Historical changes in planting area, yield improvements, and production of both paddy and upland rice (Oryza sativa L.) in Tokyo and the whole of Japan from 1877 to 2003 were reviewed. The area of rice in Tokyo was at its peak (17,000 ha) at the beginning of the 20th century but dramatically reduced thereafter except for the period of 1950s, to 200 and 30 ha for paddy and upland rice, respectively, in 2003, due to urbanization. After the 1950s, the land-use efficiency rate in Tokyo was reduced from 180 to 100% and rice self-sufficiency rate from 4 to 0.1%. There was historical yield improvement of paddy rice in Tokyo particularly after 1960s in the Southern and Northern Tama regions, but the current yield level in Tokyo (ca. 400 g m-2) is lower than that in the whole of Japan (more than 500 g m-2) even though crop damage due to low temperatures is not serious.The reasons were discussed from the viewpoints of (1) less agricultural inputs and agronomic management, (2) declining rice research after the 1970s, (3) higher elevating air temperature (e.g. 1.4°C for the last 40 years), in Tokyo, and (4) yield component differences. Upland rice in Tokyo has a planting area comparable with paddy rice (ca. 7,000 to 8,000 ha) during the 1950s, but yield improvement during the last 50 years is not noticeable (ca. 150 g m-2) with no development of cultivars, and with greater fluctuation of crop situation index due to drought compared with paddy rice. This review paper discusses the importance of urban rice production system, along with a proposal of the alternatives.
Nitrogen uptake is essential for rice growth and yield. Thus, the development of a simple and rapid method for monitoring nitrogen absorption is strongly required. We examined the fundamental properties of nitrogen transportation monitored by bleeding, including diurnal and phenological changes, to discuss whether the analysis of bleeding sap could be used for monitoring nitrogen uptake by rice. The rate of nitrogen transportation monitored by bleeding was estimated from a combination of the nitrogen concentration in bleeding sap and bleeding rate. We found a clear diurnal change in the rate of nitrogen transportation monitored by bleeding; it was higher in the daytime than at night. In this study, the diurnal change in nitrogen uptake was not influenced by soil temperature but by the light condition. The rate of nitrogen transportation monitored by bleeding showed a phenological change with a peak around the panicle formation stage, while the bleeding rate peaked at around heading and was correlated with root length. The nitrogen concentration in bleeding sap continued to decrease gradually from the early growth stage. The cumulative amount of nitrogen uptake estimated by the bleeding sap analysis was less than half of that estimated by the plant analysis before the maximum tiller number stage, but the difference between these values decreased with plant growth. There was a significant positive correlation between the cumulative amount of nitrogen uptake estimated by these analyses throughout the growing period.
The effects of rewatering after different periods of soil drought stress on the photosynthetic capacity of Leymus chinensis in pots were investigated. The plants were subjected to short-term (10-d), moderate-term (20-day) and long-term (30-d) drought each followed by rewatering. Control plants were well watered during the experimental periods. The long-term water stress without rewatering decreased the chlorophyll content, Chl a/b ratio, carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity, net photosynthetic rate (A), and leaf area compared with the control. Rewatering increased the ratio of Chl a/b, CA activity and A, but decreased the leaf area and ion leakage from the cut leaf pieces. The long-term water stress without rewatering reduced the maximal efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm), the actual quantum yield (Φp), and photochemical quenching (qp), but these values were increased by rewatering to more than the control level, though non-photochemical quenching (qN) was decreased as compared with the control. This implied that long-term drought aggravated PSII, but rewatering improved it. The net CO2-exchange rate showed similar diurnal changes in all treatments, but the rate in the morning was lower in long-term drought (before rewatering) than in the other treatments. These results suggest the photosynthesis of Leymus chinensis may be well adapted to episodical soil drought.
The developmental rate of wheat was investigated under continuous light of eight different qualities (in eight plots) obtained by combining three out of four different kinds of fluorescent lamps (white, blue, purplish red and ultraviolet-A) at a constant temperature of 20°C. A Japanese spring wheat var. Norin 61 and a winter wheat var. Shun-yo were used. The number of days from seeding to heading varied extensively with the variety and the light quality. The first heading was observed in the plot under three white fluorescent lamps (W + W + W) at 37 and 81 days after seeding in Norin 61 and Shun-yo, respectively. The developmental rate in both cultivars was significantly correlated with the ratio of energy in 500-550 nm range (green light) and 600-700 nm range (red light) to that in the whole spectral range (250-1,000 nm). These results suggest that green and red lights play important roles in the regulation of the developmental rate independent of photoperiodism and vernalization.
