2018 Vol. 17 No. 06 Previous Issue    Next Issue

    Special Focus: Hot spots in bovine mastitis research
    Crop Science

    Plant Protection
    Agro-ecosystem & Environment
    Agricultural Economics and Management

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    Special Focus: Hot spots in bovine mastitis research
    Editorial- The hot spots in bovine mastitis research
    LI Xiu-bo, XU Fei
    2018, 17(06): 1213-1213.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)61982-3
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The 2017 International Bovine Mastitis Conference & The National Mastitis Council Regional in China was successfully held in Beijing on August 25–27, 2017. Nearly 650 participants from more than eight countries (regions) and international organizations attended this conference. The conference provided an communication platform for international counterparts, and the content was closely related to all aspects of dairy cow health, including dairy mastitis pathogens, diagnose, therapeutics, management, residue, bacterial resistance and milk safety. Here we are pleased to have the opportunity to organize a special focus and provide the most updated knowledge of the given topics.

    The first article from De Vliegher et al. (2018) gave an overview of multifactorial approach of mastitis management and prevention with a focus on milking, bedding and data-analysis. Mastitis is a complex, multifactorial disease. Prevention and control of mastitis is based on multiple principles that have been known for a long time. To implement them successfully, they should be put forward by a motivated and motivating advisor that transfers the existing knowledge to the farmer. 

    The second article from Kang et al. (2017) investigated the residue elimination of ceftiofur hydrochloride in milk of postpartum cows after intramammary infusing at dry-off. An ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/ MS) method was developed and validated to detect ceftiofur hydrochloride residue in milk. The study provided guidance for the clinical applications of ceftiofur hydrochloride intramammary infusion (dry cow). 

    The purpose of the third study from Katholm et al. (2017) was to evaluate a new qPCR test to identify the organisms causing high total bacterial count in bulk tank milk. The TBC 4 qPCR detects four target groups, Pseudomonas, Streptococci, Enterobacteriacea/Enterococcus, and Bacillus/ Clostridia. The TBC 4 qPCR test showed to be a strong and fast tool for farmers, advisors and service technicians to address problems with high TBC and ensure the delivery of good quality milk to the dairy. 

    At last, Yang et al. (2018) described a study aimed at investigating the prevalence and characterization of extended- spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli isolated from bovine mastitis cases in China. The study noted high prevalence and rates of antimicrobial resistance of ESBL-producing E. coli isolates from bovine mastitis cases in China. 

    We genuinely believe that the articles in this special focus could be interested by the readers of the Journal of Integrative Agriculture, and we want to express our deep appreciation to all authors for their high-quality contributions and efforts.
    Management and prevention of mastitis: A multifactorial approach with a focus on milking, bedding and data-management
    Sarne De Vliegher, Ian Ohnstad, Sofie Piepers
    2018, 17(06): 1214-1233.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61893-8
    Abstract ( )   PDF (1713KB) ( )  
    Mastitis is a complex, multifactorial disease.  Pathogens, cows and farmers (via management) all play a role.  It is costly and annoying for the farmer and threatens the image of the entire dairy industry.  Prevention and control of mastitis is based on multiple principles that have been known for a long time.  To implement them successfully, they should be put forward by a motivated and motivating advisor that transfers the existing knowledge to the farmer.  When the changes are data-driven, applied by an encouraged farmer through a farm-specific implementation, prevention and control of mastitis will be successful and result in happy cows, happy farmers, happy advisors, happy consumers, and a happy industry.  Nationwide projects focussing on communication and transfer of existing knowledge in prevention and control are very helpful in reaching high numbers of farmers and advisors and harmonizing the message brought by different parties.  This paper gives an overview of multifactorial approach of mastitis management and prevention with a focus on milking, bedding and data-analysis.
    Elimination of ceftiofur hydrochloride residue in postpartum cows’ milk after intramammary infusing at dry-off
    KANG Ji-jun, LIU Yi-ming, ZHAO Lei-lei, Xu Fei, CHEN Xiao-jie, YAN Xing, LI Xiu-bo
    2018, 17(06): 1234-1240.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61703-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the residue elimination of ceftiofur hydrochloride in milk of postpartum cows after intramammary infusing at dry-off.  An ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method was developed and validated to detect ceftiofur hydrochloride residue in milk.  Through preprocessing, ceftiofur hydrochloride was derivatized into a more stable compound dedfuroyl ceftiofur acetamide (DCA) for further analysis.  The linear range of DCA was 0.1 to 50 μg kg–1.  Average recoveries of DCA were 82.52–105.86%.  The intra-day and inter-day coefficients of variation (CV) were 2.95–9.82 and 6.41–7.43%, respectively.  The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantitation (LOQ) scores were 0.05 and 0.1 μg kg–1, respectively.  These parameters showed this method was reliable and valid.  Twelve cows were administrated 10 mL ceftiofur hydrochloride by intramammary infusion (corresponding to 500 mg ceftiofur) to each udder after the last milking before the dry-off period.  Milk was collected from each udder of cow at 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 and 72 h after calving and was mixed for each time point and each cow, then subjected to UPLC-MS/MS analysis.  The results showed, the DCA concentrations in all milk samples were less than LOQ and the maximum residue limit (MRL) 100 μg kg–1, which suggested the withdrawal time of ceftiofur hydrochloride intramammary infusion used for preventing and curing mastitis in dry cows was 0 day.  The study provided guidance for the clinical applications of ceftiofur hydrochloride intramammary infusion (dry cow). 
