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.

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    Removing top leaves increases yield and nutrient uptake in maize plants
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Werf, Wopke van der; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2020
    Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 118 (2020)1. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 57 - 73.
    Maize - Nitrogen - Phosphorus - Potassium - Seed filling-phase

    Abstract: Intraspecific competition for light affects nutrient uptake of maize, especially during the seed filling phase (from the blistering-stage to physiological-maturity). Partial leaf removal only affects the top leaves and improves the light-environment, which could then enhance nutrient uptake during the seed filling phase. However, there is a shortage of quantitative information on the yield effects of such a management measure. A 3-year field trial was conducted to evaluate the impact of different leaf removal treatments (no removal of leaves (D0: control), removal of two leaves (D2), removal of four leaves (D4), and removal of six leaves (D6) from maize-canopy) on total dry matter accumulation, and nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium uptake at the blistering-stage and physiological-maturity, plus seed number per plant, seed weight, and seed yield at physiological maturity. Compared to D0, at physiological-maturity, D2 significantly increased total dry matter accumulation (by 9%), and uptake of nitrogen (by 5%), phosphorus (by 10%), and potassium (by 4%); while excessive leaf removal treatments considerably reduced dry matter accumulation and nutrient uptake. Importantly, during the seed filling phase of maize, treatment D2 significantly enhanced the uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium by 76%, 40%, and 65%, respectively, compared to control. Treatment D2 increased seed number per plant (by 6.4%, from 448 under D0 to 477 in D2) and seed weight (by 5.7%). Relative to control, maize in D2 had 12%, 14%, and 11%, higher seed-yields in 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively, and it also improved the economic profit when taking into account labor costs. Graphic abstract: Graphical representation of changes in light transmittance, photosynthesis, nutrient uptake, carbohydrate, and dry matter accumulation in maize plants as affected by different leaf removal treatments. Treatment codes represent no defoliation (D0: control), removal of two leaves (D2), removal of four leaves (D4), and removal of six leaves (D6) from the top of maize canopy. Yellow and green arrows show the light environment and leaf area of maize plants. The black arrows represent the regulating directions of leaf removal treatments on maize growth and development in this paper. The graphical abstract clearly demonstrates the significant improvement of optimum leaf removal treatment (D2) as compared to control (D0). The red and blue arrows show the relevant increase and decrease of the mentioned components between the optimal leaf removal and control. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

    Optimum strip width increases dry matter, nutrient accumulation, and seed yield of intercrops under the relay intercropping system
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Iqbal, Nasir ; Khan, Imran ; Khan, Ahsin ; Din, Atta Mohi Ud ; Naeem, Muhammd ; Meraj, Tehseen Ahmad ; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad ; Khan, Aaqil ; Lu, Feng Zhi ; Liu, Xin ; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2020
    Food and Energy Security 9 (2020)2. - ISSN 2048-3694
    competition ratio - growing space - maize - relay intercropping - soybean

    Strip width management is a critical factor for producing higher crop yields in relay intercropping systems. A 2-year field experiment was carried out during 2012 and 2013 to evaluate the effects of different strip width treatments on dry-matter production, major-nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) uptake, and competition parameters of soybean and maize in relay intercropping system. The strip width (SW) treatments were 0.40, 0.40, and 0.40 m (SW1); 0.40, 0.40, and 0.50 m (SW2); 0.40, 0.40, and 0.60 m (SW3); and 0.40, 0.40, and 0.70 m (SW4) for soybean row spacing, maize row spacing, and spacing between soybean and maize rows, respectively. As compared to sole maize (SM) and sole soybean (SS), relay-intercropped maize and soybean accumulated lower quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in all treatments. However, maize in SW1 accumulated higher nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than SW4 (9%, 9%, and 8% for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively). Soybean in SW3 accumulated 25% higher nitrogen, 33% higher phosphorus, and 24% higher potassium than in SW1. The improved nutrient accumulation in SW3 significantly increased the soybean dry matter by 19%, but slightly decreased the maize dry matter by 6% compared to SW1. Similarly, SW3 increased the competition ratio value of soybean (by 151%), but it reduced the competition ratio value of maize (by 171%) compared to SW1. On average, in SW3, relay-cropped soybean produced 84% of SS seed yield and maize produced 98% of SM seed yield and achieved the land equivalent ratio of 1.8, demonstrating the highest level in the world. Overall, these results suggested that by selecting the appropriate strip width (SW3; 0.40 m for soybean row spacing, 0.40 m maize row spacing, and 0.60 m spacing between soybean and maize rows), we can increase the nutrient uptake (especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), dry-matter accumulation, and seed yields of relay-intercrop species under relay intercropping systems.

