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  • Open access
  • 80 Reads
Exploit biodiversity in viticultural systems to reduce pest damage and pesticide use, and increase ecosystem services provision – BIOVINE

The BIOVINE project has developed natural solutions based on plant diversity to control pests and reduce pesticide dependence. Application of polyculture cover crops in organic vineyards may possibly increase resistance to pests and invasive species. In this study aim was to develop innovative viticultural systems based on increased plant diversity within (e.g., cover crops) and/or around (e.g., hedges, vegetation spots, edgings) vineyards by planting selected plant species (e.g. Lolium prenne, Onobrychis vicifolia, Vicia sativa, Sinapis, Trifolium repens) for the control of foliar pathogens by reducing the inoculum spread from soil in Italian vineyards. During two experimental seasons, different soil managements was applied and some of them resulted suppressive against spread of soil-born fungal diseases in both treated (fungicide) and untreated plots. The effect of the different cover crops was quite visible in the end of the first observation. For instance, downy mildew diseases severity on leaves was lower in some cover crop mixtures compared to traditional and untreated plots while the quality parameters assessed at harvest (pH, treatable acidity, sugar content and yield) where not statistically different between different soil managements. Indicated results here will give a sight to consider cover crops as integrated practice for enhancing sustainable viticulture.

  • Open access
  • 99 Reads
Pre-planting application of colloidal silver nanoparticles enhances bulb yield of Lilium grown under NaCl stress

The unique properties of nanoparticles arouse great interest in horticulture due to the possible improve the resistance of plant to environmental stresses. Lilies are among the most important bulbous plants. However, limited information is available on lilies response to nanoparticles under salt stress. In this work we investigated the effects of colloidal silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and NaCl (2.32 mS cm-1) on the growth, flowering and bulb yield of potted asian lily ‘Bright Pixi’. Compared with the control, lilies treated with AgNPs showed an increase in plant height, plant fresh weight, relative chlorophyll content, tepal length, tepal width, and bulb yield. AgNPs also affected plant flowering, as manifested by accelerated anthesis. NaCl treatment decreased the leaf length, plant fresh weight, relative chlorophyll content, tepal length, and bulb yield. AgNPs applied under saline condition improved the fresh weight of bulbs, bulb diameter and the number of scales per bulb. Our results demonstrated that AgNPs enhanced bulb yield of NaCl-stressed lily plants.

  • Open access
  • 83 Reads
Response of hardy ferns to drought stress
Published: 01 May 2021 by MDPI in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Agronomy session Posters

There is an ongoing search for drought-tolerant perennials for the landscape. Hardy ferns are both cold and heat tolerant with unknown response to drought stress. In this study we examined how reduced watering altered plant growth of Athyrium niponicum ‘Red Beauty’, Cyrtomium fortunei ‘Clivicola’, Dryopteris atrata, Dryopteris erythrosora, Dryoperis filix-mas, Dryoperis filix-mas ‘Linearis Polydactylon’ and Polystichum setiferum ‘Proliferum’ compared with optimal watering condition. From among the 7 fern taxa, Athyrium niponicum ‘Red Beauty’ and Dryoperis filix-mas turned out the most sensitive to reduced watering and they demonstrated leaf browning and drying. No or little visual leaf damage was observed in Cyrtomium fortunei 'Clivicola', Dryopteris erythrosora, and Polystichum setiferum ‘Proliferum’. Plants of this taxa maintained leaf turgidity and were relatively drought-tolerant.

  • Open access
  • 78 Reads
Monitoring a zinc biofortification workflow in an experimental field of Triticum aestivum L. applying smart farming technology

The strong increase of the human population worldwide is demanding a food production, meeting quality standards. In this context, the agronomic biofortification with Zn is being widely used in staple food crops as a strategy to surpass micronutrient deficiencies. Conversely, as bread wheat is one of the most produced and consumed cereal, this staple food biofortification can be an opportunity to create an added value product. In this context, a workflow for Zn biofortification of Triticum aestivum L. (cvs Paiva and Roxo) crops, was implemented in an experimental field located in Beja, Portugal and smart farming techniques were used. Accordingly, images were collected by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle before Zn foliar applications. Grain yield, test weight and thousand kernel weight were analyzed (post-harvest), after two foliar applications of ZnSO4, in three concentrations (control – 0, 8.1 and 18.2 kg.ha-1), at booting and heading stages. In general, when applying higher concentrations of foliar Zn, grain yield, test weight and thousand kernel weight decreased, slightly, in which Paiva presented higher values compared to Roxo. Nevertheless, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) did not reveal a direct correlation between its higher values and the increase of grain yield. Yet, it was concluded that using drones is of utmost importance to decide whether an experimental field is qualified to implement a biofortification workflow.