    Evaluation of a new qPCR test to identify the organisms causing high total bacterial count in bulk tank milk
    J?rgen Katholm, Lene Trier Olesen, Anders Petersen, Snorri Sigurdsson
    2018, 17(06): 1241-1245.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61781-7
    Abstract ( )   PDF (715KB) ( )  
    Milk quality in bulk tank milk (BTM) is measured by flow cytometry technology as total bacterial count (TBC) and somatic cell count (SCC).  To investigate SCC problems, culture or PCR can be used to identify mastitis causing bacteria, e.g., Mastit 4, a commercially available qPCR test.  TBC in BTM can be investigated further using culture-based methods such as standard plate count, laboratory pasteurization count, coliform count, and spore counts.  To our knowledge, no qPCR addressing the bacteria involved in TBC has been commercially introduced.  The aim of this study is to evaluate a recently introduced 3-h qPCR test, TBC 4.  The TBC 4 qPCR detects four target groups, Pseudomonas, Streptococci, Enterobacteriacea/Enterococcus, and Bacillus/Clostridia.  These target groups relate to problems on the farm such as cooling, mastitis, environment, and silage.  We will continue with new research to compare the TBC 4 qPCR test with traditional culture.  For this study, BTM samples from different TBC intervals were selected based on BactoCount results found at routine payment investigation at Eurofins laboratory (Vejen, Denmark).  These samples were analyzed using TBC 4 qPCR assay within 24 h.  In total, 346 BTM samples were divided into six different intervals of colony forming units (CFU).  For all four targets in each of the different intervals of CFU, the percent of positive samples, the average Ct-value, the percent of positive samples with Ct<30 and Ct<25 were calculated.  For Pseudomonas, Streptococci, and Enterobacteriacea/Enterococcus, the number of positive samples with lower Ct-values (high bacteria content) correlated with the CFU mL–1.  We found Enterobacteriacea/Enterococcus, Pseudomonas, and Streptococci in high number of bacteria (Ct<25) in 25, 19 and 56% of samples with CFU mL–1 between 50 001–100 000 and 53, 44, and 39% in samples with CFU mL–1>100 000.  The TBC 4 qPCR test showed to be a strong and fast tool for farmers, advisors and service technicians to address problems with high TBC and ensuring the delivery of good quality milk to the dairy.
    Prevalence and characteristics of extended spectrum β-lactamaseproducing Escherichia coli from bovine mastitis cases in China
    YANG Feng, ZHANG Shi-dong, SHANG Xiao-fei, WANG Xu-rong, WANG Ling, YAN Zuo-ting, LI Hong-sheng
    2018, 17(06): 1246-1251.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61830-6
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence and characterization of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli isolated from bovine mastitis cases in China.  ChromID ESBL agar was used to confirm ESBL-producing E. coli.  PCR and DNA sequencing were employed to characterize the genotype of ESBL-producers.  Antimicrobial susceptibility was measured by disc diffusion.  Overall, 73 of 318 E. coli isolates (22.96%) were identified as ESBL-producers.  Of these ESBL-producing E. coli, the prevalence of blaCTX-M and blaTEM-1 was 97.26 and 71.23%, respectively.  The predominant CTX-M-type ESBL was CTX-M-15 (65.75%), followed by CTX-M-14 (10.96%), CTX-M-55 (9.59%), CTX-M-64 (5.48%), CTX-M-65 (4.11%) and CTX-M-3 (1.37%).  This study is the first report of CTX-M-64 and CTX-M-65 in E. coli isolated from bovine mastitis.  Furthermore, 72 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates (98.63%) were found to be multidrug-resistance.  This study noted high prevalence and rates of antimicrobial resistance of ESBL-producing E. coli isolates from bovine mastitis cases in China.
    Crop Science
    Evolutionary analysis of plant jacalin-related lectins (JRLs) family and expression of rice JRLs in response to Magnaporthe oryzae
    HAN Yi-juan, ZHONG Zhen-hui, SONG Lin-lin, Olsson Stefan, WANG Zong-hua, LU Guo-dong
    2018, 17(06): 1252-1267.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61809-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Jacalin-related lectins (JRLs) are widely distributed carbohydrate-binding proteins in the plant kingdom, which play key roles in development and pathogen defense.  In this study, we profiled evolutionary trajectory of JRLs family in 30 plant species and identified domain diversification and recombination leading to different responsive patterns of JRLs in rice during defense against rice blast.  All of 30 plant species analyzed in our study have two types of JRLs by containing either a single jacalin or repeated jacalin domains, while chimeric jacalins exist in more than half of the species, especially in the Poaceae family.  Moreover, Poaceae species have evolved two types of unique chimeric JRLs by fusing the jacalin domain(s) with dirigent or NB_ARC domain, some of which positively regulate plant immunity.  Seven Poaceae-specific JRLs are found in the rice genome.  We further found expression of rice JRLs, including four Poaceae-specific JRLs, are induced by Magnaporthe oryzae infections at either early or late infection stages.  Overall, the results present the evolutionary trajectory of JRLs in plant and highlight essential roles of Poaceae specific JRLs against pathogen attacks in rice.
