May 2012

May 2012 [6(5) 2012]

Table of Contents

Southern Cross Publishing Group©2012

Australian Journal of Crop Science (AJCS)
Adjustments in leaf water relations of wild wheat relative Aegilops geniculata Roth. and wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) plants grown in a salinity gradient

Khaled Mguis, Ali Albouchi, Ayda khadhri, Mejda Abassi, Mbarka Yakoubi-Tej, Asma Mahjoub, Zeineb Ouerghi and Nadia Ben Brahim

Unit of Physiology and Biochemistry of Salt tolerance of Plants, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University Tunis El Manar, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia
Unit of Agrosylvopastrolism, INERGREF, University of Carthage, Hedi karray Street, 2080 Ariana, Tunisia 
Botanic laboratory, INRAT, Hedi karray Street, 2080 Ariana, Tunisia
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University Tunis El Manar, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia

In order to study salt effect on wild and cultivated wheat, three accessions of Aegilops genicula Roth. (wild wheat) from Ain Zana, Zaghouan, and Sbitla and a variety of Triticum durum L. (cultivated wheat) were grown in greenhouse and treated with different salinity levels. Leaf growth, water relations, and proline and sugar contents were measured for each plant at the reproductive stage and analyzed using SAS software. T. durum and the three accessions of A. geniculata responded to saline stress by developing avoidance and tolerance mechanisms. The avoidance mechanisms took place at the morphological and physiological levels. Morphologically, a reduction of leaf number and length were observed, which are considered as mechanisms that regulate water loss via transpiration. Tolerance mechanisms included osmotic adjustment, a decrease of leaf cell elasticity, and an increase of apoplast water content. This study showed a high variability in these characteristics, which is mainly related to seed geographical origins. It was also observed that Sbitla accession was the least affected by the imposed salt stress (57% at 200 mM) while Ain zana was the most affected (84% at 200 mM).

Pages 768-776 | Full Text PDF
Yield and fruit quality of Queen Orange [Citrus sinensis (L) Osb.] grafted on different rootstocks

Alireza Shafieizargar, Yahya Awang, Abdul Shukor Juraimi, Radziah Othman

Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Horticulture, Safiabad Agricultural Research Center, Dezful, Iran
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

The Queen Orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] is highly adaptable to the climatic conditions of the Southwest of Iran. However, the success of its production is highly dependent on its compatibility with rootstocks. This paper describes fruit production and quality of 10-year-old Queen orange grafted on six commercial rootstocks in a five year period. Queen orange trees grafted on ‘Volkamer’ lemon (Citrus volkameriana Ten. and Pasq.) (VL) produced the highest cumulative fruit yields, whereas trees on ‘Swingle’ citromelo [(Citrus paradisi (L.) × Ponicrus trifoliate (L.) Raf.] (SC) and ‘Cleopatra’ mandarin (Citrus reshni Hort. Ex Tan.) (Cleo) produced the least yield. The response of grafted trees in term of fruit production was intermediate on ‘Carrizo’ citrange [(Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.× Ponicrus trifoliate (L.) Raf. ] (CC), Troyer citrange [(Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.× Ponicrus trifoliate (L.) Raf. ] (TC), and Sour orange (Citrus aurantium L.) (SO). Trees grafted on VL produced larger canopy volume than trees on the other rootstocks (32.48 m3), while Cleo had the lowest tree canopy volume (18.87 m3). Trees grafted on VL and CC produced the largest fruits, whereas the smallest fruits were obtained from trees grafted on Cleo and TC. Fruit rind thickness and acid content were not significantly affected by rootstocks. Fruit from trees grafted on VL had the highest juice content (43.52%), whereas fruits from trees on Cleo produced the lowest juice content (40.70%). Fruit from trees on SO had the highest soluble solids (13.50%), while those from trees on VL were the lowest (12.08%).The study revealed that the rootstocks have significant effects on most of the measured parameters, indicating that tree size, yield, and fruit quality of ‘Queen’ orange can be controlled by proper selection of rootstock. This study showed that VL is a good rootstock for Queen’ orange grafting.

Pages 777-783 | Full Text PDF
Analysis of photothermic resource use efficiency and potential increases in crop yields in high-yielding regions of eastern Asia

Yuhong Hou, Guofeng Hou, Hua Qi, Chuanyong Chen, Xiangling Li, Ming Zhao, Shuting Dong

College of Agronomy, Shandong Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an, Shandong Province 271000, People’s Republic of China
Soil fertilizer station of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region 010011, People’s Republic of China
College of Agronomy, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province110161 , People’s Republic of China
Maize Research Center, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing100081, People’s Republic of China
Institute of crop science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing100081, People’s Republic of China

