ResearchPad - agricultural-soil-science https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Meta-analysis of the correlation between dietary copper supply and broiler performance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15740 To conduct a meta-analysis assessing the correlation between dietary copper supply and broiler performanceMethodsStudies that were published prior to January 2019 and reported the dietary copper supply and broiler growth performance were identified using search functions in the Web of Science, Springer, Elsevier, Science Direct, and Taylor & Francis Online databases; the Journal of Dairy Research; and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). We performed stratified analyses on the possible sources of bias, including differences in the study locations and years of publication. The publication bias was assessed with Egger’s test method.ResultsA total of 12 randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies were eligible for inclusion. The pooled WMDs of the ADG, ADFI and FCR were -0.166 (95% CI: -1.587 to 1.254), -0.844 (95% CI: -1.536 to -0.152) and -0.029 (95% CI: -0.057 to 0.000), respectively. In the Israeli and Indian studies, the ADG and ADFI data in the experimental group were higher than those in the control group; however, in America, a relatively high FCR value was found in the experimental group compared to that in the control group. The analysis of the study period showed that for the 1980s and 2010s, the ADG and ADFI of the experimental group were lower than those of the control group, while, in the 1990s and 2010s, the FCR of the experimental group were lower than those of the control group. The observed values were adjusted for study effects, and a model was used to obtain the copper supplementation under the optimal production performance. The results showed that the adjusted average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), and feed to gain ratio (FCR) presented a quadratic relationship with Cu supplementation (P<0.05). The maximum value of ADG (31.84 g/d) is reached when Cu is added at amount of 158 mg/kg, and the minimum value of FCR (1.53) is reached when Cu is added at amount of 217 mg/kg. No significant publication bias existed in the studies (Egger's test: P value were 0.81, 0.71 and 0.14).ConclusionFrom this study, it can be concluded that the traditional copper addition is no longer suitable for modern broiler breeding; the higher copper content may be beneficial for the production performance of broilers. ]]> <![CDATA[Optimizing planting geometry for barley-Egyptian clover intercropping system in semi-arid sub-tropical climate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14568 Intercropping legumes with cereals has been a common cropping system in short-season rainfed environments due to its increased productivity and sustainability. Intercropping barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) with Egyptian clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) could increase the grain yield of barley and improve resource use efficiency of the intercropping system. However, non-optimum planting geometry has been a hurdle in the adaptation of barley-based cropping systems. This study was aimed at optimizing the planting geometry, and assess the productivity and profitability of barley-Egyptian clover intercropping system. Ten different planting geometries, differing in number of rows of barley, width and number of irrigation furrows and planting method were tested. Intercropping barley with Egyptian clover improved 56–68% grain yield of barley compared with mono-cropped barley. Barley remained dominant crop in terms of aggressiveness, relative crowding coefficient and competitive ratio. The amount of water used was linearly increased with increasing size of barley strip from 3 to 8 rows. The highest water use efficiency (4.83 kg/cf3) was recorded for 8-row barley strip system with 120 cm irrigation furrows compared to rest of the planting geometries. In conclusion, 8-rows of barley planted on beds with Egyptian clover in 120 cm irrigation furrows had the highest net income and cost benefit ratio. Therefore, it is recommended that this planting geometry can be used for better economic returns of barley-Egyptian clover intercropping system. However, barley strips with >8 rows were not included in this study, which is limitation of the current study. Therefore, future studies with >8 barley rows in strip should be conducted to infer the economic feasibility and profitability of wider barley strips.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of residue management practices on barley residue decomposition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13875 Optimizing barley (hordeum vulgare L.) production in Idaho and other parts of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) should focus on farm resource management. The effect of post-harvest residue management on barley residue decomposition has not been adequately studied. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the effect of residue placement (surface vs. incorporated), residue size (chopped vs. ground-sieved) and soil type (sand and sandy loam) on barley residue decomposition. A 50-day(d) laboratory incubation experiment was conducted at a temperature of 25°C at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, Aberdeen, Idaho, USA. Following the study, a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) modeling approach was applied to investigate the first-order decay kinetics of barley residue. An accelerated initial flush of residue carbon(C)-mineralization was measured for the sieved (Day 1) compared to chopped (Day 3 to 5) residues for both surface incorporated applications. The highest evolution of carbon dioxide (CO2)-C of 8.3 g kg-1 dry residue was observed on Day 1 from the incorporated-sieved application for both soils. The highest and lowest amount of cumulative CO2-C released and percentage residue decomposed over 50-d was observed for surface-chopped (107 g kg-1 dry residue and 27%, respectively) and incorporated-sieved (69 g kg-1 dry residue and 18%, respectively) residues, respectively. There were no significant differences in C-mineralization from barley residue based on soil type or its interactions with residue placement and size (p >0.05). The largest decay constant k of 0.0083 d-1 was calculated for surface-chopped residue where the predicted half-life was 80 d, which did not differ from surface sieved or incorporated chopped. In contrast, incorporated-sieved treatments only resulted in a k of 0.0054 d-1 and would need an additional 48 d to decompose 50% of the residue. Future residue decomposition studies under field conditions are warranted to verify the residue C-mineralization and its impact on residue management.