    Optimum leaf defoliation: A new agronomic approach for increasing nutrient uptake and land equivalent ratio of maize soybean relay intercropping system
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Iqbal, Nasir ; Khan, Imran ; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad ; Ansar, Muhammad ; Chen, Yuan Kai ; Xi, Zeng Jin ; Shi, Jian Yi ; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2019
    Field Crops Research 244 (2019). - ISSN 0378-4290
    Defoliation - Economics - LER - Nutrient - Relay-intercropping

    Upper canopy leaves of maize decrease the light-transmittance at middle-strata-leaves of maize and soybean canopy in maize-soybean relay-intercropping systems (MS). This affects the uptake of nutrients and distribution patterns in various plant organs of intercrop species in MS. Judicious defoliation of maize plants in MS could help to alleviate this problem and improve nutrient uptake and intercrop yields. In a two-year field experiment with MS, including the measurements of biomass production, nutrients uptake, and distribution at the organ level, and grain yields of intercrop species, maize plants were subjected to four-leaf defoliation treatments to improve the light-transmittance of maize and soybean plants. Defoliation of the topmost two-leaves (T2), four-leaves (T4), six-leaves (T6) was compared to no defoliation (T0). Compared to T0, treatment T2 improved the uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in each plant part of maize by 23, 12, and 11% (grain), 22, 19, and 13% (straw), and 28, 14, and 18% (root), respectively. Defoliation also enhanced the uptake of N, P, and K in each plant part of soybean by 5, 5, and 10% (grain), 10, 17, and 13% (straw), and 14, 11, and 11% (root), respectively. The improved nutrient uptake in T2 increased the total biomass and its distribution in the root, straw, and grain of soybean and maize by 15 and 13%, and 21 and 15%, 20 and 14%, 7 and 10%, respectively compared to T0. On average, over two years, under T2, relay-cropped maize obtained 107% of the sole-yield, and relay-cropped soybean obtained 65% of the sole-yield. The T2 defoliation treatment also achieved the highest land equivalent ratio of 1.69 and 1.77, with a net profit of 1301.6 $ ha−1 and 1293.4 $ ha−1 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Following the optimum defoliation treatment of maize in maize-soybean intercrops, i.e., defoliation of the topmost two-leaves, the nutrient uptake can be increased, and the nutrient partitioning over plant organs be better balanced. Optimum defoliation, therefore, enhances the productivity of maize-soybean intercropping systems.

    Maize leaf-removal: A new agronomic approach to increase dry matter, flower number and seed-yield of soybean in maize soybean relay intercropping system
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Iqbal, Nasir ; Khalid, Muhammad Hayder Bin ; Chen, Yuan Kai ; Wasaya, Allah ; Ahmed, Shoaib ; Ud Din, Atta Mohi ; Khan, Ahsin ; Ahmed, Saeed ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2019
    Scientific Reports 9 (2019)1. - ISSN 2045-2322 - 1 p.

    Shading conditions adversely affect flower-number and pod-number of soybeans under maize-soybean relay-intercropping (MSR). Here we reveal that leaf-removal from maize-canopy improves the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) transmittance and dry-matter production (DMP) of soybean (especially during the co-growth phase), and compensates the maize seed-yield loss by considerably increasing soybean seed-yield. In a two-year experiment with MSR, maize-plants were subjected to different leaf-removal treatments to increase the PAR-transmittance of soybean; removal of the topmost two-leaves (R2), four-leaves (R4), six-leaves (R6), with no-removal of leaves (R0). Leaf-removal treatments improved the PAR-transmittance, photosynthetic-rate, and morphological-characteristics of soybean under MSR. At 90 days after sowing, the dry-matter of pods, and seeds was increased by 25%, and 32%, respectively under R6 than R0. Importantly, enhanced PAR-transmittance and DMP under R6 enabled soybean to initiate a greater number of flowers 182.2 plant-1 compared to 142.7 plant-1 under R0, and it also decreased the flower-abscission (by 13%, from 54.9% under R0 to 47.6% under R6). These positive responses increased the pod-number by 49% and seed-number by 28% under R6 than R0. Overall, under R6, relay-intercropped soybean produced 78% of sole-soybean seed-yield, and relay-intercropped maize produced 81% of sole-maize seed-yield and achieved the land equivalent ratio of 1.59.

