Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Quantitative proteomics reveals the crucial role of YbgC for Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis survival in egg white
Qin, Xiaojie ; He, Shoukui ; Zhou, Xiujuan ; Cheng, Xu ; Huang, Xiaozhen ; Wang, Yanyan ; Wang, Siyun ; Cui, Yan ; Shi, Chunlei ; Shi, Xianming - \ 2019
International Journal of Food Microbiology 289 (2019). - ISSN 0168-1605 - p. 115 - 126.
Chicken egg white - iTRAQ - Salmonella - Survival mechanisms - YbgC

Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) is a food-borne bacterial pathogen that can cause human salmonellosis predominately by contamination of eggs and egg products. However, its survival mechanisms in egg white are not fully understood, especially from a proteomic point of view. In this study, the proteomic profiles of S. Enteritidis in Luria-Bertani (LB) broth containing 50% and 80% egg white, and in whole egg white were compared with the profile in LB broth using iTRAQ technology to identify key proteins that were involved in S. Enteritidis survival in egg white. It was found that there were 303, 284 and 273 differentially expressed proteins in S. Enteritidis after 6 h exposure to whole, 80% and 50% egg white, respectively. Most of up-regulated proteins were primarily associated with iron acquisition, cofactor and amino acid biosynthesis, transporter, regulation and stress responses, whereas down-regulated proteins were mainly involved in energy metabolism, virulence as well as motility and chemotaxis. Three stress response-related proteins (YbgC, TolQ, TolA) of the tol-pal system responsible for maintaining cell membrane stability of Gram-negative bacteria were up-regulated in S. Enteritidis in response to whole egg white. Interestingly, deletion of ybgC resulted in a decreased resistance of S. Enteritidis to egg white. Compared with the wild type and complementary strains, a 3-log population reduction was observed in △ybgC mutant strain after incubation in whole egg white for 24 h. Cellular morphology of △ybgC mutant strain was altered from rods to spheres along with cell lysis in whole egg white. Furthermore, deletion of ybgC decreased the expression of tol-pal system-related genes (tolR, tolA). Collectively, these proteomic and mutagenic analysis reveal that YbgC is essential for S. Enteritidis survival in egg white.

Assessment of promising agricultural management practices
Barão, Lúcia ; Alaoui, Abdallah ; Ferreira, Carla ; Basch, Gottlieb ; Schwilch, Gudrun ; Geissen, Violette ; Sukkel, Wijnand ; Lemesle, Julie ; Garcia-Orenes, Fuensanta ; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia ; Mataix-Solera, Jorge ; Kosmas, Costas ; Glavan, Matjaž ; Pintar, Marina ; Tóth, Brigitta ; Hermann, Tamás ; Vizitiu, Olga Petruta ; Lipiec, Jerzy ; Reintam, Endla ; Xu, Minggang ; Di, Jiaying ; Fan, Hongzhu ; Wang, Fei - \ 2019
Science of the Total Environment 649 (2019). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 610 - 619.
Environment - Farming systems - Soil threats - Sustainability

iSQAPER project - Interactive Soil Quality Assessment in Europe and China for Agricultural Productivity and Environmental Resilience - aims to develop an app to advise farmers on selecting the best Agriculture Management Practice (AMPs) to improve soil quality. For this purpose, a soil quality index has to be developed to account for the changes in soil quality as impacted by the implementation of the AMPs. Some promising AMPs have been suggested over the time to prevent soil degradation. These practices have been randomly adopted by farmers but which practices are most used by farmers and where they are mostly adopted remains unclear. This study is part of the iSQAPER project with the specific aims: 1) map the current distribution of previously selected 18 promising AMPs in several pedo-climatic regions and farming systems located in ten and four study site areas (SSA) along Europe and China, respectively; and 2) identify the soil threats occurring in those areas. In each SSA, farmers using promising AMP's were identified and questionnaires were used to assess farmer's perception on soil threats significance in the area. 138 plots/farms using 18 promising AMPs, were identified in Europe (112) and China (26).Results show that promising AMPs used in Europe are Crop rotation (15%), Manuring & Composting (15%) and Min-till (14%), whereas in China are Manuring & Composting (18%), Residue maintenance (18%) and Integrated pest and disease management (12%). In Europe, soil erosion is the main threat in agricultural Mediterranean areas while soil-borne pests and diseases is more frequent in the SSAs from France and The Netherlands. In China, soil erosion, SOM decline, compaction and poor soil structure are among the most significant. This work provides important information for policy makers and the development of strategies to support and promote agricultural management practices with benefits for soil quality.

