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[en] Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), a member of the genus Pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae, causes significant losses in cattle farming worldwide because of reduced milk production, increased mortality of young animals and reproductive, respiratory and intestinal problems. The virus is characterized by an important genetic, and consequently antigenic and pathogenic diversity. Knowing the variability of viral strains present in a population provides valuable information, particularly relevant for control programs development, vaccination recommendations and even identification of likely infection sources. Such information is therefore important at both local and regional levels. This review focuses on the genetic diversity of BVDV isolates infecting cattle in Spain over the last years. According to the published data, the most prevalent BVDV group in Spain was 1b, and to a lesser extent 1d, 1e and 1f. Besides, BVDV-2 has also been found in Spain with several ratified isolates. The studies carried out in Spain also showed increased genetic heterogeneity of BVDV strains, possibly due to a more intensive use of analytical tools available, presenting studies with increasingly greater sample sizes.
[en] Six parental genotypes and their thirty F1 hybrids in a full diallel cross system with reciprocals, were used in the present study to estimate combining ability for five quantitative and five qualitative traits in hot pepper. The mean sum of squares due to general combining ability (GCA), specific combining ability (SCA) and reciprocal combining ability (RCA) were significant for all the characters which suggest that these parents could have performed differently in different combinations indicating interallelic interactions. All the traits studied exhibited greater SCA variance than GCA, suggesting that these traits are controlled by non-additive gene action. Analysis of the GCA effects of parents for various traits revealed that LCA625, K1 and PKM1 were the best general combiners for almost all the traits. Estimates of SCA effects showed that the hybrids LCA625 × K1, K1 × Arka LohitandPusa Jwala × PKM1were found to be the best combiners for yield and its attributes. The hybrid K1 × Arka Lohitwas the best reciprocal combiner for quality parameters based on its better mean performance and combining ability. These results suggest that commercial production of hot pepper hybrids and isolation of pure lines from these hybrids is a possible way to enhance the yield and fruit quality.
[en] Analysis of yield gaps were conducted in the context of crop insurance and used to build an indicator of asymmetric information. The possible influence of asymmetric information in the decision of Spanish wheat producers to contract insurance was additionally evaluated. The analysis includes simulated yield using a validated crop model, CERES-Wheat previously selected among others, whose suitability to estimate actual risk when no historical data are available was assessed. Results suggest that the accuracy in setting the insured yield is decisive in farmers’ willingness to contract crop insurance under the wider coverage. Historical insurance data, when available, provide a more robust technical basis to evaluate and calibrate insurance parameters than simulated data, using crop models. Nevertheless, the use of crop models might be useful in designing new insurance packages when no historical data is available or to evaluate scenarios of expected changes. In that case, it is suggested that yield gaps be estimated and considered when using simulated attainable yields.
[en] Eggplant is a widely cultivated vegetable crop of great economic importance. Its long lasting history of domestication, selection and breeding has led to the development of numerous cultivars with variable traits. In the present study, we assessed the diversity levels within and among eleven Greek and foreign cultivars, using 22 morphological descriptors and two different classes of molecular markers (retrotransposon microsatellite amplified polymorphism-REMAP markers and nuclear microsatellites). Our results, in accordance with other studies in the field showed: a) the limited levels of genetic polymorphism within the cultivars; b) the high morphological and genetic divergence existing among them as indicated by the genetic distance values calculated, which could be attributed to selection, inbreeding and bottleneck effects; and c) the lack of concordance among morphological descriptors and molecular markers. Despite these, our analysis showed that the utilization of combinations of markers is an effective method for the characterization of plant material providing also useful diagnostic tools for the identification and authentication of the selected Greek cultivars.
[en] Drought is a severe threat to maize yield stability in Serbia and other temperate Southeast European countries occurring occasionally but with significant yield losses. The development of resilient genotypes that perform well under drought is one of the main focuses of maize breeding programmes. To test the tolerance of newly developed elite maize inbred lines to drought stress, field trials for grain yield performance and anthesis silk interval (ASI) were set in drought stressed environments in 2011 and 2012. Inbred lines performing well under drought, clustered into a group with short ASI and a smaller group with long ASI, were considered as a potential source for tolerance. The former contained inbreds from different heterotic groups and with a proportion of local germplasm. The latter consisted of genotypes with mixed exotic and Lancaster germplasm, which performed better in more drought-affected environments. Three inbreds were selected for their potential drought tolerance, showing an above-average yield and small ASI in all environments. Association analysis indicated significant correlations between ASI and grain yield and three microsatellites (bnlg1525, bnlg238 and umc1025). Eight alleles were selected for their favourable concurrent effect on yield increase and ASI decrease. The proportion of phenotypic variation explained by the markers varied across environments from 5.7% to 22.4% and from 4.6% to 8.1% for ASI and yield, respectively. The alleles with strongest effect on performance of particular genotypes and their interactions in specific environments were identified by the mean of partial least square interactions analysis indicating potential suitability of the makers for tolerant genotype selection.