  • Open access
  • 57 Reads
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Interest in Curcuma longa L., a plant species also known as "Golden spice", is growing due to its several applications in various fields such as culinary, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics and agro-industry. The present work deals with the ecological conditions for the adaptation of this species, qualitative and quantitative phytochemical studies and biological applications as in vitro antioxidant and antibacterial activities. Investigations into the ecological conditions (soil and climate) show the possibility of an adaptation of the studied species in the eastern Mediterranean border of Algeria. Qualitative analysis of the secondary metabolites contained in rhizome extract was carried out by thin-layer chromatography (TLC), physical and chemical detection exhibiting a strong presence of polyphenols. Quantification of polyphenols and flavonoids by UV spectrophotometry revealed a content of 18.125 mg EAG (equivalent of gallic acid) g-1 for polyphenols and 5.718 mg EQ (equivalent of rutin) g-1 for flavonoids. The evaluation of the antioxidant power was carried out using the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) free radical scavenging test, which showed a greater antioxidant activity (99%) than the standards used ascorbic acid (96%) at the same concentrations. This activity is related to the rich phenols’ content, which makes it one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature. Antimicrobial activity was carried out using the disk diffusion method. The results obtained showed efficacy against most of the strains tested, even at very low doses. Based on the encouraging results obtained, it would be interesting to try the planting this species by local start-ups and enhancing it by extending the range of applications in order to isolate, purify and identify the active compound(s) responsible for this effect and develop new drugs. It would also help to face the phenomenon of germ resistance to antibiotics and find new efficient antioxidant agents.

  • Open access
  • 55 Reads
Land surface temperature responses to land use land cover dynamics (District of Taroudant, Morocco)

Land surface temperature plays an essential role in estimating radiation budgets, in heat balance studies and as a control for the climate dynamics and modeling frame, and in studying the impact of LULC changes at regional level. The paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of the relationship between Land use and Land Surface Temperature (LST), through a landscape dynamics assessment based on multi-source and multi-sensor remote sensing technologies. In particular, the study was performed using the Landsat satellite 5 TM, ETM and OLI 8 data for three different dates (1985, 2001 and 2017) and aimed to assess the land use/land cover changes effects on the LST distribution in the region of Taroudant, Morocco. Spatial and statistical analysis and comparison of maps generated from remotely sensed data using GIS indicate the existence of different changes in the Taroudant region between 1985 and 2017. These changes are predominantly characterized by an increase in built-up areas and bare ground and a decrease in natural areas (vegetation, forest ...). The average temperatures in 1985, 2001 and 2017 in open forests were 32,74°C, 34,37°C and 39,17°C respectively. The farming greenhouse temperatures were 24.09°C, 28.5°C, 35.58 °C, and barren soils 37.14 °C, 38.38°C, 40.01°C. The average land surface temperatures of farming lands were 24.31 °C, 27.87°C and 28.61°C, respectively. As a result, the soil artificialization and everything associated with such as greenhouse gas emissions, and abusive consumption of agricultural and natural land, are likely to be the origin of environmental problems and climate change marked mainly by these changes in surface temperature and irregular rainfall and unprecedented periods of drought.

  • Open access
  • 48 Reads
stems: a sweet cherry by-product with high potential
Published: 01 May 2021 by MDPI in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Agronomy session Posters

Sweet cherry is one of the most appreciated fruit by consumers in the temperate areas of Europe, due to its organoleptic characteristics, but also by the consumers’ awareness of their health benefits. Worldwide sweet cherry production has been increasing in the last years (2010–2019, latest FAO available data) from 2 to 2.60 million tons, with Turkey, USA, Chile as the main producers accounting for about 50% of the total world production, and Chile, China and USA the main exporters. Portugal is also well-known producer of sweet cherries, with latest data referring 19563 tons of cherries annually, providing some of the first cherries of Europe. During sweet cherry processing, large amounts of by-products are generated. There is no substantial use of this waste, which increase environmental and managements costs each year to deal with the excess of such residues. Although sweet cherry stems are widely recognized by traditional medicine, with several properties, namely as sedative, diuretic and anti-inflammatory, detailed and feasible information about their bioactive composition or biological value is still scarce. These by-products only recently received attention and this new interest is focused in finding ways to achieve their valorization.

Thus, we conducted a study in which chemical composition, phenolic profile, antioxidant activity of stems of four sweet cherry cultivars growing in Resende, Portugal (Early Bigi (grown under net cover (C) and without net cover (NC)), Burlat, Lapins, and Van) and antibacterial activities against important Gram negative and Gram positive bacterial human isolates, were examined.

Extracts from stems of cv. Lapins presented high levels of total phenolics, flavonoids, ortho-diphenols and saponins. Regarding DPPH and FRAP methods, higher overall values were also recorded for cv. Lapins, while for ß-carotene method, values were higher for cv. Van. Apart from cv. Early Bigi NC, major phenolic compound identified in stems was sakuranetin. In cv. Early Bigi NC the most abundant compound was ellagic acid. In all extracts, antioxidant activities showed a positive correlation with the increments in phenolic compounds. Antimicrobial activity assays showed that stem’s extracts were capable of inhibiting the growth of Gram positive isolates.