    Molecular mapping of YrTZ2, a stripe rust resistance gene in wild emmer accession TZ-2 and its comparative analyses with Aegilops tauschii
    WANG Zhen-zhong, XIE Jing-zhong, GUO Li, ZHANG De-yun, LI Gen-qiao, FANG Ti-lin, CHEN Yongxing, LI Jun, WU Qiu-hong, LU Ping, LI Miao-miao, WU Hai-bin, ZHANG Huai-zhi, ZHANG Yan, YANG Wu-yun, LUO Ming
    2018, 17(06): 1267-1275.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61846-X
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Wheat stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a devastating disease that can cause severe yield losses.  Identification and utilization of stripe rust resistance genes are essential for effective breeding against the disease.  Wild emmer accession TZ-2, originally collected from Mount Hermon, Israel, confers near-immunity resistance against several prevailing Pst races in China.  A set of 200 F6:7 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from a cross between susceptible durum wheat cultivar Langdon and TZ-2 was used for stripe rust evaluation.  Genetic analysis indicated that the stripe rust resistance of TZ-2 to Pst race CYR34 was controlled by a single dominant gene, temporarily designated YrTZ2.  Through bulked segregant analysis (BSA) with SSR markers, YrTZ2 was located on chromosome arm 1BS flanked by Xwmc230 and Xgwm413 with genetic distance of 0.8 cM (distal) and 0.3 cM (proximal), respectively.  By applying wheat 90K iSelect SNP genotyping assay, 11 polymorphic loci (consisting of 250 SNP markers) closely linked to YrTZ2 were identified.  YrTZ2 was further delimited into a 0.8-cM genetic interval between SNP marker IWB19368 and SSR marker Xgwm413, and co-segregated with SNP marker IWB28744 (co-segregated with 28 SNP).  Comparative genomics analyses revealed high level of collinearity between the YrTZ2 genomic region and the orthologous region of Aegilops tauschii 1DS.  The genomic region between loci IWB19368 and IWB31649 harboring YrTZ2 is orthologous to a 24.5-Mb genomic region between AT1D0112 and AT1D0150, spanning 15 contigs on chromosome 1DS.  The genetic and comparative maps of YrTZ2 provide a framework for map-based cloning and marker-assisted selection of YrTZ2.
    Transcriptomes of early developing tassels under drought stress reveal differential expression of genes related to drought tolerance in maize
    WANG Nan, LI Liang, GAO Wen-wei, WU Yong-bo, YONG Hong-jun, WENG Jian-feng, LI Ming-shun, ZHANG De-gui, HAO Zhuan-fang, LI Xin-hai
    2018, 17(06): 1276-1288.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61777-5
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Tassel, the male reproductive organs in maize, its development is adversely affected by drought during tasseling.  To determine drought tolerance mechanisms of tassel differentiation at transcriptome level, RNA-Seq was performed using  RNA of early developing tassel from 10 maize inbred lines under well-watered (control) and drought-stressed conditions, respectively.  Results showed that the most active pathway for drought stress in maize were related to metabolic regulation at RNA level.  And some genes, encoding enzymes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, were significantly down-regulated in drought-stressed plants.  While, the transcription factors and genes, encoding catabolic or degradative enzymes, were over-expressed in maize early developing tassels under drought-stressed conditions, and among them, the transcripts of genes encoding exon-junction complexes involved in ‘RNA transcript’ and ‘mRNA surveillance’ pathways were significantly affected by drought stress.  In addition, many other genes related to drought stress showed transcriptional changes at the later period of stress.
    GmDRR1, a dirigent protein resistant to Phytophthora sojae in Glycine max (L.) Merr.
    CHEN Qing-shan, YU Guo-long, ZOU Jia-nan, WANG Jing, QIU Hong-mei, ZHU Rong-sheng, CHANG Hui-lin, JIANG Hong-wei, HU Zhen-bang, LI Chang-yu, ZHANG Yan-jiao, WANG Jin-hui, WANG Xueding, GAO Shan...
    2018, 17(06): 1289-1298.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61821-5
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Soil-borne pathogen Phytophthora sojae is an oomycete that causes devastating damage to soybean yield.  To mine original resistant genes in soybean is an effective and environmentally-friend approach controlling the disease.  In this study, soybean proteins were extracted from the first trifoliolates infected by predominant P. sojae race 1 and analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis.  Nineteen differently-expressed protein spots were detected, and 10 of them were further applied for Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry Assay.  One protein containing a dirigent (DIR) domain was identified and belonged to the DIR-b/d family.  Therefore, it was named as GmDRR1 (Glycine max Disease Resistance Response 1).  Then, GmDRR1 gene was pathologically confirmed to be involved in the resistant to P. sojae in soybean.  GmDRR1-GFP (green fluorescent protein) fusion proteins localized in the cell membrane.  qRT-PCR results showed GmDRR1 gene expressed differently in P. sojae resistant- and susceptible-soybean cultivars.  By the promoter analysis, we found a haplotype H8 was existing in most resistant soybean varieties, while a haplotype H77 was existing in most susceptible soybean varieties.  The H77 haplotype had seven SNPs (C to A, G to C, C to A, T to A, T to C, T to C, and T to A) and two single nucleotide insertions.  The results supported that the expression difference of GmDRR1 genes between P. sojae resistant- and susceptible-soybean cultivars might depend on the GmDRR1 promoter SNPs.  The results suggested that GmDRR1 was a dirigent protein involved in soybean resistant to P. sojae and paved a novel way for investigation of the molecular regulatory mechanism of the defense response to P. sojae in soybean.
    Why high grain yield can be achieved in single seedling machinetransplanted hybrid rice under dense planting conditions?
