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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    Intercropping maize and soybean increases efficiency of land and fertilizer nitrogen use; A meta-analysis
    Xu, Zhan ; Li, Chunjie ; Zhang, Chaochun ; Yu, Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Zhang, Fusuo - \ 2020
    Field Crops Research 246 (2020). - ISSN 0378-4290
    Fertilizer N equivalent ratio (FNER) - Intercropping - Land equivalent ratio (LER) - Maize - Soybean

    Intercropping exploits species complementarities to achieve sustainable intensification by increasing crop outputs per unit land with reduced anthropogenic inputs. Cereal/legume intercropping is a classical case. We carried out a global meta-analysis to assess land and fertilizer N use efficiency in intercropping of maize and soybean as compared to sole crops, based on 47 studies reported in English and 43 studies reported in Chinese. The data were extracted and analyzed with mixed effects models to assess land equivalent ratio (LER) of intercropping and factors affecting LER. The worldwide average LER of maize/soybean intercropping was 1.32 ± 0.02, indicating a substantial land sparing potential of intercropping over sole crops. This advantage increased as the temporal niche differentiation between the two species was increased by sowing or harvesting one crop earlier than the other as in relay intercropping, i.e. with only partial overlap of the growing periods of the two species The mean fertilizer N equivalent ratio (FNER) was 1.44 ± 0.03, indicating that intercrops received substantially less fertilizer N than sole crops for the same product output. These fertilizer savings are mainly due to the high relative maize yield and the lower N input in the intercrop compared to the input in sole maize. This meta-analysis thus shows that exploiting species complementarities by intercropping maize and soybean enables major increases in land productivity with less fertilizer N use. Both LER and FNER increased as the difference in growth duration increased for maize and soybean, but were not affected by fertilizer N rate. LER increased when soil organic matter increased but FNER did not change with soil organic matter.

    Functional properties of mildly fractionated soy protein as influenced by the processing pH
    Peng, Yu ; Kersten, Natalie ; Kyriakopoulou, Konstantina ; Goot, Atze Jan van der - \ 2020
    Journal of Food Engineering 275 (2020). - ISSN 0260-8774
    Aqueous fractionation - Rheological properties - Solubility - Soybean - Viscosity - Water holding capacity

    In this study an alternative mild fractionation process for the extraction of soy protein is investigated; aqueous fractionation, in which oil extraction and intensive washing steps are omitted. Moreover, a pH adjustment is proposed instead of the conventional neutralization step. The mildly fractionated soy protein fractions (SPFs) showed higher protein and oil content compared to commercial soy protein isolate. The process retained the proteins’ native state. SPFs adjusted at pH 4.5 and 5.5 (close to pI) formed a powdery texture, resulting in larger size particles after dispersion in water. Despite their low nitrogen solubility index, water holding capacity and viscosity, when mixed with flour these SPFs presented the highest G* values. A flaky texture and reversed properties were observed with SPF adjusted at pH away from the pI. The range of properties achieved exhibits new routes in creating soy protein ingredients with desired functionality, avoiding over-processing due to post-treatment modifications.

    The determinants of recent soybean expansion in Mato Grosso, Brazil
    Melo Celidonio, Otávio Lemos de; Werner, Liane S. ; Gil, Juliana Dias Bernardes - \ 2019
    International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 22 (2019)2. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 173 - 191.
    Agricultural expansion - Brazil - Land use change - Soybean

    Understanding what drives, catalyzes or constraints land use change in the Brazilian agricultural frontier is a condition for effective policy design at the local level, which in turn might have implications for food production, environmental conservation and greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. We analyzed the process of agricultural expansion observed in the state of Mato Grosso, the country's largest agricultural producer, by mapping and quantifying the incorporation of new farming areas and the conversion of existing ones into mechanized soybean fields at the farm-level. Through statistical modelling we also investigated the influence of key economic, biophysical, environmental and logistics variables on this process while accounting for recent changes in the Brazilian environmental legislation. We found that the area converted to soybean production increased almost 1.5 million hectares between 2009 and 2013, more than 70% of which in farms that already had some soybean in previous years. By comparing the explanatory power of eight regression models involving different groups of variables, we found that soybean expansion is strongly associated with the presence of other soybean fields and warehouses within 50-100 km. The model with the largest explanatory power suggests that soybean expansion is also likely to occur in areas of high conservation value. Finally, the sensitivity of soybean expansion to soybean prices indicated the potential for further agricultural growth in Mato Grosso while highlighting how crucial smart logistics investments are for regional development with environmental protection.