[en] This study aimed to develop a remote sensing-based method for forecasting rice yield by considering vegetation greenness conditions during initial and peak greenness stages of the crop; and implemented for “boro” rice in Bangladeshi context. In this research, we used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived two 16-day composite of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) images at 250 m spatial resolution acquired during the initial (January 1 to January 16) and peak greenness (March 23/24 to April 6/7 depending on leap year) stages in conjunction with secondary datasets (i.e., boro suitability map, and ground-based information) during 2007-2012 period. The method consisted of two components: (i) developing a model for delineating area under rice cultivation before harvesting; and (ii) forecasting rice yield as a function of NDVI. Our results demonstrated strong agreements between the model (i.e., MODIS-based) and ground-based area estimates during 2010-2012 period, i.e., coefficient of determination (R2); root mean square error (RMSE); and relative error (RE) in between 0.93 to 0.95; 30,519 to 37,451 ha; and ±10% respectively at the 23 district-levels. We also found good agreements between forecasted (i.e., MODIS-based) and ground-based yields during 2010-2012 period (R2 between 0.76 and 0.86; RMSE between 0.21 and 0.29 Mton/ha, and RE between -5.45% and 6.65%) at the 23 district-levels. We believe that our developments of forecasting the boro rice yield would be useful for the decision makers in addressing food security in Bangladesh. (Author)
[en] Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) can be a profitable crop for farmers; however controlling weeds effectively without a decrease in yield remains a problem. An example where mechanical weed control is difficult to conduct is dry bean ‘Toscanello’, which is a small sized high-income niche product growing low to the ground. Concerning intra-row weed control, also flame weeding could be an opportunity but the dry bean heat tolerance needs to be studied. The aims of this research were to study the weed control efficacy of a spring-tine harrow and an inter-row cultivator in this bean variety, and to test the tolerance of dry bean cultivated under weed-free conditions to cross-flaming applied with different liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) doses. Flame weeding was applied at BBCH 13 and BBCH 14 bean growth stages by pairs of burners producing direct double flame acting into the intra-row space, with bean plants placed in the middle. The results suggest that the spring-tine harrow used two times at BBCH 13 and 14, respectively, lead to a yield similar to that of the weedy control. The inter-row cultivator could be an opportunity for small-sized dry bean crops producers, enabling them to obtain a similar yield compared to the hand-weeded control. Concerning the bean tolerance to cross-flaming the results showed that bean flamed at BBCH 13 stage had little tolerance to cross-flaming. Bean flamed at BBCH 14 stage was tolerant until an LPG dose of 39 kg/ha, giving yield responses similar to those observed in the non-flamed control. (Author)
[en] The Spanish National Plant Genetic Resource Center’s core collection of bean germplasm includes 202 accessions selected from more than 3000 accessions in function of passport data, seed phenotype, genetic background, and agronomic traits. To acquire more useful information about these accessions, we cultivated and characterized them for sensory and culinary traits. We found considerable variation for culinary and sensory traits of the cooked beans (mean coefficients of variation: 41% for the sensory traits and 40% for the culinary traits). The large dataset enabled us to study correlations between sensory and culinary traits and among these traits and geographic origin, seed color, and growth habit. Greater proportion of white in the seed coat correlated positively with brightness and negatively with mealiness (r=0.60, r=-0.60, p<0.001, respectively). Mealiness correlated negatively with seed-coat roughness and rate of water absorption (r=-0.60, r=-0.53, p<0.001, respectively). Materials of Andean origin had lower seed-coat brightness (p<0.01) and seed-coat roughness, and greater seed-coat perceptibility, mealiness, flavor, and aroma (p<0.001) than materials of Mesoamerican origin. Growth habit failed to correlate with culinary or sensory traits. Breeders can benefit from the information about this core collection available at www.crf.inia.es/crfesp/paginaprincipaljudia.asp. (Author)
[en] The role of plant-associated bacteria in plant physiology and metabolism is well documented, but little has been known about the roles played by Pseudomonas in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum) growth and development. An in vitroexperiment was conducted to observe the effect of the inoculation of four indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-producing Pseudomonas isolates and exogenous IAA on seed germination traits and α-amylase activity of durum wheat. The results showed inoculation with all bacterial isolates led to a decrease in the germination percent, although the extent of the depression varied with the isolate. A significant relationship between concentrations of bacterial IAA and the germination inhibition percent in durum wheat seeds by different bacteria strains was observed. The results of this assay showed the effect of bacterial isolates on α-amylase activity after six and 8 days of inoculation was significant, while effect of these isolates on α-amylase activity after two and 4 days of inoculation was not meaningful. In addition, the exogenously applied IAA displayed a concentration-dependent effect on seed germination attributes and α-amylase activity, consistent with the possibility that the inhibitory effect of bacterial inoculation on seed germination was in consequence of bacteria-produced IAA. Therefore, it may suggested that the inhibitory role of IAA in seed germination and α-amylase activity should be taken into account during the screening of IAA-producing Pseudomonas isolates for durum wheat growth promoting agents. (Author)
[en] Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura, 1931) is an invasive pest from South East Asia that was detected for the first time in Southern Europe in 2008. This species can damage a wide range of soft-skinned fruits crops affecting ripening fruits and causing important economic losses. Since the exclusive use of chemical insecticides for controlling D. suzukii may prompt the appearance of resistance and environmental pollution, alternative methods compatible with sustainable management are required. In this study, commercial formulations of powdered sulphur and kaolin were tested as a preventive method applied to blueberry fruits under laboratory conditions. In no-choice assay, powdered sulphur had a significant effect on oviposition and adult emergency with reductions of 76% and 77%, respectively. In addition, sulphur displayed a significant toxicity on males and lethal effect with over 40% adult mortality seven days after exposure. The choice assay confirmed and improved the powdered sulphur effects, with reductions of 98% and 96% in oviposition and adult emergence, respectively. In contrast, kaolin produced no significant reduction in infestation and adult mortality during no-choice and choice assays. These outcomes suggest that preventive use of powdered sulphur could be considered for sustainable control of D. suzukii in some berry crops. (Author)