We developed a simulation model for predicting pesticide concentrations in succeeding leafy vegetables (PostPLANT-Soil), which includes the process of pesticide uptake from plant roots. To validate the model, we compared pesticide concentrations simulated by the model with values measured from field experiments in an upland Andosol. The model validation showed that pesticide concentrations in the plant shoot were correlated with the concentrations in the soil solution rather than those of the water-extracted pesticides. The model successfully simulated the concentration changes in plant shoots when the simulated concentrations of the pesticides in the soil solution were fitted to the measured values by considering the key parameter - the corrective coefficient for the soil adsorption coefficient. However, the simulated shoot concentrations at the appropriate harvest period exceeded the measured values. This indicates that the leafy vegetable used in this study may have some metabolic capacity for the pesticides.
Derivatives of 1-benzyl-2-methylbenzimidazoles (BMBIs) were synthesized to evaluate their biological activities against Bombyx mori, a lepidopteran model insect. Synthesized BMBIs exhibited two different biological activities: inhibition of development and acute lethality. From a structural perspective, the activity varied with the position of the substitutions on the 1-benzyl moiety; BMBIs with substitutions on the 2 and/or 4 positions had comparatively high activity in comparison with those with substitutions on the 3-position. There was more activity for the inhibition of development with low doses, and more for acute lethality with high doses. The activity was also affected by the applied stage, that is, application in the 4th instar mostly interfered the larval molting or pupation, whereas that in the 3rd instar caused more acute mortality. Taken together, these results suggest that BMBIs have multiple modes of action.
Synthesis of (+)-costic acid, isolated from Dittrichia viscosa (L.) W. Greuter as a natural acaricidal sesquiterpenoid, was achieved in 16 steps from (R)-carvone with an overall yield of 4.8%, involving the radical cyclization of selenoester to construct a decalone framework as the key step. Other structurally related natural products, (+)-costal, (+)-costol, and (+)-β-selinene, were also synthesized. The acaricidal activities of these four natural products and some synthetic intermediates were also evaluated against Varroa destructor. Among them, (+)-costal especially exhibited potent acaricidal activity.
Chitin is used in agriculture to improve crop production; however, its use is limited due to difficulties in its handling. A chitin nanofiber (CNF) overcomes this issue and, due to its elicitor activity, has great potential for crop protection. To expand CNF utilization, a copper nanoparticles–based antimicrobic CNF (CuNPs/CNF) was prepared using a chemical reduction method. The formation of CuNPs was confirmed via scanning electron microscopy. Thermogravimetric analysis revealed that the amount of CuNPs on the CNF was dose-dependent on the precursor salt, copper acetate. CuNPs endowed the CNF with strong antimicrobial activity against Alternaria brassicicola and Pectobacterium carotovorum. Moreover, the CuNPs/CNF reduced pathogen infection in cabbage. The antimicrobial activity and disease prevention of the CuNPs/CNF was increased compared to the corresponding CNF or commercial agrochemical Bordeaux treatment. These results indicate that CuNPs conferred antimicrobial activity on the CNF and increased the efficacy of plant disease protection.
Derivatives of the coumarin ring in ( R)-3-[3-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1-hydroxyprop-2-yl]coumarin 2, which is a lignan structure, were synthesized to clarify their structure–phytotoxicity relationships. The growth-inhibitory activity of the 8-OCH3 derivative 8 (IC50=228 µM) was more potent against the roots of lettuce seedlings than the compound without substituents 2. As for the roots of Italian ryegrass seedlings, the presence of the methoxy group at the 7- or 8-position was extremely effective for inhibiting growth (7-OCH37: IC50=121 µM, 8-OCH38: 56.7 µM). Methyl derivatives at the 5- or 8-position showed activity levels similar to those of the compound without substituents 2 (5-CH313: IC50=214 µM, 8-CH316: IC50=225 µM). The activities of OH- and F-derivatives were not observed or were lower.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sprayers have been widely used in agriculture. With the goals of using pesticides efficiently and reducing their dosage, we evaluated the effects of adding and not adding special adjuvants to UAV sprayers on droplet deposition and the control effect of leaf folder insects. The deposition quantity and coverage area of UAV sprayers with the Kao Adjuvant A-200® on rice leaves were better than those without the Kao Adjuvant A-200®. Regarding the control effect on rice leaf rollers, UAV sprayers with the Kao Adjuvant A-200® were also better, and they also met the pesticide residue limit for brown rice. Kao Adjuvant A-200® can improve the UAV sprayer’s droplet deposition and pest control effect. When the pesticide dosage was reduced by 30%, UAV sprayers with Kao Adjuvant A-200® can achieve a good control effect, which is very helpful in reducing the pesticide dosage.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are steroid hormones that regulate plant growth, development, and stress resistance. In this study, we evaluated the effect of agrochemicals on dark-induced hypocotyl elongation, which is regulated by BRs, to identify novel chemicals that regulate BR action. We found that the juvenile hormone agonist fenoxycarb inhibited dark-induced hypocotyl elongation in Arabidopsis. Treatment with the same class of juvenile hormone agonist, pyriproxyfen, did not affect hypocotyl elongation. Co-treatment with fenoxycarb and BR partly canceled the fenoxycarb-induced hypocotyl suppression. In addition, gene expression analysis revealed that fenoxycarb altered the BR-responsive gene expression. These results indicate that fenoxycarb is a BR action inhibitor.
The Cucurbitaceae family accumulates hydrophobic organic pollutants in its aerial parts at high concentrations. Major latex-like proteins (MLPs) were identified in zucchini ( Cucurbita pepo) as a transporting factor for hydrophobic organic pollutants. MLPs bind to hydrophobic organic pollutants in the roots, are secreted to xylem vessels as complexes, and are transported to the aerial parts. However, the suitable conditions for binding MLPs to hydrophobic organic pollutants remain elusive. In the present study, we show that MLPs bind to the hydrophobic organic pollutant pyrene with higher affinity under acidic conditions. Our results demonstrated that pH regulates the binding of MLPs to hydrophobic organic pollutants.