Organic farmers use of wild food plants and fungi in a hilly area in Styria (Austria).
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2010 ;6:17. Epub 2010 Jun 21. PMID: 20565945
Christoph Schunko, Christian R Vogl
BACKGROUND: Changing lifestyles have recently caused a severe reduction of the gathering of wild food plants. Knowledge about wild food plants and the local environment becomes lost when plants are no longer gathered. In Central Europe popular scientific publications have tried to counter this trend. However, detailed and systematic scientific investigations in distinct regions are needed to understand and preserve wild food uses. This study aims to contribute to these investigations.
METHODS: Research was conducted in the hill country east of Graz, Styria, in Austria. Fifteen farmers, most using organic methods, were interviewed in two distinct field research periods between July and November 2008. Data gathering was realized through freelisting and subsequent semi-structured interviews. The culinary use value (CUV) was developed to quantify the culinary importance of plant species. Hierarchical cluster analysis was performed on gathering and use variables to identify culture-specific logical entities of plants. The study presented was conducted within the framework of the master's thesis about wild plant gathering of the first author. Solely data on gathered wild food species is presented here.
RESULTS: Thirty-nine wild food plant and mushroom species were identified as being gathered, whereas 11 species were mentioned by at least 40 percent of the respondents. Fruits and mushrooms are listed frequently, while wild leafy vegetables are gathered rarely. Wild foods are mainly eaten boiled, fried or raw. Three main clusters of wild gathered food species were identified: leaves (used in salads and soups), mushrooms (used in diverse ways) and fruits (eaten raw, with milk (products) or as a jam).
CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge about gathering and use of some wild food species is common among farmers in the hill country east of Graz. However, most uses are known by few farmers only. The CUV facilitates the evaluation of the culinary importance of species and makes comparisons between regions and over time possible. The classification following gathering and use variables can be used to better understand how people classify the elements of their environment. The findings of this study add to discussions about food heritage, popularized by organizations like Slow Food, and bear significant potential for organic farmers.
Article Published Date : Jan 01, 2010
Country-scale mapping of ecosystem services provided by semi-natural grasslands.
Sci Total Environ. 2019 Jan 16;661:212-225
Authors: Villoslada Peciña M, Ward RD, Bunce RGH, Sepp K, Kuusemets V, Luuk O
Semi-natural grasslands harbour high biodiversity and play a key role in the supply of ecosystem services (ES). However, abandonment, changes in traditional management practices and agricultural intensification constitute a major threat to these grasslands worldwide and these practices have led to declines in species diversity. In this paper the multi-functionality of semi natural-grasslands is assessed from the ES perspective, within a range of common semi-natural grassland types throughout Estonia. The analysis follows a stepwise approach based on the ES cascade model. Firstly, analyses of the relationships between plant species distribution patterns and environmental factors are described. Secondly, the effect of grassland abandonment on plant species diversity, as well as on the presence of rare and protected plant species is tested. In order to overcome the lack of data on ES at the national scale, plant species diversity and soil organic carbon are tested as surrogate indicators for five ESS: pollination, herbs for traditional medicinal use, nutrient cycling, nutrient retention and biomass production. In the final step, the spatial distribution of ES is assessed, based on an ES hotspots map obtained by detecting areas where high levels of plant species diversity and soil organic carbon overlap. The results show that the majority of ES hotspots are present in wooded meadows and pastures. However, there is an important threat to these hotspots because 45% are not eligible for agri-environmental support.
PMID: 30669054 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Improved heavy metal mapping and pollution source apportionment in Shanghai City soils using auxiliary information.
Sci Total Environ. 2019 Jan 15;661:168-177
Authors: Fei X, Christakos G, Xiao R, Ren Z, Liu Y, Lv X
Soil heavy metal pollution can be a serious threat to human health and the environment. The accurate mapping of the spatial distribution of soil heavy metal pollutant concentrations enables the detection of high pollution areas and facilitates pollution source apportionment and control. To make full use of auxiliary soil properties information and show that they can improve mapping, a synthesis of the Bayesian Maximum Entropy (BME) theory and the Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) model is proposed and implemented in the study of the Shanghai City soils (China). The results showed that, compared to traditional techniques, the proposed BME-GWR synthesis has certain important advantages: (a) it integrates heavy metal measurements and auxiliary information on a sound theoretical basis, and (b) it performs better in terms of both prediction accuracy and implementation flexibility (including the assimilation of multiple data sources). Based on the heavy metal concentration maps generated by BME-GWR, we found that the As, Cr and Pb concentration levels are high in the eastern part of Shanghai, whereas high Cd concentration levels were observed in the northwestern part of the city. Organic carbon and pH were significantly correlated with most of the heavy metals in Shanghai soils. We concluded that Cd pollution is mainly the result of agricultural activities, and that the Cr pollution is attributed to natural sources, whereas Pb and As have compound pollution sources. Future studies should investigate the implementation of BME-GWR in the case of space-time heavy metal mapping and its ability to integrate human activity information and soil category variables.