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<![CDATA[Land use change affects water erosion in the Nepal Himalayas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N98261953-1324-4322-aaeb-9737bf3bbcea

Soil erosion is a global environmental threat, and Land Use Land Cover Changes (LUCC) have significant impacts on it. Nepal, being a mountainous country, has significant soil erosion issues. To examine the effects of LUCC on water erosion, we studied the LUCC in Sarada, Rapti and Thuli Bheri river basins of Nepal during the 1995–2015 period using the Remote Sensing. We calculated the average annual soil loss using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation and Geographical Information System. Our results suggest that an increase in the agricultural lands at the expense of bare lands and forests escalated the soil erosion through the years; rates being 5.35, 5.47 and 6.03 t/ha/year in 1995, 2007 and 2015, respectively. Of the different land uses, agricultural land experienced the most erosion, whereas the forests experienced the least erosion. Agricultural lands, particularly those on the steeper slopes, were severely degraded and needed urgent soil and water conservation measures. Our study confirms that the long term LUCC has considerable impacts on soil loss, and these results can be implemented in similar river basins in other parts of the country.

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<![CDATA[Analysis on hydraulic characteristics of improved sandy soil with soft rock]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N42f3b4c1-ffad-4b27-9297-98b538f1063a

Hydraulic properties of sandy soil from the Mu Us sandy land of Shaanxi Province were analyzed by using SEM technology. Soil porosity, the water characteristic curve, and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of aeolian sandy soil with added soft rock were analyzed, and fractal characteristics were established. Soil hydraulic properties revealed the effect of soft rock application on soil structure and hydraulic properties. Mass ratios of soft rock to aeolian sand were 1:5, 1:2, and 1:1. Results showed that the addition of soft rock can significantly increase the bulk density of sandy soil and reduce the total porosity and macroporosity. The mass fraction of water-stable aggregates greater than 0.25mm increases significantly, increasing the fractal dimension of soil pores; reducing the soil saturated water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity. SEM technology and pore fractal theory were used to predict the soil salinity curve and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the improved saline soil.

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<![CDATA[Employment of GIS techniques to assess the long-term impact of tillage on the soil organic carbon of agricultural fields under hyper-arid conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75abf3d5eed0c484d07f28

