vitro-produced zeamatin possessed antifungal activity towards a clinical strain of the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans, an activity comparable with the one reported for the same protein extracted from maize seeds. Along with zeamatin, other PRPs were expressed: a 9 kDa lipid-transfer protein, a 26 kDa xylanase inhibitor and a new antifungal protein, PR-5. A fast, two-step chromatographic procedure was set up allowing the complete purification of the proteins considered, making this cell line a valuable system for the production of potential antifungal agents in a reliable and easy way.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Sustainability Analysis for Products and Processes

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzha, Edward; Nhapi, Innocent; Rockstrom, Johan

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

  19. Product Lifecycle Management and Sustainable Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-15

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

  2. Fumonisin production and other traits of Fusarium moniliforme strains from maize in northeast Mexico.

    PubMed Central

    Desjardins, A E; Plattner, R D; Nelson, P E

    1994-01-01

    Strains of Fusarium moniliforme from maize seed collected in four fields in northeast Mexico were tested for fumonisin production in culture, for sexual compatibility, and for vegetative compatibility by using non-nitrate-utilizing mutants. The test results indicate that a diverse population of fumonisin-producing strains of F. moniliforme (Gibberella fujikuroi) mating population A predominates and that a potential exists for production of fumonisins in Mexican maize. PMID:8017951

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-26

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

  4. Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Sustainable multipurpose tree production systems for Nepal

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, S.Y.; Kilpatrick, K.J.

    1988-03-01

    Argonne National Laboratory is developing methods for producing reforestation plating stock, fuel, and fodder in a sustainable manner in Nepal. This project, in cooperation with the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation of Nepal, is sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (AID). Several production systems are being evaluated for the Mid-Hills Region of Nepal. To provide sustainable biomass production and ecological management of the fragile Mid-Hills Region, the production systems must simultaneously satisfy the physiological requirements of the plants, the symbiotic requirements of the plant and the microorganisms in its rhizosphere, the physicochemical requirements of nutrient and water cycling, and the climatic and topographic constraints.

  6. Drought effects on US maize and soybean production: spatiotemporal patterns and historical changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zipper, Samuel C.; Qiu, Jiangxiao; Kucharik, Christopher J.

    2016-09-01

    Maximizing agricultural production on existing cropland is one pillar of meeting future global food security needs. To close crop yield gaps, it is critical to understand how climate extremes such as drought impact yield. Here, we use gridded, daily meteorological data and county-level annual yield data to quantify meteorological drought sensitivity of US maize and soybean production from 1958 to 2007. Meteorological drought negatively affects crop yield over most US crop-producing areas, and yield is most sensitive to short-term (1-3 month) droughts during critical development periods from July to August. While meteorological drought is associated with 13% of overall yield variability, substantial spatial variability in drought effects and sensitivity exists, with central and southeastern US becoming increasingly sensitive to drought over time. Our study illustrates fine-scale spatiotemporal patterns of drought effects, highlighting where variability in crop production is most strongly associated with drought, and suggests that management strategies that buffer against short-term water stress may be most effective at sustaining long-term crop productivity.

  7. Improved sustainability of feedstock production with sludge and interacting mycorrhiza.

    PubMed

    Seleiman, Mahmoud F; Santanen, Arja; Kleemola, Jouko; Stoddard, Frederick L; Mäkelä, Pirjo S A

    2013-05-01

    Recycling nutrients saves energy and improves agricultural sustainability. Sewage sludge contains 2.6% P and 3.1% N, so the availability of these nutrients was investigated using four crops grown in either soil or sand. Further attention was paid to the role of mycorrhiza in improvement of nutrient availability. The content of heavy metals and metalloids in the feedstock was analyzed. Sewage sludge application resulted in greater biomass accumulation in ryegrass than comparable single applications of either synthetic fertilizer or digested sludge. Sewage sludge application resulted in more numerous mycorrhizal spores in soil and increased root colonization in comparison to synthetic fertilizer. All plants studied had mycorrhizal colonized roots, with the highest colonization rate in maize, followed by hemp. Sewage sludge application resulted in the highest P uptake in all soil-grown plants. In conclusion, sewage sludge application increased feedstock yield, provided beneficial use for organic wastes, and contributed to the sustainability of bioenergy feedstock production systems. It also improves the soil conditions and plant nutrition through colonization by mycorrhizal fungi as well as reducing leaching and need of synthetic fertilizers.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Sustainable Multi-Product Seafood Production Planning Under Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  12. Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices.

    PubMed

    Tilman, David; Cassman, Kenneth G; Matson, Pamela A; Naylor, Rosamond; Polasky, Stephen

    2002-08-08

    A doubling in global food demand projected for the next 50 years poses huge challenges for the sustainability both of food production and of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the services they provide to society. Agriculturalists are the principal managers of global usable lands and will shape, perhaps irreversibly, the surface of the Earth in the coming decades. New incentives and policies for ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services will be crucial if we are to meet the demands of improving yields without compromising environmental integrity or public health.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Water productivity of maize in the U.S. High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize water production functions measured in a 4 year field trial in the U.S. central High Plains were curvilinear with 2.0 kg m-3 water productivity at full irrigation that resulted from 12.5 Mg ha-1 grain yields with 630 mm of crop evapotranspiration, ETc. The functions show decreasing yield but ...

  15. Calcium modulates membrane association, positional specificity, and product distribution in dual positional specific maize lipoxygenase-1.

    PubMed

    Cho, Kyoungwon; Han, Jihoon; Rakwal, Randeep; Han, Oksoo

    2015-06-01

    This study investigates how calcium modulates the properties of dual positional specific maize lipoxygenase-1, including its interaction with substrate, association with subcellular membrane and alteration of product distribution. Bioinformatic analyses identified Asp(38), Glu(127) and Glu(201) as putative calcium binding residues and Leu(37) as a flanking hydrophobic residue also potentially involved in calcium-mediated binding of the enzyme to subcellular membranes. Asp(38) and Leu(37) were shown to be important but not essential for calcium-mediated association of maize lipoxygenase-1 to subcellular membranes in vitro. Kinetic studies demonstrate that catalytic efficiency (Vmax/Km) shows a bell-shaped dependence on log of the molar ratio of substrate to unbound calcium. Calcium also modulates product distribution of the maize lipoxygenase-1 reaction, favoring 13-positional specificity and increasing the relative amount of (E,Z)-isomeric products. The results suggest that calcium regulates the maize lipoxygenase-1 reaction by binding to substrate, and by promoting binding of substrate to enzyme and association of maize lipoxygenase-1 to subcellular membranes.

  16. [Climatic potential productivity of winter wheat and summer maize in Huanghuaihai Plain in 2011-2050].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jun-Fang; Guo, Jian-Ping; Wu, Ding-Rong; Fang, Shi-Bo; E, You-Hao

    2011-12-01

    Based on the daily data under B2 climate scenario (2011-2050) and baseline climate condition (1961-1990) extracted from the regional climate model PRECIS, and by using the Agro-Ecological Zone (AEZ) model, a prediction was conducted on the possible spatiotemporal changes of the climatic potential productivity of the two crops in the Huanghuaihai Plain in 2011-2050. Under baseline climate condition, the climatic potential productivities of winter wheat and summer maize presented a regional differentiation, i.e., higher in southeast and lower in northwest regions, and higher along coast and lower in inland at the same latitudes, and fluctuated within the ranges of 3893-11000 kg x hm(-2) and 5908-12000 kg x hm(-2), respectively. Under B2 climate scenario, the climatic potential productivity of winter wheat and summer maize would have a greater inter-annual change, due to the different matching degrees of light, temperature and water during the growth periods of the crops. The climatic potential productivity of winter wheat in 2011-2030 and summer maize in 2021-2040 would have an obvious increase, with great potential for development. Under the conditions of maintaining the present production, the climatic potential productivity of winter wheat in 2011-2050 would present an overall regional differentiation of reverse change in southeast and northwest regions and the same change in coastal and inland areas, whereas the climatic potential productivity of summer maize in 2011-2050 would have little regional differentiation.

  17. Analysis of Maize versus Ethanol Production in Nebraska, United States and International Agricultural Droughts: Lessons for Global Food Security

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boken, V.; Tenkorang, F.

    2012-04-01

    Nebraska is one of the eight main corn (maize) belt states of the United States. Maize is the major crop of Nebraska with an average annual production of about 38 million tons (about 12% of U.S. production), which contributes billions of dollars to the state's economy. The yield of maize has increased significantly over the past century - from 1.6 t/ha in 1900 to 10.4 t/ha in 2010. While the majority of maize (about 40%) is currently used for animal feed and ethanol production, only about six percent is exported. It is estimated that about one billion people accounting for about 15% population of the world live in chronic hunger because of low agricultural productivity and drought. Most of these people depend on the U.S. for grains including maize. If a greater quantity of maize is diverted to ethanol production, considerably less quantity of maize would be available for export to developing countries where it could be used for human consumption and to mitigate hunger and improve food security. This paper presents analysis of maize production in Nebraska for the past three decades and examines how its commercialization for ethanol production has affected its exports in the face of drought at an international level.

  18. The critical role of extreme heat for maize production in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobell, David B.; Hammer, Graeme L.; McLean, Greg; Messina, Carlos; Roberts, Michael J.; Schlenker, Wolfram

    2013-05-01

    Statistical studies of rainfed maize yields in the United States and elsewhere have indicated two clear features: a strong negative yield response to accumulation of temperatures above 30°C (or extreme degree days (EDD)), and a relatively weak response to seasonal rainfall. Here we show that the process-based Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) is able to reproduce both of these relationships in the Midwestern United States and provide insight into underlying mechanisms. The predominant effects of EDD in APSIM are associated with increased vapour pressure deficit, which contributes to water stress in two ways: by increasing demand for soil water to sustain a given rate of carbon assimilation, and by reducing future supply of soil water by raising transpiration rates. APSIM computes daily water stress as the ratio of water supply to demand, and during the critical month of July this ratio is three times more responsive to 2°C warming than to a 20% precipitation reduction. The results suggest a relatively minor role for direct heat stress on reproductive organs at present temperatures in this region. Effects of elevated CO2 on transpiration efficiency should reduce yield sensitivity to EDD in the coming decades, but at most by 25%.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  1. The relationship of proline content and metabolism on the productivity of maize plants

    PubMed Central

    Špoljarević, Marija; Agić, Dejan; Lisjak, Miroslav; Gumze, Andrej; Wilson, Ian D; Hancock, John T

    2011-01-01

    The free proline content in maize ear-leaves, silk and pollen were analyzed in field grown plants which had matured to the pollination stage. Using maize hybrids PR34F02, PR35P12 and PR36B08 field trials were set up at two locations in eastern Croatia in two different years. Two enzymes of proline metabolism were analyzed in the same leaf samples and specific activities of synthetase (P5CS) and proline dehydrogenase (PDH). Plant productivity was evaluated at harvest by the estimation of total and fully developed grain number per ear and per plant, the mean single grain mass, and the mass of grain per plant. The year in which the plants were grown had a very significant effect on the free proline content in the leaf and pollen, as well as on the enzyme activities assayed. The differences between the plants from the two localities were very significant in all tested parameters of plant grain productivity. There was a significant genotype effect on proline content and P5CS total activity in leaf and on all the productivity parameters. Some of the correlations established suggest that the rate of proline synthesis and degradation in maize ear-leaf at pollination might contribute to the final grain production of the maize plant. Multiple regression analyses was used to further analyze the relationship between proline and grain productivity, but it is clear that future work should include other environmental conditions, plant species and organs such as roots. PMID:21415600

  2. Criteria Assessment Model for Sustainable Product Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohd Turan, Faiz; Johan, Kartina; Hisyamudin Muhd Nor, Nik

    2016-11-01

    The instability in today's market and the ever increasing and emerging demands for mass customized and hybrid products by customers, are driving companies and decision makers to seek for cost effective and time efficient improvements in their product development process. Design concept evaluation which is the end of conceptual design is one of the most critical decision points in product development. It relates to the final success of product development, because poor criteria assessment in design concept evaluation can rarely compensated at the later stages. This has led to real pressure for the adaptation of new developmental architecture and operational parameters to remain competitive in the market. In this paper, a new integrated design concept evaluation based on fuzzy-technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (Fuzzy-TOPSIS) is presented, and it also attempts to incorporate sustainability practices in assessing the criteria. Prior to Fuzzy-TOPSIS, a new scale of “Weighting criteria” for survey process is developed to quantify the evaluation criteria. This method will help engineers to improve the effectiveness and objectivity of the sustainable product development. Case example from industry is presented to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed methodology. The result of the example shows that the new integrated method provides an alternative to existing methods of design concept evaluation.

  3. Sustainability of three apple production systems.

    PubMed

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

    2001-04-19

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Climate change and sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Smith, Pete; Gregory, Peter J

    2013-02-01

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

  8. 75 FR 56528 - EPA's Role in Advancing Sustainable Products

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-16

    ... in the ``green'' or sustainable products movement. The Agency will consider the information gathered... regarding the Agency's role in the ``green'' or sustainable products movement. The Agency will consider the..., or industrial products that may be considered as ``green,'' ``sustainable,'' or...

  9. Nitrogen Source and Rate Management Improve Maize Productivity of Smallholders under Semiarid Climates

    PubMed Central

    Amanullah; Iqbal, Asif; Ali, Ashraf; Fahad, Shah; Parmar, Brajendra

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen is one of the most important factor affecting maize (Zea mays L.) yield and income of smallholders under semiarid climates. Field experiments were conducted to investigate the impact of different N-fertilizer sources [urea, calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), and ammonium sulfate (AS)] and rates (50, 100, 150, and 200 kg ha−1) on umber of rows ear−1 (NOR ear−1), number of seeds row−1 (NOS row−1), number of seeds ear−1 (NOS ear−1), number of ears per 100 plants (NOEP 100 plants−1), grain yield plant−1, stover yield (kg ha−1), and shelling percentage (%) of maize genotypes “Local cultivars (Azam and Jalal) vs. hybrid (Pioneer-3025).” The experiment was conducted at the Agronomy Research Farm of the University of Agriculture Peshawar during summers of 2008 (year one) and 2010 (year two). The results revealed that the N treated (rest) plots (the average of all the experimental plots treated with N) had produced higher yield and yield components, and shelling percentage over N-control plots (plots where N was not applied). Application of nitrogen at the higher rate increased yield and yield components in maize (200 > 150 > 100 > 50 kg N ha−1). Application of AS and CAN had more beneficial impact on yield and yield components of maize as compared to urea (AS > CAN > urea). Hybrid maize (P-3025) produced significantly higher yield and yield components as well as higher shelling percentage than the two local cultivars (P-3025 > Jalal = Azam). Application of ammonium sulfate at the rate of 200 kg N ha−1 to hybrid maize was found most beneficial in terms of higher productivity and grower's income in the study area. For the two local cultivars, application of 150 kg N ha−1 was found more beneficial over 120 kg N ha−1 (recommended N rate) in terms of greater productivity and growers income. PMID:27965685

  10. Methane production through anaerobic digestion of various energy crops grown in sustainable crop rotations.

    PubMed

    Amon, Thomas; Amon, Barbara; Kryvoruchko, Vitaliy; Machmüller, Andrea; Hopfner-Sixt, Katharina; Bodiroza, Vitomir; Hrbek, Regina; Friedel, Jürgen; Pötsch, Erich; Wagentristl, Helmut; Schreiner, Matthias; Zollitsch, Werner

    2007-12-01

    Biogas production is of major importance for the sustainable use of agrarian biomass as renewable energy source. Economic biogas production depends on high biogas yields. The project aimed at optimising anaerobic digestion of energy crops. The following aspects were investigated: suitability of different crop species and varieties, optimum time of harvesting, specific methane yield and methane yield per hectare. The experiments covered 7 maize, 2 winter wheat, 2 triticale varieties, 1 winter rye, and 2 sunflower varieties and 6 variants with permanent grassland. In the course of the vegetation period, biomass yield and biomass composition were measured. Anaerobic digestion was carried out in eudiometer batch digesters. The highest methane yields of 7500-10200 m(N)(3)ha(-1) were achieved from maize varieties with FAO numbers (value for the maturity of the maize) of 300 to 600 harvested at "wax ripeness". Methane yields of cereals ranged from 3200 to 4500 m(N)(3)ha(-1). Cereals should be harvested at "grain in the milk stage" to "grain in the dough stage". With sunflowers, methane yields between 2600 and 4550 m(N)(3)ha(-1) were achieved. There were distinct differences between the investigated sunflower varieties. Alpine grassland can yield 2700-3500 m(N)(3)CH(4)ha(-1). The methane energy value model (MEVM) was developed for the different energy crops. It estimates the specific methane yield from the nutrient composition of the energy crops. Energy crops for biogas production need to be grown in sustainable crop rotations. The paper outlines possibilities for optimising methane yield from versatile crop rotations that integrate the production of food, feed, raw materials and energy. These integrated crop rotations are highly efficient and can provide up to 320 million t COE which is 96% of the total energy demand of the road traffic of the EU-25 (the 25 Member States of the European Union).

  11. Sustainable potato production: global case studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Determination of Mycotoxin Production of Fusarium Species in Genetically Modified Maize Varieties by Quantitative Flow Immunocytometry

    PubMed Central

    Bánáti, Hajnalka; Darvas, Béla; Fehér-Tóth, Szilvia; Czéh, Árpád; Székács, András

    2017-01-01

    Levels of mycotoxins produced by Fusarium species in genetically modified (GM) and near-isogenic maize, were determined using multi-analyte, microbead-based flow immunocytometry with fluorescence detection, for the parallel quantitative determination of fumonisin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T-2, ochratoxin A, and aflatoxin B1. Maize varieties included the genetic events MON 810 and DAS-59122-7, and their isogenic counterparts. Cobs were artificially infested by F. verticillioides and F. proliferatum conidia, and contained F. graminearum and F. sporotrichoides natural infestation. The production of fumonisin B1 and deoxynivalenol was substantially affected in GM maize lines: F. verticillioides, with the addition of F. graminearum and F. sporotrichoides, produced significantly lower levels of fumonisin B1 (~300 mg·kg−1) in DAS-59122-7 than in its isogenic line (~580 mg·kg−1), while F. proliferatum, in addition to F. graminearum and F. sporotrichoides, produced significantly higher levels of deoxynivalenol (~18 mg·kg−1) in MON 810 than in its isogenic line (~5 mg·kg−1). Fusarium verticillioides, with F. graminearum and F. sporotrichoides, produced lower amounts of deoxynivalenol and zearalenone than F. proliferatum, with F. graminearum and F. sporotrichoides. T-2 toxin production remained unchanged when considering the maize variety. The results demonstrate the utility of the Fungi-Plex™ quantitative flow immunocytometry method, applied for the high throughput parallel determination of the target mycotoxins. PMID:28241411

  13. Hydrazine Catalyst Production: Sustaining S-405 Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    One of the important programmatic outcomes from the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) was the adoption of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Sustainable and efficient biohydrogen production via electrohydrogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, S.; Logan, B.E.

    2007-11-20

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

  18. Globally sustainable manganese metal production and use.

    PubMed

    Hagelstein, Karen

    2009-09-01

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

  19. Sustainable and efficient biohydrogen production via electrohydrogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shaoan; Logan, Bruce E

    2007-11-20

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

  20. Dominance of Group 2 and fusaproliferin production by Fusarium subglutinans from Iowa maize.

    PubMed

    Munkvold, G P; Logrieco, A; Moretti, A; Ferracane, R; Ritieni, A

    2009-03-01

    Fusarium subglutinans (teleomorph Gibberella subglutinans, member of the Gibberella fujikuroi complex) is an important toxigenic pathogen of maize. Recently, two cryptic species (Groups 1 and 2) have been described within F. subglutinans, but little is known about the occurrence of the two groups in North America or their relative capacities to produce mycotoxins. In this study, 58 F. subglutinans strains from kernels of maize grown in Iowa, USA, were evaluated for cryptic speciation and production of the mycotoxins fusaproliferin and beauvericin. Fifty-six of the 58 strains (97%) belonged to Group 2, and two strains belonged to Group 1, based on restricted fragment length polymorphisms derived from amplification of histone H3 and beta-tubulin gene fragments. Fifty-four Group 2 strains and both Group 1 strains produced fusaproliferin at concentrations ranging from 12 to 3000 microg g(-1) of solid maize culture. None of the F. subglutinans strains from Iowa produced beauvericin at detectable amounts, although most F. subglutinans strains from Europe and elsewhere are beauvericin producers. These results indicate that F. subglutinans strains infecting maize kernels in Iowa belong almost exclusively to Group 2 and that they have a high potential for fusaproliferin production; furthermore, the results confirm an association between Group 2 genotypes and lack of beauvericin production. This is the first report characterizing the phylogenetic groups of F. subglutinans occurring in Iowa; the predominance of Group 2 suggests that populations of the fungus in Iowa and Europe remain isolated from each other. Fusaproliferin contamination of grain appears to be a risk wherever F. subglutinans occurs, but beauvericin contamination from F. subglutinans is associated only with Group 1.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Christiane; Idler, Christine; Heiermann, Monika

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Fungal endophytes for sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Lugtenberg, Ben J J; Caradus, John R; Johnson, Linda J

    2016-12-01

    This minireview highlights the importance of endophytic fungi for sustainable agriculture and horticulture production. Fungal endophytes play a key role in habitat adaptation of plants resulting in improved plant performance and plant protection against biotic and abiotic stresses. They encode a vast variety of novel secondary metabolites including volatile organic compounds. In addition to protecting plants against pathogens and pests, selected fungal endophytes have been used to remove animal toxicities associated with fungal endophytes in temperate grasses, to create corn and rice plants that are tolerant to a range of biotic and abiotic stresses, and for improved management of post-harvest control. We argue that practices used in plant breeding, seed treatments and agriculture, often caused by poor knowledge of the importance of fungal endophytes, are among the reasons for the loss of fungal endophyte diversity in domesticated plants and also accounts for the reduced effectiveness of some endophyte strains to confer plant benefits. We provide recommendations on how to mitigate against these negative impacts in modern agriculture.

  5. Pollen viability, physiology, and production of maize plants exposed to pyraclostrobin+epoxiconazole.

    PubMed

    Junqueira, Verônica Barbosa; Costa, Alan Carlos; Boff, Tatiana; Müller, Caroline; Mendonça, Maria Andréia Corrêa; Batista, Priscila Ferreira

    2017-04-01

    The use of fungicides in maize has been more frequent due to an increase in the incidence of diseases and also the possible physiological benefits that some of these products may cause. However, some of these products (e.g., strobilurins and triazoles) may interfere with physiological processes and the formation of reproductive organs. Therefore, the effect of these products on plants at different developmental stages needs to be better understood to reduce losses and maximize production. The effect of the fungicide pyraclostrobin+epoxiconazole (P+E) was evaluated at different growth stages in meiosis, pollen grain viability and germination, physiology, and production of maize plants in the absence of disease. An experiment was carried out with the hybrid DKB390 PROII and the application of pyraclostrobin+epoxiconazole at the recommended dose and an untreated control at 3 different timings (S1 - V10; S2 - V14; S3 - R1) with 5 replications. Gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, pollen viability and germination, as well as the hundred-grain weight were evaluated. Anthers were collected from plants of S1 for cytogenetic analysis. The fungicide pyraclostrobin+epoxiconazole reduced the viability of pollen grains (1.4%), but this was not enough to reduce production. Moreover, no differences were observed in any of the other parameters analyzed, suggesting that P+E at the recommended dose and the tested stages does not cause toxic effects.

  6. Dissection of Maize Kernel Composition and Starch Production by Candidate Gene Association

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Larissa M.; Whitt, Sherry R.; Ibáñez, Ana M.; Rocheford, Torbert R.; Goodman, Major M.; Buckler, Edward S.

    2004-01-01

    Cereal starch production forms the basis of subsistence for much of the world's human and domesticated animal populations. Starch concentration and composition in the maize (Zea mays ssp mays) kernel are complex traits controlled by many genes. In this study, an association approach was used to evaluate six maize candidate genes involved in kernel starch biosynthesis: amylose extender1 (ae1), brittle endosperm2 (bt2), shrunken1 (sh1), sh2, sugary1, and waxy1. Major kernel composition traits, such as protein, oil, and starch concentration, were assessed as well as important starch composition quality traits, including pasting properties and amylose levels. Overall, bt2, sh1, and sh2 showed significant associations for kernel composition traits, whereas ae1 and sh2 showed significant associations for starch pasting properties. ae1 and sh1 both associated with amylose levels. Additionally, haplotype analysis of sh2 suggested this gene is involved in starch viscosity properties and amylose content. Despite starch concentration being only moderately heritable for this particular panel of diverse maize inbreds, high resolution was achieved when evaluating these starch candidate genes, and diverse alleles for breeding and further molecular analysis were identified. PMID:15377761

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Ethanol Production from Extruded Thermoplastic Maize Meal by High Gravity Fermentation with Zymomonas mobilis

    PubMed Central

    Peralta-Contreras, Mayeli; Aguilar-Zamarripa, Edna; Pérez-Carrillo, Esther; Escamilla-García, Erandi; Serna-Saldívar, Sergio Othon

    2014-01-01

    A comparative study of extruded and ground maize meals as raw materials for the production of regular (12°P) and high gravity (20°P) worts was devised. Extruded water solubility index (WSI) was higher (9.8 percentage units) and crude fat was lower (2.64 percentage units) compared to ground maize. Free-amino nitrogen compounds (FAN), pH, and glucose were evaluated in regular and high gravity worts produced from ground or extruded maize. Extrusion improved glucose content and ethanol yield. In 20°P mashes, extrusion is enhanced by 2.14% initial glucose compared with regular ground mashes. The 12°P and 20°P extruded treatments averaged 12.2% and 8.4% higher ethanol, respectively, compared to the uncooked counterpart. The 20°P worts fermented with Zymomonas mobilis produced 9.56% more ethanol than the 12°P counterpart. The results show that the combination of extrusion and fermentation of 20°P worts improved ethanol yield per kg flour until 20.93%. This pretreatment stimulates Z. mobilis fermentation efficiency. PMID:25530885

  9. Population structure and aflatoxin production by Aspergillus Sect. Flavi from maize in Nigeria and Ghana.

    PubMed

    Perrone, Giancarlo; Haidukowski, Miriam; Stea, Gaetano; Epifani, Filomena; Bandyopadhyay, Ranajit; Leslie, John F; Logrieco, Antonio

    2014-08-01

    Aflatoxins are highly toxic carcinogens that contaminate crops worldwide. Previous studies conducted in Nigeria and Ghana found high concentrations of aflatoxins in pre- and post-harvest maize. However, little information is available on the population structure of Aspergillus Sect. Flavi in West Africa. We determined the incidence of Aspergillus Sect. Flavi and the level of aflatoxin contamination in 91 maize samples from farms and markets in Nigeria and Ghana. Aspergillus spp. were recovered from 61/91 maize samples and aflatoxins B1 and/or B2 occurred in 36/91 samples. Three samples from the farms also contained aflatoxin G1 and/or G2. Farm samples were more highly contaminated than were samples from the market, in terms of both the percentage of the samples contaminated and the level of mycotoxin contamination. One-hundred-and-thirty-five strains representative of the 1163 strains collected were identified by using a multilocus sequence analysis of portions of the genes encoding calmodulin, β-tubulin and actin, and evaluated for aflatoxin production. Of the 135 strains, there were 110 - Aspergillus flavus, 20 - Aspergillus tamarii, 2 - Aspergillus wentii, 2 - Aspergillus flavofurcatus, and 1 - Aspergillus parvisclerotigenus. Twenty-five of the A. flavus strains and the A. parvisclerotigenus strain were the only strains that produced aflatoxins. The higher contamination of the farm than the market samples suggests that the aflatoxin exposure of rural farmers is even higher than previously estimated based on reported contamination of market samples. The relative infrequency of the A. flavus SBG strains, producing small sclerotia and high levels of both aflatoxins (B and G), suggests that long-term chronic exposure to this mycotoxin are a much higher health risk in West Africa than is the acute toxicity due to very highly contaminated maize in east Africa.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubolsook, Aerwadee

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  14. Comprehensive Analysis Competence and Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Chemical Production.

    PubMed

    Appel, Joerg; Colombo, Corrado; Dtwyler, Urs; Chen, Yun; Kerimoglu, Nimet

    2016-09-01

    Humanity currently sees itself facing enormous economic, ecological, and social challenges. Sustainable products and production in specialty chemistry are an important strategic element to address these megatrends. In addition to that, digitalization and global connectivity will create new opportunities for the industry. One aspect is examined in this paper, which shows the development of comprehensive analysis of production networks for a more sustainable production in which the need for innovative solutions arises. Examples from data analysis, advanced process control and automated performance monitoring are shown. These efforts have significant impact on improved yields, reduced energy and water consumption, and better product performance in the application of the products.

  15. Comprehensive Analysis Competence and Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Chemical Production.

    PubMed

    Appel, Joerg; Colombo, Corrado; Dätwyler, Urs; Chen, Yun; Kerimoglu, Nimet

    2016-01-01

    Humanity currently sees itself facing enormous economic, ecological, and social challenges. Sustainable products and production in specialty chemistry are an important strategic element to address these megatrends. In addition to that, digitalization and global connectivity will create new opportunities for the industry. One aspect is examined in this paper, which shows the development of comprehensive analysis of production networks for a more sustainable production in which the need for innovative solutions arises. Examples from data analysis, advanced process control and automated performance monitoring are shown. These efforts have significant impact on improved yields, reduced energy and water consumption, and better product performance in the application of the products.

  16. Detection of genetically modified maize in processed products, dry grains, and corn ears intended for fresh consumption in South Brazil.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, C A M; Kommers, C M; Lehmann, F K M; Fonseca, A S K; Ikuta, N; Lunge, V R

    2016-10-17

    Conventional and genetically modified (GM) maize cultivars have been widely planted in Brazil to produce grains for processed food, feed, or to be consumed fresh as corn ears. This study used real-time PCR to detect GM maize in processed products and fresh commercial corn ears produced in the last two years in South Brazil. Eighteen conventional and GM maize cultivars were obtained from seed production companies and 50 commercial samples (including canned corn, corn flour, dry grains, and fresh corn ears) were purchased in small local stores and supermarkets. All samples were analyzed by real time TaqMan PCR to detect one constitutive maize gene (hmg) and three genetic regions present in GM plants (p-35S promoter, major gene cry 1A.105, and t-Nos terminator). Each commercial sample was classified as conventional or GM based on the PCR results. PCR targeting the hmg gene generated positive results from all DNA samples, which were further tested with the GM targets. These targets were not detected in the five conventional maize cultivars, but were detected in the GM seeds hosting these fragments. Analysis of processed foods identified four cultivars as conventional and six as GM, which were mostly correctly labeled. Seven (53.8%) dry grain samples were classified as conventional, while six (46.2%) were classified as GM. Three (11.1%) corn ear samples were identified as conventional, and the remaining 24 (88.9%) were GM maize. These results demonstrate the high frequency of GM maize in processed products, including fresh corn ears intended for consumption in South Brazil.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Optimization of butanol production from tropical maize stalk juice by fermentation with Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi; Blaschek, Hans P

    2011-11-01

    Mixed sugars from tropical maize stalk juice were used to carry out butanol fermentation with Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052. Batch experiments employing central composite design (CCD) and response surface methodology (RSM) optimization were performed to evaluate effects of three factors, i.e. pH, initial total sugar concentration, and agitation rate on butanol production. Optimum conditions of pH 6.7, sugar concentration 42.2g/L and agitation rate 48 rpm were predicted, under which a maximum butanol yield of 0.27 g/g-sugar was estimated. Further experiments demonstrated that higher agitation facilitated acetone production, leading to lower butanol selectivity in total acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE). While glucose and fructose are more preferable by C. beijerinckii, sucrose can also be easily degraded by the microorganism. This study indicated that RSM is a useful approach for optimizing operational conditions for butanol production, and demonstrated that tropical maize, with high yield of biomass and stalk sugars, is a promising biofuel crop.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  1. Sustainable Production of Chemicals--An Educational Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eissen, Marco

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huttunen, Suvi

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Identification of line-specific strategies for improving carotenoid production in synthetic maize through data-driven mathematical modeling.