PMID: 30669049 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Soil biochemical properties and stabilization of soil organic matter in relation to deadwood of different species.
FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2019 Jan 21;:
Authors: Wojciech P, Ewa B, Jaroslaw L
Despite the increasing number of studies on deadwood, we still have limited knowledge of its dynamics. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of deadwood on the biochemical properties of soil and stabilization of soil organic matter (SOM). The investigation was carried out in the Czarna Rózga Reserve in Central Poland. The logs of four tree species at different stages of decomposition (III, IV and V) were selected for the analysis. Three replicate logs were sampled for each combination of decay classes, and the soil samples were collected from directly under the logs and from 1 m away from the logs. In this way, changes to the chemical and biochemical properties of the wood were determined. The SOM was physically fractioned. As the rate of deadwood decomposition increases, its biochemical activity increases and its chemical properties change. The biochemical activity, especially the soil's enzyme activity, was stimulated under highly decayed deadwood. The effects of deadwood are visible in SOM fractions, particularly in the content of the light fraction of SOM.
PMID: 30668687 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Regeneration of wastewater contaminated by cationic dye by nanoporous activated carbon produced from agriculture waste shells.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Jan 22;:
Authors: Teimouri Z, Salem A, Salem S
The discharge of organic dye into environment is the threat to hydrosphere and biosphere. On the other hands, the agriculture solid wastes such walnut and almond shells pose serious pollutions in lithosphere and atmosphere when burned. The aim of present investigation is to fabricate microporous activated carbon from agriculture waste shells by microwave irradiation as efficient adsorbent to overcome these problems. Firstly, zinc chloride was impregnated into milled shell particles, 300 μm, by conventional and microwave-assisted techniques and then the dry precursors were heated in the closed and open ceramic vessels in air and nitrogen atmospheres. The experimental investigation was carried out to understand the roles of different fabrication factors such as shell particle size, catalyst impregnation ratio, microwave power, carbonization temperature, and atmosphere on cationic dye removal from wastewater. The mentioned factors efficiently affect the dye removal onto obtained activated carbon. The increase in the microwave power up to 600 W could effectively increase the dye removal. However, the higher powers inversely affect the removal efficiency. The equilibrium data were well fitted by Langmuir equation with high linear regression coefficients in which the maximum adsorption capacities of activated carbon produced by walnut and almond shells were determined to be 98 and 114 mg/g, respectively. The most prominent advantage of activated carbon produced from almond shell is lower content of catalyst employed in impregnation stage. Although the larger particles of solid waste were applied, the spongy nature with average pore diameter of 2.4 nm is the unique characteristic of activated carbon fabricated from almond shell which improves the performance of adsorbent in wastewater treatment.
PMID: 30666581 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Data on the organic matter characteristics of New Zealand soils under different land uses.
Data Brief. 2018 Dec;21:620-638
Authors: Shen Q, Suarez-Abelenda M, Camps-Arbestain M, Calvelo Pereira R, McNally SR, Kelliher F
This article contains data related to the research article entitled "An Investigation of Organic Matter Quality and Quantity in Acid Soils as Influenced by Soil Type and Land Use" (Shen et al., 2018) . The data was collected using a chemical fractionation scheme of soil organic matter (OM). This involved the separation of organic carbon (OC) fractions based on their solubility in (i) cold and hot water, (ii) 0.1 M sodium pyrophosphate (pH ~ 10), and (iii) 2% HF solution, and the residue remaining after the HF extraction. The OM in this residue, after treatment with 2% HF solution, was characterised using pyrolysis (Py)-GC/MS. This technique involves thermal decomposition of OM into various pyrolysis products, which are then chromatographically separated and determined by mass spectroscopy. This technique has been used to semi-quantify individual soil OM constituents so that in-depth information on soil OM molecular fingerprints is provided. This article presents a detailed dataset of physical-chemical characterization, OC fractions and OM molecular fingerprints of 62 soil samples for a range of soil orders (i.e., Allophanic, Brown, Gley, Pallic and Recent) and land uses (i.e., permanently grazed pasture, ungrazed/unmanaged grasslands, annual cropping) across New Zealand. Principal component analysis was used to investigate the relationships of different soil properties with OC fractions and OM chemistry so that the underlying mechanisms responsible for the differences encountered in OM quantity and quality between soil orders and land uses are understood.
