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    Special Focus: Water Versus Energy
    Editorial − Water Versus Energy
    QIU Guo-yu , Shu Geng
    2013, 12(8): 1306.  DOI: 10.1016/S1671-2927(00)9042
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Effects of Evapotranspiration on Mitigation of Urban Temperature by Vegetation and Urban Agriculture
    QIU Guo-yu, LI Hong-yong, ZHANG Qing-tao, CHEN Wan, LIANG Xiao-jian , LI Xiang-ze
    2013, 12(8): 1307-1315.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60543-2
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The temperature difference between an urban space and surrounding non-urban space is called the urban heat island effect (UHI). Global terrestrial evapotranspiration (ET) can consume 1.4803×1023 joules (J) of energy annually, which is about 21.74% of the total available solar energy at the top of atmosphere, whereas annual human energy use is 4.935×1020 J, about 0.33% of annual ET energy consumption. Vegetation ET has great potential to reduce urban and global temperatures. Our literature review suggests that vegetation and urban agricultural ET can reduce urban temperatures by 0.5 to 4.0°C. Green roofs (including urban agriculture) and water bodies have also been shown to be effective ways of reducing urban temperatures. The cooling effects on the ambient temperature and the roof surface temperature can be 0.24-4.0°C and 0.8-60.0°C, respectively. The temperature of a water body (including urban aquaculture) can be lower than the temperature of the surrounding built environment by between 2 and 6°C, and a water body with a 16 m2 surface area can cool up to 2 826 m3 of nearby space by 1°C. Based on these findings, it can be concluded that the increase of evapotranspiration in cities, derived from vegetation, urban agriculture, and water body, can effectively mitigate the effect of urban heat islands.
    Special Focus: Water Versus Energy
    Analysis of the Diurnal Pattern of Evaporative Fraction and Its Controlling Factors over Croplands in the Northern China
    YANG Da-wen, CHEN He , LEI Hui-min
    2013, 12(8): 1316-1329.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60540-7
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    A key issue of applying remotely sensed data to estimate evapotranspiration (ET) for water management is extrapolating instantaneous latent heat flux (LE) at satellite over-passing time to daily ET total. At present, the most commonly used extrapolation methods have the same assumption that evaporative fraction (EF) can be treated as constant during daytime (so-called EF self-preservation). However, large errors are reported by many documents over various ecosystems with the same approach, which indicates that further analysis of the diurnal pattern of EF is still necessary. The aim of this study is to examine the diurnal pattern of EF under fair weather conditions, then to analyze the dependencies of EF to meteorological and plant factors. Long-term flux observations at four sites over semi-arid and semi-humid climate regions in the northern China are used to analyze the EF diurnal pattern. Results show that the EF self-preservation assumption no longer holds over growing seasons of crops. However, the ratio of reference ET to available energy is almost constant during the daytime, which implies the climate factors do not have much effect on the variability of EF. The analysis of diurnal pattern of air temperature, vapor pressure deficiency (VPD), and relative humidity (RH) confirms the assumption that ET diurnal pattern is mainly influenced by stomatal regulation.
    Water and Energy Consumption by Agriculture in the Minqin Oasis Region
    LI Cheng, WANG Yue , QIU Guo-yu
    2013, 12(8): 1330-1340.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60542-0
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Water used in agriculture consumes much energy, mainly due to pumping water for irrigation, but the water-energy nexus is always neglected in arid and semi-arid areas. Based on hydrological observation data, irrigation data and socioeconomic data over the past 50 yr, this study has derived a detailed estimate of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural water use in the Minqin Oasis. Results show that the decreasing water supply and increasing demand for agriculture has caused severe water deficits over the past 50 yr in this region. The groundwater energy use rate rose by 76% between 1961 and 2009 because of the serious decline in groundwater levels. An increase in pump lift by an average 1 m would cause GHG emission rates to rise by around 2%. Over the past 10 yr, the GHG emissions from groundwater accounted for 65-88% of the total emissions from agricultural water. GHG emissions for diverted water varied from 0.047 to 0.074 Mt CO2e as the water input increased. Long distance conveyance and high pump lifts need more electricity input than groundwater abstraction does. Government policies have had a favorable effect on total emissions by reducing water abstraction. But groundwater depletion, exacerbated by a growing population and an expansion in arable land, remains the principal energy-water nexus challenge in the region. In response to the increasing water-energy crisis, energy-saving irrigation technology, matching to cost efficiencies, and better coordination between different infrastructural agencies could be feasible ways of rendering the water and energy sectors more sustainable over the long term.
