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    Effects of relative humidity on animal health and welfare
    XIONG Yan, MENG Qing-shi, GAO Jie, TANG Xiang-fang, ZHANG Hong-fu
    2017, 16(08): 1653-1658.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61532-0
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
       Farm animals are sources of meat, milk and eggs for the humans, and animal health ensures the quality and security of these agricultural and sideline products. The animal raising conditions in livestock stations and poultry houses play vital roles in both animal health and production. One of the major factors affecting raising conditions, relative humidity, has not received much attention even though it is important for animal husbandry. In this review, we summarize the impacts of relative humidity on animal health and welfare to draw attention for its importance in the improvement of animal raising conditions in the future.
    Uptake and translocation of organic pollutants in plants: A review
    ZHANG Cheng, FENG Yao, LIU Yuan-wang, CHANG Hui-qing, LI Zhao-jun, XUE Jian-ming
    2017, 16(08): 1659-1668.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61590-3
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Organic pollutants, such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), antibiotics, herbicides, and bisphenol A (BPA), are commonly found in agricultural environments. They are released into the environment as a result of their use for human health purposes and farm management activities, and are often discharged as waste-water effluents. Most of these organic pollutants are taken up by plants through roots and leaves, and when they enter the tissue, they cause serious damage to the plants. Although the toxicity of organic pollutants to plants, especially to plant cells, has been intensively studied, a systematic review of these studies is lacking. Here we review researches on the toxicity of organic pollutants, their uptake, and translocation in plants. Our objective is to assemble existing knowledge concerning the interaction of organic pollutants with plants, which should be useful for the development of plant-based systems for removing pollutants from aquatic and agricultural environments.
    Crop Science
    Molecular identification of the cytoplasmic male sterile source from Dongxiang wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff.)
    YAN Song, ZHU Shan, MAO Ling-hua, HUANG Ren-liang, XIONG Hong-liang, SHEN Lin-jun, SHEN
    2017, 16(08): 1669-1675.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61505-8
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        The use of cytoplasm male sterility (CMS) is crucial for three-line hybrid seed production. Two types of CMS have been discovered from Dongxiang wild rice, namely the wild abortion type CMS (CMS-WA) and the Dongxiang wild type CMS (CMS-DW). In this study, we show the molecular identification of the two types of CMS in Dongxiang wild rice. WA352, which conferred CMS-WA, was not detected in Dongxiang wild rice, implying Dongxiang wild rice does not carry the CMS-WA source. Further analysis of WA352 in DY1A, a CMS-DW line, by PCR amplification and sequencing, revealed two insertion-deletion polymorphisms occurred in CMS-DW compared to WA352 of CMS-WA. It was reported that WA352 was comprised of an unknown origin sequence and partial sequences of three open reading frames (ORFs), orf284, orf224 and orf288. The 42-bp insertion was located between the two segments of orf224 and orf288, which created a new chimeric ORF, orf216. This new ORF was also detected in CMS-HL. Based on the 9-bp deletion in orf284, a specific mitochondrial marker of DW-M1 was developed, which could be used to specifically distinguish the DW-type source. Moreover, semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis preliminarily suggested that both orf216 and orf284 could be considered as candidates for CMS-DW. These findings present a preliminary understanding of CMS-DW at the molecular level.
    Identification and cell wall analysis of interspecific hybrids between Oryza sativa and Oryza ridleyi
    YI Chuan-deng, LI Wei, WANG De-rong, JIANG Wei, HU Da-bang, ZHOU Yong, LIANG Guo-hua, GU Ming-hong
    2017, 16(08): 1676-1681.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61526-5
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Oryza ridleyi is an allotetraploid wild species with the HHJJ genome, and Oryza sativa is a diploid cultivated rice that has the AA genome. Although the wide hybrid between the two species is difficult to obtain, we overcome this difficulty by young embryo rescue. An obvious heterosis was primarily found for the plant height, tillering ability, vegetative vigor, etc. However, the hybrid panicle and culm traits were found to resemble that of the wild rice parent, O. ridleyi, for the long awns, exoteric purple stigma, grain shattering, dispersed panicles, and culm mechanical strength. Genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) analysis was subsequently performed on the mitotic metaphase chromosome of the root tips, and we determined that the hybrid is an allotriploid with 36 chromosomes and its genomic constitution is AHJ. Chemical analyses conducted on the culm of O. sativa, O. ridleyi, and their interspecific hybrids showed that major changes occurred in the xylose, glucose, and arabinose concentrations, which are correlated with the specific hemicellulose polymer and cellulose components that are important in the primary cell walls of green plants. Meanwhile, the culm anatomical analyses indicated that additional large vascular bundles and an extra sclerenchyma cell layer were found in O. ridleyi. Additionally, further thickening of the secondary cell walls of the cortical fiber sclerenchyma cells and the phloem companion cells was discovered in O. ridleyi and in the interspecific hybrids. These results imply that there may be a potential link between culm mechanical strength and culm anatomical structure.
