International Nature Farming Research Center

Matsumoto, Japan

International Nature Farming Research Center

Matsumoto, Japan

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Xu H.-L.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Qin F.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Qin F.,Shandong Peanut Research Institute | Xu Q.,International Nature Farming Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Partial root zone drying (PRD) has been used as a technique in the production of many crops. However, the extent or duration of the drying treatment would change the effect and the mechanisms in terms of plant water relations are not clear enough. The aim of this research was to evaluate the PRD effect with shorter or longer drying duration in a potato crop and elucidate the mechanisms based on plant water relations. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. May Queen) was grown in experimental plots under plastic rainout shelters. Three treatments: (1) whole-season PRD, (2) early-season PRD for 8 weeks and then return to normal irrigation for the remainder of the season and (3) normal irrigation as control, were arranged in a Latin square design in 9 plots. Water was supplied by drip irrigation to one side of the potato row once every 5 days on average, and the other side of the row was allowed to dry for 15 days, and then the irrigation line was moved to the dry side and the wet side allowed to dry. Pressure-volume curves were used to analyze the osmotic adjustment induced by PRD and a modified mathematic equation, -Ψ-1=ΨFT-1-πs+a-1[ζ0-β(1-ζ)-ζap]e-α(1-ζ)+πs+a-1[ζ0-β(1-ζ)-ζap] was used to compare the pressure-volume relations. As shown by the results, tuber yield and photosynthetic activity were increased by the early-season PRD treatment, but not by the whole-season PRD treatment because the whole-season PRD treatment reduced the leaf area index. By analyzing the pressure-volume curves, it was found that osmotic adjustment occurred and the turgor potential was higher in potato leaves in the PRD treatments. The fraction of water in the cell symplasm was higher and that in apoplasm was smaller in PRD-treated potato leaves. Both the osmotic potential and relative water content at the point of incipient plasmolysis were lower in potato leaves in the PRD treatments, suggesting that the plants in the PRD plots were more resistant to water stress, which was also confirmed by the analysis of transpiration declining curve of excised leaves. In conclusion, the PRD treatment was effective in improving potato tuber yield, but early-season treatment rather than the whole-season treatment should be adopted. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Lu P.,Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering | He S.,Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering | Li H.,Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering | Cao J.,Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering | Xu H.-L.,International Nature Farming Research Center
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2010

Vase life of cut roses cv. Movie Star placed in deionized water was only 9 to 10 days regardless of the maturity at harvest. In the present study, the causes of short vase life for cut roses and the effects of treatments prolonging vase life were investigated in relation to water stress and bacterial contaminations. Flowers of cut rose cv. Movie Star were pulsed in nano-silver (NS) base solution for 24 h and then kept in a low concentration NS solution. Effects on vase life and the flower quality were evaluated by analyzing vase life, water uptake, water loss, changes in stomatal conductance and scanning electron microscopic observation of stem. The pulse treatment in 10 mg L -1 NS plus 5% sucrose solution for 24 h followed by holding samples in 0.5 mg L-1 NS plus 2% sucrose solution not only alleviated and delayed vascular blockage caused by bacterial contaminations but also inhibited stomatal conductance so that the water balance in cut roses was significantly improved and the vase life of the cut rose flowers was prolonged by 11.8 days.


Kaneda S.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Ohkubo S.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Wagai R.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Yagasaki Y.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Yagasaki Y.,Kyoto University
Biology and Fertility of Soils | Year: 2016