    General Nexus Between Water and Electricity Use and Its Implication for Urban Agricultural Sustainability: A Case Study of Shenzhen, South China
    LI Wen-jiang, LI Lin-jun , QIU Guo-yu
    2013, 12(8): 1341-1349.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60547-X
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Although water and energy resources are well-recognized concerns regarding economic and social development sustainability, little specific research has focused on both water and energy problems at the same time. This study analyzed the water and electricity-use patterns in Shenzhen, South China during 2001-2009. A curve regression method was used to examine the relationship between water and electricity use per gross domestic product (GDP) in Shenzhen and its three sectors, i.e., agriculture, industry & construction, and residential life & services. Results showed that agriculture only covered less than 10% of water and electricity use in Shenzhen, while industry & construction and residential life & services accounted for more than 90% of water and electricity use in Shenzhen, which coincided with the city’s industrial structure. The water and electricity use per GDP in agriculture was the biggest among three sectors in Shenzhen during 2001-2009, which means inefficiency of water and electricity use in agriculture. Due to transitioning to advanced materials and manufacturing, both water and electricity use per GDP in industry & construction decreased during 2001-2009 and their utilization efficiencies gradually increased over time. The same held true for those in residential life & services transformed toward modern business, creative culture, finance services, etc. Derived from the survival of the fittest in competing for limited water and electricity resources, agriculture in Shenzhen has been gradually substituted by industry & construction and residential life & services, with much higher efficiencies of water and electricity use. And traditional agriculture will not be sustainable in the process of urbanization and industrialization, except high-tech intensive agriculture with low water and energy cost. Furthermore, by means of curve regression, we found that there was a significant quadratic relationship between water use per GDP and electricity use per GDP in the entire city and its three sectors. Suitable industrial transformation and advancement was a very effective way to save water and energy for modern cities. This can provide some reference for systematic planning and design of water and electricity allocation and use in agriculture, industry & construction and residential life & services in a city.
    Temporal Variation in Sap-Flux-Scaled Transpiration and Cooling Effect of a Subtropical Schima superba Plantation in the Urban Area of Guangzhou
    ZHU Li-wei , ZHAO Ping
    2013, 12(8): 1350-1356.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60548-1
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Agriculture could suffer the water stress induced by climate change. Because climate warming affects global hydrological cycles, it is vital to explore the effect of tree transpiration, as an important component of terrestrial evapotranspiration, on the environment. Thermal dissipation probes were used to measure xylem sap flux density of a Schima superba plantation in the urban area of Guangzhou City, South China. Stand transpiration was calculated by mean sap flux density times total sapwood area. The occurrence of the maximum sap flux density on the daily scale was later in wet season than in dry season. The peak of daily sap flux density was the highest of 59 g m-2 s-1 in July and August, and the lowest of 28 g m-2 s-1 in December. In the two periods (November 2007-October 2008 and November 2008-October 2009), the stand transpiration reached 263.2 and 291.6 mm, respectively. During our study period, stand transpiration in wet season (from April to September) could account for about 58.5 and 53.8% of the annual transpiration, respectively. Heat energy absorbed by tree transpiration averaged 1.4×108 and 1.6×108 kJ per month in this Schima superba plantation with the area of 2 885 m2, and temperature was reduced by 4.3 and 4.7°C s-1 per 10 m3 air.
