To select new check rice varieties for evaluating cold tolerance at the booting stage higher than ‘Very-tolerant’, precisely, cold tolerance was investigated using a deep-water irrigation system at 7 breeding stations for 5 years from 2004 to 2008. Judging from the percentage sterility, new check varieties from pre-existing ‘Very-tolerant’ to ‘Very-tolerant 9’ in the very-early heading group (‘Yumekogane’ class) and from ‘Very-tolerant’ to ‘Very-tolerant 11’ in the very-early (‘Kakehashi’ class), early, early-to-moderate and moderate heading groups were selected. Using the new check varieties, new breeding lines with high cold tolerance and good agronomic traits were developed.
Fusarium head blight (FHB), which is caused by Fusarium graminearum Schwabe [teleomorph: Gibberella zeae (Schwein.) Petch], is a devastating disease affecting wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) spikes, which considerably reduces grain yield and quality and produces mycotoxins that are harmful to humans and animals, especially in warm and humid climates, such as that of west Japan. Therefore, an important target of breeding programs is to improve FHB resistance in wheat. In general, wheat cultivars bred in west Japan exhibit high resistance to FHB worldwide. FHB resistance in wheat can be divided into resistance to initial infection (type I) and resistance to spread within the spike (type II). To improve FHB resistance in west Japanese wheat, we first improved the methods used to evaluate type I and II resistance separately. We then analyzed factors related to type I and II resistance using diverse materials. Finally, we selected a wheat line, ‘Norin PL-9,’ into which we integrated type I and II resistance, and applied for registration as the wheat parental line. The knowledge and materials developed in this study are useful for breeding FHB resistance in wheat where FHB outbreak is problematic. This review draws on a series of related studies.
In plant-parasite interactions, “effectors” are thought to play an important role in suppressing the innate immune response, but the vast majority of effector functions and host target molecules remain unclear, except for several combinations1. A pea pathogenic fungus, Mycosphaerella pinodes, secretes compounds that block defense responses of the host plants only and also induce local susceptibility (“accessibility”), even to avirulent pathogens. These compounds have been called “suppressors” or “suppressors of defense.” The M. pinodes-suppressors, which are low-molecular weight mucin-type glycopeptides, were named supprescins and their presence markedly blocked elicior-induced resistance, such as the generation of superoxide, formation of infection-inhibitors, production of phytoalexin and so on, in host plants. For three decades from 1977, it was found that supprescins disturb the fundamental functions of the host cells, particularly apyrase and redox enzymes in the host cell wall in a species-specific manner. In this review, the role of supprescins with the plant cell wall in determining specificity was introduced.
Carnation bacterial wilt (CBW), caused by Burkholderia caryophylli, is one of the most damaging diseases affecting carnations in Japan. In this study, carnation breeding was conducted using CBW resistance derived from Dianthus capitatus ssp. andrzejowskianus. To map the genetic loci involved in resistance to CBW and develop the linked markers, the first molecular linkage map for carnation was constructed by using 134 progeny derived from a cross between ‘Carnation Nou No. 1’ (an interspecific hybrid of carnation and D. capitatus) and ‘Pretty Favvare’, a susceptible cultivar. The map consisted of 146 DNA markers and covered 16 linkage groups. QTL analysis identified a QTL with a significant effect and two QTLs with small effects. Evaluation of disease incidence in relation to the presence of the STS-WG44 marker, which is linked to a QTL with a large effect, revealed that marker-assisted selection (MAS) using STS-WG44 enables the tested population to be narrowed down by half. Repeated crossing and selection via both conventional disease screening and MAS led to successful development of the first CBW-resistant carnation cultivar, ‘Karen Rouge’.
