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  • Open access
  • 80 Reads
Plants as natural organic coagulant powders for winery wastewater treatment

Winery wastewater (WW) is the waste product of many independent processing and cleaning operations in wineries, which annually generate a large volume of wastewater. Traditionally, it’s used metallic based coagulants such as ferric chloride and aluminium sulfate, for the treatment of winery wastewater by coagulation-flocculation-decantation (CFD), however, the release of metal residuals in the wastewater during the CFD process, may result in adverse effects for the receiving water body. To avoid these consequences, the aim of this work was to study the application of the pollen of Acacia dealbata Link., the acorn skin and the peeled acorn of Quercus ilex L. the seeds of Platanus x acerifólia (Aiton) Willd. and the seeds of Tanacetum vulgare L. as natural organic coagulant powders (NOCP). The NOCPs were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), which showed the presence of protein, lipids and carbohydrates and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) which showed that these organic materials exhibited a heterogeneous and relatively porous morphology. Under the best operational conditions, as follows: pH = 3.0, dosage = 0.1 g/L, fast mix (rpm/min) = 120/1, slow mix (rpm/min) = 20/30, [PVPP] = 45 mg/L, sedimentation time = 12 h, temperature = 298 K, the pollen of Acacia dealbata Link. achieved a turbidity, total suspended solids and chemical oxygen demand removal of 97.6, 94.7 and 46.6 %, respectively, similar to aluminium sulfate (99.5, 95.3 and 43.5 %, respectively). However, the pollen of Acacia dealbata Link. achieved low Al leaching value regarding aluminium sulfate (0.10 and 739.43 mg Al/L, respectively). Based in the results, it is concluded that that NOCPs are an innovative urban horticulture development for a sustainable world, because they are economic, efficient and environmentally safer for the treatment of winery wastewater.

  • Open access
  • 52 Reads
Information System for Detecting Strawberry Fruit Locations and Ripeness Conditions in a Farm

Many strawberry growers in certain regions of the United States rely on customers to pick the fruits during the peak harvest months. Unfavorable weather conditions such as high humidity and excessive rainfall can quickly promote fruit rot and diseases. In this study, an elementary farm information system was established with the goal to demonstrate timely information on the farm and fruit conditions (ripe, unripe or rotten) to the grower. The information system processes a video clip or a sequence of images from a camera to provide a map with estimated quantities of strawberries at different stages of ripeness to the growers. The farm map is built by the state-of-the-art vision-based simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) techniques, which can generate the map as well as track the motion trajectory using image features. In addition, the input images will pass through a semantic segmentation process using a learning-based approach to identify the conditions of the berries. An encoder-decoder neural network model is trained by a set of labeled images first, and then the trained model is used to identify the fruit conditions from the incoming images. Finally, the quantities of berries in different conditions are estimated using the segmentation results and demonstrated in the system. Generating this information can aid the growers’ decision-making process in regard to directing consumer traffic or farm labor to specific strawberry locations within a farm where fruits need to be picked, where rotten berries need to be removed or where pesticide applications could be targeted. The obtained system can help reduce farm revenue loss and promote sustainable crop production.

  • Open access
  • 56 Reads
Antioxidants were efficient in reducing browning and increasing the shelf life in minimally processed arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft)

Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) is a nutritional crop with high energy value and good digestibility. However, this plant has a short shelf life due to excessive weight loss, browning, and disease incidence. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of antioxidant compounds in the preservation of minimally processed arracacha during storage. The selected arracachas were washed with sodium hypochlorite (200 ppm), peeled, and sliced. Then, several treatments were evaluated in the minimally processed arracacha: Citric acid (AC) 1%; ascorbic acid (AA) 1%; ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) 1%; and distilled water (control group). The antioxidants were applied in the surface of the arracacha and stored in a cold room (5 ± 1 oC, 90 ± 5% RH) for six days. Weight loss, color parameters (L, a*, and b*), visual appearance, pH, soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), reducing and total sugars contents, polyphenoloxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POD) phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) enzyme activities and gas composition were analyzed every two days. Hence, the samples were discriminated by multivariate analysis to determine the effect of antioxidants during the storage time. The results showed that antioxidants controlled the fresh mass loss of arracacha. On the sixth day of storage, arracachas treated with EDTA had the highest b* and L* color parameters, indicating that they were more yellow and brighter than the other treatments. The visual notes (appearance and decay) for the antioxidant treatments were better than those compared with the control (without antioxidants). The influence of antioxidants on PPO and POD activity was very similar, and both enzymes showed high activity in the control arracacha (2-fold higher than the samples with antioxidants). By multivariate approach, samples were discriminated mainly into two groups: 1st group corresponding to the initial day of the experiment and 2nd group associated with the sixth day of storage. The appearance and color parameters were the most crucial factors for samples discrimination in the 1st group, while for the 2nd group, PAL, weight loss, and sugars were the variables responsible for the discrimination of the second group. Overall, from the all tested antioxidants, this study concludes that EDTA is the most indicated antioxidant to delay the browning reactions and increase the shelf life of minimally processed arracacha.