Air bubbles in calcium caseinate fibrous material enhances anisotropy
Wang, Zhaojun ; Tian, Bei ; Boom, Remko ; Goot, Atze Jan van der - \ 2019
Food Hydrocolloids 87 (2019). - ISSN 0268-005X - p. 497 - 505.
Air bubble - Anisotropy - Fibrous material - Mechanical property - Microstructure

Dense calcium caseinate dispersions can be transformed into hierarchically fibrous structures by shear deformation. This transformation can be attributed to the intrinsic properties of calcium caseinate. Depending on the dispersion preparation method, a certain amount of air gets entrapped in the sheared protein matrix. Although anisotropy is obtained in the absence of entrapped air, the fibrous appearance and mechanical anisotropy of the calcium caseinate materials are more pronounced with dispersed air present. The presence of air induces the protein fibers to be arranged in microscale bundles, and the fracture strain and stress in the parallel direction are larger compared with the material without air. The effects can be understood from the alignment of the fibers in the parallel direction, providing strain energy dissipation. This study shows that creation of anisotropy is the result of interactions between multiple phases.

Causal relationship in the interaction between land cover change and underlying surface climate in the grassland ecosystems in China
Li, Zhouyuan ; Wang, Zezhong ; Liu, Xuehua ; Fath, Brian D. ; Liu, Xiaofei ; Xu, Yanjie ; Hutjes, Ronald ; Kroeze, Carolien - \ 2019
Science of the Total Environment 647 (2019). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 1080 - 1087.
Cause-effect - Correlation analysis - Eco-climatology - Grassland - Land-climate - Remote sensing

Land-climate interactions are driven by causal relations that are difficult to ascertain given the complexity and high dimensionality of the systems. Many methods of statistical and mechanistic models exist to identify and quantify the causality in such highly-interacting systems. Recent advances in remote sensing development allowed people to investigate the land-climate interaction with spatially and temporally continuous data. In this study, we present a new approach to measure how climatic factors interact with each other under land cover change. The quantification method is based on the correlation analysis of the different order derivatives, with the canonical mathematical definitions developed from the theories of system dynamics and practices of the macroscopic observations. We examined the causal relationship between the interacting variables on both spatial and temporal dimensions based on macroscopic observations of land cover change and surface climatic factors through a comparative study in the different grassland ecosystems of China. The results suggested that the interaction of land-climate could be used to explain the temporal lag effect in the comparison of the three grassland ecosystems. Significant spatial correlations between the vegetation and the climatic factors confirmed feedback mechanisms described in the theories of eco-climatology, while the uncertain temporal synchronicity reflects the causality among the key indicators. This has been rarely addressed before. Our research show that spatial correlations and the temporal synchronicity among key indicators of the land surface and climatic factors can be explained by a novel method of causality quantification using derivative analysis.

Determinants of cooperative pig farmers' safe production behaviour in China — Evidences from perspective of cooperatives' services
Ji, Chen ; Chen, Qin ; Trienekens, Jacques ; Wang, Hai Tao - \ 2018
Journal of Integrative Agriculture 17 (2018)10. - ISSN 2095-3119 - p. 2345 - 2355.
China - farmer cooperative - farmers' safe production behaviour - pig sector

Farmers' production behaviour is a key to ensuring the safety and quality of their final products, and cooperatives play an important role in shaping that behaviour. This paper aims to explore the determinants of pig farmers' safe production behaviour, giving special focus from the perspective of cooperatives' services. This study adopted cross sectional survey data from 27 pig cooperatives and their 540 farmers in China to test the influence of cooperatives' services on farmers' safe production behaviour. The hypotheses were tested using a logit regression model. The findings indicated that although the number of services is not a key determinant of farmers' safe production behaviour, service quality matters. When a cooperative is strongly capable of involving more farmers in certain services, and provides certain services in more frequency, member farmers behave more safely. The results also show that veterinarian and pig-selling services play an important role in ensuring farmers' safe production behaviour. For this study, the quality of cooperatives' services is implied to have a positive impact on farmers' safe production behaviour. Leaders/managers of cooperatives must try to improve the quality of their services instead of merely attempting to provide a large number of services. For government officials and policy makers, designing policies that encourage cooperatives to improve their service quality is important. This research contributes to the scant literature on how cooperative services could help farmers engage in safer production behaviour, which would improve the safety of pork products in the future.