    The Development of a Renewable-Energy-Driven Reverse Osmosis System for Water Desalination and Aquaculture Production
    Clark C K Liu
    2013, 12(8): 1357-1362.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60541-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Water and energy are closely linked natural resources - the transportation, treatment, and distribution of water depends on low-cost energy; while power generation requires large volumes of water. Seawater desalination is a mature technology for increasing freshwater supply, but it is essentially a trade of energy for freshwater and is not a viable solution for regions where both water and energy are in short supply. This paper discusses the development and application of a renewable-energy-driven reverse osmosis (RO) system for water desalination and the treatment and reuse of aquaculture wastewater. The system consists of (1) a wind-driven pumping subsystem, (2) a pressure-driven RO membrane desalination subsystem, and (3) a solar-driven feedback control module. The results of the pilot experiments indicated that the system, operated under wind speeds of 3 m s-1 or higher, can be used for brackish water desalination by reducing the salinity of feedwater with total dissolved solids (TDS) of over 3 000 mg L-1 to product water or permeate with a TDS of 200 mg L-1 or less. Results of the pilot experiments also indicated that the system can remove up to 97% of the nitrogenous wastes from the fish pond effluent and can recover and reuse up to 56% of the freshwater supply for fish pond operation.
    Technologies for Efficient Use of Irrigation Water and Energy in China
    ZHANG Qing-tao, XIA Qing, Clark C K Liu , Shu Geng
    2013, 12(8): 1363-1370.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60544-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    While the shortage of water and energy is a well-recognized worldwide natural resources issue, little attention has been given to irrigation energy efficiency. In this paper, we examine the potential energy savings that can be achieved by implementing improved irrigation technologies in China. The use of improved irrigation management measures such as a flow meter, irrigation scheduling, and/or regular maintenance and upgrades, typically reduces the amount of water pumped over the course of a growing season. The total energy saved by applying these improved measures could reach 20%, as compared with traditional irrigation methods. Two methods of irrigation water conveyance by traditional earth canal and low pressure pipeline irrigation (LPPI) were also evaluated. Our study indicated that LPPI could save 6.48×109 kWh yr-1 when applied to 11 Chinese provinces. Also, the CO2 emission was reduced by 6.72 metric tons per year. Among these 11 surveyed provinces, the energy saving potential for two provinces, Hebei and Shandong, could reach 1.45×109 kWh yr-1. Using LPPI, potential energy saved and CO2 emissions reduced in the other 20 Chinese provinces were estimated at about 2.97×109 kWh yr-1 and 2.69 metric tons per year, respectively. The energy saving potential for Heilongjiang, a major agriculture province, could reach 1.77×109 kWh yr-1, which is the largest in all provinces. If LPPI is applied to the entire country, average annual energy saving of more than 9 billion kWh and average annual CO2 emission reduction of more than 9.0 metric tons could be realized. Rice is one of the largest users of the world’s fresh water resources. Compared with continuous flooding irrigation, intermittent irrigation (ITI) can improve yield and water-use efficiency in paddy fields. The total increments of net output energy and yield by ITI in paddy fields across China could reach 2.5×1016 calories and 107 tons, respectively. So far only a small part of agricultural land in China has adopted water and energy saving technologies. Therefore, potential water and energy savings in China by adapting improved irrigation technology could be significant and should be carefully studied and applied.