    Narrow-wide-row planting pattern increases the radiation use efficiency and seed yield of intercrop species in relay-intercropping system
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Cai, Gao Ren ; Khalid, Muhammad Hayder Bin ; Iqbal, Nasir ; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad ; Meraj, Tehseen Ahmad ; Naeem, Muhammd ; Khan, Imran ; Ur Rehman, Sana ; Ansar, Muhammad ; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2019
    Food and Energy Security 8 (2019)3. - ISSN 2048-3694
    competition - intercropping - land equivalent ratio - radiation use efficiency

    Planting arrangements affect radiation use efficiency (RUE) and competitiveness of intercrop species in intercropping systems. Here, we reveal that narrow-wide-row planting arrangement in maize-soybean relay-intercropping system increases the dry matter and competitiveness of soybean, increased the RUE of maize and soybean, and compensates the yield loss of maize by substantially increasing the yield of soybean. In this field study, maize was planted with soybean in different planting arrangements (P1, 20:180, P2, 40:160; P3, 60:140, and P4, 80:120) of relay intercropping, all the relay-intercropping treatments were compared with sole crops of maize (SM) and soybean (SS). Results showed that P1 improved the total RUE 3.26 g/MJ (maize RUE + soybean RUE) of maize and soybean in relay-intercropping system. Compared to P4, treatment P1 increased the soybean competition ratio (CR) values (by 55%) but reduced the maize CR values (by 29%), which in turn significantly improved the yield of soybean by maintaining the maize yield. Generally, in P1, soybean produced 82% of SS yield, and maize produced 88% of SM yield, and it achieved the land equivalent ratio of 1.7. These results suggest that by maintaining the appropriate planting distances between maize and soybean we can improve the competitiveness and yield of intercrop species in relay-intercropping system.

    Optimizing Row Spacing to Ameliorate the Productivity of Spring Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.)
    Ullah, Sami ; Ahmad Anjum, Shakeel ; Mohsin Raza, Muhammad ; Riaz, Aamir ; Abbas, Adeel ; Muhammad Yousif, Malik ; Ma, Jinchuan ; Liu, Yingxia ; Zhang, Jiajia ; Cheng, Dingwen ; Xu, Yaxin ; Ali, Iftikhar - \ 2016
    Agricultural Sciences 7 (2016)8. - ISSN 2156-8553 - p. 531 - 538.
    One of the main reasons behind reduced cane yield is pathetic method of planting. Planting method and row spacing are the most important yield contributing factors in sugarcane. A field experiment was carried out in order to determine quality and yield of sugarcane in various spatial arrangements. Treatments are 180 cm spaced trenches with triple row strips; 180 cm spaced trenches with alternate row strips; 120 cm spaced trenches with double row strips and 60 cm spaced furrow with single row. Perusal of data revealed that 3.6%, 13.4%, 15%, 15.3% more cane diameter (cm), cane length (cm), stripped cane yield (t·haˉ1), sugar yield (t·haˉ1) were obtained from 180 cm spaced trenches with triple row strips as compared to conventional planting method i.e. 60 cm spaced furrows. While the number of millable canes mˉ2, polarity %, cane juice purity %, cane juice %, commercial cane sugar % and cane sugar recovery % remained non-significant by different planting techniques.
    Maize nitrogen recovery and dry matter production as affected by application of solid cattle manure subjected to various storage conditions
    Shah, G.M. ; Shah, G.A. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Raza, M.A.S. ; Shahid, N. ; Lantinga, E.A. - \ 2016
    Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 16 (2016)3. - ISSN 0718-9516 - p. 591 - 603.
    This study aimed to quantify the effects of contrasting composted methods of solid cattle manure (SCM) ondry matter (DM) yield and crop apparent N recovery (ANR)following manure application to maize land. Fresh SCM was stored as stockpiled, roofed, covered and composted heaps. After storage, the manures were incorporated in a sandy soil, and maize ANR both as a proportion of field applied N (ANRF) and collected N from the barn (ANRB),and DM yield was established at three successive growth stages: end of juvenile phase, start of grain filling, and physiological maturity.