Nitrate improves ammonia incorporation into rumen microbial protein in lactating dairy cows fed a low-protein diet
Wang, Rong ; Wang, Min ; Ungerfeld, Emilio M. ; Zhang, Xiu Min ; Long, Dong Lei ; Mao, Hong Xiang ; Deng, Jin Ping ; Bannink, André ; Tan, Zhi Liang - \ 2018
Journal of Dairy Science (2018). - ISSN 0022-0302
dissolved hydrogen - microbial protein - nitrate - rumen fermentation

Generation of ammonia from nitrate reduction is slower compared with urea hydrolysis and may be more efficiently incorporated into ruminal microbial protein. We hypothesized that nitrate supplementation could increase ammonia incorporation into microbial protein in the rumen compared with urea supplementation of a low-protein diet fed to lactating dairy cows. Eight multiparous Chinese Holstein dairy cows were used in a crossover design to investigate the effect of nitrate or an isonitrogenous urea inclusion in the basal low-protein diet on rumen fermentation, milk yield, and ruminal microbial community in dairy cows fed a low-protein diet in comparison with an isonitrogenous urea control. Eight lactating cows were blocked in 4 pairs according to days in milk, parity, and milk yield and allocated to urea (7.0 g urea/kg of dry matter of basal diet) or nitrate (14.6 g of NO3 /kg of dry matter of basal diet, supplemented as sodium nitrate) treatments, which were formulated on 75% of metabolizable protein requirements. Nitrate supplementation decreased ammonia concentration in the rumen liquids (−33.1%) and plasma (−30.6%) as well as methane emissions (−15.0%) and increased dissolved hydrogen concentration (102%), microbial N (22.8%), propionate molar percentage, milk yield, and 16S rRNA gene copies of Selenomonas ruminantium. Ruminal dissolved hydrogen was positively correlated with the molar proportion of propionate (r = 0.57), and negatively correlated with acetate-to-propionate ratio (r = −0.57) and estimated net metabolic hydrogen production relative to total VFA produced (r = −0.58). Nitrate reduction to ammonia redirected metabolic hydrogen away from methanogenesis, enhanced ammonia incorporation into rumen microbial protein, and shifted fermentation from acetate to propionate, along with increasing S. ruminantium 16S rRNA gene copies, likely leading to the increased milk yield.

Forced gifts : The burden of being a friend
Bulte, Erwin ; Wang, Ruixin ; Zhang, Xiaobo - \ 2018
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2018). - ISSN 0167-2681 - 20 p.
Gift Competition - Inequality - Reciprocity - Subjective well-being

In many developing countries, gift expenses escalate with income growth and account for a substantial share of household expenditure. We develop a theoretical model to demonstrate how (unequal) income growth may trigger “gift competition” and drive up the financial burden associated with gift exchange. We use unique census-type panel data from rural China to test our model predictions and demonstrate that (1) the value of gifts responds to the average gift in the community, (2) the escalation of gift giving may have adverse welfare implications (especially for the poor), and (3) escalating gift expenses crowd out expenditures on other consumption items.

Patterns of soil respiration and its temperature sensitivity in grassland ecosystems across China
Feng, Jiguang ; Wang, Jingsheng ; Song, Yanjun ; Zhu, Biao - \ 2018
Biogeosciences 15 (2018)17. - ISSN 1726-4170 - p. 5329 - 5341.