The relationship between pod dehiscence and the position and moisture content of pods was examined in two soybean cultivars, Fukuyutaka and Keito-daizu. The frequency of pod dehiscence at different parts of the stem was assessed by the strain-gauge method. Pods of the two cultivars were classified into indehiscent, dehiscent (dehisced by the strain-gauge method) and naturally dehiscent pods. The moisture content of pods was measured after drying in a hot-air oven at 105±1°C for 24 hrs. In both Fukuyutaka and Keito-daizu, the pods at maturity were not dehisced at any part of the stem due to the high moisture content of pods. After maturity, the frequency of pod dehiscence at the upper part of the stem increased as the moisture content of pods decreased in both Fukuyutaka and Keito-daizu. A similar tendency was observed in both the field and the pot experiments. The frequency of pod dehiscence was higher at the upper part of the stem and increased as the moisture content of pods decreased.
A low temperature (10°C, 48 h) inhibited primary root growth of rice seedlings (Oryza sativa L.). However, the inhibition was significantly mitigated by submergence for 24 h before the exposure to low temperatures, which induced alcohol dehydrogenase and increased the ethanol concentration in roots. Exogenous application of ethanol also had a similar mitigating effect. These results suggest that submergence pretreatment increases the tolerance to low temperature in rice roots due to ethanol accumulation in the roots.
Mangrove trees have been considered to possess a higher carbon fixation capacity than terrestrial trees although a reliable method to estimate their CO2 fixation capacity has not been established. In this study, net CO2 fixation in above-ground of Rhizophora stylosa was estimated as the difference between photosynthetic absorption and respiratory emission of CO2. In order to estimate these parameters, photosynthetic rates of single-leaves in response to light and temperature and the respiratory rates of leaves and branches in response to temperature were measured. Furthermore, we established a model of diurnal change in temperature. Monthly averages of the diurnal temperature change were used for correcting the CO2 absorption and emission. The effect of temperature modification on the estimation of net CO2 fixation was examined, and the net CO2 fixation capacity estimated with and without temperature modification was compared. Biomass accumulation estimated without temperature modification (i.e. corrected only for the light intensity) was 6.1 tons ha-1 yr-1, while that estimated with temperature modification (i.e. corrected for both light intensity and temperature) was 13.0 tons ha-1 yr-1. A doubling of the estimated values of net CO2 fixation as observed in this study was caused by the decrease in respiratory CO2 emission by half, which results from temperature modification. These findings suggest that temperature modification in gas exchange analysis could improve the accuracy of estimation of the net CO2 fixation capacity.
Kunitz soybean trypsin inhibitor (KSTI) is hydrolyzed during seed germination to yield amino acids needed to support initial seedling growth. The type of KSTI from Glycine max (L.) Merrill cv. Toyokomachi is KSTI-Tib. The KSTI-Tib from 4-day-old post-germination cotyledons (KSTI-Tib') has 3 or 4 amino acid residues cleaved off at the C-terminus. This KSTI modification is important to understand the mechanism of degradation in seed reserve proteins by proteases. Protease K1 also cleaves amino acid residues at the C-terminus of KSTI but it removes 5 amino acid residues. Therefore, we presumed the KSTI-Tib' was produced by a protease other than protease K1. In this study, the protease T1 responsible for cleavage of KSTI-Tib at the C-terminus was purified. The enzyme was estimated to have a molecular mass of 33 kDa from its mobility on SDS-PAGE gels. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the purified protease T1 corresponded to amino acids Phe-73 to Phe-92 of both thiol protease isoforms A and B from the soybean leaf, and shared 83% identity with the partial amino acid sequence of the membrane-associated cysteine protease from mung bean seedlings, a protease known to perform post-translational cleavage of C-terminal peptides of target proteins. Finally, this enzyme was shown to convert KSTI-Tib to KSTI-Tib'.
Stomatal conductance (gs) is an important trait responsible for the genotypic difference in gas diffusion for photosynthesis and transpiration in rice (Oryza sativa L.). We measured gs, stomatal density and stomatal length (guard-cell length) at two weeks before heading for 64 accessions from a rice diversity research set of germplasm (RDRS) and for three high-yielding cultivars (HYC) under field conditions. Considerable variations in gs, and stomatal length were observed among varieties in RDRS, and it was considered that RDRS covers the species diversity of the stomatal characteristics in rice. When it was compared among the varieties with similar plant earliness, gs was higher in HYC than in most varieties of RDRS. Stomatal density did not correlate with gs, and there was a negative correlation between stomatal density and stomatal length. However, noticeable variance existed in the latter relation, where HYC exhibited a higher stomatal density and slightly shorter stomatal length than RDRS. High gs in HYC is attributable to their high stomatal density and moderate specific stomatal conductance (gs/stomatal density) while the high-gs varieties in RDRS tended to have a lower stomatal density and higher specific stomatal conductance. Stomatal length is related to specific stomatal conductance, but there are remarkable differences between these traits. Specific stomatal conductance in HYC has not reached the upper limit for their stomatal size, which raises a possibility of further improvement of HYC in gs.