In Japan, more than 90% of strawberries are produced by forcing culture, which involves inducing flowering in autumn by several artificial methods (e.g. chilling, short-day), growing plants under a heated greenhouse to avoid the induction of dormancy and dwarfing, and keeping them in a semi-dormant state to allow continued harvesting. Although the normal harvest period is from late November to June, progress in technological research and the development of forcing has contributed to such long-term harvests. In forcing culture, it is important to understand the dormancy status of the strawberry plants, since controlling dormancy is key to realizing long-term successive harvests between winter and early summer. However, the last two decades have seen increasing demand for a year-round supply of strawberries for confectioners. Recent progress in the research and development of strawberry year-round production technology is reviewed with special reference to the activities of a summer-autumn production research team in the Tohoku region.
The placenta, a lodgment at the feto-maternal interface, is a temporal organ that plays crucial roles in maintaining gestation and fetal development. To achieve these purposes, the placenta produces an array of proteins with distinct spatio-temporal characteristics. In this review, the authors focus on the paralog families of prolactin (PRL) and aspartic proteinase, exclusively produced by the placenta, and discuss their biological roles and practical significance in animal husbandry. The bovine placental PRL family consists of one classical member and at least ten non-classical members. Bovine placental lactogen (PL) is a unique classical member due to its lactogenic activity and potentially involved in partitioning nutrients to maintain fetal development. In contrast, the biological roles of non-classical members in bovine placental PRL family proteins remain unclear. Recent papers have reported that a non-classical member protein named prolactin-related protein -I (PRP-I) exhibited angiogenic activity following C-terminal cleavage by proteolytic enzymes. These results suggest that non-classical members of the placental PRL family exert their biological activities via specific mechanisms other than the PRL receptor-signaling pathway. The bovine genome contains a hundred or more aspartic proteinase-like genes and at least 22 mRNAs with close structural relationships are transcribed in the placenta. These molecules correspond to pregnancy-specific protein (PSP)-B, PSP-60 and pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG) as reported previously. The true character of PSPs and PAG is thought to be a mixture of placental aspartic proteinase-like proteins. Immunological detection of PAG protein in maternal serum is the basis for early pregnancy diagnosis in ruminants. Currently, early pregnancy diagnosis by PAG assay is available for cows, buffaloes and deer.
Many kinds of fermented products are now being consumed as food and dietary items, although those produced from algae have yet to be developed. A recent observation that seaweed could be used as a substrate for lactic acid fermentation opened the possibility of obtaining such products as foods, diets and fertilizers by algal fermentation. This manuscript reviews past studies on the lactic acid fermentation of algae. Both macroalgae (seaweeds) and microalgae can be used as the materials for lactic acid fermentation, as successful fermentation has been observed regarding all the seaweed species tested to date. Saccharification by cellulase treatment is considered a significant element for inducing algal fermentation. The addition of a starter culture of lactic acid bacteria and salt also promotes successful fermentation. A wide range of Lactobacillus species can be used for inducing algal fermentation, with Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum in particular showing a superior ability to dominate in seaweed fermentation cultures. A starter culture of halophilic lactic acid bacteria that is now being developed will make it possible to prepare algal fermented products containing a high (>10%) salt content and having long-term preservation. As for application, a prototype of ‘seaweed sauce’ containing a high quantity of amino acids was obtained from Porphyla sp. (Rhodophyta). Some functional effects are also demonstrated when fish and animals were fed algal fermented products. Studies on the ethanol fermentation of seaweeds are also making progress. All these advances in algal fermentation are expected to lead to the creation of a new genre of algal fermentation industry.
Sweet sorghum is a multipurpose crop that has great potential as a bioethanol crop. To make an appreciable profit from cultivating sweet sorghum in the semi-arid tropics (SAT), such agronomic practices as nutrient management need to be standardized. The objective of this study is to determine optimum nitrogen (N) rates for maximizing the grain and sugar yields of sweet sorghum during the rainy season in the Indian SAT. During the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the response of sweet sorghum being grown in an Alfisol to the application of six N rates (0, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 kg N ha-1) was evaluated in Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, India. The chlorophyll content (SPAD reading), cane fresh weight, and grain dry weight increased significantly in line with higher N rates. The volume of juice also increased significantly, although sugar content (brix reading) did not change in line with higher N rates, consequently resulting in a significant increase in sugar yield as computed from the volume of juice and sugar content. There were smaller differences due to N application during the season when soil fertility was at a medium level under high air temperature. Net income, as estimated from cane fresh weight and grain dry weight, increased at rates up to 90 kg N ha-1, and higher N rates did not significantly affect productivity or income, but instead caused severe lodging in 150 kg N ha-1 at the harvest stage. Based on these results, an input of 90-120 kg N ha-1 could be recommended for maximizing sweet sorghum productivity and farmers′ income in the SAT region of India.