A study on six 50 ha agricultural fields was conducted to investigate the effect of conservation tillage practices on the long-term (1990–2016) changes in the soil organic carbon (SOC) content of the topsoil layers (0–10 cm) of agricultural fields. The experimental fields were selected from the 49 fields of the Tawdeehiya Arable Farm (TAF), located 200 kilometers southeast of Riyadh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Data sets from laboratory determined SOC and the corresponding Landsat images generated vegetation indices, namely, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Bare Soil Index (BSI), were utilized for the prediction of SOC using multivariate regression techniques. Long-term changes in the SOC content of the experimental fields, as a result of different tillage practices, were also studied. The developed SOC prediction models exhibited high accuracy indicated by R2 values ranging from 0.73 to 0.85, RMSE values of 0.34 to 0.85 g kg-1 and P-values of less than 0.0001. The cross-validation results (R2 of 0.61–0.70, RMSE value of 0.34–0.85 g kg-1 and P-values of less than 0.0001) confirmed the high accuracy of the developed SOC prediction models. Results also revealed that the change in the SOC content was clearly associated with soil tillage practices. On the average, 76% of the all agricultural fields in the experimental farm showed a decrease of up to 24 g kg-1 in their SOC content after 10 years (1990–2000) of continuous conventional tillage practices. On the other hand, an average increase of up to 37 g kg-1 in the SOC content was observed in 88% of the studied fields at the end of the study period (2016), where conservation tillage was a continous and consistent practice in the experimental farm.

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<![CDATA[Soil health pilot study in England: Outcomes from an on-farm earthworm survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe56d5eed0c484e5b8f1

Earthworms are primary candidates for national soil health monitoring as they are ecosystem engineers that benefit both food production and ecosystem services associated with soil security. Supporting farmers to monitor soil health could help to achieve the policy aspiration of sustainable soils by 2030 in England; however, little is known about how to overcome participation barriers, appropriate methodologies (practical, cost-effective, usefulness) or training needs. This paper presents the results from a pilot #60minworms study which mobilised farmers to assess over >1300 ha farmland soils in spring 2018. The results interpretation framework is based on the presence of earthworms from each of the three ecological groups at each observation (20 x 20 cm x 20 cm pit) and spatially across a field (10 soil pits). Results showed that most fields have basic earthworm presence and abundance, but 42% fields may be over-worked as indicated by absence/rarity of epigeic and/or anecic earthworms. Tillage had a negative impact (p < 0.05) on earthworm populations and organic matter management did not mitigate tillage impacts. In terms of farmer participation, Twitter and Farmers Weekly magazine were highly effective channels for recruitment. Direct feedback from participants included excellent scores in trust, value and satisfaction of the protocol (e.g. 100% would do the test again) and 57% would use their worm survey results to change their soil management practices. A key training need in terms of earthworm identification skills was reported. The trade-off between data quality, participation rates and fieldwork costs suggests there is potential to streamline the protocol further to #30minworms (5 pits), incurring farmer fieldwork costs of approximately £1.48 ha-1. At national scales, £14 million pounds across 4.7 M ha-1 in fieldwork costs per survey could be saved by farmer participation.

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<![CDATA[Building geochemically based quantitative analogies from soil classification systems using different compositional datasets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75abe2d5eed0c484d07e1f

Soil heterogeneity is a major contributor to the uncertainty in near-surface biogeochemical modeling. We sought to overcome this limitation by exploring the development of a new classification analogy concept for transcribing the largely qualitative criteria in the pedomorphologically based, soil taxonomic classification systems to quantitative physicochemical descriptions. We collected soil horizons classified under the Alfisols taxonomic Order in the U.S. National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) soil classification system and quantified their properties via physical and chemical characterizations. Using multivariate statistical modeling modified for compositional data analysis (CoDA), we developed quantitative analogies by partitioning the characterization data up into three different compositions: Water-extracted (WE), Mehlich-III extracted (ME), and particle-size distribution (PSD) compositions. Afterwards, statistical tests were performed to determine the level of discrimination at different taxonomic and location-specific designations. The analogies showed different abilities to discriminate among the samples. Overall, analogies made up from the WE composition more accurately classified the samples than the other compositions, particularly at the Great Group and thermal regime designations. This work points to the potential to quantitatively discriminate taxonomically different soil types characterized by varying compositional datasets.