    A rapid and cost effective protocol for plant genomic DNA isolation using regenerated silica columns in combination with CTAB extraction
    FU Ze-yu, SONG Jian-cheng, Paula E. Jameson
    2017, 16(08): 1682-1688.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61534-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Isolation of high quality DNA from multiple samples can be both time-consuming and expensive. We have developed a combined protocol to reduce the time component of the hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) extraction method and reduced costs by regenerating the silica columns used to purify genomic DNA. We present data that shows, by increasing the temperature used during the CTAB method, the time required to extract crude genomic DNA can be reduced. We show that silica columns can be regenerated using HCl and still maintain their DNA-binding capacity. Furthermore, we show both spectrophotometrically, and by restriction enzyme cutting, that the quality of the eluted DNA is high. Critically, using both genomic DNA from pea and perennial ryegrass we demonstrate, using species-specific PCR primers, that there is no carry-over of DNA from repeated use of a single column. The main advantages of the method are high yield, high quality, cost effectiveness and time-saving. This method could satisfy demand when large numbers of plant genomic DNA samples are required, for example from targeting induced local lesions in genomes (TILLING) populations.
    Exploring differentially expressed genes associated with fertility instability of S-type cytoplasmic male-sterility in maize by RNA-seq
    SU Ai-guo*, SONG Wei*, SHI Zi, ZHAO Yan-xin, XING Jin-feng, ZHANG Ru-yang, LI Chun-hui, LUO Mei-jie, WANG Ji-dong, ZHAO Jiu-ran
    2017, 16(08): 1689-1699.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61494-6
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The germplasm resources for the S-type male sterility is rich in maize and it is resistant to Bipolaris maydis race T and CI, but the commercial application of S-type cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS-S) in maize hybrid industry is greatly compromised because of its common fertility instability. Currently, the existence of multiple minor effect loci in specific nuclear genetic backgrounds was considered as the molecular mechanism for this phenomenon. In the present study, we evaluated the fertility segregation of the different populations with the fertility instable material FIL-H in two environments of Beijing and Hainan, China. Our results indicated that the fertility instability of FIL-H was regulated by multiple genes, and the expression of these genes was sensitive to environmental factors. Using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) technology, transcriptomes of the sterile plants and partially fertile plants resulted from the backcross of FIL-H×Jing 724 in Hainan were analyzed and 2 108 genes with different expression were identified, including 1 951 up-regulated and 157 down-regulated genes. The cluster analysis indicated that these differentially expressed genes (DEGs) might play roles in many biological processes, such as the energy production and conversion, carbohydrate metabolism and signal transduction. In addition, the pathway of the starch and sucrose metabolism was emphatically investigated to reveal the DEGs during the process of starch biosynthesis between sterile and partially fertile plants, which were related to the key catalytic enzymes, such as ADP-G pyrophosphorylase, starch synthase and starch branching enzyme. The up-regulation of these genes in the partially fertile plant may promote the starch accumulation in its pollen. Our data provide the important theoretical basis for the further exploration of the molecular mechanism for the fertility instability in CMS-S maize.
    QTL mapping of general combining abilities of four traits in maize using a high-density genetic map
    WANG Hai, HE Yan, WANG Shou-cai
    2017, 16(08): 1700-1707.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61677-0
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
      General combining abilities (GCAs) are very important in utilization of heterosis in maize breeding.  However, its genetic basis is unclear.  In the present study, a set of 118 doubled haploid (DH) lines were induced from F1 generations produced from the cross between the inbred line Zheng 58 and the inbred line W499 belonging to the Reid subgroup.  Using the MaizeSNP50 BeadChip, a high-density genetic map was constructed based on the DH population which included 1?147 bin markers with an average interval length of 2.00 cM.  Meanwhile, the DH population was crossed with three testers including W16-5, HD568, and W556, which belong to the Sipingtou subgroup.  The GCAs of the ear height (EH), the kernel moisture content (KMC), the kernel ratio (KR), and the yield per plant (YPP) were estimated using these hybrids in three environments.  Combining the high-density genetic map and the GCAs, a total of 14 QTLs were detected for the GCAs of the four traits.  Especially, one pleiotropic QTL was identified on chromosome 1 between the SNP SYN16067 and the SNP PZE-101169244 which was simultaneously associated with the GCAs of the EH, the KR, and the YPP.  These QTLs pave the way for further dissecting the genetic architecture underlying GCAs of the traits, and they may be used to enhance GCAs of inbred lines under the fixed heterotic pattern Reid×Sipingtou in China through a marker-assisted selection approach.  