    PubMed

    Comas, Jorge; Benfeitas, Rui; Vilaprinyo, Ester; Sorribas, Albert; Solsona, Francesc; Farré, Gemma; Berman, Judit; Zorrilla, Uxue; Capell, Teresa; Sandmann, Gerhard; Zhu, Changfu; Christou, Paul; Alves, Rui

    2016-09-01

    Plant synthetic biology is still in its infancy. However, synthetic biology approaches have been used to manipulate and improve the nutritional and health value of staple food crops such as rice, potato and maize. With current technologies, production yields of the synthetic nutrients are a result of trial and error, and systematic rational strategies to optimize those yields are still lacking. Here, we present a workflow that combines gene expression and quantitative metabolomics with mathematical modeling to identify strategies for increasing production yields of nutritionally important carotenoids in the seed endosperm synthesized through alternative biosynthetic pathways in synthetic lines of white maize, which is normally devoid of carotenoids. Quantitative metabolomics and gene expression data are used to create and fit parameters of mathematical models that are specific to four independent maize lines. Sensitivity analysis and simulation of each model is used to predict which gene activities should be further engineered in order to increase production yields for carotenoid accumulation in each line. Some of these predictions (e.g. increasing Zmlycb/Gllycb will increase accumulated β-carotenes) are valid across the four maize lines and consistent with experimental observations in other systems. Other predictions are line specific. The workflow is adaptable to any other biological system for which appropriate quantitative information is available. Furthermore, we validate some of the predictions using experimental data from additional synthetic maize lines for which no models were developed.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cheryl O'Brien

    2006-07-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Occurrence of Pyrrocidine and Dihydroresorcyclide Production among Acremonium zeae Populations from Maize Grown in Different Regions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Jianbo; Shi, Jianrong

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Comparison of species composition and fumonisin production in Aspergillus section Nigri populations in maize kernels from USA and Italy.

    PubMed

    Susca, Antonia; Moretti, Antonio; Stea, Gaetano; Villani, Alessandra; Haidukowski, Miriam; Logrieco, Antonio; Munkvold, Gary

    2014-10-01

    Fumonisin contamination of maize is considered a serious problem in most maize-growing regions of the world, due to the widespread occurrence of these mycotoxins and their association with toxicosis in livestock and humans. Fumonisins are produced primarily by species of Fusarium that are common in maize grain, but also by some species of Aspergillus sect. Nigri, which can also occur on maize kernels as opportunistic pathogens. Understanding the origin of fumonisin contamination in maize is a key component in developing effective management strategies. Although some fungi in Aspergillus sect. Nigri are known to produce fumonisins, little is known about the species which are common in maize and whether they make a measurable contribution to fumonisin contamination of maize grain. In this work, we evaluated populations of Aspergillus sect. Nigri isolated from maize in USA and Italy, focusing on analysis of housekeeping genes, the fum8 gene and in vitro capability of producing fumonisins. DNA sequencing was used to identify Aspergillus strains belonging to sect. Nigri, in order to compare species composition between the two populations, which might influence specific mycotoxicological risks. Combined beta-tubulin/calmodulin sequences were used to genetically characterize 300 strains (199 from Italy and 101 from USA) which grouped into 4 clades: Aspergillus welwitschiae (syn. Aspergillus awamori, 14.7%), Aspergillus tubingensis (37.0%) and Aspergillus niger group 1 (6.7%) and group 2 (41.3%). Only one strain was identified as Aspergillus carbonarius. Species composition differed between the two populations; A. niger predominated among the USA isolates (69%), but comprised a smaller percentage (38%) of Italian isolates. Conversely, A. tubingensis and A. welwitschiae occurred at higher frequencies in the Italian population (42% and 20%, respectively) than in the USA population (27% and 5%). The evaluation of FB2 production on CY20S agar revealed 118 FB2 producing and 84

  14. Modeling Sustainability in Product Development and Commercialization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Robert C.; Rafinejad, Dariush

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Identification of the Pr1 Gene Product Completes the Anthocyanin Biosynthesis Pathway of Maize

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Mandeep; Cortes-Cruz, Moises; Ahern, Kevin R.; McMullen, Michael; Brutnell, Thomas P.; Chopra, Surinder

    2011-01-01

    In maize, mutations in the pr1 locus lead to the accumulation of pelargonidin (red) rather than cyanidin (purple) pigments in aleurone cells where the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway is active. We characterized pr1 mutation and isolated a putative F3′H encoding gene (Zmf3′h1) and showed by segregation analysis that the red kernel phenotype is linked to this gene. Genetic mapping using SNP markers confirms its position on chromosome 5L. Furthermore, genetic complementation experiments using a CaMV 35S::ZmF3′H1 promoter–gene construct established that the encoded protein product was sufficient to perform a 3′-hydroxylation reaction. The Zmf3′h1-specific transcripts were detected in floral and vegetative tissues of Pr1 plants and were absent in pr1. Four pr1 alleles were characterized: two carry a 24 TA dinucleotide repeat insertion in the 5′-upstream promoter region, a third has a 17-bp deletion near the TATA box, and a fourth contains a Ds insertion in exon1. Genetic and transcription assays demonstrated that the pr1 gene is under the regulatory control of anthocyanin transcription factors red1 and colorless1. The cloning and characterization of pr1 completes the molecular identification of all genes encoding structural enzymes of the anthocyanin pathway of maize. PMID:21385724

  18. Production of resistant starch by extrusion cooking of acid-modified normal-maize starch.

    PubMed

    Hasjim, Jovin; Jane, Jay-Lin

    2009-09-01

    The objective of this study was to utilize extrusion cooking and hydrothermal treatment to produce resistant starch (RS) as an economical alternative to a batch-cooking process. A hydrothermal treatment (110 degrees C, 3 d) of batch-cooked and extruded starch samples facilitated propagation of heat-stable starch crystallites and increased the RS contents from 2.1% to 7.7% up to 17.4% determined using AOAC Method 991.43 for total dietary fiber. When starch samples were batch cooked and hydrothermally treated at a moisture content below 70%, acid-modified normal-maize starch (AMMS) produced a greater RS content than did native normal-maize starch (NMS). This was attributed to the partially hydrolyzed, smaller molecules in the AMMS, which had greater mobility and freedom than the larger molecules in the NMS. The RS contents of the batch-cooked and extruded AMMS products after the hydrothermal treatment were similar. A freezing treatment of the AMMS samples at -20 degrees C prior to the hydrothermal treatment did not increase the RS content. The DSC thermograms and the X-ray diffractograms showed that retrograded amylose and crystalline starch-lipid complex, which had melting temperatures above 100 degrees C, accounted for the RS contents.

  19. Assessing the sustainability of beef production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavez, E.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Sustainable agriculture: how to sustain a production system in a changing environment.

    PubMed

    Wagner, W C

    1999-01-01

    During the past 10-15 years, sustainable agriculture has progressed from a focus primarily on a low-input, organic farming approach with a major emphasis on small fruit or vegetable production farms, often described as Low Input Sustainable Agriculture, to the current situation where sustainability is an important part of mainstream animal and plant production units. The US Department of Agriculture programmes cover a broad range of activities, including conserving the natural resource base, enhancing environmental quality, and sustaining productivity of the nation's farms. The use of Geographic Information Systems technology to direct application of fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides is one example of a rapidly emerging technology that can reduce use of external inputs, protect the agricultural environment, and improve economic returns. This Geographic Information Systems technology also is being used to localise animal pest and disease problems, assist in regulatory or control measures, and identify high risk areas that might need different management systems or should be avoided as sites for animal production. Use of intensive grazing systems also has increased markedly over the past 5-6 years. These systems will allow longer grazing seasons in southern parts of the USA, provide more efficient use of the forages being produced and reduce labour costs in the typical dairy operation. Major animal and plant production agriculture-oriented programmes at the US Department of Agriculture focus on integrated production systems, use of Integrated Pest Management techniques, and development of alternative methods to manage pests and diseases that reduce or avoid the use of drugs and chemicals. The US Department of Agriculture has a programme for sustainable agriculture, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education programme, which emphasises alternative approaches for animal and plant production systems.

  3. The potential of sustainable algal biofuel production using wastewater resources.

    PubMed

    Pittman, Jon K; Dean, Andrew P; Osundeko, Olumayowa

    2011-01-01

    The potential of microalgae as a source of renewable energy has received considerable interest, but if microalgal biofuel production is to be economically viable and sustainable, further optimization of mass culture conditions are needed. Wastewaters derived from municipal, agricultural and industrial activities potentially provide cost-effective and sustainable means of algal growth for biofuels. In addition, there is also potential for combining wastewater treatment by algae, such as nutrient removal, with biofuel production. Here we will review the current research on this topic and discuss the potential benefits and limitations of using wastewaters as resources for cost-effective microalgal biofuel production.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Prevalence of genetically modified rice, maize, and soy in Saudi food products.

    PubMed

    Elsanhoty, Rafaat M; Al-Turki, A I; Ramadan, Mohamed Fawzy

    2013-10-01

    Qualitative and quantitative DNA-based methods were applied to detect genetically modified foods in samples from markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Two hundred samples were collected from Al-Qassim, Riyadh, and Mahdina in 2009 and 2010. GMOScreen 35S and NOS test kits for the detection of genetically modified organism varieties in samples were used. The positive results obtained from GMOScreen 35S and NOS were identified using specific primer pairs. The results indicated that all rice samples gave negative results for the presence of 35S and NOS terminator. About 26 % of samples containing soybean were positive for 35S and NOS terminator and 44 % of samples containing maize were positive for the presence of 35S and/or NOS terminator. The results showed that 20.4 % of samples was positive for maize line Bt176, 8.8 % was positive for maize line Bt11, 8.8 % was positive for maize line T25, 5.9 % was positive for maize line MON 810, and 5.9 % was positive for StarLink maize. Twelve samples were shown to contain <3 % of genetically modified (GM) soy and 6 samples >10 % of GM soy. Four samples containing GM maize were shown to contain >5 % of GM maize MON 810. Four samples containing GM maize were shown to contain >1 % of StarLink maize. Establishing strong regulations and certified laboratories to monitor GM foods or crops in Saudi market is recommended.

  6. Designing a new cropping system for high productivity and sustainable water usage under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Qingfeng; Wang, Hongfei; Yan, Peng; Pan, Junxiao; Lu, Dianjun; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Fusuo; Chen, Xinping

    2017-01-01

    The food supply is being increasingly challenged by climate change and water scarcity. However, incremental changes in traditional cropping systems have achieved only limited success in meeting these multiple challenges. In this study, we applied a systematic approach, using model simulation and data from two groups of field studies conducted in the North China Plain, to develop a new cropping system that improves yield and uses water in a sustainable manner. Due to significant warming, we identified a double-maize (M-M; Zea mays L.) cropping system that replaced the traditional winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) –summer maize system. The M-M system improved yield by 14–31% compared with the conventionally managed wheat-maize system, and achieved similar yield compared with the incrementally adapted wheat-maize system with the optimized cultivars, planting dates, planting density and water management. More importantly, water usage was lower in the M-M system than in the wheat-maize system, and the rate of water usage was sustainable (net groundwater usage was ≤150 mm yr−1). Our study indicated that systematic assessment of adaptation and cropping system scale have great potential to address the multiple food supply challenges under changing climatic conditions. PMID:28155860

  7. Designing a new cropping system for high productivity and sustainable water usage under climate change.

    PubMed

    Meng, Qingfeng; Wang, Hongfei; Yan, Peng; Pan, Junxiao; Lu, Dianjun; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Fusuo; Chen, Xinping

    2017-02-03

    The food supply is being increasingly challenged by climate change and water scarcity. However, incremental changes in traditional cropping systems have achieved only limited success in meeting these multiple challenges. In this study, we applied a systematic approach, using model simulation and data from two groups of field studies conducted in the North China Plain, to develop a new cropping system that improves yield and uses water in a sustainable manner. Due to significant warming, we identified a double-maize (M-M; Zea mays L.) cropping system that replaced the traditional winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) -summer maize system. The M-M system improved yield by 14-31% compared with the conventionally managed wheat-maize system, and achieved similar yield compared with the incrementally adapted wheat-maize system with the optimized cultivars, planting dates, planting density and water management. More importantly, water usage was lower in the M-M system than in the wheat-maize system, and the rate of water usage was sustainable (net groundwater usage was ≤150 mm yr(-1)). Our study indicated that systematic assessment of adaptation and cropping system scale have great potential to address the multiple food supply challenges under changing climatic conditions.

  8. Designing a new cropping system for high productivity and sustainable water usage under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Qingfeng; Wang, Hongfei; Yan, Peng; Pan, Junxiao; Lu, Dianjun; Cui, Zhenling; Zhang, Fusuo; Chen, Xinping

    2017-02-01

    The food supply is being increasingly challenged by climate change and water scarcity. However, incremental changes in traditional cropping systems have achieved only limited success in meeting these multiple challenges. In this study, we applied a systematic approach, using model simulation and data from two groups of field studies conducted in the North China Plain, to develop a new cropping system that improves yield and uses water in a sustainable manner. Due to significant warming, we identified a double-maize (M-M; Zea mays L.) cropping system that replaced the traditional winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) –summer maize system. The M-M system improved yield by 14–31% compared with the conventionally managed wheat-maize system, and achieved similar yield compared with the incrementally adapted wheat-maize system with the optimized cultivars, planting dates, planting density and water management. More importantly, water usage was lower in the M-M system than in the wheat-maize system, and the rate of water usage was sustainable (net groundwater usage was ≤150 mm yr‑1). Our study indicated that systematic assessment of adaptation and cropping system scale have great potential to address the multiple food supply challenges under changing climatic conditions.

  9. Environmental impacts and sustainability of egg production systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As part of a systemic assessment toward social sustainability of egg production, we have reviewed current knowledge about the environmental impacts of egg production systems and identified topics requiring further research. Currently, we know that 1) high-rise cage houses generally have poorer air q...

  10. Bioeconomic Sustainability of Cellulosic Biofuel Production on Marginal Lands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Andrew Paul; Ponti, Luigi

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Knowledge Productivity for Sustainable Innovation: Social Capital as HRD Target

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehlen, Corry; van der Klink, Marcel; Roentgen, Uta; Curfs, Emile; Boshuizen, Henny

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to test the feasibility of a conceptual model on relations between organisational innovation, knowledge productivity and social capital. It explores processes of knowledge productivity for sustainable innovation and associated HRD implications in knowledge intensive organisations, taking the perspective that…

  12. Abscisic acid is a key inducer of hydrogen peroxide production in leaves of maize plants exposed to water stress.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiuli; Zhang, Aying; Zhang, Jianhua; Jiang, Mingyi

    2006-11-01

    The histochemical and cytochemical localization of water stress-induced H(2)O(2) production in the leaves of ABA-deficient vp5 mutant and wild-type maize (Zea mays L.) plants were examined, using 3,3-diaminobenzidine and CeCl(3) staining, respectively, and the roles of endogenous ABA in the production of H(2)O(2) induced by water stress were assessed. Water stress induced by polyethylene glycol resulted in the accumulation of H(2)O(2) in mesophyll cells, bundle-sheath cells and vascular bundles of wild-type maize leaves, and the accumulation was substantially blocked in the mutant maize leaves exposed to water stress. Pre-treatments with several apoplastic H(2)O(2) manipulators abolished the majority of H(2)O(2) accumulation induced by water stress in the wild-type leaves. The subcellular localization of H(2)O(2) production was demonstrated in the cell walls, xylem vessels, chloroplasts, mitochondria and peroxisomes in the leaves of wild-type maize plants exposed to water stress, and the accumulation of H(2)O(2) induced by water stress in the cell walls and xylem vessels, but not in the chloroplasts, mitochondria and peroxisomes, was arrested in the leaves of the ABA mutant or the ABA biosynthesis inhibitor (tungstate)-pre-treated maize plants. Pre-treatments with the apoplastic H(2)O(2) manipulators also blocked the apoplastic but not the intracellular H(2)O(2) accumulation induced by water stress in the leaves of wild-type plants. These data indicate that under water stress, the apoplast is the major source of H(2)O(2) production and ABA is a key inducer of apoplastic H(2)O(2) production. These data also suggest that H(2)O(2) generated in the apoplast could not diffuse freely into subcellular compartments.

  13. Sustainable production of orphan radionuclides at Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Nickles, R J; Avila-Rodriguez, M A; Nye, J A; Houser, E N; Selwyn, R G; Schueller, M J; Christian, B T; Jensen, M

    2008-06-01

    Over a hundred proton-induced reactions have been studied at the University of Wisconsin Medical Physics department since the installation of the first CTI RDS 112 in 1985. The focus has been to measure thick target yields at 11 MeV, in an effort to concentrate on the practical production of positron emitting radionuclides that have favorable decay characteristics, high yields and the potential for labeling pivotal biological tracers. This review covers our recent advances to scale-up the production of the heavy halogens and transition metals as feed-stock for non-conventional PET tracers that are currently attracting increased attention in oncology.

  14. Biological engineering for sustainable biomass production

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, S.

    1986-09-01

    A new discipline has evolved in efforts to engineer photosynthetic production systems that produce biomass feedstocks efficiently, economically and with minimal adverse environmental impact. In this talk an overview is given of how biological engineering systems are designed to produce energy and novel material products within the framework of existing market infrastructure. Practical examples of biological engineering systems which employ components based on genetic engineering, species propagation, modern agricultural techniques, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering are analyzed for worldwide materials application and environmental conservation. 9 refs., 6 figs.

  15. High Yields for Enhanced Sustainable Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Sustainable potato production and global food security

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. The water productivity score (WPS) at global and regional level: Methodology and first results from remote sensing measurements of wheat, rice and maize.

    PubMed

    Bastiaanssen, Wim G M; Steduto, Pasquale

    2017-01-01

    Scarce water resources are one of the major constraints to achieve more food production. Food production needs therefore also to be evaluated in terms of water consumption, besides the conventional unit of land. Crop Water Productivity (CWP) is defined as the crop yield per unit of water evaporated. Contrary to crop yield, local benchmark values for CWP do not exist. This paper shows how operational earth observation satellites can measure CWP indirectly on a pixel-by-pixel basis, which provides an opportunity to define local, regional and global benchmark values. In analogy to a grading system for earthquakes (Richter) or wind force (Beaufort), a grading system for CWP is introduced: the Water Productivity Score (WPS). A regional scale WPS and a global version - Global Water Productivity Score (GWPS) - are presented. Crop yield zones are used to reflect local production potential, which reflects also the presence of irrigation systems besides general physio-graphical conditions. The 99(th) percentiles of climatic normalized CWP values at global scale are 2.45, 2.3 and 4.9kgm(-3) for wheat, rice and maize respectively. There is significant scope to produce the same - or more - food from less water resources, provided that locally specific best on-farm practices are implemented. At the upstream level, Governments can use (G)WPS to define national water and food policies and use it as a means to report to the Sustainable Development Goal standards. At the downstream level, WPS helps to improve on-farm water management practices by growers, both for rainfed and irrigated crops. While the current paper is based on wheat, rice and maize, the same framework can be expanded to potatoes, sugarbeet, sugarcane, fruit trees, cotton and other crops.

  18. Significance of yeasts in the fermentation of maize for ogi production.

    PubMed

    Omemu, A M; Oyewole, O B; Bankole, M O

    2007-09-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida krusei, C. tropicalis, Geotrichum candidum, G. fermentans and Rhodotorula graminis were isolated during the fermentation of maize for ogi production. All the isolates except Geotrichum fermentans and Rhodotorula graminis were able to degrade phytate. All the yeasts strains exhibited lipase and esterase activities. Only S. cerevisiae (2.60%) and C. krusei (7.41%) exhibited amylase activities. Candida sp. produced wider zone of inhibition than the other yeasts strains tested during lipase activity while S. cerevisiae strains produced significantly wider zone of clearing as compared to the other yeasts for esterase activities. The study of inter-relationships between Lactobacillus plantarum and yeasts (C. krusei and S. cerevisiae) showed that the growth of the yeast strains were enhanced during fermentation by the presence of the lactic acid bacteria, but the growth of the L. plantarum strain was significantly enhanced especially by the C. krusei.

  19. Seed-Derived Ethylene Facilitates Colonization but Not Aflatoxin Production by Aspergillus flavus in Maize

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shi; Park, Yong-Soon; Yang, Yang; Borrego, Eli J.; Isakeit, Tom; Gao, Xiquan; Kolomiets, Michael V.

    2017-01-01

    Ethylene (ET) emitted by plant tissues has been broadly reported to play important roles in plant development, response to environmental stresses and defense against certain pathogens. Recent evidence obtained from using in vitro fungal cultures exposed to ET suggested that exogenous ET may regulate the production of aflatoxin by Aspergilli. However, the function of endogenous, seed-derived ET has not been explored. In this study, we found that the maize lipoxygenase lox3 mutant, previously reported to be susceptible to Aspergillus spp., emitted greater levels of ET upon A. flavus infection, suggesting the potential involvement of endogenous ET in the susceptibility of maize to A. flavus. Supporting this idea, both colonization and conidiation of A. flavus were reduced in wild-type (WT) kernels treated with AgNO3, an ET synthesis inhibitor. There was no ET emission from non-viable kernels colonized by A. flavus, suggesting that living seed but not the fungus itself was the primary source of ET released upon infection with A. flavus. The kernels of acs2 and acs6, two ET biosynthetic mutants carrying Mutator transposons in the ACC synthase genes, ACS2 and ACS6, respectively, displayed enhanced seed colonization and conidiation, but not the levels of aflatoxin, upon infection with A. flavus. Surprisingly, both acs2 and acs6 mutant kernels emitted greater levels of ET in response to infection by A. flavus as compared with WT seed. The increased ET in single mutants was found to be due to overexpression of functional ACS genes in response to A. flavus infection. Collectively, these findings suggested that ET emitted by infected seed facilitates colonization by A. flavus but not aflatoxin production.

  20. Sustainability Product Properties in Building Information Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

    Architect, Engineers, Contractors, Com- missioning Agent, and Environmental and Energy Consultant. This ap- proach is a powerful tool that can result in...energy consuming products shall also be designated as using “low standby power ” as required by Executive Order 13221. Specific to the Guiding...use of onsite renewable energy or green power , measurement and verification and benchmarking. ERDC/CERL CR-12-6 23 1.5.1 Energy efficiency The

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-03-01

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

  2. Sustainable Algal Energy Production and Environmental Remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, William E.

    2012-07-14

    Overall, our results confirm that wild algal species sequester a wide range of organic and metal contaminants and excess nutrients (PAHs, trace metals, and nutrients) from natural waters, and suggest parameters that could be useful in predicting uptake rates for algae growing on an algal floway or other algal growth systems in the environment or in industrial processes. The implication for various fuel production processes differ with the detailed unit operations involved, and these results will be of use in the developing of scaling experiments for various types of engineering process designs.

  3. The future of sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Ronald, Pamela; Adamchak, Raoul

    2010-03-01

    By the year 2050, the number of people on Earth is expected to increase from the current 6.7 to 9.2 billion. What is the best way to produce enough food to feed all these people? If we continue with current farming practices, vast amounts of wilderness will be lost, millions of birds and billions of insects will die, farm workers will be at increased risk for disease, and the public will lose billions of dollars as a consequence of environmental degradation. Clearly, there must be a better way to resolve the need for increased food production with the desire to minimize its impact.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Probst, Claudia; Cotty, Peter J

    2012-04-01

    Aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic mycotoxins frequently produced by Aspergillus flavus. Contamination of maize with aflatoxins imposes both economic and health burdens in many regions. Identification of the most important etiologic agents of contamination is complicated by mixed infections and varying aflatoxin-producing potential of fungal species and individuals. In order to know the potential importance of an isolate to cause a contamination event, the ability of the isolate to produce aflatoxins on the living host must be determined. Aflatoxin production in vitro (synthetic and natural media) was contrasted with in vivo (viable maize kernels) in order to determine ability of in vitro techniques to predict the relative importance of causal agents to maize contamination events. Several media types and fermentation techniques (aerated, non-aerated, fermentation volume) were compared. There was no correlation between aflatoxin production in viable maize and production in any of the tested liquid fermentation media using any of the fermentation techniques. Isolates that produced aflatoxins on viable maize frequently failed to produce detectable (limit of detection=1ppb) aflatoxin concentrations in synthetic media. Aflatoxin production on autoclaved maize kernels was highly correlated with production on viable maize kernels. The results have important implications for researchers seeking to either identify causal agents of contamination events or characterize atoxigenic isolates for biological control.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikoyo, Duncan A.; Nobert, Joel

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Improving the sustainability of global meat and milk production.

    PubMed

    Salter, Andrew M

    2017-02-01

    Global demand for meat and dairy products has increased dramatically in recent decades and, through a combination of global population growth, increased lifespan and improved economic prosperity in the developing world will inevitably continue to increase. The predicted increases in livestock production will put a potentially unsustainable burden on global resources, including land for production of crops required for animal feed and fresh water. Furthermore, animal production itself is associated with greenhouse gas production, which may speed up global warming and thereby impact on our ability to produce food. There is, therefore, an urgent need to find methods to improve the sustainability of livestock production. This review will consider various options for improving the sustainability of livestock production with particular emphasis on finding ways to replace conventional crops as sources of animal feeds. Alternatives, such as currently underutilised crops (grown on a marginal land) and insects, reared on substrates not suitable for direct consumption by farm animals, represent possible solutions. Coupled with a moderation of excessive meat consumption in wealthier countries, such strategies may secure the long-term sustainability of meat and milk production and mitigate against the adverse health effects of excessive intake.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. A Landscape Vision for Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Amanullah

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Amanullah; Khan, Adil

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... scale, and scientific data available prior to making their sustainability determination and establishing... on the sustainability of special forest products. Such monitoring may include, but is not limited...

  14. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... scale, and scientific data available prior to making their sustainability determination and establishing... on the sustainability of special forest products. Such monitoring may include, but is not limited...

  15. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... scale, and scientific data available prior to making their sustainability determination and establishing... on the sustainability of special forest products. Such monitoring may include, but is not limited...

  16. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... scale, and scientific data available prior to making their sustainability determination and establishing... on the sustainability of special forest products. Such monitoring may include, but is not limited...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  18. Sustainability.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Sustainability.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  1. Expression of ZmLEC1 and ZmWRI1 increases seed oil production in maize.

    PubMed

    Shen, Bo; Allen, William B; Zheng, Peizhong; Li, Changjiang; Glassman, Kimberly; Ranch, Jerry; Nubel, Douglas; Tarczynski, Mitchell C

    2010-07-01

    Increasing seed oil production is a major goal for global agriculture to meet the strong demand for oil consumption by humans and for biodiesel production. Previous studies to increase oil synthesis in plants have focused mainly on manipulation of oil pathway genes. As an alternative to single-enzyme approaches, transcription factors provide an attractive solution for altering complex traits, with the caveat that transcription factors may face the challenge of undesirable pleiotropic effects. Here, we report that overexpression of maize (Zea mays) LEAFY COTYLEDON1 (ZmLEC1) increases seed oil by as much as 48% but reduces seed germination and leaf growth in maize. To uncouple oil increase from the undesirable agronomic traits, we identified a LEC1 downstream transcription factor, maize WRINKLED1 (ZmWRI1). Overexpression of ZmWRI1 results in an oil increase similar to overexpression of ZmLEC1 without affecting germination, seedling growth, or grain yield. These results emphasize the importance of field testing for developing a commercial high-oil product and highlight ZmWRI1 as a promising target for increasing oil production in crops.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  5. Neglecting legumes has compromised human health and sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Foyer, Christine H; Lam, Hon-Ming; Nguyen, Henry T; Siddique, Kadambot H M; Varshney, Rajeev K; Colmer, Timothy D; Cowling, Wallace; Bramley, Helen; Mori, Trevor A; Hodgson, Jonathan M; Cooper, James W; Miller, Anthony J; Kunert, Karl; Vorster, Juan; Cullis, Christopher; Ozga, Jocelyn A; Wahlqvist, Mark L; Liang, Yan; Shou, Huixia; Shi, Kai; Yu, Jingquan; Fodor, Nandor; Kaiser, Brent N; Wong, Fuk-Ling; Valliyodan, Babu; Considine, Michael J

    2016-08-02

    The United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (grain legumes) under the banner 'nutritious seeds for a sustainable future'. A second green revolution is required to ensure food and nutritional security in the face of global climate change. Grain legumes provide an unparalleled solution to this problem because of their inherent capacity for symbiotic atmospheric nitrogen fixation, which provides economically sustainable advantages for farming. In addition, a legume-rich diet has health benefits for humans and livestock alike. However, grain legumes form only a minor part of most current human diets, and legume crops are greatly under-used. Food security and soil fertility could be significantly improved by greater grain legume usage and increased improvement of a range of grain legumes. The current lack of coordinated focus on grain legumes has compromised human health, nutritional security and sustainable food production.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gameh Ali, M.

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-25

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

  8. SOIL ECOLOGY AS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE CROP PRODUCTION.

    PubMed

    De Deyn, G B

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable production of food, feed and fiberwarrants sustainable soil management and crop protection. The tools available to achieve this are both in the realm of the plants and of the soil, with a key role for plant-soil interactions. At the plant level we have vast knowledge of variation within plant species with respect to pests and diseases, based on which we can breed for resistance. However, given that systems evolve this resistance is bound to be temporarily, hence also other strategies are needed. Here I plea for an integrative approach for sustainable production using ecological principles. Ecology, the study of how organisms interact with their environment, teaches us that diversity promotes productivity and yield stability. These effects are thought to be governed through resource use complementarity and reduced build-up of pests and diseases both above- and belowground. In recent years especially the role of soil biotic interactions has revealed new insights in how plant diversity and productivity are related to soil biodiversity and the functions soil biota govern. In our grassland biodiversity studies we found that root feeders can promote plant diversity and succession without reducing plant community productivity, this illustrates the role of diversity to maintain productivity. Also diversity within species offers scope for sustainable production, for example through awareness of differences between plant genotypes in chemical defense compounds that can attract natural enemies of pests aboveground- and belowground thereby providing plant protection. Plant breeding can also benefit from using complementarity between plant species in the selection for new varieties, as our work demonstrated that when growing in species mixtures plant species adapt to each other over time such that their resource acquisition traits become more complementing. Finally, in a recent meta-analysis we show that earthworms can stimulate crop yield with on average 25%, but

  9. Sustainability.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Sustainable development of food production: a case study on scenarios for pig production.