In agronomic management, photothermic resources will play an increasingly important role in boosting crop yields to meet growing demands. This study explored photothermic resource use efficiency and predicted the highest theoretical yield of four crop types (maize, rice, ratoon rice and wheat) in the high-yielding regions of the Northeast plain, Huai Hai Lyrics valley and Yangtze River valley of China spanning a latitudinal range from N25.48° to N45.32°. The radiation production potential (RPP) and thermal production potential (TPP) of the four crop types were analyzed, using indexes of radiation production potential equivalence (RPPE) and thermal production potential equivalence (TPPE). The results showed that RPPE and TPPE varied with crop type, harvest zone and high-yielding areas. For the different crop types, the RPPE and TPPE of ratoon rice (0.7406, 0.7848) were the highest, while the RPPE of winter wheat (0.3041) and TPPE of rice (0.4955) were the lowest. The theoretical yield of maize (15,408.2 kg hm-2) was the highest while that of winter wheat (10,273.4 kg hm-2) was the lowest, and the theoretical yield of ratoon rice (12,245.2 kg hm-2) was higher than that of rice (11,117.7 kg hm-2). By harvest zone, the RPPE of the double harvest zone (0.5105) and TPPE of the single harvest zone (0.7015) were the highest, while the RPPE and TPPE of the triple harvest zone (0.4688, 0.5607) were the lowest. By area, the RPPE of Youxi (0.7406) and TPPE of Huadian (0.9089) were the highest, while the RPPE of Lianyungang (0.3607) and TPPE of Changsha (0.4702) were the lowest. Environmental parameters also impacted crop yield, where fewer hours of solar radiation caused a decline in RPP, while higher air temperatures increased TPP. Radiation was the limiting factor for summer maize, late rice and ratoon rice, while temperature was the limiting factor for winter wheat, spring maize and early rice; radiation was the limiting factor for the triple harvest zone, while temperature was the limiting factor for single and double harvest zones; finally, radiation was the limiting factor for Youxi, Changsha, Jiangsu, Wuxue and Haicheng, while temperature was the limiting factor for Harbin, Huadian, Laizhou, Xinxiang, Wuqiao and Lianyungang. Agricultural techniques also affected yield, where the optimum cultivation models were found to be high density double-planting for summer maize, cultivation in earth furrows for winter wheat, simultaneous optimization of the use of radiation and heat by ratoon rice and boosting of sink capacity and source capacity for rice. In conclusion, latitudinal differences in photothermic resources are poorly utilized, even in high-yielding regions, meaning that all regions including those that already meet their annual targets have the potential to further improve yields. Therefore, crops should be sown early to improve heat use efficiency in areas of low latitude while suitable sowing and harvesting dates should be chosen for high latitudes to improve radiation use efficiency. At the same time, the highest-yielding cultivation mode should be matched to the latitude, such as spring maize planting in Huadian, winter-wheat planting in Laizhou and ratoon rice planting in Youxi.

Pages 784-792 | Full Text PDF
Exquisite protocol of callus induction and protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) regeneration of Dendrobium sonia-28

Tan Ai Mei, Monica Danial, Maziah Mahmood and Sreeramanan Subramaniam

School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Gelugor, 11800 Penang, Malaysia
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor DE, Malaysia

Protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) of Dendrobium sonia-28 were used as explant for callus induction. The PLBs segments were cultured on half strength MS semi-solid medium supplemented with different concentrations of 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) (0.05, 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/L) or/with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) (0.001, 0.005, 0.01, 0.05, 0.1, 0.25 and 0.5 mg/L) alone or in combinations, respectively, for six weeks. The medium contained with the combination of 1.0 mg/L NAA and 0.1 mg/L 2,4-D was optimal for callus induction. After six weeks of culture, whitish yellow and friable callus were obtained. Callus proliferated very well on the optimal medium without tryptone treatment after six weeks of culture. The calluses were also regenerated into PLBs from the medium with 20 g/L sucrose and without plant growth regulators after eight weeks of culture.

Pages 793-800 | Full Text PDF
Investigation on the effect of subculture frequency and inoculum size on the artemisinin content in a cell suspension culture of Artemisia annua L.

Lo Kiah Yann, Nadali Babaeian Jelodar and Chan Lai-Keng

Plant Tissue and Cell Culture Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia
Department of Plant Breeding, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Iran

Artemisinin, an endoperoxide sesquiterpene lactone, has been proven to be effective for the treatment of both drug resistant and cerebral malaria parasites. It is isolated mainly from the aerial parts of Artemisia annua plants but the production is not sufficient for the current market demand. Chemical synthesis of artemisinin was found to be difficult and not economically viable. Therefore, the enhanced production of artemisinin via the in vitro cell culture technique is highly desirable. Friable callus is required for the preparation of the cell suspension culture. The callus cultures of A. annua were initiated from the leaf explants. Light green friable calli at the fourth subculture cycle were chosen as the best callus age to initiate cell suspension culture. The A. annua cells could be maintained with a growth index of between 10 and 18 for 33 subculture cycles with 16 days interval per cycle. The highest artemisinin content was detected in cultures with initial inoculum of 0.50 g after 12 days of culture in the callus induction medium. 

Pages 801-807 | Full Text PDF
Mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with cooking quality in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Atefeh Sabouri, Babak Rabiei, Mahmoud Toorchi, Saeed Aharizad and Ali Moumeni

Department of Agronomy & Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
Department of Crop Production & Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
Rice Research Institute of Iran, P.O. Box: 145, Amol, Iran

A mapping population consisting of 236 F2:3 families derived from the cross between two rice varieties, Gharib as female parent (with good cooking quality) and Sepidroud as male parent (with poor cooking quality) was used to analyze the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with amylose content (AC), gelatinisation temperature (GT) and gel consistency (GC). A total of 105 single sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to construct a genetic linkage map, covering a total length of 1440.7 cM of the genome in rice (Oryza sativa L.) with an average distance of 13.72 cM between markers. Twelve independent QTLs were identified using composite interval mapping. These loci consisted of three QTLs for GT, eight QTLs for AC and one QTL for GC, most of which are reported here for the first time. For GT the QTL explaining the largest proportion of variance (18.4%) was located on chromosome 6, the same locus as the alkali degeneration gene (alk). For AC, four QTLs were found on chromosome 6, one of which was located at the interval RM586-RM190 explaining 19.3% of the total variation and which should coincide with the waxy region (wx) located on the short arm of this chromosome. The results using Iranian rice cultivars, in combination with previous reports further confirmed that alk and wx regions play a considerable role in determining cooking and eating quality of rice.