    HUANG Min, SHAN Shuang-lü, XIE Xiao-bing, CAO Fang-bo, ZOU Ying-bin
    2018, 17(06): 1299-1306.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61771-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    This study was conducted to identify the factors associated with high grain yield in single seedling machine-transplanted hybrid rice under dense planting conditions.  Field experiments were done in Yong’an Town, Hunan Province, China in 2015 and 2016.  Two hybrid rice cultivars were grown under single seedling machine transplanting (SMT) and conventional machine transplanting (CMT) at a high planting density in each year.  Grain yield and yield attributes were compared between SMT and CMT.  Averaged across cultivars and years, grain yield was 12% higher under SMT than under CMT.  Plant height, basal stem width, and shoot and root dry weights were higher in seedlings for SMT than those for CMT.  SMT had less maximum tiller number per m2 and consequently less panicle number per m2 than did CMT.  Branch number per panicle, especially the secondary branch number per panicle, and spikelet number per cm of panicle length were more under SMT than under CMT, which resulted in more spikelet number per panicle under SMT than under CMT.  SMT had higher or equal spikelet filling percentage than did CMT.  The difference in grain weight between SMT and CMT was relatively small and inconsistent cross years.  SMT had higher or equal total biomass and harvest index than did CMT.  Dry weight per stem under SMT was heavier than that under CMT.  Larger leaf area per stem was partly responsible for the heavier dry weight per stem under SMT than under CMT.  Our study suggests that improvement in seedling quality, panicle size, and dry weight per stem are critical to the high grain yield in single seedling machine-transplanted hybrid rice under dense planting conditions.
    Farmers’ participatory selection of new rice varieties to boost production under temperate agro-ecosystems#br#
    S Najeeb, F A Sheikh, G A Parray, A B Shikari, G zaffar, S C Kashyp, M A Ganie, A B Shah
    2018, 17(06): 1307-1314.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61810-0
    Abstract ( )   PDF (1202KB) ( )  
    In mountain agriculture, early maturity, high grain yield and high biomass are generally considered as farmer preferred traits in rice crop in addition to a multiple set of traits collectively responsible for variety adoption or rejection.  The varieties tested only on station evaluation trials without taking the data from the farmers’ fields by not including farmers as partners for variety evaluation are the reasons of low adoption of varieties.  In this regard, a participatory methodology was followed by conducting a number of participatory trials in the farmers’ fields during 2012–2014 in six districts of Kashmir Valley, India.  The mother trials in the farmers’ fields showed that the test variety SKUA-408 consistently and significantly out yielded Jhelum and farmers’ variety followed by Shalimar rice 3 (SR3).  The other released varieties like SR1 and SR2 could not perform nicely in the farmers’ fields because of late maturity.  After making the t-test comparison of baby trials (paired plots), the mean yield superiority of test varieties SKUA-408, SR3, and SKUA-403  over farmers’ variety during 2013 was around 23, 25, and 22%, respectively, whereas in 2014 the respective yield advantage was recorded as 16.3, 17.7, and 16.2%.  In all districts, SKUA-408 and SR3 were significantly preferred by farmers (P<0.05 or 0.01) in terms of pre-harvest traits namely, tillering ability and general phenotypic acceptability, early maturity and biomass and for post-harvest traits such as general cooking quality besides, the intention to grow the variety for next year.  Adoption and dissemination of SKUA-408 began in 2014 from the farm-saved seed in the form of farmer to farmer seed exchange.  Farmers are the end users of a variety so the decision by the farmers while judging the variety should be taken into consideration to make the varietal choice more effective for its widespread adoption.
    Relationships between temperature-light meteorological factors and seedcotton biomass per boll at different boll positions
    WU You, ZHAO Wen-qing, MENG Ya-li, WANG You-hua, CHEN Bing-lin, ZHOU Zhi-guo
    2018, 17(06): 1315-1326.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61820-3
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Cotton growth and development are determined and influenced by cultivars, meteorological conditions, and management practices.  The objective of this study was to quantify the optimum of temperature-light meteorological factors for seedcotton biomass per boll with respect to boll positions.  Field experiments were conducted using two cultivars of Kemian 1 and Sumian 15 with three planting dates of 25 April (mean daily temperature (MDT) was 28.0 and 25.4°C in 2010 and 2011, respectively), 25 May (MDT was 22.5 and 21.2°C in 2010 and 2011, respectively), and 10 Jun (MDT was 18.7 and 17.9°C in 2010 and 2011, respectively), and under three shading levels (crop relative light rates (CRLR) were 100, 80, and 60%) during 2010 and 2011 cotton boll development period (from anthesis to boll open stages).  The main meteorological factors (temperature and light) affected seedcotton biomass per boll differently among different boll positions and cultivars.  Mean daily radiation (MDR) affected seedcotton biomass per boll at all boll positions, except fruiting branch 2 (FB2)  fruting node 1 (FN1).  However, its influence was less than temperature factors, especially growing degree-days (GDD).  Optimum mean daily maximum temperature (MDTmax) for seedcotton biomass per boll at FB11FN3 was 29.9–32.4°C, and the optimum MDR at aforementioned position was 15.8–17.5 MJ m–2.  Definitely, these results can contribute to future cultural practices such as rational cultivars choice and distribution, simplifying field managements and mechanization to acquire more efficient and economical cotton management.
