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Abstract

The ripening process of two grape varieties in the vineyard located in the Sandomierz region was examined. In 2015, the ‘Regent’ and the ‘Sibera’ varieties reached physiological ripeness on 30th September and 3rd October, respectively. On both harvest dates, in addition to soluble solids content, titratable acidity, and pH, the macronutrient content was also determined. In the phase of physiological ripeness, the ‘Sibera’ variety showed higher acidity (1.02 g · 100 mL−1) compared with the ‘Regent’ (0.87 g · 100 mL−1). A higher soluble solids content was found in the ‘Regent’ (20.4°Brix), and slightly lower in the ‘Sibera’ (18.1°Brix). The must of the ‘Regent’ had a higher pH (3.5). This variety also had higher macronutrient contents (K, Ca and Mg). Grapes harvested after 3 weeks (late harvest) showed higher values of sugars, pH, K, and P for both varieties. However, their titratable acidity content, and Ca and Mg contents decreased. Microscopic examination showed differences in mycelial growth of Botrytis cinerea on grape bunches for both of the varieties left for the late harvest. The mycelial growth promoted faster dehydration of the ‘Sibera’ berries. Spot chemical analyses of ‘Sibera’ berry peel performed using EDS (energy dispersive spectroscopy) showed the occurrence of elevated contents of potassium, phosphorus, sulphur, magnesium and silicon. Around skin cracks, sugar crystals as well as hard-to-identify microcrystals were formed containing potassium. On the surface of the ‘Regent’ berries, potassium, and traces of phosphorus, silicon, magnesium, sulphur and calcium were found.

Abstract

No-tillage (UT) and tillage (TL) influence melon (Cucumis melo L.) production. However, the mechanism of improving the soil quality under UT in melon production is still unavailable. In this study, we attempted to explore the effects of UT and TL treatments on soil fertility and the microbial abundance and diversity in planting melon under greenhouse condition. Soil properties were determined and the bacterial v4-v5 16S rRNA and the fungal internal transcribed spacer gene were pyrosequenced by extracting greenhouse soil DNA. Results showed that the two treatments had different effects on nutrient uptake in melon plants under facility conditions. Additional nitrogen (N) was absorbed in the leaves and fruit in UT treatment. However, the N content in the UT treatment was kept as similar to that of the TL treatment. The phosphorus (P) contents in melon plant leaves and fruits in the UT treatment were higher than those in the TL treatment. High potassium (K) contents were observed in fruits and melon stem under the UT and TL treatments, respectively. Soil pH, organic matter and the available N influenced the bacterial and fungal distributions. The total N, total P and total K in melon plants were correlated with the bacterial and fungal groups in facility soils. The UT treatment had a substantial effect on the microbial diversity in soils planted with melon. Our study provided insights into the response of soil fertility and microbial structures to UT and TL treatments under greenhouse soils, which may aid in managing greenhouse soil quality.

Abstract

Auricularia cornea, jelly mushroom, is a popular ingredient of traditional Chinese cuisine. This study aimed at evaluating the growth, yield, biological efficiency, total phenolic and flavonoid contents, the antioxidant activity, elemental composition, and molecular structure of the wild and domesticated strain Ac24 and the commercially cultivated edible mushroom A. cornea strains Ac1, Ac3 and Ac15. Based on the weight of the fresh fruiting bodies of A. cornea strains, the maximum yield was obtained from commercial strain Ac1 (237.10 g), followed by Ac3 (224.47 g), Ac15 (158 g) and Ac24 (132.37 g), while the biological efficiency range of A. cornea strains was 52.94–94.84%, with significant differences among the A. cornea strains. Our results revealed that Ac24 contained the highest phenolic content (20.10 mg GAE · g−1), while the highest flavonoid content was found in Ac1 (35.13 mg CE · g−1). The maximum mineral contents and the strains were as follows: copper (7.2 mg · kg−1) and zinc (310 mg · kg−1) in Ac1, manganese (788 mg · kg−1) in Ac3 and iron (310 mg · kg−1) in Ac24. DPPH assay found maximum antioxidant activity in Ac24 (IC50 0.233 mg TX · mL−1), FRAP (591 mg TX · g−1) in Ac15, and erythrocyte haemolysis in Ac24. SEM-EDX and FTIR analyses verified the differences among A. cornea strains. The results revealed that wild, domesticated A. cornea strain Ac24 is a promising dietary source of natural antioxidants and is of high nutritional value, compared to commercially cultivated strains.