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<![CDATA[Rainfall affects leaching of pre-emergent herbicide from wheat residue into the soil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df35fd5eed0c4845811ca

No-tillage with stubble retention is a widely used cropping system for its conservation and yield benefits. The no-tillage farming system in southern Australia relies heavily on herbicides for weed management, but heavy crop residues may have a negative impact on the activity of pre-emergent herbicides applied. Any herbicide intercepted by the crop residue may not reach the soil surface without timely rainfall and may dissipate due to volatilisation, photo-degradation and/or microbial activity. Two experiments were carried out to investigate the interception of prosulfocarb, pyroxasulfone, and trifluralin herbicides by wheat residue and retention following simulated rainfall. For the first experiment, there were four simulated rainfall amounts (0, 5, 10, and 20 mm), three intensities (5, 10, and 20 mm h–1) and five application times (immediately after spraying herbicide, 6 h, 1, 7, and 14 days after spraying). In the second experiment, 20 mm of rainfall was applied at 10 mm h–1 in either 4 × 5 mm rainfall events over two days, 2 × 10 mm rainfall events over one day, or a single 20 mm rainfall event, with a no-rainfall control treatment. Bioassays were used to assess the herbicide activity/availability in the soil and remaining on the residue, using cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) as indicator plants. At higher rainfall amounts, most of the herbicide leached from the stubble into the soil soon after application; more so with rain in one event rather than multiple events. However, the intensity of rainfall had no effect. Pyroxasulfone leached easily from the residue to the soil to potentially offer good weed control, prosulfocarb had an intermediary leaching effect, while only a small amount of trifluralin leached from stubble after rain. Therefore, in no-tillage situations with large amounts of crop residue present on the soil surface, herbicides that leach easily from the residue should be considered, like pyroxasulfone.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the performance of different irrigation systems on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in the greenhouse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e91cd5eed0c48496f815

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is a very important leafy vegetable in China and is commonly grown using furrow irrigation. In order to improve production efficiency, greenhouse experiments were conducted at Experimental Station, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China using furrow irrigation (FI), micro-sprinkler irrigation (MS), plastic film mulching irrigation (PF) and a combined plastic film mulching–micro-sprinkler irrigation system (PF+MS) to study their effects on soil physical characteristics, water distribution, root morpho-physiological traits, nutrition absorption, lettuce yield and water use efficiency for a spring crop and autumn crop in 2015 (Fig 1). Root length, root surface area, and root density were significantly higher under PF and PF+MS than under FI. Moreover, these traits were higher under MS than under FI but these differences were not significant. The soluble protein, soluble sugar, and Vitamin C content of lettuce decreased in the order PF+MS > PF > MS > FI in both crops. In the spring crop, the biological yield of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 7.22%、36.77%、43.20% higher than FI, respectively. In the spring crop, biological water use efficiency (BWUE) of FI, MS, PF and PF+MS was 20.93, 25.24, 36.81 and 38.54 kg m−3, respectively. The BWUE of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 20.59%, 75.87% and 84.14% higher than FI. Economic water use efficiency (EWUE) of FI, MS, PF and PF+MS was 17.06, 21.31, 31.11 and 32.31 kg m−3, respectively. The EWUE of MS, PF, and PF+MS was 24.91%, 82.36% and 89.39% higher than FI, respectively. The autumn crop achieved a higher WUE than the spring crop. The results suggested that the combined plastic film mulching-micro-sprinkler irrigation was the most suitable irrigation approach for increasing lettuce yield.