    Effects of plastic mulching film-induced leaf burning on seedling growth in tobacco cultivation: Different findings beyond conservation view
    LIN Ying-chao, WEI Ke-su, GAO Wei-chang, CHEN Yi, LIN Ye-chun, CHEN Wei, LI Hong-xun, PAN Wen-jie
    2018, 17(06): 1327-1337.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61871-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Solving high-temperature plastic mulching film-induced leaf burning in the first week during tobacco cultivation would take much time and effort.  In the present study, the growth as well as the leaf sugar and nicotine contents of seedlings with or without leaf burning induced by high-temperature plastic mulching film were tested at two independent sites in 2015 and 2016 to identify the influence of leaf burning on seedling growth.  The results showed that the growth of seedlings with leaf burning was improved with increased leaf area, leaf number and plant height compared to those without leaf burning, combined with an increased seedling survival rate at two sites in two years.  In seedlings with leaf burning, the contents of fructose and glucose increased and peaked at 11:00 and 13:00 in the leaf and root, respectively, with an increased root nicotine content beginning at 13:00, highlighting the signalling role of sugars.  Activities of antioxidant enzymes including peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were all increased in seedlings with leaf burning.  More plant biomass was allocated to roots in seedlings with leaf burning with increased root volume compared to control seedlings, which might facilitate the absorption of water and nutrients from the soil.  Our findings demonstrate that high-temperature plastic mulching film-induced leaf burning not inhibited but benefited seedling survival and growth, suggesting that the time and labour-consuming manual plucking of burnt leaves can be avoided during tobacco cultivation.
    Multivariate analysis between meteorological factor and fruit quality of Fuji apple at different locations in China
    ZHANG Qiang, ZHOU Bei-bei, LI Min-ji, WEI Qin-ping, HAN Zhen-hai
    2018, 17(06): 1338-1347.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61826-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    China has the largest apple planting area and total yield in the world, and the Fuji apple is the major cultivar, accounting for more than 70% of apple planting acreage in China.  Apple qualities are affected by meteorological conditions, soil types, nutrient content of soil, and management practices.  Meteorological factors, such as light, temperature and moisture are key environmental conditions affecting apple quality that are difficult to regulate and control.  This study was performed to determine the effect of meteorological factors on the qualities of Fuji apple and to provide evidence for a reasonable regional layout and planting of Fuji apple in China.  Fruit samples of Fuji apple and meteorological data were investigated from 153 commercial Fuji apple orchards located in 51 counties of 11 regions in China from 2010 to 2011.  Partial least-squares regression and linear programming were used to analyze the effect model and impact weight of meteorological factors on fruit quality, to determine the major meteorological factors influencing fruit quality attributes, and to establish a regression equation to optimize meteorological factors for high-quality Fuji apples.  Results showed relationships between fruit quality attributes and meteorological factors among the various apple producing counties in China.  The mean, minimum, and maximum temperatures from April to October had the highest positive effects on fruit qualities in model effect loadings and weights, followed by the mean annual temperature and the sunshine percentage, the temperature difference between day and night, and the total precipitation for the same period.  In contrast, annual total precipitation and relative humidity from April to October had negative effects on fruit quality.  The meteorological factors exhibited distinct effects on the different fruit quality attributes.  Soluble solid content was affected from the high to the low row preface by annual total precipitation, the minimum temperature from April to October, the mean temperature from April to October, the temperature difference between day and night, and the mean annual temperature.  The regression equation showed that the optimum meteorological factors on fruit quality were the mean annual temperature of 5.5–18°C and the annual total precipitation of 602–1 121 mm for the whole year, and the mean temperature of 13.3–19.6°C, the minimum temperature of 7.8–18.5°C, the maximum temperature of 19.5°C, the temperature difference of 13.7°C between day and night, the total precipitation of 227 mm, the relative humidity of 57.5–84.0%, and the sunshine percentage of 36.5–70.0% during the growing period (from April to October).
    Gene cloning and expression analyses of WBC genes in the developing grapevine seeds
    TANG Yu-jin, WANG Qian, XUE Jing-yi, LI Yan, LI Rui-min, Steve Van Nocker, WANG Yue-jin, ZHANG Chao-hong
    2018, 17(06): 1348-1359.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61827-6
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    White-brown complex (WBC) transporters, also called half-size ATP binding cassette G (ABCG) transporters, are involved in many biological processes, including seed development; however, the WBC transporters in grapevines received less attention to date.  To reveal the molecular characteristics of WBCs and the connection between WBCs and agronomic traits of stenospermocarpic (seedless) grapevine, we carried out a genomic census and analysis of ovule-associated expression for VvWBC genes in grapevine.  We identified 30 VvWBC genes and cloned full-length complementary DNAs (cDNAs) for 20 of these.  The tissue or organ-specific expression analysis showed that several VvWBCs exhibited distinct expression patterns with some showing tissue specificity.  Twelve VvWBC genes were found to be expressed in the developing ovules.  Moreover, the results of quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) suggested that four of twelve ovule-expressed VvWBCs have distinct expression profiles during the development of ovules between seeded and stenospermocarpic grapevines.  These four genes might be involved in ovule abortion.  Meanwhile, chromosome mapping, multiple sequence alignments, exon/intron structure analyses and synteny analyses were preformed on VvWBC genes.  Our experiments provide a new perspective on the mechanism of stenospermocarpic seedlessness and put forward a framework for further study of WBC transporters.
