Extracts of Common Pesticidal Plants Increase Plant Growth and Yield in Common Bean Plants.
ABSTRACT: Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is an important food and cash crop in many countries. Bean crop yields in sub-Saharan Africa are on average 50% lower than the global average, which is largely due to severe problems with pests and diseases as well as poor soil fertility exacerbated by low-input smallholder production systems. Recent on-farm research in eastern Africa has shown that commonly available plants with pesticidal properties can successfully manage arthropod pests. However, reducing common bean yield gaps still requires further sustainable solutions to other crop provisioning services such as soil fertility and plant nutrition. Smallholder farmers using pesticidal plants have claimed that the application of pesticidal plant extracts boosts plant growth, potentially through working as a foliar fertiliser. Thus, the aims of the research presented here were to determine whether plant growth and yield could be enhanced and which metabolic processes were induced through the application of plant extracts commonly used for pest control in eastern Africa. Extracts from Tephrosia vogelii and Tithonia diversifolia were prepared at a concentration of 10% w/v and applied to potted bean plants in a pest-free screen house as foliar sprays as well as directly to the soil around bean plants to evaluate their contribution to growth, yield and potential changes in primary or secondary metabolites. Outcomes of this study showed that the plant extracts significantly increased chlorophyll content, the number of pods per plant and overall seed yield. Other increases in metabolites were observed, including of rutin, phenylalanine and tryptophan. The plant extracts had a similar effect to a commercially available foliar fertiliser whilst the application as a foliar spray was better than applying the extract to the soil. These results suggest that pesticidal plant extracts can help overcome multiple limitations in crop provisioning services, enhancing plant nutrition in addition to their established uses for crop pest management.
Project description:The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a recent invasive pest species that has successfully established across sub-Saharan Africa where it continues to disrupt agriculture, particularly smallholder cereal production. Management of FAW in its native range in the Americas has led to the development of resistance to many commercial pesticides before its arrival in Africa. Pesticide use may therefore be ineffective for FAW control in Africa, so new and more sustainable approaches to pest management are required that can help reduce the impact of this exotic pest. Pesticidal plants provide an effective and established approach to pest management in African smallholder farming and recent research has shown that their use can be cost-beneficial and sustainable. In order to optimize the use of botanical extracts for FAW control, we initially screened ten commonly used plant species. In laboratory trials, contact toxicity and feeding bioassays showed differential effects. Some plant species had little to no effect when compared to untreated controls; thus, only the five most promising plant species were selected for more detailed study. In contact toxicity tests, the highest larval mortality was obtained from Nicotiana tabacum (66%) and Lippia javanica (66%). Similarly, in a feeding bioassay L. javanica (62%) and N. tabacum (60%) exhibited high larval mortality at the highest concentration evaluated (10% w/v). Feeding deterrence was evaluated using glass-fibre discs treated with plant extracts, which showed that Cymbopogon citratus (36%) and Azadirachta indica (20%) were the most potent feeding deterrents among the pesticidal plants evaluated. In a screenhouse experiment where living maize plants infested with fall armyworm larvae were treated with plant extracts, N. tabacum and L. javanica were the most potent species at reducing foliar damage compared to the untreated control whilst the synthetic pesticide chlorpyrifos was the most effective in reducing fall armyworm foliar damage. Further field trial evaluation is recommended, particularly involving smallholder maize fields to assess effectiveness across a range of contexts.
Project description:This work comprises the theoretical determination and validation of diagnostic standards for the analysis of saturated soil extracts for cut rose flower crops (Rosa spp.) growing in the Bogota Plateau, Colombia. The data included 684 plant tissue analyses and 684 corresponding analyses of saturated soil extracts, all collected between January 2009 and June 2013. The tissue and soil samples were selected from 13 rose farms, and from cultivars grafted on the 'Natal Briar' rootstock. These concurrent samples of soil and plant tissues represented 251 production units (locations) of approximately 10,000 m2 distributed across the study area. The standards were conceived as a tool to improve the nutritional balance in the leaf tissue of rose plants and thereby define the norms for expressing optimum productive potential relative to nutritional conditions in the soil. To this end, previously determined diagnostic standard for rose leaf tissues were employed to obtain rates of foliar nutritional balance at each analyzed location and as criteria for determining the diagnostic norms for saturated soil extracts. Implementing this methodology to foliar analysis, showed a higher significant correlation for diagnostic indices. A similar behavior was observed in saturated soil extracts analysis, becoming a powerful tool for integrated nutritional diagnosis. Leaf analyses determine the most limiting nutrients for high yield and analyses of saturated soil extracts facilitate the possibility of correcting the fertigation formulations applied to soils or substrates. Recommendations are proposed to improve the balance in soil-plant system with which the possibility of yield increase becomes more probable. The main recommendations to increase and improve rose crop flower yields would be: continuously check pH values of SSE, reduce the amounts of P, Fe, Zn and Cu in fertigation solutions and carefully analyze the situation of Mn in the soil-plant system.