Ecological importance of earthworm via aggregate production has been well studied in Europe, but much less is known for Asian species. Assessing the effects of temperature and moisture on the soil aggregate formation by earthworms is a logical step towards the quantification of earthworm’s function in ecosystem. Here, we estimated soil temperature and moisture-based rate of aggregate formation by the earthworm Eisenia japonica (Michaelsen, 1892), which is distributed widely in Japan and South Korea. Based on the data obtained from 1-week laboratory incubations, we developed a model describing the aggregate formation rate by earthworm as a function of body mass, soil temperature, and soil moisture. We then applied the model to a field mesocosm experiment. While the aggregate production rates predicted by the model were slightly underestimated, the estimated values showed significant positive correlation with the measured field data (P < 0.001). The empirical model developed here was therefore applicable to the field condition studied, implying that our approach would help to quantify and predict the ecological function of earthworm. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Qin F.,University of Tokyo | Qin F.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Qin F.,Shandong Peanut Institute | Takano T.,University of Tokyo | Xu H.-L.,International Nature Farming Research Center
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2012

When photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) is changed from low to high and then from high to low, the photosynthetic rate (P N) at each PPF level is usually higher during the cycle of changing PPF from high to low than during the cycle from low to high. The difference between the two PPF response curves is defined as photosynthetic hysteresis (H P). H P would be smaller if physiological activities are high in a plant. The previous experiments of our research have demonstrated that physiological activities are higher in peanut plants grown with the AnM technique including hypocotyl exposure. In the present experiment, H P was examined in the peanut crop grown with the AnM technique. Peanut leaf photosynthetic activities were improved by exposing the hypocotyl, one practice of the AnM technique, and film mulching, the combined practice of the modified AnM technique. The improved photosynthetic activities also reflected in less H P. H P was consistent with hysteresis of stomatal and mesophyll conductance. Less H P could be an indicator of higher physiological activities, as improved by the hypocotyl exposing and film mulching in the peanut crop.


Xu Q.,Shinshu University | Fujiyama S.,Shinshu University | Xu H.,International Nature Farming Research Center
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2011

In nature, ecological balance is maintained by biodiversity through a stable food-web. This concept has been adopted to integrated pest management in organic crop production to conserve natural enemies. However, trials are needed to find an appropriate cropping regime and the coincided field management for a specific crop and the dynamic relations of the pests and natural enemies under the conservation practices need to be clarified. Therefore, in the present study, with a relay-intercropping regime as a strategy to enrich field vegetation diversity and habitat improvement by plant residual mulching as a strategy to enrich field fauna diversity, a cabbage crop experiment was conducted to monitor the population dynamics of pests and native natural enemies and to confirm the effectiveness of relay-intercropping and plant residual mulching in natural enemies conservation and the consequent biological pest control. A summer cabbage was intercropped with tomato, and plant residues were mulched on the soil surface as the habitat for natural enemies. During the growth period of crops, the density of Lepidoptera larvae and three kind of predators including frog, spider and carabid were examined and analyzed with mathematic model as P 1= P B1+ {P max-P B1-P Y1[1-β 1(t-τ) 2]}EXP[-α 1(t-τ) 2] +P Y1[1-β 1(t-τ)2] (t≤τ) and P 2 = P B2+{P max-P B2-P Y2[1-β 2 (t-τ) 2]}EXP [-α 2(t-τ) 2]+P Y2 [1-β 2 (t-τ) 2] (t≥τ). The density of pests was lower in intercropping plots than in monocultured plots and lower in plots with habitat management than in those without. The density of natural enemies was higher in intercropping plots than in mono-cultured plots and higher in plots with habitat management than in those without. The damage index of cabbage and tomato was proportional to population density of pests. It was concluded that tomato as a shelter crop lowered the risk of pest incidence in the intercropped cabbage crop and residual mulching as habitat management in the crop field could favour natural enemies to control pest insects.