  • Open access
  • 35 Reads
Which color is better? Efficiency of color traps for monitoring of black plum sawfly

Black plum sawfly (Hoplocampa minuta Christ. (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) is one of the dominant pests of plum in Ukraine, causing significant damage and yield losses. Monitoring based on pheromone and color traps is widespread in integrated protection systems. Data on the dynamics and location of the population of the pest in the agrobiocenosis allow to determine the feasibility, scale and optimal timing of treatments, tactics and means of control. The investigation was carried out in conventionally managed plum orchard of the Institute of Horticulture of National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine. Sticky traps of different colors (white, blue, yellow, red and green). The flight period lasted from 17 to 34 days. White traps provided the highest efficiency during the flight period of the plum sawfly. The proportions of insects caught by yellow and blue traps decreased 4 times, and red and green traps 9 times compared to white. At the peak of the sawfly's flight the efficiency of white traps increased. The average densities of sawflies during the flight period were: for white traps – 89 imago per trap, yellow – 10 imago per trap, red – 4 imago per trap, blue – 10 imago per trap, green – 12 imago per trap. The density of the sawfly population depended on meteorological conditions, in particular on the humidity and temperature of the soil and air.

  • Open access
  • 61 Reads
Biological transplant amendments intensify growth, physiological profiling and rhizosphere stochiometry of air-layered litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) saplings

The present investigation was carried out to study the effectiveness of PGPR probiotics on air-layers root development on litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) mother plants. The interactive effects of PGPR transplant amendments on plant survival, physiological profiling and rhizosphere stochiometry of transplanted air-layered saplings were also studied. Six PGPR transplant amendments i.e., Pseudomonas florescence, Azotobacter chroococcum, K-mobilizers and AM fungi were inoculated in different combinations. The air-layering technique was carried out by removing the bark of the shoots along with cambium (2 cm deep) during August and September.The uniform air-layers were transplanted in the month of October at 30 x 60 cm using double-row planting method replicated thrice. Twenty-five years healthy progeny of mother plants were maintained for air layering operation. The detached rooted air layers from these mother plants were further transplanted in rooting media. The treatments comprised of the combinations namely, T1, litchi orchard soil+ sand (1:1); T2, sand+AM fungi+ Azotobacter chroococcum (1:2:1); T3, sand+Pseudomonas florecence + K-mobilizer (1:1:1); T4, AM fungi+ K-mobilizers (1:1); T5, P. florecence+ A. chroococcum+ K-mobilizer (1:1:1); T6, sand+P. florecence (1:2); T7, uninoculated control supplemented with FYM along with N:P:K 60:30:30) for field performance. The inoculation of Metarrhizium in bulk as well as rhizosphere soil following dual application of PGPR probiotics was followed in T4-T6 combinations. Treatment application of sand+AM fungi+ A. chroococcum (1:2:1) significantly improved survival rate, plant height, stem diameter, leaf number, leaf area and total leaf chlorophylls of the saplings as compared to uninoculated control. Root soil ratio of resident microbes at 15 cm depth was also worked out in the rhizosphere zone and non-rhizosphere zone. Microbial biomass of A. chroococcum Pseudomonas, K-mobilizers and AM fungi was increased by 2.59, 3.39, 2.42 and 2.77 times, respectively. Acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase and dehydrogenase enzyme activity was increased in rhizosphere that can be a good indicator of phosphorus nutrition for survival of the saplings. The rhizo-inoculation significantly affected leaf nutrient concentration as ΣDOP indexes which showed an increase in N, P, K Ca, Mg and micronutrient concentration in the leaves of saplings. Principal component analysis induced the differences at various PGPR probiotics applied has identified maximum of the total variance based on the Eigen value (>1) which explained PC1 (86.82%), PC2 (93.11%), PC3 (96.41%) and (98.22%) of the cumulative variance. The study indicated PGPR transplant amendments coupled with Metarrhizium in saplings can be a promising technology to improve survival rate during hardening for the production of elite litchi planting material.

