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Mao S.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Mao S.,China Agricultural University | Robiul Islam M.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Robiul Islam M.,China Agricultural University | And 4 more authors.
Nongye Gongcheng Xuebao/Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering | Year: 2011

A new type of negative hydraulic pressure controlled auto irrigator was used to designed different levels of water supply tension to control different soil moisture regime. The objective was to study physiological growth of corn (Zea mays L.) and soil water conservation using water-retaining agent under three irrigation levels (3, 6 and 9 kPa). Under 3 kpa, plant height decreased by 7.4%, leaf area decreased by 14.9%, shoot dry weight decreased by 12.4%, root dry weight decreased by 7.3%, the water use efficiency decreased by 12.6% due to application of SAP. Under 6 and 9 kpa, plant height increased by 10.0% and 37.9%, leaf area increased by 14.2% and 90.8%, shoot dry weight increased by 40.4% and 104.6%, root dry weight increased by 35.3% and 83.8% respectively, the water use efficiency increased by 26.9% and 65.7% substantially respectively for SAP application. At the same time, leaf water potential exceeded that without SAP by 7.1% and 19.2% respectively. Higher relative water contents in leaves as well as intercellular carbon dioxide concentration, net photosynthesis and transpiration rate was maintained. Our results indicated that SAP can improve physiological growth of corn and increased its water use efficiency under water limited condition.


Islam M.R.,China Agricultural University | Islam M.R.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Islam M.R.,University of Rajshahi | Xue X.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | And 6 more authors.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2011

Background: Drought stress significantly limits oat (Avena sativa L.) growth and productivity. Thus an efficient management of soil moisture and study of metabolic changes in response to drought are important for improved production of oat. The objective was to gain a better understanding of drought tolerance mechanisms and improve soil water management strategies using water-saving superabsorbent polymer (SAP) at 60 kg ha-1 under three irrigation levels (adequate, moderate and deficit) using a new type of hydraulic pressure-controlled auto irrigator. Results: The results showed that the relative water content and leaf water potential (ψ1) were much higher in oats treated with SAP. Although the SAP had little effect on plant biomass accumulation under adequate and moderate irrigation, it significantly increased the biomass by 52.7% under deficit irrigation. Plants treated with SAP under deficit irrigation showed a significant decrease in superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities in leaves compared with control plants. Conclusion: Our results suggested that drought stress leads to production of oxygen radicals, which results in increased lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in the plant, and the application of SAP could conserve soil water, making same available to plants for increased biomass accumulation and reduced oxidative stress especially under severe water stress. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.


Islam M.R.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Islam M.R.,China Agricultural University | Islam M.R.,University of Rajshahi | Mao S.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2011

Background: Nitrate leaching and the resulting groundwater contamination from intensive cereal production has become a major concern for long-term farmland efficiency and environmental sustainability in northern China. The aim of this study was to evaluate a water-saving super-absorbent polymer (SAP) for minimising NO 3 - leaching from soil and optimising corn growth and yield. Thirty-six undisturbed soil lysimeters were installed in a field lysimeter facility in drought-affected northern China to study the growth and yield characteristics of summer corn (Zea mays L.) as well as the amount of NO 3-leaching losses under different fertiliser (standard, medium or 75% and low, or 50% of conventional fertilisation rate) and SAP (control, 0; level-1, 15 kg ha -1 and level-2, 30 kg ha -1) treatments. Results: Corn yield fell by 19.7% under medium and 37.7% under low fertilisation; the application of SAP increased yield significantly by 44.4% on level-1 and 80.3% on level-2. Similarly, plant height, leaf area, number of grains as well as protein, soluble sugar and starch contents in the grain also increased with SAP treatment. Application of SAP at 30 kg ha -1 plus half of conventional fertilisation can reduce maximum (64.1%) nitrate leaching losses from soil. CONCLUSIONS: Application of SAP at 30 kg ha -1 plus only half the amount of conventional fertiliser rate (150 kg urea, and 50 kg each of superphosphate and potassium sulfate) would be a more appropriate practice both for minimising nitrate leaching and sustainable corn production under the arid and semiarid conditions of northern China. © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.