Pages 808-814 | Full Text PDF
Genetic diversity and relationships in wild species of Brassica and allied genera as revealed by cross-transferable genomic STMS marker assays

Binay K. Singh, Ajay K. Thakur, Pramod K. Rai

Directorate of Rapeseed-Mustard Research, Bharatpur -321 303, Rajasthan, India                                   

One hundred and sixty one genomic STMS markers were tested from four different Brassica species (Brassica napus L., Brassica nigra (L.) Koch, Brassica rapa L. and Brassica oleracia L.) for cross-transferability to eleven different species of Brassica and allied genera. In total, 70 (43.5%) STMS markers showed cross-transferability to at least one of the eleven species which were considered for the study and it revealed a significant effect of taxonomic group on the proportion of markers amplified. Out of the 70 cross-transferable STMS markers, 32 (45.7%) markers were polymorphic and distinguished the studied taxa. The ‘B’ genome derived STMS markers showed lower level of cross-transferability as compared to those derived from ‘A’ and ‘C’ genomes of Brassica species.  The cross-transferable STMS markers were applied to characterize the genetic variability and to evaluate the genetic relationships among the species using un-weighted pair group method average (UPGMA) analysis. The results indicated a high level of congruence with earlier reports and are in agreement with their recognized taxonomy.

Pages 815-821 | Full Text PDF | Supplementary data
Research Note

Effects of sucrose and ammonium nitrate on phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase activities in wheat ears

Y.H. Zhang, S.L. Zhou, Q. Huang, G.H. Leng, Q.W. Xue, B.A. Stewart, Z.M. Wang

Key Laboratory of Farming System, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology,
China Agricultural University, No.2 Yuanmingyuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100193, China
Texas AgriLife Research, Amarillo, TX 79106, USA
Dryland Agriculture Institute, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX 79016, USA

The effects of sucrose and ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) levels on the activities of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) and ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) in ear organs (glume and grain), and on grain mass and nitrogen concentration were investigated using a culture of detached ears of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Results showed that PEPC and Rubisco activities in the glume and grain, as well as grain mass and grain nitrogen accumulation differentially increased as sucrose and NH4NO3 levels increased. Grain N concentration progressively increased as the NH4NO3 level increased, but decreased as sucrose level increased. Correlation analysis showed that PEPC activity in the glume and grain was positively correlated with grain N concentration. These results suggest that PEPC and Rubisco can be manipulated by external C and N supplies, and PEPC may play an important role in grain protein accumulation.

Pages 822-827 | Full Text PDF
Differential response of pea (Pisum sativum L.) genotypes to salt stress in relation to the growth, physiological attributes antioxidant activity and organic solutes

M. A. Shahid, R. M. Balal, M. A. Pervez, T. Abbas, M. Ashfaq, U. Ghazanfar, M. Afzal, A. Rashid, F. Garcia-Sanchez and N. S Mattson

Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, New York, USA
Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha (Punjab) Pakistan
Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (38040) Punjab, Pakistan
Department of Agri-entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (38040) Punjab, Pakistan
Department of Plant Pathalogy, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha (Punjab) Pakistan
Department of Entomology, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha (Punjab) Pakistan
Office of the Research, Innovation and Commercialization, University of Agriculture, Punjab, Pakistan
Científico titular CSIC, CEBAS, Departamento De Nutricion Vegetal, Campu Universitario de Espinardo, Murcia, Spain

The response of nine pea (Pisum sativum) genotypes, with varying salt tolerance potential, was studied under salt stress. Salt stress significantly (p = 0.05) reduced the growth (internodal distance, plant fresh/dry biomass and number of leaves), physiological attributes (photosynthesis rate, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, chlorophyll contents) and cell membrane stability index (MSI) while elevated antioxidant enzymes, i.e. superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), organic solutes (proline, glycinebetaine and total free amino acids), lipid peroxidation (LPO),  hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and leaf abscisic acid (ABA) in tested genotypes. However, root/shoot sodium (Na+) was increased with increasing salinity levels, which enhanced the Na+: K+ ratio and seemed to affect the bioenergetic processes of photosynthesis. Whereas, root and shoot of tested genotypes exhibited a considerable reduction in phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) contents. Based on % increase or decrease in above mentioned attributes, the tested genotypes were categorized into salt tolerant and salt sensitive categories. Therefore, Climax, Samarina zard and 9800-5 were found to be salt tolerant, whereas 2001-20, Meteor and Euro observed as highly salt sensitive. Tolerant genotypes (Climax, Samarina zard and 9800-5) were successful in maintaining the maximum dry matter, low Na+, while high P and K+ under saline conditions. Since, genotypes with high concentration of organic osmolytes (proline, glycinebetaine and amino acids) and high antioxidant activity (SOD, POD, CAT) had high salt tolerance, so it is also concluded that salt tolerance potential of pea is highly associated with concentration of osmolytes and antioxidant enzymes.