    Straw return and appropriate tillage method improve grain yield and nitrogen efficiency of winter wheat
    CHEN Jin, ZHENG Meng-jing, PANG Dang-wei, YIN Yan-ping, HAN Ming-ming, LI Yan-xia, LUO Yong-li, XU Xu, LI Yong, WANG Zhen-lin
    2017, 16(08): 1708-1719.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61589-7
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
       Straw return is an important management tool for tackling and promoting soil nutrient conservation and improving crop yield in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, China. Although the incorporation of maize straw with deep plowing and rotary tillage practices are widespread in the region, only few studies have focused on rotation tillage. To determine the effects of maize straw return on the nitrogen (N) efficiency and grain yield of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), we conducted experiments in this region for 3 years. Five treatments were tested: (i) rotary tillage without straw return (RT); (ii) deep plowing tillage without straw return (DT); (iii) rotary tillage with total straw return (RS); (iv) deep plowing tillage with total straw return (DS); (v) rotary tillage of 2 years and deep plowing tillage in the 3rd year with total straw return (TS). Treatments with straw return increased kernels no. ear–1, thousand-kernel weight (TKW), grain yields, ratio of dry matter accumulation post-anthesis, and nitrogen (N) efficiency whereas reduced the ears no. ha–1 in the 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 growing seasons. Compared with the rotary tillage, deep plowing tillage significantly increased the grain yield, yield components, total dry matter accumulation, and N efficiency in 2013–2014. RS had significantly higher straw N distribution, soil inorganic nitrogen content, and soil enzymes activities in the 0–10 cm soil layer compared with the DS and TS. However, significantly lower values were observed in the 10–20 and 20–30 cm soil layers. TS obtained approximately equal grain yield as DS, and it also reduced the resource costs. Therefore, we conclude that TS is the most economical method for increasing grain yield and N efficiency of winter wheat in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain.
    Developmental and hormonal regulation of fiber quality in two natural-colored cotton cultivars
    ZHANG Xiang, HU Da-peng, LI Yuan, CHEN Yuan, Eltayib H. M. A. Abidallha, DONG Zhao-di, CHEN De-hua, ZHANG Lei
    2017, 16(08): 1720-1729.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61504-6
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Cotton cultivars with brown (Xiangcaimian 2), green (Wanmian 39) and white (Sumian 9) fiber were investigated to study fiber developmental characteristics of natural-colored cotton and the effect of hormones on fiber quality at different stages after anthesis. Fiber lengths of both natural-colored cottons were lower than the white-fibered control, with brown-fibered cotton longer than green. Fiber strength, micronaire and maturation of natural-colored cotton were also lower than the control. The shorter fiber of the green cultivar was due to slower growth during 10 to 30 days post-anthesis (DPA). Likewise, the lower fiber strength, micronaire and maturation of natured-colored cotton were also due to slower growth during this pivotal stage. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) content at 10 DPA, and abscisic acid (ABA) content at 30 to 40 DPA were lower in the fibers of the natural-colored than that of the white-fibered cotton. After applying 20 mg L–1 gibberellic acid (GA3), the IAA content at 20 DPA in the brown and green-fibered cottons increased by 51.07 and 64.33%, fiber ABA content increased by 38.96 and 24.40%, and fiber length increased by 8.13 and 13.96%, respectively. Fiber strength, micronaire and maturation were also enhanced at boll opening stage. Those results suggest that the level of endogenous hormones affect fiber quality. Application of external hormones can increase hormone content in natural-colored cotton fiber, improving its quality.
    Identification and functional characterization of the MdHB-1 gene promoter sequence from Malus×domestica
    WANG Hao-jie, JIANG Yong-hua, QI Ying-wei, DAI Jie-yu, LIU Yan-li, ZHU Xian-bo, LIU Cui-hua, Lü Yan-rong, REN Xiao-lin
    2017, 16(08): 1730-1741.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61548-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Homeobox 1 in Malus×domestica (MdHB-1) is a transcription factor that belongs to homeodomain-leucine zipper I (HD-Zip I) protein subfamily. According to previous reports, MdHB-1 could regulate ethylene synthesis by binding with the MdACO1 promoter, but other functions of MdHB-1 are still unknown. To reveal more clues concerning the characters of the MdHB-1 gene promoter and the functions of MdHB-1, the promoter region of MdHB-1 was cloned from the Royal Gala apple genome and recombined with the β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene in this study. This research was conducted in Nicotiana tabacum and supported by Agrobacterium-mediated transient transformation and bioinformatics analysis. Deletion analysis of the MdHB-1 promoter showed that the GUS gene could be activated by serially deleted promoters, and the activity promoted by 680 nucleotides (nt) was the lowest. The region, which is 266 nt upstream of the initiation code (ATG), was effective for GUS expression. Meanwhile, the activity of the MdHB-1 promoter (-1 057 nt), which was stronger than MdHB-1 promoter (-1 057 to -266 nt) and lack the 5´-untranslated region (5´-UTR), showed that 5´-UTR may have a positive effect on gene transcription. After the sequence analysis, the cis-acting elements that respond to hormones and environmental stresses were identified in the promoter region. The MdHB-1 promoter (1 057 nt) activity in Nicotiana tabacum was positively induced by ethrel and darkness, and it was suppressed by gibberellic acid (GA), whereas abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA), wounding, and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (DC3000) treatments revealed a slight auxo-action. These results reveal that the MdHB-1 promoter receive internal or external signals, and MdHB-1 may refer to many biological activities in apple, such as its stress response, development, and ripening.