Abstract

This study aimed to define potential markers that could determine the suitability of ejaculate for cryopreservation. Fresh semen from eleven boars (4–7 ejaculates/boar), regardless of their sperm motility, was subjected to a cryopreservation procedure. The sperm quality before and after freezing was assessed based on the sperm membrane permeability and acrosome integrity. The results showed that it was possible to effectively cryopreserve ejaculates below the accepted standards of 70–80% of fresh motile sperm and still obtain a high cryosurvival rate. Moreover, a significant correlation was found between the percentage of viable sperm with apoptotic-like changes, viable sperm with reacted acrosomes, and the cryosurvival rate. The proposed markers for assessing the quality of fresh semen could be used to predict the success of cryopreservation procedures.

Abstract

Terrestrial plants are constantly exposed to multiple environmental signals that influence their metabolism. Among these signals, nitrogen (N) nutrition and light affect importantly diverse metabolic and physiological processes. Herewith the effects of N nutrition (8.47, 12.71 and 16.94 mg · L−1 N) and shading percentages (0 and 70%) on plant morphology and chemical composition of the essential oil of marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) ‘Inca’ were assessed. Increasing N levels enhanced the number of secondary branches and the flower diameter, while shading reduced height of side branches, number of primary branches and opened flower buds. In leaves, flowers and stems, 15 different compounds were identified. In leaves, low and medium N levels and high light level increased the synthesis of ocimene, limonene and piperitone. As well, medium and high N doses, independently of the light level, stimulated the synthesis of caryophyllene and β-phellandrene in leaves. Nevertheless, increasing N doses and shading level decreased the synthesis of β-myrcene and α-pinene in leaves. In flowers, medium N level and high light intensity increased the synthesis of trans-pinene. Piperitone and verbenone were identified only in flowers of plants with high N doses and lower light intensity. In the stems, caryophyllene, piperitone and β-farnesene were more abundant with medium and high N levels. The interaction of study factors differentially affected both morphological variables and the composition of essential oil among organs studied. Therefore, N nutrition and light intensity are key factors that modify the morphology and composition of the essential oil in T. erecta.

Abstract

Progression of the vegetation period and change of year are associated with variations in general climatic parameters, such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, radiation, precipitation, wind speed and others. Only limited knowledge is available about the effects of these parameters on the characteristics of quality of fruits especially those with successive ripening such as goji berry. In our study, fruits of goji berry were characterised based on physico-chemical properties within four different harvest periods, in two consecutive years. Based on the obtained results, it was found that the pomological characteristics were superior at the beginning of the production season, while the phytochemical properties were better at the end. Fruit length, width and weight characteristics were noted to decrease from the first harvest to the last by 21%, 18% and 33%, respectively, while the total anthocyanin, phenol and antioxidant activity properties increased by 264%, 48% and 105%, respectively. There was a decrease in fruit weight, fruit length and fruit width up to 15.9%, 18.3% and 6%, respectively and were directly associated with yield due to sink competition among fruits. Providing high ripening index that ensures more acceptable fruits, with high soluble solid content (SSC) and titratable acidity (TA) seems to be a very important breeding objective to meet consumer demands thanks to superior organoleptic quality. According to correlations, the synthesis of phenolic compounds increased in parallel with SSC rise and TA, which improved pomological properties too. It is thought that the obtained results may indicate the cultural processes and evaluation methods to be used for the harvested fruits.

Abstract

Iodine (I) has a beneficial effect on plant growth, development and antioxidant activity. The study aimed to compare iodine uptake after the application of iodobenzoates (2-iodobenzoic acid (2-IBeA), 4-iodobenzoic acid (4-IBeA) and 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (2,3,5-triIBeA)) as well as potassium iodide (KI) to tomato seedlings. One of the main tasks was to evaluate how the tested compounds applied in different concentrations (5, 10, 25 and 50 μM) affect the growth and antioxidative potential of tomato seedlings. Negative effect on growth and development of tomato seedlings was noted for 4-IBeA applied in 10–50 μM I concentrations. The 2,3,5-triIBeA application affected shoot deformation. All tested iodine compounds increased iodine level in leaves and roots of tomato seedlings. Iodine after KI application was accumulated mainly in leaves, while after iodobenzoates treatment in roots of tomato seedlings, which is probably related to their weaker transport to the upper parts of the plant. Tested compounds variously modified the content of ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids in tomato leaves depending on applied concentration. KI treatment improved ascorbate peroxidase activity, but all iodobenzoates decreased APX and catalase activity in leaves. 4-IBeA (5 μM I) and 2,3,5-triIBeA (25 and 50 μM I) increased guaiacol peroxidase activity in leaves. It can be concluded that mechanisms responsible for plant oxidative metabolism were variously affected by the iodine compounds and its concentration in the nutrient solution.