PMID: 30666311 [PubMed]
Vetiver grass hedgerows significantly reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses from fertilized sloping lands.
Sci Total Environ. 2019 Jan 14;661:86-94
Authors: Oshunsanya SO, Li Y, Yu H
Runoff and over-use of fertilizers have been considered as two major factors accelerating the discharge of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural fields to surface water. The practice of vetiver grass hedgerows (VGH) can check sediments and runoff pollutants from agricultural fields. However, the efficiency of VGH in reducing N and P losses while maintaining optimum crop yields is still unclear under a recommended fertilization rate. A three-year field experiment was conducted on a 10 o sloping land to know how VGH can reduce the discharge of runoff nutrients to surface water bodies and maintain optimum crop yields, and to understand the relationships between changing soil properties and reduction of sediments N and P due to the adoption of VGH. Five fertilization treatments to VGH were examined under VGH plus organic fertilizer (VGH + OF), VGH plus inorganic fertilizer (VGH + IF), sole organic or inorganic fertilizer (OF or IF) and no VGH and fertilizer (Control). Runoff nutrient pollutants PO4-, NO3--N and NH4+-N were significantly (P < 0.01) reduced by VGH + OF compared to OF by 97%, 94% and 95% and VGH + IF compared to IF by 95%, 88% and 89% respectively for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Sediment nutrients N and P were significantly (P < 0.01) reduced by VGH + OF compared to OF by 98% and 99%, and VGH + IF compared to IF by 94% and 99%, respectively. Improved soil properties by VGH significantly (P < 0.01) reduced runoff pollutants and consequently increased maize yields. Our results imply that runoff erosion, rather than fertilization, is a major driving force for agriculture-derived water pollution. Adoption of VGH with a recommended fertilization rate could significantly reduce N and P nutrient losses from agricultural fields and consequently improve water quality as well as maintaining optimum crop yields on sloping lands.
PMID: 30665135 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Effective tool for assessment of the quality of barrier creams - relationships between rheological, textural and sensory properties.
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2019 Jan 18;:
Authors: Kulawik-Pióro A, Ptaszek A, Kruk J
The efficiency of barier creams (BC) in the prevention of occupational skin diseases is closely related to their mechanical, rheological but also sensory properties. The measurement procedure we elaborated, which simulates the spreadability conditions on the skin and evaluation whether the structure reconstruction occurs (hysteresis loop test, shear rate dependence of normal force), allows the assessment of the effectivness of the BC in terms of mechanical resistance and its adhesion to the skin surface. In this thesis an effort was made to define the impact of the human factor - the product application on skin - on the efficiency of medical devices for cutaneous use. Creams' performance such as the spreadability or the feeling on the skin during and after application, which mostly determine users willingness to use them systematically and rigorously, have been linked to parameters obtained during the structure analysis and to rheological properties. Moreover an attempt has been made to correlate the values of basic textural properties with rheological parameters determined by viscoelasticity and classic flow analysis. Instrumental analysis of selected BC products demonstrated a good correlation with organoleptic tests carried out on probands. The applicability of our tool for quality evaluation of BC has been confirmed.
PMID: 30664900 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Assessment of EDDS and vermicompost for the phytoextraction of Cd and Pb by sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).
Int J Phytoremediation. 2019 Jan 21;:1-9
Authors: Moslehi A, Feizian M, Higueras P, Eisvand HR
The effects of Ethylenediamine disuccinic acid (EDDS) (0 and 5 mmol·kg-1) as a synthetic chemical amendment, vermicompost (0 and 5%w/w) as an organic amendment and their combined application were evaluated for the phytoextraction by sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) at three artificial contamination levels in soils (0, 50, and 100 mg·kg-1 for Cd and 0, 100, and 200 mg·kg-1 for Pb). The results showed that the application of EDDS was the most effective method to increase Pb and Cd concentrations in both parts of the plant. The results also showed that the application of EDDS increased 9.27% shoot Pb content at 200 mg·kg-1 but decreased 15.95% shoot Cd content at 100 mg·kg-1 contamination level with respect to the respective controls. The bioavailable concentrations of Cd at 100 mg·kg-1 and Pb at 200 mg·kg-1 contamination level in the soil at the end of experiment increased 25% and 26%, respectively after the application of EDDS but vermicompost decreased 43.28% the bioavailable Pb concentration relative to their controls. Vermicompost increased the remediation factor index of Cd, thus making it the best treatment for the phytoextraction of Cd. The combined application of EDDS and vermicompost was the best amendment for Pb phytoextraction.
PMID: 30663886 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Sampling Soils in a Heterogeneous Research Plot.