This new data is intended to provide new possibilities of valorization of these by-products and their valuable properties.

  • Open access
  • 184 Reads
Calibration of flow resistance models in vegetated ditches based on UAV remote sensing

Vegetation has a paramount impact on water flow resistance and water quality in vegetated open channels. Defining the most appropriate management practice of riparian vegetation inside both natural and manmade water bodies is crucial for assuring a balance between a satisfactory level of hydraulic and hydrodynamic conveyance and a high environmental value of water resources. The presence of riparian vegetation significantly affects both mean and turbulent water flow fields, with important implications on oxygen production and transport of nutrients within vegetated open channels. Experimental analysis and modeling were performed in the present study, aiming at providing an additional understanding of the hydrodynamic interaction between riparian vegetation and water flow at field scale in an Italian abandoned reclamation channel colonized by rigid and emergent plants of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud., also known as Common reed. The calibration of predictive models of flow resistance in vegetated water bodies was performed by employing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-multispectral acquired images, from which it was feasible to cover the whole water bodies and to correlate ground-based and UIAV-derived Leaf Area Index (LAI) estimations. The outcomes of this study represent a useful tool for land managers and environmental engineers when dealing with riparian vegetation management at different temporal and spatial scales.

  • Open access
  • 56 Reads
Variability of Castanea sativa MILL. ecotypes in northern Morocco based on morphometric leaf analysis.
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Over time, farmers have always made chestnut selections by multiplying the most interesting plants. Indeed, a good knowledge of the phenotypic and genotypic variability of ecotypes is the basis of plant breeding. However, Moroccan chestnut ecotypes are neither classified nor characterized. This study aims to evaluate the genetic resources of Castanea sativa MILL. in northern Morocco through the morphometric characterization of leaves. Thirty-one villages in three regions were involved, ten trees per village and twenty leaves per tree were sampled. Then ten morphometric parameters were analyzed: lamina length (LL), lamina width (LW), petiole length (PL), distance from the base of the leaf to the widest point of the leaf (DBW), area (S), perimeter (P), and ratios LL/LW, LL/LP, LL/DBW, and DBW/LP. Analysis of the descriptive statistics within and between ecotypes initially showed a large variation in the ten parameters studied. This finding was supported by analysis of variance (ANOVA) which revealed a very highly significant difference (P <0.0001) for all parameters. Indeed, the analysis of agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC) made it possible to group the studied populations into 3 distinct groups based on the leaf area. Thus, the wide variability of the morphometric parameters of the leaves constitutes an important group of traits useful for conventional breeding programs, providing a knowledge base for the exploitation of local genetic resources and the in situ conservation of this heritage.

  • Open access
  • 69 Reads
Antifungal properties of Urtica dioca against six phytopathogenic fungi
Published: 01 May 2021 by MDPI in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Agronomy session Posters

Several phytopathogenic fungi are responsible for massive production losses in important crops worldwide. To control diseases caused by plant fungi pathogens, a wide range of synthetic fungicides are applied in the fields. However, these agrochemicals are harmful for ecosystems (aerial, aquatic and terrestrial), non-target organisms and human health. In addition, since these antifungals have one specific cellular target, fungi can acquire resistance to them by the accumulation of mutations. Plant extracts provide natural alternatives to the use of synthetic fungicides in agriculture. Several plants are rich in secondary metabolites, including alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, terpenoids and saponins, that confer antifungal activity. This sustainable option is biodegradable, environmentally friendly and safer, and it is less likely to develop resistance since they often have several cellular targets. This study was conducted to investigate the antifungal activity of Urtica dioica extract against Colletotrichum acutatum, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Colletotrichum godetiae, Colletotrichum nymphaeae, Diplodia corticola and Phytophthora cinnamomi. Urtica dioica extract was prepared with 50% (v/v) ethanol, the solvent was evaporated at low pressure, and the residue was dissolved in water. The extract was incorporated into PDA medium at different concentrations (100, 500, 1000 and 2000 µg/mL) and mycelial discs were placed in the center of each Petri dish. Growth was measured as radial mycelial growth in the third, sixth and ninth days of incubation at 25 ºC in the dark. Urtica dioica extract was able to inhibit growth of all strains except C. nymphaeae. Growth inhibition was around 20% at 2000 µg/mL for the remaining Colletotrichum species. Inhibition of growth was also observed with D. corticola in a concentration-dependent manner from 100 µg/mL to 2000 µg/mL and revealed statistically significant differences (p<0.05) between these concentrations. Regarding the growth of P. cinnamomi, significant differences were observed between 100 µg/mL and 2000 µg/mL extract (p<0.0001 and p<0.05 on day 3 and 6, respectively). The most pronounced mycelial growth reduction (39.9%) was reached on day 3, an effect significantly different from (24.9%; p<0.05) on the sixth day of incubation. Overall, the results of this work suggest that U. dioca can be a potential alternative, ecologically sustainable, natural fungicide to protect crops from damages caused by phytopathogenic fungi.