    PubMed

    Stern, Susanne; Sonesson, Ulf; Gunnarsson, Stefan; Oborn, Ingrid; Kumm, Karl-Ivar; Nybrant, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    To study future, sustainable production systems, a step-wise method was used to create three future scenarios for pig production based on different sustainability goals. The first scenario focused on animal welfare and the natural behavior of the animals. The second targeted low impacts on the environment and the efficient use of natural resources. The third scenario aimed at product quality and safety. Each scenario fulfilled different aspects of sustainability, but there were goal conflicts because no scenario fulfilled all sustainability goals. The scenarios were then parameterized. The environmental impact was calculated using the life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, and the economic cost was calculated from the same data set. The cost per kilo of pork was highest for the animal welfare scenario and similar for the other two scenarios. The environmental scenario had the lowest environmental impact, and the product-quality scenario the highest. The results are discussed based on different future priorities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-02

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Multi-scale modeling for sustainable chemical production.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pradbre, J-P

    2014-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, L.V.

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Relay cropping as a sustainable approach: problems and opportunities for sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Tanveer, Mohsin; Anjum, Shakeel Ahmad; Hussain, Saddam; Cerdà, Artemi; Ashraf, Umair

    2017-03-01

    Climate change, soil degradation, and depletion of natural resources are becoming the most prominent challenges for crop productivity and environmental sustainability in modern agriculture. In the scenario of conventional farming system, limited chances are available to cope with these issues. Relay cropping is a method of multiple cropping where one crop is seeded into standing second crop well before harvesting of second crop. Relay cropping may solve a number of conflicts such as inefficient use of available resources, controversies in sowing time, fertilizer application, and soil degradation. Relay cropping is a complex suite of different resource-efficient technologies, which possesses the capability to improve soil quality, to increase net return, to increase land equivalent ratio, and to control the weeds and pest infestation. The current review emphasized relay cropping as a tool for crop diversification and environmental sustainability with special focus on soil. Briefly, benefits, constraints, and opportunities of relay cropping keeping the goals of higher crop productivity and sustainability have also been discussed in this review. The research and knowledge gap in relay cropping was also highlighted in order to guide the further studies in future.

  20. Stochastic Thermodynamics and Sustainable Efficiency in Work Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaveau, B.; Moreau, M.; Schulman, L. S.

    2010-08-01

    We propose a novel definition of efficiency, valid for motors in a nonequilibrium stationary state exchanging heat and possibly other resources with an arbitrary number of reservoirs. This definition, based on a rational estimation of all irreversible effects associated with power production, is adapted to the concerns of sustainable development. Under conditions of maximum power production the new efficiency has for upper bound (1)/(2) in situations relevant for mesoscopic systems. These results imply that at maximum power bithermal, stationary motors could reach a higher Carnot efficiency than the usual cyclic motors.

  1. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    DOE PAGES

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

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

  2. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Niggli, Urs

    2015-02-01

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

  5. Considerations for sustainable influenza vaccine production in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Nannei, Claudia; Chadwick, Christopher; Fatima, Hiba; Goldin, Shoshanna; Grubo, Myriam; Ganim, Alexandra

    2016-10-26

    Through its Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines (GAP), the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the United States Department of Health and Human Services has produced a checklist to support policy-makers and influenza vaccine manufacturers in identifying key technological, political, financial, and logistical issues affecting the sustainability of influenza vaccine production. This checklist highlights actions in five key areas that are beneficial for establishing successful local vaccine manufacturing. These five areas comprise: (1) the policy environment and health-care systems; (2) surveillance systems and influenza evidence; (3) product development and manufacturing; (4) product approval and regulation; and (5) communication to support influenza vaccination. Incorporating the checklist into national vaccine production programmes has identified the policy gaps and next steps for countries involved in GAP's Technology Transfer Initiative. Lessons learnt from country experiences provide context and insight that complement the checklist's goal of simplifying the complexities of influenza prevention, preparedness, and vaccine manufacturing.

  6. Agroecology and the Sustainable Production of Food and ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The silvopastoral, agricultural system of the montado in Southern Portugal is an example of the self-organization of an agroecological system adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the Mediterranean basin. This system with its consistent production of food, fiber, and ecosystem services along with its concomitant rural social organization has been sustained in the region for over 1000 years. However, the system has been gradually decreasing in extent since the 19th century and its rate of decline has accelerated since the 1980s. The causes of this decline have been traced in descending order of importance to land managment choices, spatial factors and environmental factors. In addition, past studies have shown that there is an optimum livestock support capacity for maintaining the health of the montado agroecosystem. In this study, we used the results of an emergy evaluation of a cattle farm as part of a montado agroecosystem to examine the effects of the European Union’s (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on the viability of both cattle rearing and the long term regional sustainability of montado agroecosystems. We found that the CAP and its two pillars for providing subsidies, (1) Common Market Organization (CMO) and (2) Rural Development Policy (RDP) are complex and take into account many aspects of prices and markets for particular products, e.g., beef and veal (CMO) and sustainable rural development, e.g., silvopastoral agroecosystems (RDP). How

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

    PubMed

    Omueti, O; Morton, I D

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-10

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

  9. Progeny production by Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Coleoptera: Silvanidae) on maize previously infested by Sitotroga cerealella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).

    PubMed

    Weston, P A; Rattlingourd, P L

    2000-04-01

    A laboratory experiment was conducted to quantify the effects of infestation of maize by Sitotroga cerealella (Olivier) on progeny production by two common secondary colonizers of grain, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) and Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.). Adults of both secondary pest species were allowed to oviposit for 3 wk on intact kernels of 'DeKalb 689', mechanically split kernels, kernels that had been infested for 3 mo by S. cerealella, and kernels that had been infested for 6 mo. Progeny of both species reached highest numbers on 6-mo infested maize. Prior infestation for 6 mo by S. cerealella makes maize a more suitable medium for reproduction by T. castaneum and O. surinamensis, much more than can be accounted for by mere disruption of kernel integrity resulting from larval feeding. The results highlight the importance of limiting establishment by S. cerealella on maize in storage.

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

    PubMed

    Muraya, Moses M; Schmutzer, Thomas; Ulpinnis, Chris; Scholz, Uwe; Altmann, Thomas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, William A.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  15. Nutrient balances as indicators for sustainability of broiler production systems.

    PubMed

    Kratz, S; Halle, I; Rogasik, J; Schnug, E

    2004-04-01

    1. Flock balances of nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and copper (N, P, Zn, Cu) were calculated in order to evaluate environmental effects of three different broiler production systems (intensive indoor, free range and organic). 2. Nutrient gain in birds per unit nutrient intake (retention) in intensive indoor production was higher than in free range and organic production. 3. Nutrient surplus relative to nutrient retention was higher in organic production than in free range and intensive indoor production. 4. The main reasons for differences in nutrient efficiency between intensive indoor, free range and organic production were duration of growth period, strain of broilers and feeding strategy. 5. The calculation of whole farm indicators (livestock density, N and P excretions per hectare of farmland) demonstrates how defining system boundaries affects the outcome of an evaluation: organic farms had the smallest livestock densities and the lowest N and P excretions per hectare of farmland. 6. In the efforts to reach a more holistic evaluation of agricultural production systems, the definition of adequate system boundaries must be discussed. In addition to nutrient balances, further indicators of sustainability, such as human and ecological toxicity, should be considered.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-26

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bowers, Erin L; Munkvold, Gary P

    2014-09-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, Erin L.; Munkvold, Gary P.

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Yusoff, Fatimah Md.; Shariff, M.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Modeling Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Brachypodium distachyon genomics for sustainable food and fuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Kircher, Manfred

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  11. Quality and safety requirements for sustainable phage therapy products.

    PubMed

    Pirnay, Jean-Paul; Blasdel, Bob G; Bretaudeau, Laurent; Buckling, Angus; Chanishvili, Nina; Clark, Jason R; Corte-Real, Sofia; Debarbieux, Laurent; Dublanchet, Alain; De Vos, Daniel; Gabard, Jérôme; Garcia, Miguel; Goderdzishvili, Marina; Górski, Andrzej; Hardcastle, John; Huys, Isabelle; Kutter, Elizabeth; Lavigne, Rob; Merabishvili, Maia; Olchawa, Ewa; Parikka, Kaarle J; Patey, Olivier; Pouilot, Flavie; Resch, Gregory; Rohde, Christine; Scheres, Jacques; Skurnik, Mikael; Vaneechoutte, Mario; Van Parys, Luc; Verbeken, Gilbert; Zizi, Martin; Van den Eede, Guy

    2015-07-01

    The worldwide antibiotic crisis has led to a renewed interest in phage therapy. Since time immemorial phages control bacterial populations on Earth. Potent lytic phages against bacterial pathogens can be isolated from the environment or selected from a collection in a matter of days. In addition, phages have the capacity to rapidly overcome bacterial resistances, which will inevitably emerge. To maximally exploit these advantage phages have over conventional drugs such as antibiotics, it is important that sustainable phage products are not submitted to the conventional long medicinal product development and licensing pathway. There is a need for an adapted framework, including realistic production and quality and safety requirements, that allows a timely supplying of phage therapy products for 'personalized therapy' or for public health or medical emergencies. This paper enumerates all phage therapy product related quality and safety risks known to the authors, as well as the tests that can be performed to minimize these risks, only to the extent needed to protect the patients and to allow and advance responsible phage therapy and research.

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

    PubMed

    Gregory, Peter J; George, Timothy S

    2011-11-01

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

  13. Maize databases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Capper, Judith L; Bauman, Dale E

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Leinonen, Ilkka; Kyriazakis, Ilias

    2016-08-01

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

  16. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Cook, R. James

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Animal welfare towards sustainability in pork meat production.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. The combined and separate impacts of climate extremes on the current and future US rainfed maize and soybean production under elevated CO2.

    PubMed

    Jin, Zhenong; Zhuang, Qianlai; Wang, Jiali; Archontoulis, Sotirios V; Zobel, Zachary; Kotamarthi, Veerabhadra R

    2017-01-07

    Heat and drought are two emerging climatic threats to the US maize and soybean production, yet their impacts on yields are collectively determined by the magnitude of climate change and rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This study quantifies the combined and separate impacts of high temperature, heat and drought stresses on the current and future US rainfed maize and soybean production and for the first time characterizes spatial shifts in the relative importance of individual stress. Crop yields are simulated using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM), driven by high-resolution (12 km) dynamically downscaled climate projections for 1995-2004 and 2085-2094. Results show that maize and soybean yield losses are prominent in the US Midwest by the late 21st century under both Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, and the magnitude of loss highly depends on the current vulnerability and changes in climate extremes. Elevated atmospheric CO2 partially but not completely offsets the yield gaps caused by climate extremes, and the effect is greater in soybean than in maize. Our simulations suggest that drought will continue to be the largest threat to US rainfed maize production under RCP4.5 and soybean production under both RCP scenarios, whereas high temperature and heat stress take over the dominant stress of drought on maize under RCP8.5. We also reveal that shifts in the geographic distributions of dominant stresses are characterized by the increase in concurrent stresses, especially for the US Midwest. These findings imply the importance of considering heat and drought stresses simultaneously for future agronomic adaptation and mitigation strategies, particularly for breeding programs and crop management. The modeling framework of partitioning the total effects of climate change into individual stress impacts can be applied to the study of other crops and agriculture systems.

  19. Influence of maize/lablab intercropping on lepidopterous stem borer infestation in maize.

    PubMed

    Maluleke, Mary H; Addo-Bediako, Abraham; Ayisi, Kingsley K

    2005-04-01

    Lepidopterous stem borers seriously affect production of maize, Zea mays L., in sub-Saharan Africa. Intercropping maize with legumes such as lablab, Lablab purpurens (L.), is one of the effective systems to control stem borers. Sole culture maize and maize/lablab intercrop system of different lablab densities were planted at two locations to investigate the effects of intercrop system on incidence and severity of stem borers with particular reference to Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Stem borer infestation was found to be more severe in sole culture maize than maize in maize/lablab intercrop. There was a significantly negative relationship between lablab densities and maize grain yields, suggesting a possible competition for resources between the two crops. It was concluded that density of lablab and date of planting of lablab in maize/lablab intercropping have significant affects on stem borer populations and maize grain yields.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  1. Ethanol production from maize silage as lignocellulosic biomass in anaerobically digested and wet-oxidized manure.

    PubMed

    Oleskowicz-Popiel, Piotr; Lisiecki, Przemyslaw; Holm-Nielsen, Jens Bo; Thomsen, Anne Belinda; Thomsen, Mette Hedegaard

    2008-09-01

    In this communication, pretreatment of the anaerobically digested (AD) manure and the application of the pretreated AD manure as liquid medium for the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) were described. Furthermore, fermentation of pretreated maize silage and wheat straw was investigated using 2l bioreactors. Wet oxidation performed for 20 min at 121 degrees C was found as the most suitable pretreatment conditions for AD manure. High ammonia concentration and significant amount of macro- and micro-nutrients in the AD manure had a positive influence on the ethanol fermentation. No extra nitrogen source was needed in the fermentation broth. It was shown that the AD manure could successfully substitute process water in SSF of pretreated lignocellulosic fibres. Theoretical ethanol yields of 82% were achieved, giving 30.8 kg ethanol per 100 kg dry mass of maize silage.

  2. Relationship of the channels of normal maize starch to the properties of its modified products.

    PubMed

    Sui, Zhongquan; BeMiller, James N

    2013-01-30

    Starches from 5 inbred lines of normal maize with different relative average degrees of channelization (RADC) that could be divided into two groups (2 with RADC values of 1.49-1.52 and 3 with RADC values of 0.10-0.17) were reacted with 4 highly reactive reagents. No consistent correlations between RADC and the effects of derivatization with the 4 reagents on physical properties, either without or after surface protein removal, were found. Reaction with propylene oxide, a slowly reacting reagent whose reaction should be independent of RADC, resulted in an inverse relationship between several physical properties and RADC. The results indicate that there are inherent granular and molecular differences in the maize starches that control reactivity that are more influential than RADC (at least with the degrees of modification used), that the differences carry through chemical derivatization, and that different reagents react differently with different starches.

  3. Production of Viable Gametes without Meiosis in Maize Deficient for an ARGONAUTE Protein[W

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  5. From eco-sustainability to risk assessment of aquaculture products.

    PubMed

    Gandini, G; Ababouch, L; Anichini, L

    2009-09-01

    The increasing demand for fishery products and the technical and commercial opportunities now available make the development of aquaculture an important subject for the policy of the fishery sector, in particular concerning aspects of its environmental and ecological sustainability. The latest studies show that it is possible to apply an ecological approach to the aquaculture sector and hence increase the interactions between fisheries and other activities such as fish/molluscs, fish/seaweed, rice-growing/fish. In this way we take part in the improvement of the environment thanks to the recycling of organic food, the reduction of pesticide use and the control of environmental euthrophication. In order to support and facilitate trade, but at the same time ensure the safety and quality of products, a harmonization of the policies for food safety protecting the products throughout the whole food chain is required (from the sea to the table). The above mentioned policy, based on scientific knowledge, relies on the analysis of risks from the competent Authorities and on the proper application of HACCP from the industries of the sector.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Parish, Esther S.; Dale, Virginia H.; English, Burton C.; ...

    2016-02-26

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-02-26

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

  8. Perspectives on achieving sustainable energy production and use

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Maize (Zea mays)-derived bovine trypsin: characterization of the first large-scale, commercial protein product from transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Woodard, Susan L; Mayor, Jocelyne M; Bailey, Michele R; Barker, Donna K; Love, Robert T; Lane, Jeffrey R; Delaney, Donna E; McComas-Wagner, Janet M; Mallubhotla, Hanuman D; Hood, Elizabeth E; Dangott, Lawrence J; Tichy, Shane E; Howard, John A

    2003-10-01

    Bovine trypsin (EC 3.4.21.4) is an enzyme that is widely used for commercial purposes to digest or process other proteins, including some therapeutic proteins. The biopharmaceutical industry is trying to eliminate animal-derived proteins from manufacturing processes due to the possible contamination of these products by human pathogens. Recombinant trypsin has been produced in a number of systems, including cell culture, bacteria and yeast. To date, these expression systems have not produced trypsin on a scale sufficient to fulfill the need of biopharmaceutical manufacturers where kilogram quantities are often required. The present paper describes commercial-level production of trypsin in transgenic maize (Zea mays) and its physical and functional characterization. This protease, the first enzyme to be produced on a large-scale using transgenic plant technology, is functionally equivalent to native bovine pancreatic trypsin. The availability of this reagent should allow for the replacement of animal-derived trypsin in the processing of pharmaceutical proteins.

  12. Mapping QTLs for heat tolerance traits in maize using NAM population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As global climate change becomes inevitable, the sustainability of agricultural production in U.S. and worldwide faces serious threat from extreme weather conditions, such as drought and high temperature (heat stress). Heat and drought stresses occurred during maize growing season in 2011 on the U.S...

  13. Knowledge and technologies for sustainable intensification of food production.

    PubMed

    Flavell, Richard

    2010-11-30

    Knowledge and technologies will always continue to be developed, as they have always, to bring new efficiencies to plant breeding and crop production, which suffer from many constraints and inefficiencies. These constraints need to be overcome throughout the world to help increase the rate of improvements in food production and intensify production on less land. The recent discoveries and technical innovations that are revealing the full complement of genes in crops, the ability to define genetic variation and use DNA markers to follow chromosome segments with known functions through breeding programmes are leading to new efficiencies in breeding. The ability to isolate and redesign genes and transfer them into different plants also offers the breeder solutions to several key limitations. These benefits are described together with some of the current issues associated with the use of transgenes. Generation after generation can look forward to new knowledge and technologies, many of which we cannot know at present, and thus there is no reason to be despondent about meeting future goals, if the right decisions and investments are made globally and locally. These decisions include putting optimal use of land at the top of the world agenda to sustain both the planet and an adequate quality of life for mankind. As always has been the case, more investments are urgently required into the dissemination of successful technologies in crop breeding and production, into teaching and training as well as into innovative research. Failure to invest adequately in innovative technologies will leave future decision-makers and citizens with fewer options and greatly enhance the risks for mankind and a healthy planet.

  14. Production performance of finisher broiler fed with cocoyam-corm meal as partial energy replacement for maize

    PubMed Central

    de la Cruz, Christian Paul P.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of Gabing San Fernando (Xanthosoma spp.) corms as partial carbohydrate replacement for maize in finisher broiler production. Materials and Methods: The completely randomized design was utilized to investigate the effects of three finisher poultry diets prepared in varying amounts of cocoyam-corm meal set at 0% (control), 25%, and 50% (experimental) replacement levels. Results: There were no significant differences (p≥0.05) as to mortality and body weight measurements between control and experimental groups. Similarly, the mean weights of selected internal organs and condemnable carcasses among treatment groups did not show any significant differences (p≥0.05). In terms of the average feed intakes, birds from 50%-cocoyam group had the highest mean value and were found to be statistically different (p≥0.01) from both control and 25%-cocoyam groups. However, feed conversion ratio did not significantly differ (p≥0.05) among three groups. Higher feed costs were associated with the 50%-cocoyam treatment diet, which was only consistent with higher feed inputs. Thus, the group fed with 50%-cocoyam meal had significantly higher total mean production costs (p<0.005) per bird, when other expenses were taken into account. The production costs for the group given 25%-cocoyam meal did not significantly differ (p≥0.05) from the control group. Conclusion: Partial replacement of maize with cocoyam-corm meal at 25% level was acceptable since inclusion at this level did not adversely affect the production performance of finisher broilers in terms of growth rate, mortality rate, and feeding efficiency. The use of cocoyam meal as nonconventional and alternative carbohydrate source in poultry diet presents positive economic implications, especially to smallhold farmers from the developing countries, like the Philippines. PMID:27847420

  15. 77 FR 10939 - Driving Innovation and Creating Jobs in Rural America Through Biobased and Sustainable Product...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-24

    ... identify and implement solutions to increase the visibility of biobased and other sustainable products; (c... Creating Jobs in Rural America Through Biobased and Sustainable Product Procurement Memorandum for the... procurement of biobased products to promote rural economic development, create new jobs, and provide...

  16. MaizeGDB: The Maize Genetics and Genomics Database.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Recirculation: A New Concept to Drive Innovation in Sustainable Product Design for Bio-Based Products.

    PubMed

    Sherwood, James; Clark, James H; Farmer, Thomas J; Herrero-Davila, Lorenzo; Moity, Laurianne

    2016-12-29

    Bio-based products are made from renewable materials, offering a promising basis for the production of sustainable chemicals, materials, and more complex articles. However, biomass is not a limitless resource or one without environmental and social impacts. Therefore, while it is important to use biomass and grow a bio-based economy, displacing the unsustainable petroleum basis of energy and chemical production, any resource must be used effectively to reduce waste. Standards have been developed to support the bio-based product market in order to achieve this aim. However, the design of bio-based products has not received the same level of attention. Reported here are the first steps towards the development of a framework of understanding which connects product design to resource efficiency. Research and development scientists and engineers are encouraged to think beyond simple functionality and associate value to the potential of materials in their primary use and beyond.

  18. Antifungal activity of essential oil of Ziziphora clinopodioides and the inhibition of aflatoxin B1 production in maize grain.

    PubMed

    Moghadam, Hediyeh Davoudi; Sani, Ali Mohamadi; Sangatash, Masoomeh Mehraban

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the antifungal effect of the essential oil obtained from Ziziphora clinopodioides L on two fungi species including Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus using microdilution method. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) were determined for the essential oil at 10 different concentrations (i.e. 25,000, 12,500, 6250, 3125, 1562.5, 781.25, 390.625, 195.31, 97.65, and 48.82 µg/ml). Finally, the effect of the essential oil at six levels (6250, 3125, 1600, 800, 400, and 196 µg/ml) was investigated on the growth and activity of A. flavus and A. parasiticus, and also toxin production of these species in maize at 0.97 aw and 25°C after 29 days. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) content was assayed by enzyme linked immuno-sorbent assay technique. Results showed that essential oil of Z. clinopodioides was found more effective on A. parasiticus than A. flavus in both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Z. clinopodioides oil exhibited the same MIC value in the liquid medium against all fungal strains (48.82 µg/ml), while it showed different activity against A. flavus and A. parasiticus with MFC values of 781.25 and 390.625 µg/ml respectively. Under storage condition in maize, AFB1 production was significantly (p < 0.05) repressed at the concentration of 6250 µg/ml for A. flavus and 6250 and 3125 µg/ml for A. parasiticus. At the lower concentrations, the AFB1 production increased gradually. The results of the present study indicated that the essential oil of Z. clinopodioides had significant antifungal activity (p < 0.05); therefore, it can be used as an antifungal agent in the food and medicinal industries.

  19. Viruses in maize and Johnsongrass in southern Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two major maize viruses in the United States, Maize dwarf mosaic virus and Maize chlorotic dwarf virus, were first described in Southern Ohio and surrounding regions in the 1960s when they were major problems in maize (Zea mays L.) production. Planting resistant varieties and changing cultural prac...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogaru, Diana

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Environmental impacts and sustainability of egg production systems.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Effect of extrusion process on antioxidant and ACE inhibition properties from bovine haemoglobin concentrate hydrolysates incorporated into expanded maize products.

    PubMed

    Cian, Raúl E; Luggren, Pablo; Drago, Silvina R

    2011-11-01

    Extrusion process has been widely used for the development of many functional foods. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of extrusion process on antioxidant and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition properties from bovine haemoglobin concentrate (BHC) hydrolysates (P, FC, PF and FCF). Extrusion was carried out with a Brabender single screw extruder. The ACE inhibition and the antioxidant capacity (AC) were estimated by the inhibition of the ACE and ABTS+√ radical cation expressed as Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), respectively. The ACE inhibition and TEAC values from hydrolysates were significantly higher than that from BHC. The highest ACE inhibition corresponded to P hydrolysate and the highest TEAC corresponded to PF and FCF hydrolysates. The ACE inhibition and AC from extruded products with added hydrolysates were higher than that from maize control; however, the extrusion process modified both ACE inhibition and AC formerly present in hydrolysates.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Sustainable Energy Production from Jatropha Bio-Diesel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Amit Kumar; Krishna, Vijai

    2012-10-01

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

  7. Sustainable crop intensification through surface water irrigation in Bangladesh? A geospatial assessment of landscape-scale production potential.

    PubMed

    Krupnik, Timothy J; Schulthess, Urs; Ahmed, Zia Uddin; McDonald, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Changing dietary preferences and population growth in South Asia have resulted in increasing demand for wheat and maize, along side high and sustained demand for rice. In the highly productive northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia, farmers utilize groundwater irrigation to assure that at least two of these crops are sequenced on the same field within the same year. Such double cropping has had a significant and positive influence on regional agricultural productivity. But in the risk-prone and food insecure lower Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains (EIGP), cropping is less intensive. During the dryer winter months, arable land is frequently fallowed or devoted to lower yielding rainfed legumes. Seeing opportunity to boost cereals production, particularly for rice, donors and land use policy makers have consequently reprioritized agricultural development investments in this impoverished region. Tapping groundwater for irrigation and intensified double cropping, however, is unlikely to be economically viable or environmentally sound in the EIGP. Constraints include saline shallow water tables and the prohibitively high installation and energetic extraction costs from deeper freshwater aquifers. The network of largely underutilized rivers and natural canals in the EIGP could conversely be tapped to provide less energetically and economically costly surface water irrigation (SWI). This approach is now championed by the Government of Bangladesh, which has requested USD 500 million from donors to implement land and water use policies to facilitate SWI and double cropping. Precise geospatial assessment of where freshwater flows are most prominent, or where viable fallow or low production intensity cropland is most common, however remains lacking. In response, we used remotely sensed data to identify agricultural land, detect the temporal availability of freshwater in rivers and canals, and assess crop production intensity over a three-year study period in a 33,750

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

    PubMed

    Hanjra, Munir A; Culas, Richard J

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Cry1F Resistance in Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda: Single Gene versus Pyramided Bt Maize

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Fangneng; Qureshi, Jawwad A.; Meagher, Robert L.; Reisig, Dominic D.; Head, Graham P.; Andow, David A.; Ni, Xinzi; Kerns, David; Buntin, G. David; Niu, Ying; Yang, Fei; Dangal, Vikash

    2014-01-01

    Evolution of insect resistance to transgenic crops containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes is a serious threat to the sustainability of this technology. However, field resistance related to the reduced efficacy of Bt maize has not been documented in any lepidopteran pest in the mainland U.S. after 18 years of intensive Bt maize planting. Here we report compelling evidence of field resistance in the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), to Cry1F maize (TC 3507) in the southeastern region of the U.S. An F2 screen showed a surprisingly high (0.293) Cry1F resistance allele frequency in a population collected in 2011 from non-Bt maize in south Florida. Field populations from non-Bt maize in 2012–2013 exhibited 18.8-fold to >85.4-fold resistance to purified Cry1F protein and those collected from unexpectedly damaged Bt maize plants at several locations in Florida and North Carolina had >85.4-fold resistance. In addition, reduced efficacy and control failure of Cry1F maize against natural populations of S. frugiperda were documented in field trials using Cry1F-based and pyramided Bt maize products in south Florida. The Cry1F-resistant S. frugiperda also showed a low level of cross-resistance to Cry1A.105 and related maize products, but not to Cry2Ab2 or Vip3A. The occurrence of Cry1F resistance in the U.S. mainland populations of S. frugiperda likely represents migration of insects from Puerto Rico, indicating the great challenges faced in achieving effective resistance management for long-distance migratory pests like S. frugiperda. PMID:25401494

  10. Cry1F resistance in fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda: single gene versus pyramided Bt maize.

    PubMed

    Huang, Fangneng; Qureshi, Jawwad A; Meagher, Robert L; Reisig, Dominic D; Head, Graham P; Andow, David A; Ni, Xinzi; Kerns, David; Buntin, G David; Niu, Ying; Yang, Fei; Dangal, Vikash

    2014-01-01

    Evolution of insect resistance to transgenic crops containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes is a serious threat to the sustainability of this technology. However, field resistance related to the reduced efficacy of Bt maize has not been documented in any lepidopteran pest in the mainland U.S. after 18 years of intensive Bt maize planting. Here we report compelling evidence of field resistance in the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), to Cry1F maize (TC 3507) in the southeastern region of the U.S. An F2 screen showed a surprisingly high (0.293) Cry1F resistance allele frequency in a population collected in 2011 from non-Bt maize in south Florida. Field populations from non-Bt maize in 2012-2013 exhibited 18.8-fold to >85.4-fold resistance to purified Cry1F protein and those collected from unexpectedly damaged Bt maize plants at several locations in Florida and North Carolina had >85.4-fold resistance. In addition, reduced efficacy and control failure of Cry1F maize against natural populations of S. frugiperda were documented in field trials using Cry1F-based and pyramided Bt maize products in south Florida. The Cry1F-resistant S. frugiperda also showed a low level of cross-resistance to Cry1A.105 and related maize products, but not to Cry2Ab2 or Vip3A. The occurrence of Cry1F resistance in the U.S. mainland populations of S. frugiperda likely represents migration of insects from Puerto Rico, indicating the great challenges faced in achieving effective resistance management for long-distance migratory pests like S. frugiperda.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Forage use to improve environmental sustainability of ruminant production.

    PubMed

    Guyader, J; Janzen, H H; Kroebel, R; Beauchemin, K A

    2016-08-01

    Ruminants raised for meat and milk are important sources of protein in human diets worldwide. Their unique digestive system allows them to derive energy and nourishment from forages, making use of vast areas of grazing lands not suitable for arable cropping or biofuel production and avoiding direct competition for grain that can be used as human food. However, sustaining an ever-growing population of ruminants consuming forages poses a dilemma: while exploiting their ecological niche, forage-fed ruminants produce large amount of enteric methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Resolving this quandary would allow ruminants an expanded role in meeting growing global demands for livestock products. One way around the dilemma is to devise forage-based diets and feeding systems that reduce methane emissions per unit of milk or meat produced. Ongoing research has made significant strides toward this objective. A wider opportunity is to look beyond methane emissions alone and consider all greenhouse gas emissions from the entire livestock-producing system. For example, by raising ruminants in systems using forages, some of the methane emissions can be offset by preserving or enhancing soil carbon reserves, thereby withholding carbon dioxide from the air. Similarly, well-managed systems based on forages may reduce synthetic fertilizer use by more effective use of manure and nitrogen-fixing plants, thereby curtailing nitrous oxide emissions. The potential environmental benefits of forage-based systems may be expanded even further by considering their other ecological benefits, such as conserving biodiversity, improving soil health, enhancing water quality, and providing wildlife habitat. The quandary, then, can be alleviated by managing ruminants within a holistic land-livestock synchrony that considers not only methane emissions but also suppression of other greenhouse gases as well as other ecological benefits. Given the complexity of such systems, there likely are no singular

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  15. Inhibition of Fusarium Growth and Mycotoxin Production in Culture Medium and in Maize Kernels by Natural Phenolic Acids.

    PubMed

    Ferruz, Elena; Loran, Susana; Herrera, Marta; Gimenez, Isabel; Bervis, Noemi; Barcena, Carmen; Carramiñana, Juan Jose; Juan, Teresa; Herrera, Antonio; Ariño, Agustin

    2016-10-01

    The possible role of natural phenolic compounds in inhibiting fungal growth and toxin production has been of recent interest as an alternative strategy to the use of chemical fungicides for the maintenance of food safety. Fusarium is a worldwide fungal genus mainly associated with cereal crops. The most important Fusarium mycotoxins are trichothecenes, zearalenone, and fumonisins. This study was conducted to evaluate the potential of four natural phenolic acids (caffeic, ferulic, p-coumaric, and chlorogenic) for the control of mycelial growth and mycotoxin production by six toxigenic species of Fusarium . The addition of phenolic acids to corn meal agar had a marked inhibitory effect on the radial growth of all Fusarium species at levels of 2.5 to 10 mM in a dose-response pattern, causing total inhibition (100%) in all species except F. sporotrichioides and F. langsethiae . However, the effects of phenolic acids on mycotoxin production in maize kernels were less evident than the effects on growth. The fungal species differed in their responses to the phenolic acid treatments, and significant reductions in toxin concentrations were observed only for T-2 and HT-2 (90% reduction) and zearalenone (48 to 77% reduction). These results provide data that could be used for developing pre- and postharvest strategies for controlling Fusarium infection and subsequent toxin production in cereal grains.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Applying fuel cell experience to sustainable power products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Joseph M.; O'Day, Michael J.