    California Simulation of Evapotranspiration of Applied Water and Agricultural Energy Use in California
    Morteza N Orang, Richard L Snyder, Shu Geng, Quinn J Hart, Sara Sarreshteh, Matthias Falk, Dylan
    2013, 12(8): 1371-1388.  DOI: 10.1016/S1671-2927(00)9050
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The California Simulation of Evapotranspiration of Applied Water (Cal-SIMETAW) model is a new tool developed by the California Department of Water Resources and the University of California, Davis to perform daily soil water balance and determine crop evapotranspiration (ETc), evapotranspiration of applied water (ETaw), and applied water (AW) for use in California water resources planning. ETaw is a seasonal estimate of the water needed to irrigate a crop assuming 100% irrigation efficiency. The model accounts for soils, crop coefficients, rooting depths, seepage, etc. that influence crop water balance. It provides spatial soil and climate information and it uses historical crop and land-use category information to provide seasonal water balance estimates by combinations of detailed analysis unit and county (DAU/County) over California. The result is a large data base of ETc and ETaw that will be used to update information in the new California Water Plan (CWP). The application uses the daily climate data, i.e., maximum (Tx) and minimum (Tn) temperature and precipitation (Pcp), which were derived from monthly USDA-NRCS PRISM data (PRISM Group 2011) and daily US National Climate Data Center (NCDC) climate station data to cover California on a 4 km×4 km change grid spacing. The application uses daily weather data to determine reference evapotranspiration (ETo), using the Hargreaves-Samani (HS) equation (Hargreaves and Samani 1982, 1985). Because the HS equation is based on temperature only, ETo from the HS equation were compared with CIMIS ETo at the same locations using available CIMIS data to determine correction factors to estimate CIMIS ETo from the HS ETo to account for spatial climate differences. Cal-SIMETAW also employs near real-time reference evapotranspiration (ETo) information from Spatial CIMIS, which is a model that combines weather station data and remote sensing to provide a grid of ETo information. A second database containing the available soil water holding capacity and soil depth information for all of California was also developed from the USDA-NRCS SSURGO database. The Cal-SIMETAW program also has the ability to generate daily weather data from monthly mean values for use in studying climate change scenarios and their possible impacts on water demand in the state. The key objective of this project is to improve the accuracy of water use estimates for the California Water Plan (CWP), which provides a comprehensive report on water supply, demand, and management in California. In this paper, we will discuss the model and how it determines ETaw for use in water resources planning.
    Water and Energy Conservation of Rainwater Harvesting System in the Loess Plateau of China
    JIANG Zhi-yun, LI Xiao-yan, MA Yu-jun
    2013, 12(8): 1389-1395.  DOI: 10.1016/S1671-2927(00)9051
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Water is the source of all the creatures on the earth and energy is the main factor driving the world. With the increasing population and global change, water and energy conservation have become worldwide focal issues, particularly in the water-stressed and energy-limited regions. Rainwater harvesting, based on the collection and storage of rainfall runoff, has been widely used for domestic use and agricultural production in arid and semiarid regions. It has advantages of simple operation, high adaption, low cost and less energy consumption. This study reviewed rainwater harvesting systems adopted in the Loess Plateau of China and analyzed water use efficiency (WUE) for various rainwater harvesting techniques. Supplemental irrigation using harvested rainwater could increase crop yield by more than 30%, and WUE ranged from 0.7 to 5.7 kg m-3 for spring wheat, corn and flax, and 30-40 kg m-3 for vegetables. Moreover, energy consumption for rainwater harvesting based on single family was compared with traditional water supply in the city of the Loess Plateau using the life cycle assessment (LCA) method. Results showed that energy consumption yielded per unit harvested rainwater was 25.96 MJ m-3 yr-1 which was much less than 62.25 MJ m-3 yr-1 for main water supply in Baoji City, Shanxi Province, meaning that rainwater harvesting saved energy by 139.8% as compared to the main water supply system. This study highlights the importance and potential of rainwater harvesting for water and energy conservation in the near future.
    Evapotranspiration and Its Energy Exchange in Alpine Meadow Ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
    LI Jie, JIANG Sha, WANG Bin, JIANG Wei-wei, TANG Yan-hong, DU Ming-yuan , GU Song
    2013, 12(8): 1396-1401.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60546-8
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    To understand the water and energy exchange on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, we explored the characteristics of evapotranspiration (ET) and energy fluxes from 2002 to 2005 over a Kobresia meadow ecosystem using the eddy covariance method. The ratio of annual ET to precipitation (P) of meadow ecosystem was about 60%, but varied greatly with the change of season from summer to winter. The annual ET/P in meadow was lower than that in shrub, steppe and wetland ecosystems of this plateau. The incident solar radiation (Rs) received by the meadow was obviously higher than that of lowland in the same latitude; however the ratio of net radiation (Rn) to Rs with average annual value of 0.44 was significantly lower than that in the same latitude. The average annual ET was about 390 mm for 2002-2005, of which more than 80% occurred in growing season from May to September. The energy consumed on the ET was about 44% of net radiation in growing season, which was lower than that of shrub, steppe and wetland on this plateau. This study demonstrates that the Kobresia meadow may prevent the excessive water loss through evapotranspiration from the ecosystem into the atmosphere in comparison to the shrub, steppe and wetland ecosystems of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
    Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture and Adaptive Strategies in China
    LI Rui-li , Shu Geng
    2013, 12(8): 1402-1408.  DOI: 10.1016/S1671-2927(00)9053
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    China is the world’s most populous country and a major emitter of greenhouse gases. Consequently, China’s role in climate change has received a great deal of attention, whereas the impact of climate change on China has been largely ignored. Studies on the impacts of climate change on agriculture and adaptation strategies are increasingly becoming major areas of scientific concern. However, the clear warming that has been sounded in China in recent decades has not been matched with a clear assessment of the impact of climate change on China’s water resources and agriculture. In the present study, we review observations on climate change, hydrology, and agriculture in China and relate these observations to likely future changes. We also analyse the adaptive strategies in China’s agriculture.