J Vis Exp. 2019 Jan 07;(143):
Authors: Li J
Soils are highly heterogeneous. In general, the number of soil samples required for soil research has always been determined arbitrarily and the associated accuracy is unknown. Here, we present a detailed protocol for efficient and clustered soil sampling in a research plot and, relying on a pilot sampling using this design, for demonstrating soil spatial heterogeneity and informing reasonable sample sizes and associated accuracy for future study. The protocol mainly comprises four steps: sampling design, field collection, soil analysis, and geostatistical analysis. The step-by-step procedure is modified according to former publications. Two examples will be presented to demonstrate contrasting spatial distributions of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) under different management practices. In addition, we present a strategy to determine the sample size requirement (SSR) given a certain level of accuracy based on the plot-level coefficient of variation (CV). The field sampling protocol and the quantitative determination of the sample size will assist researchers in seeking feasible sampling strategies to meet research needs and resources' availability.
PMID: 30663685 [PubMed - in process]
Emission of constitutive isoprene, induced monoterpenes and other volatiles under high temperatures in Eucalyptus camaldulensis: a 13 C labelling study.
Plant Cell Environ. 2019 Jan 20;:
Authors: Guidolotti G, Pallozzi E, Gavrichkova O, Scartazza A, Mattioni M, Loreto F, Calfapietra C
Eucalypts are major emitters of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), especially volatile isoprenoids. Emissions and incorporation of 13 C in BVOCs were measured in Eucalyptus camaldulensis branches exposed to rapid heat stress or progressive temperature increases, in order to detect both metabolic processes and their dynamics. Isoprene emission increased and photosynthesis decreased with temperatures rising from 30 up to 45 °C, and an increasing percentage of unlabeled carbon was incorporated into isoprene in heat-stressed leaves. Intramolecular labeling was also incomplete in isoprene emitted by heat-stressed leaves, suggesting increasing contribution of respiratory (and possibly also photorespiratory) carbon. At temperature above 45 °C, a drop of isoprene emission was mirrored by the appearance of unlabeled monoterpenes, green leaf volatiles, methanol, and ethanol, indicating that the emission of stored volatiles was mainly induced by cellular damage. Emission of partially labeled acetaldehyde was also observed at very high temperatures, suggesting a double source of carbon, with a large unlabeled component likely transported from roots and associated to the surge of transpiration at very high temperatures. Eucalypt plantations cover large areas worldwide, and our findings may dramatically change forecast and modelling of future BVOC emissions at planetary level, especially considering climate warming and frequent heat waves.
PMID: 30663094 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Hypoglycemic Mechanism of the Berberine Organic Acid Salt under the Synergistic Effect of Intestinal Flora and Oxidative Stress.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018;2018:8930374
Authors: Cui HX, Hu YN, Li JW, Yuan K
Both alterations to the intestinal microflora and chronic systemic inflammation predispose towards type 2 diabetes (T2D). Changes in the composition of the intestinal microflora are associated with glucose metabolism changes in rats with T2D. Here, we demonstrate that a berberine fumarate (BF) has a hypoglycemic effect by regulating the intestinal microflora and metabolism of diabetic rats. The T2D rats had disorders of glucose and lipid metabolism, an abnormal intestinal microflora, fewer butyrate-producing and probiotic-type bacteria, larger numbers of potentially pathogenic and sulfate-reducing bacteria, and tissue inflammation. Administration of berberine fumarate significantly ameliorated the metabolic disorder; increased the populations of Bacteroidetes, Clostridia, Lactobacillales, Prevotellaceae, and Alloprevotella; and reduced those of Bacteroidales, Lachnospiraceae, Rikenellaceae, and Desulfovibrio. In addition, it reduced inflammation, inhibiting the overexpression of TLR4 and p-JNK and increasing the expression of PI3K, GLUT2, and other proteins, which are closely related to oxidative stress, thereby promoting the metabolism of glucose.
PMID: 30662584 [PubMed - in process]
Silver nanoparticles-based plasmonic assay for the determination of sugar content in food matrices.