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<![CDATA[Effects of long-term fertilization on soil organic carbon mineralization and microbial community structure]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e66bd5eed0c484ef30c6

Soil microorganisms play a pivotal role in carbon mineralization and their diversity is crucial to the function of soil ecosystems. However, the effects of long-term fertilization on microbial-mediated carbon mineralization are poorly understood. To identify the relative roles of microbes in carbon mineralization of yellow paddies, we investigated the long-term fertilization effects on soil properties and microbial communities and their relationships with carbon mineralization. The treatments included: no fertilization (CK), chemical fertilizer (NPK), organic fertilizer (M), and constant organic-inorganic fertilizer (MNPK). NPK treatment significantly increased soil water content (WC), while M and MNPK treatments significantly increased the content of soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (SMBN), and WC. Strong increases in CO2 emissions, potential mineralized carbon, and turnover rate constant were observed in both organic-fertilizer treatments (M and MNPK), relative to the CK treatment. These changes in soil properties can be attributed to the variation in microbial communities. NPK treatment had no significant effect. Different fertilization treatments changed soil microbial community; SOC and SMBN were the most important contributors to the variance in microbial community composition. The variations in community composition did not significant influence carbon mineralization; however, carbon mineralization was significantly influenced by the abundance of several non-dominant bacteria. The results suggest that SOC, SMBN, and non-dominant bacteria (Gemmatimonadetes and Latescibacteria), have a close relationship to carbon mineralization, and should be preferentially considered in predicting carbon mineralization under long-term fertilization.

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<![CDATA[Cultivation-success of rare soil bacteria is not influenced by incubation time and growth medium]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f793d5eed0c484386402

Rare bacterial species have recently attracted interest due to their many potential beneficial functions. However, only little is known about their cultivability. In this study we test the hypotheses that the use of flow cell-sorting for cultivation results in a high proportion of rare soil bacterial isolates relative to bacterial taxa that are abundant in soil. Moreover, we investigate whether different oligotrophic cultivation media and a prolonged incubation time increase the number of cultivated rare species. In a cultivation study we used flow cell sorting to select for small cells and to separate single cells, and grew bacteria on different oligotrophic media with prolonged incubation times. The abundance of the isolates in the field was assessed by comparing them to a 454-sequencing dataset from the same soil. Consequentially, all bacterial isolates were classified as either rare (<0.01% relative abundance) or abundant (>0.01% relative abundance) in the field soil. We found more bacterial taxa among the isolates that were abundant in soil than would be expected by the proportion of abundant species in the field. Neither incubation time nor growth medium had an influence on the recovery of rare species. However, we did find differences in time until visible growth on the plate between different phylogenetic classes of the isolates. These results indicate that rare cultivable species are active and not more likely to be dormant than abundant species, as has been suggested as a reason for their rarity. Moreover, future studies should be aware of the influence incubation time might have on the phylogenetic composition of the isolate collection.

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<![CDATA[Diarrheal bacterial pathogens and multi-resistant enterobacteria in the Choqueyapu River in La Paz, Bolivia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c46656bd5eed0c484519147

Water borne diarrheal pathogens might accumulate in river water and cause contamination of drinking and irrigation water. The La Paz River basin, including the Choqueyapu River, flows through La Paz city in Bolivia where it is receiving sewage, and residues from inhabitants, hospitals, and industry. Using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), we determined the quantity and occurrence of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC), Salmonella enterica, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Shigella spp. and total enterobacteria in river water, downstream agricultural soil, and irrigated crops, during one year of sampling. The most abundant and frequently detected genes were gapA and eltB, indicating presence of enterobacteria and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) carrying the heat labile toxin, respectively. Pathogen levels in the samples were significantly positively associated with high water conductivity and low water temperature. In addition, a set of bacterial isolates from water, soil and crops were analyzed by PCR for presence of the genes blaCTX-M, blaKPC, blaNDM, blaVIM and blaOXA-48. Four isolates were found to be positive for blaCTX-M genes and whole genome sequencing identified them as E. coli and one Enterobacter cloacae. The E. coli isolates belonged to the emerging, globally disseminated, multi-resistant E. coli lineages ST648, ST410 and ST162. The results indicate not only a high potential risk of transmission of diarrheal diseases by the consumption of contaminated water and vegetables but also the possibility of antibiotic resistance transfer from the environment to the community.