    Crisis of Water Resources on the Ulan Buh Desert Oases, Inner Mongolia, China-A Case Study of Dengkou County
    MENG Zhong-ju, GAO Yong, YU Yi , REN Xiao-meng
    2013, 12(8): 1409-1413.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60545-6
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Hetao Plain, composed of hundreds of oases, is one of the most important grain-producing areas in China. Most crops, especially wheat and corn, depend on irrigation, thus water availability is a key issue for grain productivity on this land. The Yellow River is the main water source for irrigation and a crisis of water resources for agricultural use occurs because of increasingly reduced river flows and water-using competition with industry and human residential use. In order to understand the current situation and distribution of water resources on these oases, we collected 20-yr’s data of river runoff, irrigation volumes, infiltration and precipitation to examine the relationships between water resources distribution and its agricultural use. We found that the oasis in Dengkou county was short of water resources with a water deficit rate of 5.14% in 2010. Based on the trend of the data, water deficit will continue to increase as the population grows in the future. Water resource is a limiting factor to agricultural development in this region and proper management of water use and strategies for water resource conservation are urgently needed. Especially, based on our results we suggest that current irrigation methods need to be greatly improved to save the water that was lost from evaporation.
    Crop Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources
    Differential Expression of MicroRNAs in Response to Drought Stress in Maize
    LI Jing-sheng, FU Feng-ling, AN Ming, ZHOU Shu-feng, SHE Yue-hui , LI Wan-chen
    2013, 12(8): 1414-1422.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60311-1
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses that limit maize productivity. Apart from the principal transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional regulation mediated by microRNAs appears to be the prevalent response of plants to abiotic stress. In this study, the differential expression of microRNAs in the previously evaluated drought-tolerant inbred lines R09 under drought stress was detected by microarray hybridization. The target genes of the differentially-expressed microRNAs were predicted by bioinformatics software WMD3 for plant target gene prediction. The possible regulation of the differentially-expressed microRNAs as well as their target genes in maize response to drought stress was analysed according to Gene Ontology. Sixty-eight microRNAs in 29 microRNA families were detected to be differentially expressed in the seedling of the drought-tolerant inbred line R09, accounting for 5.97% of the total number of the probes. The expression profiles were different between the two time points of the drought stress. The functions of the genes targeted by the differentially-expressed microRNAs involve multiple physiological and biochemical pathways of response to abiotic stress, such as transcription regulation, metabolism, signal transduction, hormone stimulation, and transmembrane transport. Under drought stress, the differential expression of microRNAs regulates the expression of their target genes, resulting in multiple responses of physiological and biochemical pathways relative to drought tolerance of maize. miR156, miR159 and miR319 families may play more important roles. The different members of the same family may play similar regulation effects in most cases.