    Fuel cell power plants have demonstrated high efficiency, environmental friendliness, excellent transient response, and superior reliability and durability in spacecraft and stationary applications. Broader application of fuel cell technology promises significant contribution to sustainable global economic growth, but requires improvement to size, cost, fuel flexibility and operating flexibility. International Fuel Cells (IFC) is applying lessons learned from delivery of more than 425 fuel cell power plants and 3 million h of operation to the development of product technology which captures that promise. Key findings at the fuel cell power plant level include: (1) ancillary components account for more than 40% of the weight and nearly all unscheduled outages of hydrocarbon-fuelled power plants; a higher level of integration and simplification is required to achieve reasonable characteristics, (2) hydrocarbon fuel cell power plant components are highly interactive; the fuel processing approach and power plant operating pressure are major determinants of overall efficiency, and (3) achieving the durability required for heavy duty vehicles and stationary applications requires simultaneous satisfaction of electrochemical, materials and mechanical considerations in the design of the cell stack and other power plant components. Practical designs must minimize application specific equipment. Related lessons for stationary fuel cell power plants include: (1) within fuel specification limits, natural gas varies widely in heating value, minor constituents such as oxygen and nitrogen content and trace compounds such as the odorant; (2) city water quality varies widely; recovery of product water for process use avoids costly, complicated and site-specific water treatment systems, but water treatment is required to eliminate impurities and (3) the embedded protection functions for reliable operation of fuel cell power conditioners meet or exceed those required for connection to

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  20. Weed Diversity Affects Soybean and Maize Yield in a Long Term Experiment in Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    Ferrero, Rosana; Lima, Mauricio; Davis, Adam S; Gonzalez-Andujar, Jose L

    2017-01-01

    Managing production environments in ways that promote weed community diversity may enhance both crop production and the development of a more sustainable agriculture. This study analyzed data of productivity of maize (corn) and soybean in plots in the Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE) at the W. K. Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research (KBS-LTER) in Michigan, USA, from 1996 to 2011. We used models derived from population ecology to explore how weed diversity, temperature, and precipitation interact with crop yields. Using three types of models that considered internal and external (climate and weeds) factors, with additive or non-linear variants, we found that changes in weed diversity were associated with changes in rates of crop yield increase over time for both maize and soybeans. The intrinsic capacity for soybean yield increase in response to the environment was greater under more diverse weed communities. Soybean production risks were greatest in the least weed diverse systems, in which each weed species lost was associated with progressively greater crop yield losses. Managing for weed community diversity, while suppressing dominant, highly competitive weeds, may be a helpful strategy for supporting long term increases in soybean productivity. In maize, there was a negative and non-additive response of yields to the interaction between weed diversity and minimum air temperatures. When cold temperatures constrained potential maize productivity through limited resources, negative interactions with weed diversity became more pronounced. We suggest that: (1) maize was less competitive in cold years allowing higher weed diversity and the dominance of some weed species; or (2) that cold years resulted in increased weed richness and prevalence of competitive weeds, thus reducing crop yields. Therefore, we propose to control dominant weed species especially in the years of low yield and extreme minimum temperatures to improve maize yields

  1. Weed Diversity Affects Soybean and Maize Yield in a Long Term Experiment in Michigan, USA

    PubMed Central

    Ferrero, Rosana; Lima, Mauricio; Davis, Adam S.; Gonzalez-Andujar, Jose L.

    2017-01-01

    Managing production environments in ways that promote weed community diversity may enhance both crop production and the development of a more sustainable agriculture. This study analyzed data of productivity of maize (corn) and soybean in plots in the Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE) at the W. K. Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research (KBS-LTER) in Michigan, USA, from 1996 to 2011. We used models derived from population ecology to explore how weed diversity, temperature, and precipitation interact with crop yields. Using three types of models that considered internal and external (climate and weeds) factors, with additive or non-linear variants, we found that changes in weed diversity were associated with changes in rates of crop yield increase over time for both maize and soybeans. The intrinsic capacity for soybean yield increase in response to the environment was greater under more diverse weed communities. Soybean production risks were greatest in the least weed diverse systems, in which each weed species lost was associated with progressively greater crop yield losses. Managing for weed community diversity, while suppressing dominant, highly competitive weeds, may be a helpful strategy for supporting long term increases in soybean productivity. In maize, there was a negative and non-additive response of yields to the interaction between weed diversity and minimum air temperatures. When cold temperatures constrained potential maize productivity through limited resources, negative interactions with weed diversity became more pronounced. We suggest that: (1) maize was less competitive in cold years allowing higher weed diversity and the dominance of some weed species; or (2) that cold years resulted in increased weed richness and prevalence of competitive weeds, thus reducing crop yields. Therefore, we propose to control dominant weed species especially in the years of low yield and extreme minimum temperatures to improve maize yields

  2. Use of quantitative real-time PCR to estimate maize endogenous DNA degradation after cooking and extrusion or in food products.

    PubMed

    Murray, Sarah R; Butler, Ruth C; Hardacre, Allan K; Timmerman-Vaughan, Gail M

    2007-03-21

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is being used increasingly to detect DNA sequences for food quality testing for GM content, microbial contamination, and ingredient content. However, food processing often results in DNA degradation and therefore may affect the suitability of PCR or even DNA sequence detection for food quality assurance. This paper describes a novel approach using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to estimate the extent of DNA degradation. With use of two maize endogenous nuclear sequences, sets of four qPCR assays were developed to amplify target sequences ranging from<100 bp to approximately 1000 bp. The maize nuclear sequences used encode chloroplastic glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and cell wall invertase. The utility of the qPCR approach for quantifying the effective concentration of maize DNA that is needed to amplify variable length DNA sequences was demonstrated using samples of maize cornmeal cooked in water for variable times, extrusion products developed using different barrel temperature and torque settings, and a range of food products from supermarket shelves. Results showed that maize DNA was substantially degraded by a number of processing procedures, including cooking for 5 min or more, extrusion at high temperatures and/or high torque settings, and in most processed foods from supermarket shelves. Processing also reduced the effective concentration of DNA sequences capable of directing amplification of the <100 bp assays as well, particularly after popping of popping corn or extrusion at a combination of high temperature and torque settings. The approach for quantifying DNA degradation described in this paper may also be of use in disciplines where understanding the extent of DNA degradation is important, such as in environmental, forensic, or historical samples.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Woli, Prem; Paz, Joel

    2011-08-07

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

  7. Insecticidal effect of diatomaceous earth against three species of stored-product psocids on maize, rice, and wheat.

    PubMed

    Athanassiou, Christos G; Arthur, Frank H; Opit, George P; Throne, James E

    2009-08-01

    We evaluated the efficacy of three diatomaceous earth (DE) formulations, Dryacide, Protect-It, and Insecto, against three Psocoptera species, Liposcelis entomophila (Enderlein) (Liposcelididae), Lepinotus reticulatus Enderlein (Trogiidae), and Liposcelis decolor (Pearman), in the laboratory. Bioassays were conducted in three grain commodities, wheat, rice and maize, at 30 degrees C and 75% RH, and the DEs were applied at the recommended dose rates of 1,000, 400, and 500 ppm for Dryacide, Protect-It, and Insecto, respectively. Differences in adult mortality were found among grains and DEs for L. entomophila and L. reticulatus, but these trends were not consistent for all combinations tested. Type of grain and DE did not affect L. decolor mortality significantly. Moreover, mortality increased with increasing exposure time for L. entomophila and L. reticulatus, but there was no effect of exposure time on L. decolor. After 7 d of exposure, mortalities of L. entomophila, L. reticulatus, and L. decolor were 56, 55, and 40%, respectively, and the respective mortality levels after 14 d were 63, 71, and 42%. Progeny production after 30 d was significantly suppressed for all species in the treated grains. However, progeny production was still high in the treated grains and reached 54, 42, and 76 individuals/10 g of grain for L. entomophila, L. reticulatus, and L. decolor, respectively. Progeny production did not vary with commodity. Our results suggest that DEs, when used alone, will not provide effective control of psocids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Milk production is unaffected by replacing barley or sodium hydroxide wheat with maize cob silage in rations for dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Hymøller, L; Hellwing, A L F; Lund, P; Weisbjerg, M R

    2014-05-01

    Starch is an important energy-providing nutrient for dairy cows that is most commonly provided from cereal grains. However, ruminal fermentation of large amounts of easily degradable starch leads to excessive production and accumulation of volatile fatty acids (VFA). VFA not only play a vital role in the energy metabolism of dairy cows but are also the main cause of ruminal acidosis and depressed feed intake. The aim of the present study was to compare maize cob silage (MCS) as an energy supplement in rations for dairy cows with highly rumen-digestible rolled barley and with sodium hydroxide wheat (SHW), which has a higher proportion of by-pass starch than barley. Two studies were carried out: (1) a production study on 45 Danish Holstein cows and (2) an intensive study to determine digestibilities, rumen fermentation patterns and methane emission using three rumen-cannulated Danish Holstein cows. Both studies were organised as a 3×3 Latin square with three experimental periods and three different mixed rations. The rations consisted of grass-clover silage and maize silage (~60% of dry matter (DM)), rapeseed cake, soybean meal, sugar beet pulp and one of three different cereals as a major energy supplement: MCS, SHW or rolled barley (~25% of DM). When MCS replaced barley or SHW as an energy supplement in the mixed rations, it resulted in a lower dry matter intake; however, the apparent total tract digestibilities of DM, organic matter, NDF, starch and protein were not different between treatments. The energy-corrected milk yield was unaffected by treatment. The fat content of the milk on the MCS ration was not different from the SHW ration, whereas it was higher on the barley ration. The protein content of the milk decreased when MCS was used in the ration compared with barley and SHW. From ruminal VFA patterns and pH measures, it appeared that MCS possessed roughage qualities with respect to rumen environment, while at the same time being sufficiently energy rich

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

    PubMed

    McGlone, John J

    2013-05-15

    Among land animals, more pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. The earth holds about one billion pigs who deliver over 100 mmt of pork to people for consumption. Systems of pork production changed from a forest-based to pasture-based to dirt lots and finally into specially-designed buildings. The world pork industry is variable and complex not just in production methods but in economics and cultural value. A systematic analysis of pork industry sustainability was performed. Sustainable production methods are considered at three levels using three examples in this paper: production system, penning system and for a production practice. A sustainability matrix was provided for each example. In a comparison of indoor vs. outdoor systems, the food safety/zoonoses concerns make current outdoor systems unsustainable. The choice of keeping pregnant sows in group pens or individual crates is complex in that the outcome of a sustainability assessment leads to the conclusion that group penning is more sustainable in the EU and certain USA states, but the individual crate is currently more sustainable in other USA states, Asia and Latin America. A comparison of conventional physical castration with immunological castration shows that the less-common immunological castration method is more sustainable (for a number of reasons). This paper provides a method to assess the sustainability of production systems and practices that take into account the best available science, human perception and culture, animal welfare, the environment, food safety, worker health and safety, and economics (including the cost of production and solving world hunger). This tool can be used in countries and regions where the table values of a sustainability matrix change based on local conditions. The sustainability matrix can be used to assess current systems and predict improved systems of the future.

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

    PubMed

    Mumm, Rita H

    2013-09-04

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

  13. Comprehensive national assessment of the sustainability of beef production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-06

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  18. Effects of pH and Temperature on the Stability of Fumonisins in Maize Products

    PubMed Central

    Bryła, Marcin; Waśkiewicz, Agnieszka; Szymczyk, Krystyna; Jędrzejczak, Renata

    2017-01-01

    This paper is a study of the stability of fumonisins in dough based on maize flour prepared in a phosphate buffer with a pH of 3.5, 5.5 or 7.5 and baked at a temperature within the range of 100–250 °C. Buffers with various pH values were tested, since it is well-known that pH may significantly influence interactions of fumonisins with other substances. A standard analytical procedure was used to determine the concentration of free fumonisins. Hydrolysis in an alkaline medium was then applied to reveal the hidden forms, while the total fumonisins concentations was determined in another measurement. The total concentration of fumonisins was statistically higher in pH = 3.5 and pH = 5.5 than the concentration of free fumonisins; no similar difference was found at pH = 7.5. The applied phosphate buffer pH 7.5 may enhance solubility of fumonisins, which would increase extraction efficiency of free analytes, thereby decreasing the difference between concentrations of total and free fumonisins. Hydrolysed B1 fumonisin (HFB1) and partially hydrolysed B1 fumonisin (isomers a and b: PHFB1a and PHFB1b, respectively) were the main investigated substances. For baking temperatures below 220 °C, fumonisins were slightly more stable for pH = 5.5 than for pH = 3.5 and pH = 7.5. In both of these latter cases, the concentration of partially hydrolysed fumonisins grew initially (up to 200 °C) with an increase in the baking temperature, and then dropped. Similar behaviour was observed for free HFB1, which may suggest the following fumonisin degradation mechanism: initially, the tricarballylic acid (TCA) groups are removed from the molecules, and next, the HFB1 molecules disintegrate. PMID:28257053

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-08

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

  1. MaizeGDB: The Maize Genetics and Genomics Database.

    PubMed

    Harper, Lisa; Gardiner, Jack; Andorf, Carson; Lawrence, Carolyn J

    2016-01-01

    MaizeGDB is the community database for biological information about the crop plant Zea mays. Genomic, genetic, sequence, gene product, functional characterization, literature reference, and person/organization contact information are among the datatypes stored at MaizeGDB. At the project's website ( http://www.maizegdb.org ) are custom interfaces enabling researchers to browse data and to seek out specific information matching explicit search criteria. In addition, pre-compiled reports are made available for particular types of data and bulletin boards are provided to facilitate communication and coordination among members of the community of maize geneticists.

  2. Sustainable Harvest and marketing of rain forest products

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

  3. Maize growth responses to soil microbes and soil properties after fertilization with different green manures.

    PubMed

    Tao, Jiemeng; Liu, Xueduan; Liang, Yili; Niu, Jiaojiao; Xiao, Yunhua; Gu, Yabing; Ma, Liyuan; Meng, Delong; Zhang, Yuguang; Huang, Wenkun; Peng, Deliang; Yin, Huaqun

    2017-02-01

    The use of green manures in agriculture can provide nutrients, affect soil microbial communities, and be a more sustainable management practice. The activities of soil microbes can effect crop growth, but the extent of this effect on yield remains unclear. We investigated soil bacterial communities and soil properties under four different green manure fertilization regimes (Vicia villosa, common vetch, milk vetch, and radish) and determined the effects of these regimes on maize growth. Milk vetch showed the greatest potential for improving crop productivity and increased maize yield by 31.3 %. This change might be related to changes in soil microbes and soil properties. The entire soil bacterial community and physicochemical properties differed significantly among treatments, and there were significant correlations between soil bacteria, soil properties, and maize yield. In particular, abundance of the phyla Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia was positively correlated with maize yield, while Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi were negatively correlated with yield. These data suggest that the variation of maize yield was related to differences in soil bacteria. The results also indicate that soil pH, alkali solution nitrogen, and available potassium were the key environmental factors shaping soil bacterial communities and determining maize yields. Both soil properties and soil microbes might be useful as indicators of soil quality and potential crop yield.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  7. Abscisic Acid Accumulation Maintains Maize Primary Root Elongation at Low Water Potentials by Restricting Ethylene Production1

    PubMed Central

    Spollen, William G.; LeNoble, Mary E.; Samuels, Timmy D.; Bernstein, Nirit; Sharp, Robert E.

    2000-01-01

    Previous work showed that primary root elongation in maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings at low water potentials (ψw) requires the accumulation of abscisic acid (ABA) (R.E. Sharp, Y. Wu, G.S. Voetberg, I.N. Saab, M.E. LeNoble [1994] J Exp Bot 45: 1743–1751). The objective of the present study was to determine whether the inhibition of elongation in ABA-deficient roots is attributable to ethylene. At a ψw of −1.6 MPa, inhibition of root elongation in dark-grown seedlings treated with fluridone to impose ABA deficiency was largely prevented with two inhibitors of ethylene synthesis (aminooxyacetic acid and aminoethoxyvinylglycine) and one inhibitor of ethylene action (silver thiosulfate). The fluridone treatment caused an increase in the rate of ethylene evolution from intact seedlings. This effect was completely prevented with aminooxyacetic acid and also when ABA was supplied at a concentration that restored the ABA content of the root elongation zone and the root elongation rate. Consistent results were obtained when ABA deficiency was imposed using the vp5 mutant. Both fluridone-treated and vp5 roots exhibited additional morphological symptoms of excess ethylene. The results demonstrate that an important role of ABA accumulation in the maintenance of root elongation at low ψw is to restrict ethylene production. PMID:10712561

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloss, Sebastian; Schütze, Niels; Grundmann, Jens

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-21

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

  11. Determination of zearalenone in maize products by vortex-assisted ionic-liquid-based dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction with high-performance liquid chromatography.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lin; Luan, Chuanlei; Chen, Fangfang; Wang, Rui; Shao, Lihua

    2015-06-01

    A novel method has been developed for the analysis of zearalenone in maize products by vortex-assisted ionic-liquid-based dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction combined with HPLC and fluorescence detection. Maize samples were extracted with methanol/water (80:20, v/v) and the extraction solution was then used as the dispersive solvent in the microextraction procedure. The analyte was rapidly transmitted to a small volume of ionic liquid and was determined by HPLC. Various parameters affecting the recovery of the mycotoxin were investigated, such as the type and volume of the extraction solvent, the type and volume of the dispersive solvent, the pH of the aqueous phase, the salt addition, and the time of vortex and centrifugation. Under the optimal experimental conditions, a good linearity of the analyte was obtained in the range of 1.0-1000.0 μg/L with the correlation coefficient of 0.9998. The limit of detection (S/N = 3) and quantification (S/N = 10) were 0.3 and 1.0 μg/kg, and the mean recoveries ranged from 83.5 to 94.9%, with a relative standard deviation less than 5.0%. The proposed method was demonstrated to be simple, cheap, quick, and highly selective and was successfully applied to the determination of zearalenone in maize products.

  12. Spatial analysis of the distribution of Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and losses in maize crop productivity using geostatistics.

    PubMed

    Farias, Paulo R S; Barbosa, José C; Busoli, Antonio C; Overal, William L; Miranda, Vicente S; Ribeiro, Susane M

    2008-01-01

    The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), is one of the chief pests of maize in the Americas. The study of its spatial distribution is fundamental for designing correct control strategies, improving sampling methods, determining actual and potential crop losses, and adopting precise agricultural techniques. In São Paulo state, Brazil, a maize field was sampled at weekly intervals, from germination through harvest, for caterpillar densities, using quadrates. In each of 200 quadrates, 10 plants were sampled per week. Harvest weights were obtained in the field for each quadrate, and ear diameters and lengths were also sampled (15 ears per quadrate) and used to estimate potential productivity of the quadrate. Geostatistical analyses of caterpillar densities showed greatest ranges for small caterpillars when semivariograms were adjusted for a spherical model that showed greatest fit. As the caterpillars developed in the field, their spatial distribution became increasingly random, as shown by a model adjusted to a straight line, indicating a lack of spatial dependence among samples. Harvest weight and ear length followed the spherical model, indicating the existence of spatial variability of the production parameters in the maize field. Geostatistics shows promise for the application of precise methods in the integrated control of pests.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. New approaches in silicon production and recycling for sustainable future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muzafarov, A. M.; Bystrova, A. V.; Vasilenko, N. G.; Ignat'eva, G. M.

    2013-07-01

    Key prerequisites for the accelerated development of chemistry of silicones are considered in the context of the significance of organosilicon polymers for sustainable future. The principal trends in this field during the past two decades are analyzed and the quantum leap that occurred in the control of the structures and selective synthesis of macromolecules is pointed out. The problems of research into silicones are defined and the most promising approaches to the solution of these problems aimed at more active involvement of such systems into various areas of practical activity are demonstrated. The bibliography includes 166 references.

  17. Sustain

    SciTech Connect

    2013-08-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Torres, F.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vervaeke, Marina

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Smart investments in sustainable food production: revisiting mixed crop-livestock systems.

    PubMed

    Herrero, M; Thornton, P K; Notenbaert, A M; Wood, S; Msangi, S; Freeman, H A; Bossio, D; Dixon, J; Peters, M; van de Steeg, J; Lynam, J; Parthasarathy Rao, P; Macmillan, S; Gerard, B; McDermott, J; Seré, C; Rosegrant, M

    2010-02-12

    Farmers in mixed crop-livestock systems produce about half of the world's food. In small holdings around the world, livestock are reared mostly on grass, browse, and nonfood biomass from maize, millet, rice, and sorghum crops and in their turn supply manure and traction for future crops. Animals act as insurance against hard times and supply farmers with a source of regular income from sales of milk, eggs, and other products. Thus, faced with population growth and climate change, small-holder farmers should be the first target for policies to intensify production by carefully managed inputs of fertilizer, water, and feed to minimize waste and environmental impact, supported by improved access to markets, new varieties, and technologies.

  1. Blood stem cell products: toward sustainable benchmarks for clinical translation.

    PubMed

    Csaszar, Elizabeth; Cohen, Sandra; Zandstra, Peter W

    2013-03-01

    Robust ex vivo expansion of umbilical cord blood (UCB) derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) should enable the widespread use of UCB as a source of cells to treat hematologic and immune diseases. Novel approaches for HSPC expansion have recently been developed, setting the stage for the production of blood stem cell derived products that fulfill our current best known criteria of clinical relevance. Translating these technologies into clinical use requires bioengineering strategies to overcome challenges of scale-up, reproducibility, and product quality assurance. Clinical-scale implementation should also define criteria and targets for cost-effective cell manufacturing. As production strategies become more effective, new opportunities in the therapeutic use of ex vivo expanded hematopoietic cell products will emerge. Herein we examine key technological milestones that need to be met in order to move ex vivo expanded HSPC therapies from the bench-top to the bedside in a robust and reliable manner.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. The Endoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Maize GL8 Protein Is a Component of the Acyl-Coenzyme A Elongase Involved in the Production of Cuticular Waxes1

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiaojie; Dietrich, Charles R.; Lessire, Rene; Nikolau, Basil J.; Schnable, Patrick S.

    2002-01-01

    The gl8 gene is required for the normal accumulation of cuticular waxes on maize (Zea mays) seedling leaves. The predicted GL8 protein exhibits significant sequence similarity to a class of enzymes that catalyze the reduction of a ketone group to a hydroxyl group. Polyclonal antibodies raised against the recombinant Escherichia coli-expressed GL8 protein were used to investigate the function of this protein in planta. Subcellular fractionation experiments indicate that the GL8 protein is associated with the endoplasmic reticulum membranes. Furthermore, polyclonal antibodies raised against the partially purified leek (Allium porrum) microsomal acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) elongase can react with the E. coli-expressed GL8 protein. In addition, anti-GL8 immunoglobulin G inhibited the in vitro elongation of stearoyl-CoA by leek and maize microsomal acyl-CoA elongase. In combination, these findings indicate that the GL8 protein is a component of the acyl-CoA elongase. In addition, the finding that anti-GL8 immunoglobulin G did not significantly inhibit the 3-ketoacyl-CoA synthase, 3-ketoacyl-CoA dehydrase, and (E) 2,3-enoyl-CoA reductase partial reactions of leek or maize acyl-CoA elongase lends further support to our previous hypothesis that the GL8 protein functions as a β-ketoacyl reductase during the elongation of very long-chain fatty acids required for the production of cuticular waxes. PMID:11891248

  4. Reinventing MaizeGDB

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-18

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Gavin R.

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. The Role of Diverse Strategies in Sustainable Knowledge Production

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  16. Developing sustainable management practices for organic rice production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Optimizing Nutrient Management for Sustainable Bio-energy Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corn grain and stover are both being evaluated as feedstock sources for bio-energy production. To meet current and future demands for corn, both short- and long-term effects on nutrient cycling, physical properties, and biological activity in soils must be understood. Our project goal was to increas...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-12-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Fuel cell systems for a sustainable energy production

    SciTech Connect

    Kivisaari, T.

    1996-12-31

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. Sustainable heterologous production of terpene hydrocarbons in cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Formighieri, Cinzia; Melis, Anastasios

    2016-12-01

    Cyanobacteria can be exploited as photosynthetic platforms for heterologous generation of terpene hydrocarbons with industrial application. However, the slow catalytic activity of terpene synthases (k cat = 4 s(-1) or slower) makes them noncompetitive for the pool of available substrate, thereby limiting the rate and yield of product generation. Work in this paper applied transformation technologies in Synechocystis for the heterologous production of β-phellandrene (monoterpene) hydrocarbons. Conditions were defined whereby expression of the β-phellandrene synthase (PHLS), as a CpcB·PHLS fusion protein with the β-subunit of phycocyanin, accounted for up to 20 % of total cellular protein. Moreover, CpcB·PHLS was heterologously co-expressed with enzymes of the mevalonic acid (MVA) pathway and geranyl-diphosphate synthase, increasing carbon flux toward the terpenoid biosynthetic pathway and enhancing substrate availability. These improvements enabled yields of 10 mg of β-phellandrene per g of dry cell weight generated in the course of a 48-h incubation period, or the equivalent of 1 % β-phellandrene:biomass (w:w) carbon-partitioning ratio. The work helped to identify prerequisites for the efficient heterologous production of terpene hydrocarbons in cyanobacteria: (i) requirement for overexpression of the heterologous terpene synthase, so as to compensate for the slow catalytic turnover of the enzyme, and (ii) enhanced endogenous carbon partitioning toward the terpenoid biosynthetic pathway, e.g., upon heterologous co-expression of the MVA pathway, thereby supplementing the native metabolic flux toward the universal isopentenyl-diphosphate and dimethylallyl-diphosphate terpenoid precursors. The two prerequisites are shown to be critical determinants of yield in the photosynthetic CO2 to terpene hydrocarbons conversion process.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kifle, Medhin H; Laing, Mark D

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kifle, Medhin H.; Laing, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Novel transparent electrodes allow sustainable production of electronic devices

    SciTech Connect

    Constant, Kristen

    2010-12-27

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

  16. Potential use of antioxidants for control of growth and fumonisin production by Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum on whole maize grain.

    PubMed

    Torres, A M; Ramirez, M L; Arroyo, M; Chulze, S N; Magan, N

    2003-06-25

    The effect of interactions between two food grade antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and propyl paraben (PP, 100, 200, 500 microg g(-1)) and water activity (a(w), 0.995, 0.98, 0.95) of irradiated maize on lag phase prior to growth, growth rate and fumonisin production by Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum was evaluated at 25 degrees C. Both antioxidants had an effect on growth characteristics, and fumonisin production. However, this was dependent on the dose used and the a(w) treatment. At 500 microg g(-1) BHA and PP increased the lag phase prior to growth, and reduced the growth rate of both Fusarium species significantly, especially at 0.95 a(w). Both antioxidants significantly reduced the production of fumonisin by both Fusarium species, especially at 0.98 and 0.95 a(w). These results suggest that these antioxidants have potential for treatment of maize grain for controlling growth of these mycotoxigenic species and prevent fumonisin accumulation.

  17. A long-term nitrogen fertilizer gradient has little effect on soil organic matter in a high-intensity maize production system.

    PubMed

    Brown, Kimberly H; Bach, Elizabeth M; Drijber, Rhae A; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Jeske, Elizabeth S; Sawyer, John E; Castellano, Michael J

    2014-04-01

    Global maize production alters an enormous soil organic C (SOC) stock, ultimately affecting greenhouse gas concentrations and the capacity of agroecosystems to buffer climate variability. Inorganic N fertilizer is perhaps the most important factor affecting SOC within maize-based systems due to its effects on crop residue production and SOC mineralization. Using a continuous maize cropping system with a 13 year N fertilizer gradient (0-269 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)) that created a large range in crop residue inputs (3.60-9.94 Mg dry matter ha(-1) yr(-1)), we provide the first agronomic assessment of long-term N fertilizer effects on SOC with direct reference to N rates that are empirically determined to be insufficient, optimum, and excessive. Across the N fertilizer gradient, SOC in physico-chemically protected pools was not affected by N fertilizer rate or residue inputs. However, unprotected particulate organic matter (POM) fractions increased with residue inputs. Although N fertilizer was negatively linearly correlated with POM C/N ratios, the slope of this relationship decreased from the least decomposed POM pools (coarse POM) to the most decomposed POM pools (fine intra-aggregate POM). Moreover, C/N ratios of protected pools did not vary across N rates, suggesting little effect of N fertilizer on soil organic matter (SOM) after decomposition of POM. Comparing a N rate within 4% of agronomic optimum (208 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)) and an excessive N rate (269 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)), there were no differences between SOC amount, SOM C/N ratios, or microbial biomass and composition. These data suggest that excessive N fertilizer had little effect on SOM and they complement agronomic assessments of environmental N losses, that demonstrate N2 O and NO3 emissions exponentially increase when agronomic optimum N is surpassed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Phytoplankton, not allochthonous carbon, sustains herbivorous zooplankton production.

    PubMed

    Brett, Michael T; Kainz, Martin J; Taipale, Sami J; Seshan, Hari

    2009-12-15

    Terrestrial organic matter inputs have long been thought to play an important role in aquatic food web dynamics. Results from recent whole lake (13)C addition experiments suggest terrestrial particulate organic carbon (t-POC) inputs account for a disproportionate portion of zooplankton production. For example, several studies concluded that although t-POC only represented approximately 20% of the flux of particulate carbon available to herbivorous zooplankton, this food source accounted for approximately 50% of the C incorporated by zooplankton. We tested the direct dietary impact of t-POC (from the leaves of riparian vegetation) and various phytoplankton on Daphnia magna somatic growth, reproduction, growth efficiency, and lipid composition. By itself, t-POC was a very poor quality resource compared to cryptophytes, diatoms, and chlorophytes, but t-POC had similar food quality compared to cyanobacteria. Small additions of high quality Cryptomonas ozolinii to t-POC-dominated diets greatly increased Daphnia growth and reproduction. When offered alone, t-POC resulted in a Daphnia growth efficiency of 5 +/- 1%, whereas 100% Cryptomonas and Scenedesmus obliquus diets resulted in growth efficiencies of 46 +/- 8% (+/- SD) and 36 +/- 3%, respectively. When offered in a 50:50 mixed diet with Cryptomonas or Scenedesmus, the t-POC fraction resulted in a partial growth efficiency of 22 +/- 9% and 15 +/- 6%, respectively. Daphnia that obtained 80% of their available food from t-POC assimilated 84% of their fatty acids from the phytoplankton component of their diet. Overall, our results suggest Daphnia selectively allocate phytoplankton-derived POC and lipids to enhance somatic growth and reproduction, while t-POC makes a minor contribution to zooplankton production.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Ladisch; Randy Woodson

    2009-03-18

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Evaluation of maize yield in an on-farm maize-soybean and maize-Lablab crop rotation systems in the Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Okogun, J A; Sanginga, N; Abaidoo, R C

    2007-11-01

    An attempt was made to solving the problem of shortfall of fertilizer to maize production in the Northern Guinea Savanna (NGS) of Nigeria by harnessing the potentials of legume/cereal crop rotation in on-farm trials. The yield of maize that succeeded two soybean varieties and Lablab in a two-cycle of soybean/maize and Lablab/maize crop rotation in NGS Nigeria was assessed in researcher-managed and farmer-managed plots. Though maize that followed the soybean received between 5 kg N ha(-1) from improved soybean variety (TGx 1448-2E) and 17 kg N ha(-1) from farmer soybean variety (Samsoy-2) as N balance, this did not significantly (p = 0.05) affect the maize yields. The soybean shed 90-100% of its leaves at physiological maturity which resulted in about 110 kg N ha(-1) N uptake. This source of N might be one of the factors responsible for the increase in maize yield that followed soybean (20 to 24%) compared with continuous maize yield plot. Maize yield in previous Lablab plot was significantly (p = 0.05) higher than in all other treatments. Maize yield in farmer-managed plot ranged between 0.13 and 4.53 t ha(-1), maize yield in researcher-managed plot was over 200% higher than maize yield in farmer-managed plot because of poor crop management on the part of the farmer.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunmade, Israel

    2004-12-01

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

  8. Genetic Properties of the Maize Nested Association Mapping Population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  10. Biodelignification of lignocellulose substrates: An intrinsic and sustainable pretreatment strategy for clean energy production.

