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  • Open access
  • 91 Reads
Reorientation of Methods Applied to Plant Protection as an Effect of Climate Change

The paper provides an overview of the agricultural economy in terms of agricultural development, especially in the area of ​​plant protection, taking into account the effects of climate change. Environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources, prioritizing an action behavior regarding vulnerabilities regarding the types of fertilizers used, favors the reorientation of methods applied to plant protection in order to protect the biosphere are part of the soil-plant-air-water equation. Climate change involves the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the adaptation of agricultural systems. The risks of using excessive fungicides in plant protection. Plant-soil interdependence in agricultural practice is also highlighted in the paper. One of the main objectives in the field of agriculture is to maintain a low level of greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector. The role of research and studies has shown an important factor in reducing the carbon footprint per tonne of food produced from organic farming compared to conventional farming, mainly due to the abandonment of the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The aim of the following research is to collect data and information on the most efficient management models that will create the premises for the production of production models that will respond in the future to the challenges of climate change, especially from the perspective of reducing greenhouse gases, depending the application of a plant protection system in response to climate change and the pressure of diseases and pests. During the research we tried to highlight aspects that, in our opinion, are important for the development of the agricultural sector as part of the economy.

In the analysis we highlighted products that contain active substances, phytoprotective agents or synergistic agents, in the form in which they are presented to the user and which are intended for: - protection of plants or plant products against all harmful organisms or prevention of these organisms; - the exercise of an action on the vital processes of plants, other than a nutritional action; - ensuring the preservation of plant products, insofar as these substances or products are not subject to other legal regulations on preservatives; - destruction of parts of plants, stopping or preventing unwanted plant growth. Thus we found that products (chemicals) that are used to control diseases in agricultural crops are growing in agricultural areas highlighted especially fungicides.
The amount of fungicides sold in solid form in 2018 increased compared to the previous year by 5.7%. The distribution, in total fungicides, on macroregions is as follows: macroregion three (34.2%), macroregion one (26.3%), macroregion four (22.0%), macroregion two (17.5%). The largest quantities of fungicides in solid form were sold in the development regions of Centru (20.6%), Sud-Muntenia (17.6%) and Bucharest-Ilfov (16.6%). For products sold in liquid form, the amount of fungicides decreased by 3.0% compared to 2017. The largest amount of fungicides was sold in macro-region three (49.2%), followed by macro-region one (26.6%), macro-region two (15.7%) and macro-region four (8.5%). By development regions, the South-Muntenia region occupies the first place (27.7%), followed by the Bucharest-Ilfov (21.5%) and Center (19.3%) regions. Thus, in determining the increase in consumption, the different climatic conditions of the regions were analyzed as possible increases in consumption and the critical level of losses by non-compliance with agricultural practices in the application of plant protection products.

  • Open access
  • 64 Reads
Bioactivity of Essential Oils of Laggera pterodonta and Laggera aurita against Larvae of Anopheles gambiae, Malaria Vector.

The role of plants as sources of biologically active entities cannot be overemphasized. Plants belonging to different families having mosquitocidal activity have been discovered from an established ethnobotanical and laboratory-based studies. Biological control of mosquitoes using botanicals remains the safest and environmentally sound alternative to chemical control. The essential oil of two Nigerian Laggera species, L. pterodonta and L. aurita, were investigated against the fourth instar larvae of the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae. WHO protocol was adopted for the larvicidal bioassay. Three replicates comprising of 20 larvae each were exposed to various concentrations of the essential oil. Larval mortality was observed after 24 and 48 hours. The results showed that mortality increased with increase in concentration and period of exposure. The essential oil of L. pterodonta was found most effective with LC50 values of 418 and 404 mg/L after 24 and 48 hours, respectively while the essential oil of L. aurita recorded LC50 value of 688 and 642 mg/L after 24 and 48 hours, respectively.The GC-MS results revealed the essential oil of L. pterodonta comprises 50.83% of compounds that have been reported to have larvicidal activity while the essential oil of L. aurita comprises of 43.69% compounds with larvicidal activity. The better activity of L. pterodonta essential oil could be attributed to it having higher percentage of compounds like ɤ-Terpinene and 4-Carvomenthenol with larvicidal activity. The results suggest that the essential oil of the plants have the potential to be used as eco-friendly approach for the control of mosquitoes.