Islam M.R.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Islam M.R.,China Agricultural University | Islam M.R.,University of Rajshahi | Hu Y.,China Agricultural University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2011

Background: The objective was to study soil water conservation and physiological growth of corn (Zea mays L.) using water-saving super-absorbent polymer (SAP) at 30 kg ha -1. The effectiveness of SAP was studied under three irrigation levels (adequate, moderate and deficit) using a new type of negative hydraulic pressure controlled auto-irrigator in the years 2009 and 2010 in a greenhouse at Beijing, P.R. China. Results: Eight weeks after sowing, plant height and leaf area increased significantly by 41.6 and 79.6% under deficit irrigation for SAP treatment. The SAP had little effect on shoot dry mass under adequate and moderate irrigation but increased it significantly by 133.5% under deficit irrigation. Similarly, the efficiency of water use also increased by 97.1%. Leaf water potential under adequate and moderate irrigation differs slightly for SAP application, whereas under deficit irrigation the values were exceeded significantly by 27.8%. The superior growth and water use efficiency of corn treated with SAP under deficit irrigation was ascribed to maintenance of higher relative water contents in leaves as well as intercellular carbon dioxide concentration, net photosynthesis and transpiration rate. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggested that plant growth and different physiological activities are restricted by drought stress and the application of super-absorbent polymer could conserve soil water, making same available to plants for increased growth and biomass accumulation especially under severe water stress. Thus, application of SAP is a suitable soil management practice for the locations characterised by severe water stress. © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.


Mao S.,China Agricultural University | Mao S.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Robiul Islam M.,China Agricultural University | Robiul Islam M.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | And 5 more authors.
African Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2011

In arid and semiarid regions of northern China, there is an increasing interest in using water-saving superabsorbent polymer (SAP) for field crop production. Experiments were conducted during summer corn season in 2009 to study the growth and yield characteristics of summer corn (Zea mays L.) under different (control, 0; low, 5; medium, 10 and high, 15 kg ha -1) rates of SAP in a drought-affected field of northern China. Corn yield increased slightly following SAP application at low and medium rate, but significantly at high rate by 37.5%. At the same time, plant height, stem diameter, leaf area, biomass accumulation, harvest index and relative water content, as well as protein, sugar and starch contents in the grain increased significantly following SAP treatments. The optimum application of superabsorbent polymer for corn cultivation in the study area would be 15 kg ha -1 as it best increased the grain yield and quality. Lower rates (5 and 10 kg ha -1) may not be sufficient for corn requirements. We suggest that the application of SAP at 15 kg ha -1could be an efficient and economic soil management practice for summer corn production in the drought affected regions of northern China or other areas with similar ecologies. © 2011 Academic Journals.


Islam M.R.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Islam M.R.,China Agricultural University | Islam M.R.,University of Rajshahi | Zeng Z.,China Agricultural University | And 5 more authors.
Plant, Soil and Environment | Year: 2011

In arid and semiarid regions of northern China, there is an increasing interest in using water-saving superabsorbent polymer (SAP) for field crop production. Experiments were conducted during 2009 and 2010 to study the growth and yield characteristics of summer corn (Zea mays L.) under different (control, 0; low, 10; medium, 20; high, 30 and very high, 40 kg/ha) rates of SAP in a drought-affected field of northern China. Corn yield increased slightly following SAP application at low and medium rate, but significantly at high and very high rates by 22.4 and 27.8%. At the same time, plant height, stem diameter, leaf area, biomass accumulation, harvest index and relative water content as well as protein, sugar and starch contents in the grain increased significantly following SAP treatments. The optimum application of superabsorbent polymer for corn cultivation in the study area would be 30 kg/ha as it best increased the grain yield and quality and maintained higher levels of soil nutrients. Lower rates (10 and 20 kg/ha) or higher (≥ 40 kg/ha) rates would neither be sufficient nor economical. We suggest that the application of SAP at 30 kg/ha could be an efficient and economic soil management practice for summer corn production in the drought affected regions of northern China or other areas with similar ecologies.


Islam M.R.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Islam M.R.,China Agricultural University | Islam M.R.,University of Rajshahi | Hu Y.,China Agricultural University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2011

Background: Drought is the most important abiotic stress factor limiting corn (Zea mays L.) growth and productivity. Therefore efficient management of soil moisture and study of metabolic changes in response to drought are important for improved production of corn. The objective of the present study was to gain a better understanding of drought tolerance mechanisms and improve soil water management strategies using a water-saving superabsorbent polymer (SAP) at 30 kg ha-1 under three irrigation levels (adequate, moderate and deficit) using a new type of hydraulic pressure-controlled auto-irrigator. Results: The results showed that relative water content and leaf water potential were much higher in corn treated with SAP. Although application of SAP reduced biomass accumulation by 11.1% under adequate irrigation, it increased the biomass markedly by 39.0% under moderate irrigation and 98.7% under deficit irrigation. Plants treated with SAP under deficit irrigation showed a significant decrease in superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities in leaves compared with control plants. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that drought stress causes the production of oxygen radicals, leading to increased lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in plants, and the application of a superabsorbent polymer could conserve soil water, making it available to plants for quenching oxidative stress and increasing biomass accumulation, especially under severe water stress. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.