    Identification and expression patterns of alcohol dehydrogenase genes involving in ester volatile biosynthesis in pear fruit
    QIN Gai-hua, QI Xiao-xiao, QI Yong-jie, GAO Zheng-hui, YI Xing-kai, PAN Hai-fa, XU Yi-liu
    2017, 16(08): 1742-1750.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61686-1
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) catalyzes the interconversion of aldehydes and their corresponding alcohols, and is a key enzyme in volatile ester biosynthesis. However, little is known regarding ADH and ADH encoding genes (ADHs) in pear. We identified 8 ADHs in the pear’s genome (PbrADHs) by multiple sequences alignment. The PbrADHs were highly homologous in their coding regions, while were diversiform in structure. 9 introns were predicted in PbrADH3PbrADH8, while 8 introns, generated through exon fusion and intron loss, were predicted in PbrADH1 and PbrADH2. To study the genetic regulation underlying aroma biogenesis in pear fruit, we determined the PbrADH transcripts, ADH activities and volatile contents of fruits during ripening stage for Nanguoli and Dangshansuli, two cultivars having different aroma characteristics. ADH activity was strongly associated with the transcription of ADH6 in the two cultivars during fruit ripening stage. The higher ester content paralleling to a higher ADH activity was detected in Nanguoli than in Dangshansuli, so it is induced that the lower ester content in Dangshansuli fruit may be the result of weak ADH activity. The present study revealed that total ADH activity and volatile ester production correlated with increased PbrADH6 transcript levels. PbrADH6 may contribute to ADH activity catalyzing aldehyde reduction and ester formation in pear fruit.
    Increased resistance of drought by Trichoderma harzianum fungal treatment correlates with increased secondary metabolites and proline content
    Mona S. Alwhibi, Abeer Hashem, Elsayed Fathi Abd_Allah, Abdulaziz A. Alqarawi, Dina Wafi K. Soliman, Stephan Wirth, Dilfuza Egamberdieva
    2017, 16(08): 1751-1757.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61695-2
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Plant secondary metabolites play vital role in plant stress response. In this study we investigated whether root colonization of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) infected by Trichoderma harzianum leads to alterations in the biosynthesis of secondary plant metabolites including phytohormones and osmolyte proline under drought stress. Exposure of tomato to drought caused a drastic decline in plant growth and physiological parameters. Tomato inoculated with T. harzianum showed increased root and shoot growth and chlorophyll pigments as compared to uninoculated controls as well as drought stressed plants. Proline and total soluble protein content was increased in plants inoculated with T. harzianum under both normal as well as drought conditions. An obvious increase in phenol and flavonoid content was observed due to T. harzianum. In addition, T. harzianum inoculated plants maintained higher levels of growth regulators indole acetic acid, indole butyric acid, and gibberellic acid under drought stress. Improved secondary metabolites which play an important role in plant stress tolerance by T. harzianum may have coordinately worked for bringing the growth regulation by protecting membranes from reactive oxygen species (ROS) and enhance plant growth through accessing more nutrients by root system.
    Plant Protection
    Gelatin encapsulation of chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene as fumigants for soilborne diseases in the greenhouse cultivation of cucumber and tomato
    YAN Dong-dong, WANG Qiu-xia, LI Yuan, OUYANG Can-bin, GUO Mei-xia, Jim Xinpei Huang, John Busacca, Jong Neng Shieh, Alisa Ye Yu, Phil Howard, Don Williams, CAO Ao-cheng
    2017, 16(08): 1758-1766.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61623-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Combined use of chloropicrin (Pic) and 1,3-dicloropropene (1,3-D) is as effective as methyl bromide (MB) at controlling soilborne diseases in many trials and commercial uses. However, Pic and 1,3-D are both highly volatile and may pose strong exposure risks to humans and the environment. A gelatin capsule formulation containing Pic and 1,3-D has been developed to reduce exposure risks to workers and bystanders and improved application safety. We conducted two experiments in tomato and cucumber greenhouses located in Beijing and Qingdao, China, to study the efficacy of Pic plus 1,3-D gelatin capsules applied at different dosages and soil depths. Results indicated that both injection and gelatin capsules of Pic plus 1,3-D provided good control of soil nematodes and reduced disease index of Fusarium wilt and root-knot nematode. Plant yield of tomato and cucumber treated with gelatin capsules was similar to MB treatment. Based on our results, gelatin capsules applied at a soil depth of 15 cm provided better control of soilborne diseases and led to higher fruit yield compared to an application depth of 5 cm. In conclusion, a gelatin capsule of Pic plus 1,3-D is a promising and novel formulation, which not only shows good efficacy in controlling soilborne diseases, but also reduces potential exposure risks of fumigants.