Project description:The Brazilian guava processing industry generates 5.5 M Mg guava waste year(-1) that could be recycled sustainably in guava agro-ecosystems as slow-release fertilizer. Our objectives were to elaborate nutrient budgets and to diagnose soil, foliar, and fruit nutrient balances in guava orchards fertilized with guava waste. We hypothesized that (1) guava waste are balanced fertilizer sources that can sustain crop yield and soil nutrient stocks, and (2) guava agroecosystems remain productive within narrow ranges of nutrient balances. A 6-year experiment was conducted in 8-year old guava orchard applying 0-9-18-27-36 Mg ha(-1) guava waste (dry mass basis) and the locally recommended mineral fertilization. Nutrient budgets were compiled as balance sheets. Foliar and fruit nutrient balances were computed as isometric log ratios to avoid data redundancy or resonance due to nutrient interactions and the closure to measurement unit. The N, P, and several other nutrients were applied in excess of crop removal while K was in deficit whatever the guava waste treatment. The foliar diagnostic accuracy reached 93% using isometric log ratios and knn classification, generating reliable foliar nutrient and concentration ranges at high yield level. The plant mined the soil K reserves without any significant effect on fruit yield and foliar nutrient balances involving K. High guava productivity can be reached at lower soil test K and P values than thought before. Parsimonious dosage of fresh guava waste should be supplemented with mineral K fertilizers to recycle guava waste sustainably in guava agroecosystems. Brazilian growers can benefit from this research by lowering soil test P and K threshold values to avoid over-fertilization and using fresh guava waste supplemented with mineral fertilizers, especially K. Because yield was negatively correlated with fruit acidity and Brix index, balanced plant nutrition and fertilization diagnosis will have to consider not only fruit yield targets but also fruit quality to meet requirements for guava processing.
Project description:Pasture degradation caused by overgrazing and inappropriate fertiliser management is a major production and environmental threat in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Previous research has focused on the effects of mixed nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertiliser and reduced grazing pressure on the plant community of the grassland; however, the role of P and how it interacts with various defoliation (the process of the complete or partial removal of the above-ground parts of plants by grazing or cutting) intensities on the plant and soil of the grassland ecosystem have not been quantified. A field experiment was conducted to quantify how P application in combination of defoliation pressure could impact the dynamic change of the plant and soil in a native alpine grassland ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China, from May 2012 to September 2014. A split-plot design with 4 replicates and repeated measures was used to determine the growth and composition of plant community and soil physical and chemical properties under various levels of P fertiliser and defoliation intensity. The results showed that applying 20 kg P/ha increased the herbage yield of Melissitus ruthenica by 68% and total pasture yield by 25%. Close defoliation favoured the growth and plant frequency of the shorter species, whereas lax defoliation favoured that of the taller plant species. Medium P rate and cutting to 3 cm above ground gave an overall best outcome in pasture yield, quality and frequency and soil moisture and nutrient concentration. Application of P fertiliser with a moderate defoliation pressure to promote legume growth and N fixation has the potential to achieve multiple benefits in increasing pasture and livestock production and improving environmental sustainability in the alpine pasture of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a fragile and P-deficient ecosystem zone in China and its western neighbouring countries.