    Agrohydrological analysis of groundwater recharge and land use changes in the Pampas of Argentina
    Kroes, Joop ; Dam, Jos van; Supit, Iwan ; Abelleyra, Diego de; Verón, Santiago ; Wit, Allard de; Boogaard, Hendrik ; Angelini, Marcos ; Damiano, Francisco ; Groenendijk, Piet ; Wesseling, Jan ; Veldhuizen, Ab - \ 2019
    Agricultural Water Management 213 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 843 - 857.
    Argentina - Capillary rise - Groundwater recharge - Land use - Pampas - Soybean - SWAP - WOFOST

    This paper studies the changes of groundwater, climate and land use in the Pampas of Argentina. These changes offer opportunities and threats. Lowering groundwater without irrigation causes drought and successive crop and yield damage. Rising groundwater may alleviate drought as capillary rise supports root water uptake and crop growth, thus narrowing the difference between potential and actual yields. However, rising groundwater may also limit soil water storage, cause flooding in metropolitan areas and have a negative impact on crop yields. Changing land use from continuous soy bean into crop rotations or natural vegetation may decrease groundwater recharge and thus decrease groundwater levels. In case of crop rotation however, leaching of nutrients like nitrate may increase. We quantified these impacts using integrated dynamic crop growth and soil hydrology modelling. The models were tested at field scale using a local dataset from Argentina. We applied distributed modelling at regional scale to evaluate the impacts on groundwater recharge and crop yields using long term weather data. The experiments showed that threats arise from continuous monotone land use. Opportunities are created when a proper balance is found between supply and demand of soil water using a larger differentiation of land use. Increasing the areas of land use types with higher evapotranspiration, like permanent grassland and trees, will contribute to a more stable hydrologic system with more water storage capacities in the soil system and lower groundwater levels. Modelling tools clearly support the evaluation of the impact of land use and climate change on groundwater levels and crop yields.

    International trade of animal feed : its relationships with livestock density and N and P balances at country level
    Wang, Jingmeng ; Liu, Qian ; Hou, Yong ; Qin, Wei ; Lesschen, Jan Peter ; Zhang, Fusuo ; Oenema, Oene - \ 2018
    Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 110 (2018)1. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 197 - 211.
    Decoupled crop–animal system - Food system - Maize - Nutrient balances - Soybean - Specialization

    International trade of food and feed has facilitated the specialization and agglomeration of agricultural production systems in many countries. Confined animals in specialized production systems are increasingly supplied with soybean and maize, imported from other countries. This has increased animal productivity but has also contributed to spatially decoupled crop and animal production systems. We analyzed the changes in the trade of soybean and maize at the global level in the period 1961–2011, and related these to the changes in livestock density and nutrient balances in the whole food system for 11 selected countries. Export of soybean and maize remained dominated by few countries (mainly USA, Argentina and Brazil) during the period 1961–2011, while the number of importing countries increased. Increases in the import of maize and soybean are positively related with changes in livestock density and N and P balances of national food systems. Imported soybean accounted for 12–36% of the calculated N balance at country level, and imported maize for 0–26%. There were large differences between importing countries; increases in the N surplus ranged from 75 to 306 kg N/ha and in the P surplus from 2 to 49 kg P/ha when the mean livestock density increased 1 LU/ha. This variation is related to differences in nutrient management regulations and to spatial variations in livestock density within countries. Our study contributes to the understanding of the complex relationships between the international trade of animal feed, livestock density and environmental impacts associated with N and P balances.

    N2-fixation and N contribution by grain legumes under different soil fertility status and cropping systems in the Guinea savanna of northern Ghana
    Kermah, M. ; Franke, A.C. ; Adjei-Nsiah, S. ; Ahiabor, B.D.K. ; Abaidoo, Robert C. ; Giller, K.E. - \ 2018
    Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 261 (2018). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 201 - 210.
    Cowpea - Groundnut - Maize - Partial N balance - Soybean
    Continuous cereal-based cropping has led to a rapid decline in soil fertility in the Guinea savanna agro-ecological zone of northern Ghana with corresponding low crop yields. We evaluated the effects of cropping system and soil fertility status on grain yields and N2-fixation by grain legumes and net N contribution to soil fertility improvement in contrasting sites in this agro-ecological zone. Maize was intercropped with cowpea, soybean and groundnut within a row, with a maize stand alternated with two equally spaced cowpea or groundnut stands and in the maize-soybean system, four equally spaced soybean stands. These intercrops were compared with sole crops of maize, cowpea, soybean and groundnut in fertile and poorly fertile fields at sites in the southern (SGS) and the northern (NGS) Guinea savanna. The proportion of N derived from N2-fixation (%Ndfa) was comparable between intercrops and sole crops. However, the amount of N2-fixed was significantly larger in sole crops due to a greater biomass accumulation. Legumes in poorly fertile fields had significantly smaller shoot δ 15N enrichment (-2.8 to +0.7‰) and a larger %Ndfa (55-94%) than those in fertile fields (-0.8 to +2.2‰; 23-85%). The N2-fixed however was larger in fertile fields (16-145kgNha-1) than in poorly fertile fields (15-123kgNha-1) due to greater shoot dry matter and N yields. The legumes grown in the NGS obtained more of their N requirements from atmospheric N2-fixation (73-88%) than legumes grown in the SGS (41-69%). The partial soil N balance (inkgha-1) was comparable between intercrops (-14 to 21) and sole legumes (-8 to 23) but smaller than that of sole maize receiving N fertiliser (+7 to +34). With other N inputs (aerial deposition) and outputs (leaching and gaseous losses) unaccounted for, there is uncertainty surrounding the actual amount of soil N balances of the cropping systems, indicating that partial N balances are not reliable indicators of the sustainability of cropping systems. Nevertheless, the systems with legumes seem more attractive due to several non-N benefits. Our results suggest that soybean could be targeted in the SGS and cowpea in the NGS for greater productivity while groundnut is suited to both environments. Grain legumes grown in poorly fertile fields contributed more net N to the soil but growing legumes in fertile fields seems more lucrative due to greater grain and stover yields and non-N benefits.
    Evaluation of the environmental, economic, and social performance of soybean farming systems in southern Brazil
    Pashaei Kamali, Farahnaz ; Meuwissen, Miranda P.M. ; Boer, Imke J.M. de; Middelaar, Corina E. van; Moreira, Adonis ; Oude Lansink, Alfons G.J.M. - \ 2017
    Journal of Cleaner Production 142 (2017). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 385 - 394.
    Genetically modified - Life cycle assessment - Monte Carlo simulation - Organic - Soybean

    Soybean production has a crucial role in the development of Brazilian agriculture and recently became the most important commodity in Brazilian agribusiness. Various soybean farming systems exist, which are claimed to differ in terms of sustainability performance. In this regard, evaluation of environmental, economic, and social performance of different soybean farming systems in Brazil, by consideration of variability in input parameters, is critically needed. In this context, we evaluated a number of environmental, economic, and social issues for the two main soybean farming systems in southern Brazil, the conventional system, which produces genetically modified (GM) or non-genetically modified (non-GM) soybeans, and the organic system. Data were collected for 2012 from three sources: soybean farms in Paraná, Brazil (15 GM, 15 non-GM, and 15 organic farms), the Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA), and expert elicitation. Monte Carlo simulation was used to account for the variation in input parameters. Five sustainability issues were evaluated in this study: global warming, land occupation, primary energy use, profitability, and employment. Results revealed that, compared with the GM and non-GM systems, organic systems had a higher probability (77%) to have a lower global warming potential. Land occupation was higher and energy use was lower for organic systems than for the GM and non-GM systems at every level of probability. Concerning profitability, organic systems had a higher probability (60%) to have higher profitability compared with GM and non-GM production, and employment was higher for organic systems at every level of probability. Overall, simulation results of this study illustrated the relatively high level of variation in the environmental, economic, and social performance of organic soybean farming systems. This study shows that accounting for variability in key system parameters provides not only insight in the most likely outcomes, but also in the robustness of system performance.

    The interplay between diverse oil body extracts and exogenous biopolymers or surfactants
    Nikiforidis, Costas ; Donsouzi, Stella ; Kiosseoglou, Vasilios - \ 2016
    Food Research International 83 (2016). - ISSN 0963-9969 - p. 14 - 24.
    Caseinate - Hazelnut - Natural emulsion - Oil bodies - Physical stability - Sesame - Soybean - Tween - Xanthan

    Hazelnuts, sesame seeds and soybeans were selected as three diverse sources of oil bodies. Application of aqueous extraction and centrifugation steps resulted in concentrated oil body creams that were studied for their physical stability after dilution to a series of 5.0 wt.% oil-in-water emulsions incorporating sodium caseinate (1.0 wt.%), Tween 80 (1.0 wt.%) or xanthan gum (0.1 wt.%). In terms of aggregation/coalescence and creaming, the stability of the oil body based emulsions was ruled to a large extent by the initial natural oil droplet size and the presence of co-extracted exogenous proteins and secondarily by the added biopolymers and the surfactant. More specifically, soybean oil bodies exhibited the highest physical stability, even though incorporation of Tween 80 into all three oil body emulsions improved the stability against aggregation/coalescence, while xanthan gum was an effective stabilizer against creaming.

    Producing biodiesel from soybeans in Zambia : An economic analysis
    Drabik, Dusan ; Gorter, Harry de; Timilsina, Govinda R. - \ 2016
    Food Policy 59 (2016). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 103 - 109.
    Biodiesel - Biofuel policy - Biofuels - Soybean - Sub-Saharan Africa - Zambia

    Facing a huge fiscal burden due to imports of its entire petroleum demand in the face of ample supply of agricultural land to produce biofuels, Zambia has recently introduced a biofuel mandate. However, a number of questions, particularly those related to the economics of biofuels, have not been fully investigated yet. Using an empirical model, this study analyzes the economics of meeting the biodiesel mandate using soybean oil. The study finds that meeting the biodiesel mandate would reduce social welfare, mainly because of the welfare loss to fuel consumers and net reduction in foreign exchange earnings due to soybean oil imports. However, if Zambia increases its domestic soybean supply, as well as oil yield, soybean-based biodiesel is likely to be welfare-beneficial. The country's welfare is found to be the highest under expanded soybean production and its domestic processing but with no biodiesel mandate.

    VAMP721a and VAMP721d are important for pectin dynamics and release of bacteria in soybean nodules
    Gavrin, Aleksandr ; Chiasson, David ; Ovchinnikova, Evgenia ; Kaiser, B.N. ; Bisseling, Ton ; Fedorova, E.E. - \ 2016
    New Phytologist (2016). - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 1011 - 1021.
    Endosymbiosis - Exocytosis - Intracellular infection - Legume-rhizobia symbiosis - Plant cell wall - Soybean

    In root nodules rhizobia enter host cells via infection threads. The release of bacteria to a host cell is possible from cell wall-free regions of the infection thread. We hypothesized that the VAMP721d and VAMP721e exocytotic pathway, identified before in Medicago truncatula, has a role in the local modification of cell wall during the release of rhizobia. To clarify the role of VAMP721d and VAMP721e we used Glycine max, a plant with a determinate type of nodule. The localization of the main polysaccharide compounds of primary cell walls was analysed in control vs nodules with partially silenced GmVAMP721d. The silencing of GmVAMP721d blocked the release of rhizobia. Instead of rhizobia-containing membrane compartments - symbiosomes - the infected cells contained big clusters of bacteria embedded in a matrix of methyl-esterified and de-methyl-esterified pectin. These clusters were surrounded by a membrane. We found that GmVAMP721d-positive vesicles were not transporting methyl-esterified pectin. We hypothesized that they may deliver the enzymes involved in pectin turnover. Subsequently, we found that GmVAMP721d is partly co-localized with pectate lyase. Therefore, the biological role of VAMP721d may be explained by its action in delivering pectin-modifying enzymes to the site of release.

    Iron partitioning at an early growth stage impacts iron deficiency responses in soybean plants (Glycine max L.)
    Santos, Carla S. ; Roriz, Mariana ; Pinto de Carvalho, S.M.P. ; Vasconcelos, Marta W. - \ 2015
    Frontiers in Plant Science 6 (2015). - ISSN 1664-462X - 12 p.
    Ferritin - FRO2 - Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) - IRT1 - Partitioning - Soybean

    Iron (Fe) deficiency chlorosis (IDC) leads to leaf yellowing, stunted growth and drastic yield losses. Plants have been differentiated into ‘Fe-efficient’ (EF) if they resist to IDC and ‘Fe-inefficient’ (IN) if they do not, but the reasons for this contrasting efficiency remain elusive. We grew EF and IN soybean plants under Fe deficient and Fe sufficient conditions and evaluated if gene expression and the ability to partition Fe could be related to IDC efficiency. At an early growth stage, Fe-efficiency was associated with higher chlorophyll content, but Fe reductase activity was low under Fe-deficiency for EF and IN plants. The removal of the unifoliate leaves alleviated IDC symptoms, increased shoot:root ratio, and trifoliate leaf area. EF plants were able to translocate Fe to the aboveground plant organs, whereas the IN plants accumulated more Fe in the roots. FRO2-like gene expression was low in the roots; IRT1-like expression was higher in the shoots; and ferritin was highly expressed in the roots of the IN plants. The efficiency trait is linked to Fe partitioning and the up-regulation of Fe-storage related genes could interfere with this key process. This work provides new insights into the importance of mineral partitioning among different plant organs at an early growth stage.

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