    During the storage period, on average 6% of the initial Ntotal was lost from covered, whereas this fraction was 12, 21 and 33% from roofed, stockpiled, and composted heaps, respectively. DM yield of maize increased with the application of all the manure types as compared to the unfertilized control, at the end of Juvenile (2.2 vs. 3.1-3.4 Mg ha-1), grain filling (11.2 vs. 13.6-16.4 Mg ha-1) and physiological maturity stages (13.9 vs. 15.3-15.9 Mg ha-1). At a given growth stage, the greatest value was obtained from covered than roofed, stockpiled and composted manures.Maize ANRF was the highest at start of grain filling (20, 29, 31, and 39% of the applied N for composted, stockpiled, roofed and covered treatments, respectively) but lower values were obtained at physiological maturity (12-21%). The respective values in case of maize ANRB were 13, 23, 27 and 37% of total N taken from barn at the start of grain filling while it was also lower (8-20%) at physiological maturity. It is concluded thatstorage of SCM under an impermeable plastic cover reduce N losses, increased DM yield and ANR thereby improves on-farm N cycling as compared to traditional stockpiling or composting.
    Effect of storage conditions on losses and crop utilization of nitrogen from solid cattle manure
    Shah, G.M. ; Shah, G.A. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Oenema, O. ; Raza, A.S. ; Lantinga, E.A. - \ 2016
    The Journal of Agricultural Science 154 (2016)1. - ISSN 0021-8596 - p. 58 - 71.

    The objectives of the present study were to quantify the effects of contrasting methods for storing solid cattle manure on: (i) total carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) balances during storage, and (ii) crop apparent N recovery (ANR) following manure application to arable land, with maize as a test crop. Portions of 10 t of fresh solid cattle manure were stored for 5 months during 2009/10 in three replicates as: (i) stockpiled heaps, (ii) roofed heaps, (iii) covered heaps and (iv) turned heaps at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Surface emissions of ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) were measured regularly using a static flux chamber connected to a photo-acoustic gas monitor. Total C and N losses during storage were determined through the mass balance method. After storage, the manures were surface-applied and incorporated into a sandy soil, and maize ANR was measured as a proportion of both N applied to the field (ANRF) and N collected from the barn (ANRB).

    During the storage period, the average losses of initial total N (Ntotal) were 6% from the covered, 12% from the roofed, 21% from the stockpiled and 33% from the turned heaps. Of the total N losses, 2–9% was lost as NH3-N, 1–4% as N2O-N and 16–32% through leaching. However, the greatest part of the total N loss from the four storage methods was unaccounted for and constituted in all probability of harmless dinitrogen gas. Of the initial C content, c. 13, 14, 17 and 22% was lost from the covered, stockpiled, roofed and turned heaps, respectively. Maize ANRF was highest from covered (39% of the applied N) followed by roofed (31%), stockpiled (29%) and turned manure (20%). The respective values in case of maize ANRB were 37, 27, 23 and 13%. It is concluded that from a viewpoint of on-farm N recycling the storage of solid cattle manure under an impermeable plastic cover is much better than traditional stockpiling or turning heaps in the open air.