    Gas exchange and water relations of young potted loquat cv. Algerie under progressive drought conditions
    A. Stellfeldt, M. A. Maldonado, J. J. Hueso, J. Cuevas
    2018, 17(06): 1360-1368.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61870-7
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Relationships between plant water status and gas exchange parameters at increasing levels of water stress were determined in Algerie loquats which grown in 50 I pots.  Changes in soil water content and stem water potential and their effects on stomatal conductance (Gs ) and net photosynthesis (Pn) rate were followed in control plants and in plants without irrigation until the latter reached near permanent wilting point and some leaf abscission took place.  Then, the irrigation was restarted and the comparison repeated.  Soil water content and stem water potential gradually diminished in response to drought reaching the minimum values of 0.9 mm and –5.0 MPa, respectively, 9 days after watering suspension.  Compromised plant water status had drastic effects on Gs   values that dropped by 97% in the last day of the drought period.  Pn was diminished by 80% at the end of the drought period.  The increasing levels of water stress did not cause a steady increase in leaf temperature in non-irrigated plants.  Non-irrigated plants wilted and lost some leaves due to the severity of the water stress.  However, all non-irrigated plants survived and reached similar Pn than control plants just a week after the irrigation was restarted, confirming drought tolerance of loquat and suggesting that photosynthesis machinery remained intact. 
    Quantifying muskmelon fruit attributes with A-TEP-based model and machine vision measurement
    CHANG Li-ying, HE San-peng, LIU Qian, XIANG Jia-lin, HUANG Dan-feng
    2018, 17(06): 1369-1379.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)61912-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF (537KB) ( )  
    In this study, we established a dynamic morphological model using the accumulated thermal effectiveness and photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) (A-TEP), aiming to explore the relationship between muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) fruit attributes and environmental factors.  Muskmelon surface color was described by parameters of red, green, blue, hue, saturation and brightness (HSI).  Three characteristic parameters, gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM), angular second moment (ASM), entropy, contrast, and the coverage rate were used to describe the process of muskmelon fruit netting formation.  ASM was not significant difference during muskmelon fruit growth.  The number and deep of netting stripes gradually increased with fruit growth.  Coverage rate increased rapidly for 15–30 d after pollination.  The vertical and horizontal diameters of muskmelon fruit were followed a logistic curve.  And root mean squared errors (RMSE) between the simulated and measured vertical and horizontal diameters were 3.527 and 4.696 mm, respectively.  RMSE of red, green, blue, saturation and brightness were 0.999, 2.690, 2.992, 0.033 and 5.51, respectively, and the RMSE for entropy, contrast and coverage rates were 0.077, 0.063 and 0.015, respectively, indicating a well consistent between measured and simulated values.
    Plant Protection
    A study on the pathogen species and physiological races of tomato Fusarium wilt in Shanxi, China
    CHANG Yin-dong, DU Bin, WANG Ling, JI Pei, XIE Yu-jie, LI Xin-feng, LI Zhi-gang, WANG Jian-ming
    2018, 17(06): 1380-1390.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)61983-5
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  

    In order to clarify the main pathogens of tomato Fusarium wilt in Shanxi Province, China, morphological identification, elongation factor 1 alpha (EF-1α) sequence analysis, specific primer amplification and pathogenicity tests were applied to study the isolates which were recovered from diseased plants collected from 17 different districts of Shanxi Province.  The results were as follows: 1) Through morphological and molecular identification, the following 7 species of Fusarium were identified: F. oxysporum, F. solani, F. verticillioidesF. subglutinans, F. chlamydosporum, F. sporotrichioides, and F. semitectum; 2) 56 isolates of F. oxysporum were identified using specific primer amplification, among which, 29, 5 and 6 isolates were respectively identified as F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici physiological race 1, race 2, and race 3; 3) pathogenicity test indicated the significant pathogenicity of F. oxysporum, F. solani, F. verticillioides, and F. subglutinans to tomato plant.  Therefore, among these 4 species confirmed as pathogenic to tomato in Shanxi, the highest isolation rate (53.3%) corresponded to F. oxysporum.  Three physiological species, race 1, race 2, and race 3 of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici are detected in Shanxi, among which race 1 is the most widespread pathogen and is also considered as the predominant race.

    Carbendazim sensitivity in populations of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides complex infecting strawberry and yams in Hubei Province of China
    HAN Yong-chao, ZENG Xiang-guo, XIANG Fa-yun, ZHANG Qing-hua, GUO Cong, CHEN Feng-ying, GU Yu-chen
    2018, 17(06): 1391-1400.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61854-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    The ascomycete fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is a devastating plant pathogen with a wide host range and worldwide distribution.  Carbendazim has been widely used to control anthracnose caused by the C. gloeosporioides complex in China for more than 30 years and resistance to carbendazim has been reported in China.  A total of 125 Colletotrichum isolates of strawberry and yam were collected from different geographical regions in Hubei Province, China.  Approximately 52.8% of Colletotrichum spp. isolates showed resistance to carbendazim.  The isolates tested in this study belong to four species, and the frequencies of resistant isolates differed across Colletotrichum species.  Resistant isolates were found in C. siamense and C. fructicola.  In contrast, all isolates of C. gloeosporioides and C. aenigma were sensitive to carbendazim.  Highly carbendazim-resistant isolates harbored the E198A mutation in the β-tubulin 2 (TUB2) gene, whereas moderately carbendazim-resistant isolates harbored the F200Y mutation in the TUB2 gene.  Carbendazim-sensitive Colletotrichum isolates in this study were not genetically similar enough to form a separate cluster from resistant isolates.  The result of this study emphasizes the importance of knowing which Colletotrichum sp. is present, when strategies for disease control are made.