  • Open access
  • 74 Reads
On augmenting growth, photosynthesis, enzymatic activities and nutrient contents of Brassica juncea (L.) by application of plant growth regulators

In a randomized pot experiment, the effect of nine plant growth regulators (PGRs) namely benzyl amino purine, chlormequat, gibberellic acid (GA3), indole acetic acid, indole butyric acid, kinetin (KIN), methyl jasmonate, salicylic acid (SA), and triacontanol (TRIA) on the growth and physio-biochemical performance of mustard. The plants were sprayed with a uniform concentration at 5 µM each of PGRs at 50 and 70 days after sowing (DAS). At 80 DAS various morpho-physiological and biochemical parameters were studied. The data showed varied effects of PGRs on parameters studied. Among PGRs, SA proved best for most parameters studied, for example, SA increased root length by 35.56%, shoot length by 26.56%, root fresh mass by 33.15%, shoot dry mass by 31.86%, root dry mass by 37.09%, chlorophyll content by 29.04%, photosynthetic rate by 29.91% and carbonic anhydrase activity by 28.82%, over the water sprayed plants. GA3 surpassed others for leaf area, relative water content, leaf phosphorous and potassium content over the water sprayed plants. Moreover, TRIA gave maximum value for nitrate reductase activity and leaf nitrogen content over the water sprayed plants. The result revealed the overall superiority of SA for improving the morpho-physiological and physio-biochemical performance of mustard.

  • Open access
  • 81 Reads
MtNIP5;1, a novel Medicago truncatula boron diffusion facilitator induced under deficiency

Boron (B) uptake in plants implies a passive diffusion through membranes under optimal conditions. Under deficiency or toxicity, the participation of two distinct protein families (the aquaporin family Major intrinsic proteins (MIPs) and the Boron transporter family BOR) is required to minimize detrimental effects caused by B stress that ends up inhibiting growth and altering development. Legumes comprise important crops that offer major agronomic benefits including the capacity of establishing symbiosis with rhizobia fixing atmospheric N2 and for being important food protein sources. It is well proven their susceptibility to B stress leading to important yield penalties. However, little is known about the transport mechanisms responsible for B uptake and distribution in legumes, especially under deficiency. This work aimed to characterize novel legume B transporter involved in B uptake under deficiency. A Medicago truncatula homologous protein to the Arabidopsis AtNIP5;1 was identified. Further analyses revealed that this M. truncatula aquaporin expression was boron-regulated in roots and localized at the plasma membrane of root epidermal cells and in nodules, where B plays pivotal roles in symbiosis. Furthermore, a partial complementation of the nip5;1 Arabidopsis mutant phenotype under B deficiency supports a functional role of MtNIP5;1 as a B transporter in this legume model plant opening new insights into boron transport in legumes.

  • Open access
  • 83 Reads
Overexpression of Erianthus arundinaceus DREB2 Transcription Factor Ameliorates the Salinity and Drought Tolerance in Eleusine coracana Cultivars

Drought and salinity are the major constraints on agricultural production worldwide and a remarkable attempt is being made to improve the plant yields in the direction of increasing water deficit. We have developed transgenic finger millet cultivars 'CO(Ra)-14' and 'Paiyur-2' overexpressing Erianthus arundinaceus DREB2 (EaDREB2) transcription factor. This gene was introduced into finger millet cultivars by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. EaDREB2 gene was stably expressed in T0 and T1 generations of transgenic lines as confirmed by PCR and Southern blot analyses. The transgenic finger millet lines expressing EaDREB2 gene were tolerant to high salinity (100 mM NaCl) and severe drought (with no water up to two weeks) stress conditions without affecting the morphological or agronomic characters. Analysis of morpho-physiological characters revealed that overexpression of EaDREB2 gene was associated with maintenance of chlorophyll content, increased relative water content, improved accumulation of the osmotic substance like proline, and decreased electrolyte leakage, under both saline and drought stresses. After treating the plants to progressive drought and salinity stress, transgenic lines showed less chlorophyll reduction and moderate growth inhibition than the control plants. The majority of the transformed lines showed prominent tolerance to salinity and drought stress with significant spikelet fertility and higher grain yield compared to the non-transgenic control plants in both stressed and unstressed conditions. This is the first holistic report on the development of drought and saline tolerance in finger millet through transgenic modification. The enhancement in abiotic stress tolerance along with agronomic traits is essential in finger millet cultivars to benefit the resource-poor farmers from seasonal drought and water scarcity.