Soil respiration (Rs), a key process in the terrestrial carbon cycle, is very sensitive to climate change. In this study, we synthesized 54 measurements of annual Rs and 171 estimates of Q10 value (the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration) in grasslands across China. We quantitatively analyzed their spatial patterns and controlling factors in five grassland types, including temperate typical steppe, temperate meadow steppe, temperate desert steppe, alpine grassland, and warm, tropical grassland. Results showed that the mean (±SE) annual Rs was 582.0±57.9 g C mg-2 yrg-1 across Chinese grasslands. Annual Rs significantly differed among grassland types, and was positively correlated with mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, soil temperature, soil moisture, soil organic carbon content, and aboveground biomass, but negatively correlated with soil pH (p < 0.05). Among these factors, mean annual precipitation was the primary factor controlling the variation of annual Rs among grassland types. Based on the overall data across Chinese grasslands, the Q<10 values ranged from 1.03 to 8.13, with a mean (±SE) of 2.60±0.08. Moreover, the Q< 10 values varied largely within and among grassland types and soil temperature measurement depths. Among grassland types, the highest Q<10 derived by soil temperature at a depth of 5 cm occurred in alpine grasslands. In addition, the seasonal variation of soil respiration in Chinese grasslands generally cannot be explained well by soil temperature using the van't Hoff equation. Overall, our findings suggest that the combined factors of soil temperature and moisture would better predict soil respiration in arid and semi-arid regions, highlight the importance of precipitation in controlling soil respiration in grasslands, and imply that alpine grasslands in China might release more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere under climate warming.

CD-MUSIC-EDL modeling of Pb2+ adsorption on birnessites : Role of vacant and edge sites
Zhao, Wei ; Tan, Wenfeng ; Wang, Mingxia ; Xiong, Juan ; Liu, Fan ; Weng, Liping ; Koopal, Luuk K. - \ 2018
Environmental Science and Technology 52 (2018)18. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 10522 - 10531.
adsorption - Birnessite - CD-MUSIC Modeling - Electrical double layer model - External surface - Interlayer space - Manganese oxide - Mn average oxidation state - Pb - Rietveld refinement

The surface complexation modeling of metal adsorption to birnessites is in its infancy compared to the charge-distribution multi-site ion complexation (CD-MUSIC) models for iron/aluminum (hydr)oxides. Therefore, using X-ray diffraction with Rietveld refinement to obtain the reactive sites and their densities, a CD-MUSIC model combined with a Stern-Gouy-Chapman electrical double layer (EDL) model for the external surface and a Donnan model for the interlayer surface is developed for birnessites with different Mn average oxidation state (MnAOS). Proton affinity constants and the charge distributions of Pb surface complexes were calculated a priory. By fitting Pb adsorption data to the model the obtained equilibrium constants (logKPb) of Pb complexes were 6.9-10.9 for the double-corner-sharing and double-edge-sharing Pb2+ complexes on the edge sites and 2.2-6.5 for the triple-corner-sharing Pb2+ complex on the vacancies. The larger logKPb value was obtained for higher MnAOS. Speciation calculations showed that with increasing MnAOS from 3.67 to 3.92 the interlayer surface contribution to the total Pb2+ adsorption increased from 43.2% to 48.6%, and the vacancy contribution increased from 43.9% to 54.7%. The vacancy contribution from interlayer surface was predominant. The present CD-MUSIC-EDL model contributes to understand better the difference in metal adsorption mechanism between birnessite and iron/aluminum (hydr)oxides.

The red bayberry genome and genetic basis of sex determination
Jia, Hui Min ; Jia, Hui Juan ; Cai, Qing Le ; Wang, Yan ; Zhao, Hai Bo ; Yang, Wei Fei ; Wang, Guo Yun ; Li, Ying Hui ; Zhan, Dong Liang ; Shen, Yu Tong ; Niu, Qing Feng ; Chang, Le ; Qiu, Jie ; Zhao, Lan ; Xie, Han Bing ; Fu, Wan Yi ; Jin, Jing ; Li, Xiong Wei ; Jiao, Yun ; Zhou, Chao Chao ; Tu, Ting ; Chai, Chun Yan ; Gao, Jin Long ; Fan, Long Jiang ; Weg, Eric van de; Wang, Jun Yi ; Gao, Zhong Shan - \ 2018
Plant Biotechnology Journal (2018). - ISSN 1467-7644
genome - Morella rubra - sex-determining region - sex-linked marker