Pages 828-838 | Full Text PDF
Comparative investigation of single salts stresses and their mixtures on Eragrostioid (Chloris virgata) to demonstrate the relaxation effect of mixed anions

Changyou Li, Xiaoping Wang, Huan Wang, Futai Ni, Decheng Shi

College of Life Science, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000, China
Key laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of MOE, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China

An alkali-resistant halophyte, Chloris virgata, which naturally grows on salt-alkalinized soils in northeast China, was studied. According to the characteristics of salt-alkalinized soil, in which four harmful salts NaCl, Na¬2SO4, NaHCO3 and Na2CO3 coexist, the single and mixed stresses of the four salts were applied to C. virgata. By measuring physiological indices such as matter accumulation rate (MAR), energy accumulation rate (EAR) and net photosynthetic rate (PN), we compared the differences among the stresses of the four single salts and their various mixtures to show a relaxation effect of mixed anions. The MAR, EAR and PN of C. virgata decreased with increased intensity (electrical conductivity) of various salt stresses, but the reduction rates were different at the same salinity (P < 0.05). The experiment indicated that the importance of stress effects of the four single salts on C. virgata were Na2CO3 > NaHCO3 > NaCl > Na2SO4, respectively. After mixing four single salts, the stress effects of mixtures were significantly lower than the combined effects of the single salts of the mixture, which implied an interaction among the different anions, and as a result, their stress impacts were abated. Therefore, mixed salts had a relaxation effect on plants compared to single salt stress. The relaxation effect decreased with increased salinity levels, and increased at higher alkalinity levels of the mixed salt. This study has theoretical significance in physiological ecology and agricultural research.

Pages 839-845 | Full Text PDF
Cd2+ stress induces two waves of H2O2 accumulation associated with ROS-generating system and ROS-scavenging system in cultured tobacco cells

Jin-Fen Wen, Ming-hua Deng, Ming Gong

College of Life Science, Engineering Research Center of Sustainable Development and Utilization of Biomass Energy of Education, Key Laboratory of Biomass Energy and Environmental Biotechnology of Yunnan Province, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650092, P.R.China
College of Modern Agricultural Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650224, P.R. China
College of Horticulture and Landscape, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, P.R. China

Cadmium (Cd) stress at 1.0 mmol/L for 64 h induced two waves of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) accumulation in cultured tobacco cells, which peaked at 30 min and about 48-56 h, respectively. Investigation of the changes of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating and ROS-scavenging enzyme activities indicated that tobacco cells actively produced the first wave of H2O2 accumulation, possibly by rapid activation of ROS-generating enzymes, including plasma membrane NADPH oxidase, by ironically and covalently-bound cell wall peroxidase (POD), cell wall polyamine oxidases and superoxide dismutase. However, prolonged Cd2+ treatment induced the second wave of H2O2 accumulation, accompanied by rapid increases in cell death rate and malondialdehyde content. The second H2O2 wave may have been produced passively due to decreased activities of the soluble POD, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase, and lowered content of reduced glutathione, caused by prolonged Cd2+ stress. Our results showed that H2O2 played dual roles in tobacco cells, acting as a signal molecule at relatively low concentration and triggering adaptive responses in the early phase of Cd2+ stress, and as a highly toxic molecule at high concentration inducing severe oxidative stress and leading to cell death.

Pages 846-853 | Full Text PDF
In vitro antioxidant properties of Rosa roxburghii aqueous extracts

Qi-Sen Xiang, Hai-Fang Xiao, Shi-Bo Gao, Meng-Tang Wen, Guo-Liang Jia, Xiao-Meng Ren, and Xue-Bo Liu

College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
College of Food and Bioengineering, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471003, China

Rosa roxburghii Tratt, is a wild plant of southwest China, which has numerous beneficial actions against various diseases. However, whether R. roxburghii has antioxidant activity for free radicals-mediated biomolecules damage is still unknown. In the present study, the protective effect of R. roxburghii aqueous extracts (RAE) on free radicals induced damage to biological molecules (lipids, DNA and proteins) was investigated. Significant inhibitory effects of RAE on the oxidation of protein and lipid were observed by using Cu2+/H2O2- or AAPH-treated (Bovine serum albumin, BSA) and liver homogenate systems. In addition, RAE effectively protected DNA against oxidative damage induced by 1,10-phenanthroline (OP)-Cu2+/ascorbate/H2O2. Results showed that RAE possessed strong radical-scavenging and redox abilities as evidenced by several model antioxidant assays including DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging and FRAP (Ferric-reducing antioxidant power). Total polyphenols and flavonoids of one-gram RAE were equivalent to 223.02 ± 3.61 mg of gallic acid and 20.41±1.71 mg of rutin, respectively. The potential bioactivity of R. roxburghi extract may associates with its high polyphenols and flavonoids contents.

Pages 854-860 | Full Text PDF
Response of Coker (flue-cured) tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) to inoculation with Azotobacter chroococcum at various levels of nitrogen fertilization

Mohammadali Sabeti Amirhandeh, Alireza Fallah Nosratabad, Slavik Harutyunyan, and Mehdi Norouzi

Guilan Tobacco Research Center, Rasht, Iran
Soil and Water Research Institute, Karaj, Iran
Department of Agro-ecology, Faculty of Agronomy, Armenian state Agrarian University, Armenia
Department of soil science, university of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

A field study was carried out during a two-year period (2008 to 2009) in order to investigate on response of Coker 347 (flue-cured) tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum L.) in vegetative growth stages to inoculation with Azotobacter chroococcum at various levels of nitrogen (N) fertilization. In a factorial trial and randomized completely block design (RCBD), four levels of N fertilizer (non-fertilizer, 15, 30 and 45 kg ha-1) and three levels of Azotobacter chroococcum (non-inoculation, 1 and 2 kg ha-1) in Coker (flue-cured) tobacco with three replications per treatments were applied. Sampling was done in three positions of leaves (priming, cutter and tip). Results revealed that the effect of year of experiment was significant on quantitative characteristics (except leaf length), N uptake and qualitative characteristics (except nicotine in priming). Application of N had significant effect on quantitative characteristics (except number and width of Leaf), N uptake and qualitative characteristics. Inoculation of roots with bacterium had significant effect on Cured leaf weight of cutter, yield, N uptake and qualitative characteristics. Furthermore, the lowest content of leaf length and nicotine in priming and the highest content reducing sugar in priming and tip were observed in non-fertilizer treatment. On the other part, the highest content of nicotine in priming and the lowest content of sugar in priming and tip were observed in treatment with 45 kg.ha-1 N and 2 kg ha-1 bacterium. In general, Azotobacter chroococcum is a suitable inoculant for tobacco cultivation and it could be a strategy to achieve sustainable agriculture.