Anal Chim Acta. 2019 Mar 21;1051:129-137
Authors: Della Pelle F, Scroccarello A, Scarano S, Compagnone D
A simple colorimetric assay for sugars (monosaccharides, polyols and disaccharides) quantification based on silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) formation is proposed. Sugars are able to form AgNPs reducing Ag+ and stabilizing the suspension. Since the driving force is not only chemical reduction, the optimized assay allows the determination of both "reducing" and "non-reducing" sugars with similar reactivity. The localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) absorption band with maximum wavelength centered at ≈ 430 nm (A430) is used for the detection. Monosaccharides, disaccharides and polyols with different functional groups and structure have been investigated: D-(+)-glucose, D-(+)-galactose, D-(-)-fructose, sucrose, D-(+)-raffinose D-(+)-maltose, D-(+)-trehalose, D-mannitol, D-sorbitol, i-inositol, xylitol and D-(+)-xylose. The resulting AgNPs have been characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The reactivity of monomers and polyols was found higher than the disaccharides. The AgNPs-based method was applied to the determination of the sugars content in soft drinks (n = 6) and apple extracts (n = 5). Sugars content (expressed as glucose equivalents) determined by the proposed assay resulted comparable to results obtained by ion chromatography (R = 0.994). Reproducibility (RSD ≤ 9.4%) and recovery values (from 86.1% to 117.7%) in food matrices were satisfactory. Moreover, the assay is selective vs. potentially interfering compounds found in food. Considering the assay time (10 min), the low cost of reagents, limited volumes of sample (5-100 μL), no use of organic solvents and low waste generation, this assay appears very promising for sugars content determination.
PMID: 30661609 [PubMed - in process]
Ambient geochemical baselines for trace elements in Chernozems-approximation of geochemical soil transformation in an agricultural area.
Environ Monit Assess. 2018 Dec 15;191(1):19
Authors: Beata L, Cezary K, Jaroslaw W
The legal regulatory/action levels of trace elements in soils are established at high concentrations, at which the crucial functions of soil are at risk or are eliminated. However, concentrations below these action levels, but above presumed natural levels, may also limit particular ecosystem services, including organic food production. Thus, defining the (ambient) background concentrations is an essential part of environmental or health risk assessment, e.g., on Chernozems, which are considered to be the most productive soils and ones that should be protected against all forms of contamination. Based on 28 profiles of chernozemic soils developed from loess in an agricultural region of SW Poland presumed to be free of industrial contamination, ambient geochemical baselines have been derived for Fe and six trace metals for four standardized soil layers, including the topsoil (plow layer) and parent material layers. The median values for the plow layer (1.89% for Fe, and 537, 49, 17, 14, and 26 mg kg-1 for Mn, Zn, Pb, Cu, and Ni, respectively) are lower than the values reported for other Chernozems in SE Poland/Europe/the world, and thus may serve as a general geochemical baseline for chernozemic soils developed from loess. The concentration of Cd, although lower than in other Chernozems around the world, is higher than in Ukrainian Chernozems and thus may serve as a local (or Central European) baseline only. The median concentrations of Fe, Cu, Mn, and Zn are very close to their concentrations in the Chernozem buried under the Neolithic kurgan. However, Pb and Cd concentrations are two times higher than in the buried soil, indicating the scale of general contamination of the topsoil horizons of arable soils. Concentrations of the elements under study, excluding Fe, in both the buried and surface soils are significantly higher in the topsoil layer compared to parent material (loess), and this justifies the separate baseline values for topsoil horizons, instead of background values derived universally for parent rock types. This is essential, in particular in soils texturally differentiated within profiles, where the subsoil material has a different origin and cannot be considered the parent material for topsoil horizons. Underlying or locally outcropped bedrock (e.g., serpentinite rocks) may naturally enhance the total concentration of trace elements in the entire soil profile by the addition of metal-rich regolith particles during the formation of surface covers, e.g., by eolian processes under periglacial conditions (Late Pleistocene). Such soils are naturally enriched with metals (with nickel in the case of serpentinite bedrock), cannot be considered contaminated, and thus require a separate legal treatment, including separate (or individually suited) background baselines for health risk assessments.
PMID: 30554289 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Uptake and modification of umbelliferone by various seedlings.
Phytochemistry. 2019 Jan;157:194-199
Authors: Hijazin T, Radwan A, Abouzeid S, Dräger G, Selmar D
Inspired by the recently discovered phenomenon of "horizontal natural product transfer" we investigated the putative uptake of phenolic specialized metabolites. Umbelliferone was chosen for this case study, since this coumarin as well as its derivatives can easily be determined by HPLC analyses. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), radish (Raphanus sativus L.), pea (Pisum sativum L.), flax (Linum usitatissimum L.), and garden cress (Lepidium sativum L.) were cultivated in hydroponic media, to which the coumarin was applied. Uptake of umbelliferone was verified by corresponding HPLC analyses of extracts obtained from the aerial parts of the seedlings. In all cases, a tremendous uptake of umbelliferone was observed. In plants that genuinely contain coumarins, the umbelliferone taken up was modified: in garden cress, it was hydroxylated and glucosylated to yield esculin, while in barley seedlings, the imported umbelliferone was modified by methoxylation to yield scopoletin. Corresponding reactions are known from modifications of xenobiotics to be catalyzed by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Accordingly, in an additional approach, umbelliferone was applied together with naproxen, which is reported to reduce enzyme activity of P450 enzymes. As predicted, the conversion of umbelliferone to scopoletin in barley as well as the modification to esculin in garden cress was strongly reduced by the addition of naproxen. These data for the first time demonstrate that - in addition to alkaloids - also phenolic compounds are taken up by various acceptor plants. Apart from the leaching of rotting plants, coumarins are known to be exuded by many plants. Accordingly, these compounds are frequently present in soils and will be taken up. These coherences imply that the horizontal natural product transfer might represent a more general phenomenon in plant ecology. Moreover, this study outlines that - in analogy to the modification of xenobiotics - also natural products taken up are modified in the acceptor plants.