    Occurrence, identification and phylogenetic analyses of cereal cyst nematodes (Heterodera spp.) in Turkey
    CUI Jiang-kuan, PENG Huan, LIU Shi-ming, Gul Erginbas Orakci, HUANG Wen-kun, Mustafa Imren, Abdelfattah Amer Dababat, PENG De-liang
    2017, 16(08): 1767-1776.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61557-5
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Plant-parasitic nematodes are very common on cereal crops and cause economic losses via reduction in grain quality and quantity. During 2014, 83 soil samples were collected from wheat and barley fields in 21 districts of 13 provinces across five regions (Central Anatolia, Marmara, Aegean, Southeast Anatolia, and Black Sea Region) of Turkey. Cyst-forming nematodes were found in 66 samples (80%), and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing and species-specific PCR identified the species in 64 samples as Heterodera filipjevi, Heterodera latipons, and Heterodera avenae. The predominant pathogenic cereal cyst nematode was H. filipjevi, which was found in all five regions surveyed. H. avenae was only detected in Southeast Anatolia whereas H. latipons was detected in Southeast Anatolia and Central Anatolia. ITS-rDNA phylogenetic analyses showed that H. avenae isolates from China clustered with H. australis, and Turkish isolates were closely related to European and USA isolates of this species. H. filipjevi from Turkey and China were clustered closely with those from the UK, Germany, Russia, and the USA. The density of many of these populations exceeded or approached the maximum threshold level for economic loss. To our knowledge, this is the first report of H. filipjevi in Diyarbakir, Edirne, and Kutahya provinces, and the first report of H. avenae in Diyarbakir Province. These results exhibit the most rigorous analysis to date on the occurrence and distribution of Heterodera spp. in Turkey’s major wheat-producing areas, thus providing a basis for more specific resistance breeding, as well as other management practices.
    Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of Locusta migratoria eggs at different embryonic stages: Comparison for diapause and non-diapause regimes
    HAO Kun, WANG Jie, TU Xiong-bing, Douglas W. Whitman, ZHANG Ze-hua
    2017, 16(08): 1777-1788.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61529-0
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Temperate-zone insects typically survive winter by entering diapause. Although many aspects of insect diapause have been studied, the underlying molecular mechanism of insect diapause is not well understood. Here we report the results of the transcriptional and translational differences of migratory locust eggs at different embryonic states using diapause (low temperature) and non-diapause (high temperature) regimes. Compared with non-diapause eggs at 100 degree-days (N2) treatment, 29 671 transcripts and 296 proteins were differentially expressed at the diapause maintenance stage (D2).While compared with 150 degree-days (N3) treatment, 45 922 transcripts and 404 proteins were differentially expressed in the post-diapause stage (D3). Among them, 51 and 102 transcripts had concurrent transcription and translation profiles in D2 vs. N2 and D3 vs. N3 treatments, respectively. Analysis of Gene Ontology categorized these genes and proteins into three categories: biological processes, cellular components, and molecular functions. Biological pathway analysis indicated that three pathways: (1) insect hormone biosynthesis (KEGG: Map 00981), (2) the insulin signaling pathway (KEGG: Map 04910), and (3) the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling pathway (KEGG: Map 03320) play an important role in locust diapause regulation. Most of these transcripts and proteins were up-regulated in the diapause treatments, and were highly linked to juvenile hormone biosynthesis, insulin and PPAR signaling pathways, suggesting these three pathways may be involved in diapause and development regulation. This study demonstrates the applicability of high-throughput omics tools to identify biochemical pathways linked to diapause in locust egg development. In addition, it reveals that cellular metabolism in diapause eggs is more inactive than in non-diapause eggs, and most of the down-regulated enzymes and pathways are related to reduce energy loss.
    Animal Science · Veterinary Medicine
    Cloning, expression, and polymorphism of the ECI1 gene in various pig breeds
    LU Yun-feng, CHEN Ji-bao, ZHANG Bo, LI Qing-gang, WANG Zhi-xiu, ZHANG Hao, WU Ke-liang
    2017, 16(08): 1789-1799.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61624-6
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        The enzyme Δ32-dienoyl-CoA isomerase (ECI1) plays a crucial role in the mitochondrial β-oxidation of fatty acids with a double-bond in odd and even positions. The ECI1 gene might be a qualified candidate for studies pertaining to lipid deposition and meat quality in swine. In the present study, ECI1 cDNA of the Tibetan pig was obtained by in silico cloning and verified by PCR analysis. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ECI1 were screened by PCR-sequencing and genotypes of those SNPs were tested by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) in Diannan small-ear pigs (DSP, n=40), Tibetan pigs (TP, n=60) and Yorkshire pigs (YP, n=30). The expression levels of ECI1 were analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR and Western blotting in tissues of the liver, backfat, and longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of DSP (n=8), TP (n=8) and YP (n=8). Single factor linear correlation analysis was applied separately for each breed to evaluate correlations between ECI1 gene expression in the LD muscle and intramuscular fat (IMF) content. We obtained an ECI1 gene length of 1 401 bp from the cDNA that contained a full coding region of 909 bp. Three novel SNPs (g.42425337G>A; g.42424666A>G; and g.42422755A>G) were detected, and only g.42424666A>G exhibited three genotypes among the three breeds. The ECI1 expression levels in the LD muscle of DSP and TP were significantly higher than that of YP (P<0.05). Moreover, TP had the highest ECI1 expression in backfat (P<0.01), and a positive correlation was observed between gene expression and IMF content. The results suggest that differences in ECI1 gene expression might be related to lipid deposition and meat quality in pig.
