- ItemOpen AccessCover crops terminated with roller-crimper to manage Cynodon dactylon and other weeds in vineyards(John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2023) Cabrera Pérez, Carlos; Royo-Esnal, Aritz; Català, Bruna; Baraibar Padró, Bàrbara; Recasens i Guinjuan, JordiUsing cover crops in organic vineyards can provide many advantages, including weed suppression. However, their effectiveness may depend on the weed community, the cover crop species and the termination method. The most common practice for cover crop termination is shredding, but rapid residue decomposition can allow noxious species like Cynodon dactylon to proliferate during summer and compete with the vines. The use of roller-crimpers as an alternative method can be effective in some cropping systems, but no studies have focused on their use in the inter-row of vineyards. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of seven cover crops (spontaneous, Avena strigosa, Hordeum vulgare, Lolium multiflorum, Phacelia tanacetifolia, Sinapis alba and X Triticosecale) and two termination methods (shredding or roller-crimper) in managing C. dactylon during summer. RESULTS: In 2020, rolled A. strigosa, P. tanacetifolia and the spontaneous flora limited the coverage of C. dactylon more than shredding (increases of 3% and 18% in C. dactylon cover from July to September in rolled and shredded cover crops, respectively), while in 2021, rolling was better than shredding for all cover crop species in September (5% and 18% increases, respectively). CONCLUSION: Roller-crimping cover crops was an effective method to control C. dactylon in vineyard inter-rows but it did not consistently work for all cover crops in both years. Our study is one of the first to test the efficacy of roller-crimpers to manage summer weeds in vineyards. © 2023 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
- ItemOpen AccessQuantifying pre- and post-anthesis heat waves on grain number and grain weight of contrasting wheat cultivars(Elsevier, 2024) Kim, Jinwook; Savin, Roxana; Slafer, Gustavo A.Context or problem: Further increasing wheat productivity is more challenging due to consistently rising temperatures. Heat stress negatively affects both grain number per m2 (GN) and average grain weight (AGW). It is not clear whether the sensitivity of these components differ, nor whether it would be related to the relevance of the component for determining unstressed yield in the particular cultivar. Objective or research question: The aim of this study was to elucidate the plasticity of GN and AGW in response to heat waves at pre-anthesis; and post-anthesis under different source-sink ratios. Methods: The field experiments were carried out in two different locations of Catalonia (NE Spain). We selected two contrasting genotypes (Pistolo and Sublim) for the relevance of GN and AGW and analysed in detail (i) the causes for their differences in AGW and (ii) their GN and AGW responses to heat wave stress (HT). The HT treatments were imposed in the field using portable tents with transparent polyethylene films at either at booting (pre-AN HT) or 15 days after anthesis (post-AN HT) for 7 days, with a delta in maximum temperature of c. 5ºC. In addition, we increased source-sink ratios in the control and post-AN HT treatments by removing all spikelets on one side of the spike (de-graining) 14 days after anthesis. Results: Pistolo had always less but heavier grains than Sublim. The differences in AGW were constitutive, rather reflecting a trade-off with GN, as there was no scarcity of resources to satisfy the demands of the growing grains in any of the two cultivars. Exposing the crops to heat stress at pre- and post-anthesis resulted in yield penalties, but yield was more sensitive to pre-AN HT than to post-AN HT, consistently across both locations and genotypes. The reduction of GN per spike was mainly mediated through grain abortion rather than through mortality of floret primordia. The reduction of AGW caused by post-AN HT was not related to source strength changes, but due to a direct effect reducing potential grain weight (PGW) per se. There seemed to be a trend for the cultivar constitutively producing more grains having less sensitivity of GN to pre-AN HT, and for the cultivar constitutively having heavier grains having less sensitivity of AGW to post-AN HT. Conclusions: The reduction of AGW caused by post-AN HT was not related to source strength changes, but due to a direct effect reducing potential grain weight. The plasticity of a yield component in response to heat stress was inversely related to the relevance of that component for yield determination in unheated conditions. Implications or significance: Our result would open an opportunity for breeders to select for improved sink-strength through either higher GN or higher PGW depending on the timing and frequency of the most damaging heat waves.