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<![CDATA[Agroecological coffee management increases arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4fe1d5eed0c484d7a03f

Agroecology aims to maintain ecosystem services by minimizing the impact of agriculture and promoting the use of biological potential. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are elements which are key to improving crop productivity and soil quality. It is pertinent to understand how agricultural management in the tropics affects the AMF spatio-temporal community composition, especially in crops of global importance, such as coffee (Coffea arabica L.). Soil and root samples were collected from three localities under three management systems (agroecological, conventional and forest fragment), during the phenological stages of coffee (flowering, grain filling, harvesting). Spores were extracted for morphological identification and molecular community analysis by PCR–DGGE. Dendrograms were prepared and the bands were sequenced and analyzed by bioinformatics. No differences were observed in the richness of morphospecies between management systems, localities and period, but little is known about tropical species. Molecular analysis showed that the agroecological management system was similar to natural forest and with a higher diversity indices than conventional management. Locality and period of sample affect AMF community composition. It is necessary to associate classical taxonomic evaluations with molecular biological techniques because different approaches can lead to different outcomes. This study contributes to the understanding of the impact of agriculture management systems on AMF and provides evidence that agroecology is a management system applicable to sustainable coffee production.

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<![CDATA[Rubber and plantain intercropping: Effects of different planting densities on soil characteristics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa550d5eed0c484ca2efd

Two field experiments were conducted at Ellembelle and Jomoro districts in the Western region of Ghana where rubber cultivation is a predominant farming activity. The objective of the study was to assess the effect of rubber and plantain intercropping systems on selected soil properties. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with 3 replications. The treatments were the sole crop rubber (R), sole crop plantain (P) and three intercrop systems comprising an additive series of plantain: one row of plantain to one row of rubber (PR), two rows of plantain to one row of rubber (PPR) and three rows of plantain to one row of rubber (PPPR). Generally, agroforestry systems improved the soil hydraulic properties considerably, with the highest cumulative infiltration rates of 5.16 and 8.68 cm/min observed under the PPPR systems at the Ellembelle and Jomoro sites, respectively. Microbial biomass C (Cmic), N (Nmic) and P (Pmic) was significantly improved (P < 0.05) under the agroforestry than the monocrop systems. The Cmic, Nmic and Pmic values were highest under the PPPR system at both Ellembelle (Cmic, = 139.9 mg/kg; Nmic = 36.26 mg/kg and Pmic = 87.6 mg/kg) and Jomoro (Cmic = 78.7 mg/kg; Nmic = 80.3 mg/kg and Pmic = 3.45 mg/kg) sites.

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<![CDATA[Enrichment of Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria and Burkholderiales drives selection of bacterial community from soil by maize roots in a traditional milpa agroecosystem]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254508d5eed0c48442bd4d

Milpas are rain-fed agroecosystems involving domesticated, semi-domesticated and tolerated plant species that combine maize with a large variety of other crop, tree or shrub species. Milpas are low input and low-tillage, yet highly productive agroecosystems, which have been maintained over millennia in indigenous communities in Mexico and other countries in Central America. Thus, milpas may retain ancient plant-microorganisms interactions, which could have been lost in modern high-tillage monocultures with large agrochemical input. In this work, we performed high-throughput 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing of soil adjacent to maize roots and bulk soil sampled at 30 cm from the base of the plants. We found that the bacterial communities of maize root soil had a lower alpha diversity, suggesting selection of microorganisms by maize-roots from the bulk-soil community. Beta diversity analysis confirmed that these environments harbor two distinct microbial communities; differences were driven by members of phyla Verrucomicrobia and Actinobacteria, as well as the order Burkholderiales (Betaproteobacteria), all of which had higher relative abundance in soil adjacent to the roots. Numerous studies have shown the influence of maize plants on bacterial communities found in soil attached tightly to the roots; here we further show that the influence of maize roots at milpas on bacterial communities is detectable even in plant-free soil collected nearby. We propose that members of Verrucomicrobia and other phyla found in the rhizosphere may establish beneficial plant-microbe interactions with maize roots in milpas, and propose to address their cultivation for future studies on ecology and potential use.