  • Open access
  • 119 Reads
Increase of Calcium in ‘Rocha’ Pear (Pyrus communis L.) for Development of Functional Foods

The food industry is bound to face challenges in the future, one of them being in finding ways to feed a growing population set to reach up to 9 billion people by 2050 while maintaining food quality, in the meads of resource limitations and sustainable use of them. In this outlook, minimizing mineral deficits in human diet should help prevent health diseases. Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in human organisms. It performs both structural and signaling functions, and its deficits are associated with the development of osteoporosis and similar pathologies. Following this matter, the use of foliar applications in order to increase the amount of minerals in the edible part of plants, will result in unprocessed foods with additional value. At an orchard located in the west region of Portugal, seven foliar applications were used. The first two with two different products, calcium chloride and calcium nitrate, with three different concentrations each, and the other five applications used only calcium chloride, in higher concentrations. At harvest, with an XRF analyzer, an increase in calcium levels was found varying between 33 and 67 %. Additionally, using µ-EDXRF on pears subjected (biofortified) or not (control) to the biofortification itinerary, five zones were defined (between the core and epidermis), and the location of calcium was revealed to be prominent near the epidermis and core of pears. In conclusion, calcium levels increased in fruits after foliar application, prevailing in both external and core zones, enabling the production of functional foods.

  • Open access
  • 55 Reads
Genomics-assisted mapping in Cicer-Ascochyta pathosystem to unravel the quantitative resistance genes

In many plant-pathogen interactions the host resistance is governed by a combinatorial action of multiple genes termed as quantitative disease resistance (QDR). Three decades of genetic research on economically important interaction of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and Ascochyta rabiei has revealed quantitative nature of host resistance. Despite various genomic studies in chickpea-Ascochyta system, identification of narrowed QTL/gene remain elusive. We utilized next-generation genomic tool namely multiple quantitative trait loci sequencing (mQTL-seq), to trounce the hurdles in revealing QDR genes against Ascochyta blight (AB). The mQTL-seq analysis revealed two major QTLs (qABR4.1 and qABR4.2) and a novel minor QTL (qABR4.3) on assembled Ca4 chickpea chromosome that provides resistance against AB. Under the major qABR4.1, a transcriptional regulator CaAHL18 was identified as a candidate gene and CaNIP8 marker was developed from its polymorphic cis-regulatory region for molecular breeding. We are further fine-mapping the major qABR4.2 (27.55-33.49 Mb) and novel minor qABR4.3 (38.78-39.48 Mb) to elucidate the candidate genes and their molecular mechanism of resistance. Up till now, the second major QTL, qABR4.2 is narrowed to ~1.41 Mb from 5.41 Mb region via utilizing bi-parental CRIL-7 population genotyping and association analysis in various chickpea accessions. Further, to translate the obtained genetic information from our AB resistance study, we intend to introgress multiple fungal resistance loci (for AB and FW resistant desi accessions) in few selected higher yielding cultivated chickpea varieties. Our combinatorial approaches have helped in overcoming the chickpea-AB genetic mapping associated problems of AB resistance loci fine-mapping and their utilization in molecular breeding. Consequently, our work will provide landmark information on chickpea AB resistance for the convenience of biotechnologists and breeders.

  • Open access
  • 61 Reads
Ectopic Lateral Root Branching in Fe-Deprived Maize Plants: Searching for the Genes Underpinning the Phenotype

Iron is an essential element for plant growth and productivity, whilst human and animal diets rely on iron from plant sources. It is, thus, necessary to understand the responses of plants to iron deficiency at both the physiological and morphological levels and reveal the molecular and genetic bases of these responses. Despite the large number of studies on plants’ iron deficiency responses, considerably less is known regarding the morphological and anatomical alterations in plant root systems, especially in the graminaceous plants following a chelation strategy to take up iron from their rhizosphere (Strategy II plants). It seems that plants modify their root architecture by increased formation and branching of root hairs, root-tip swelling, and enhanced lateral root formation. Especially for maize, a stress symptom observed in F-deprived plants was an ectopic lateral root branching at the terminal 5 cm of the root. In this study, one-week-old maize seedlings were placed in containers with either full nutrient solution, or nutrient solution lacking a Fe source. Control and Fe-deprived plants were grown for another 14 days, and the trait of ectopic lateral root branching was observed both on roots that emerged before the onset of Fe deprivation (i.e. primary embryonic root, secondary embryonic roots), as well as on roots that emerged after the onset of the deprivation (i.e. crown roots). In silico analysis of a quantitative trait locus known to be related to this trait of maize grown under limited Fe, unveiled several genes coding for known and unknown proteins, as well as long intergenic non-coding RNAs.