  • Open access
  • 31 Reads
Monitoring of leaf and berry diseases of strawberry

Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa Duch.) is valuable for its high taste, nutritional, medicinal and dietary properties of the fruits. Strawberries are the first to open the season of fresh berries. They are especially rich in sugars, organic acids, pectin, vitamins and mineral elements. The total area of strawberry plantations in Ukraine, according to the State Statistics Service, is 8200 ha. The average yield reaches 6.9 tons / ha. In order to develop an effective disease protection system, it is necessary to detect and diagnose the disease in time. An assessment of disease spread and severity was conducted in 2020-2021 in the Right Bank Forest-Steppe of Ukraine. The most common diseases were gray mold (Botrytis cinerea Pers.), leaf scorch (Diplocarpon earlianum (Ellis & Everh.) F.A. Wolf), powdery mildew (Podosphaera aphanis (Wallr.) U. Braun & S. Takam.), black spot (Соlletotricum acutatum J.H. Simmonds), white leaf spot (Ramularia grevilleana (Tul. & C. Tul. ex Oudem.) Jørst.). On strawberry plantations, diseases appeared in the following order: gray mold, white leaf spot, powdery mildew, black spot, leaf scorch. The most spread and the most harmful were gray mold, white leaf spot and leaf scorch.

  • Open access
  • 192 Reads
Integrated MultiTrophic Aquaponics-a promising strategy for cycling plant nutrients and minimizing water consumption
Published: 15 April 2022 by MDPI in 1st International Electronic Conference on Horticulturae session Posters

The integration of aquatic animals and horticultural production through aquaponics has been recently studied and endorsed by scientists as a real sustainable solution to optimize the reuse of nutrient and water resources in food production.

The present study (HortiMED H2020 PRIMA Project-Grant No.1915), conducted in three plastic greenhouses at El-Kanater Research Station in Egypt, has gone one-step beyond aquaponics by evaluating the feasibility of combining Integrated MultiTrophic Aquaculture (IMTA production of tilapia, grey mullet, crayfish, clams and silver carp) with hydroponic horticultural production (red and green leaf lettuce, chili pepper, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, mallow, bell pepper, watercress and celery) using Nutrient Film Technique-NFT and Floating Raft-FR systems to maximize nutrient cycling resulting from culturing aquatic animal.

IMTA is based on an ecosystem approach framework, where the farming of aquaculture species from different trophic levels with complementary ecosystem functions allows one species’ uneaten feed and wastes, nutrients and by-products (in particulate and dissolved forms) to be recaptured and converted into fertilizer, feed and energy for the other species, taking advantage of synergistic interaction between species. Moreover, the combination of IMTA with hydroponics allows to minimize water consumption, avoids the discharge of effluents enriched in dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus from IMTA into ground or surface waters, and decreases the need of using crop fertilisers of mineral origin made from depleting natural resources by recovering the nutrients from wastewater (converting fish excretion into high-value products for plants).

In HortiMED IMTA-aquaponics system significant improvements have been recorded in nutrient and water use efficiency, net aquatic biomass production and feed conversion ratio, compared to traditional horticulture or aquatic monoculture systems. These results indicates that IMTA-aquaponics as a bio-integrated food production system is not only a successful method for the simultaneous crop and aquatic biomass production, but also a suitable strategy for cycling nutrients and water.

  • Open access
  • 43 Reads
Effect of microbial biostimulants and organic fertigation on nursery production of lettuce transplants

The interest in organic production of vegetable has raised in the last decades. To start an organic field production of vegetables the seeds or transplant used should be obtained with organic production systems. Even though agronomic practices for organic production of vegetable have been largely investigated, there is still the need to increase information on organic transplant production. Organic liquid fertilizers are available for transplant fertigation but their efficacy and rates for use have not been evaluated. Moreover, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria have been applied to different vegetable crops but there is still no information on the combined effect of microbial biostimulant application and organic fertigation on organic production of lettuce seedlings. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of microbial biostimulants to enhance growth and quality of lettuce seedlings fertigated with increasing rates of an organic liquid fertilizer. Lettuce seedlings were inoculated with 1.5 g L−1 of TNC BactorrS13 (containing 1.3 × 108 CFU g−1 of Bacillus spp.) or with 0.75 g L−1 of Flortis Micorrize (containing 30% of Glomus spp., 1.24 × 108 CFU g−1 of Agrobacterium radiobacter, Bacillus subtilis, Streptomyces spp. and 3 × 105 CFU g−1 of Trichoderma spp.) and fertigated with a nutrient solution containing 0, 7, 14, and 28 ml L−1 of an organic liquid fertilizer (NK 3-4). Organic fertigation had no effect or even a negative effect with the highest dose (28 ml L−1) on some morpho-physiological parameters (seedling height, leaf area, SLA, NUE) of uninoculated lettuce seedlings. The use of the microbial biostimulants modified seedling growth and its response to organic liquid fertilizer levels. They had a growth-promoting effect on the unfertilized seedlings and modified the response of lettuce seedlings to organic fertigation but to different extents for TNC BactorrS13 and Flortis Micorizze. The inoculation of the substrate with microbial biostimulants could improve organic lettuce transplant quality whereas the fertigation with organic liquid fertilizer was ineffective or negative.

  • Open access
  • 44 Reads
Assessment of an Organic Vineyard as a Strategic Multifactorial Node in the Conservation of Natural Resources in an Intermountain Territory of the Sonoran Desert, Mexico

Grape cultivation in Sonora, Mexico is one of the most notable but it is restricted to certain areas and with a productive focus in a conventional way. This work evidences the development of the establishment of an organic vineyard as a novel cultivation pattern in an intermountain valley agrosystem of the Sonoran desert, Mexico. The approach is conducted by conceptualizing the vineyard as a Strategic Multifactorial Node (SMN) with ecological influence towards its immediate surroundings, evaluated from endogenous variables of the vineyard itself and those linked to the agrosystem of direct influence. Components are distinguished that promote the conservation of the hydric-edaphic binomial, and the ecological maintenance of ecosystem users of the vineyard such as wild fauna and xeric and weed vegetation. The cuttings used were rooted in a sand chamber at a depth of 0.8 m for 60 ± 3 days. Subsequently, they were sown in the middle part of the furrow at a distance of 0.4 m, and at a depth of 48 ± 5.3 cm. The length and diameter of the cutting at the time of sowing were 57 ± 7.4 cm and 12 ± 6.5 mm respectively; with 4 ± 2 nodes per cutting; 17 ± 3.6 cm of root length when planted and 21 ± 0.9 mm in diameter on the main stem after the summer rains. Irrigation was by drip, with a sprinkler space of 70 cm, an irrigation frequency during the summer of 2.5 ± 1.7 hours/day/week, and 2.7 ± 0.6 hours/week in autumn-winter. A 96% weed cover percentage was maintained and the presence of entomofauna and avifauna was identified in a ratio of 78:22. In the exogenous component to the vineyard, the degree of influence for the elements of the desert agrosystem was 0.98 for Conservation Areas of Soil, 0.79 for edaphic Organic Matter, 0.97 for maintenance of water, and 0.96 for Mountain Microorganisms. The vineyard in the first phase of establishment increased its growth parameters, also favored the lateral conservation of the water - soil binomial, limited erosion, decreased soil loss, and increased soil fertilization. The presence of buffer areas is shared with native stands, the presence of wild fauna in the agrosystem is maintained in this first stage of establishment

  • Open access
  • 55 Reads
Germination, Growth and Yield Responses of Eggplant and Okra Grown on Anthill and Termite Mound Soils

BS Turay1, AM Bah1, DMK Amara2, VI Kallon1 and SA kanu1*
1Department of Crop Science, Njala University, Njala campus, Sierra Leone
2Department of Soil Science, Njala University, Njala campus, Sierra Leone
*Corresponding author: SA Kanu (
Physicochemical properties of anthill and termite mound soils with their combinations with ordinary top soil were assayed by studying their effects on the germination indices, growth and yield performance of eggplant and okra. The six soil treatments used are as follows: (I) pure anthill soil (AHS), (II) pure termite mound soil (TMS), (III) top soil (control) (TS), (IV) anthill +top soil (AHS+TS), (V) termite mound +top soil (TMS+TS) and (VI) anthill+termite mound soils (AHS+TMS). The physicochemical properties of these treatments were analysed. A standard seed-germination experiment arranged in a complete randomized block design (30 seeds per treatment per tested crop) was carried out in a screenhouse. For the growth experiment, a pot experiment arranged on top of tables using a completely randomized design (CRD) was carried out in the screenhouse and the growth and yield determined at seven (eggplant) and eight (okra) weeks. The results show that all treatments are acidic with pH ranging 3.3 to 4.5. The treatment containing anthill and anthill soils had higher EC (μS/CM), organic carbon (%), nitrogen (%), and phosphorus (%) compared to control (top soil). Treatment had a significant (p<0.05) effect on the germination indices of eggplant and okra. Enhanced seed germination was obtained with eggplant and okra seeds sowed in ordinary top soil amended with anthill soil compared to control. The growth and yield of eggplant and okra were significantly (p<0.05) affected by treatment. Generally, eggplant and okra grown using anthill soils (alone or mixed) had taller plants, bigger stem girth and leaf area, and higher number of leaves per plant compared those grown on top soil. Eggplant and okra grown on anthill and termite mound soils and their combinations with ordinary top soils had heavier fresh whole plant and root biomass compared to control. It could be concluded that these results indicates that anthill and termite mounds soils can serve as cheap alternative source of nutrients for the cultivation of common vegetables by smallholder farmers .

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