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<![CDATA[Toxicity of phthalate esters to lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and the soil microbial community under different soil conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254552d5eed0c48442c4fb

Phthalate esters (PAEs) are globally used plasticizers and typical endocrine disruptors that can readily accumulate in agricultural products and represent a substantial risk to human health via the food chain. The range of soil properties has an important influence on the expression of PAE toxicity, and the mechanisms by which soil physical and chemical properties affect the expression of toxicity of target PAEs to plants and microorganisms requires further investigation. Important soil factors affecting the eco-toxicological effects of two typical PAEs, di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), on lettuce (Lactuca sativa) in a spiked soil were investigated in the present study. Soil at various pH values was spiked with three PAE concentrations (1, 5 and 20 mg DnBP or DEHP kg-1 soil), organic matter contents and water holding contents to simulate the greenhouse soil environment for 30 days. Their influence on the biomass, photosynthetic pigment contents, various physiological changes and soil microbial communities was determined as endpoints. The toxicity to lettuce of DnBP was higher than that of DEHP in the soil and soil pH was the most important factor affecting their single toxicity, followed by soil organic matter content and soil moisture content in agreement with the Biolog test results. Under different soil conditions total protein, total soluble sugar and free amino acid contents were positively correlated with concentrations of the target PAEs, but leaf area, biomass, •O2- activity, vitamin C content and soil microbial diversity indices showed the opposite trend. Chlorophyll a and carotenoid contents were more inhibited by DnBP together with impacts on indices of soil microbial diversity. The results suggest that soil conditions in greenhouses directly explain the patterns of pollutant toxicity displayed and impact the quantity, quality and food safety of vegetables produced using highly intensive production systems.

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<![CDATA[Absence of genetic selection in a pathogenic Escherichia coli strain exposed to the manure-amended soil environment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141e62d5eed0c484d265cd

Escherichia coli that express curli are more common in subsurface soil drainage when manure is surface applied. However, it is unknown whether this arises from mutations in individual strains leading to curli expression or by selection for individuals already expressing higher levels of curli. To test this, we examined curli production in pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 EDL933 as a function of manure management. Five treatments were investigated: (1) soil only, (2) soil with surface-applied E. coli O157:H7 EDL933 Δstx1-2 (EcO157), (3) soil with incorporated EcO157, (4) soil with surface-applied EcO157-inoculated manure, and (5) soil with incorporated EcO157-inoculated manure. EcO157 was reisolated from soils immediately after application and weekly thereafter for 8 weeks. EcO157 in the surface-applied treatments died faster than their incorporated treatment counterparts. Phenotypic assays revealed differences between treatments as well. Half of surface-applied manure reisolates from week 6 developed a mixed red and white colony morphology on Congo Red plates, indicating changes in curli production that were not seen in other treatments or times. In 37°C growth tests, week 6 reisolates from all treatments except soil surface-applied EcO157 left the lag phase at a significantly greater rate than week 0 isolates. We applied whole genome sequencing technology to interrogate the genetic underpinnings of these phenotypes. Surprisingly, we only found single-nucleotide polymorphisms in two of the 94 resequenced isolates from the different treatments, neither of which correlated with curli phenotype. Likewise, we found no differences in other genomic characteristics that might account for phenotypic differences including the count of gaps and the origin of discarded reads that failed to map to the parental strain. These results suggest there were no systematic genomic differences (i.e. individual-level selection) that correlated with time or treatment. We recommend future research focus on population-level selection of E. coli strains in the manure-amended soil environment.

