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Castor seed yield at suboptimal soil moisture: Is it high enough?

This study discusses how soil moisture influences the seed yield of two castor plant varieties in an arid zone in Mexico. An experiment was set up with two factors: soil moisture, with three levels (high = -0.05 MPa, medium = -0.31 MPa and low = -0.91 MPa), and castor variety (Krishna and Rincon). The combination resulted in a factorial 3 × 2 experimental design. The experiment was set up as a randomized block with four replications under a split-plot arrangement, where the whole plots were for soil moisture and the subplots were for the castor variety. The measured variables were plant height (PH), days to flowering of 50% of the plants (DF), leaf area (LA), dry weight (DW), source-sink relationship, harvest index (HI) and seed yield. Data were analyzed by ANOVA, mean tests (HSD at α = 0.05) and regression analysis. There were significant differences in PH, LA, DW, HI and yield among the treatments. The values of PH, LA and DW tended to be higher at higher soil moisture levels than at lower moisture levels. The source strength was generally lower than the sink strength in all the treatments. There were significant differences between the varieties for HI, and the interaction between soil moisture and variety was also significant. Significant differences were found in yield; the Krishna variety had a greater yield than the Rincon variety, but there was only a significant difference between the yield of the Krishna variety cultivated under low soil moisture (5200 kg ha-1) and that of the Rincon variety cultivated under high soil moisture (2570 kg ha-1). The results of this study indicate that castor plants can be cultivated in arid regions at suboptimal soil moisture levels with supplementary irrigation without compromising plant performance or yield.

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Agronomic characterization of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) progeny from close and distant self-fertilized s5 simple crosses

The present research was carried out at the research and production center (CIP) of Camacani. The objective was to agronomically characterize the self-fertilized S5 progeny originating from simple crosses that were genetically distant and close. We worked with six genetically distant simple crosses, Huariponcho × Kancolla, Salcedo INIA × Huariponcho and Pasankalla × Kancolla, and three genetically close crosses, Salcedo INIA × Pink Pandela, Negra Collana × Kancolla and Salcedo INIA × Negra Collana. Seeds were obtained from a plant breeding program by hybridization, and molecular markers were used to estimate genetic distances for the generation of new cultivars. The results show that the highest plant height occurred for the cross Pasankalla × Kancolla, with 93.39 cm, followed by Salcedo INIA × Pandela Rosada, with 88.88 cm, and the lowest height was presented by the cross Negra Collana × Kancolla, with 69.50 cm. The largest diameter of the stem occurred for the Pasankalla × Kancolla cross, with 14.49 mm, followed by the cross Salcedo INIA × Pandela Rosada, with 13.49 mm; the cross Negra Collana × Kancolla presented the smallest stem diameter, with 9.70 mm. The longest panicle length was recorded for the cross Pasankalla × Kancolla, with 28.45 cm, followed by Salcedo INIA × Pandela Rosada, with 27.49 cm, and the shortest panicle length occurred for the cross Salcedo INIA × Negra Collana, with 24 cm. The largest panicle diameter was presented by the cross Pasankalla × Kancolla, with 8.73 cm, followed by Salcedo INIA × Pandela Rosada, with 7.73 cm, and the smallest panicle diameter was presented by the cross Negra Collana × Kancolla, with 5.75 cm. The best 1,000 grain weight was presented by the cross Salcedo INIA × Negra Collana, with 3.80 g and a grain diameter of 2.20 mm, followed by the cross Salcedo INIA × Huariponcho, with 2.48 g and a grain diameter of 1.78 mm and the lowest 1,000-grain weight was presented by the cross Negra Collana × Kancolla, with 2.09 g and a 1.64 mm grain diameter. The best yield was obtained by the cross Huariponcho × Kancolla, with 5,099.28 kg ha-1, followed by the cross Salcedo INIA × Huariponcho, with 5,064.71 kg ha-1; the lowest yield was presented by Collana Negra × Kancolla, with 2,836.55 kg ha-1.

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Arthropods of forestry and medical-veterinary importance in the Limarí basin (Coquimbo region, Chile)

The Limari River valley, located in the Coquimbo Region of Chile, is an important area for agricultural production that pertains to the transverse valleys ecoregion, known as Norte Chico. In recent decades, the continuous expansion of agriculture towards the dryland areas has favored the introduction and establishment of potential pests, such as arthropods, that may affect forestry crops and transmit zoonotic diseases. We analyzed the arthropod assemblages that were of forestry and medical-veterinary importance in the Limari basin. After reviewing historical data, specimen collections, and the available literature, a total of 10 families, 39 genera, and 51 species of arthropods of forestry importance were recorded, 43.1% of which were of quarantine importance. Xylophagous groups of quarantine importance to the US included Cryptotermes brevis (Kalotermitidae), Neoterius mystax (Bostrichidae), Tyndaris planata (Buprestidae), Rhyephenes humeralis (Curculionidae) and Phoracantha recurva (Cerambycidae). Other quarantine insects of forestry importance recorded in the area included were Micrapate scabrata and Polycaon chilensis (Bostrichidae). In addition, the groups of medical-veterinary importance were represented by 11 families, 14 genera, and 18 species, 9 of which were arachnids and 9 were insects. Among the identified arachnids, the most important genera were Loxosceles (Sicariidae), Latrodectus , Steatoda (Theridiidae) and Rhipicephalus (Ixodidae), whereas among the identified insects, the most important were Triatoma and Mepraia (Reduviidae), Pediculus (Pediculidae), and Ceratophyllus (Ceratophyllidae). We hope this study serves as a basis for the development of forest pest monitoring and control programs as well as an understanding of the potential risks posed by zoonotic agents and their implications for public health.

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Decrease of flavonol synthase enzymatic activity in Ugni molinae Turcz due to the domestication process

Flavonoid biosynthesis may be affected by plant domestication, with flavonoid production being reduced in proportion to the degree of domestication. In this context, kaempferol (3,4´,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone) has been identified in the leaves of wild and cultivated Ugni molinae , a berry endemic to Chile. The biosynthetic pathway of kaempferol production begins with naringenin (4´,5,7-trihydroxyflavanone), which is converted to dihydrokaempferol (3,4´,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavanone), catalyzed by flavanone 3s-hydroxylase (FHT) and then converted to kaempferol by a bifunctional enzyme called flavonol synthase (FLS). Therefore, our study aims to evaluate how FLS activity is affected in murtilla plants that are subjected to the domestication process. Kaempferol was quantified from methanolic extracts of leaf samples collected from both cultivated and wild U. molinae plants using high-performance liquid chromatography, and enzyme extraction was performed to determine FLS activity. The results showed that kaempferol concentration in wild plants from the Soloyo (0.14 μg g -1 ), Mehuin (0.18 μg g -1 ) and Queule (0.25 μg g -1 ) sampling areas was higher than in their cultivated counterparts. Our data are consistent with the FLS activity detected in samples obtained from Manzanal Alto (134.79 pKatal, Soloyo (96.48 pKatal), and Mehuin (119.97 pKatal). These samples also exhibited higher enzymatic activity than their cultivated counterparts. Together, these data suggest that FLS activity is negatively affected by the domestication process.

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