- 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 AccessCan traditional management practices help mountain livestock farms in the Spanish Pyrenees cope with climate change?(Springer Science and Business Media, 2024) Muñoz-Ulecia, Enrique; Martín-Collado, Daniel; Bernués, Alberto; Peral, Alicia Tenza; Casasús, Isabel; Villalba Mata, DanielLivestock grazing systems constitute a traditional activity in mountain areas. They are adapted to vegetation growth cycles in meadows, forests and grasslands, and deliver ecosystem services such as open landscapes, wildfires prevention, biodiversity maintenance and quality products. Climate change poses a new challenge on mountain grazing systems by impacting on its natural resource base. We used the model NODRIZA to evaluate the potential impact of three scenarios of altered pasture quality and quantity due to climate change (optimistic, medium and worst) and a business-as-usual scenario (BAU) on four beef farms representative of the existing grazing systems in the Spanish Pyrenees. We explored the role of traditional management practices (e.g. modifying the grazing season and early weaning) to cope with these changes. Cow body condition score, feed self-sufficiency and gross margin were the indicators of farms functioning. The optimistic scenario improved all farming indicators during most of the modelled period and then declined—still above BAU levels—in the long term. The medium scenario resulted in an initial improvement of farming indicators and a decline to BAU levels in the long run. The worst scenario declined all indicators below BAU levels. The four case studies were impacted in the same direction but to different extent, farms oriented to fattened calves suffered higher impacts than those focused on weaned calves. Traditional adaptation actions succeeded to maintain cow body condition score steady, but they came at the expense of lower feed self-sufficiency and gross margin, becoming impractical to face climate change.
- 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 AccessIn temperate Europe, fire is already here: The case of The Netherlands(Springer, 2024) Stoof, Cathelijne R.; Kok, Edwin; Cardil Forradellas, Adrián; Van Marle, Margreet J. E.Landscape fires are usually not associated with temperate Europe, yet not all temperate countries record statistics indicating that actual risks remain unknown. Here we introduce new wildfire statistics for The Netherlands, and summarize significant events and fatalities. The period 2017–2022 saw 611 wildfires and 405 ha burned per year, which Copernicus’ European Forest Fire Information System satellite data vastly underestimate. Fires burned more heathland than forest, were small (mean fire size 1.5 ha), were caused by people, and often burned simultaneously, in Spring and in Summer drought. Suppression, restoration and traffic delays cost 3 M€ year−1. Dozens of significant events illustrate fire has never been away and has major societal impact amidst grave concerns for firefighter safety. Since 1833, 31 fatalities were reported. A legal framework is needed to ensure continuity of recordkeeping, as the core foundation of integrated fire management, to create a baseline for climate change, and to fulfill international reporting requirements.