Mao S.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Mao S.,China Agricultural University | Islam M.R.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Islam M.R.,China Agricultural University | And 5 more authors.
African Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2011

In arid and semiarid regions of northern China, there is an increasing interest in using reduced rate of inorganic fertilizer together with water-saving superabsorbent polymer (SAP) for field crop production. Thus, an efficient management of fertilizer and study of metabolic changes in response to SAP application is important for improved production of corn. 24 undisturbed soil lysimeters (35 cm in diameter and 150 cm in depth) were installed in a field lysimeter facility during 2010, to study yield and physiological mechanisms in corn (Zea mays L.) subjected to application (30 kg ha -1) or without application of SAP at different fertilization levels (standard, medium or 75% and low or 50% of conventional fertilization rate). The results show that the corn yield fell by 19.7% under medium and 37.7% under low fertilization; the application of SAP increased it significantly by 80.3%. Although SAP had marginal effect under standard fertilization, plants treated with SAP under reduced fertilization showed a significant decrease in superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities in leaves when compared with control plants. Our results suggest that drought stress as well as fertilizer reduction leads to production of oxygen radicals, which results to oxidative stress in the plant and the application of superabsorbent polymer could conserve soil water and nutrients, making same available for plants to reduce oxidative stress and increase biomass accumulation, especially under reduced fertilization level. © 2011 Academic Journals.


Islam M.R.,China Agricultural University | Islam M.R.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Xue X.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Mao S.,China Agricultural University | And 4 more authors.
African Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2011

In arid and semiarid regions of northern China, there is an increasing interest in using reduced rate of chemical fertilizer along with water-saving superabsorbent polymer (SAP) for field crop production. The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of different rates of SAP (low, 0.75; medium, 11.3 and high, 15.0 kg ha-1) against half amount of conventional standard rate of chemical fertilizer for summer corn (Zea mays L.) production in a drought-affected field of northern China. Corn yield increased following SAP application by 11.2% under low 18.8% under medium and 29.2% under high rate with only half amount (150 kg ha-1) of fertilizer compared with control plants, which received conventional standard fertilizer rate (300 kg ha-1). At the same time plant height, stem diameter, leaf area, biomass accumulation and relative water content as well as protein and sugar contents in the grain also increased significantly following SAP treatments. The optimum application of SAP in the study area would be 15 kg ha-1 as it brings progressive increase in corn growth and also maintain proper nutrients balance in the soil after harvest. Other rates are not sufficient to maintain proper plant growth or soil nutrient balance against half fertilizer. We suggest that, the application of SAP at 15 kg ha-1 plus only half the amount of conventional fertilizer rate (150 kg ha-1) would be a more appropriate practice for sustainable corn production under arid and semiarid conditions of northern China or the areas with similar ecologies. © 2011 Academic Journals.


Islam M.R.,National Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipments | Islam M.R.,China Agricultural University | Islam M.R.,University of Rajshahi | Hu Y.,China Agricultural University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment | Year: 2011

In arid and semiarid regions of northern China, there is an increasing interest in using water-saving superabsorbent polymer (SAP) for field crop production. Meanwhile, there is no scientific study done to determine a specific rate of SAP to be applied for winter wheat. Field experiments were conducted during 2009-2010 winter wheat growing season to evaluate the effectiveness of different rates of SAP (low,10; medium, 20; high, 30 and very high, 40 kg ha -1) for winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production in a drought-affected field of northern China. Although wheat yield increased little for low or medium rate, it increased significantly for high and very high rate by 30.8 and 30.0%, respectively. At the same time plant height, biomass accumulation, harvest index and relative water content as well as protein, sugar and starch contents in the grain also increased significantly following SAP treatments. The optimum application rate of SAP in the study area would be 30 kg ha -1 as it increases both wheat yield and soil fertility. Lower rates (10 and 20 kg ha -1) are not sufficient and higher rate (40 kg ha -1) is not economic. We suggest that the application of SAP at 30 kg ha -1could be an efficient soil management practice for winter wheat production in the drought-affected regions of northern China or the areas with similar ecologies.

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