PMID: 30439620 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Preharvest Ultraviolet C Treatment Affected Senescence of Stored Strawberry Fruit with a Potential Role of MicroRNAs in the Activation of the Antioxidant System.
J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Nov 21;66(46):12188-12197
Authors: Xu Y, Charles MT, Luo Z, Mimee B, Tong Z, Véronneau PY, Rolland D, Roussel D
Recent studies presented preharvest ultraviolet C (UV-C) as an environmentally friendly approach for the management of horticultural crop diseases. The effect of this approach on quality preservation during postharvest storage has not yet been investigated. Strawberry fruit harvested from plants grown with supplemental UV-C were stored at room temperature for 72 h, and their postharvest shelf-life biochemical indicators were evaluated. The involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the activation of UV-C-induced antioxidant systems was investigated. Preharvest UV-C contributed to the preservation of sugar and organic acid and reduced overall lipid peroxidation in strawberry fruit during storage. We found that miR159 and miR398 were downregulated by preharvest UV-C and that their respective targets were upregulated at the early stage of storage with enhancement of the activity of antioxidant enzymes. The initial burst of H2O2 and O2• - suggested that preharvest UV-C primed the fruit in an antioxidative activated state via reactive-oxygen-species-mediated feedback control with post-transcriptional involvement of miRNAs.
PMID: 30384605 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Characterization of the Volatile Compounds in Raw and Roasted Georgia Pecans by HS-SPME-GC-MS.
J Food Sci. 2018 Nov;83(11):2753-2760
Authors: Gong Y, Kerrihard AL, Pegg RB
Volatile compounds are responsible for the characteristic aroma of raw and roasted pecans. Yet, much is unknown about the specific effects of roasting on pecan volatiles. In this study, the volatiles of raw "Desirable" pecans from Georgia and 3 roasted pecan samples (175 °C for 5, 10, and 15 min) were determined by HS-SPME coupled to GC-MS using stable deuterium-labeled volatiles as internal standards for quantitation. As expected, roasting markedly impacted the volatile profile of pecans: a total of 63 flavor-active compounds were identified in roasted samples, including 9 compounds not detected in raw "Desirable" pecans. Pyrazines, notable indicators of the Maillard reaction, were found only in roasted samples and demonstrated continual increases throughout observed roasting times. Furthermore, it was noted that hydrocarbon derivatives showed substantial increases with roasting, likely a result of the degradation of nonvolatile lipids. The observed changes correspond well to prior sensory investigations concerning the impact of roasting on pecan flavor, and explain increases in intensity for roasted, nutty, buttery, and sweet sensory traits. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: The results of this study document the volatile constituents generated during the roasting of pecans, and this may help formulators, who are trying to develop natural and artificial pecan flavors in new food products.
PMID: 30347446 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Dynamics of phosphorus content and the activity of phosphatase in forest soil in the sustained nitrogen compounds emissions zone.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Nov;25(33):33773-33782
Authors: Lemanowicz J
This paper summarizes research work on the seasonal and profile dynamics of phosphorus content and the activity of phosphatase in soil next to the nitrogen industry. The results are presented of the total phosphorus (TP) and available phosphorus (AP) content and the alkaline phosphatase (AlP) and acid phosphatase (AcP) against the basic physicochemical properties (clay, pH, total organic carbon, total nitrogen). Three soil profiles were sampled from Brunic Arenosols 0.8, 2.0, and 2.5 km away from the nitrogen plant. The control profile was taken from the Tuchola Forest. The soil was collected in both spring and autumn. The results showed that the total phosphorus content was higher in spring than in autumn (the value of index of changes in time TI < 0) contrary to available phosphorus (TI > 0) and in both seasons in surface soils, the lowest, in profile I. Both total and available phosphorus decreased with depth along the soil profiles. The distribution index (DI) calculated for total phosphorus in surface soils demonstrated a rather moderate accumulation, while DI value for available phosphorus for profile III, a considerable accumulation. The availability factor (AF) for all the soil samples was above the threshold of phosphorus load (2%) in the two seasons in this study (from 2.00 to 10.13% for spring and from 3.92 to 21.19% for autumn), suggesting that the transformation rate from TP to AP was high, and AP supply for plant growth was sufficient. The correlation analysis showed a significant and positive correlation of available phosphorus with soil properties such as total organic carbon (r = 0.577), total nitrogen (r = 0.512), and clay (r = 0.493); however, there was no correlation with the activity of phosphatases.