    PubMed

    Chandel, Anuj K; Gonçalves, Bruna C M; Strap, Janice L; da Silva, Silvio S

    2015-01-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass (LB) is a promising sugar feedstock for biofuels and other high-value chemical commodities. The recalcitrance of LB, however, impedes carbohydrate accessibility and its conversion into commercially significant products. Two important factors for the overall economization of biofuel production is LB pretreatment to liberate fermentable sugars followed by conversion into ethanol. Sustainable biofuel production must overcome issues such as minimizing water and energy usage, reducing chemical usage and process intensification. Amongst available pretreatment methods, microorganism-mediated pretreatments are the safest, green, and sustainable. Native biodelignifying agents such as Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Pycnoporous cinnabarinus, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora and Cyathus stercoreus can remove lignin, making the remaining substrates amenable for saccharification. The development of a robust, integrated bioprocessing (IBP) approach for economic ethanol production would incorporate all essential steps including pretreatment, cellulase production, enzyme hydrolysis and fermentation of the released sugars into ethanol. IBP represents an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, low energy and low capital approach for second-generation ethanol production. This paper reviews the advancements in microbial-assisted pretreatment for the delignification of lignocellulosic substrates, system metabolic engineering for biorefineries and highlights the possibilities of process integration for sustainable and economic ethanol production.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. Sustainable semiarid dryland production in relation to tillage effects on Hydrology: 1983-2013

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Semiarid dryland crop yields with no-till, NT, residue management are often greater than stubble-mulch tillage, SM, as a result of improved soil conditions or water conservation, but knowledge of long-term tillage effects on the comprehensive field hydrology and sustained crop production is needed. ...

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

    EPA Science Inventory


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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae hold promise for the production of sustainable replacement of fossil fuels due to their high growth rates, ability to grow on non-arable land and their high content, under the proper conditions, of high energy compounds that can be relatively easily chemically converted to fuels using existing technology. However, projected large-scale algal production raises a number of sustainability concerns concerning land use, net energy return, water use and nutrient supply. The state-of-the-art of algal production of biofuels is presented with emphasis on some possible avenues to provide answers to the sustainability questions that have been raised. Here, issues concerning algal strains and supply of nutrients for large-scale production are discussed. Since sustainability concerns necessitate the use of wastewaters for supply of bulk nutrients, emphasis is placed on the composition and suitability of different wastewater streams. At the same time, algal cultivation has proven useful in waste treatment processes, and thus this aspect is also treated in some detail.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Moving toward energy security and sustainability in 2050 by reconfiguring biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To achieve energy security and sustainability by 2050 requires reconfiguring biofuel production both by building on current infrastructure and existing technology and also by making substantial improvements and changes in the feedstocks used, the process technologies applied, and the fuels produced....

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. [Macroscopic analysis on production and marketing of medicinal material resources for sustainable development].

    PubMed

    Xiao, Peigen; Zhao, Runhuai; Long, Xingehao; Guo, Baolin

    2009-09-01

    In this paper, the production and marketing of medicinal materials of plant origin are sorted and analyzed. The total annual yield and total output value are presented. The resources sustainable development is discussed by three aspects, i.e., the yield Top 60 items, rare and endangered species and several wild drugs should be deeply concerned. Relevant measures and implementation are recommended respectively.

  1. Using an Outdoor Learning Space to Teach Sustainability and Material Processes in HE Product Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Firth, Richard; Stoltenberg, Einar; Jennings, Trent

    2016-01-01

    This "case study" of two jewellery workshops, used outdoor learning spaces to explore both its impact on learning outcomes and to introduce some key principles of sustainable working methodologies and practices. Using the beach as the classroom, academics and students from a Norwegian and Scottish (HE) product design exchange programme…

  2. Evaluating Consumer Product Life Cycle Sustainability with Integrated Metrics: A Paper Towel Case Study

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated sustainability metrics provide an enriched set of information to inform decision-making. However, such approaches are rarely used to assess product supply chains. In this work, four integrated metrics—presented in terms of land, resources, value added, and stability—ar...

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

    PubMed

    Kasikranan, S

    2011-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloss, Sebastian; Schütze, Niels

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Microalgal hydrogen production: prospects of an essential technology for a clean and sustainable energy economy.

    PubMed

    Bayro-Kaiser, Vinzenz; Nelson, Nathan

    2017-02-26

    Modern energy production is required to undergo a dramatic transformation. It will have to replace fossil fuel use by a sustainable and clean energy economy while meeting the growing world energy needs. This review analyzes the current energy sector, available energy sources, and energy conversion technologies. Solar energy is the only energy source with the potential to fully replace fossil fuels, and hydrogen is a crucial energy carrier for ensuring energy availability across the globe. The importance of photosynthetic hydrogen production for a solar-powered hydrogen economy is highlighted and the development and potential of this technology are discussed. Much successful research for improved photosynthetic hydrogen production under laboratory conditions has been reported, and attempts are underway to develop upscale systems. We suggest that a process of integrating these achievements into one system to strive for efficient sustainable energy conversion is already justified. Pursuing this goal may lead to a mature technology for industrial deployment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. Production of maize tortillas and cookies from nixtamalized flour enriched with anthocyanins, flavonoids and saponins extracted from black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) seed coats.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Santoscoy, Rocio A; Gutiérrez-Uribe, Janet A; Serna-Saldivar, Sergio O; Perez-Carrillo, Esther

    2016-02-01

    Ethanolic extract from black beans coat is a source of flavonoids, saponins and antocyanins. Nixtamalized maize flours (NF) are used for the preparation of products such as tortillas, tortillas chips, cookies among others. The objective of this research was to study the effect on textural parameters and color after adding flavonoids, saponins and anthocyanins from black bean seed coat in NF used for the production of tortillas and gluten-free cookies. Furthermore, the retention of bioactive compounds after tortilla and gluten-free-cookie preparation was assessed. Ethanolic extracts of black bean seed coats were added (3g/kg or 7 g/kg) to NF in order to prepare corn tortillas and gluten free cookies characterized in terms of dimensions, color and texture. Addition of 7 g/kg affected the color of cookies and tortillas without effect on texture and dimensions. It was possible to retain more than 80% and 60% of bioactives into baked tortillas and cookies, respectively.

  11. Estimating Green Net National Product for Puerto Rico: An Economic Measure of Sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Shanshan; Heberling, Matthew T.

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net National Product (GNNP), an economic metric of sustainability, for Puerto Rico. Using the change in GNNP as a one-sided test of weak sustainability (i.e., positive growth in GNNP is not enough to show the economy is sustainable), we measure the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNNP from 1993 to 2009. In order to calculate GNNP, we require both economic and natural capital data, but limited data for Puerto Rico require a number of simplifying assumptions. Based on the environmental challenges faced by Puerto Rico, we include damages from air emissions and solid waste, the storm protection value of mangroves and the value of extracting crushed stone as components in the depreciation of natural capital. Our estimate of GNNP also includes the value of time, which captures the effects of technological progress. The results show that GNNP had an increasing trend over the 17 years studied with two periods of negative growth (2004-2006 and 2007-2008). Our additional analysis suggests that the negative growth in 2004-2006 was possibly due to a temporary economic downturn. However, the negative growth in 2007-2008 was likely from the decline in the value of time, suggesting the island of Puerto Rico was moving away from sustainability during this time.

  12. The usability of a product can be an ally of sustainability.

    PubMed

    Anjos, Thaiana P; Matias, Márcio; Gontijo, Leila A

    2012-01-01

    Few steps like turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, turn off the lights when leaving a room, recycle waste or using recycling bags are considered sustainable attitudes. Sustainable development is one that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the future generations and it doesn't deplete resources for the future. Consume with conscious is a sustainable habit and usability of products contributes to this. The goal of this paper is to prove that the usability of software contributes positivity or negativity for sustainability. By calculating the amount of electrical power dissipated by an electronic device, you can discover the amount of energy lost by it, and consequently, to relate this quantity with the amount charged by the concessionaire for each kWh of energy used. It was concluded that a software with low usability cause users to lose a lot of time interacting with it and thus spend more energy and money that goes against the concept of sustainability.

  13. Estimating Green Net National Product for Puerto Rico: An Economic Measure of Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shanshan; Heberling, Matthew T

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net National Product (GNNP), an economic metric of sustainability, for Puerto Rico. Using the change in GNNP as a one-sided test of weak sustainability (i.e., positive growth in GNNP is not enough to show the economy is sustainable), we measure the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNNP from 1993 to 2009. In order to calculate GNNP, we require both economic and natural capital data, but limited data for Puerto Rico require a number of simplifying assumptions. Based on the environmental challenges faced by Puerto Rico, we include damages from air emissions and solid waste, the storm protection value of mangroves and the value of extracting crushed stone as components in the depreciation of natural capital. Our estimate of GNNP also includes the value of time, which captures the effects of technological progress. The results show that GNNP had an increasing trend over the 17 years studied with two periods of negative growth (2004-2006 and 2007-2008). Our additional analysis suggests that the negative growth in 2004-2006 was possibly due to a temporary economic downturn. However, the negative growth in 2007-2008 was likely from the decline in the value of time, suggesting the island of Puerto Rico was moving away from sustainability during this time.

  14. Simulating changes in cropping practices in conventional and glyphosate-resistant maize. II. Weed impacts on crop production and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Colbach, Nathalie; Darmency, Henri; Fernier, Alice; Granger, Sylvie; Le Corre, Valérie; Messéan, Antoine

    2017-04-06

    Overreliance on the same herbicide mode of action leads to the spread of resistant weeds, which cancels the advantages of herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. Here, the objective was to quantify, with simulations, the impact of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds on crop production and weed-related wild biodiversity in HT maize-based cropping systems differing in terms of management practices. We (1) simulated current conventional and probable HT cropping systems in two European regions, Aquitaine and Catalonia, with the weed dynamics model FLORSYS; (2) quantified how much the presence of GR weeds contributed to weed impacts on crop production and biodiversity; (3) determined the effect of cultural practices on the impact of GR weeds and (4) identified which species traits most influence weed-impact indicators. The simulation study showed that during the analysed 28 years, the advent of glyphosate resistance had little effect on plant biodiversity. Glyphosate-susceptible populations and species were replaced by GR ones. Including GR weeds only affected functional biodiversity (food offer for birds, bees and carabids) and weed harmfulness when weed effect was initially low; when weed effect was initially high, including GR weeds had little effect. The GR effect also depended on cultural practices, e.g. GR weeds were most detrimental for species equitability when maize was sown late. Species traits most harmful for crop production and most beneficial for biodiversity were identified, using RLQ analyses. None of the species presenting these traits belonged to a family for which glyphosate resistance was reported. An advice table was built; the effects of cultural practices on crop production and biodiversity were synthesized, explained, quantified and ranked, and the optimal choices for each management technique were identified.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Sustained production of multi-decadal climate records - Lessons from the NOAA Climate Data Record Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    NOAA's Climate Data Record (CDR) Program was designed to be responsive to the needs of climate monitoring, research, and services with the ultimate aim of serving decision making across a spectrum of users for the long term. It requires the sustained production of high quality, multidecadal time series data describing the global atmosphere, oceans, and land surface that can be used for informed decision making. The challenges of a long-term program of sustaining CDRs, as contrasted with short-term efforts of traditional three-year research programs, are substantial and different. The sustained production of CDRs requires collaboration between experts in the climate community, data management, and software development and maintenance. It is also informed by scientific application and associated user feedback on the accessibility and usability of the produced CDRs. The CDR Program has developed a metric for assessing the maturity of CDRs with respect to data management, software, and user application and applied it to over 28 CDRs. The main/primary lesson learned over the past seven years is that a rigorous, team approach to data management, employing subject matter experts at every step, is critical to open and transparent production. This approach also makes it much easier to support the needs of users who want near-real-time production of "interim" CDRs for monitoring and users who want to use CDRs for tailored authoritative information, such as a drought index. This talk will review of the history of the CDR program, current status, and plans.

  17. Sustainable, efficient livestock production with high biodiversity and good welfare for animals.

    PubMed

    Broom, D M; Galindo, F A; Murgueitio, E

    2013-11-22

    What is the future for livestock agriculture in the world? Consumers have concerns about sustainability but many widely used livestock production methods do not satisfy consumers' requirements for a sustainable system. However, production can be sustainable, occurring in environments that: supply the needs of the animals resulting in good welfare, allow coexistence with a wide diversity of organisms native to the area, minimize carbon footprint and provide a fair lifestyle for the people working there. Conservation need not just involve tiny islands of natural vegetation in a barren world of agriculture, as there can be great increases in biodiversity in farmed areas. Herbivores, especially ruminants that consume materials inedible by humans, are important for human food in the future. However, their diet should not be just ground-level plants. Silvopastoral systems, pastures with shrubs and trees as well as herbage, are described which are normally more productive than pasture alone. When compared with widely used livestock production systems, silvopastoral systems can provide efficient feed conversion, higher biodiversity, enhanced connectivity between habitat patches and better animal welfare, so they can replace existing systems in many parts of the world and should be further developed.

  18. Sustainable, efficient livestock production with high biodiversity and good welfare for animals

    PubMed Central

    Broom, D. M.; Galindo, F. A.; Murgueitio, E.

    2013-01-01

    What is the future for livestock agriculture in the world? Consumers have concerns about sustainability but many widely used livestock production methods do not satisfy consumers' requirements for a sustainable system. However, production can be sustainable, occurring in environments that: supply the needs of the animals resulting in good welfare, allow coexistence with a wide diversity of organisms native to the area, minimize carbon footprint and provide a fair lifestyle for the people working there. Conservation need not just involve tiny islands of natural vegetation in a barren world of agriculture, as there can be great increases in biodiversity in farmed areas. Herbivores, especially ruminants that consume materials inedible by humans, are important for human food in the future. However, their diet should not be just ground-level plants. Silvopastoral systems, pastures with shrubs and trees as well as herbage, are described which are normally more productive than pasture alone. When compared with widely used livestock production systems, silvopastoral systems can provide efficient feed conversion, higher biodiversity, enhanced connectivity between habitat patches and better animal welfare, so they can replace existing systems in many parts of the world and should be further developed. PMID:24068362

  19. Catalytic oxidation of biorefinery lignin to value-added chemicals to support sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ruoshui; Xu, Yan; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

    Transforming plant biomass to biofuel is one of the few solutions that can truly sustain mankind's long-term needs for liquid transportation fuel with minimized environmental impact. However, despite decades of effort, commercial development of biomass-to-biofuel conversion processes is still not an economically viable proposition. Identifying value-added co-products along with the production of biofuel provides a key solution to overcoming this economic barrier. Lignin is the second most abundant component next to cellulose in almost all plant biomass; the emerging biomass refinery industry will inevitably generate an enormous amount of lignin. Development of selective biorefinery lignin-to-bioproducts conversion processes will play a pivotal role in significantly improving the economic feasibility and sustainability of biofuel production from renewable biomass. The urgency and importance of this endeavor has been increasingly recognized in the last few years. This paper reviews state-of-the-art oxidative lignin depolymerization chemistries employed in the papermaking process and oxidative catalysts that can be applied to biorefinery lignin to produce platform chemicals including phenolic compounds, dicarboxylic acids, and quinones in high selectivity and yield. The potential synergies of integrating new catalysts with commercial delignification chemistries are discussed. We hope the information will build on the existing body of knowledge to provide new insights towards developing practical and commercially viable lignin conversion technologies, enabling sustainable biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass to be competitive with fossil fuel.

  20. Potential role of compost and green manure amendment to mitigate soil GHGs emissions in Mediterranean drip irrigated maize production systems.

    PubMed

    Forte, Annachiara; Fagnano, Massimo; Fierro, Angelo

    2017-05-01

    Organic fertilization can preserve soil organic matter (SOM) and is foreseen as an effective strategy to reduce green house gases (GHGs) emissions in agriculture. However, its effectiveness needs to be clarified under specific climate, crop management and soil characteristics. A field experiment was carried out in a Mediterranean drip irrigated maize system to assess the pattern of soil CO2 and N2O fluxes in response to the replacement of a typical bare fallow-maize cycle under urea fertilization (130 kg N ha(-1) y(-1)) (CONV) with: (i) bare fallow-maize cycles under two doses of compost (COM1 and COM2, 130 and 260 kg N ha(-1) y(-1), respectively) and (ii) a vetch-maize cycle, with vetch incorporation as green manure (130 kg N ha(-1) y(-1)) (GMAN). Along the maize period (MP), reduced daily N2O emissions were detected in organic treated soils compared to CONV, mainly in the first stages of the cultivation, thanks to the slow release of available nitrogen from the organic substrates. Cumulative N2O fluxes (kg N2O-N ha(-1)) in MP scored to 0.24, 0.14, 0.12 and 0.085 for CONV, COM1, COM2 and GMAN, respectively, with significantly lower emissions in GMAN respect to CONV. CO2 fluxes partially reflected the ranking observed for maize yields, with cumulated values (Mg CO2-C ha(-1)) of 2.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.1 for CONV, COM1, COM2 and GMAN, respectively, and significantly lower in COM1 respect to the other treatments. During the fallow period (FP), compared to CONV (0.77 Mg CO2-C ha(-1) and 0.25 kg N2O-N ha(-1)), enhanced GHG fluxes were detected in COM treatments (about 0.90 Mg CO2-C ha(-1) and 0.37 kg N2O-N ha(-1), as averaged values from COM1 and COM2), likely driven by the slow prolonged mineralization of the added organic matter. GMAN showed comparable CO2 (0.82 Mg CO2-C ha(-1)) and N2O emissions (0.30 kg N2O-N ha(-1)), in consequence of restrained post-harvest residual N coupled with the counteracting effect of vetch uptake. Respect to the total yearly GHG

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

    PubMed

    Assem, Shireen K

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Transgenic Hybrid Poplar for Sustainable and Scalable Production of the Commodity/Specialty Chemical, 2-Phenylethanol

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Michael A.; Marques, Joaquim V.; Dalisay, Doralyn S.; Herman, Barrington; Bedgar, Diana L.; Davin, Laurence B.; Lewis, Norman G.

    2013-01-01

    Fast growing hybrid poplar offers the means for sustainable production of specialty and commodity chemicals, in addition to rapid biomass production for lignocellulosic deconstruction. Herein we describe transformation of fast-growing transgenic hybrid poplar lines to produce 2-phenylethanol, this being an important fragrance, flavor, aroma, and commodity chemical. It is also readily converted into styrene or ethyl benzene, the latter being an important commodity aviation fuel component. Introducing this biochemical pathway into hybrid poplars marks the beginnings of developing a platform for a sustainable chemical delivery system to afford this and other valuable specialty/commodity chemicals at the scale and cost needed. These modified plant lines mainly sequester 2-phenylethanol via carbohydrate and other covalently linked derivatives, thereby providing an additional advantage of effective storage until needed. The future potential of this technology is discussed. MALDI metabolite tissue imaging also established localization of these metabolites in the leaf vasculature. PMID:24386157

  3. Sustained H2 Production Driven by Photosynthetic Water Splitting in a Unicellular Cyanobacterium

    PubMed Central

    Melnicki, Matthew R.; Pinchuk, Grigoriy E.; Hill, Eric A.; Kucek, Leo A.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan; Beliaev, Alexander S.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT The relationship between dinitrogenase-driven H2 production and oxygenic photosynthesis was investigated in a unicellular cyanobacterium, Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142, using a novel custom-built photobioreactor equipped with advanced process control. Continuously illuminated nitrogen-deprived cells evolved H2 at rates up to 400 µmol ⋅ mg Chl−1 ⋅ h−1 in parallel with uninterrupted photosynthetic O2 production. Notably, sustained coproduction of H2 and O2 occurred over 100 h in the presence of CO2, with both gases displaying inverse oscillations which eventually dampened toward stable rates of 125 and 90 µmol ⋅ mg Chl−1 ⋅ h−1, respectively. Oscillations were not observed when CO2 was omitted, and instead H2 and O2 evolution rates were positively correlated. The sustainability of the process was further supported by stable chlorophyll content, maintenance of baseline protein and carbohydrate levels, and an enhanced capacity for linear electron transport as measured by chlorophyll fluorescence throughout the experiment. In situ light saturation analyses of H2 production displayed a strong dose dependence and lack of O2 inhibition. Inactivation of photosystem II had substantial long-term effects but did not affect short-term H2 production, indicating that the process is also supported by photosystem I activity and oxidation of endogenous glycogen. However, mass balance calculations suggest that carbohydrate consumption in the light may, at best, account for no more than 50% of the reductant required for the corresponding H2 production over that period. Collectively, our results demonstrate that uninterrupted H2 production in unicellular cyanobacteria can be fueled by water photolysis without the detrimental effects of O2 and have important implications for sustainable production of biofuels. PMID:22872781

  4. Sustainable biochar effects for low carbon crop production: A 5-crop season field experiment on a low fertility soil from Central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, X.

    2014-12-01

    GHGs emission than with soil property and crop yield. Thus, our study suggested that biochar amended in dry land could sustain a low carbon production both of maize and wheat in terms of its efficient carbon sequestration, lower GHGs emission intensity and soil improvement over 5 crop seasons after a single amendment.

  5. Sustained H2 Production Driven by Photosynthetic Water Splitting in a Unicellular Cyanobacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Melnicki, Matthew R.; Pinchuk, Grigoriy E.; Hill, Eric A.; Kucek, Leo A.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan; Beliaev, Alex S.

    2012-08-07

    Continuously illuminated nitrogen-deprived Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 evolved H2 via dinitrogenase at rates up to 400 μmol•mg Chl-1•h-1 in parallel with photosynthetic O2 production. Notably, sustained co-production of H2 and O2 occurred over 100 h in the presence of CO2, with both gases displaying inverse oscillations which eventually dampened to stable rates. Oscillations were not observed when CO2 was omitted, while H2 and O2 evolution rates were positively correlated. In situ light saturation analyses of H2 production displayed dose-dependence and lack of O2 inhibition. Inactivation of photosystem II had substantial long-term effects but did not affect the short-term H2 production indicating that the process is also supported by photosystem I activity and oxidation of endogenous glycogen. Collectively, our results demonstrate that uninterrupted H2 production in unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacteria can be fueled by water photolysis without the detrimental effects of O2 and have important implications for sustainable production of biofuels.

  6. Interactions of Woody Biofuel Feedstock Production Systems with Water Resources: Considerations for Sustainability

    SciTech Connect

    Trettin, Carl C.; Amatya, Devendra; Coleman, Mark

    2008-04-15

    Water resources are important for the production of woody biofuel feedstocks. It is necessary to ensure that production systems do not adversely affect the quantity or quality of surface and ground water. The effects of woody biomass plantations on water resources are largely dependent on the prior land use and the management regime. Experience from both irrigated and non-irrigated systems has demonstrated that woody biofuel production systems do not impair water quality. Water quality actually improves from conversion of idle or degraded agricultural lands to woody biomass plantations. Site water balance may be altered by cultivation of woody biomass plantations relative to agricultural use, due to increases in evapostranspiration (ET) and storage. Incorporation of woody biomass production plantations within the landscape provides an opportunity to improve the quality of runoff water and soil conservation. Finally, given the centrality of water resources to the sustainability of ecosystem services and other values derived, the experience with woody biofuels feedstock production systems is positive.

  7. Towards sustainable parasite control practices in livestock production with emphasis in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Henrioud, A Nari

    2011-08-04

    Endo and ectoparasites of domestic ruminants directly or indirectly contribute to reduce sustainability affecting food security in subsistence or small scale farming systems, food safety (food borne diseases and pesticide residues), environment (pesticides, pollution and ecotoxicity) and farmer's equity (limited or uneven access to relevant technical information/training). This is especially true for some regions of Latin America where there still are huge areas of natural grazing land for cattle, sheep and goats. Sustainable parasite control is not an absolute concept given the different regions and productive systems of the world and therefore, could have different levels of adoption and impact on farmers. This article develops a conceptual framework to better understand where each region or country is situated in terms of attaining a reasonable increase in animal production while preserving sustainability. Within this context the capacity to prioritize the target parasite species for control according to local epidemiology and production systems, the early diagnosis and monitoring of parasite resistance as well as the availability of well trained field professionals acquire a major role, creating an enabling environment for present and future decision support system approaches. Until new and different means of controlling parasites become available; the challenge is to utilize Good Animal Husbandry Practices and Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) principles in a pragmatic way allowing the rational use of pesticides.

  8. Concept for Sustained Plant Production on ISS Using VEGGIE Capillary Mat Rooting System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stutte, Gary W.; Newsham, Gerard; Morrow, Robert M.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2011-01-01

    Plant growth in microgravity presents unique challenges associated with maintaining appropriate conditions for seed germination, seedling establishment, maturation and harvest. They include maintaining appropriate soil moisture content, nutrient balance, atmospheric mixing and containment. Sustained production imposes additional challenges of harvesting, replanting, and safety. The VEGGIE is a deployable (collapsible) plant growth chamber developed as part of a NASA SBIR Phase II by Orbitec, Madison, WI. The intent of VEGGIE is to provide a low-resource system to produce fresh vegetables for the crew on long duration missions. The VEGGIE uses and LED array for lighting, an expandable bellows for containment, and a capillary matting system for nutrient and water delivery. The project evaluated a number of approaches to achieve sustained production, and repeated plantings, using the capillary rooting system. A number of different root media, seed containment, and nutrient delivery systems were evaluated and effects on seed germination and growth were evaluated. A number of issues limiting sustained production, such as accumulation of nutrients, uniform water, elevated vapor pressure deficit, and media containment were identified. A concept using pre-planted rooting packs shown to effectively address a number of those issues and is a promising approach for future development as a planting system for microgravity conditions.

  9. Novel Effects of Nanoparticulate Delivery of Zinc on Growth, Productivity, and Zinc Biofortification in Maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Subbaiah, Layam Venkata; Prasad, Tollamadugu Naga Venkata Krishna Vara; Krishna, Thimmavajjula Giridhara; Sudhakar, Palagiri; Reddy, Balam Ravindra; Pradeep, Thalappil

    2016-05-18

    In the present investigation, nanoscale zinc oxide particulates (ZnO-nanoparticulates) were prepared using a modified oxalate decomposition method. Prepared ZnO-nanoparticulates (mean size = 25 nm) were characterized using techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and zeta potential analyzer. Different concentrations (50, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000 ppm) of ZnO-nanoparticulates were examined to reveal their effects on maize crop on overall growth and translocation of zinc along with bulk ZnSO4 and control. Highest germination percentage (80%) and seedling vigor index (1923.20) were observed at 1500 ppm of ZnO-nanoparticulates. The yield was 42% more compared to control and 15% higher compared to 2000 ppm of ZnSO4. Higher accumulation of zinc (35.96 ppm) in grains was recorded with application of 100 ppm followed by 400 ppm (31.05 ppm) of ZnO-nanoparticulates. These results indicate that ZnO-nanoparticulates have significant effects on growth, yield, and zinc content of maize grains, which is an important feature in terms of human health.

  10. Effect of the particle size of maize, rice, and sorghum in extruded diets for dogs on starch gelatinization, digestibility, and the fecal concentration of fermentation products.

    PubMed

    Bazolli, R S; Vasconcellos, R S; de-Oliveira, L D; Sá, F C; Pereira, G T; Carciofi, A C

    2015-06-01

    The influence of rice, maize, and sorghum raw material particle size in extruded dry dog food on the digestibility of nutrients and energy and the fecal concentration of fermentation products was investigated. Three diets with similar nutrient compositions were formulated, each with 1 starch source. Before incorporation into diets, the cereals were ground into 3 different particle sizes (approximately 300, 450, and 600 µm); therefore, a total of 9 diets were in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement (3 cereals and 3 particle sizes). Fifty-four beagle dogs (12.0 ± 0.1 kg BW) were randomly assigned to the diets, with 6 dogs per diet. The digestibility was measured with the chromium oxide method. The data were evaluated with ANOVA considering the carbohydrate source, grinding effect, and interactions. The means were compared with the Tukey test and polynomial contrasts (P < 0.05). With the same grinding procedure, rice was reduced to smaller particles than other cereals. The cereal mean geometric diameter (MGD) was directly related to starch gelatinization (SG) during extrusion. For rice diets, the MGD and SG did not change nutrient digestibility (P > 0.05); only GE digestibility was reduced at the largest MGD (P < 0.01). For maize and sorghum diets, the total tract apparent nutrient digestibility was reduced for foods with greater MGD and less SG (P < 0.01). A linear reduction in nutrient digestibility according to cereal particle size was observed for sorghum (r2 < 0.72; P < 0.01). Higher concentrations of fecal total short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were observed for sorghum diets (P < 0.05) than for other diets. The rice diets led to the production of feces with less lactate (P < 0.05). The increase in raw material MGD did not influence fecal SCFA for rice diets, but for the dogs fed maize and sorghum foods, an increase in propionate and butyrate concentrations were observed as MGD increased (P < 0.05). In conclusion, for dogs fed different particle sizes of the cereal

  11. Sustainable biomass products development and evaluation, Hamakua project. Final draft report

    SciTech Connect

    1998-05-01

    The PICHTR Sustainable Biomass Energy Program was developed to evaluate the potential to cultivate crops for energy production as an alternative use of lands made available by the closing of large sugar plantations. In particular, the closing of the Hamakua Sugar Company on the island of Hawaii brought a great deal of attention to the future of agriculture in this region and in the state. Many options were proposed. Several promising alternatives had been proposed for cane lands. These included dedicated feedstock supply systems (DFSS) for electrical energy production, cultivation of sugarcane to produce ethanol and related by-products, and the production of feed and crops to support animal agriculture. Implementation of some of the options might require preservation of large tracts of land and maintenance of the sugar mills and sugar infrastructure. An analysis of the technical, financial, and other issues necessary to reach conclusions regarding the optimal use of these lands was required. At the request of the Office of State Planning and Senator Akaka`s office, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) established and coordinated a working group composed of state, county, federal, and private sector representatives to identify sustainable energy options for the use of idle sugar lands on the island of Hawaii. The Sustainable Biomass Energy Program`s Hamakua Project was established to complete a comprehensive evaluation of the most viable alternatives and assess the options to grow crops as a source of raw materials for the production of transportation fuel and/or electricity on the island of Hawaii. The motivation for evaluating biomass to energy conversion embraced the considerations that Hawaii`s energy security would be improved by diversifying the fuels used for transportation and reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels. The use of waste products as feedstocks could divert wastes from landfills.