    QTL Identification of the Insensitive Response to Photoperiod and Temperature in Soybean by Association Mapping
    ZUO Qiao-mei, WEN Zi-xiang, ZHANG Shu-yun, HOU Jin-feng, GAI Jun-yi, YU De-yue , XING Han
    2013, 12(8): 1423-1430.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60554-7
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The insensitive response to photoperiod and temperature is an important quantitative trait for soybean in wide adaptation breeding. The natural variation in response to photoperiod and temperature was detected using 275 accessions of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] from China. Genome-wide association mapping, based on population structure analysis, was carried out using 118 SSR markers by the TASSEL GLM (general linear model) program. Nine SSR markers (P<0.01) were associated with the value of the response to photoperiod and temperature (VRPT) caused by days to flowering (DF), among which, Satt308 (LG M), Satt150 (LG M) and Satt440 (LG I), were identified in both 2006 and 2007. Twelve SSR markers (P<0.01) were associated with VRPT caused by days to maturity (DM), among which three markers, Satt387 (LG N), Satt307 (LG C2) and AW310961 (LG J), were detected in both 2006 and 2007. In addition, a total of 20 elite alleles were screened out over 2006 and 2007 for being associated with an insensitive response to photoperiod and temperature (IRPT) caused by DF and a total of seven different elite alleles were screened out for being associated with IRPT caused by DM. Among these elite alleles, five alleles, Satt150-244, Satt308-164, Satt308-206, Satt440-176, and Satt440-206, were associated with IRPT caused by DF and were identified in both years, but only one allele, Satt307-170, was identified as being associated with an IRPT caused by DM. Based on these elite alleles, a set of typical accessions were screened out. The result about the genetic basis of IRPT is meaningful for soybean wide adaption breeding.
    Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes During Ethylene Climacteric of Melon Fruit by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization
    GAO Feng, NIU Yi-ding, HAO Jin-feng, BADE Rengui, ZHANG Li-quan , HASI Agula
    2013, 12(8): 1431-1440.  DOI: 10.1016/S1671-2927(00)9057
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is an important horticultural crop worldwide. Ethylene regulates the ripening process and affects the ripening rate. To screen genes that are differentially expressed at the burst of ethylene climacteric in melon fruit, we performed suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to generate forward and reverse libraries, for which we sequenced 439 and 445 clones, respectively. Our BLAST analysis showed that the genes from the 2 libraries were involved in metabolism, signal transduction, cell structure, transcription, translation, and defense. Six genes were analyzed by qRT-PCR during the differential developmental stage of melon fruit. Our results provide new insight into the understanding of climacteric ripening of melon fruit.
    Physiology & Biochentry · Tillage · Cultivation
    Effect of Alkali Stress on Soluble Sugar, Antioxidant Enzymes and Yield of Oat
    BAI Jian-hui, LIU Jing-hui, ZHANG Na, YANG Jun-heng, SA Ru-la , WU Lan
    2013, 12(8): 1441-1449.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60556-0
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Alkali stress can cause severe crop damage and reduce production. However, physiological processes involved in alkali stress in oat seedlings are not well understood. In this study, physiological responses and yield of oat to alkali stress were studied using the alkali-tolerant oat genotype Vao-9 and the alkali-sensitive oat genotype Baiyan 5. The results were: (i) low concentrations of alkali stress (25 and 50 mmol L-1) significantly reduced the yield and grain weight while increased the oat grain number per spike. A negative correlation between yield and malondialdehyde (MDA) content at the jointing and grain filling stages and positive correlations between yield on one hand and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and peroxidase (POD) activities on the other at the jointing stage were observed. There was a positive correlation between MDA and soluble sugar at the grain filling stage; (ii) soluble sugar content was increased at the jointing and grain filling stages and decreased at the heading stage by alkali stress; (iii) alkali stress increased the SOD activity during the heading and grain filling stages, and increased the POD activity at the heading stage. As compared to the control, the increase of MDA contents in alkali-treated oat was observed, during the jointing, heading and grain filling stages; (iv) under alkali stress, the oat genotype Vao-9 showed higher antioxidant enzyme activity and lower soluble sugar contents during the heading stage, and lower MDA contents than those in the oat genotype Baiyan 5 under alkali stress. The result suggested that the high ROS scavenging capacity and soluble sugar levels might play roles in oat response to alkali stress.