PMID: 30276700 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Restricting the nonlinearity parameter in soil greenhouse gas flux calculation for more reliable flux estimates.
PLoS One. 2018;13(7):e0200876
Authors: Hüppi R, Felber R, Krauss M, Six J, Leifeld J, Fuß R
The static chamber approach is often used for greenhouse gas (GHG) flux measurements, whereby the flux is deduced from the increase of species concentration after closing the chamber. Since this increase changes diffusion gradients between chamber air and soil air, a nonlinear increase is expected. Lateral gas flow and leakages also contribute to non linearity. Several models have been suggested to account for this non linearity, the most recent being the Hutchinson-Mosier regression model (hmr). However, the practical application of these models is challenging because the researcher needs to decide for each flux whether a nonlinear fit is appropriate or exaggerates flux estimates due to measurement artifacts. In the latter case, a flux estimate from the linear model is a more robust solution and introduces less arbitrary uncertainty to the data. We present the new, dynamic and reproducible flux calculation scheme, kappa.max, for an improved trade-off between bias and uncertainty (i.e. accuracy and precision). We develop a tool to simulate, visualise and optimise the flux calculation scheme for any specific static N2O chamber measurement system. The decision procedure and visualisation tools are implemented in a package for the R software. Finally, we demonstrate with this approach the performance of the applied flux calculation scheme for a measured flux dataset to estimate the actual bias and uncertainty. The kappa.max method effectively improved the decision between linear and nonlinear flux estimates reducing the bias at a minimal cost of uncertainty.
PMID: 30048522 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Atmosphere-soil carbon transfer as a function of soil depth.
Nature. 2018 07;559(7715):599-602
Authors: Balesdent J, Basile-Doelsch I, Chadoeuf J, Cornu S, Derrien D, Fekiacova Z, Hatté C
The exchange of carbon between soil organic carbon (SOC) and the atmosphere affects the climate1,2 and-because of the importance of organic matter to soil fertility-agricultural productivity3. The dynamics of topsoil carbon has been relatively well quantified4, but half of the soil carbon is located in deeper soil layers (below 30 centimetres)5-7, and many questions remain regarding the exchange of this deep carbon with the atmosphere8. This knowledge gap restricts soil carbon management policies and limits global carbon models1,9,10. Here we quantify the recent incorporation of atmosphere-derived carbon atoms into whole-soil profiles, through a meta-analysis of changes in stable carbon isotope signatures at 112 grassland, forest and cropland sites, across different climatic zones, from 1965 to 2015. We find, in agreement with previous work5,6, that soil at a depth of 30-100 centimetres beneath the surface (the subsoil) contains on average 47 per cent of the topmost metre's SOC stocks. However, we show that this subsoil accounts for just 19 per cent of the SOC that has been recently incorporated (within the past 50 years) into the topmost metre. Globally, the median depth of recent carbon incorporation into mineral soil is 10 centimetres. Variations in the relative allocation of carbon to deep soil layers are better explained by the aridity index than by mean annual temperature. Land use for crops reduces the incorporation of carbon into the soil surface layer, but not into deeper layers. Our results suggest that SOC dynamics and its responses to climatic control or land use are strongly dependent on soil depth. We propose that using multilayer soil modules in global carbon models, tested with our data, could help to improve our understanding of soil-atmosphere carbon exchange.
PMID: 29995858 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Abiotic and biotic factors modulate plant biomass and root/shoot (R/S) ratios in grassland on the Loess Plateau, China.