    In field control of Botrytis cinerea by synergistic action of a fungicideand organic sanitizer
    Fatima Ayoub, Najwa Ben oujji, Mohamed Ayoub, Athman Hafidi, Rachid Salghi, Shehdeh Jodeh
    2018, 17(06): 1401-1408.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61875-6
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    A new Integrated Pest Management program based on the combination of synthetic pesticide with a GRAS (generally recognized as safe)-classified sanitizer for the control of Botrytis cinerea in field conditions was described.  The aim behind this research was to determine whether the use of this mixture would enhance the efficiency of pesticides while decreasing the recommended dose.  Naturally infected tomato plants, grown in the greenhouse, were treated with two commonly used fungicides SWITCH (Syngenta, Switzerland) and SIGNUM (BASF, Germany) each alone or combined with a commercially available organic sanitizer PERACLEAN®5 (Evonik Industries, Germany).  A total of 27 treatments were tested consisting of three concentrations of synthetic fungicide (×1, ×1/2 and ×1/4 of the recommended dose) either applied separately or combined with three concentrations of the tested sanitizer (0.5, 1 and 1.5%).  The control efficacy achieved by the fungicides applied alone ranged between 0 and 66.7% while all fungicide-sanitizer mixtures resulted in up to 70% control of grey mould.  The treatment that provides the maximum control of B. cinerea was the result mixture of ×1/4 of the recommended concentration of SWITCH (15 g L–1) with 0.5% of PERACLEAN®5.  This combination suppressed 85% of grey mold infections while decreasing the usually used amount of this pesticide by 75%, reducing therefore the well known negative impacts of chemical pesticides on environment and consumers health.
    Ultrastructure of the sensilla on antennae and mouthparts of larval and adult Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae)
    LI Yi-ping, DU Xiao, LIU Fang-fang, LI Yin, LIU Tong-xian
    2018, 17(06): 1409-1420.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61844-6
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Plutella xylostella (L.) (Plutellidae) is an important agricultural pest throughout the world.  In this study, the morphology of antennal and mouthpart sensilla in the larvae and adults of P. xylostella (L.) was observed by using a scanning electron microscope.  The larval antennae possess six sensilla basiconica, two sensilla chaetica and one sensillum styloconicum.  Larval mouthparts possess six types of sensilla: sensilla chaetica, sensilla digitiformia, sensilla epipharyngeal, sensilla basiconica, sensilla styloconica and sensilla placodea.  In the adult, seven types of sensilla are found on the antennae in males and six types of sensilla (sensilla basiconica absent) occur in females.  Sexual dimorphism is also found in the number and size of these sensilla on the antennae of adults.  We describe for the first time the five types of sensilla on the mouthparts of the adult of P. xylostella.  This study provides useful information for further research into the function of these sensilla, and better understanding the behavioral mechanisms involved in pest control.
    Agro-ecosystem & Environment
    Reducing nitrogen fertilization of intensive kiwifruit orchards decreases nitrate accumulation in soil without compromising crop production
    LU Yong-li, KANG Ting-ting, GAO Jing-bo, CHEN Zhu-jun, ZHOU Jian-bin
    2018, 17(06): 1421-1431.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61899-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Excessive nitrogen (N) fertilization of high value horticultural crops is a common problem that not only increases the cost to farmers, but also negatively affects crop growth and the environment.  A three-year field experiment was conducted in an intensive kiwifruit orchard in Shaanxi Province, China to compare the effects of reduced N fertilization applied as urea (U), and controlled release urea (CRU) on the N nutrition of kiwi vines, fruit yield and quality, and nitrate-N accumulation in the soil profile.  The three treatments included a conventional N application rate (CF-U, 900 kg N ha–1 yr–1 as urea), two reduced N fertilization treatments where the amount of N fertilizer applied as U and CRU was reduced by 25% in 2013 and 2014, and by 45% in 2015.  The 25 and 45% reduced N treatments had no adverse effects on the N concentrations in leaves and pruning branches and the fruit yield and quality of kiwi vines.  However, they significantly enhanced the partial factor productivity of applied N (PFPN) and the economic benefits, and reduced nitrate accumulation in the 0–200 cm soil profile.  The same benefits of reduced N fertilization were observed for both the U and CRU treatments, but the CRU treatment had the added benefit of decreasing the loss of nitrate through leaching.  We concluded that the current level of N fertilization in kiwi orchards is very excessive, and reducing the N fertilizer rate by 25–45% could not only guarantee fruit yield, but also reduce N accumulation and loss.
    Soil microbial characteristics and yield response to partial substitution of chemical fertilizer with organic amendments in greenhouse vegetable production
    RONG Qin-lei, LI Ruo-nan, HUANG Shao-wen, TANG Ji-wei, ZHANG Yan-cai, WANG Li-ying
    2018, 17(06): 1432-1444.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)61946-X
    Abstract ( )   PDF (1057KB) ( )  
    Greenhouse vegetable production has been characterized by high agricultural inputs, high temperatures, and high cropping indexes.  As an intensive form of agriculture, nutrient cycling induced by microbial activities in the greenhouses is relatively different from open fields in the same region.  However, the responses of soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN), enzyme activities, microbial community composition, and yield to organic amendment are not well understood.  Therefore, a 5-year greenhouse tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.)-cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) rotation experiment was conducted.  The field experiment comprised 5 treatments: 4/4CN (CN, nitrogen in chemical fertilizer), 3/4CN+1/4MN (MN, nitrogen in pig manure), 2/4CN+2/4MN, 2/4CN+1/4 MN+1/4 SN (SN, nitrogen in corn straw) and 2/4CN+2/4SN.  The amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P2O5), and potassium (K2O) were equal in the five treatments.  Starting with the fourth growing season, the optimal yield was obtained from soil treated with straw.  MBC, MBN, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiles, and enzyme activities were significantly changed by 5 years of substitution with organic amendments.  Redundancy analysis showed that MBC accounts for 89.5 and 52.3% of the total enzyme activity and total community variability, respectively.  The activities of phosphomonoesterase, N-acetyl-glucosaminidase, and urease, and the relative abundances of fungi, actinomycetes, and Gram-negative bacteria were significantly and positively related to vegetable yields.  Considering the effects of organic amendments on soil microbial characteristics and vegetable yield, 2/4CN+1/4MN+1/4SN can improve soil quality and maintain sustainable high yield in greenhouse vegetable production.