- ItemOpen AccessAmodalAppleSize_RGB-D dataset: RGB-D images of apple trees annotated with modal and amodal segmentation masks for fruit detection, visibility and size estimation(Elsevier, 2024) Gené Mola, Jordi; Ferrer Ferrer , Mar; Hemming, Jochen; Dalfsen, Pieter van; Hoog, Dirk de; Sanz-Cortiella, Ricardo; Rosell Polo, Joan Ramon; Vilaplana, Verónica; Ruiz-Hidalgo, Javier; Gregorio, EduardThe present dataset comprises a collection of RGB-D apple tree images that can be used to train and test computer vision-based fruit detection and sizing methods. This dataset encompasses two distinct sets of data obtained from a Fuji and an Elstar apple orchards. The Fuji apple orchard sub-set consists of 3925 RGB-D images containing a total of 15,335 apples annotated with both modal and amodal apple segmentation masks. Modal masks denote the visible portions of the apples, whereas amodal masks encompass both visible and occluded apple regions. Notably, this dataset is the first public resource to incorporate on-tree fruit amodal masks. This pioneering inclusion addresses a critical gap in existing datasets, enabling the development of robust automatic fruit sizing methods and accurate fruit visibility estimation, particularly in the presence of partial occlusions. Besides the fruit segmentation masks, the dataset also includes the fruit size (calliper) ground truth for each annotated apple. The second sub-set comprises 2731 RGB-D images capturing five Elstar apple trees at four distinct growth stages. This sub-set includes mean diameter information for each tree at every growth stage and serves as a valuable resource for evaluating fruit sizing methods trained with the first sub-set. The present data was employed in the research paper titled “Looking behind occlusions: a study on amodal segmentation for robust on-tree apple fruit size estimation”.
- ItemOpen AccessPerformance of plant-produced RBDs as SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic reagents: a tale of two plant platforms(Frontiers Media SA, 2023) Santoni, Mattia; Gutierrez-Valdes, Noemi; Pivotto, Denise; Zanichelli, Elena; Rosa, Anthony; Sobrino-Mengual, Guillermo; Balieu, Juliette; Lerouge, Patrice; Bardor, Muriel; Cecchetto, Riccardo; Compri, Monica; Mazzariol, Annarita; Ritala, Anneli; Avesani, LindaThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for rapid and cost-effective diagnostic tools. Serological tests, particularly those measuring antibodies targeting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the virus, play a pivotal role in tracking infection dynamics and vaccine effectiveness. In this study, we aimed to develop a simple enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for measuring RBD-specific antibodies, comparing two plant-based platforms for diagnostic reagent production. We chose to retain RBD in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to prevent potential immunoreactivity issues associated with plant-specific glycans. We produced ER-retained RBD in two plant systems: a stable transformation of BY-2 plant cell culture (BY2-RBD) and a transient transformation in Nicotiana benthamiana using the MagnICON system (NB-RBD). Both systems demonstrated their suitability, with varying yields and production timelines. The plant-made proteins revealed unexpected differences in N-glycan profiles, with BY2-RBD displaying oligo-mannosidic N-glycans and NB-RBD exhibiting a more complex glycan profile. This difference may be attributed to higher recombinant protein synthesis in the N. benthamiana system, potentially overloading the ER retention signal, causing some proteins to traffic to the Golgi apparatus. When used as diagnostic reagents in ELISA, BY2-RBD outperformed NB-RBD in terms of sensitivity, specificity, and correlation with a commercial kit. This discrepancy may be due to the distinct glycan profiles, as complex glycans on NB-RBD may impact immunoreactivity. In conclusion, our study highlights the potential of plant-based systems for rapid diagnostic reagent production during emergencies. However, transient expression systems, while offering shorter timelines, introduce higher heterogeneity in recombinant protein forms, necessitating careful consideration in serological test development.
- ItemOpen AccessWater microturbines for sustainable applications: optimization analysis and experimental validation(Springer Science and Business Media, 2023) Rodríguez-Pérez A.M.; Rodríguez-Gonzalez C.A.; López Alonso, Raúl; Hernández-Torres J.A.; Caparrós-Mancera J.J.The use of microturbines in irrigation applications represents a great opportunity for increasing sustainable energy generation. Irrigation systems have water flow that can be used to generate electricity based on microturbines that are acceptably configure such, that efficiency in crop irrigation is not affected. This research validates this use of microturbines through a system designed specifically for the characterization of microturbine generation technology. This system includes a closed water pumping circuit capable of working under, different water flow settings, as well as flow, pressure, and electricity generation sensors. For this system, the production range of the microturbines and the pressure loss associated with the various proposed configurations are characterized and specifically quantified for the best performance. After design and characterization of a scalable microturbine system, the feasibility and benefits of this application to supporting most relevant crops supplied by localized irrigation are analysed. The experiments demonstrate the greatest benefit with the implementation of 15 series microturbines each at 80 V, alongside non-Citrus fruit, where a favourable balance is achieved for the amortization period in vineyards and citrus fruit. The results validate a profitable and sustainable design for electricity generation, with return on investment rates of up to 53%. Therefore, this research offers real and extensive applications, while being scalable to rural, residential, urban and industrial settings.