    Exogenous application of glycinebetaine and potassium for improving water relations and grain yield of wheat under drought
    Raza, M.A.S. ; Saleem, M.F. ; Shah, G.M. ; Khan, I.H. ; Raza, A. - \ 2014
    Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 14 (2014)2. - ISSN 0718-9516 - p. 348 - 364.
    Compatible solutes rescue plants in the hour of intense water deficit conditions. Glycinebetaine (GB) and potassium (K) are main solutes, playing role in improving plant water potential and ultimately the crop yield. However, only a few attempts have been made so far to study their optimum dozes and interactions to ameliorate the drought stress in wheat. To explore this, GB solutions of 0, 50,100 and 150 mM concentration and K solutions of 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5% concentration were sprayed at milking stage of two wheat varieties under stress (Auqab-2000; drought sensitive and Lasani-2008; drought resistant). The stress was created by withholding water up till appearance of wilting symptoms and then the solutes (alone and/or in combination) were sprayed with carboxymethyl cellulose as a sticking agent, whereas Tween-20 was used as a surfactant for foliar spray. At maturity, ten random plants from field-experiments and three in case of pot experiment were selected to estimate plant height, spike length, number of spikelets spike-1, number of grains spike-1, and grain yields. Besides, water potential, osmotic potential and turgor potential of crop were also estimated. The results indicated that the drought stress adversely affected all the above parameters. The exogenous application of GB and K to wheat significantly improved spike length, number of grain per spike and grain yields. Moreover, a significant interaction between these solutes was observed since at a given level of GB all these yield parameters were increased (p <0.05) with K concentration. The highest values were obtained when GB and K were applied in combination at 100 mM and 1.5%, respectively. The same treatment also improved the leaf water potential, osmotic potential and turgor potential to maintain plant water potential gradient under stress. These findings lead us to conclude that application of GB and K (100 mM and 1.5%, respectively) is the best strategy to ameliorate the drought impact on wheat at milking stage with improved production.
    Potassium applied under drought improves physiological and nutrient uptake performances of wheat (Triticum Aestivun L.)
    Raza, M.A.S. ; Saleem, M.F. ; Shah, G.M. ; Jamil, M. ; Khan, I.H. - \ 2013
    Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 13 (2013)1. - ISSN 0718-9516 - p. 175 - 185.
    abiotic stresses - soil-moisture - crop yield - tolerance - plants - glycinebetaine - efficiency - system - zone
    The physiological and nutrient uptake performance of two wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars (Lasani-2008 and Auqab-2000) to foliar application of 1% potassium (K) at three different growth stages (tillering, flower initiation and grain filling) was investigated under water limited environment in a wire house experiment at the Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology, Faisalabad. The aim was to find out the best K application stage for improvement in drought tolerance potential. Drought stress was created by withholding irrigation at the three growth stages and then K was sprayed with carboxymethyl cellulose as a sticking agent, whereas Tween-20 was used as a surfactant for foliar spray. At maturity, aboveground nitrogen, phosphorus, K, sodium and calcium uptakes by the crop were measured. Besides, water potential, osmotic potential and turgor potential of crop were also estimated. The results indicated that the drought stress at all three critical growth stages of wheat adversely affected plant's nutrient uptake, water potential, osmotic potential and turgor potential of wheat plants. The exogenous application of K under drought stress at all three critical growth stages enhanced tolerance of wheat by reducing toxic nutrient's uptake and improving the physiological efficiency. In this regards, both varieties showed uniform behavior. Maximum improvement in all the recorded nutrients uptake and physiological parameters was achieved when K was applied at grain filling stage of both cultivars.
    Tecnología brasileña previene contra mayor amenaza a bananeras
    Dita Rodriguez, M.A. - \ 2010

    Una tecnología desarrollada por investigadores brasileños permite diagnosticar a tiempo la presencia de un tipo de hongo que transmite el llamado mal de Panamá, la enfermedad que más amenaza a las bananeras del mundo. La tecnología fue desarrollada por científicos de la Embrapa en asociación con investigadores de la Universidad de Wageningen (Holanda). El diagnóstico es capaz de identificar las moléculas características del hongo conocido como raza tropical 4 de Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc), capaz de transmitir el mal de Panamá hasta en las bananeras de la variedad cavendish. La prueba de diagnóstico ofrece resultados en apenas un día y puede ser aplicado tanto en muestras de tejidos de las plantas o del suelo sin necesidad de aislar el patógeno, según el investigador Miguel Angel Dita Rodríguez, coordinador del proyecto.

    Tecnología brasileña previene contra mayor amenaza a bananeras
    Dita Rodriguez, M.A. - \ 2010

    Una tecnología desarrollada por investigadores brasileños permite diagnosticar a tiempo la presencia de un tipo de hongo que transmite el llamado mal de Panamá, la enfermedad que más amenaza a las bananeras del mundo. La tecnología fue desarrollada por científicos de la Embrapa en asociación con investigadores de la Universidad de Wageningen (Holanda). El diagnóstico es capaz de identificar las moléculas características del hongo conocido como raza tropical 4 de Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc), capaz de transmitir el mal de Panamá hasta en las bananeras de la variedad cavendish. La prueba de diagnóstico ofrece resultados en apenas un día y puede ser aplicado tanto en muestras de tejidos de las plantas o del suelo sin necesidad de aislar el patógeno, según el investigador Miguel Angel Dita Rodríguez, coordinador del proyecto.

    Longevity, type traits and production in Chianina beef cattle = Longevità, Caratteri morfologici e produttivi nella raza chianina
    Forabosco, F. ; Groen, A.F. ; Bozzi, R. ; Arendonk, J.A.M. van; Filippini, F. ; Boettcher, P. ; Bijma, P. - \ 2005
    In: Proceedings of the 4th World Italian Beef Congress, Italy, April 29th-May 1st - p. 211 - 216.
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