  12. Energy and CO2 balance of maize and grass as energy crops for anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Gerin, Patrick A; Vliegen, François; Jossart, Jean-Marc

    2008-05-01

    Energy crops can be used to feed anaerobic digesters and produce renewable energy. However, sustainability of this option requires that it contributes to a net production of renewable energy and a net reduction of fossil CO2 emission. In this paper, the net balance of CO2 emission and renewable energy production is assessed for maize and grass energy crops produced in several agricultural systems relevant for Southern Belgium and surrounding areas. The calculated net energy yields are 8-25 (maize) and 7.4-15.5 (grass) MWh of renewable CH4 per MWh of fossil energy invested, depending on the agricultural option considered. After conversion to electricity, the specific CO2 emissions range from 31 to 104 kg(CO2)MWhelectricity(-1), depending on the case considered. This corresponds to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the current reference gas-steam turbine technology which produces 456 kg(CO2)MWhelectricity(-1).

  13. Self-sustainable production of hydrogen, chemicals, and energy from renewable alcohols by electrocatalysis.

    PubMed

    Bambagioni, Valentina; Bevilacqua, Manuela; Bianchini, Claudio; Filippi, Jonathan; Lavacchi, Alessandro; Marchionni, Andrea; Vizza, Francesco; Shen, Pei Kang

    2010-07-19

    The selective and simultaneous production of hydrogen and chemicals from renewable alcohols, such as ethanol, glycerol, and ethylene glycol, can be accomplished by means of electrolyzers in which the anode electrocatalyst is appropriately designed to promote the partial and selective oxidation of the alcohol. In the electrolyzers described herein, the production of 1 kg of hydrogen from aqueous ethanol occurs with one-third the amount of energy required by a traditional H(2)/O(2) electrolyzer, by virtue of the much lower oxidation potential of ethanol to acetate vs. water to oxygen in alkaline media (E(0)=0.10 V vs. 1.23 V). The self-sustainability of H(2) production is ensured by the simultaneous production of 25 kg of potassium acetate for every kg of H(2), if the promoting co-electrolyte is KOH.

  14. Sustainable Utilization of Traditional Chinese Medicine Resources: Systematic Evaluation on Different Production Modes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiwen; Chen, Yuning; Yang, Qing; Wang, Yitao

    2015-01-01

    The usage amount of medicinal plant rapidly increased along with the development of traditional Chinese medicine industry. The higher market demand and the shortage of wild herbal resources enforce us to carry out large-scale introduction and cultivation. Herbal cultivation can ease current contradiction between medicinal resources supply and demand while they bring new problems such as pesticide residues and plant disease and pests. Researchers have recently placed high hopes on the application of natural fostering, a new method incorporated herbal production and diversity protecting practically, which can solve the problems brought by artificial cultivation. However no modes can solve all problems existing in current herbal production. This study evaluated different production modes including cultivation, natural fostering, and wild collection to guide the traditional Chinese medicine production for sustainable utilization of herbal resources. PMID:26074987

  15. Development of Sustainable Landscape Designs for Improved Biomass Production in the U.S. Corn Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonner, Ian J.

    Demand for renewable and sustainable energy options has resulted in a significant commitment by the US Government to research pathways for fuel production from biomass. The research presented in this thesis describes one potential pathway to increase the amount of biomass available for biofuel production by integrating dedicated energy crops into agricultural fields. In the first chapter an innovative landscape design method based on subfield placement of an energy crop into row crop fields in central Iowa is used to reduce financial loss for farmers, increase and diversify biomass production, and improve soil resources. The second chapter explores how subfield management decisions may be made using high fidelity data and modeling to balance concerns of primary crop production and economics. This work provides critical forward looking support to agricultural land managers and stakeholders in the biomass and bioenergy industry for pathways to improving land stewardship and energy security.

  16. Production and supply of high-quality food protein for human consumption: sustainability, challenges, and innovations.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guoyao; Fanzo, Jessica; Miller, Dennis D; Pingali, Prabhu; Post, Mark; Steiner, Jean L; Thalacker-Mercer, Anna E

    2014-08-01

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 843 million people worldwide are hungry and a greater number suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Approximately one billion people have inadequate protein intake. The challenge of preventing hunger and malnutrition will become even greater as the global population grows from the current 7.2 billion people to 9.6 billion by 2050. With increases in income, population, and demand for more nutrient-dense foods, global meat production is projected to increase by 206 million tons per year during the next 35 years. These changes in population and dietary practices have led to a tremendous rise in the demand for food protein, especially animal-source protein. Consuming the required amounts of protein is fundamental to human growth and health. Protein needs can be met through intakes of animal and plant-source foods. Increased consumption of food proteins is associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions and overutilization of water. Consequently, concerns exist regarding impacts of agricultural production, processing and distribution of food protein on the environment, ecosystem, and sustainability. To address these challenging issues, the New York Academy of Sciences organized the conference "Frontiers in Agricultural Sustainability: Studying the Protein Supply Chain to Improve Dietary Quality" to explore sustainable innovations in food science and programming aimed at producing the required quality and quantity of protein through improved supply chains worldwide. This report provides an extensive discussion of these issues and summaries of the presentations from the conference.

  17. Banana production systems: identification of alternative systems for more sustainable production.

    PubMed

    Bellamy, Angelina Sanderson

    2013-04-01

    Large-scale, monoculture production systems dependent on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, increase yields, but are costly and have deleterious impacts on human health and the environment. This research investigates variations in banana production practices in Costa Rica, to identify alternative systems that combine high productivity and profitability, with reduced reliance on agrochemicals. Farm workers were observed during daily production activities; 39 banana producers and 8 extension workers/researchers were interviewed; and a review of field experiments conducted by the National Banana Corporation between 1997 and 2002 was made. Correspondence analysis showed that there is no structured variation in large-scale banana producers' practices, but two other banana production systems were identified: a small-scale organic system and a small-scale conventional coffee-banana intercropped system. Field-scale research may reveal ways that these practices can be scaled up to achieve a productive and profitable system producing high-quality export bananas with fewer or no pesticides.

  18. Effects of social sustainability signaling on neural valuation signals and taste-experience of food products.

    PubMed

    Enax, Laura; Krapp, Vanessa; Piehl, Alexandra; Weber, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Value-based decision making occurs when individuals choose between different alternatives and place a value on each alternative and its attributes. Marketing actions frequently manipulate product attributes, by adding, e.g., health claims on the packaging. A previous imaging study found that an emblem for organic products increased willingness to pay (WTP) and activity in the ventral striatum (VS). The current study investigated neural and behavioral processes underlying the influence of Fair Trade (FT) labeling on food valuation and choice. Sustainability is an important product attribute for many consumers, with FT signals being one way to highlight ethically sustainable production. Forty participants valuated products in combination with an FT emblem or no emblem and stated their WTP in a bidding task while in an MRI scanner. After that, participants tasted-objectively identical-chocolates, presented either as "FT" or as "conventionally produced". In the fMRI task, WTP was significantly higher for FT products. FT labeling increased activity in regions important for reward-processing and salience, that is, in the VS, anterior and posterior cingulate, as well as superior frontal gyrus. Subjective value, that is, WTP was correlated with activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We find that the anterior cingulate, VS and superior frontal gyrus exhibit task-related increases in functional connectivity to the vmPFC when an FT product was evaluated. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a highly probable directed modulation of the vmPFC by those three regions, suggesting a network which alters valuation processes. We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates. Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products. The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as designing

  19. Effects of social sustainability signaling on neural valuation signals and taste-experience of food products

    PubMed Central

    Enax, Laura; Krapp, Vanessa; Piehl, Alexandra; Weber, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Value-based decision making occurs when individuals choose between different alternatives and place a value on each alternative and its attributes. Marketing actions frequently manipulate product attributes, by adding, e.g., health claims on the packaging. A previous imaging study found that an emblem for organic products increased willingness to pay (WTP) and activity in the ventral striatum (VS). The current study investigated neural and behavioral processes underlying the influence of Fair Trade (FT) labeling on food valuation and choice. Sustainability is an important product attribute for many consumers, with FT signals being one way to highlight ethically sustainable production. Forty participants valuated products in combination with an FT emblem or no emblem and stated their WTP in a bidding task while in an MRI scanner. After that, participants tasted—objectively identical—chocolates, presented either as “FT” or as “conventionally produced”. In the fMRI task, WTP was significantly higher for FT products. FT labeling increased activity in regions important for reward-processing and salience, that is, in the VS, anterior and posterior cingulate, as well as superior frontal gyrus. Subjective value, that is, WTP was correlated with activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We find that the anterior cingulate, VS and superior frontal gyrus exhibit task-related increases in functional connectivity to the vmPFC when an FT product was evaluated. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a highly probable directed modulation of the vmPFC by those three regions, suggesting a network which alters valuation processes. We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates. Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products. The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as

  20. Variation in ruminal in situ degradation of crude protein and starch from maize grains compared to in vitro gas production kinetics and physical and chemical characteristics.

    PubMed

    Seifried, Natascha; Steingaß, Herbert; Schipprack, Wolfgang; Rodehutscord, Markus

    2016-10-01

    The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate in situ ruminal dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP) and starch degradation characteristics and in vitro gas production (GP) kinetics using a set of 20 different maize grain genotypes and (2) to predict the effective degradation (ED) of CP and starch from chemical and physical characteristics alone or in combination with in vitro GP measurements. Maize grains were characterised by different chemical and physical characteristics. Ruminal in situ degradation was measured in three lactating Jersey cows. Ground grains (sieve size: 2 mm) were incubated in bags for 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 48 and 72 h. Bag residues were analysed for CP and starch content. Degradation kinetics was determined and the ED of DM, CP and starch calculated using a ruminal passage rate of 5%/h and 8%/h. The GP of the grains (sieve size: 1 mm) was recorded after 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48 and 72 h incubation in buffered rumen fluid and fitted to an exponential equation to determine GP kinetics. Correlations and stepwise multiple linear regressions were evaluated for the prediction of ED calculated for a passage rate of 5%/h (ED5) for CP (EDCP5) and starch (EDST5). The in situ parameters and ED5 varied widely between genotypes with average values (±SD) of 64% ± 4.2, 62% ± 4.1 and 65% ± 5.2 for ED5 of DM, EDCP5 and EDST5 and were on average 10 percentage points lower for a passage rate of 8%/h. Degradation rates varied between 4.8%/h and 7.4%/h, 4.1%/h and 6.5%/h and 5.3%/h and 8.9%/h for DM, CP and starch, respectively. These rates were in the same range as GP rates (6.0-8.3%/h). The EDCP5 and EDST5 were related to CP concentration and could be evaluated in detail using CP fractions and specific amino acids. In vitro GP measurements and GP rates correlated well with EDCP5 and EDST5 and predicted EDCP5 and EDST5 in combination with the chemical characteristics of the samples. Equations can be used to obtain quick and cost effective information

  1. SALSA: a simulation tool to assess ecological sustainability of agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Ingrid Strid; Elmquist, Helena; Nybrant, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    In order to assess the ecological sustainability of agricultural production systems, there is a need for effective tools. We describe an environmental systems analysis tool called SALSA (Systems Ana/ysis for Sustainable Agriculture). It consists of substance/material flow models in which the simulation results are interpreted with life-cycle assessment methodology. The application of SALSA is demonstrated in a case study in which three different ways of producing pigs are compared with respect to energy input and the environmental impacts of global warming, eutrophication, and acidification. The scenario that combined a low-protein diet without soy meal with an improved manure-management technique with low nitrogen losses was the best for all impact categories studied. The strength of the SALSA models was their capacity to capture consequences of management options that had an influence on several processes on a farm, which enabled the type of complex studies we describe.

  2. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: II. Harvesting and conversion to biofuels.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    In order to ensure the sustainability of algal biofuel production, a number of issues need to be addressed. Previously, we reviewed some of the questions in this area involving algal species and the important challenges of nutrient supply and how these might be met. Here, we take up issues involving harvesting and the conversion ofbiomass to biofuels. Advances in both these areas are required if these third-generation fuels are to have a sufficiently high net energy ratio and a sustainable footprint. A variety of harvesting technologies are under investigation and recent studies in this area are presented and discussed. A number of different energy uses are available for algal biomass, each with their own advantages as well as challenges in terms of efficiencies and yields. Recent advances in these areas are presented and some of the especially promising conversion processes are highlighted.

  3. Breeding maize for silage and biofuel production, an illustration of a step forward with the genome sequence.

    PubMed

    Barrière, Yves; Courtial, Audrey; Chateigner-Boutin, Anne-Laure; Denoue, Dominique; Grima-Pettenati, Jacqueline

    2016-01-01

    The knowledge of the gene families mostly impacting cell wall digestibility variations would significantly increase the efficiency of marker-assisted selection when breeding maize and grass varieties with improved silage feeding value and/or with better straw fermentability into alcohol or methane. The maize genome sequence of the B73 inbred line was released at the end of 2009, opening up new avenues to identify the genetic determinants of quantitative traits. Colocalizations between a large set of candidate genes putatively involved in secondary cell wall assembly and QTLs for cell wall digestibility (IVNDFD) were then investigated, considering physical positions of both genes and QTLs. Based on available data from six RIL progenies, 59 QTLs corresponding to 38 non-overlapping positions were matched up with a list of 442 genes distributed all over the genome. Altogether, 176 genes colocalized with IVNDFD QTLs and most often, several candidate genes colocalized at each QTL position. Frequent QTL colocalizations were found firstly with genes encoding ZmMYB and ZmNAC transcription factors, and secondly with genes encoding zinc finger, bHLH, and xylogen regulation factors. In contrast, close colocalizations were less frequent with genes involved in monolignol biosynthesis, and found only with the C4H2, CCoAOMT5, and CCR1 genes. Close colocalizations were also infrequent with genes involved in cell wall feruloylation and cross-linkages. Altogether, investigated colocalizations between candidate genes and cell wall digestibility QTLs suggested a prevalent role of regulation factors over constitutive cell wall genes on digestibility variations.

  4. Closing the yield gap could reduce projected greenhouse gas emissions: a case study of maize production in China.

    PubMed

    Cui, Zhenling; Yue, Shanchao; Wang, Guiliang; Meng, Qingfeng; Wu, Liang; Yang, Zhiping; Zhang, Qiang; Li, Shiqing; Zhang, Fusuo; Chen, Xinping

    2013-08-01

    Although the goal of doubling food demand while simultaneously reducing agricultural environmental damage has become widely accepted, the dominant agricultural paradigm still considers high yields and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity to be in conflict with one another. Here, we achieved an increase in maize yield of 70% in on-farm experiments by closing the yield gap and evaluated the trade-off between grain yield, nitrogen (N) fertilizer use, and GHG emissions. Based on two groups of N application experiments in six locations for 16 on-farm site-years, an integrated soil-crop system (HY) approach achieved 93% of the yield potential and averaged 14.8 Mg ha(-1) maize grain yield at 15.5% moisture. This is 70% higher than current crop (CC) management. More importantly, the optimal N rate for the HY system was 250 kg N ha(-1) , which is only 38% more N fertilizer input than that applied in the CC system. Both the N2 O emission intensity and GHG intensity increased exponentially as the N application rate increased, and the response curve for the CC system was always higher than that for the HY system. Although the N application rate increased by 38%, N2 O emission intensity and the GHG intensity of the HY system were reduced by 12% and 19%, respectively. These on-farm observations indicate that closing the yield gap alongside efficient N management should therefore be prominent among a portfolio of strategies to meet food demand while reducing GHG intensity at the same time.

  5. Functional significance of dinitrogen fixation in sustaining coral productivity under oligotrophic conditions

    PubMed Central

    Cardini, Ulisse; Bednarz, Vanessa N.; Naumann, Malik S.; van Hoytema, Nanne; Rix, Laura; Foster, Rachel A.; Al-Rshaidat, Mamoon M. D.; Wild, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Functional traits define species by their ecological role in the ecosystem. Animals themselves are host–microbe ecosystems (holobionts), and the application of ecophysiological approaches can help to understand their functioning. In hard coral holobionts, communities of dinitrogen (N2)-fixing prokaryotes (diazotrophs) may contribute a functional trait by providing bioavailable nitrogen (N) that could sustain coral productivity under oligotrophic conditions. This study quantified N2 fixation by diazotrophs associated with four genera of hermatypic corals on a northern Red Sea fringing reef exposed to high seasonality. We found N2 fixation activity to be 5- to 10-fold higher in summer, when inorganic nutrient concentrations were lowest and water temperature and light availability highest. Concurrently, coral gross primary productivity remained stable despite lower Symbiodinium densities and tissue chlorophyll a contents. In contrast, chlorophyll a content per Symbiodinium cell increased from spring to summer, suggesting that algal cells overcame limitation of N, an essential element for chlorophyll synthesis. In fact, N2 fixation was positively correlated with coral productivity in summer, when its contribution was estimated to meet 11% of the Symbiodinium N requirements. These results provide evidence of an important functional role of diazotrophs in sustaining coral productivity when alternative external N sources are scarce. PMID:26511052

  6. Enabling sustainable pastoralism: policies and investments that optimise livestock production and rangeland stewardship.

    PubMed

    Ouedraogo, R; Davies, J

    2016-11-01

    Pastoralism is a system of dynamically managing livestock and land for economic, social and environmental benefit. To a large extent, pastoralism is an adaptation to ecological and climatic variability and is not simply a livestock production system but provides significant environmental services to humanity. Evidence from a range of national contexts shows that sustainable pastoralist development requires an understanding of the dual environmental and economic roles of pastoralism and an adaptation of policies and investments to support both. The current paper examines three cornerstones that have proven to be crucial for sustainable pastoralist development and for maximising the links between livestock production and environmental stewardship: strengthening pastoral capabilities and institutions, securing land tenure and natural resource governance, and ensuring equitable markets for pastoral diversity. To effectively support the dual economic-environmental roles of pastoralism requires not only optimisation of the production of ecosystem services through extensive livestock production, but also a major overhaul of the way we approach pastoralist development, and major investment in the people who are central to the system. As long as pastoralists remain marginalised, with weak rights and little access to services, their future will remain uncertain.

  7. Renewable sustainable biocatalyzed electricity production in a photosynthetic algal microbial fuel cell (PAMFC).

    PubMed

    Strik, David P B T B; Terlouw, Hilde; Hamelers, Hubertus V M; Buisman, Cees J N

    2008-12-01

    Electricity production via solar energy capturing by living higher plants and microalgae in combination with microbial fuel cells are attractive because these systems promise to generate useful energy in a renewable, sustainable, and efficient manner. This study describes the proof of principle of a photosynthetic algal microbial fuel cell (PAMFC) based on naturally selected algae and electrochemically active microorganisms in an open system and without addition of instable or toxic mediators. The developed solar-powered PAMFC produced continuously over 100 days renewable biocatalyzed electricity. The sustainable performance of the PAMFC resulted in a maximum current density of 539 mA/m2 projected anode surface area and a maximum power production of 110 mW/m2 surface area photobioreactor. The energy recovery of the PAMFC can be increased by optimization of the photobioreactor, by reducing the competition from non-electrochemically active microorganisms, by increasing the electrode surface and establishment of a further-enriched biofilm. Since the objective is to produce net renewable energy with algae, future research should also focus on the development of low energy input PAMFCs. This is because current algae production systems have energy inputs similar to the energy present in the outcoming valuable products.

  8. Biotechnological route for sustainable succinate production utilizing oil palm frond and kenaf as potential carbon sources.

    PubMed

    Luthfi, Abdullah Amru Indera; Manaf, Shareena Fairuz Abdul; Illias, Rosli Md; Harun, Shuhaida; Mohammad, Abdul Wahab; Jahim, Jamaliah Md

    2017-04-01

    Due to the world's dwindling energy supplies, greater thrust has been placed on the utilization of renewable resources for global succinate production. Exploration of such biotechnological route could be seen as an act of counterbalance to the continued fossil fuel dominance. Malaysia being a tropical country stands out among many other nations for its plenty of resources in the form of lignocellulosic biomass. To date, oil palm frond (OPF) contributes to the largest fraction of agricultural residues in Malaysia, while kenaf, a newly introduced fiber crop with relatively high growth rate, holds great potential for developing sustainable succinate production, apart from OPF. Utilization of non-food, inexhaustible, and low-cost derived biomass in the form of OPF and kenaf for bio-based succinate production remains largely untapped. Owing to the richness of carbohydrates in OPF and kenaf, bio-succinate commercialization using these sources appears as an attractive proposition for future sustainable developments. The aim of this paper was to review some research efforts in developing a biorefinery system based on OPF and kenaf as processing inputs. It presents the importance of the current progress in bio-succinate commercialization, in addition to describing the potential use of different succinate production hosts and various pretreatments-saccharifications under development for OPF and kenaf. Evaluations on the feasibility of OPF and kenaf as fermentation substrates are also discussed.

  9. Nitrous oxide emissions in Midwest US maize production vary widely with band-injected N fertilizer rates, timing and nitrapyrin presence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burzaco, Juan P.; Smith, Doug R.; Vyn, Tony J.

    2013-09-01

    Nitrification inhibitors have the potential to reduce N2O emissions from maize fields, but optimal results may depend on deployment of integrated N fertilizer management systems that increase yields achieved per unit of N2O lost. A new micro-encapsulated formulation of nitrapyrin for liquid N fertilizers became available to US farmers in 2010. Our research objectives were to (i) assess the impacts of urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) management practices (timing, rate and nitrification inhibitor) and environmental variables on growing-season N2O fluxes and (ii) identify UAN treatment combinations that both reduce N2O emissions and optimize maize productivity. Field experiments near West Lafayette, Indiana in 2010 and 2011 examined three N rates (0, 90 and 180 kg N ha-1), two timings (pre-emergence and side-dress) and presence or absence of nitrapyrin. Mean cumulative N2O-N emissions (Q10 corrected) were 0.81, 1.83 and 3.52 kg N2O-N ha-1 for the rates of 0, 90 and 180 kg N ha-1, respectively; 1.80 and 2.31 kg N2O-N ha-1 for pre-emergence and side-dress timings, respectively; and 1.77 versus 2.34 kg N2O-N ha-1 for with and without nitrapyrin, respectively. Yield-scaled N2O-N emissions increased with N rates as anticipated (averaging 167, 204 and 328 g N2O-N Mg grain-1 for the 0, 90 and 180 kg N ha-1 rates), but were 22% greater with the side-dress timing than the pre-emergence timing (when averaged across N rates and inhibitor treatments) because of environmental conditions following later applications. Overall yield-scaled N2O-N emissions were 22% lower with nitrapyrin than without the inhibitor, but these did not interact with N rate or timing.

  10. Expansion of Sugarcane area for Ethanol production in Brazil: a Threat to Food Production and Environmental Sustainability?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monteiro, J. M.; Coutinho, H. L.; Veiga, L. B.

    2012-12-01

    The raise in fossil fuels prices and the increase in Greenhouse Gas emissions is leading nations to adopt non-fossil fuels based energy sources. Sugarcane crops for biofuel production are expanding fast in Brazil, mainly through land use change (LUC) processes, in substitution of pasturelands and grain crops plantations. Would these changes affect negatively sustainability assessments of bioethanol production in the future? We estimate the extent of sugarcane cropland needed to produce sufficient ethanol to attend to market demands. This work presents a baseline scenario for sugarcane cropping area in Brazil in 2017, taking into account market forces (supply and demand). We also comment on a policy instrument targetting sustainable sugarcane production in Brazil. The expansion scenarios took into account the demand for ethanol from 2008-2017, produced by the Energy Research Corporation, of Brazil. In order to develop the expansion scenario, we estimated the amount of sugarcane needed to attend the ethanol demand. We then calculated the area needed to generate that amount of sugarcane. The analytical parameters were: 1) one tonne of sugarcane produces an average 81.6 liters of ethanol; 2) the average sugarcane crop productivity varied linearly from 81.4 tons/hectare in 2008 to 86.2 tons/hectare in 2017. We also assumed that sugarcane productivity in 2017 as the current average productivity of sugarcane in the State of São Paulo. The results show that the requirement for 3.5 million ha in 2007 will increase to 9 million ha in 2017. The Sugarcane Agroecologic Zoning (ZAECANA), published by Embrapa (2009), is a tool that not only informs the territory occupation and use policies, but also classifies land as qualified, restricted or non-qualified for the plantation of sugarcane crops. The ZAECANA is based on soil and climate suitability assessments, and is presented in a spatially-explicit format. Adopting the precautionary principle, a national policy was established

  11. Consumer preferences for sustainable aquaculture products: Evidence from in-depth interviews, think aloud protocols and choice experiments.

    PubMed

    Risius, Antje; Janssen, Meike; Hamm, Ulrich

    2017-02-20

    Fish from aquaculture is becoming more important for human consumption. Sustainable aquaculture procedures were developed as an alternative to overcome the negative environmental impacts of conventional aquaculture procedures and wild fisheries. The objective of this contribution is to determine what consumers expect from sustainable aquaculture and whether they prefer sustainable aquaculture products. A combination of qualitative research methods, with think aloud protocols and in-depth interviews, as well as quantitative methods, using choice experiments and face-to-face interviews, was applied. Data was collected in three different cities of Germany. Results revealed that sustainable aquaculture was associated with natural, traditional, local, and small scale production systems with high animal welfare standards. Overall, participants paid a lot of attention to the declaration of origin; in particular fish products from Germany and Denmark were preferred along with local products. Frequently used sustainability claims for aquaculture products were mostly criticized as being imprecise by the participants of the qualitative study; even though two claims tested in the choice experiments had a significant positive impact on the choice of purchase. Similarly, existing aquaculture-specific labels for certified sustainable aquaculture had an impact on the buying decision, but were not well recognized and even less trusted. Overall, consumers had a positive attitude towards sustainable aquaculture. However, communication measures and labelling schemes should be improved to increase consumer acceptance and make a decisive impact on consumers' buying behavior.

  12. Nuclear Energy - Hydrogen Production - Fuel Cell: A Road Towards Future China's Sustainable Energy Strategy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhiwei Zhou

    2006-07-01

    Sustainable development of Chinese economy in 21. century will mainly rely on self-supply of clean energy with indigenous natural resources. The burden of current coal-dominant energy mix and the environmental stress due to energy consumptions has led nuclear power to be an indispensable choice for further expanding electricity generation capacity in China and for reducing greenhouse effect gases emission. The application of nuclear energy in producing substitutive fuels for road transportation vehicles will also be of importance in future China's sustainable energy strategy. This paper illustrates the current status of China's energy supply and the energy demand required for establishing a harmonic and prosperous society in China. In fact China's energy market faces following three major challenges, namely (1) gaps between energy supply and demand; (2) low efficiency in energy utilization, and (3) severe environmental pollution. This study emphasizes that China should implement sustainable energy development policy and pay great attention to the construction of energy saving recycle economy. Based on current forecast, the nuclear energy development in China will encounter a high-speed track. The demand for crude oil will reach 400-450 million tons in 2020 in which Chinese indigenous production will remain 180 million tons. The increase of the expected crude oil will be about 150 million tons on the basis of 117 million tons of imported oil in 2004 with the time span of 15 years. This demand increase of crude oil certainly will influence China's energy supply security and to find the substitution will be a big challenge to Chinese energy industry. This study illustrates an analysis of the market demands to future hydrogen economy of China. Based on current status of technology development of HTGR in China, this study describes a road of hydrogen production with nuclear energy. The possible technology choices in relation to a number of types of nuclear reactors are

  13. RNAi silencing of the 14 kDa trypsin inhibitor protein in maize and its effect on host resistance against Aspergillus flavus infection/aflatoxin production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the major crops susceptible to Aspergillus flavus Link ex. Fries infection and subsequent aflatoxin contamination. Previous studies found the expression of an antifungal 14 kDa trypsin inhibitor (TI) was associated with maize aflatoxin resistance. To further investigate...

  14. Smallholder Farms and the Potential for Sustainable Intensification

    PubMed Central

    Mungai, Leah M.; Snapp, Sieglinde; Messina, Joseph P.; Chikowo, Regis; Smith, Alex; Anders, Erin; Richardson, Robert B.; Li, Guiying

    2016-01-01

    The sustainable intensification of African agriculture is gaining momentum with the compelling need to increase food and agricultural production. In Southern Africa, smallholder farming systems are predominately maize-based and subject to erratic climatic conditions. Farmer crop and soil management decisions are influenced by a plethora of complex factors such as market access resource availability, social relations, environment, and various messages on sustainable farming practices. Such factors pose barriers to increasing sustainable intensification in Africa. This paper characterizes smallholder farming practices in Central Malawi, at Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) project sites. We present findings from a survey of 324 farmers, located within four Africa RISING sites selected in a stratified random manner to represent (1) low agricultural potential (high evapotranspiration, variable rainfall), (2) medium agricultural potential (two sites), and (3) high agricultural potential (well-distributed rainfall). Soil fertility was low overall, and certain farming practices appeared to limit the sustainability of agricultural production. Nearly half of farmers did not value legume residues as a high nutrient value resource for soil amelioration, as legume residues were removed (17.9%) or burned (21.4%). Conversely, maize residues were rarely removed (4.5%) or burned (10.4%). We found that farmers do not allocate soil amendment resources to legume fields (zero instances of mineral fertilizer or manure application to legumes compared to 88 and 22% of maize systems, respectively). Policy makers in Malawi have led initiatives to intensify agricultural systems through subsidizing farmer access to mineral fertilizer as well as maize hybrid seed, and only rarely to improved legume seed. In this survey, farmers allocate mineral fertilizer to maize systems and not legume systems. There is urgent need to invest in education

  15. MaizeCyc: Metabolic networks in maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    MaizeCyc is a catalog of known and predicted metabolic and transport pathways that enables plant researchers to graphically represent the metabolome of maize (Zea mays), thereby supporting integrated systems-biology analysis. Supported analyses include molecular and genetic/phenotypic profiling (e.g...

  16. Land-based production of animal protein: impacts, efficiency, and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guoyao; Bazer, Fuller W; Cross, H Russell

    2014-11-01

    Land-based production of high-quality protein by livestock and poultry plays an important role in improving human nutrition, growth, and health, as well as economical and social developments worldwide. With exponential growth of the global population and marked rises in meat consumption per capita, demands for animal-source protein are expected to increase by 72% between 2013 and 2050. This raises concerns about the sustainability and environmental impacts of animal agriculture. An attractive solution to meeting the increasing needs for animal products and mitigating undesired effects of agricultural practices is to enhance the efficiency of animal growth, reproduction, and lactation. Breeding techniques may help achieve this goal, but have only met with limited success. A promising, mechanism-based approach is to optimize the proportion and amounts of amino acids in diets for maximizing whole-body protein synthesis and feed efficiency. Improvements in farm animal productivity will not only decrease the contamination of soils, groundwater, and air by excessive manure, but will also help sustain animal agriculture to produce high-quality protein for the expanding population in the face of diminishing resources.