    Effects of neutral salt and alkali on ion distributions in the roots, shoots, and leaves of two alfalfa cultivars with differing degrees of salt tolerance
    WANG Xiao-shan, REN Hai-long, WEI Zen-wu, WANG Yun-wen, REN Wei-bo
    2017, 16(08): 1800-1807.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61522-8
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
       The effects of neutral salt and alkali on the ion distribution were investigated in two alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars, including Zhongmu 1, a high salt-tolerant cultivar, and Algonquin, a low salt-tolerant cultivar. The alkali stress expressed more serious growth inhibition than the neutral salt stress at the same Na+ concentration. Compared with Algonquin, Zhongmu 1 did not exhibit a higher alkali tolerance under the Na2CO3-NaHCO3 treatment with the low Na+ concentration (50 mmol L–1). The alkali increased the accumulation of Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ in the root and changed the Ca2+ and Mg2+ balance in the entire alfalfa plant. The salt and alkali stresses decreased the K+ and Fe3+ contents of the roots and leaves, the root Mn2+ content, and the shoot Zn2+ content, but they increased the Fe3+ accumulation of the shoots, the shoot and leaf Cu2+ contents, and the leaf Zn2+ content in both alfalfa cultivars. Based on the results obtained under the conditions of this experiment, we found that the salt and alkali stresses reduced the plant growth in both alfalfa cultivars, while the alkali caused a stronger stress than the neutral salt in alfalfa. Thus, we conclude that under hydroponic conditions, the deleterious effects of the alkali on plants are due to the distribution change of some trophic ion balance in the roots, shoots, and leaves of the plants by causing of Na+, CO32–, and/or HCO3 stresses.
    In vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities of three major polyphenolic compounds in pomegranate peel: Ellagic acid, punicalin, and punicalagin
    SUN Yu-qing, TAO Xin, MEN Xiao-ming, XU Zi-wei, WANG Tian
    2017, 16(08): 1808-1818.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61560-5
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Pomegranates is abundant in polyphenols and is well-known for its antioxidant activity. Punicalagin (PG) is a major polyphenolic compound in the pomegranate peel. In certain conditions, PG can be hydrolyzed to punicallin (PL) and ellagic acid (EA), and PL can be further hydrolyzed to EA. PG, PL, and EA all play important roles in the antioxidant activity of pomegranate peels. This study was conducted to compare the in vitro antioxidant activity and in vivo anti-oxidative stress effects of PG, PL, and EA. For the in vitro test, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH·) and superoxide anion (O2-.) scavenging capacities, ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and lipid peroxidation (LPO) inhibition capacities of PG, PL, and EA were tested. For the in vivo test, oxidatively stressed mice, which were induced by oxidized fish oil, were administrated PG, PL or EA (10 mg kg–1 d –1) for 21 days. The results showed that the in vitro antioxidant activity trends were EA>PG>PL>Trolox in scavenging DPPH?, PG>PL>EA≈Trolox in scavenging O2-. , EA>PG≈PL>Trolox in FRAP, and Trolox>PG>EA>PL in LPO inhibition. In the in vivo test, the EA treatment increased the average daily weight gain and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) in the plasma (P<0.05), liver (P<0.05), and intestine (P<0.05) in oxidatively stressed mice. It increased the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the liver (P<0.05) and intestine (P<0.05). It increased the glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in the intestine (P<0.05) and the intestinal villus height to crypt depth ratio (P<0.05). EA treatment decreased the malondialdehyde (MDA) content in the plasma (P<0.05), liver (P<0.05), and intestine (P<0.05) and the mRNA expressions of the pro-inflammatory factors, TNF-α (P<0.05), IFN-γ (P<0.05) and IL-6 (P<0.05). PL increased the SOD (P<0.05) and GSH-Px activities (P<0.05) in the intestine and decreased the MDA content (P<0.05) and the mRNA expressions of TNF-α (P<0.05) and IL-6 (P<0.05) in the intestine. PG increased the SOD activity (P<0.05) and GSH-Px activity (P<0.05) in the intestine and decreased the MDA content in the intestine (P<0.05) and IL-6 mRNA expression in the intestine (P<0.05). In summary, EA, PL, and PG all had powerful in vitro antioxidant capacities, and they had different antioxidant advantages in acting against different types of radicals; EA was more effective than PL and PG in protecting against oxidative injury in vivo, especially for intestinal injury. These findings suggest that multiple polyphenol compounds in pomegranate peel may exert superior antioxidant activity than single purified polyphenols; when using pomegranate peels as health-promoting additive in animal feed, raising EA content by methods of hydrolysis or fermentation in advance could achieve better effects.