Pages 861-868 | Full Text PDF
Effects of sand burial stress on maize (Zea mays L.) growth and physiological responses

Hao Qu, Halin Zhao, Ruilian Zhou, Xiaoan Zuo, Jin Wang, Jin Li1, Barron J. Orr

Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences Lanzhou 730000, China
Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100049, China
School of Life Science, Ludong University Yantai 264025, China
Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, 1955 E. 6th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719; USA

We examined the effects of sand burial on the growth and the physiological response of maize (Zea mays cv. Zhengdan958) in the Horqin sandy lands. We had five treatments that varied in the amount of sand burial: control (no burial), A (burial to 1/4 of plant height), B (burial to 1/2 of plant height), C (burial to 3/4 of plant height), and D (burial to 100% of plant height). We then measured survival rate, plant height, above-and belowground biomass, yield, and activity of antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase, and malondialdehyde content. Results show that the survival rate (91.67%) and plant height (230.3 cm) of maize under Treatment A at harvest time are significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those under other treatments; sand burial stress does not change the specific value of above and belowground biomass. Shallow burial (Treatment A) had no negative effects on the survival and growth of maize, but does decrease maize crop yield. Malondialdehyde content in shallow sand burial treatments (Treatments A and B) remained at low levels, but under sand burial = 3/4 plant height (Treatments C and D) they increased significantly. Superoxide dismutase activity increased significantly 12 days after sand burial and the increase under Treatment A is the highest (203%). Under all treatments, peroxidase activity increased 6 days after sand burial, but decreased significantly 12 days after sand burial. Catalase activity under all burial treatments was lower than that in the control. Sand burial should be avoided in the seedling stage of maize in our study area because even shallow burial can decrease yield.

Pages 869-876 | Full Text PDF
Salt and alkaline stress induced transgenerational alteration in DNA methylation of rice (Oryza sativa)

Qizhi Feng, Chunwu Yang, Xiuyun Lin, Jinming Wang, Xiufang Ou, Chunyu Zhang, Yu Chen and Bao Liu

Key laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of MOE, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
Department of Life Sciences, Chifeng University, Chifeng 024000, China
Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun 130024, China

In this study, we sought to explore a possible relationship among salt- and alkali-stressed heritable alterations in DNA methylation and acquisition of stress tolerance in rice. For this purpose, we used four rice genotypes, two salt-tolerant (JL 89-45 and Yangeng 23) and two salt-sensitive (Teyou 12 and Gaochan 106). We analyzed DNA methylation patterns of the salt- or alkaline-stressed rice plants and their selfing progenies growing in non-stressed conditions by methylation-sensitive molecular markers. Results showed that both salt- and alkaline-stresses caused alteration in DNA methylation pattern in the treated plants. Furthermore, the altered patterns persisted in selfed progenies of the stressed plants that grow under non-stressed conditions. Interestingly, the two salt-tolerant genotypes mainly showed hypermethylation while the two salt-sensitive genotypes showed mainly demethylation, indicating that DNA methylation remodeling may play a role in conditioning the salt tolerance. To test this hypothesis, we compared the stress tolerance in a salt-tolerant rice plant (genotype Yangeng 23) and its selfed progenies (S1 and S2 generations) which inherited the methylation alterations of salt-stressed plant (genotype Yangeng 23). Results indicated that both methylation alteration and increased stress tolerance were concomitantly inherited to several S2-generation plants. This is a clear example of epigenetic inheritance, and supports the idea of Lamarckian inheritance of acquired trait.

Pages 877-883 | Full Text PDF | Supplementary data
Solute distribution uniformity and fertilizer losses under meandering and standard furrow irrigation methods

Fatemeh Soroush, Behrouz Mostafazadeh-Fard, Sayed-Farhad Mousavi and Fariborz Abbasi

Water Engineering Department, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran
Agricultural Engineering Research Institute, Karaj, Iran

Surface fertigation is a cost-effective and simple method of applying fertilizer if well-managed and designed. Surface irrigation in sloping fields has some difficulties, especially when soil is not deep enough for adequate leveling. In these fields, fertigation may result in contamination of surface waters due to runoff. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of meandering furrow irrigation and field slope on the hydraulic parameters (advance time, recession time, water depth and runoff), distribution uniformities and application efficiency of water and fertilizer. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of field slope (1.1 and 2.9%) and furrow type (meandering furrow (MF) and standard furrow (SF) irrigation on hydraulic performance and efficiencies of irrigation and fertigation. Results indicated that application efficiency and advance time in MF irrigation were significantly more than SF irrigation (P<0.05) for both irrigation events. The average tail water runoff loss and consequently mass of fertilizer loss in MFs (718 L, 206 gr) were significantly (P< 0.05) less than SFs (1304 L, 399 gr), which could result in less surface water contamination. The average low quarter distribution uniformity (DULQ) and low half distribution uniformity (DULH) of water and fertilizer were high (almost 90%) for both irrigation methods. In general, the use of MF irrigation in sloping fields is recommended as a good management option for both irrigation and fertigation.