Morella rubra, red bayberry, is an economically important fruit tree in south China. Here, we assembled the first high-quality genome for both a female and a male individual of red bayberry. The genome size was 313-Mb, and 90% sequences were assembled into eight pseudo chromosome molecules, with 32 493 predicted genes. By whole-genome comparison between the female and male and association analysis with sequences of bulked and individual DNA samples from female and male, a 59-Kb region determining female was identified and located on distal end of pseudochromosome 8, which contains abundant transposable element and seven putative genes, four of them are related to sex floral development. This 59-Kb female-specific region was likely to be derived from duplication and rearrangement of paralogous genes and retained non-recombinant in the female-specific region. Sex-specific molecular markers developed from candidate genes co-segregated with sex in a genetically diverse female and male germplasm. We propose sex determination follow the ZW model of female heterogamety. The genome sequence of red bayberry provides a valuable resource for plant sex chromosome evolution and also provides important insights for molecular biology, genetics and modern breeding in Myricaceae family.

Can potato add to China's food self-sufficiency? The scope for increasing potato production in China
Wang, N. ; Reidsma, P. ; Pronk, A.A. ; Wit, A.J.W. de; Ittersum, M.K. van - \ 2018
European Journal of Agronomy 101 (2018). - ISSN 1161-0301 - p. 20 - 29.
Irrigation - Potential yield - Water limited yield - Water productivity - Yield gap analysis

China is enhancing potato production in both area and quantity. While the potato area is large, the actual yields remain low. Besides, the water resources used for irrigation are increasingly under pressure in potato production areas. This study aimed to assess the scope for increasing potato production in China. The key climate zones in China were identified, for which the potential yield (Yp) and water limited yield (Yw) of potato (expressed in fresh matter (FM)) were estimated by two crop growth models over 10 years (2006–2015). The Yp and Yw and yield gaps (i.e., the difference between Yp and actual yield (Ya) under irrigated conditions (Yg-p) and between Yw and Ya under rainfed conditions (Yg-w)) were evaluated at local, provincial and national level, for potatoes under both irrigated and rainfed conditions. The water availability through rainfall, water productivity (WP) and the water input gaps to realize potential rather than water-limited potato yields were identified at provincial level. The Yp in the country was on average 50.1 ton FM ha−1, and Yg-p as a percentage of Yp was 66%. At provincial level, the Yp varied from 38.8 ton FM ha−1 in Sichuan in the southwest to 66.4 ton FM ha−1 in Qinghai in the north. At national level, the Yw was 43.7 ton FM ha−1 and Yg-w as a percentage of Yw was 61%. At provincial level, the Yw was lowest in Shaanxi (27.7 ton FM ha−1) and highest in Qinghai (57.9 ton FM ha−1). Water productivity for potential yield (WP-p) ranged between 30.7 and 54 kg dry matter (DM) mm−1 ha−1 in Shaanxi and Qinghai, respectively, and for actual yield (WP-a) between 7.9 kg DM mm−1 ha−1 (Shanxi) and 22.3 kg DM mm−1 ha−1 (Sichuan). Water supply through rainfall is close to sufficient for non-water limiting potato growth in the southwest. The water input gap in the north was highest in Shaanxi (i.e., 243 mm) and lowest in Heilongjiang (i.e., 39 mm). There is a large scope to improve potato yields at current rainfall levels, especially in Qinghai and Heilongjiang in the north and in Guizhou in the southwest. By closing the exploitable yield gap (i.e., difference between 80% of Yp - or of Yw - and Ya) for the current production area, potato could contribute to an additional 1.1 and 0.9 1014 kcal, respectively, under irrigated and rainfed conditions. This is much more than that for rice (0.2 1014 kcal extra energy due to yield gap closure) under irrigated conditions, and similar or more than for maize under irrigated (1.0 1014 kcal) and rainfed (0.5 1014 kcal) conditions. We conclude that compared with the cereal staple crops, potato has a larger potential to maintain domestic food security and self-sufficiency, and to enhance water use efficiency.

Designing Vulnerable Zones of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Transfers to Control Water Pollution in China
Bai, Zhaohai ; Lu, Jie ; Zhao, Hao ; Velthof, Gerard L. ; Oenema, Oene ; Chadwick, Dave ; Williams, John R. ; Jin, Shuqin ; Liu, Hongbin ; Wang, Mengru ; Strokal, Maryna ; Kroeze, Carolien ; Hu, Chunsheng ; Ma, Lin - \ 2018
Environmental Science and Technology 52 (2018)16. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 8987 - 8988.
Forest Landscape Hydrology in a ‘New Normal’ Era of Climate and Land Use Change
Jones, Julia A. ; Wei, Xiaohua ; Noordwijk, M. van; Creed, Irena F. ; Gush, Mark ; Ellison, David ; Blanco, Juan A. ; Bishop, Kevin ; McNulty, Steven ; BarguésTobella, Aida ; Archer, E. ; Bruijnzeel, L.A. ; Duinker, P. ; Foster, David ; Gebrekirstos, Aster ; Giles-Hansen, Krysta ; Hacket-Pain, Andrew ; Harper, Richard J. ; Ilstedt, Ulrik ; Li, Qiang ; Liao, Yingchun ; Malmer, Anders ; Mwangi, Hosea ; Orland, Chloé ; Steenberg, James ; Wang, Yi ; Worthy, Fiona ; Xu, Jianchu ; Zhang, Mingfang - \ 2018
In: Forest and Water on a Changing Planet: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance Opportunities / Creed, Irena F., van Noordwijk, Meine, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) (IUFRO World Series ) - ISBN 9783902762955 - p. 81 - 99.
Functional analysis of the HD-Zip transcription factor genes Oshox12 and Oshox14 in rice
Shao, Jingxia ; Haider, Imran ; Xiong, Lizhong ; Zhu, Xiaoyi ; Hussain, Rana Muhammad Fraz ; Övernäs, Elin ; Meijer, Annemarie H. ; Zhang, Gaisheng ; Wang, Mei ; Bouwmeester, Harro J. ; Ouwerkerk, Pieter B.F. - \ 2018
PLoS One 13 (2018)7. - ISSN 1932-6203

The homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) transcription factor family plays vital roles in plant development and morphogenesis as well as responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In barley, a recessive mutation in Vrs1 (HvHox1) changes two-rowed barley to six-rowed barley, which improves yield considerably. The Vrs1 gene encodes an HD-Zip subfamily I transcription factor. Phylogenetic analysis has shown that the rice HD-Zip I genes Oshox12 and Oshox14 are the closest homologues of Vrs1. Here, we show that Oshox12 and Oshox14 are ubiquitously expressed with higher levels in developing panicles. Trans-activation assays in yeast and rice protoplasts demonstrated that Oshox12 and Oshox14 can bind to a specific DNA sequence, AH1 (CAAT(A/T)ATTG), and activate reporter gene expression. Overexpression of Oshox12 and Oshox14 in rice resulted in reduced panicle length and a dwarf phenotype. In addition, Oshox14 overexpression lines showed a deficiency in panicle exsertion. Our findings suggest that Oshox12 and Oshox14 may be involved in the regulation of panicle development. This study provides a significant advancement in understanding the functions of HD-Zip transcription factors in rice.

Changes in regional grain yield responses to chemical fertilizer use in china over the last 20 years
Wang, Xiaobin ; Cai, Dianxiong ; Grant, Cynthia ; Hoogmoed, Willem B. ; Oenema, Oene - \ 2018
Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 18 (2018)2. - ISSN 0718-9516 - p. 312 - 328.
Cropland - Fertilizer - Fertilizer-use efficiency - Grain yield - Soil productivity

A major challenge facing China is to meet the increasing food demand of its growing population in the face of decreasing arable land area, while sustaining or improving soil productivity and avoiding adverse environmental impacts from intensive agriculture. This study uses data from China Statistical Yearbooks to analyze trends in regional soil productivity and grain yields in the major grain-producing regions in North China (NC), Northeast China (NE), East China (EC), Central China (CC), and Southwest China (SW), associated with regional fertilizer use and annual climate variation in rainfall and mean temperature over the 20 years. During 1992-2012, the average fertilizer increase rates (in kg ha-1 year-1) were in the order of regions CC (6.6) > NC (4.8) > EC (2.4) > SW (2.1) > NE (1.3), while yield responses to fertilizer use (with regression model coefficients, in kg kg-1) were in the order: SW (-0.9) < CC (1.1) < NC (1.7) < EC (5.7) < NE (9.3), showing higher yield responses to fertilizer use for NE and EC than for other regions. The changes in regional grain yields also showed higher yield responses to soil-based productivity for NC, CC, and SW, or to annual climate variability for CC than for other regions, indicating that other factors (such as inherent soil productivity or annual climate variability could be more important than fertilizer in affecting yields. The strategies for regulating nutrient management are needed considerably based on regional indigenous soil nutrient supply under varying regional climate conditions.

B Vitamins Can Reduce Body Weight Gain by Increasing Metabolism-related Enzyme Activities in Rats Fed on a High-Fat Diet
Zheng, Ying ; Ma, A. ; Zheng, Ming C. ; Wang, Qiuzhen ; Liang, Hui ; Han, Xiuxia ; Schouten, Evert G. - \ 2018
Current Medical Science 38 (2018)1. - ISSN 2096-5230 - p. 174 - 183.
B vitamins - body weight gain - enzyme activities - obesity - rats

B vitamins are enzyme cofactors that play an important role in energy metabolism. The aim of this study was to elucidate whether B vitamin administration can reduce body weight (BW) gain by improving energy metabolism-related enzyme activities in rats fed on a highfat diet. Fifty rats were randomly assigned to one of the following five groups: control group (C), including rats fed on standard rat chow; four treatment groups (HO, HI, H2, and H3), in which rats were fed on a high-fat diet. Rats in the HI group were treated daily with 100 mg/kg BW thiamine (VB1), 100 mg/kg BW riboflavin (VB2), and 250 mg/kg BW niacin (VPP); rats in the H2 group were treated daily with 100 mg/kg BW pyridoxine (VB6), 100 mg/kg BW cobalamin (VB12), and 5 mg/kg BW folate (FA); and rats in the H3 group were treated daily with all of the B vitamins administered to the HI and H2 groups. After 12 weeks, the BW gains from the initial value were 154.5±58.4 g and 159.1±53.0 g in the HI and C groups, respectively, which were significantly less than the changes in the HO group (285.2±14.8 g, P<0.05). In the HO group, the plasma total cholesterol (CHO) and triglyceride (TG) levels were 1.59±0.30 mmol/L and 1,55±0.40 mmol/L, respectively, which were significantly greater than those in the HI group (1.19±0.18 mmol/L and 0.76±0.34 mmol/L, respectively, P<0.05). The activities of transketolase (TK), glutathione reductase, and Na+/K+ adenosine triphosphatase were significantly increased in the B vitamin-treated groups and were significantly greater than those in the HO group (P<0.05). Furthermore, the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, pyruvic acid kinase, and succinate dehydrogenase activities also were increased after treatment with B vitamins. Supplementation with B vitamins could effectively reduce BW gain and plasma levels of lipids by improving energy metabolism-related enzyme activities in rats, thus possibly providing potential benefits to humans.

Abscisic acid influences tillering by modulation of strigolactones in barley
Wang, Hongwen ; Chen, Wanxin ; Eggert, Kai ; Charnikhova, Tatsiana ; Bouwmeester, Harro ; Schweizer, Patrick ; Hajirezaei, Mohammad R. ; Seiler, Christiane ; Sreenivasulu, Nese ; Wirén, Nicolaus von; Kuhlmann, Markus - \ 2018
Journal of Experimental Botany 69 (2018)16. - ISSN 0022-0957 - p. 3883 - 3898.
Abscisic acid - barley - cereals - hormone regulation - phytohormone cross-talk - shoot branching - strigolactone biosynthesis - tillering

Strigolactones (SLs) represent a class of plant hormones that are involved in inhibiting shoot branching and in promoting abiotic stress responses. There is evidence that the biosynthetic pathways of SLs and abscisic acid (ABA) are functionally connected. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the interaction of SLs and ABA, and the relevance of this interaction for shoot architecture. Based on sequence homology, four genes (HvD27, HvMAX1, HvCCD7, and HvCCD8) involved in SL biosynthesis were identified in barley and functionally verified by complementation of Arabidopsis mutants or by virus-induced gene silencing. To investigate the influence of ABA on SLs, two transgenic lines accumulating ABA as a result of RNAi-mediated down-regulation of HvABA 8'-hydroxylase 1 and 3 were employed. LC-MS/MS analysis confirmed higher ABA levels in root and stem base tissues in these transgenic lines. Both lines showed enhanced tiller formation and lower concentrations of 5-deoxystrigol in root exudates, which was detected for the first time as a naturally occurring SL in barley. Lower expression levels of HvD27, HvMAX1, HvCCD7, and HvCCD8 indicated that ABA suppresses SL biosynthesis, leading to enhanced tiller formation in barley.

Milking exopolysaccharides from Botryococcus braunii CCALA778 by membrane filtration
Cubero, Rafael ; Wang, Weiliang ; Martín, Judit ; Bermejo, Elisabeth ; Sijtsma, Lolke ; Togtema, Arnoud ; Barbosa, María J. ; Kleinegris, Dorinde M.M. - \ 2018
Algal Research 34 (2018). - ISSN 2211-9264 - p. 175 - 181.

The aim of this work was to optimize the efficiency of extraction and recovery, also known as ‘milking’ of exopolysaccharides (excreted polysaccharides, EPS) from continuous cultures of Botryococcus braunii CCALA778. First, an indoor process was developed and optimised, ensuring the highest milking efficiency without compromising culture viability. For this, photobioreactors were operated in a photo-chemostat mode under simulated outdoor conditions of a typical summer at AlgaePARC (51°59′44.1”N 5°39′26.2″E) in Wageningen, The Netherlands. Once a steady state was reached, areal productivities of 23 g m−2 d−1 and 3 g m−2 d−1 for biomass and EPS were achieved. EPS milking was done by membrane filtration of one reactor volume at the beginning of the dark period. After optimization, the maximum recovery of EPS, without damaging the cells, was 12%; yielding a daily EPS extraction rate of 0.36 g m−2 d−1. The optimised process was scaled-up and applied outdoors during the summer (at AlgaePARC facilities). Outdoor cultures showed 25% lower biomass productivity (17 g m−2 d−1) but an 25% higher EPS productivity (4 g m−2 d−1). The efficiency in the milking, however, decreased as compared to indoor results. Only 3% of the total content of EPS produced outdoors was milked (0.12 g m−2 d−1). To improve the EPS milking process, future research should focus on increasing the EPS extraction yield without negatively influencing its production by Botryococcus braunii.

Influence of humic acid on transport, deposition and activity of lysozyme in quartz sand
Li, Yan ; Koopal, Luuk K. ; Xiong, Juan ; Wang, Mingxia ; Yang, Chenfeng ; Tan, Wenfeng - \ 2018
Environmental Pollution 242 (2018). - ISSN 0269-7491 - p. 298 - 306.
Deposition - Enzyme activity - Humic acid - Lysozyme - Protein - Transport

Increasing humic acid concentration reduced the mobility of proteins with opposite charges, and the increased activity of effluent proteins could bring potential environmental hazards.

Human Milk Oligosaccharides in Colostrum and Mature Milk of Chinese Mothers : Lewis Positive Secretor Subgroups
Elwakiel, M. ; Hageman, J.A. ; Wang, W. ; Szeto, I.M. ; Goudoever, J.B. van; Hettinga, K.A. ; Schols, H.A. - \ 2018
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 66 (2018)27. - ISSN 0021-8561 - p. 7036 - 7043.
carbohydrates - genetic polymorphisms - lactation stage - variability

To study the variability in human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) composition of Chinese human milk over a 20-wk lactation period, HMO profiles of 30 mothers were analyzed using CE-LIF. This study showed that total HMO concentrations in Chinese human milk decreased significantly over a 20-wk lactation period, independent of the mother's SeLe status, although with individual variations. In addition, total acidic and neutral HMO concentrations in Chinese human milk decreased over lactation, and levels are driven by their mother's SeLe status. Analysis showed that total neutral fucosylated HMO concentrations in Chinese human milk were higher in the two secretor groups as compared to the nonsecretor group. On the basis of the total neutral fucosylated HMO concentrations in Chinese human milk, HMO profiles within the Se+Le+ group can be divided into two subgroups. HMOs that differed in level between Se+Le+ subgroups were 2′FL, DF-L, LNFP I, and F-LNO. HMO profiles in Dutch human milk also showed Se+Le+ subgroup division, with 2′FL, LNT, and F-LNO as the driving force.

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