Agrifood Research and Technology Center

Zaragoza, Spain

Agrifood Research and Technology Center

Zaragoza, Spain
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Esteban E.,University of California at Riverside | Jose A.,Agrifood Research and Technology Center
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2012

Nonpoint pollution is characterized by imperfect knowledge of biophysical processes, stochastic components, and asymmetric information among agents. The design and implementation of measures to abate emissions is a difficult task because of this lack of biophysical information and the strategic behaviour of stakeholders. The development of input-intensive agriculture in Spain during the last century has created large discharges of nutrients and other harmful substances into water bodies, causing damage to aquatic ecosystems. In Spain and other European countries, the control of nonpoint pollution is a crucial step in achieving the "good" ecological status of water bodies sought by the European Water Framework Directive. The empirical findings challenge the current approach to pollution policies and call for policy efforts focused on nurturing stakeholders' collective action and on supporting the necessary institutional setting. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Esteban E.,University of California at Riverside | Albiac J.,Agrifood Research and Technology Center
Hydrogeology Journal | Year: 2012

Gisser and Sánchez (Water Resour Res 16(4):638-642, 1980) compared two different strategies to manage aquifers: "free market" and policy regulation. They stated that the outcome of both is practically the same, and that policy regulation could not improve social welfare. This study challenges this argument by analyzing the management strategies in two large aquifers located in southern Spain, the Eastern La Mancha and the Western La Mancha aquifers. The appeal of this case stems from the fact that management of the Eastern La Mancha aquifer is almost sustainable. In stark contrast, its neighboring Western La Mancha aquifer is being grossly mismanaged. The results engage two major questions from previous groundwater literature. The first question is whether or not aquifer management requires policy intervention. The answer depends upon the consideration and magnitude of environmental damages in the model. The second question addresses the nature of groundwater policies. The contrast in management outcomes between the Western and the Eastern La Mancha aquifers is related to the different types of policy instruments implemented for each aquifer. The results of these policies underline the importance of nurturing the stakeholders' collective action under the appropriate institutional setting. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Mallor C.,Agrifood Research and Technology Center | Arnedo-Andres M.S.,Agrifood Research and Technology Center | Garces-Claver A.,Agrifood Research and Technology Center
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2014

Onion (Allium cepa L.) is one of the most valuable vegetables in the world. However, despite its global culinary and economic significance, the knowledge about onion genetic diversity and resources is limited. The Vegetable Germplasm Bank of Zaragoza (BGHZ) (Spain) holds an important A. cepa L. collection, where most of the Spanish onion variability is represented. Since the genetic diversity of Spanish onion germplasm is an unexploited resource for onion breeding, a total of 85 Spanish onion landraces (A. cepa L.) and 6 related Allium outgroups from the BGHZ collection were studied by means of SSR markers. The results showed that 12 out of the 18 SSR markers amplified were useful and polymorphic to distinguish all the studied onion accessions, allowing the detection of 47 alleles, with an average of 3.9 alleles per SSR, ranging from 2 to 7. Within related Allium species, the total number of detected alleles was 45, with an average of 3.7 alleles per SSR, ranging from 1 to 10. Specific alleles were obtained both in the Spanish onion landraces and in related Allium species, with cross transferability rates ranging from 25.0% to 91.7% in the six Allium species assayed. The resulting UPGMA dendrogram grouped the 91 Allium accessions according to their taxonomical classification, producing 6 main clusters, with all the Spanish onion landraces included in one cluster at a genetic distance of 0.69. These results revealed an interesting reservoir of genetic variability, useful for onion breeding, and confirmed the need to preserve these irreplaceable genetic resources. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Rodriguez-Maza M.J.,Agrifood Research and Technology Center | Garces-Claver A.,Agrifood Research and Technology Center | Arnedo-Andres M.S.,Agrifood Research and Technology Center
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

The compounds called capsaicinoids, responsible for pungency in peppers (Capsicum spp.), exhibit a wide genetic and environmental control variation. Pungency in pepper is an interesting quality trait that requires more knowledge about its genetic control. Up to now, not all the genes involved in the capsaicinoid biosynthetic pathway have been characterized. From previous work, a partial DNA sequence, possibly related to pungency, was identified and using the genome walking technique, a complete DNA sequence was obtained from C. annuum 'Yolo Wonder'. The aim of this work was to study this DNA sequence in several pepper genotypes. The putative gene was sequenced in six genotypes from different species: three model genotypes, one non-pungent C. annuum 'Yolo Wonder' and two pungent, C. annuum 'SCM-334' and C. chinense 'Habanero'; and other three pungent genotypes, selected by their characteristics concerning to pungency trait, C. chinense 'C-158', C. frutescens 'C-126', and C. baccatum 'C-235'. For this purpose, several pairs of primers were designed along the above sequence and they were used to obtain the target DNA sequence. These results showed variability. Among the observed differences, a deletion was found only in the non-pungent genotype, and this result was confirmed when more non-pungent genotypes were studied. Also, several Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, either genotype-specific or pungent-specific were found. Finally, differences along the upstream DNA sequence region in C. baccatum 'C-235' were observed. The detected allelic variation might be further investigated, to better understand its effect at the phenotypic level of the pungency trait.

PubMed | Agrifood Research and Technology Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of environmental quality | Year: 2011

Greater demand for corn ( L.) stover for bioenergy use may lead to increased corn production acreage with minimal surface residue cover, resulting in greater risk for soil erosion and phosphorus (P) losses in runoff. A rainfall simulation study was conducted to determine the effects of spring-applied dairy cow () manure (none, in-barn composted, and exterior walled-enclosure pit) with >200 g kg organic solids content following fall corn biomass removal with and without incorporation (chisel plow [CP] and no-till [NT]) on sediment and P in runoff. Runoff was collected from a 0.83-m area for 60 min following the onset of rainfall simulation (76 mm h), once in spring and once in fall. Runoff dissolved reactive P (DRP) and dissolved organic P (DOP) concentrations were positively correlated with manure P rate and were higher in NT compared with CP. Conversely, sediment and particulate P (PP) concentrations in runoff were inversely correlated with manure P rate (and manure solids) and were higher in CP compared with NT. Runoff volume where no manure was applied was higher in NT than in CP in spring but similar in fall. The addition of manure reduced runoff volumes by an average of 82% in NT and 42% in CP over spring and fall. Results from this study indicate that surface application of dairy manure with relatively high solids content may reduce sediment and PP losses in runoff without increasing the risk of increased DRP and DOP losses in the year of application where corn biomass is harvested.

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