Pages 884-890 | Full Text PDF
Heavy metal uptake and translocation by Jatropha curcas L. in sawdust sludge contaminated soils

Nik M. Majid, M.M. Islam and Yumarnis Riasmi

Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Heavy metal pollution in soil is one of the most important environmental problems throughout the world and heavy metals cause significant toxic effect on humans, animals, microorganisms and plants. An experiment was conducted in sawdust contaminated soils at glasshouse to determine the growth response, metal tolerance and phytoremediation potential of Jatropha curcas. The J. curcas seedlings were planted in the growth media: T0 (Control, 100% soil, clay), T1 (80% soil + 20% sawdust sludge), T2 (60% soil + 40% sawdust sludge), T3 (40% soil + 60% sawdust sludge), T4 (20% soil + 80% sawdust sludge) and T5 (100 % sawdust sludge). The seedlings showed the best growth performance in T2 treatment in terms of height, basal diameter and number of leaves. The highest plant biomass was recorded in T2 and the maximum reduction of copper, iron, lead and zinc was also found in this treatment. Copper, lead and zinc were highly concentrated in the roots while iron and aluminum concentrated both in roots and leaves. The Jatropha curcas found to have a high potential to accumulate high amounts of copper, iron, aluminum, lead and zinc in its roots, leaves and stems. Plant in control to medium contaminated soils showed maximum translocation factor. The species was able to tolerate and accumulate a high concentration of heavy metals. Being a biodiesel non-food plant, Jatropha curcas can be an ideal option to be grown for phytoremediation in multi-metal contaminated sites and to mitigate the soil pollution.  

Pages 891-898 | Full Text PDF
Inheritance of morphological traits of the second basal internode in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

J.B. Yao, H.X. Ma, L.J. Ren, X.M.Yang and M.P. Zhou

Provincial Key Laboratory of Agrobiology, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing, 210014, China

The genetic effect of culm diameter (CD), culm wall thickness (CWT) and culm weight per cm (Cw cm-1) of the second basal internode was investigated in a 7 × 7 incomplete diallel cross of seven wheat parents (Ningmai 8, Ningmai 9, Yangmai 5, Yangmai 9, Yangmai 11, Sumai 3, and Wangshuibai) in the 2009-2010 season. Significant differences were observed among genotypes for all the traits, and the general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) were highly significant. The GCA variances were greater than SCA, indicating the predominance of additive effects. The estimates of GCA showed that parents with the best GCA for CD, CWT and Cw cm-1 were Ningmai 8 and Yangmai 5. Adequacy tests revealed that data of all the traits were partially adequate for genetic interpretation except CWT. Greater value of D over H1 demonstrated additive nature of gene actions for CD and Cw cm-1, which supports the utilization of pedigree selection for improvement of these two traits. CD and Cw cm-1 might be controlled by two and seven groups of genes, respectively, and exhibited lower values of narrow sense heritability.

Pages 899-903 | Full Text PDF
Transform of an ectopically expressed bulb lectin gene from Pinellia pedatisecta into tobacco plants conferring resistance to aphids (Myzus nicotianae)

Zhi-Ming Wu, Hong-Bo Yan, Wen-Liang Pan, Biao Jiang, Jian-Guang Liu, Bao-jin Geng, Ying-Tao Sun, Yu-Hai Wang, Wen-Qi Dong

Institute of Economic Crop Research, Hebei Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050051, China
Bioscience and Bioengineering School, Hebei University of Economics and Business, Shi Jiazhuang, 050061, China 3Institute of Plant Protection Research, Hebei Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Baoding 071000, China
Institute of Vegetable Research, Guangdong Academy of Agriculture Sciences, Guagnzhou 510640, China

Plant lectins are widely distributed in the plant kingdom, and a number of cDNAs have been isolated from many plants. Here we reported the isolation an expression analysis of a cDNA from Pinellia pedatisecta named PPAb. The cDNA clone was obtained from the bulb using a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The coding region of the gene is 777 bp encoding 258 amino acids of a predicted 28.4 kDa molecular mass and with a pI of 8.32, and containing a 24 amino acid signal peptide. The gene shares 85.5 % and 98.8 % homology on the protein level with the lectin cDNA from P. pedatisecta and Arisaema heterophyllum, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence contains the conserved features of mannose-binding lectins, including three mannose-binding sites (QXDXNXVXY). Southern blot analysis indicated that PPAb belongs to a multi-copy gene family, and Northern blot analysis revealed that the PPAb is preferentially expressed in the tuber. The insecticidal activity of PPAb against the tobacco aphids (Myzus nicotianae) was studied using transgenic tobacco plants expressing PPAb gene under the control of the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter. Northern blot assays revealed that lectin gene was expressed at various levels in the transgenic tobacco lines. Insect bioassays demonstrated that the ectopically expressing PPAb had significantly increased mortality, to tobacco aphids (Myzus nicotianae) fed on the transgenic lines when compared to wild type. These findings suggest that the PPAb is a suitable candidate protein for insect resistance in the control of various sap-sucking insects through a transgenic approach.