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<![CDATA[Treating wheat seeds with neonicotinoid insecticides does not harm the rhizosphere microbial community]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed797d5eed0c484f14492

Wheat aphids damage wheat plants directly by feeding on them and indirectly by transmitting plant pathogenic viruses, both of which result in low yield and plant death. Due to their high root absorption and systemic characteristics, neonicotinoid insecticidal seed treatments are increasingly applied to control wheat aphids throughout the growing season in China. Ecological concerns are raised in some research, because neonicotinoids can persist and accumulate in soils. They are prone to leach into waterways, and are found in crop nectars and pollens, where they may be harmful to pollinators. Less information is available about the effect of neonicotinoid seed treatments on soil microorganisms. Here, we posed the hypothesis that neonicotinoids are not harmful to soil microbial communities. We tested our hypothesis by evaluating the effects of two neonicotinoids, imidacloprid and clothianidin, on soil microbiomes using high-throughput sequencing during three points in the wheat growth season. Except for the imidacloprid-treated soil in the seedling stage, the community richness and diversity were not affected according to Chao1, ACE and the Shannon indices, and species distribution histogram at the phylum level. However, Beta diversity indices showed that the species richness of the bacterial and fungal community was suppressed by neonicotinoids in seedling stage (high neonicotinoids concentrations), whereas by the reviving period, the changes reverted into stimulation of the soil microorganisms (low neonicotinoids concentrations). Overall, the general microbiome recovered at the end of the wheat planting season. Generally, wheat seed dressing with neonicotinoid insecticides control aphids during the entire growth period, and have no lasting adverse effects on the soil microbiome. This study provides an understanding of the influence of neonicotinoids on crop land ecology at the level of soil microbe communities.

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<![CDATA[Spatiotemporal variability of soil nutrients and the responses of growth during growth stages of winter wheat in northern China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028a1d5eed0c484247aad

Studying soil nutrient variability and its effect on the growth and development of crops under a traditional tillage mode is the foundation for comprehensively implementing precision agriculture policies at the field scale and ensuring excellent crop management. In this paper, a 28.5 hm2 winter wheat field under the traditional cultivation model in Tianzhuang town of Huantai County was selected as the research area. The mesh point method was utilized for sampling (60×60 m), and the characteristics of soil available nitrogen (AN), available phosphorus (AP) and available potassium (AK) variations in the before sowing, reviving, jointing, and filling stages of winter wheat were analyzed using geostatistical and GIS methods. Moreover, Pearson correlation analysis was used to study the response of wheat growth and development to soil nutrient variations. As the growth stages progressed, 1) each nutrient showed the characteristics of low-high-low and moderate variability. The highest AN and AK contents were found at the reviving stage, while AP reached a turning point at the jointing stage. The order of variability of each nutrient was AN>AP>AK. 2) The nutrient variations first increased and then decreased and showed medium to strong spatial correlation. The three nutrients were strongly spatially correlated in the before sowing stage and moderately spatially correlated during the reviving stage. During the jointing and filling stages, AN had moderate spatial correlation, and AP and AK had strong spatial correlation. The spatial correlation of each nutrient was the weakest in the reviving stage, and the spatial correlation of AN was strongest in the before sowing stage, while the spatial correlations of AP and AK were strongest in the jointing stage. The spatial correlation of each soil nutrient decreased from the before sowing stage to the reviving stage and from the jointing stage to the filling stage, and the spatial correlation increased from the reviving stage to the jointing stage. 3) The soil nutrient content first increased and then decreased, and the grades of the nutrients gradually decreased. 4) The correlation between soil nutrients and wheat growth gradually increased. AN had the highest correlation with wheat growth, followed by AK and AP. The effect of soil nutrients on the growth of wheat at the reviving stage was greater than the effect of nutrients in the current stage. The growth of wheat at the jointing stage was mainly influenced by nutrients in the current stage, while the growth of wheat at the filling stage was influenced by the nutrient contents of both the previous and current stages. Thus, the date of fertilizer supplementation should be postponed properly. In this study, the soil nutrient dynamics and their influence on the growth of wheat during the winter wheat growth period under the traditional field model were well described, and these results could provide a theoretical basis for the precision management of soil nutrients in the northern winter wheat area where the planting environment and cultivation management are relatively uniform.

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