  • Open access
  • 138 Reads
Abiotic Stress Upregulates the Expression of Genes Involved in PSV and Autophagy Routes

Adverse conditions caused by abiotic stress modulate the plant development and growth by altering some morphological and cellular mechanisms. To face this problem, plants, along with physiological adaptations, developed intracellular mechanisms, including changes in protein production and trafficking or modifications of the endomembrane system. Protein trafficking within the cell involves innumerous complexes and receptors that has been characterized along the years. For this study, some were selected based on their role and localization within the endomembrane system: BP-80, responsible for vacuolar sorting at the trans-Golgi and PVC levels; VTI12 works in the vacuolar pathway; SYP121 and SYP23, which mediate the vesicle trafficking from Golgi and Endoplasmic Reticulum membrane; SYP51, a SNARE involved in post-Golgi membrane trafficking to the tonoplast; VAMP, a vesicle associated membrane protein; RMR1, a transmembrane receptor; and EXO70, a subunit from exocist. The Plant Specific Insert (PSI) is a domain present in some aspartic proteinases that modulates their trafficking to the vacuole in a non-conventional way, bypassing the Golgi. It is known that stress situations can alter protein sorting to the vacuole, changing their routes via a Golgi-independent pathway. Our goal is to evaluate the expression levels of different aspartic proteinases and respective PSIs, and well-characterized genes involved in the vacuolar pathway. A.thaliana seedlings were germinated in Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with excess of mannitol (osmotic stress), hydrogen peroxide (oxidative stress), excess of sodium chloride (saline stress) or sub-lethal doses of zinc sulfate (heavy metals stress) The expression analysis of the genes under study was performed by qPCR after RNA extraction from seedlings. The results obtained point to a different response of the three aspartic proteinases under study: PSI1, which is upregulated in all the stress situations, excluding the heavy metal; PSI2, that is downregulated for the oxidative stress; and PSI3 that is upregulated for the saline stress and downregulated for the zinc stress. ​These results indicate that different, yet related, aspartic proteinase genes respond differently to different types of stress, indicating a fine-tuned regulation. Furthermore, our results regarding the endomembrane system effectors show us that EXO70, RMR1, SYP51, SYP121 and VTI12 are up regulated in all the stress conditions, while VAMP, SYP23 and BP80 are downregulated in the same situations. This demonstrates that adverse conditions caused by abiotic stress can alter the expression of key proteins involved in the protein trafficking machinery, which can be related with the activation/deactivation of certain pathways, important for plant tolerance to stress.

  • Open access
  • 118 Reads
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Biofortification with Selenium: Enrichment Index and Interactions among Nutrients

Selenium (Se) was first considerate as toxic, being today considered as an antioxidant trace mineral important for health and development. The growing demand for efficient, bioeconomic and sustainable strategies to increase Se content in rice is therefore justified, as is the study of the technical and nutritional implications inherent to its production and industrial processing for food products. Se biofortification is a strategy that promotes nutrient enhancement in food crops and can increase nutrient uptake and accumulation in the human body. The technical itinerary was implemented, using commercial a variety of rice (Ariete). Five selenium concentrations were tested in the forms of selenate and sodium selenite by foliar application. It was verified using the EDXRF M4 Tornado ™ system, by spectral mapping, the preferential location of Se in rice. As such, it was found that Se was preferentially accumulated in the inner zone of rice grain. The contents of C, H and O, present in the different treatment concentrations, were also quantified. The average of Se biofortification index in variety Ariete was 1.2-2.8 times and the opposite was verified in variety Ariete, by atomic absorption. The natural biofortification of rice in Se will thus constitute an added value to product in its production chain and it will constitute a dynamic and innovative market niche attractive to the business community. Considering that biofortification with Se consists in the development of a baby food product, it is concluded that it’s possible to develop a new product.