Biocontrol activities in the oospore suspensions of 17 isolates of Pythium oligandrum (PO) were examined for their effect against post-emergence seedling diseases. The seeds of sugar beet that had been commercially chemical-pelleted to prevent pre-emergence damping-off were sown in Aphanomyces cochlioides-infested soil on trays. PO isolate MMR2 proved most effective in controlling post-emergence damping-off, at a level equivalent to that of applying fungicides. Oospore suspensions stored for 188 days or 379 days at 4°C were as effective against A. cochlioides post-emergence damping-off as chemical control. Treating soil with PO oospores by mixing suspensions into the surface of soil in paper pot nurseries or by drenching seedlings 32 days before transplanting could control Aphanomyces root rot in the field without additional applications. The control effect conferred by PO suspensions was also demonstrated in vitro. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay used to detect PO indicated that this oomycete could colonize the rhizosphere of sugar beet plants cultivated in the field when applied before transplanting. These results suggest that PO has the potential to control both post-emergence damping-off and root rot caused by A. cochlioides.
In recent years, many conceptual hydrological models have been constructed to calculate rainfall runoff for river watersheds, two of which, the Tank Model and the NAM Model, have been widely used in many Asian countries to forecast flooding and manage water resources because of their simplicity. However, obtaining good results can be time-consuming and costly because multiple model parameters must be calibrated. This requirement has led to an increased need for automated calibration. In this study, the two hydrological models had a genetic algorithm (GA) incorporated to model the rainfall runoff process and optimize model parameters. Calibration data were obtained at hydrological gauges of the river system upstream of the Dau Tieng River watershed, located along the upper Saigon River in Southeastern Vietnam. The GA optimization in this study concurrently adjusted eighteen of the Tank Model parameters and ten NAM Model parameters to improve modeling efficiency. The study concluded that both models showed good correlation between simulated and observed flows, with increased accuracy and convenience. The Tank Model produced better simulation results through error indicators such as root mean square error, efficiency, and relative error.
To gain a physiological understanding of the effects of light intensity on the cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), we subjected ‘Jinchun No. 5’ seedlings to shading treatment in three plots with light transmission of 100% (unshaded), 80%, and 60% in strong light periods for 45 days, and examined active oxygen species, senescence indicators and photosynthetic properties on the 15th, 30th, and 45th days of shading treatment respectively. The amounts of active oxygen species superoxide anions and hydrogen peroxide in leaves fell with decreasing light intensity on each of the 15th, 30th, and 45th days of shading treatment respectively. The amounts of chlorophyll and protein also decreased and that of malondialdehyde increased — all indicators of senescence — with decreasing light intensity on each of the 15th, 30th, and 45th days of shading treatment respectively. The photosynthetic property stomatal conductance in the 80% and 60% transmission plots exceeded that in the 100% transmission plot on the 15th and 30th days of shading treatment. No significant difference was seen in sub-stomatal CO2 concentration between all three light transmission plots. Both transpiration and net photosynthesis rates rose with decreasing light intensity. These results suggest that the shading treatment during strong light periods may suppress the generation and accumulation of active oxygen species, inhibit senescence and also ameliorate photosynthesis in cucumber ‘Jinchun No. 5’ seedlings.
