Plant and Food Research

Lincoln, New Zealand

Plant and Food Research

Lincoln, New Zealand
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News Article | June 9, 2017

A TEAM of scientists has successfully managed to breed blue cod in captivity, an achievement that could help to boost the aquaculture sector in New Zealand. The researchers, from the Seafood Technologies team at the NZ Plant and Food Research centre, reared the blue cod to fingerlings, in association with Ngāi Tahu Seafood, an iwi-owned (Maori) organisation that specialises in the harvesting and processing of rock lobster, shellfish and finfish. Joseph Thomas, chief executive of Ngāi Tahu Seafood, said: ‘By enhancing our understanding of blue cod breeding we may be able to identify ways to replenish and strengthen our fishing stocks, which will have a positive impact.’ INSHORE fishermen in Norway are reporting that coastal cod in the Oslofjord area – once regarded as abundant – are in danger of disappearing. Their findings have also been confirmed by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research which has sent a survey vessel to the area. The vessel is to continue with its work, but the researchers confirm that the trend is disturbing. Sea warming and a reduction in underwater kelp forests could be among the reasons for the decline. STRIKE FISHERMEN ‘REFUSING TO GO BACK TO SEA’ Val­mund­ur Val­munds­son, chairman of the Sjó­manna­sam­bandið, one of Iceland’s fishing unions, has said that many fishermen did not return to sea after the 10-week long strike ended in February. He told the Morgunbladid newspaper that some were on lower wages than before the dispute, by as much as 30 per cent in some cases. He added that the fall in the price of fish – fishermen receive a share of what the catch makes – did not help either. Val­munds­son said he was unable to put a precise figure on how many crew members had given up going to sea. THE Norwegian government plans to merge two of its main fishery research organisations. From January next year the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) will join up with NIFES, the Norwegian Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research. The IMR advises on marine eco-systems and fish stocks while NIFES provides advice on food safety and related issues, but their work on the food chain is broadly similar and sometimes inter-related.

Dominati E.,Agresearch Ltd. | Mackay A.,Agresearch Ltd. | Green S.,Plant and Food Research | Patterson M.,Massey University
Ecological Economics | Year: 2014

This paper tests the steps required to transform a theoretical natural capital/ecosystem service framework for soils into an operational model. Each of the services provided by a volcanic soil under a pastoral dairy use are quantified and valued. The six guiding principles underpinning the method developed include differentiating soil services from supporting processes; identifying key soil properties and processes behind each service; distinguishing natural capital from added/built capital; identifying how external drivers affect natural capital stocks; analysing the impact of degradation processes on soil properties and basing the economic valuation on measured proxies. Proxies to quantify ecosystem services focus on the part played by soil in generating each service. This new approach highlights the importance of soil change in quantifying services, and goes beyond simply determining the status of soil natural capital. The total value of the ecosystem services provided by a volcanic soil under dairy in the Waikato region in New Zealand was estimated at $16,390/ha/year on average over 35 consecutive years. The services with the highest value were the filtering of nutrients and contaminants (58-63% of total value), followed by the provision of food and then flood mitigation. Regulating services had an economic value 2.5 times more important than provisioning services. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Jacometti M.A.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Wratten S.D.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Walter M.,Plant and Food Research
Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research | Year: 2010

Botrytis cinerea (Pers.: Fr), the causal agent of botrytis bunch rot, is an important disease of grapevines worldwide, with canopy management and the prophylactic use of fungicides being the most common control methods. The latter has resulted in fungicide resistance and is increasingly raising concerns regarding residues in wine and effects on human and environmental health. Research-led alternatives to this practice are beginning to emerge, including a range of biotic and abiotic treatments that induce vine resistance to B. cinerea and inundative applications of biological control agents such as Trichoderma, Bacillus, Ulocladium and Streptomyces species. Also, habitat manipulation techniques that aim to improve the effectiveness of naturally occurring biological control are being developed using mulches brought into the vineyard, as well as mulched cover crops. These can accelerate decomposition of botrytis mycelium and sclerotia on the vineyard floor in winter. The challenges of these different techniques and the prospects for habitat manipulation for this fungal disease are discussed. Extensive tables on synthetic fungicides, biofungicides, essential oils and plant extracts effective against B. cinerea are included. © 2009 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Inc.

Nelson W.R.,Plant and Food Research | Fisher T.W.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Munyaneza J.E.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
European Journal of Plant Pathology | