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  • 292 Reads
Evaluating the Effect of Biochar on Nutrient Leaching and Rice Growth in Disturbed and Undisturbed Soil-columns
Published: 15 April 2022 by MDPI in 1st International Electronic Conference on Horticulturae session Posters

Soil fertilization stands on the top of the rice crop production issue. Nutrient leaching in rice crop production, leading to lower plant uptake and low yield, poses a challenge for Cambodian farmers and is becoming a key concern for the environment. The carbonized organic waste called biochar is known as potentially valuable input to enhance soil properties. It is introduced in many regions. A soil column-based experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of biochar on the leaching of N and P and rice growth in link with soil structure. Two types of columns were built, using disturbed and undisturbed soil. Four rates of nutrient input including chemical fertilizer, chemical fertilizer +2t/ha of biochar, chemical fertilizer + 4t/ha of biochar, and control were applied to the plantation of rice cultivar (locally named, Sen-Pidor) in both conditions. Leachate (NH4-N, NO3-N, and PO43-) and rice growth were collected at 7-day intervals while the grain yield and biomass of plant were collected at the mature stage. Our primary results showed that the leachate and rice growth were not significantly different between the both conditions. However, the leaching of NH4-N and NO3-N in the column with chemical fertilizer + 4t/ha of biochar was lower than the column with chemical fertilizer while PO43- leaching was the same measured from both rates. Remarkably, the plant height was the highest under the disturbed condition with chemical fertilizer +2t/ha of biochar whereas under the undisturbed condition it was the highest with chemical fertilizer +4t/ha. In addition, biochar amendment at the rate of 4t/ha enhanced rice yield by 32.17% in comparison with the column using chemical fertilizer, and by 52.77% in comparison with the control. Also, biochar amendment at the rate of 4t/ha had a great impact on the biomass of plant compared to the column without biochar contact. Our results indicate that biochar amendment has the potential to minimize N leaching, but not P leaching, while enhancing rice yield and biomass of plant.

  • Open access
  • 49 Reads
Amino acids treatments induce adventitious root formation in two different genotypes of Campanula portenschlagiana

Campanula portenschlagiana is an ornamental plant originally from the Dalmatian Mountains in Croatia. Like many potted flowering plants, C. portenschlagiana is vegetatively propagated from mother plants shoot explants. In C. portenschlagiana explants, adventitious root formation success depends on the genetic background, where rooting ability can be classified in a range from easy-to-root to difficult-to-root genotypes. In this study, we worked with two different genotypes of C. portenschlagiana, 'Deep Blue Ocean' and 'White Ocean'. The explants were grown in an aeroponic system for 21 days, where the base of the shoot explants was irrigated with nutrient solution (control), nutrient solution and 1 mM of L-glutamate, or nutrient solution and 1 mM of L-tryptophan. We found different root abilities between the two genotypes, and the 'Deep Blue Ocean' had a higher percentage of rooted explants (100%) when compared with the 'White Ocean' (25%). In the 'White Ocean', L-Glutamate and L-tryptophan treatments increased the percentage of rooted explants to 90% and 50%, respectively. L-glutamate and L-tryptophan treatments increased biomass of root and shoot in the 'Deep Blue Ocean'. In the 'White Ocean', L-glutamate treatment increased biomass of shoot but did not change the biomass of root. Taken together, our results showed that the amino acids L-glutamate and L-tryptophan play an important role in adventitious root formation in C. portenschlagiana, and it can help difficult-to-root genotypes to increase the success of rooting.

  • Open access
  • 58 Reads
The Effects of Biostimulant Application on Growth Parameters of Lettuce Plants Grown under Deficit Irrigation Conditions

The application of biostimulant is a modern agronomic tool with several benefits for horticultural production. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of five biostimulant products with varied composition (e.g. seaweed extracts+macronutrients+amino acids (SW); humic+fulvic acids (HF); Si+Ca (SiC); Si (Si); vegetable proteins+amino acids (VP)) and control treatment (no biostimulant added (NB)) on field grown lettuce plants (Lactuca sativa L.: Romaine type cv. Doris) under deficit irrigation conditions (Control treatment: rain-fed plants; I1: 50% of field capacity; I2: 100% of field capacity). The experiment took place on the spring-summer growing period of 2021, at the experimental field of the University of Thessaly, Greece. Plants were transplanted on April 1, while harvest took place on May 27. The growth parameters tested were plant weight (aerial part), number of leaves, fresh and weight of leaves, leaf area index (LAI) and specific leaf area (SLA), and SPAD index. A varied effect of biostimulant treatment was observed on SPAD index and plant height. In particular, SPAD value increased when plants treated with vegetable proteins+amino acids (VP) at rain-fed conditions or seaweed extracts+macronutrients+amino acids (SW) at deficit irrigation (I1: 50% of field capacity). Plant height increased for the combinations of Si application at deficit irrigation or Si+Ca (SiC) at rain-fed conditions. Moreover, total plant weight, weight of leaves and LAI were the highest in the half irrigation treatment (I1), whereas the number of leaves increased for the rain-fed plants treated with humic+fulvic acids (HF) or for those that received half irrigation (I1) and Si. The highest dry matter content and SLA values were recorded for plants that did not receive biostimulants under rain-fed or full irrigation (I2). In conclusion, our results indicate a varied response to biostimulant application and irrigation conditions, where SW and Si treatments resulted in the highest overall yields under deficit irrigation. Moreover, the application of biostimulants alleviated the negative effects of deficit irrigation on leaves’ chlorophyll content which is associated with visual quality of the final product.

  • Open access
  • 48 Reads
Exploring the involvement of Alternative respiratory pathway in Pisum sativum L. seed germination
Published: 15 April 2022 by MDPI in 1st International Electronic Conference on Horticulturae session Posters

LIVESEED ( is a European Research project that integrates seed production companies and research/breeding Institutes focused on the development of more resilient varieties to more efficiently cope with environmental constraints. Organic agriculture, recognized as a more sustainable agricultural system, strongly depends on the use of highly resilient genotypes. In this context, it is extremely important to develop new phenotyping techniques for selecting useful genotypes, in particular at the seed level. Current research at UEvora in the LIVESEED project uses calorespirometry as a phenotyping tool to investigate the link between seed germination and the alternative oxidase (AOX) respiratory pathway. Seed germination involves the activation of several metabolic pathways, including cellular respiration. AOX plays a crucial role in regulating cell reprogramming by controlling metabolic transitions related to the cellular redox state and the variable carbon balance. To assess the involvement of AOX in P. sativum L. (PsAOX) germination, seeds of four cultivars (‘Respect-1’, ‘S134’, ‘G78’ and ‘S91’) were imbibed in sterile tap water for 16h and calorespirometric parameters (heat and CO2 emission rates) measured at 25°C using a Multi-Cell Differential Scanning Calorimeter in isothermal mode. Additionally, the involvement of PsAOX was evaluated by transcript quantification (PsAOX1, PsAOX2a, and PsAOX2b) through RT-qPCR, and by analysis of AOX expression through Western blot.

The results demonstrate that the cv. ‘S91’, characterized by a low germination rate, also exhibited the lowest metabolic heat and respiration rate. However, contrary to expectations, PsAOX transcript accumulation and PsAOX protein expression were significantly higher for ‘S91’ than for the other cultivars. These results demonstrate the applicability of calorespirometry to seed phenotyping and the involvement of AOX in seed germination.

Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the EU project LIVESEED - Improve performance of organic agriculture by boosting organic seed and plant breeding efforts across Europe funded by the European Union's HORIZON 2020 research and innovation programme under the Grant Agreement no 727230, and by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 17.00090; and by National Funds through FCT under the Project UIDB/05183/2020. Authors are very thankful to IIFA for the fellowship given to Lénia Rodrigues. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EC and the Swiss government. Neither the European Commission/SERI nor any person acting behalf of the Commission/SERI is responsible for the use which might be made of the information provided on this document.

  • Open access
  • 157 Reads
Genetic variability and stability analysis in chilli landraces (Capsicum annuum L.) of North-western Himalayas
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The present investigation was carried out during summer seasons of 2020 and 2021 and winter season of 2020 - 21 at the Experimental Farm of Regional Horticulture Research and Training Station Dhaulakuan, District Sirmour (HP), Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry Nauni, Solan, Himachal Pradesh. The experimental material comprising of variable 19 chilli landraces, which are confined to the kitchen gardens, were collected from different villages of north-western Himalayas and compared with the prevalent cultivar DKC-8. These lines are better pre-adapted to weather extremes and assumed to carry different characteristics which could be better utilized in future breeding programmes, as per the revelations made through stability analysis. On the basis of mean performances, genotype CS9 produced maximum green fruit yield per plant in summer and winter seasons. High PCV and GCV were recorded for green fruit yield per plant. Correlation coefficients showed that fruit length, fruit girth, number of green fruits per plant and average green fruit weight were positively and significantly correlated with green fruit yield per plant. Path coefficient analysis in summer and winter seasons showed that average green fruit weight had the highest positive direct effects on green fruit yield per plant. On the basis of stability analysis, genotypes CS1, CS3 and CS10 had values of regression coefficients near to unity. Genotypes CS7 and CS9 had values greater than unity whereas, genotypes CS2 and CS14 had values of regressions less than unity for maturity characteristics. Genotypes CS6, CS10 and CS19 had values of regressions near to unity, genotype CS16 had values greater than unity whereas three genotypes had values of regression coefficients less than unity for yield contributing characteristics. Genotypes possessing more than unity values were stable in favourable environments, near to unity were stable under all kind of environments and those possessing less than unity were stable under unfavourable environments.

  • Open access
  • 57 Reads
The effects of fertilization regime on growth parameters and bioactive properties of pot grown Cichorium spinosum L. plants

Chicorium spinosum L. (or spiny chicory) is a wild edible species that can be found in different coastal areas of the Mediterranean basin. During the last few years, its chemical composition has been described in detail and its bioactive compounds content is correlated with the prevention of various chronic diseases and disorders. In this experiment, various fertilization regimes were tested aiming to reveal the nutrient requirements of the species and how fertilization may affect the chemical composition and the bioactive properties of edible leaves. Seven fertilization treatments varying in the amounts of N:P:K (namely, 100:100:100; 200:100:100; 200:200:200; 300:100:100; 300:200:200; 300:300:300 ppm of N:P:K, and control where no fertilizers were added) were applied via nutrient solution feeding in pot-grown C. spinosum plants. The growth parameters tested included the number and the fresh and dry weight of leaves, SPAD index, leaf area index (LAI) and specific leaf area (SLA). Bioactive parameters, including the antioxidant (OxHLIA and TBARS assays), anti-inflammatory (RAW 264.7 cell line) and cytotoxic (PLP2, AGS, CaCo2, VERO and MCF7 cell lines), and phenolic compounds content were examined in aqueous and hydroethanolic extracts of leaves. Regarding the growth parameters, the highest number of leaves was recorded for the 300:200:100 treatment, while the highest fresh weight was noted for the 200:100:100 treatment. The control treatment had the highest dry weight of leaves, while the highest LAI and SLA values were observed for the 200:100:100 and 300:10:100 treatments, respectively. Finally, the highest SPAD values were detected for the 200:200:200 treatment, without being significantly different from the control. In the case of hydroethanolic extracts, the highest antioxidant activity for the OxHLIA and TBARS assays were recorded for the 100:100:100 and 300:100:100 treatments, respectively, whereas the treatments of 200:100:100 and 100:100:100 showed the best results for OxHLIA and TBARS assays in the aqueous extracts. Both extracts, did not show cytotoxic or anti-inflammatory activities. Nine phenolic compounds were detected in both extracts, including two phenolic acids and seven flavonoids, with the major compounds being 4-O-p-coumaroylquinic acid and isorhamnetin-O- hexuronoside, regardless of the extraction method. In the case of hydroethanolic extracts, the treatment of 300:300:300 contained the highest amounts of total phenolic acids, while the plants treated with 300:100:100 had the highest content in total flavonoids and total phenolic compounds. Finally, the highest content of total phenolic acids, total flavonoids and total phenolic compounds for the aqueous extracts was recorded in the treatment of 300:300:300. In conclusion, the application of fertilizers on C. spinosum plants had positive effects on plant growth, especially the 200:100:100 treatment where the highest fresh yield was recorded, while variable effects of fertilizer regimes on the chemical composition and bioactive properties were recorded.

  • Open access
  • 63 Reads
The Stimulatory Effects of Humic Substances and Microbial Inoculants on Cropping Performance of Guava (Psidium guajava L.) cv. Lalit in Meadow Orcharding System

The present investigations on dual application of humic acid substances and bio-inoculants were carried out in Regional Horticultural Research and Training Station of Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Dhaulakuan, Sirmour (HP), India during 2018 and 2019. Foliar application of humic acid along with bio-inoculants in 4-years old inarched guava cv. Lalit under meadow orcharding system was carried out. Foliar application of humic acid @ 30 and 60 mL/L at bud burst to flowering stage and bio-inoculants (Phosphorus solubilizing bacteria (PSB) @ 10 mL/plant + Azotobacter chroococcum @ 10 g/plant, and PGPR @ 25 mL/plant + AM fungi @ 25 g/plant) in rhizosphere along with @ 90 and 80 per cent of recommended dose of fertilizers (RDF) of N:P:K (360:740:200) was carried out. Application of humic substances applied at 60 mL/L along with PSB and A. chroococcum at 10 mL/plant beside 80 per cent of RDF-NPK inferred positive impact on growth traits throughout the winter season. This combination recorded vital increase in fruit set with reduced fruit drop. Fruit yield was 3.5 times higher over control. Fruit quality traits with this conjoint application were also improved. Soil microflora recorded as actinomycetes, A. chroococcum, PSB and AM fungi improved 2.5, 4.0, 5.5 and 3.5 times, respectively. This combination also exhibited significant increase in leaf N, P and K contents in meadow geometry plant-soil interface. Our findings emphasized the promising effects of humic acid and bio-inoculants to improve growth traits, nutrient profiling and biological activity at reduced inorganic fertilization.