Project description:Background and aims:Use of zinc (Zn) fertilisers may be cost-effective in increasing crop yields and in alleviating dietary Zn deficiency. However, Zn fertilisers are underutilised in many countries despite the widespread occurrence of Zn-deficient soils. Here, increased Zn fertiliser-use scenarios were simulated for wheat production in Punjab and Sindh Provinces, Pakistan. Inputs and outputs were valued in terms of both potential yield gains as well as health gains in the population. Methods:The current dietary Zn deficiency risk of 23.9 % in Pakistan was based on food supply and wheat grain surveys. "Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost" are a common metric of disease burden; an estimated 245,000 DALYs y-1 are lost in Punjab and Sindh due to Zn deficiency. Baseline Zn fertiliser-use of 7.3 kt y-1 ZnSO4.H2O was obtained from published and industry sources. The wheat area currently receiving Zn fertilisers, and grain yield responses of 8 and 14 % in Punjab and Sindh, respectively, were based on a recent survey of >2500 farmers. Increased grain Zn concentrations under Zn fertilisation were estimated from literature data and converted to improved Zn intake in humans and ultimately a reduction in DALYs lost. Results:Application of Zn fertilisers to the area currently under wheat production in Punjab and Sindh, at current soil: foliar usage ratios, could increase dietary Zn supply from ~12.6 to 14.6 mg capita -1 d-1, and almost halve the prevalence of Zn deficiency, assuming no other changes to food consumption. Gross wheat yield could increase by 2.0 and 0.6 Mt. grain y-1 in Punjab and Sindh, respectively, representing an additional return of US$ >800 M and an annual increased grain supply of 19 kg capita -1. Conclusions:There are potential market- and subsidy-based incentives to increase Zn fertiliser-use in Pakistan. Benefit-Cost Ratios (BCRs) for yield alone are 13.3 and 17.5 for Punjab and Sindh, respectively. If each DALY is monetised at one to three fold Gross National Income per capita on purchasing power parity (GNIPPP), full adoption of Zn fertiliser for wheat provides an additional annual return of 405-1216 M International Dollars (I$) in Punjab alone, at a cost per DALY saved of I$ 461-619.
Project description:Garlic substrate could influence plant growth through affecting soil microbiome structure. The relationship mechanism between changes in soil microbial communities, disease suppression and plant development, however, remains unclear, particularly in the degraded soil micro-ecological environment. In this study, garlic substrates as a soil amendment were incorporated with different ratios (1:100, 3:100 and 5:100 g/100 g of soil) in a replanted disturbed soil of long-term cucumber monoculture (annual double cropping system in a greenhouse). The results indicated that higher amount of C-amended garlic substrate significantly induced soil suppressiveness (35.9% greater than control (CK) against the foliar disease incidence rate. This inhibitory effect consequently improved the cucumber growth performance and fruit yield to 20% higher than the non-amended soil. Short-term garlic substrate addition modified the soil quality through an increase in soil organic matter (SOM), nutrient availability and enzymatic activities. Illumina MiSeq sequencing analysis revealed that soil bacterial and fungal communities in the garlic amendment were significantly different from the control. Species richness and diversity indices significantly increased under treated soil. The correlation-based heat map analysis suggested that soil OM, nutrient contents and biological activators were the primary drivers reshaping the microbial community structure. Furthermore, garlic substrate inhibited soil-borne pathogen taxa (Fusarium and Nematoda), and their reduced abundances, significantly affecting the crop yield. In addition, the host plant recruited certain plant-beneficial microbes due to substrate addition that could directly contribute to plant-pathogen inhibition and crop biomass production. For example, abundant Acidobacteria, Ascomycota and Glomeromycota taxa were significantly associated with cucumber yield promotion. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Basidiomycota and Glomeromycota were the associated microbial taxa that possibly performed as antagonists of Fusarium wilt, with plant pathogen suppression potential in monocropped cucumber-planted soil.
Project description:The present study explored the eco-friendly approach of utilizing plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) inoculation and foliar application of silicon (Si) to improve the physiology, growth, and yield of mung bean under saline conditions. We isolated 18 promising PGPR from natural saline soil in Saudi Arabia, and screened them for plant-growth-promoting activities. Two effective strains were selected from the screening trial, and were identified as Enterobacter cloacae and Bacillus drentensis using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry and 16S rRNA gene sequencing techniques, respectively. Subsequently, in a 2-year mung bean field trial, using a randomized complete block design with a split-split plot arrangement, we evaluated the two PGPR strains and two Si levels (1 and 2 kg ha(-1)), in comparison with control treatments, under three different saline irrigation conditions (3.12, 5.46, and 7.81 dS m(-1)). The results indicated that salt stress substantially reduced stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, relative water content (RWC), total chlorophyll content, chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, carotenoid content, plant height, leaf area, dry biomass, seed yield, and salt tolerance index. The PGPR strains and Si levels independently improved all the aforementioned parameters. Furthermore, the combined application of the B. drentensis strain with 2 kg Si ha(-1) resulted in the greatest enhancement of mung bean physiology, growth, and yield. Overall, the results of this study provide important information for the benefit of the agricultural industry.