Pages 904-911 | Full Text PDF
Variations in high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits in the main wheat growing zones in China

Jun Ji, Xiaoli Guo, Fa Cui, Dongcheng Liu, Jiazhu Sun, Wei Zhang, Aimin Zhang, Junming Li

Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang, 050021, P. R. China
College of Biology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P. R. China
The State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, P. R. China

Variations in high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) at the Glu-1 loci were studied by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) method among 1942 advanced lines and cultivars from eight wheat-growing zones in China. There were 26 alleles and 83 types of HMW-GS composition detected, including some interesting and unique alleles and allelic compositions. Among the 26 alleles, the most frequent HMW-GS alleles were null at the Glu-A1 locus, 7+8 and 7+9 at the Glu-B1 locus, and 2+12 at the Glu-D1 locus. The HMW-GS compositions N, 7+8, 2+12 and N, 7+9, as well as 2+12 more frequently occurred than others among the 1942 wheat cultivars and advanced lines. The results can provide useful information for breeding programmes to improve bread-making quality and develop new cultivars.

Pages 912-917 | Full Text PDF
Effect of foliar application of chitosan on growth and yield in okra

M.M.A. Mondal, M.A. Malek, A.B. Puteh, M.R. Ismail, M. Ashrafuzzaman and L. Naher

Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA), Mymensingh- 2202, Bangladesh 
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Crop Botany, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Pot and field experiments were conducted in two consecutive years at the pot-yard and experimental field of Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture, Mymensingh, during March to June 2010 and 2011, to investigate the effect of foliar application of Chitosan, a growth promoter, on morphological, growth, biochemical, yield attributes and fruit yield of okra cv. BARIdherosh-1. The experiment comprised of five levels of Chitosan concentrations viz., 0 (control), 50, 75, 100 and 125 ppm. The Chitosan was sprayed three times at 25, 40 and 55 days after sowing. The pot experiment was laid out in a completely randomized design and the field experiment in a randomized complete block design, both with four replicates. Results revealed that most of the morphological (plant height, leaf number plant-1), growth (total dry mass plant-1, absolute growth rate, relative growth rate), biochemical parameters (nitrate reductase and photosynthesis) and yield attributes (number of fruits plant-1 and fruit size) were increased with increasing concentration of Chitosan until 25 ppm, resulted the highest fruit yield in okra (27.9% yield increased over the control). However, the increment of plant parameters as well as fruit yield was not significant from 100 ppm of Chitosan. Therefore, foliar application of Chitosan at 100 or 125 ppm may be used at early growth stage to achieve a maximum fruit yield in okra.

Pages 918-921 | Full Text PDF
Development of two high yielding mutant varieties of mustard [Brassica juncea (L.) Czern.] through gamma rays irradiation

M.A. Malek, H.A. Begum, M. Begum, M.A. Sattar, M.R. Ismail and M.Y. Rafii

Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture, Mymensingh-2202, Bangladesh  
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Seeds of the well-adapted and popular mustard variety BARIsarisha-11 were irradiated with gamma ray using 60Co gamma cells. Irradiated seeds were grown as M1 during 2004-05. Selection was made from M2 generation during 2005-06. Desirable mutants were confirmed in M4 generation during 2007-08 and ten true breeding mutants having higher seed yield per plant with desirable morphological characters and yield attributes were selected. Selected mutants were evaluated along with the mother variety BARIsarisha-11 to select the most desirable ones considering higher seed yield and improved yield attributes under different replicated yield trials during 2008-09 to 2010-11. Results showed that two mutants, MM-10-04 and MM-08-04 selected from 700 Gy produced higher seed yield than BARIsarisha-11 in most of the trials conducted in 13 locations of Bangladesh. Mean of three years trial showed that seed yield of MM-10-04 and MM-08-04 was 2043 and 1893 kg ha-1, respectively, which was 23% and 14% higher than BARIsarisha-11 (parental plant). Mutants MM-10-04 and MM-08-04 also had the higher number of siliquae plant-1, 1000-seed weight and oil content than BARIsarisha-11. These two mutants also showed tolerance against Alternaria blight disease and lower aphid infestation. Results of the yield trials as well as screening against Alternaria blight disease and aphid carried out across the country indicated that MM-10-04 and MM-08-04 were suitable for widespread cultivation. Consequently, the National Seed Board of Bangladesh registered MM-10-04 and MM-08-04 in 2011 as two high yielding mustard varieties, Binasarisha-7 and Binasarisha-8, respectively for commercial cultivation.

Pages 922-927 | Full Text PDF
Callus induction and organogenesis capacity from lamina and petiole explants of Anthurium andreanum Linden (Casino and Antadra)

Mojtaba Khorrami Raad, Sahar Bohluli Zanjani, Mahmoud Shoor, Yousef Hamidoghli, Ali Ramezani Sayyad, Ardashir Kharabian-Masouleh and Behzad Kaviani

Department of Tissue Culture, Branch of North Region of Iran (Rasht), Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII)
Department of Horticultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran
Department of Horticultural Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Guilan University, Rasht, Iran
Southern Cross Plant Science, Southern Cross University, NSW 2480, Australia
Department of Horticultural Science, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran

This  paper  describes  a  rapid  and  efficient  protocol  to  propagate  Anthurium andreanum Linden cultivars Casino and Antadra in presence of IBA, NAA, 2,4-D, KIN and BA through callus induction and organogenesis. Segments of lamina and petiole  (micro-cuttings  or  explants)  were  cultured  in  MS  basal  medium  with different concentrations of NAA (0.0, 0.01, 0.1, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg/L) and BA (0.0, 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 mg/L) to produce callus. After 65 days, the most callus production was  observed  in  medium  containing  0.5  mg/L  NAA  +  3  mg/L  BA  in  dark conditions. Production of callus in younger explants grown in dark was better than that the older explants grown in light conditions. The development of shoots and plantlets was initiated later from calluses. NAA (0.0, 0.005, 0.01 and 0.02 mg/L), 2,4-D (0.00, 0.05 and 0.1 mg/L), KIN (0.0 and 1.0 mg/L) and BA (0.0 and 1.0 mg/L) were used for shoot proliferation. The best proliferation of shoots per callus (22.83 shoots per cm2 of callus) was observed on medium supplemented with 0.01 mg/L NAA + 1 mg/L BA after 8 weeks in a 16/8 h light and dark cycle under a photoperiod of 50 µmol/m2/s. Callus production and shoot proliferation were better in Antadra cv. than those of Casino. IBA (0.0, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/L), NAA (0.0, 0.05, 0.1 and 0.25 mg/L) and KIN (0.0 and 0.2 mg/L) were applied for rooting of proliferated shoots. In root induction media, the largest number of root (11.50 roots per plantlets) was obtained on medium supplemented with 1 mg/L IBA + 0.2 mg/L KIN.  Rooting was significantly higher in Casino cv. Regenerated plants were transferred to peat: perlite: sand (1:1:1) after hardening and they showed 96% of survival.

Pages 928-937 | Full Text PDF
Investigation of banana slices shrinkage using image processing technique

M.A. Ebrahimi, S.S. Mohtasebi, Sh. Rafiee, S. Hosseinpour

Department of Agricultural Machinery Engineering, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,  University of Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

The aim of this study is to use image processing technique for measuring the variation of banana shape parameters during drying process. Roundness, elongation, area, thickness, perimeter, density ratio, and foam stability of banana slices were measured during drying time to describe the shrinkage kinetics. Therefore, a thin-layer experimental dryer was made based on a computer vision system. The experiments were performed at five levels of air temperature (50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 °C), three levels of thickness (3, 5 and 7 mm) at a fix level of air velocity 0.5 m/s. The results of image processing technique showed  the capability of this method for online measuring of the samples shape parameters. Roundness of samples decreased and elongation increased with decreasing of moisture content ratio. Relations of area, thickness, density, and perimeter variations, and MR had a linear form.. A linear model described the samples shrinkage as a function of MR due to suitable coefficient of determination. Finally, it is concluded that the method of this study is useful for design of a machine vision system for controlling the shape variations of products during drying time at the online form. Being online and automatic are two important and effective properties in reducing of the measurement’s errors, sampling time and reducing the standstill at the experiments.

Pages 938-945 | Full Text PDF
Above- and below-ground growth of cotton in response to drip irrigation under mulch film

Wenxuan Mai, Changyan Tian and Chunjian Li

Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
State Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology and Desert Environment, Urumqi 830011, China
College of Resources and Environment, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China

Long-term use of drip irrigation technology may lead to root degradation and affect shoot growth and yield. A field experiment was conducted to investigate above- and belowground growth responses to drip irrigation under mulch film (DI) in comparison to flood irrigation under mulch film (FI) in cotton. The monolith method was used to harvest roots at seven timepoints in the growth periods, and the root length, and shoot and root dry weight were measured. The total root length per plant in the 0-10 cm soil layer was higher under DI, whereas in the 30-60 cm soil layer roots were longer under FI. From 65 to 96 days after sowing (DAS), the rate of increase in root length was lower under DI than FI. Total root length decreased after 125 DAS under DI, and was mainly centered in the 0-40 cm soil layer and at distances of 30-70 cm from drip-lines. The shoot:root ratio at 125 DAS was higher under DI than FI, but at 160 DAS the shoot:root ratio abruptly declined under DI. The decline in root length under DI during advanced growth stages may be attributable to the higher root density in shallow soil layers and the increase in the shoot:root ratio. These results suggest that, it are important to increase yield of cotton plants under DI early development of a deep root system and initial control of shoot growth by regulation of water and fertilizer supply.

Pages 946-951 | Full Text PDF
ZmPto, a maize Pto-like gene, significantly affects salt resistance in transgenic Arabidopsis

Huawen Zou, Xiaohai Tian, Guohui Ma, Mingmin Zhao, Caili Wang, Zhixin Li

Engineering Research Center of Wetland Agriculture in the Central Yangtze, Ministry of Education, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434025, China
China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center, Changsha 410125, China

Studies have shown that Pto (confers resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato) plays an important role in plant disease resistance pathway. However, little is known about its responses to salt stress. A previous study has shown that maize ZmPto (Pto-like gene from Zea mays L.) is induced by salicylic acid (SA), abscisic acid (ABA), mannitol and salt. In this study, ZmPto was over-expressed in Arabidopsis in order to further analyze its biological functions. Under salt stress, transgenic plants grew better, had significantly higher seedling fresh and dry weight (FW, DW), seed yields, proline content and lower relative electric conductivity level compared with wild type. The seedling FW of transgenic lines, L1 and L2, increased by 40% and 60%, respectively. In addition, the DW of transgenic lines seedling, L1 and L2, increased 45% and 53%, respectively. The seed weight of L1 and L2 transgenic lines increased 73 % and 120 %, respectively. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed that compared with the wide type (WT) plants, the expression levels of RD29B, KIN2, SOS3 and P5CS1 in transgenic lines increased significantly. To our knowledge, this is the first report from the effect of over-expression of Pto-like gene which enhances the salt resistance in plants.

Pages 952-956 | Full Text PDF