Nagano H.,Chiba University | Nagano H.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Kato S.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Ohkubo S.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Inubushi K.,Chiba University
Soil Science and Plant Nutrition | Year: 2012

Here we have investigated the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) from long- and short-term organic farming Andosols in Matsumoto city of Nagano, in central Japan. We focus on three upland plots in Matsumoto, distinguished by how long they had each experienced continuous organic farming (OF)-in these three cases, since 1971, 2009, and 2010 (plots hereafter termed M39-OF, M1-OF, and M1F-OF, respectively). Since 2001, in M39-OF, mainly rye (Secale cereale L., as green manure) and soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merril, as crop] were cultivated, in winter and summer respectively, without tillage, other fertilizers and agro-chemicals. In contrast, from 2001 to 2008 in M1-OF, and from 2001 to 2009 in M1F-OF, these plots underwent conventional farming of some vegetables with tillage, fertilizer and agro-chemicals. Soils sampled from M39-OF and M1-OF in August 2009 were incubated for 4 weeks in darkness at 25°C. During these 4 weeks, M39-OF emitted 8.0 times more CO2 and 274 times more N2O than M1-OF. Less than 2 μg carbon (C) kg-1 dry soil of CH4 was emitted from both soils. From February 2010 until January 2011, CO2, CH4, and N2O emission rates of M39-OF and M1F-OF were measured almost monthly, using a closed-chamber method. Annual CO2, CH4, and N2O emissions were 317, -1.7, and 27 g CO2-C equivalent m-2 in M39-OF, and 138, -0.2, and 21 g CO2-C equivalent m-2 in M1F-OF, respectively. The rye yield in M39-OF was 334 g C m-2. Soybeans in M39-OF and M1F-OF yielded 290 and 286 g C m-2, and withdrew 230 and 224 g C m-2, respectively. Greenhouse gas (GHG) balance was calculated at -52 and 97 g CO2-C equivalent m-2 in M39-OF and M1F-OF, respectively. Negative GHG balance indicated that M39-OF was acting as a GHG sink, with higher CH4 absorption than M1F-OF. Further, this beneficial function for global warming was thought to be based on its cultivation system, which had included green manure application since 2001. The difference in gas exchange between incubation and field experiments was considered a reason for the difference in N2O emission between incubation and field experiments. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Nie S.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Xu H.,International Nature Farming Research Center
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

As a resistance elicitor, riboflavin (vitamin B2) protects plants against a wide range of pathogens. At molecular biological levels, it is important to elucidate the signaling pathways underlying the disease resistance induced by riboflavin. Here, riboflavin was tested to induce resistance against virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv. Tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000) in Arabidopsis. Results showed that riboflavin induced disease resistance based on MAPK-dependent priming for the expression of PR1 gene. Riboflavin induced transient expression of PR1 gene. However, following Pst DC3000 inoculation, riboflavin potentiated stronger PR1 gene transcription. Further was suggested that the transcript levels of mitogen- Activated protein kinases, MPK3 and MPK6, were primed under riboflavin. Upon infection by Pst DC3000, these two enzymes were more strongly activated. The elevated activation of both MPK3 and MPK6 was responsible for enhanced defense gene expression and resistance after riboflavin treatment. Moreover, riboflavin significantly reduced the transcript levels of MPK3 and MPK6 by application of AsA and BAPTA, an H2O2 scavenger and a calcium (Ca2+) scavenger, respectively. In conclusion, MPK3 and MPK6 were responsible for riboflavin-induced resistance, and played an important role in H2O2- And Ca2+-related signaling pathways, and this study could provide a new insight into the mechanistic study of riboflavin-induced defense responses. © 2016 Nie, Xu.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Xu H.-L.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Xu Q.,International Nature Farming Research Center | Li F.,Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural science | Feng Y.,Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural science | And 3 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Recent research using Arabidopsis has shown that blue light stimulates the plant through the receptor protein and induces regulations physiologically and morphologically. It is important to know whether the theory can be used in food crop production. In the present study blue light emitted from light-emitting diodes (LED) was used as a stimulus to tomato crop canopy after sunset for 2h to induce xerophytophysiological regulations. Blue (450nm), white and red (660nm) LED lamps, all with a properties of 0.48W, 24V, and 45μmolm2s-1 at 10cm over the lamp, were compared with non-illumination control. A 2×4 two factor experiment was conducted in a randomized split block design with the two cultivars as the main block. Results showed that the osmotic potential in the symplasm at full turgor was lower and the leaf turgor potential at full turgor was higher in tomato leaves in blue light treatment. The water fraction in the symplasm in the leaf was larger or the apoplastic water fraction was smaller in leaf of blue light irradiated plants. Both osmotic potential and relative water content at the point of incipient plasmolysis were lower in tomato leaves in blue light treatment. More leaf water was lost by stomatal transpiration and less leaf water was lost by cuticular transpiration in leaves of blue light treated tomato plants. Fruit color was improved and redder in blue light treatment. Fruit yield was increased by all light illumination treatments. The damage of fruit caused by Helicoverpa armigera worms was more severely in red light treatment and less severely in blue and white light treatments compared with the control. The leaf blight index was lower in blue and white light illumination treatments than the red light treatment and the control. Both cultivars showed LED illumination responses similar to each other although fruit yield was lower and leaf blight was severer in 'Baiju' than in 'Myoko'. In conclusion, illumination treatment with blue light from LED as a stimulus was effective in fruit yield increase and quality improvement as well as improvement in disease resistance of the tomato crop. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Xu Q.,Shinshu University | Fujiyama S.,Shinshu University | Xu H.,International Nature Farming Research Center
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2012