In this study, we extended previous work linking the polarization of reflected light from crop canopies with characteristics of the canopy structure, such as the leaf inclination angle. We obtained reflectance and polarized reflectance in 8 spectral bands from the canopies of two varieties of wheat, planted in plots fertilized with a basal dressing and topdressed at the jointing and booting stages. The optical measurements were carried out on 3 clear-sky days when the plants were at the stem-elongation, heading and ripening stages, respectively. On each measurement date, we assessed the leaf orientation geometry of the plants using a Plant Canopy Analyzer (LAI-2000), measured the leaf greenness (an indicator of leaf chlorophyll content) using a handheld SPAD-502 (SPAD) optical sensor, and also measured plant height. Both polarization and leaf greenness observations at the heading stage were able to distinguish the canopies that had received topdressing from those without topdressing. However, no significant correlation was observed between the polarization in the blue, green and red bands and the SPAD (r=0.425—0.456, n=12 observations, p>0.05). On the other hand, the mean leaf inclination angle (= mean tip angle: MTA) measured by the LAI-2000 was inversely correlated with the polarization in the 3 visible bands (r=-0.85—-0.88, n=12, p<0.001). Adjusting the view zenith angle according to the solar position at the time of measurement improved the accuracy. We tested a linear regression model to predict the MTA of the two wheat varieties based on polarized reflectance in the red band centered at 660 nm (r2=0.73, n=12, p<0.001). Validation of this model obtained in the subsequent cropping season confirmed that polarization measurements were potentially useful for estimating the MTA of wheat stands in which the panicles were located below the topmost leaf layer of the canopy.
The structural and functional characterization of the blade-sheath boundary region of a rice cultivar T65 and its near-isogenic line T65lg were examined by light and electron microscopy and in situ hybridization. Starch accumulation in bundle sheath cells was compared between the lamina joint of T65 and the corresponding region of T65lg and also between the lamina joint and the leaf blade. In the lamina joint of T65, starch grains were predominantly accumulated in bundle sheath cells, and the starch-containing chloroplasts within these cells were spherical in shape. On the other hand, in the blade-sheath transition region of T65lg, little starch accumulation was observed and the chloroplasts were oval in both mesophyll and bundle sheath cells. Furthermore, photosynthesis-related genes, rbcS and cab, were expressed in mesophyll cells within the blade-sheath transition region of T65lg as in the leaf blade and sheath, while no expression of these genes was found within the lamina joint of T65. These facts indicate that T65lg can not develop the lamina joint from either structural or functional aspect. The present results suggest that the control mechanism of starch accumulation in bundle sheath chloroplasts in the lamina joint differs from that in leaf blade in rice.
Rain before harvest often causes buckwheat to sprout. Preharvest sprouting reduces the processing suitability of buckwheat flour. We examined the effects of preharvest sprouting on buckwheat flour quality by rapid visco-analysis (RVA) of milled sprouting grains of six buckwheat cultivars. Both artificial and natural rainfall increased the frequency of sprouting and decreased pasting viscosity. The difference in pasting viscosity between sprouting and non-sprouting buckwheat grains was not decreased by adding wheat flour. These results suggest that the mechanical characteristics of dough and boiled noodle may be affected by flour made from sprouting grains. Differing responses of the cultivars to rainfall indicate that higher pasting viscosity could be achieved by using cultivars that are resistant to preharvest sprouting caused by rain.
Eight parental cultivars and 56 hybrids of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) were grown in normal and nitrogen-deficient conditions in the field to investigate the effect of nitrogen regime on the oil and protein contents and their combining ability. The mean oil and protein contents of the parental cultivars greatly varied with the nitrogen regime, which indicated their nitrogen sensitivity. The genetic variability of oil and protein contents was low in the same nitrogen regime, but was high in the comparison between the normal and nitrogen-deficient conditions. The nitrogen regime affected not only the oil and protein contents and ranking of parental cultivars, but also the combining ability. A normal nitrogen level was found to be more useful for selecting the additive type of gene action in breeding of cotton.
Water chestnut is an aquatic annual herb, and its fresh, edible fruit is a valuable crop. The huge variation in growth and yield of water chestnuts has not been well documented. In this study, the yield performance of 17 water chestnut lines, eight from China (Trapa acornis L., T. bicornis L., T. bispinosa Roxb, T. quadrispinosa Roxb), one from France (T. natans L.), one from India (T. bispinosa Roxb.), three from Italy (T. natans L.), three from Japanese (T. incisa L., T. japonica Flerov, T. natans.L. var. rubeola Makino), and one from Korean (T. japonica Flerov.) were cultivated in Saga City, Japan during the summer, 2005, and the morphological characters of their fruit were analyzed. European lines were early flowering, but had a lower yield due to poor canopy density and lower rosette density. All the Asian lines had a higher rosette density. In spite of the smaller number of fruits per rosette, the Chinese lines had a higher yield than the other lines because the fruit was larger. The yield performance of the Indian line was similar to that of the Chinese lines. The Korean and Japanese lines produced a large number of small fruits per unit land area. Apart from the variation in fruit size, a huge variation in shape including the height, width and the spines were observed. Path analysis revealed that productive rosette number m-2 and the single fresh fruit weight are two direct yield determinants while number of fruits per rosette has indirect negative influence on yield via productive rosette number and single fruit weight.