Abstract

A good peach fruit should have properties of high quality, as these properties directly affect the shelf life. This study aims to determine the effects of different salicylic acid (SA) treatments in the pre-harvest period on the ‘Cresthaven’ peach cultivar on the fruit quality at harvest and after storage at 2°C (8 days) plus shelf life at 20°C (2 days). Fruits with SA treatments have better characteristics such as fruit weight, fruit flesh firmness, total antioxidant content, total phenol content and titratable acidity level at harvest and after storage plus shelf life. With treatments, no changes were observed in the total soluble solids both at harvest and after storage plus shelf life. SA treatments decreased loss of fruit flesh firmness and loss of acidity after shelf life, compared with the control. In fruits with 2 mM SA acid treatment, the reduction in fruit firmness and acidity loss were the least, and as a result of the study it was determined as the most effective pre-harvest SA concentration that could be used in the ‘Cresthaven’ peach variety.

Abstract

Whole genome evaluation of quantitative traits using suitable statistical methods enables researchers to predict genomic breeding values (GEBVs) more accurately. Recent studies suggested that the ability of methods in terms of predictive performance may depend on the genetic architecture of traits. Therefore, when choosing a statistical method, it is essential to consider the genetic architecture of the target traits. Herein, the performance of parametric methods i.e. GBLUP and BayesB and non-parametric methods i.e. Bagging GBLUP and Random Forest (RF) were compared for traits with different genetic architecture. Three scenarios of genetic architecture, including purely Additive (Add), purely Epistasis (Epis) and Additive-Dominance-Epistasis (ADE) were considered. To this end, an animal genome composed of five chromosomes, each chromosome harboring 1000 SNPs and four QTL was simulated. Predictive accuracies in the first generation of testing set under Additive genetic architectures for GBLUP, BayesB, Baging GBLUP and RF were 0.639, 0.731, 0.633 and 0.548, respectively, and were 0.278, 0.330, 0.275 and 0.444 under purely Epistatic genetic architectures. Corresponding values for the Additive-Dominance-Epistatic structure also were 0.375, 0.448, 0.369 and 0.458, respectively. The results showed that genetic architecture has a great impact on prediction accuracy of genomic evaluation methods. When genetic architecture was purely Additive, parametric methods and Bagging GBLUP were better than RF, whereas under Epistatic and Additive-Dominance-Epistatic genetic architectures, RF delivered better predictive performance than the other statistical methods.

Abstract

Thirty-two lactating Boer goats (35.2 ± 1.4 kg body weight) were grouped into control and three treatment groups in completely randomised design. In treatment groups, supplementation was done as a mixture of 5 g Chlorella vulgaris + 4.5 mg of supplemental Cu/kg diet from CuSO4 (Alg5 treatment), 10 g C. vulgaris + 9 mg of supplemental Cu/kg diet (Alg10 treatment), or a mixture of 15 g C. vulgaris + 13.5 mg of supplemental Cu/kg diet (Alg15 treatment). Treatments did not affect feed intake; however, Alg10 treatment increased (P<0.001) nutrient digestibility. Treatments did not affect ruminal pH, ammonia-N, butyrate; however, the Alg10 treatment increased (P<0.01) ruminal total volatile fatty acids, propionate and acetate concentrations. Without affecting other blood measurements, the Alg10 treatment quadratically increased (P<0.001) serum glucose and Cu. The Alg10 treatments increased (P<0.001) daily milk production and the concentration of fat, and enhanced milk (feed) efficiency. The Alg10 treatment decreased (P<0.05) milk saturated fatty acids and the atherogenic index, and increased the proportions of total conjugated linoleic acids, C18:1n9t, odd fatty acids and total unsaturated fatty acids compared with the control treatment. Present study concluded that inclusion of a mixture of 10 g C. vulgaris + 9 mg Cu/kg diet in the diet of lactating Boer goats enhanced nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation, milk production, feed efficiency as well as milk nutritive value. Increasing the dose of the mixture to 15 g C. vulgaris + 13.5 mg Cu/kg diet is not recommended in the diet of lactating Boer goats.