Sci Total Environ. 2018 Sep 15;636:621-631
Authors: Yang Y, Dou Y, An S, Zhu Z
Plant biomass and the root/shoot ratio (R/S) are key parameters for estimating terrestrial ecosystem carbon (C) stocks. However, how environmental driving factors (abiotic and biotic factors) modulate plant biomass and R/S has not been well investigated on the Loess Plateau. Here, we tested the impacts of abiotic and biotic driving factors on plant biomass and R/S and whether they are in accordance with optimal partitioning theory in natural grassland in this region. The results showed that above-ground biomass (AGB) and below-ground biomass (BGB) were 63.96 g·m-2 and 311.18 g·m-2, respectively, and that R/S ranged from 0.13 to 0.46, with high spatial heterogeneity. There was a strong positive linear relationship between AGB and BGB (p < 0.05) in accordance with optimal partitioning theory. A principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that the topographic properties (Slope position, Slope gradient and Altitude) were negatively correlated with the soil physical properties (Ec,Electric conductivity; BD, Bulk density; ST, Soil temperature; and SM, Soil moisture) and positively correlated with the soil chemical properties (SOC, Soil organic carbon; TN, Total nitrogen; SMBC, Soil microbial biomass carbon and SMBN, Soil microbial biomass nitrogen), while soil total phosphorus (TP) was not correlated with the soil physical properties (p > 0.05). Structural equation modeling (SEM) suggested that R/S is indirectly driven by plant properties (Height, Density, Coverage), which are determined by soil and topographic properties. However, only 5% of R/S was explained by the soil physical properties and topographic properties, suggesting that these factors had no significant effect on R/S. The data do, however, provide information for quantifying C stocks in natural grassland on the Loess Plateau. Further, ecologists should focus on mechanistic and fresh approaches to understanding the abiotic and biotic factors influencing plant biomass and R/S.
PMID: 29723835 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Responses of fungal community composition to long-term chemical and organic fertilization strategies in Chinese Mollisols.
Microbiologyopen. 2018 10;7(5):e00597
Authors: Ma M, Jiang X, Wang Q, Ongena M, Wei D, Ding J, Guan D, Cao F, Zhao B, Li J
How fungi respond to long-term fertilization in Chinese Mollisols as sensitive indicators of soil fertility has received limited attention. To broaden our knowledge, we used high-throughput pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR to explore the response of soil fungal community to long-term chemical and organic fertilization strategies. Soils were collected in a 35-year field experiment with four treatments: no fertilizer, chemical phosphorus, and potassium fertilizer (PK), chemical phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen fertilizer (NPK), and chemical phosphorus and potassium fertilizer plus manure (MPK). All fertilization differently changed soil properties and fungal community. The MPK application benefited soil acidification alleviation and organic matter accumulation, as well as soybean yield. Moreover, the community richness indices (Chao1 and ACE) were higher under the MPK regimes, indicating the resilience of microbial diversity and stability. With regards to fungal community composition, the phylum Ascomycota was dominant in all samples, followed by Zygomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, and Glomeromycota. At each taxonomic level, the community composition dramatically differed under different fertilization strategies, leading to different soil quality. The NPK application caused a loss of Leotiomycetes but an increase in Eurotiomycetes, which might reduce the plant-fungal symbioses and increase nitrogen losses and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the linear discriminant analysis (LDA) coupled with effect size (LDA score > 3.0), the NPK application significantly increased the abundances of fungal taxa with known pathogenic traits, such as order Chaetothyriales, family Chaetothyriaceae and Pleosporaceae, and genera Corynespora, Bipolaris, and Cyphellophora. In contrast, these fungi were detected at low levels under the MPK regime. Soil organic matter and pH were the two most important contributors to fungal community composition.
PMID: 29573192 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Chemometric Analysis of the Volatile Compounds Generated by Aspergillus carbonarius Strains Isolated from Grapes and Dried Vine Fruits.
Toxins (Basel). 2018 02 06;10(2):
Authors: Cheng Z, Li M, Marriott PJ, Zhang X, Wang S, Li J, Ma L
Ochratoxin A (OTA) contamination in grape production is an important problem worldwide. Microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) have been demonstrated as useful tools to identify different toxigenic strains. In this study, Aspergillus carbonarius strains were classified into two groups, moderate toxigenic strains (MT) and high toxigenic strains (HT), according to OTA-forming ability. The MVOCs were analyzed by GC-MS and the data processing was based on untargeted profiling using XCMS Online software. Orthogonal projection to latent structures discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) was performed using extract ion chromatogram GC-MS datasets. For contrast, quantitative analysis was also performed. Results demonstrated that the performance of the OPLS-DA model of untargeted profiling was better than the quantitative method. Potential markers were successfully discovered by variable importance on projection (VIP) and t-test. (E)-2-octen-1-ol, octanal, 1-octen-3-one, styrene, limonene, methyl-2-phenylacetate and 3 unknown compounds were selected as potential markers for the MT group. Cuparene, (Z)-thujopsene, methyl octanoate and 1 unknown compound were identified as potential markers for the HT groups. Finally, the selected markers were used to construct a supported vector machine classification (SVM-C) model to check classification ability. The models showed good performance with the accuracy of cross-validation and test prediction of 87.93% and 92.00%, respectively.
PMID: 29415459 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]