Lymphoid neoplasms in 17 cattle having tested positive for bovine leukosis virus (BLV) were investigated by histology and immunohistochemistry. In 16 cases, the neoplastic cells were characterized by a marked variation in cell size, atypia in large cells, nuclear irregularity in smaller cells, and nucleolar prominence in cells with scant cytoplasm. These cytological features were used to specifically define pleomorphic lymphomas. In addition to lymphoid cells, immunoblastoid and plasmacytoid cells containing cytoplasmic immunoglobulin G were observed in the remaining case. Since a similar case was recorded as lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma in a BLV-negative cow, this polymorphic case may not be related to the virus. Most lymphoma cases associated with BLV are classified as pleomorphic, and neoplasms termed enzootic leukosis should be diagnosed based on tumor cell morphology.
We developed a stem diameterD-height H allometric model that included variability in the D-H relationship along a topographic gradient. The study site was located along a belt transect (2500 × 20 m) established in a primary tropical forest near Manaus, Brazil. The transect included typical topography of the region, characterized by plateaus and valleys called “baixios”. The D-H allometric model (n = 1307) indicated that potential tree height increased significantly, from 28 m at the lowest baixio plot to 35 m at the highest plateau plot. Consequently, by combining the D-H allometric model and an allometric equation with the variable D2H, biomass was estimated for trees (D > 10 cm) in each sub-plot (20 × 20 m). Ignoring variability in the D-H relationship introduced wide-ranging error to biomass estimation; error values ranged from -5% at a baixio plot to +6% at a plateau plot. Average biomass was 317 ± 28 (SE) Mg ha-1, and tree density and biomass fell significantly with decreasing relative elevation.
We calculated the mass balance of major congeners of dioxins derived from chloronitrophen (CNP) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) found in Sendai Bay, in order to characterize the present status of marine pollution caused by dioxins and enable the establishment of appropriate countermeasures against dioxin contamination. According to published statistics, about 58 000 t of CNP and about 22 000 t of PCP were shipped to Miyagi Prefecture over a 40-year period, and based on the these amounts of CNP and PCP, we estimated that 30.7 t of 1,3,6,8-tetrachlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (1,3,6,8-TeCDD), 1,3,7,9-TeCDD, and octa-chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD) were introduced into the terrestrial environment as impurities contained in both pesticides. Mass balance analysis results show that most of these dioxins remained in the terrestrial environment and were not transported by runoff into Sendai Bay. Moreover, degradation mainly reduced the amount of dioxins in the terrestrial environment, instead of runoff or volatilization. Although large amounts of CNP and PCP were shipped to Miyagi Prefecture, only 0.8% of the total quantity of 1,3,6,8-TeCDD, 1,3,7,9-TeCDD, and OCDD contained in pesticides that were applied to paddy fields reached Sendai Bay via the discharge of major rivers. Moreover, most dioxins transported to the bay either flowed offshore or settled at the bottom of the bay. And there was very little bioaccumulation in marine organisms, particularly commercially valuable species.
To provide a basis for a stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio (δ13C / δ15N) analysis to determine the assimilated organic matter in sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra, diet-tissue fractionations were experimentally determined by mono-feeding rearing with diatom. While δ15N fractionation of the whole body wall (2.4‰) was similar to the commonly accepted value (2.6 - 4‰), δ13C fractionation of the body wall (4.2‰) showed considerable discrepancy with the commonly accepted value (0 - 1‰) due to the high content (35% dry wt/wt) of calcareous spicules (CaCO3) in the body wall, which had significantly higher δ13C (-8.6‰) than the organic fractions. Computational elimination of spicules based upon spicule content and spicule δ13C reduced the δ13C fractionation of the body wall to 1.5‰, close to the common value. δ13C fractionation after spicule removal by acid decarbonation and subsequent rinsing (3.2‰) did not agree with the common value, and δ15N fractionation was significantly elevated by decarbonation. δ15N and δ13C fractionations of the intestine (1.5 and 2.2‰, respectively) did not agree with the common values. Since δ13C and δ15N of the feces did not differ significantly from those of the diet, feces may be used to determine ingested organic matter in the wild.