    Long-term grazing exclusion influences arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and their association with vegetation in typical steppe of Inner Mongolia, China
    CHEN Xue-jiao, LIN Qi-mei, ZHAO Xiao-rong, CHEN Hao, WEN Jing, LI Ying, LI Gui-tong
    2018, 17(06): 1445-1453.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61881-1
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    It is not certain that long-term grazing exclusion influences arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and their association with steppe vegetation.  In this study, soil and plant samples were collected from two sites of grazing exclusion since 1983 (E83) and 1996 (E96), and one site of free-grazing (FG) in the typical steppe of Xilinguole League, Inner Mongolia, China, and assayed for soil basic physicochemical properties, AM fungal parameters, aboveground biomass and shoot phosphorus (P) uptake as well.  The results showed that long-term grazing exclusion of E83 and E96 led to less drastic seasonal changes and significant increases in spore density, hyphal length density and root colonization intensity of AM fungi and even soil alkaline phosphatase activity, by up to 300, 168, 110 and 102%, respectively, compared with those of FG site.  In addition, the total aboveground biomass and shoot P uptake of E83 and E96 were 75–992% and 58–645%, respectively, higher than those of FG.  Generally, the root colonization intensity, spore density, and hyphal length density of AM fungi were all positively correlated with the aboveground biomass and even shoot P uptake of plant.  These results may imply that grazing exclusion play a critical role in increasing the growth of AM fungi, and subsequently, may increase plant P uptake and aboveground biomass production.  Moreover, the spore density could sensitively reflect the impacts of long-term grazing exclusion on AM fungi since survival strategy of spores in soil.
    Agricultural Economics and Management
    Factors influencing hybrid maize farmers’ risk attitudes and their perceptions in Punjab Province, Pakistan
    Shoaib Akhtar, LI Gu-cheng, Raza Ullah, Adnan Nazir, Muhammad Amjed Iqbal, Muhammad Haseeb Raza, Nadeem Iqbal, Muhammad Faisal
    2018, 17(06): 1454-1462.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61796-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF in ScienceDirect  
    Hybrid maize farmers have to face diverse kinds of climate, biological, price and financial risks.  Farmers’ risk perceptions and risk attitudes are essential elements influencing farm operations and management decisions.  However, this important issue has been overlooked in the contemporary studies and therefore there is a dearth of literature on this important issue.  The present research is therefore, an attempt to fill this gap.  This study aims to quantify hybrid maize farmers’ perceptions of disastrous risks, their attitudes towards risk and to explore the impacts of various farm and farm household factors on farmers’ risk attitudes and risk perceptions.  The present study is conducted in four hybrid maize growing districts of Punjab Province, Pakistan, using cross-sectional data of 400 hybrid maize farmers.  Risk matrix and equally likely certainty equivalent (ELCE) method are used to rank farmers’ perceptions of four catastrophic risk sources including climate, biological, price and financial risks and to investigate farmers’ risk aversion attitudes, respectively.  Furthermore, probit regression is used to analyze the determinants affecting farmers’ risk attitudes and risk perceptions.  The results of the study showed that majority of farmers are risk averse in nature and perceive price, biological and climate to be potential sources of risks to their farm enterprise.  In addition, analysis divulges that distance from farm to main market, off-farm income, location dummies for Sahiwal and Okara, age, maize farming experience, access to extension agent, significantly (either negatively or positively) influence farmers’ risk attitudes and risk perceptions.  The study delivers valuable insights for farmers, agricultural insurance sector, extension services researchers and agricultural policy makers about the local understanding of risks to hybrid maize crop in developing countries, like Pakistan, and have implications for research on farmers’ adaptation to exposed risks.
    Improve access to the EU market by identifying French consumer preference for fresh fruit from China
    WANG Er-peng, Zhifeng Gao, Yan Heng
    2018, 17(06): 1463-1474.  DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61837-9
    Abstract ( )   PDF (807KB) ( )  
    Most previous studies have investigated country-of-origin effect for agricultural products from the economically developed country, but few have focused on the impact of country-of-origin on agricultural products from economically developing countries.  Using a national online survey in France, we determine French consumers’ perceptions and preferences for fresh fruit from China.  Results of ordered logit models show that fresh fruit from China was perceived as low quality and unsafe.  Respondents who care about country-of-origin were less likely to purchase fresh fruit from China, while those who care about brand were more likely to buy Chinese fresh fruit.  Risk perception and quality perception both had a significant impact on the purchase of Chinese fresh fruit.  Results of latent class models obtained with key consumer demographics show that heterogeneous preferences exist among different consumer groups.  The results provide critical information to both China and other economically developing countries in their efforts to improve market penetration in economically developed countries.