Biodiversity in agricultural systems is increasingly important in integrated pest management in organic crop production. Habitat management is a strategy aiming at enriching the biodiversity and favoring natural enemies in agricultural systems. However, the peak of the dynamically changing population of natural enemies must cope with that of pests for effective control. Therefore, in the present study the dynamic relations between pests and natural enemies under the conservation practices were clarified by a habitat manage experiment. Plant residuals were mulched along the walls of the greenhouse as habitat for the natural enemies such as spiders and carabids before the pests appeared in the plots, where a cabbage crop was intercropped into a tomato crop. During the growth period of crops, the density of pests and predators were examined and analyzed with mathematic model as P 1=P B1+ {P max-P B1-P Y1[1-β 1(t-τ) 2]}EXP[-α 1(t-τ) 2] +P Y1[1-β 1(t-τ) 2] (t≤τ) and P 2 = P B2+{P max-P B2-P Y2[1-β 2 (t-τ) 2]}EXP [-α 2(t-τ)2]+P Y2 [1-β 2 (t-τ) 2] (t≥τ). It was concluded that the habitat management for natural enemies with plant residues placed along the walls in greenhouses favored natural enemies, especially before the appearance of pest insect, and controlled the pests effectively to a lower level.


PubMed | Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences and International Nature Farming Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2015

Pollution caused by residual antibiotics is a worldwide environmental issue. Antibiotic residues often occur in aquatic ecosystems, posing threats to the health of aquatic organisms. The effects of antibiotic residues on the growth of crop plants and on human health are reasonably well known. However, less is known about antibiotic effects on wetland plants. Therefore, we studied the response and tolerance of ten clonal wetland plants grown in soil spiked with sulfadiazine at 10 mg kg(-1) (an environmentally relevant concentration) and 100 mg kg(-1). At 10 mg kg(-1), ramet number was the least affected trait, while root number was the most affected among plant species. Plant shoot and total biomass were reduced in all species except in Cyperus malaccensis var. brevifolius and Panicum repens. Chlorophyll content was reduced in Alocasia macrorrhiza, Saururus chinensis, and Commelina diffusa. In general, Panicum paludosum and C. malaccensis var. brevifolius showed the least reduction of growth parameters, whereas growth of both A. macrorrhiza and S. chinensis was severely reduced. At 100 mg kg(-1), negative responses occurred in all species. Comprehensive tolerance analysis revealed that P. paludosum and C. malaccensis var. brevifolius were the species most resistant to sulfadiazine. These species are potential candidates for sulfadiazine polluted wetland restoration. A. macrorrhiza and S. chinensis were the most susceptible species and they should be protected from sulfadiazine pollution. Relative plant shoot biomass and height were the most useful indicators for evaluating plant tolerance to sulfadiazine. Plant tolerance to sulfadiazine was associated with the differences of plants in height and shoot biomass.

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