  • Open access
  • 48 Reads
Can natural fortification increase Fe and Zn content in organically grown tomatoes?

Natural fortification can be used to increase the mineral content of the edible part of plants. In horticultural crops, foliar fertilization is used extensively, being a way to provide nutrients through leaves (a faster way compared to soil applications). Moreover, Fe and Zn are two important nutrients for plant growth and development, despite the low kinetic mobility. As such, considering the importance of Fe and Zn in plants and the fact that tomato is one of the most consumed horticultural crops worldwide, this study aimed to verify if in the middle of a biofortification process (after two foliar applications) Fe and Zn content in tomatoes of Solanum lycopersicum (beef heart variety - also known as Coeur de Boeuf) organically grown can improve. The experimental field was selected and followed the protocols for tomato growth in accordance with the organic production mode. Two foliar applications were carried out during the production cycle, with a mix of two products of Fe and Zn (Zitrilon – 15% and Maxiblend) with two concentrations (treatment 1 or low mix and treatment 2 or high mix). Through X-ray fluorescence using a XRF analyzer under He atmosphere, leaves of tomatoes submitted to the biofortification process showed an increase of 76.9% of Fe content and double Zn content, in treatment 2. However, treatment 1 only showed increases in Zn content (by 75.5% compared to control). Regarding tomatoes fruits, treatment 2 showed an increase of 7% of Zn content, relative to control content. Naturally enriched tomatoes with Fe and Zn showed minor changes in colorimetric parameters (Chroma and Hue) and no significant differences in L parameter (brightness / luminosity), regarding control. Additionally, biofortification did not affect tomatoes height and diameter at this stage of development, varying between 75.7 – 84.3 mm and 76.7 – 93.3 mm, respectively. In conclusion, two foliar sprays of Fe and Zn can improve tomatoes and leaves content under organic production practices without triggering toxicity to the plants and not affecting tomatoes height and diameter, and only presented some minor changes in color parameters (CieLab scale).

  • Open access
  • 40 Reads
Ion-chromatographic fingerprinting of inorganic ions from bleeding sap in Vitis vinifera

Water, minerals and other organic substances in the xylem are transported from the root system initially in the xylem, moving upward; several studies have shown that grapevine xylem sap has a complex composition (it contains trace elements, sugars, organic acids, phenols, amino acids, etc.), but comprehensive data on has not yet been reported for the bleeding period. Since the xylem sap composition reflects the ability of roots to uptake water and nutrients from soil, such investigations are important to clarify the contribution of soil to plant nutrition, as well as in plant physiology. The aim of this work was to determine the xylem sap composition in inorganic ions for different vines in order to obtain more information on the assimilation of the solutes transported by the xylem stream. Bleeding sap from 33 vines grown on the experimental vineyard of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj Napoca was collected in early spring in polyethylene flasks, then filtered through 0.47 mm membrane filters. Six cations (sodium, ammonium, potassium, magnesium and calcium) and five anions (chloride, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and sulphate) were determined simultaneously by an optimized ion-chromatographic method on a dual channel Shimadzu instrument equipped with conductivity detection. Chromatographic analysis revealed different fingerprints for the analyzed samples; the major cations were calcium (up to 254 mg/L) and potassium (up to 219 mg/L), while the anions were sulphate (up to 108 mg/L) and chloride (up to 41 mg/L). The analytical technique used in this work, well suited for small samples and low concentrations, provide a basis for physiological studies such as ion uptake.

  • Open access
  • 47 Reads
Shading Net and Grafting Reduce Losses by Environmental Stresses during Vegetables Production and Storage

The aim of this review is to summarize our previous research information recently reported regarding the use of preharvest treatments (shade nets) applied either directly or in combination with other techniques (grafting) to maximize and maintain the phytochemical content of vegetables. The use of colored nets for shading vegetables to protect against stress (intense solar radiation, heat stress, drought, drying winds and hailstorms) during the summer months is an effective and inexpensive method, provides plant protection and altered microclimate and modified intensity and quality of light, supporters more intensive vegetative growth, longer vegetation, increase yield, reduces a number of physiological disorders and improves the morphological and nutritional quality of vegetables. Under color nets plants provided tomato fruits with thicker pericarp, firmness, higher content of lycopene, less percent of physiological disorders and better tolerance to transport and storage. Shade-grown plants generally have higher total chlorophyll and carotenoid contents, increase leaf area, head diameter of the lettuce, and the total yield, decrease physiological disorders and increased the content of total phenolic compounds and flavonoids. Further investigations using shade nets alone or in combination with grafting should be performed, to ensure the use of strategies for managing plant growth of different plant species with limited physiological disorders, for increased marketable yield and maintain quality during storage.

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