    Agro-Ecosystem & Environment
    Impacts of chemical fertilizer reduction and organic amendments supplementation on soil nutrient, enzyme activity and heavy metal content
    NING Chuan-chuan, GAO Peng-dong, WANG Bing-qing, LIN Wei-peng, JIANG Ni-hao, CAI Kun-zheng
    2017, 16(08): 1819-1831.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61476-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Excessive use of agro-chemicals (such as mineral fertilizers) poses potential risks to soil quality. Application of organic amendments and reduction of inorganic fertilizer are economically feasible and environmentally sound approaches to develop sustainable agriculture. This study investigated and evaluated the effects of mineral fertilizer reduction and partial substitution of organic amendment on soil fertility and heavy metal content in a 10-season continually planted vegetable field during 2009–2012. The experiment included four treatments: 100% chemical fertilizer (CF100), 80% chemical fertilizer (CF80), 60% chemical fertilizer and 20% organic fertilizer (CF60+OM20), and 40% chemical fertilizer and 40% organic fertilizer (CF40+OM40). Soil nutrients, enzyme activity and heavy metal content were determined. The results showed that single chemical fertilizer reduction (CF80) had no significant effect on soil organic matter content, soil catalase activity and soil heavy metal content, but slightly reduced soil available N, P, K, and soil urease activity, and significantly reduced soil acid phosphatase activity. Compared with CF100, 40 or 60% reduction of chemical fertilizer supplemented with organic fertilizer (CF60+OM20, CF40+OM40) significantly increased soil organic matter, soil catalase activity and urease activity especially in last several seasons, but reduced soil available P, K, and soil acid phosphatase activity. In addition, continuous application of organic fertilizer resulted in higher accumulation of Zn, Cd, and Cr in soil in the late stage of experiment, which may induce adverse effects on soil health and food safety.
    Toxicity threshold of lead (Pb) to nitrifying microorganisms in soils determined by substrate-induced nitrification assay and prediction model
    ZHENG Han, CHEN Li, LI Ning, LIU Bin, MENG Nan, WANG Meng, CHEN Shi-bao
    2017, 16(08): 1832-1840.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61586-1
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Lead (Pb) contamination has often been recorded in Chinese field soils. In recent years, efforts have been made to investigate Pb toxicity thresholds in soils with plant growth and microbial assays. However, the influence of soil properties on Pb toxicity impacts on soil microbial processes is poorly understood. In this study ten soils with different properties were collected in China to investigate the relationships between thresholds of Pb toxicity to soil microbes and soil properties. The effect of soil leaching on Pb toxicity was also investigated to determine the possible influence of added anions on Pb toxicity during dose-response tests. Toxicity was inferred by measuring substrate-induced nitrification in leached and non-leached soils after Pb addition. We found that soil microbe Pb toxicity thresholds (ECx, x=10, 50) differed significantly between the soils; the 10% inhibition ratio values (EC10) ranged from 86 to 218 mg kg–1 in non-leached soils and from 101 to 313 mg kg–1 in leached soils. The 50% inhibition ratio values (EC50) ranged from 403 to 969 mg kg–1 in non-leached soils and from 494 to 1 603 mg kg–1 in leached soils. Soil leaching increased EC10 and EC50 values by an average leaching factor (LF) of 1.46 and 1.33, respectively. Stepwise multiple regression models predicting Pb toxicity to soil microbes were developed based on ECx and soil properties. Based on these models, soil pH and organic carbon are the most important soil properties affecting Pb toxicity thresholds (R2>0.60). The quantitative relationship between Pb toxicity and soil properties will be helpful for developing soil-specific guidance on Pb toxicity thresholds in Chinese field soils.
    Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) concentrations in the South Korean agricultural environment: A national survey
    Geun-Hyoung Choi, Deuk-Young Lee, Dong-Kyu Jeong, Saranya Kuppusamy, Yong Bok Lee, Byung-Jun Park, Jin-Hyo Kim
    2017, 16(08): 1841-1851.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61585-X
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Research on the occurrence of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) such as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the agricultural environment is lacking, in spite of their potential risk via food chain transfer from aquatic and soil-plant systems to animals and/or humans.  In the present study, for the first time, soil and water samples collected from 243 different agricultural sites adjacent to waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) belonging to 81 cities and 5 provinces with different levels of industrialization in South Korea were monitored for concentrations of PFOS and PFOA by use of solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS).  Significant mean concentrations of PFOA (0.001–0.007 µg L–1 water and <0.05–1.573 µg kg–1 soil) and PFOS (0.001–0.22 µg L–1 water and <0.05–0.741 µg kg–1 soil) were found in all samples.  Concentrations of PFCs in soils were high, highlighting that soil is an important sink for PFCs in the agricultural environment.  Samples from near WWTPs in Gyeongsang Province contained the highest concentrations of PFOS and PFOA, reflecting the concentration of heavy industry in the province.  The concentrations of PFCs in agricultural water (most samples <0.05 µg L–1) and soils (most samples <1 µg kg–1) from South Korea were less than acceptable guideline values, indicating that South Korea is not a hotspot of PFOS and PFOA contamination and that there is  negligible risk to human and ecological health from these chemicals.  However, further studies investigating the seasonal variation in PFOA, PFOS and other perfluorochemical concentrations in the agricultural environment are needed. 
    Agricultural Economics And Management
    Farmer behavior and perceptions to alternative scenarios in a highly intensive agricultural region, south central China
    LI Hong-qing, ZHENG Fei, ZHAO Yao-yang
    2017, 16(08): 1852-1864.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61547-2
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
     Intensive agriculture has caused unintended environmental consequences, such as water quality degradation. It is necessary for policymakers to make proper planning of sustainable agricultural development. Using a Pressure-State-Response (PSR) framework, we conducted surveys focused on farmer behavior toward agriculture and environmental protection in 2009 and 2011. The surveys indicated that farmer behavior was complex and contradictory, and caused some environmental effects. Therefore, we used normative landscape scenario method to develop two scenarios. Both scenarios emphasized on stable economic growth along with water quality improvement and presented good effects. A feedback survey was organized in 2013 to interpret farmers’ perceptions of the alternative scenarios. The results indicate Scenario I is likely to be accepted by farmers; however, the beautiful rural landscape in Scenario II represents what farmers want, and Scenario I or II can be achieved by changing farm behavior in the future. By logistic regression model analysis, increasing agriculture benefits and new technology popularization were key factors affecting farmer behavior. Relevant policy implications on farmers were proposed. This paper showed how important to understand farmer behavior and perceptions to agricultural development, and a description of the alternative scenarios and policy implications are meaningful for policymakers to manage nature resources.
    Efficiency and productivity analysis of vegetable farming within root and tuber-based systems in the humid tropics of Cameroon
    Ajapnwa Akamin, Jean-Claude Bidogeza, Jules René Minkoua N, Victor Afari-Sefa
    2017, 16(08): 1865-1873.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61662-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        The study analyzes the technical efficiency of vegetable farmers in root and tuber-based farming systems within selected sites of the humid tropics of Cameroon. Multistage sampling was used to collect primary data from a cross-section of vegetable farmers drawn from eight selected sites in Santa sub division, Northwest region of Cameroon. Stochastic frontier analysis was used to estimate the technical efficiency of vegetable farmer and to examine its determinants. The results showed that farmyard manure was the most productive factor input, followed by farm equipment and labor. The mean technical efficiency level was 67%, revealing production shortfalls and indicating possibilities of significantly increasing production with the current input levels. Female, as well as more educated farmers were found to be significantly more efficient than their counterparts. The results also showed that farmers become less technical efficient as farm sizes become larger. Our study findings suggest that smallholder farmers’ access to manure, farm implements, and increased women participation in vegetable farming, will produce huge payoffs in vegetable production efficiency in Cameroon.
    Short Communication
    Penicillin-resistant characterization of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from bovine mastitis in Gansu, China
    YANG Feng, LIU Long-hai, WANG Ling, WANG Xu-rong, LI Xin-pu, LUO Jin-yin, ZHANG Zhe, ZHANG Shi-dong, YAN Zuo-ting, LI Hong-sheng
    2017, 16(08): 1874-1878.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61531-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
        Bovine mastitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus is difficult to treat because of increasing resistance against antibiotics, especially penicillin. β-Lactamase and biofilm are responsible for penicillin resistance of S. aureus. The aim of this study was to investigate the β-lactamase activity and biofilm formation capacity of 37 penicillin-resistant S. aureus strains (35 were blaZ positive and 2 were blaZ negative) from bovine mastitis in Gansu Province, China, as well as to measure the intercellular adhesion genes icaA and icaD of these strains. β-Lactamase Test Kit was used to determine the β-lactamase activity, biofilm formation was tested by semi-quantitative adherence assay method. Moreover, the presence of icaA and icaD were measured by PCR. A total of 32 penicillin-resistant S. aureus strains, including the two blaZ-negative strains, were identified as β-lactamase producers. All tested S. aureus isolates produced biofilm in the microtiter plate assay. Meanwhile, all these strains were PCR-positive for the ica locus, icaA and icaD. The study indicated high prevalence of β-lactamase activity, biofilm-forming capacity, and the ica genes among the penicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates, and implied that S. aureus resistant to penicillin was attributed to multiple mechanisms.