Project description:Nitrate leaching is a pressing environmental problem in intensive agriculture. Especially after the crop harvest, leaching risk is greatest due to decomposing plant residues, and low plant nutrient uptake and evapotranspiration. The specific crop also matters: grain legumes and canola commonly result in more leftover N than the following winter crop can take up before spring. Addition of a high carbon amendment (HCA) could potentially immobilize N after harvest. We set up a 2-year mesocosm experiment to test the effects of N fertilization (40 or 160 kg N/ha), HCA addition (no HCA, wheat straw, or sawdust), and precrop plant functional group identity on winter barley yield and soil C/N ratio. Four spring precrops were sown before winter barley (white lupine, faba bean, spring canola, spring barley), which were selected based on a functional group approach (colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi [AMF] and/or N2-fixing bacteria). We also measured a subset of faba bean and spring barley for leaching over winter after harvest. As expected, N fertilization had the largest effect on winter barley yield, but precrop functional identity also significantly affected the outcome. The non-AMF precrops white lupine and canola had on average a positive effect on yield compared to the AMF precrops spring barley and faba bean under high N (23% increase). Under low N, we found only a small precrop effect. Sawdust significantly reduced the yield compared to the control or wheat straw under either N level. HCAs reduced nitrate leaching over winter, but only when faba bean was sown as a precrop. In our setup, short-term immobilization of N by HCA addition after harvest seems difficult to achieve. However, other effects such as an increase in SOM or nutrient retention could play a positive role in the long term. Contrary to the commonly found positive effect of AMF colonization, winter barley showed a greater yield when it followed a non-AMF precrop under high fertilization. This could be due to shifts of the agricultural AMF community toward parasitism.
Project description:This article present observational and experimental data describing a range of biotic and abiotic parameters that can be related to ecosystem services under contrasted types of crop management: conventional, conservation and organic agricultures. Ninety fields, either cultivated with winter wheat or fava bean, located in Southwestern France, near Toulouse, were monitored for two growing seasons (2014-2016). The dataset encompass data about crop pests (aphids, grain borer, bean beetles, slugs), crop pest natural enemies (hoverflies, parasitoids, predators), soil sensitivity to erosion, crop productivity, pathogenic fungal infection and root colonization by mycorrhiza. This article present detailed protocols applied for each measurement and data collected to describe the context of each field: soil structure, landscape and crop management indicators. The data presented here can be found in Portail Data INRA repository (DOI: 10.15454/KEW1GK) and were exhaustively used and discussed in the research article Conservation agriculture as a promising trade-off between conventional and organic agriculture in bundling ecosystem services .
Project description:The management of optimal soil pH is fundamental to sustainable crop production. Understanding the lime requirement for arable crops has developed gradually over the last several decades. The aim of this study was to examine the yield-pH relationship for a range of arable crops to understand their response to liming, based on the Long-Term Liming experiments established in 1962 at Rothamsted Research, UK. The main treatments of four different rates of lime and, therefore, four distinctly different soil pH levels were maintained for 35 years at two sites (Rothamsted and Woburn). The pH ranged from 4.4 to 8.0. The lime response was tested on the following crops: spring barley, spring oats, spring beans, spring lupins, winter lupins, potatoes, linseed, winter oilseed rape, winter triticale and winter wheat. Relative yield (RY) was used for non-linear regression analysis to detect site, year and phosphorus (P) fertiliser effects on the relationship with pH. Liming had a highly significant positive effect on soil pH, but overall there was no consistent increase or decrease in soil extractable P (Olsen) or exchangeable K. There were significant site effects detected for RY for most crops which reflect differences in the two soil types. Spring oats and potatoes had very weak responses to lime within the pH range tested. For spring barley, winter triticale, winter wheat and winter oilseed rape significant effects of P fertiliser on the yield-pH relationship were found, although the nature of effects differed between crops and sites. Findings from the Long-Term Liming experiment are invaluable in improving the fundamental understanding on the yield-pH relationship for important arable crops and this has significant implications on selecting crops for rotations. The pH at 90% RY was calculated for selected crops and the beneficial effect of fertiliser P was detected in significantly reducing the critical pH value.