    Low Root Zone Temperature Limits Nutrient Effects on Cucumber Seedling Growth and Induces Adversity Physiological Response
    YAN Qiu-yan, DUAN Zeng-qiang, MAO Jing-dong, LI Xun , DONG Fei
    2013, 12(8): 1450-1460.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60549-3
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Effects of root-zone temperatures (RZT) (12°C-RZT and 20°C-RZT) and different N, P, and K nutrient regimes on the growth, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and antioxidant enzyme in cucumber seedlings were investigated in hydroponics. Strong interactions were observed between RZT and nutrient on the dry weight (P=0.001), root length (P=0.001) and leaf area (P=0.05). Plant dry weights were suppressed at low RZT of 12°C, while higher biomass and growth of cucumber seedlings were produced at elevated RZT of 20°C under each nutrient treatment. Growth indexes (plant height, internode length, root length, and leaf area) at 12°C-RZT had less difference among nutrient treatments, but greater response was obtained for different nutrients at high RZT. RZT had larger effects (P=0.001) on cucumber seedling growth than nutrients. In addition, N was more effective nutrients to plant growth than P and K under low root temperature to plant growth. Higher hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), malondialdehyde (MDA), soluble sugar (SS) contents in leaves were observed at 12°C-RZT in all nutrient treatments than those at 20°C-RZT, indicating the chilling adversity damaged to plant growth. In general, antioxidant enzyme had larger response under low root-zone temperature. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were higher in both leaves and roots while peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) showed large different action in leaves and roots at both the two root-zone temperature.
    Animal Science · Veterinary Science
    Development of Genome-Wide Scan for Selection Signature in Farm Animals
    ZHANG Wen-guang
    2013, 12(8): 1461-1470.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60375-5
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Identifying targets of positive selection in farm animals has, until recently, been frustratingly slow, relying on the analysis of individual candidate genes. Genomics, however, has provided the necessary resources to systematically interrogate the entire genome for signatures of selection. This review described important recent results derived from the application of genome-wide scan to the study of genetic changes in farm animals. These included findings of regions of the genome that showed breed differentiation, evidence of selective sweeps within individual genomes and signatures of demographic events. Particular attention is focused on the study of the implications for domestication. To date, sixteen genome-wide scans for recent or ongoing positive selection have been performed in farm animals. A key challenge is to begin synthesizing these newly constructed maps of selection into a coherent narrative of animal breed evolutionary history and derive a deeper mechanistic understanding of how animal populations improve or evolve. The major insights from the surveyed studies are highlighted and directions for future study are suggested.
    Effects of Neutral Detergent Soluble Fiber and Sucrose Supplementation on Ruminal Fermentation, Microbial Synthesis, and Populations of Ruminal Cellulolytic Bacteria Using the Rumen Simulation Technique (RUSITEC)
    ZHAO Xiang-hui, LIU Chan-juan, LI Chao-yun , YAO Jun-hu
    2013, 12(8): 1471-1480.  DOI: 10.1016/S1671-2927(00)9061
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    We evaluated the effects of neutral detergent soluble fiber (NDSF) and sucrose supplementation on ruminal fermentation, microbial synthesis, and populations of ruminal cellulolytic bacteria using the rumen simulation technique (RUSITEC). The experiment had a 2×2 factorial design with two dosages of sucrose, low (ca. 0.26 g d-1, low-sucrose) and high (ca. 1.01 g d-1, high-sucrose), and two dosages of supplied NDSF, low (1.95 g d-1, low-NDSF) and high (2.70 g d-1, high-NDSF). Interactions between NDSF and sucrose were detected for xylanase activity from solid fraction and apparent disappearance of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and hemicellulose, with the lowest values observed for high-NDSF and high-sucrose treatment. Supplemental NDSF appeared to increase the molar proportion of acetate and reduce that of butyrate; however, the effects of supplemental sucrose on VFA profiles depended upon NDSF amount. There was a NDSF×sucrose interaction for the production of methane. High-NDSF fermenters had lower ammonia-N production, greater daily N flow of solidassociated microbial pellets and total microorganisms, and greater microbial synthesis efficiency compared with low- NDSF fermenters. Supplementation with NDSF resulted in an increase in 16S rDNA copies of Ruminococcus flavefaciens and a reduction in copies of Ruminococcus albus. Supplementation with sucrose tended to increase the 16S rDNA copies of R. albus from liquid fraction, but did not affect daily total microbial N flow and cellulolytic bacterium populations from solid fraction. These data indicate that the effects of the interaction between NDSF and sugars on ruminal fermentation and fiber digestion should be taken into account in diet formulation. Ruminal fermentation and metabolism of sugars warrant further investigation.