  17. Adaptation to climate change in industry: improving resource efficiency through sustainable production applications.

    PubMed

    Alkayal, Emrah; Bogurcu, Merve; Ulutas, Ferda; Demirer, Göksel Niyazi

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the climate change adaptation opportunities of six companies from different sectors through resource efficiency and sustainable production. A total of 77 sustainable production options were developed for the companies based on the audits conducted. After screening these opportunities with each company's staff, 19 options were selected and implemented. Significant water savings (849,668 m3/year) were achieved as a result of the applications that targeted reduction of water use. In addition to water savings, the energy consumption was reduced by 3,607 MWh, which decreased the CO2 emissions by 904.1 tons/year. Moreover, the consumption of 278.4 tons/year of chemicals (e.g., NaCl, CdO, NaCN) was avoided, thus the corresponding pollution load to the wastewater treatment plant was reduced. Besides the tangible improvements, other gains were achieved, such as improved product quality, improved health and safety conditions, reduced maintenance requirements, and ensured compliance with national and EU regulations. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is the first ever activity in Turkey devoted to climate change adaptation in the private sector. This study may serve as a building block in Turkey for the integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation approach in the industry, since water efficiency (adaptation) and carbon reduction (mitigation) are achieved simultaneously.

  18. Bioenergy production and sustainable development: science base for policymaking remains limited.

    PubMed

    Robledo-Abad, Carmenza; Althaus, Hans-Jörg; Berndes, Göran; Bolwig, Simon; Corbera, Esteve; Creutzig, Felix; Garcia-Ulloa, John; Geddes, Anna; Gregg, Jay S; Haberl, Helmut; Hanger, Susanne; Harper, Richard J; Hunsberger, Carol; Larsen, Rasmus K; Lauk, Christian; Leitner, Stefan; Lilliestam, Johan; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; Muys, Bart; Nordborg, Maria; Ölund, Maria; Orlowsky, Boris; Popp, Alexander; Portugal-Pereira, Joana; Reinhard, Jürgen; Scheiffle, Lena; Smith, Pete

    2017-03-01

    The possibility of using bioenergy as a climate change mitigation measure has sparked a discussion of whether and how bioenergy production contributes to sustainable development. We undertook a systematic review of the scientific literature to illuminate this relationship and found a limited scientific basis for policymaking. Our results indicate that knowledge on the sustainable development impacts of bioenergy production is concentrated in a few well-studied countries, focuses on environmental and economic impacts, and mostly relates to dedicated agricultural biomass plantations. The scope and methodological approaches in studies differ widely and only a small share of the studies sufficiently reports on context and/or baseline conditions, which makes it difficult to get a general understanding of the attribution of impacts. Nevertheless, we identified regional patterns of positive or negative impacts for all categories - environmental, economic, institutional, social and technological. In general, economic and technological impacts were more frequently reported as positive, while social and environmental impacts were more frequently reported as negative (with the exception of impacts on direct substitution of GHG emission from fossil fuel). More focused and transparent research is needed to validate these patterns and develop a strong science underpinning for establishing policies and governance agreements that prevent/mitigate negative and promote positive impacts from bioenergy production.

  19. Integrated nutrient management (INM) for sustaining crop productivity and reducing environmental impact: a review.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Ma, Baoluo

    2015-04-15

    The increasing food demands of a growing human population and the need for an environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agricultural development require significant attention when addressing the issue of enhancing crop productivity. Here we discuss the role of integrated nutrient management (INM) in resolving these concerns, which has been proposed as a promising strategy for addressing such challenges. INM has multifaceted potential for the improvement of plant performance and resource efficiency while also enabling the protection of the environment and resource quality. This review examines the concepts, objectives, procedures and principles of INM. A comprehensive literature search revealed that INM enhances crop yields by 8-150% compared with conventional practices, increases water-use efficiency, and the economic returns to farmers, while improving grain quality and soil health and sustainability. Model simulation and fate assessment further reveal that reactive nitrogen (N) losses and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are reduced substantially under advanced INM practices. Lower inputs of chemical fertilizer and therefore lower human and environmental costs (such as intensity of land use, N use, reactive N losses and GHG emissions) were achieved under advanced INM practices without compromising crop yields. Various approaches and perspectives for further development of INM in the near future are also proposed and discussed. Strong and convincing evidence indicates that INM practice could be an innovative and environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agriculture worldwide.

  20. Hardness methods for testing maize kernels.

    PubMed

    Fox, Glen; Manley, Marena

    2009-07-08

    Maize is a highly important crop to many countries around the world, through the sale of the maize crop to domestic processors and subsequent production of maize products and also provides a staple food to subsistance farms in undeveloped countries. In many countries, there have been long-term research efforts to develop a suitable hardness method that could assist the maize industry in improving efficiency in processing as well as possibly providing a quality specification for maize growers, which could attract a premium. This paper focuses specifically on hardness and reviews a number of methodologies as well as important biochemical aspects of maize that contribute to maize hardness used internationally. Numerous foods are produced from maize, and hardness has been described as having an impact on food quality. However, the basis of hardness and measurement of hardness are very general and would apply to any use of maize from any country. From the published literature, it would appear that one of the simpler methods used to measure hardness is a grinding step followed by a sieving step, using multiple sieve sizes. This would allow the range in hardness within a sample as well as average particle size and/or coarse/fine ratio to be calculated. Any of these parameters could easily be used as reference values for the development of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy calibrations. The development of precise NIR calibrations will provide an excellent tool for breeders, handlers, and processors to deliver specific cultivars in the case of growers and bulk loads in the case of handlers, thereby ensuring the most efficient use of maize by domestic and international processors. This paper also considers previous research describing the biochemical aspects of maize that have been related to maize hardness. Both starch and protein affect hardness, with most research focusing on the storage proteins (zeins). Both the content and composition of the zein fractions affect

  1. Within-Leaf Nitrogen Allocation in Adaptation to Low Nitrogen Supply in Maize during Grain-Filling Stage

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Xiaohuan; Chen, Qinwu; Chen, Fanjun; Yuan, Lixing; Mi, Guohua

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) plays a vital role in photosynthesis and crop productivity. Maize plants may be able to increase physiological N utilization efficiency (NUtE) under low-N stress by increasing photosynthetic rate (Pn) per unit leaf N, that is, photosynthetic N-use efficiency (PNUE). In this study, we analyzed the relationship between PNUE and N allocation in maize ear-leaves during the grain-filling stage under low N (no N application) and high N (180 kg N ha-1) in a 2-year field experiment. Under low N, grain yield decreased while NUtE increased. Low-N treatment reduced the specific N content of ear leaves by 38% without significant influencing Pn, thereby increasing PNUE by 54%. Under low-N stress, maize plants tended to invest relatively more N into bioenergetics to sustain electron transport. In contrast, N allocated to chlorophyll and light-harvesting proteins was reduced to control excess electron production. Soluble proteins were reduced to shrink the N storage reservoir. We conclude that optimization of N allocation within leaves is a key adaptive mechanism to maximize Pn and crop productivity when N is limited during the grain-filling stage in maize under low-N conditions. PMID:27252716

  2. Sustainability of egg production in the United States--the policy and market context.

    PubMed

    Mench, J A; Sumner, D A; Rosen-Molina, J T

    2011-01-01

    The US egg industry is being pressured from many directions to change its production practices, particularly to address concerns about hen welfare in conventional cage systems. Responding to similar pressures, in 1999, the European Union banned conventional laying cages starting in 2012. This now impending European ban has led to the development of several alternative housing systems. These include noncage systems like aviaries and modified (enriched or furnished) cages that include perches, areas in which the hens can forage and dustbathe, and nests. Understanding the European experience is valuable as the United States considers the future direction of the egg industry. In the United States, the proportion of eggs produced in alternative systems is small (less than 5% of output) but growing, in part due to market and political incentives for systems that provide hens with more behavioral freedom than conventional cages. Animal welfare, however, is only one element of a sustainable production system. Other elements include those related to public values, the environment, economics, worker health, and food safety and quality. Eggs are a primary source of animal protein globally, and the United States is the third largest producer of eggs in the world, behind China and the European Union. The national table egg flock comprises about 280 million hens housed in all regions but with approximately 60% of eggs produced in the 10 leading states. Adopting new housing systems will have substantial effects on costs and other aspects of egg production on both a regional and national scale, with some positive effects but also potential negative effects that need to be carefully considered. This paper discusses the US egg industry in the context of legislation and standards related to hen housing systems. It also addresses initiatives by retailers, nongovernmental organizations, and private certification organizations to shape production practices in the egg industry as well as

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... making their sustainability determination and establishing monitoring time frames consistent with... Forest Service shall monitor the effects of harvesting on the sustainability of special forest...

  4. Hybrid maize breeding with doubled haploids: III. Efficiency of early testing prior to doubled haploid production in two-stage selection for testcross performance.

    PubMed

    Longin, C Friedrich H; Utz, H Friedrich; Reif, Jochen C; Wegenast, Thilo; Schipprack, Wolfgang; Melchinger, Albrecht E

    2007-08-01

    Early testing prior to doubled haploid (DH) production is a promising approach in hybrid maize breeding. We (1) determined the optimum allocation of the number of S(1) families, DH lines, and test locations for two different breeding schemes, (2) compared the maximum selection gain achievable under both breeding schemes, and (3) investigated limitations in the current method of DH production. Selection gain was calculated by numerical integration in two-stage breeding schemes with evaluation of testcross progenies of (1) DH lines in both stages (DHTC), or (2) S(1) families in the first and DH lines within S(1) families in the second stage (S(1)TC-DHTC). Different assumptions were made regarding the budget, variance components, and time of DH production within S(1) families. Maximum selection gain in S(1)TC-DHTC was about 10% larger than in DHTC, indicating the large potential of early testing prior to DH production. The optimum allocation of test resources in S(1)TC-DHTC involved similar numbers of test locations and test candidates in both stages resulting in a large optimum number of S(1) families in the first stage and DH lines within the best two S(1) families in the second stage. The longer cycle length of S(1)TC-DHTC can be compensated by haploid induction of individual S(1) plants instead of S(1) families. However, this reduces selection gain largely due to the current limitations in the DH technique. Substantial increases in haploid induction and chromosome doubling rates as well as reduction in costs of DH production would allow early testing of S(1) lines and subsequent production and testing of DH lines in a breeding scheme that combines high selection gain with a short cycle length.

  5. Comparative analysis of environmental impacts of maize-biogas and photovoltaics on a land use basis

    SciTech Connect

    Graebig, Markus; Fenner, Richard; Bringezu, Stefan

    2010-07-15

    This study aims to stimulate the discussion on how to optimize a sustainable energy mix from an environmental perspective and how to apply existing renewable energy sources in the most efficient way. Ground-mounted photovoltaics (PV) and the maize-biogas-electricity route are compared with regard to their potential to mitigate environmental pressure, assuming that a given agricultural area is available for energy production. Existing life cycle assessment (LCA) studies are taken as a basis to analyse environmental impacts of those technologies in relation to conventional technology for power and heat generation. The life-cycle-wide mitigation potential per area used is calculated for the impact categories non-renewable energy input, green house gas (GHG) emissions, acidification and eutrophication. The environmental performance of each system depends on the scenario that is assumed for end energy use (electricity and heat supply have been contemplated). In all scenarios under consideration, PV turns out to be superior to biogas in almost all studied impact categories. Even when maize is used for electricity production in connection with very efficient heat usage, and reduced PV performance is assumed to account for intermittence, PV can still mitigate about four times the amount of green house gas emissions and non-renewable energy input compared to maize-biogas. Soil erosion, which can be entirely avoided with PV, exceeds soil renewal rates roughly 20-fold on maize fields. Regarding the overall Eco-indicator 99 (H) score under most favourable assumptions for the maize-biogas route, PV has still a more than 100% higher potential to mitigate environmental burden. At present, the key advantages of biogas are its price and its availability without intermittence. In the long run, and with respect to more efficient land use, biogas might preferably be produced from organic waste or manure, whereas PV should be integrated into buildings and infrastructures. (author)

  6. Flavone-rich maize: an opportunity to improve the nutritional value of an important commodity crop.

    PubMed

    Casas, María I; Duarte, Silvia; Doseff, Andrea I; Grotewold, Erich

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural outputs have resulted in food production continuously expanding. To satisfy the needs of a fast growing human population, higher yields, more efficient food processing, and food esthetic value, new crop varieties with higher caloric intake have and continue to be developed, but which lack many phytochemicals important for plant protection and adequate human nutrition. The increasing incidence of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, combined with social disparity worldwide prompted the interest in developing enhanced crops that can simultaneously address the two sides of the current malnutrition sword, increasing yield while providing added nutritional value. Flavones, phytochemicals associated with the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet, have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities. However, many Mediterranean diet-associated vegetables are inaccessible, or lowly consumed, in many parts of the world. Maize is the most widely grown cereal crop, yet most lines used for hybrid maize production lack flavones. As a first step toward a sustainable strategy to increasing the nutritional value of maize-based diets, we investigated the accumulation and chemical properties of flavones in maize seeds of defined genotypes. We show that the pericarps of the P1-rr genotype accumulate flavones at levels comparable to those present in some flavone-rich vegetables, and are mostly present in their C- and O-glycosylated forms. Some of these glycosides can be readily converted into the corresponding more active health beneficial aglycones during food processing. Our results provide evidence that nutritionally beneficial flavones could be re-introduced into elite lines to increase the dietary benefits of maize.

  7. Sustainable Systems Analysis of Production and Transportation Scenarios for Conventional and Bio-based Energy Commodities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doran, E. M.; Golden, J. S.; Nowacek, D. P.

    2013-12-01

    International commerce places unique pressures on the sustainability of water resources and marine environments. System impacts include noise, emissions, and chemical and biological pollutants like introduction of invasive species into key ecosystems. At the same time, maritime trade also enables the sustainability ambition of intragenerational equity in the economy through the global circulation of commodities and manufactured goods, including agricultural, energy and mining resources (UN Trade and Development Board 2013). This paper presents a framework to guide the analysis of the multiple dimensions of the sustainable commerce-ocean nexus. As a demonstration case, we explore the social, economic and environmental aspects of the nexus framework using scenarios for the production and transportation of conventional and bio-based energy commodities. Using coupled LCA and GIS methodologies, we are able to orient the findings spatially for additional insight. Previous work on the sustainable use of marine resources has focused on distinct aspects of the maritime environment. The framework presented here, integrates the anthropogenic use, governance and impacts on the marine and coastal environments with the natural components of the system. A similar framework has been highly effective in progressing the study of land-change science (Turner et al 2007), however modification is required for the unique context of the marine environment. This framework will enable better research integration and planning for sustainability objectives including mitigation and adaptation to climate change, sea level rise, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, protection of critical marine habitat and species, and better management of the ocean as an emerging resource base for the production and transport of commodities and energy across the globe. The framework can also be adapted for vulnerability analysis, resilience studies and to evaluate the trends in production, consumption and

  8. Production of purple-colored creeping bentgrass using maize transcription factor genes Pl and Lc through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.

    PubMed

    Han, Yun-Jeong; Kim, Yong-Min; Lee, Jee-Yeon; Kim, Soo Jung; Cho, Kyu-Chang; Chandrasekhar, Thummala; Song, Pill-Soon; Woo, Young-Min; Kim, Jeong-Il

    2009-03-01

    Purple-colored transgenic creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) plants were developed for ornamental purpose by means of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Embryogenic creeping bentgrass calli were transformed with the pCAMBIA 3301 vector harboring maize (Zea mays) flavonoid/anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway transcription factor genes, Lc (Leaf color) and Pl (Purple leaf), individually and in combination, and three types of putative transgenic plants (Lc, Pl, and Lc + Pl) were generated. Genomic integration and expression of the transgenes were confirmed by Southern and northern blot analyses, respectively. The transgenic creeping bentgrass plants expressing both Lc and Pl genes were entirely purple, whereas those expressing Pl alone had purple stems and those expressing Lc alone lacked purple pigmentation in adult plants. The anthocyanin content was estimated in all the three types of transgenic plant and correlated well with the degree of purple coloration observed. These results suggest that both Lc and Pl genes are necessary and sufficient to confer purple coloration to creeping bentgrass.

  9. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Dale; Bell, Samuel D; Fay, John; Bothi, Kim L; Gatere, Lydiah; Kabila, Makando; Mukamba, Mwangala; Matokwani, Edwin; Mushimbalume, Matthews; Moraru, Carmen I; Lehmann, Johannes; Lassoie, James; Wolfe, David; Lee, David R; Buck, Louise; Travis, Alexander J

    2011-08-23

    In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation.

  10. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Dale; Bell, Samuel D.; Fay, John; Bothi, Kim L.; Gatere, Lydiah; Kabila, Makando; Mukamba, Mwangala; Matokwani, Edwin; Mushimbalume, Matthews; Moraru, Carmen I.; Lehmann, Johannes; Lassoie, James; Wolfe, David; Lee, David R.; Buck, Louise; Travis, Alexander J.

    2011-01-01

    In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873184

  11. Environmental solutions for the sustainable production of bioactive natural products from the marine sponge Crambe crambe.

    PubMed

    Pérez-López, Paula; Ternon, Eva; González-García, Sara; Genta-Jouve, Grégory; Feijoo, Gumersindo; Thomas, Olivier P; Moreira, Ma Teresa

    2014-03-15

    Crambe crambe is a Mediterranean marine sponge known to produce original natural substances belonging to two families of guanidine alkaloids, namely crambescins and crambescidins, which exhibit cytotoxic and antiviral activities. These compounds are therefore considered as potential anticancer drugs. The present study focuses on the environmental assessment of a novel in vivo process for the production of pure crambescin and crambescidin using sponge specimens cultured in aquarium. The assessment was performed following the ISO 14040 standard and extended from the production of the different mass and energy flows to the system to the growth of the sponge in indoor aquarium and further periodic extraction and purification of the bioactive compounds. According to the results, the two stages that have a remarkable contribution to all impact categories are the purification of the bioactive molecules followed by the maintenance of the sponge culture in the aquarium. Among the involved activities, the production of the chemicals (particularly methanol) together with the electricity requirements (especially due to the aquarium lighting) are responsible for up to 90% of the impact in most of the assessed categories. However, the contributions of other stages to the environmental burdens, such as the collection of sponges, considerably depend on the assumptions made during the inventory stage. The simulation of alternative scenarios has led to propose improvement alternatives that may allow significant reductions ranging from 20% to 70%, mainly thanks to the reduction of electricity requirements as well as the partial reuse of methanol.

  12. Nanotechnology for sustainable wastewater treatment and use for agricultural production: A comparative long-term study.

    PubMed

    De La Cueva Bueno, Patricia; Gillerman, Leonid; Gehr, Ronald; Oron, Gideon

    2017-03-01

    Nanotechnology applications can be used for filtering low quality waters, allowing under given conditions, the removal of salts and other micropollutants from these waters. A long-term field experiment, implementing nanotechnology in the form of UltraFiltration (UF) and Reverse Osmosis (RO) for salt removal from treated wastewater, was conducted with secondary effluents, aiming to prove the sustainability of agricultural production using irrigation with treated wastewater. Six outdoor field treatments, each under four replications, were conducted for examining the salt accumulation effects on the soil and the crops. The field experiments proved that crop development is correlated with the water quality as achieved from the wastewater filtration capability of the hybrid nanotechnology system. The key goal was to maintain sustainable food production, despite the low quality of the waters. Of the six treatment methods tested, irrigation with RO-treated effluent produced the best results in terms of its effect on soil salinity and crop yield. Nevertheless, it must be kept in mind that this process is not only costly, but it also removes all organic matter content from the irrigation water, requiring the addition of fertilizers to the effluent.

  13. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K Thomas; Mullen, Robert T; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2016-02-26

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds.

  14. Sustainable intensive livestock production demands manure and exhaust air treatment technologies.

    PubMed

    Melse, Roland W; Timmerman, Maikel

    2009-11-01

    Intensive livestock production is connected with a number of environmental effects, including discharges to soils and surface waters and emissions to the atmosphere. In areas with a high livestock density the low availability of nearby arable land, together with the preferred use of chemical fertilizer by arable farmers, results in high off-farm disposal costs for manure. Furthermore, ammonia abatement technologies, such as treatment of exhaust air, are important as ammonia emissions may account up to a quarter of the total nitrogen flux. Firstly, the paper describes and discusses the development of manure treatment in the Netherlands since the 1970's. Manure treatment processes that result in products that compete with and replace the use of chemical fertilizers can (partly) close the nutrient cycle again. From this point of view aerobic treatment of manure (nitrification/denitrification) can not be considered sustainable as nitrogen is taken out of the cycle at high environmental costs. Secondly, the state-of-the-art of techniques for treatment of exhaust air is presented. Besides ammonia, application of air treatment may also reduce environmental emissions of odour and particulate matter (dust). Both manure treatment and treatment of exhaust air are considered essential for sustainable livestock operations in areas with a high livestock density.

  15. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A.; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N.; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J.; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C.; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G.; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K. Thomas; Mullen, Robert T.; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M.; Cahoon, Edgar B.

    2016-01-01

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds. PMID:26916792

  16. Sustainable sheep production and consumer preference trends: compatibilities, contradictions, and unresolved dilemmas.

    PubMed

    Montossi, F; Font-i-Furnols, M; del Campo, M; San Julián, R; Brito, G; Sañudo, C

    2013-12-01

    There are increasing concerns of society towards the consumption of animal products which have been produced and transformed in a sustainable manner. This trend influences consumer purchasing decision making, particularly in developed countries. On the other hand, in the next years, the pressure to increase the volume and efficiency of meat production will be much higher to cope with the expected unsatisfied demand. At least in part, current and future technologies could contribute to solve this challenge. However, the use of some of these innovations could have a negative effect on consumer preferences. There is no consensus in our society about this dilemma. The objective of this paper is to review the scientific evidence related to these topics and to analyze and discuss the effect of some of the extrinsic and intrinsic factors linked with the sheep industry which could affect the acceptability of lamb meat by consumers.

  17. Iron control in west Texas sour-gas wells provides sustained production increases

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, M.L.; Dill, W.R.; Besler, M.R.; McFatridge, D.G. )

    1991-05-01

    Permian Basin operators have recorded sustained production increases in oil wells by preventing precipitation of iron sulfide and other sulfur-containing species. This improvement has resulted largely from cleaning out tubing before acidizing and from preventing the precipitation of ferrous sulfide and the formation of elemental sulfur by simultaneous use of iron chelants and sulfide-control agents. Previously used methods gave only temporary production increases that terminated when iron dissolved by the stimulation acid reprecipitated in the pay zone and damage the formation after the stimulation acid was spent. This paper describes a method to optimize iron sulfide control, methods to minimize reprecipitation, and case histories from the Permian Basin that show improved methods to control iron in sour-well environments.

  18. Fuelling the future: microbial engineering for the production of sustainable biofuels.

    PubMed

    Liao, James C; Mi, Luo; Pontrelli, Sammy; Luo, Shanshan

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change linked to the accumulation of greenhouse gases has caused concerns regarding the use of fossil fuels as the major energy source. To mitigate climate change while keeping energy supply sustainable, one solution is to rely on the ability of microorganisms to use renewable resources for biofuel synthesis. In this Review, we discuss how microorganisms can be explored for the production of next-generation biofuels, based on the ability of bacteria and fungi to use lignocellulose; through direct CO2 conversion by microalgae; using lithoautotrophs driven by solar electricity; or through the capacity of microorganisms to use methane generated from landfill. Furthermore, we discuss how to direct these substrates to the biosynthetic pathways of various fuel compounds and how to optimize biofuel production by engineering fuel pathways and central metabolism.

  19. Castanea sativa by-products: a review on added value and sustainable application.

    PubMed

    Braga, Nair; Rodrigues, Francisca; Oliveira, M Beatriz P P

    2015-01-01

    Castanea sativa Mill. is a species of the family Fagaceae abundant in south Europe and Asia. The fruits (chestnut) are an added value resource in producing countries. Chestnut economic value is increasing not only for nutritional qualities but also for the beneficial health effects related with its consumption. During chestnut processing, a large amount of waste material is generated namely inner shell, outer shell and leaves. Studies on chestnut by-products revealed a good profile of bioactive compounds with antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective properties. These agro-industrial wastes, after valorisation, can be used by other industries, such as pharmaceutical, food or cosmetics, generating more profits, reducing pollution costs and improving social, economic and environmental sustainability. The purpose of this review is to provide knowledge about the type of chestnut by-products produced, the studies concerning its chemical composition and biological activity, and also to discuss other possible applications of these materials.

  20. Effects of maize (Zea mays L.) silage feeding on dry matter intake and milk production of dairy buffalo and cattle in Tarai, Nepal.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Yoshiaki; Thapa, Bhim B; Sharma, Mohan P; Sapkota, Maheshwor; Kumagai, Hajime

    2009-08-01

    To identify the effects of whole crop maize silage (MS) as a substitute for rice straw (RS) on feed intake and milk production of mid-late lactating buffalo and cattle in Tarai, Nepal, eight Murrah and eight Jersey-Hariana were fed the basal diet, RS (ad libitum) with concentrate (0.68% of bodyweight [BW] on a dry matter [DM] basis). A 4 x 4 Latin square design experiment was conducted in each animal species with graded levels of MS substitution for RS (0%, T1; 33%, T2; 67%, T3 and 100%, T4). The MS had higher digestibility and total digestible nutrient (TDN) than RS. The DM intake per BW of the both species was highest in T3. The substitution of MS for RS increased the crude protein intake and the TDN intake in the both species. Although the buffalo showed the highest milking performance in T4, the cattle showed no significant differences in their milking performance among the treatments. The substitution of MS for RS improved the feed intake and milk production in the buffalo. On the other hand, the milk yield was not raised in the cattle, though the feed intake was increased by the substitution.

  1. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers deplete soil nitrogen: a global dilemma for sustainable cereal production.

    PubMed

    Mulvaney, R L; Khan, S A; Ellsworth, T R

    2009-01-01

    Cereal production that now sustains a world population of more than 6.5 billion has tripled during the past 40 yr, concurrent with an increase from 12 to 104 Tg yr(-1) of synthetic N applied largely in ammoniacal fertilizers. These fertilizers have been managed as a cost-effective form of insurance against low yields, without regard to the inherent effect of mineral N in promoting microbial C utilization. Such an effect is consistent with a net loss of soil organic C recently observed for the Morrow Plots, America's oldest experiment field, after 40 to 50 yr of synthetic N fertilization that substantially exceeded grain N removal. A similar decline in total soil N is reported herein for the same site and would be expected from the predominantly organic occurrence of soil N. This decline is in agreement with numerous long-term baseline data sets from chemical-based cropping systems involving a wide variety of soils, geographic regions, and tillage practices. The loss of organic N decreases soil productivity and the agronomic efficiency (kg grain kg(-1) N) of fertilizer N and has been implicated in widespread reports of yield stagnation or even decline for grain production in Asia. A major global evaluation of current cereal production systems should be undertaken, with a view toward using scientific and technological advances to increase input efficiencies. As one aspect of this strategy, the input of ammoniacal N should be more accurately matched to crop N requirement. Long-term sustainability may require agricultural diversification involving a gradual transition from intensive synthetic N inputs to legume-based crop rotations.

  2. Towards a sustainable livestock production in developing countries and the importance of animal health strategy therein.

    PubMed

    Kaasschieter, G A; de Jong, R; Schiere, J B; Zwart, D

    1992-04-01

    Livestock and animal health development projects have not always led to substantial increases in animal productivity or in farmers' welfare. Some have even resulted in unsustainable systems, when they were not based on an understanding of (livestock) production systems. The multipurpose functions of livestock and complex relationships between the biological, technical and social components require a systems approach, whereby nutrition, animal health, breeding, biotechnology knowhow, inputs and technologies are used to optimise resource use. The challenge for developed and developing countries is to reverse the current degradation of the environment, and arrive at sustainable increases in crop and livestock production to secure present and future food supplies. For rural development, governments should show long term commitment and political will to support the rural population in development programmes, because smallholders (including women and landless livestock keepers) represent a large labour force in developing countries. Different systems need different approaches. Pastoral systems must focus on effective management of grazing pressure of the rangelands. Communal rangelands management involves not only the development and application of technologies (e.g. feedlots, vaccination campaigns), but also land tenure policies, institutional development, economic return and a reduction in the number of people depending upon livestock. Smallholder mixed farms must aim at intensification of the total production system, in which external inputs are indispensable, but with the emphasis on optimum input-output relationships by reducing resource losses due to poor management. Resource-poor farming systems must aim at the improved management of the various livestock species in backyards and very small farms, and proper packages for cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, rabbits and poultry should be developed. Specialised commercial livestock farming systems (poultry, pigs, dairy

  3. Knowledge and tools to enhance resilience of beef grazing systems for sustainable animal protein production.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Jean L; Engle, David M; Xiao, Xiangming; Saleh, Ali; Tomlinson, Peter; Rice, Charles W; Cole, N Andy; Coleman, Samuel W; Osei, Edward; Basara, Jeffrey; Middendorf, Gerad; Gowda, Prasanna; Todd, Richard; Moffet, Corey; Anandhi, Aavudai; Starks, Patrick J; Ocshner, Tyson; Reuter, Ryan; Devlin, Daniel

    2014-11-01

    Ruminant livestock provides meat and dairy products that sustain health and livelihood for much of the world's population. Grazing lands that support ruminant livestock provide numerous ecosystem services, including provision of food, water, and genetic resources; climate and water regulation; support of soil formation; nutrient cycling; and cultural services. In the U.S. southern Great Plains, beef production on pastures, rangelands, and hay is a major economic activity. The region's climate is characterized by extremes of heat and cold and extremes of drought and flooding. Grazing lands occupy a large portion of the region's land, significantly affecting carbon, nitrogen, and water budgets. To understand vulnerabilities and enhance resilience of beef production, a multi-institutional Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP), the "grazing CAP," was established. Integrative research and extension spanning biophysical, socioeconomic, and agricultural disciplines address management effects on productivity and environmental footprints of production systems. Knowledge and tools being developed will allow farmers and ranchers to evaluate risks and increase resilience to dynamic conditions. The knowledge and tools developed will also have relevance to grazing lands in semiarid and subhumid regions of the world.

  4. Links between surface productivity and deep ocean particle flux at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain sustained observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frigstad, H.; Henson, S. A.; Hartman, S. E.; Omar, A. M.; Jeansson, E.; Cole, H.; Pebody, C.; Lampitt, R. S.

    2015-10-01

    In this study we present hydrography, biogeochemistry and sediment trap observations between 2003 and 2012 at Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) sustained observatory in the Northeast Atlantic. The time series is valuable as it allows for investigation of the link between surface productivity and deep ocean carbon flux. The region is a perennial sink for CO2, with an average uptake of around 1.5 mmol m-2 day-1. The average monthly drawdowns of inorganic carbon and nitrogen were used to quantify the net community production (NCP) and new production. Seasonal NCP and new production were found to be 4.57 ± 0.85 mol C m-2 and 0.37 ± 0.14 mol N m-2, respectively. The C : N ratio was high (12) compared to the Redfield ratio (6.6), and the production calculated from carbon was higher than production calculated from nitrogen, which is indicative of carbon overconsumption. The export ratio and transfer efficiency were 16 and 4 %, respectively, and the site thereby showed high flux attenuation. Particle tracking was used to examine the source region of material in the sediment trap, and there was large variation in source regions, both between and within years. There were higher correlations between surface productivity and export flux when using the particle-tracking approach, than by comparing with the mean productivity in a 100 km box around the PAP site. However, the differences in correlation coefficients were not significant, and a longer time series is needed to draw conclusions on applying particle tracking in sediment trap analyses.

  5. [Contamination with genetically modified maize MON863 of processed foods on the market].

    PubMed

    Ohgiya, Yoko; Sakai, Masaaki; Miyashita, Taeko; Yano, Koichi

    2009-06-01

    Genetically modified maize MON863 (MON863), which has passed a safety examination in Japan, is commercially cultivated in the United States as a food and a resource for fuel. Maize is an anemophilous flower, which easily hybridizes. However, an official method for quantifying the content of MON863 has not been provided yet in Japan. We here examined MON863 contamination in maize-processed foods that had no labeling indicating of the use of genetically modified maize.From March 2006 to July 2008, we purchased 20 frozen maize products, 8 maize powder products, 7 canned maize products and 4 other maize processed foods. Three primer pairs named MON 863 primer, MON863-1, and M3/M4 for MON863-specific integrated cassette were used for qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A primer pair "SSIIb-3" for starch synthase gene was used to confirm the quality of extracted DNA. The starch synthase gene was detected in all samples. In qualitative tests, the MON863-specific fragments were detected in 7 (18%) maize powder products out of the 39 processed foods with all the three primer pairs.We concluded that various maize processed foods on the market were contaminated with MON863. It is important to accumulate further information on MON863 contamination in maize-processed foods that have no label indication of the use of genetically modified maize.

  6. Physiological and molecular analysis of selected Kenyan maize lines for aluminum tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aluminum (Al) toxicity is an important limitation to maize production in many tropical and sub-tropical acid soil areas. The aim of this study was to survey the variation in Al tolerance in a panel of maize lines adapted for Kenya and look for novel sources of Al tolerance. 112 Kenyan maize accessio...

  7. From the Academy: Colloquium perspective. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Cook, R James

    2006-12-05

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

  8. SYNBIOCHEM-a SynBio foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals.

    PubMed

    Carbonell, Pablo; Currin, Andrew; Dunstan, Mark; Fellows, Donal; Jervis, Adrian; Rattray, Nicholas J W; Robinson, Christopher J; Swainston, Neil; Vinaixa, Maria; Williams, Alan; Yan, Cunyu; Barran, Perdita; Breitling, Rainer; Chen, George Guo-Qiang; Faulon, Jean-Loup; Goble, Carole; Goodacre, Royston; Kell, Douglas B; Feuvre, Rosalind Le; Micklefield, Jason; Scrutton, Nigel S; Shapira, Philip; Takano, Eriko; Turner, Nicholas J

    2016-06-15

    The Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SYNBIOCHEM) is a foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals. The Centre's integrated technology platforms provide a unique capability to facilitate predictable engineering of microbial bio-factories for chemicals production. An overview of these capabilities is described.

  9. SYNBIOCHEM–a SynBio foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Carbonell, Pablo; Currin, Andrew; Dunstan, Mark; Fellows, Donal; Jervis, Adrian; Rattray, Nicholas J.W.; Robinson, Christopher J.; Swainston, Neil; Vinaixa, Maria; Williams, Alan; Yan, Cunyu; Barran, Perdita; Breitling, Rainer; Chen, George Guo-Qiang; Faulon, Jean-Loup; Goble, Carole; Goodacre, Royston; Kell, Douglas B.; Feuvre, Rosalind Le; Micklefield, Jason; Scrutton, Nigel S.; Shapira, Philip; Takano, Eriko; Turner, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    The Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SYNBIOCHEM) is a foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals. The Centre's integrated technology platforms provide a unique capability to facilitate predictable engineering of microbial bio-factories for chemicals production. An overview of these capabilities is described. PMID:27284023

  10. Farmers' Perception of Integrated Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of Rural Areas in Bangladesh

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farouque, Md. Golam; Takeya, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to determine farmers' perception of integrated soil fertility and nutrient management for sustainable crop production. Integrated soil fertility (ISF) and nutrient management (NM) is an advanced approach to maintain soil fertility and to enhance crop productivity. A total number of 120 farmers from eight villages in four districts…

  11. Agriculture in Africa: strategies to improve and sustain smallholder production systems.

    PubMed

    Jama, Bashir; Pizarro, Gonzalo

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural development lies at the heart of poverty reduction and increased food security of most developing nations. Sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter referred to as Africa) is, however, the only region in the world where per capita agricultural productivity has remained stagnant over the past 40 years. In Asia and Latin America, the use of tailored techniques and technologies has transformed agricultural practice and its productivity, leading to what has been called the "green revolution." The dissemination of uniquely African green revolution technologies has not occurred on the continent. This chapter will argue that the same results in increased productivity and food security can be achieved in Africa if the appropriate investments are made in key interventions: soil fertility improvement, improved seeds, water management, market access, extension services, access to credit, and improvements in weather forecasting. Where these have happened, even partially, the outcome has been remarkable. However, bringing them to scale in ways that sustainably increase agricultural productivity and alleviate poverty requires increased investments and innovative institutional arrangements. Fortunately, several research and development projects on the continent, including the Millennium Villages Project, are providing valuable insights. Finally, this chapter outlines the key remaining challenges.

  12. Target Cultivation and Financing Parameters for Sustainable Production of Fuel and Feed from Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Gerber, Léda N; Tester, Jefferson W; Beal, Colin M; Huntley, Mark E; Sills, Deborah L

    2016-04-05

    Production of economically competitive and environmentally sustainable algal biofuel faces technical challenges that are subject to high uncertainties. Here we identify target values for algal productivity and financing conditions required to achieve a biocrude selling price of $5 per gallon and beneficial environmental impacts. A modeling framework--combining process design, techno-economic analysis, life cycle assessment, and uncertainty analysis--was applied to two conversion pathways: (1) "fuel only (HTL)", using hydrothermal liquefaction to produce biocrude, heat and power, and (2) "fuel and feed", using wet extraction to produce biocrude and lipid-extracted algae, which can substitute components of animal and aqua feeds. Our results suggest that with supporting policy incentives, the "fuel and feed" scenario will likely achieve a biocrude selling price of less than $5 per gallon at a productivity of 39 g/m(2)/day, versus 47 g/m(2)/day for the "fuel only (HTL)" scenario. Furthermore, if lipid-extracted algae are used to substitute fishmeal, the process has a 50% probability of reaching $5 per gallon with a base case productivity of 23 g/m(2)/day. Scenarios with improved economics were associated with beneficial environmental impacts for climate change, ecosystem quality, and resource depletion, but not for human health.

  13. Geodecision system for traceability and sustainable production of beef cattle in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Victoria, D. D.; Andrade, R. G.; Bolfe, L.; Batistella, M.; Pires, P. P.; Vicente, L. E.; Visoli, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    Beef cattle production sustainability depends on incorporating innovative tools and technologies which are easy to comprehend, economically viable, and spatially explicit into the registration of precise, reliable data about production practices. This research developed from the needs and demands of food safety and food quality in extensive beef cattle production within the scope of the policies of Southern Cone and European Union's countries. Initially, the OTAG project (Operational Management and Geodecisional Prototype to Track and Trace Agricultural Production) focused on the development of a prototype traceability of cattle. The aim for the project's next phase is to enhance the electronic devices used in the identification and positioning of the animals, and the incorporation of more management and sanitary information. Besides, we intend to structure a database that enables the inclusion of greater amount of geospatial information linked to environmental aspects, such as water deficit, vegetation vigour, degradation indices of pasture areas, among others. For the extraction of knowledge, and the presentation of the results, we propose the development of a friendly interface to facilitate the exploration of the textual, tabular and geospatial information useful for the user.

  14. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Exploration Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an outcome of lean thinking to eliminate waste and increase productivity. PLM is inextricably tied to the systems engineering business philosophy, coupled with a methodology by which personnel, processes and practices, and information technology combine to form an architecture platform for product design, development, manufacturing, operations, and decommissioning. In this model, which is being implemented by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Engineering Directorate, total lifecycle costs are important variables for critical decision-making. With the ultimate goal to deliver quality products that meet or exceed requirements on time and within budget, PLM is a powerful concept to shape everything from engineering trade studies and testing goals, to integrated vehicle operations and retirement scenarios. This briefing will demonstrate how the MSFC Engineering Directorate is implementing PLM as part of an overall strategy to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable space exploration solutions and how that strategy aligns with the Agency and Center systems engineering policies and processes. Sustainable space exploration solutions demand that all lifecycle phases be optimized, and engineering the next generation space transportation system requires a paradigm shift such that digital tools and knowledge management, which are central elements of PLM, are used consistently to maximum effect. Adopting PLM, which has been used by the aerospace and automotive industry for many years, for spacecraft applications provides a foundation for strong, disciplined systems engineering and accountable return on investment. PLM enables better solutions using fewer resources by making lifecycle considerations in an integrative decision-making process.

  15. Genetic engineering and sustainable production of ornamentals: current status and future directions.

    PubMed

    Lütken, Henrik; Clarke, Jihong Liu; Müller, Renate

    2012-07-01

    Through the last decades, environmentally and health-friendly production methods and conscientious use of resources have become crucial for reaching the goal of a more sustainable plant production. Protection of the environment requires careful consumption of limited resources and reduction of chemicals applied during production of ornamental plants. Numerous chemicals used in modern plant production have negative impacts on human health and are hazardous to the environment. In Europe, several compounds have lost their approval and further legal restrictions can be expected. This review presents the more recent progress of genetic engineering in ornamental breeding, delivers an overview of the biological background of the used technologies and critically evaluates the usefulness of the strategies to obtain improved ornamental plants. First, genetic engineering is addressed as alternative to growth retardants, comprising recombinant DNA approaches targeting relevant hormone pathways, e.g. the gibberellic acid (GA) pathway. A reduced content of active GAs causes compact growth and can be facilitated by either decreased anabolism, increased catabolism or altered perception. Moreover, compactness can be accomplished by using a natural transformation approach without recombinant DNA technology. Secondly, metabolic engineering approaches targeting elements of the ethylene signal transduction pathway are summarized as a possible alternative to avoid the use of chemical ethylene inhibitors. In conclusion, molecular breeding approaches are dealt with in a way allowing a critical biological assessment and enabling the scientific community and public to put genetic engineering of ornamental plants into a perspective regarding their usefulness in plant breeding.

  16. Effect of parity on productivity and sustainability of Lotka-Volterra food chains: bounded orbits in food chains.

    PubMed

    Massarelli, Nicole; Hoffman, Kathleen; Previte, Joseph P

    2014-12-01

    Hairston, Slobodkin, and Smith conjectured that top down forces act on food chains, which opposed the previously accepted theory that bottom up forces exclusively dictate the dynamics of populations. We model food chains using the Lotka-Volterra predation model and derive sustainability constants which determine which species will persist or go extinct. Further, we show that the productivity of a sustainable food chain with even trophic levels is predator regulated, or top down, while a sustainable food chain with odd trophic levels is resource limited, which is bottom up, which is consistent with current ecological theory.

  17. Greenhouse gas flux and crop productivity after 10 years of reduced and no tillage in a wheat-maize cropping system.

    PubMed

    Tian, Shenzhong; Wang, Yu; Ning, Tangyuan; Zhao, Hongxiang; Wang, Bingwen; Li, Na; Li, Zengjia; Chi, Shuyun

    2013-01-01

    Appropriate tillage plays an important role in mitigating the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in regions with higher crop yields, but the emission situations of some reduced tillage systems such as subsoiling, harrow tillage and rotary tillage are not comprehensively studied. The objective of this study was to evaluate the emission characteristics of GHG (CH4 and N2O) under four reduced tillage systems from October 2007 to August 2009 based on a 10-yr tillage experiment in the North China Plain, which included no-tillage (NT) and three reduced tillage systems of subsoil tillage (ST), harrow tillage (HT) and rotary tillage (RT), with the conventional tillage (CT) as the control. The soil under the five tillage systems was an absorption sink for CH4 and an emission source for N2O. The soil temperature positive impacted on the CH4 absorption by the soils of different tillage systems, while a significant negative correlation was observed between the absorption and soil moisture. The main driving factor for increased N2O emission was not the soil temperature but the soil moisture and the content of nitrate. In the two rotation cycle of wheat-maize system (10/2007-10/2008 and 10/2008-10/2009), averaged cumulative uptake fluxes of CH4 under CT, ST, HT, RT and NT systems were approximately 1.67, 1.72, 1.63, 1.77 and 1.17 t ha(-1) year(-1), respectively, and meanwhile, approximately 4.43, 4.38, 4.47, 4.30 and 4.61 t ha(-1) year(-1) of N2O were emitted from soil of these systems, respectively. Moreover, they also gained 33.73, 34.63, 32.62, 34.56 and 27.54 t ha(-1) yields during two crop-rotation periods, respectively. Based on these comparisons, the rotary tillage and subsoiling mitigated the emissions of CH4 and N2O as well as improving crop productivity of a wheat-maize cropping system.

  18. Use of the SWAT model to evaluate the sustainability of bioenergy production at a National scale

    SciTech Connect

    Baskaran, Latha Malar; Jager, Yetta; Schweizer, Peter E; Srinivasan, Raghavan

    2009-01-01

    As the US begins to integrate biomass crops and residues into its mix of energy feedstocks, tools are needed to measure the long-term sustainability of these feedstocks. Two aspects of sustainability are long-term potential for profitably producing energy and protection of ecosystems influenced by energy-related activities. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is an important model used in the efforts to quantify both aspects. To quantify potential feedstock production, they used SWAT to estimate switchgrass yields at a national scale. The results from this analysis produced a map of the potential switchgrass yield along its natural eastern range. To quantify ecological protection, they are using the SWAT model to forecast changes in water quality and fish richness as a result of landscape alterations due to incorporating bioenergy crops. They have implemented the SWAT model in the Arkansas-Red-White region, which drains into the Mississippi River, and they present their methods here. They identified two sub-watersheds for sensitivity analysis and calibration of the water quality results, and then, explored ways to apply the calibration results to the whole region and validate the model setup. They also present an overview of their research in which results from the calibrated regional SWAT model were used to analyze potential changes in fish biodiversity. Only by evaluating the energy and environmental implications of landscape changes can we make informed decisions about bioenergy at the national scale, and the SWAT model will enable us to reach that goal.

  19. Use of natural gums and cellulose derivatives in production of sustained release metoprolol tablets.

    PubMed

    Varshosaz, Jaleh; Tavakoli, Nasser; Eram, S Ali

    2006-01-01

    Metoprolol tartrate sustained-release tablets (100 mg) were prepared using xanthan/guar gums and also hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) carboxymethyl-Cellulose (CMC) polymers by direct compression method. Physical characteristics of the tablets and water uptake in addition to their dissolution profiles were compared with standard (Lopressor SR) tablets. Dissolution test was performed in the phosphate buffer solution (pH 6.8) and the samples were analyzed spectrophotometerically in 275.7 nm. Dissolution studies showed that formulations containing 100 and 80% of HPMC, 100% of guar, and 20% of xanthan followed the Higuchi model, while those containing 60 and 40% HPMC and 100 and 80% xanthan followed a zero-order model. The tablets with 40% xanthen followed a Hixon-Crowell model. In cellulose derivatives the highest MDT and dissolution efficiency until 8 hr (DE8%) belonged to tablets with 40% HPMC, increasing the amount of CMC decreased the drug release rate, and formulations containing 60 and 40% of HPMC had the USP dissolution standards. While, in the gum formulations, the highest mean dissolution time and the lowest DE(8)% belonged to tablets with 100% xanthan, increasing the xanthan decreased the release rate of metoprolol, and formulations containing 80 and 100% xanthan had the USP dissolution standards. Results showed that natural gums are suitable for production of sustained-release tablets of metoprolol.

  20. Effects of different levels of wheat bran, rice bran and maize powder supplementation with saw dust on the production of shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes (Berk.) Singer)

    PubMed Central

    Moonmoon, Mahbuba; Shelly, Nasrat Jahan; Khan, Md. Asaduzzaman; Uddin, Md. Nazim; Hossain, Kamal; Tania, Mousumi; Ahmed, Saleh

    2010-01-01

    The cultivation of shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) is increasing rapidly in Bangladesh due to its nutritional and medicinal importance with excellent flavor and longer shelf life. With the aim of increased production, we have cultivated L. edodes on saw dust (SD) supplemented with different levels (10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35% and 40%) of wheat bran (WB), rice bran (RB), maize powder (MP) and their combination (WB+RB+MP = 1:1:1) to investigate the growth, yield and quality of this mushroom. Most of the growth, yield and quality parameters varied significantly when mushrooms were cultivated with different levels of supplementation. The yield of mushroom was increased with the level of each supplementation upto a certain level, and then decreased. SD supplemented with 25% WB produced the highest number of fruiting bodies (34.8/500 g packet), highest biological yield (153.3/500 g packet), and biological efficiency (76.6%) of L. edodes. But the yield of the best quality mushroom was observed on SD with 40% WB supplementation; however, the qualities were not always supplementation dose dependent. In this study, we report that 25% WB supplementation with SD may be very effective for higher yield and 40% WB supplementation for better quality of L. edodes. PMID:23961143

  1. Sustainable Ammonia Synthesis – Exploring the scientific challenges associated with discovering alternative, sustainable processes for ammonia production

    SciTech Connect

    Nørskov, Jens; Chen, Jingguang; Miranda, Raul; Fitzsimmons, Tim; Stack, Robert

    2016-02-18

    Ammonia (NH3) is essential to all life on our planet. Until about 100 years ago, NH3 produced by reduction of dinitrogen (N2) in air came almost exclusively from bacteria containing the enzyme nitrogenase.. DOE convened a roundtable of experts on February 18, 2016. Participants in the Roundtable discussions concluded that the scientific basis for sustainable processes for ammonia synthesis is currently lacking, and it needs to be enhanced substantially before it can form the foundation for alternative processes. The Roundtable Panel identified an overarching grand challenge and several additional scientific grand challenges and research opportunities: -Discovery of active, selective, scalable, long-lived catalysts for sustainable ammonia synthesis. -Development of relatively low pressure (<10 atm) and relatively low temperature (<200 C) thermal processes. -Integration of knowledge from nature (enzyme catalysis), molecular/homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. -Development of electrochemical and photochemical routes for N2 reduction based on proton and electron transfer -Development of biochemical routes to N2 reduction -Development of chemical looping (solar thermochemical) approaches -Identification of descriptors of catalytic activity using a combination of theory and experiments -Characterization of surface adsorbates and catalyst structures (chemical, physical and electronic) under conditions relevant to ammonia synthesis.

  2. Climate change compromises the immune response of maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize is by quantity the most important C4 cereal crop in the US; however, future climate changes are expected to increase maize susceptibility to mycotoxigenic fungal pathogens and reduce productivity. While rising atmospheric [CO2] is a driving force behind the warmer temperatures and drought, whi...

  3. Constructing a Cytogenetic Map of the Maize Genome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We are developing a pachytene cytogenetic FISH (Fluorescence in situ Hybridization) map of the maize (Zea mays L.) genome using maize marker-selected sorghum BACs (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) as described by Koumbaris and Bass (2003, Plant J. 35:647). The two main projects are the production of...

  4. The TIGR Maize Database.

    PubMed

    Chan, Agnes P; Pertea, Geo; Cheung, Foo; Lee, Dan; Zheng, Li; Whitelaw, Cathy; Pontaroli, Ana C; SanMiguel, Phillip; Yuan, Yinan; Bennetzen, Jeffrey; Barbazuk, William Brad; Quackenbush, John; Rabinowicz, Pablo D

    2006-01-01

    Maize is a staple crop of the grass family and also an excellent model for plant genetics. Owing to the large size and repetitiveness of its genome, we previously investigated two approaches to accelerate gene discovery and genome analysis in maize: methylation filtration and high C(0)t selection. These techniques allow the construction of gene-enriched genomic libraries by minimizing repeat sequences due to either their methylation status or their copy number, yielding a 7-fold enrichment in genic sequences relative to a random genomic library. Approximately 900,000 gene-enriched reads from maize were generated and clustered into Assembled Zea mays (AZM) sequences. Here we report the current AZM release, which consists of approximately 298 Mb representing 243,807 sequence assemblies and singletons. In order to provide a repository of publicly available maize genomic sequences, we have created the TIGR Maize Database (http://maize.tigr.org). In this resource, we have assembled and annotated the AZMs and used available sequenced markers to anchor AZMs to maize chromosomes. We have constructed a maize repeat database and generated draft sequence assemblies of 287 maize bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone sequences, which we annotated along with 172 additional publicly available BAC clones. All sequences, assemblies and annotations are available at the project website via web interfaces and FTP downloads.

  5. Phylogeny in defining model plants for lignocellulosic ethanol production: a comparative study of Brachypodium distachyon, wheat, maize, and Miscanthus x giganteus leaf and stem biomass.

    PubMed

    Meineke, Till; Manisseri, Chithra; Voigt, Christian A

    2014-01-01

    The production of ethanol from pretreated plant biomass during fermentation is a strategy to mitigate climate change by substituting fossil fuels. However, biomass conversion is mainly limited by the recalcitrant nature of the plant cell wall. To overcome recalcitrance, the optimization of the plant cell wall for subsequent processing is a promising approach. Based on their phylogenetic proximity to existing and emerging energy crops, model plants have been proposed to study bioenergy-related cell wall biochemistry. One example is Brachypodium distachyon, which has been considered as a general model plant for cell wall analysis in grasses. To test whether relative phylogenetic proximity would be sufficient to qualify as a model plant not only for cell wall composition but also for the complete process leading to bioethanol production, we compared the processing of leaf and stem biomass from the C3 grasses B. distachyon and Triticum aestivum (wheat) with the C4 grasses Zea mays (maize) and Miscanthus x giganteus, a perennial energy crop. Lambda scanning with a confocal laser-scanning microscope allowed a rapid qualitative analysis of biomass saccharification. A maximum of 108-117 mg ethanol·g(-1) dry biomass was yielded from thermo-chemically and enzymatically pretreated stem biomass of the tested plant species. Principal component analysis revealed that a relatively strong correlation between similarities in lignocellulosic ethanol production and phylogenetic relation was only given for stem and leaf biomass of the two tested C4 grasses. Our results suggest that suitability of B. distachyon as a model plant for biomass conversion of energy crops has to be specifically tested based on applied processing parameters and biomass tissue type.

  6. Impact of nickel and cobalt on biogas production and process stability during semi-continuous anaerobic fermentation of a model substrate for maize silage.

    PubMed

    Pobeheim, Herbert; Munk, Bernhard; Lindorfer, Harald; Guebitz, Georg M

    2011-01-01

    The importance of nickel and cobalt on anaerobic degradation of a defined model substrate for maize was demonstrated. Five semi-continuous reactors were operated for 250 days at 35 °C and a well-defined trace metal solution was added to all reactors. Two reactors each were limited regarding the concentration of Ni(2+) and Co(2+), respectively, for certain time intervals. The required nickel concentration was depending on the organic loading rates (OLR) while, for example, above 2.6 g ODM L(-1) d(-1) nickel concentrations below 0.06 mg kg(-1) FM in the process significantly decreased biogas production by up to 25% compared to a control reactor containing 0.8 mg Ni(2+) kg(-1) FM. Similarly, limitation of cobalt to 0.02 mg kg(-1) FM decreased biogas production by about 10%. Limitations of nickel as well as cobalt lead to process instability. However, after gradual addition of nickel till 0.6 mg and cobalt till 0.05 mg kg(-1) FM the OLR was again increased to 4.3 g ODM L(-1) d(-1) while process stability was recovered and a fast metabolisation of acetic and propionic acid was detected. An increase of nickel to 0.88 mg kg(-1) FM did not enhance biogas performance. Furthermore, the increase of cobalt from 0.05 mg kg(-1) FM up to 0.07 mg kg(-1) FM did not exhibit a change in anaerobic fermentation and biogas production.

  7. Climate Change and Maize Yield in Iowa

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hong; Twine, Tracy E.; Girvetz, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Climate is changing across the world, including the major maize-growing state of Iowa in the USA. To maintain crop yields, farmers will need a suite of adaptation strategies, and choice of strategy will depend on how the local to regional climate is expected to change. Here we predict how maize yield might change through the 21st century as compared with late 20th century yields across Iowa, USA, a region representing ideal climate and soils for maize production that contributes substantially to the global maize economy. To account for climate model uncertainty, we drive a dynamic ecosystem model with output from six climate models and two future climate forcing scenarios. Despite a wide range in the predicted amount of warming and change to summer precipitation, all simulations predict a decrease in maize yields from late 20th century to middle and late 21st century ranging from 15% to 50%. Linear regression of all models predicts a 6% state-averaged yield decrease for every 1°C increase in warm season average air temperature. When the influence of moisture stress on crop growth is removed from the model, yield decreases either remain the same or are reduced, depending on predicted changes in warm season precipitation. Our results suggest that even if maize were to receive all the water it needed, under the strongest climate forcing scenario yields will decline by 10–20% by the end of the 21st century. PMID:27219116

  8. Climate Change and Maize Yield in Iowa.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hong; Twine, Tracy E; Girvetz, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Climate is changing across the world, including the major maize-growing state of Iowa in the USA. To maintain crop yields, farmers will need a suite of adaptation strategies, and choice of strategy will depend on how the local to regional climate is expected to change. Here we predict how maize yield might change through the 21st century as compared with late 20th century yields across Iowa, USA, a region representing ideal climate and soils for maize production that contributes substantially to the global maize economy. To account for climate model uncertainty, we drive a dynamic ecosystem model with output from six climate models and two future climate forcing scenarios. Despite a wide range in the predicted amount of warming and change to summer precipitation, all simulations predict a decrease in maize yields from late 20th century to middle and late 21st century ranging from 15% to 50%. Linear regression of all models predicts a 6% state-averaged yield decrease for every 1°C increase in warm season average air temperature. When the influence of moisture stress on crop growth is removed from the model, yield decreases either remain the same or are reduced, depending on predicted changes in warm season precipitation. Our results suggest that even if maize were to receive all the water it needed, under the strongest climate forcing scenario yields will decline by 10-20% by the end of the 21st century.

  9. Integration of microalgal cultivation system for wastewater remediation and sustainable biomass production.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Prabuddha L; Lee, Seung-Mok; Choi, Hee-Jeong

    2016-08-01

    Untreated wastewaters have been a great concern and can cause major pollution problems for environment. Conventional approaches for treating wastewater involve tremendous capital cost, have major short comings and are not sustainable. Microalgae culture offers an interesting step for wastewater treatment. Microalgae serve the dual purpose of phycoremediation along with the production of potentially valuable biomass, which can be used for several purposes. The ability of microalgae to accumulate nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals and other toxic compounds can be integrated with wastewater treatment system to offer an elegant solution towards tertiary and quaternary treatment. The current review explores possible role of microalgal based wastewater treatment and explores the current progress, key challenges, limitations and future prospects with special emphasis on strategies involved in harvesting, boosting biomass and lipid yield.

  10. Improvement in the yield and quality of kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata Nees) under the sustainable production system.

    PubMed

    Verma, Rajesh Kumar; Verma, Sanjeet K; Pankaj, Umesh; Gupta, Anand K; Khan, Khushboo; Shankar, Karuna

    2015-02-01

    Andrographis paniculata Nees is an annual erect herb with wide medicinal and pharmacological applications due to the presence of andrographolide and other active chemical constituents. The large-scale cultivation of the kalmegh is not in practice. The aim of this study was to establish sustainable production systems of A. paniculata cv CIM-Megha with the application of different bioinoculants and chemical fertilisers. A. paniculata herb and andrographolide yield in the dried leaves was found to be highest (218% and 61.3%, respectively) in treatment T3 (NPK+Bacillus sp.) compared with T1 (control). The soil organic carbon, soil microbial respiration, soil enzymes activity and available nutrients improved significantly with combined application of bioinoculants and chemical fertilisers.

  11. Towards transdisciplinarity in Arctic sustainability knowledge co-production: Socially-Oriented Observations as a participatory integrated activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlasova, Tatiana; Volkov, Sergey

    2016-09-01

    The paper is an attempt to tie together main biogeophysical and social science projects under the auspice of interdisciplinary sustainability science development. Special attention is put to the necessity of the transdisciplinary knowledge co-production based on activities and problem-solutions approaches. It puts attention to the role of monitoring activities in sustainability interdisciplinary science and transdisciplinary knowledge evolution in the Arctic. Socially focused monitoring named Socially-Oriented Observations creating a transdisciplinary space is viewed as one of sources of learning and transformations towards sustainability making possible to shape rapid changes happening in the Arctic based on sustainability knowledge co-production. Continuous Socially-Oriented Observations integrating scientific, education and monitoring methods enables to define adaptation and transformation pathways in the Arctic - the most rapidly changing region of our planet. Socially-Oriented Observations are based on the existing and developing interdisciplinary scientific approaches emerged within natural science and social science projects, sustainable development and resilience concepts putting principle attention to building sustainable and resilient socio-ecological systems. It is argued that the Arctic sustainability science is a valuable component of the whole and broader system of the Arctic Sustainability knowledge co-produced with the help of transdisciplinary approaches integrating science, local/traditional knowledge, entrepreneurship, education, decision-making. Socially-Oriented Observations are designed to be a transdisciplinary interactive continuous participatory process empowering deliberate choices of people that can shape the changes and enable transformation towards sustainability. Approaches of Socially-Oriented Observations and methods of implementation that have been developed since the IPY 2007/2008 and being practiced in different regions of the

  12. Green Net Regional Product for the San Luis Basin, Colorado: an economic measure of regional sustainability.

    PubMed

    Heberling, Matthew T; Templeton, Joshua J; Wu, Shanshan

    2012-11-30

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net Regional Product (GNRP), a green accounting approach, for the San Luis Basin (SLB). We measured the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNRP over time. Any attempt at green accounting requires both economic and natural capital data. However, limited data for the Basin requires a number of simplifying assumptions and requires transforming economic data at the national, state, and county levels to the level of the SLB. Given the contribution of agribusiness to the SLB, we included the depletion of both groundwater and soil as components in the depreciation of natural capital. We also captured the effect of the consumption of energy on climate change for future generations through carbon dioxide (CO(2)) emissions. In order to estimate the depreciation of natural capital, the shadow price of water for agriculture, the economic damages from soil erosion due to wind, and the social cost of carbon emissions were obtained from the literature and applied to the SLB using benefit transfer. We used Colorado's total factor productivity for agriculture to estimate the value of time (i.e., to include the effects of exogenous technological progress). We aggregated the economic data and the depreciation of natural capital for the SLB from 1980 to 2005. The results suggest that GNRP had a slight upward trend through most of this time period, despite temporary negative trends, the longest of which occurred during the period 1985-86 to 1987-88. However, given the upward trend in GNRP and the possibility of business cycles causing the temporary declines, there is no definitive evidence of moving away from sustainability.

  13. From ozone depletion to agriculture: understanding the role of UV radiation in sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Wargent, Jason J; Jordan, Brian R

    2013-03-01

    Largely because of concerns regarding global climate change, there is a burgeoning interest in the application of fundamental scientific knowledge in order to better exploit environmental cues in the achievement of desirable endpoints in crop production. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an energetic driver of a diverse range of plant responses and, despite historical concerns regarding the damaging consequences of UV-B radiation for global plant productivity as related to stratospheric ozone depletion, current developments representative of a range of organizational scales suggest that key plant responses to UV-B radiation may be exploitable in the context of a sustainable contribution towards the strengthening of global crop production, including alterations in secondary metabolism, enhanced photoprotection, up-regulation of the antioxidative response and modified resistance to pest and disease attack. Here, we discuss the prospect of this paradigm shift in photobiology, and consider the linkages between fundamental plant biology and crop-level outcomes that can be applied to the plant UV-B response, in addition to the consequences for related biota and many other facets of agro-ecosystem processes.

  14. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli: a sustainable industrial platform for bio-based chemical production.