    A Three-Dimensional (3D) Environment to Maintain the Integrity of Mouse Testicular Can Cause the Occurrence of Meiosis
    CHU Zhi-li, LIU Chao, BAI Yao-fu, ZHU Hai-jing, HU Yue , HUA Jin-lian
    2013, 12(8): 1481-1488.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60376-7
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Adhesions between different cells and extracellular matrix have been studied extensively in vitro, but little is known about their functions in testicular tissue counterparts. Spermatogonia and their companion somatic cells maintain a close association throughout spermatogenesis and this association is necessary for normal spermatogenesis. In order to keep the relative integrity of the testicular tissues, and to detect the development in vitro, culture testicular tissues in a threedimensional (3D) agarose matrix was examined. Testicular tissues isolated from 6.5 d postpartum (dpp) mouse were cultured on the top of the matrix for 26 d with a medium height up to 4/5 of the 3D agarose matrix. The results showed that in this 3D culture environment, each type of testicular cells kept the same structure, localization and function as in vivo and might be more biologically relevant to living organisms. After culture, germ cell marker VASA and meiosis markers DAZL and SCP3 showed typical positive analysed by immunofluorescence staining and RT-PCR. It demonstrated that this 3D culture system was able to maintain the number of germ cells and promote the meiosis initiation of male germ cells.
    Short Communication
    Genotypic and Environmental Variations of Arabinoxylan Content and Endoxylanase Activity in Barley Grains
    ZHANG Xiao-qin, XUE Da-wei, WU Fei-bo , ZHANG Guo-ping
    2013, 12(8): 1489-1494.  DOI: 10.1016/S1671-2927(00)9063
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Arabinoxylan (AX) content in barley grains is an important quality determinant when barley is used as raw material of malt or beer production. The cultivar and environmental variations of total arabinoxylan (TAX), water extractable arabinoxylan (WEAX) and endoxylanase activity (EA) were investigated using eight barley cultivars growing at seven locations with diverse environmental conditions. The results showed that both barley cultivar and location significantly affected the TAX, WEAX and EA levels, but the variations of TAX content and EA were mainly attributed to cultivar, while the impact of location on WEAX content was greater than that of cultivar. Correlation analysis indicated that TAX was significantly correlated to WUAX.
    Effect of Maturity Stage on the Gene Expression of Antioxidative Enzymes in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Fruits Under Chilling Stress
    QIAN Chun-lu, MI Hong-bo, ZHAO Yu-ying, HE Zhi-ping , MAO Lin-chun
    2013, 12(8): 1495-1500.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60550-X
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The gene expression patterns of antioxidative enzymes in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) fruits at four different maturity stages, immature (3-8 d after anthesis (DAA), mature (9-16 DAA), breaker (17-22 DAA), and yellow (35-40 DAA), were determined before and after cold storage at 2°C for 9 d and after subsequent rewarming at 20°C for 2 d. The electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde content in cucumber fruits were increased after cold storage and subsequent rewarming. Increased expressions of peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and monodehydroascorbate reductase after cold storage played an important role in cucumber fruits to cope with chilling injury. The elevated cyt-superoxide dismutase, catalase, APX and dehydroascorbate reductase after subsequent rewarming in cucumber fruits facilitated the recovery from chilling stress. The highest expression levels of all the seven antioxidative enzyme genes in yellow fruits might be responsible for the enhanced chilling tolerance. Cucumber fruits at earlier developmental stages was more susceptible to chilling stress than those at later stages. The relative higher gene expressions of antioxidative enzymes genes at earlier developmental stages may be the responses to the sever oxidative stress caused by chilling injury.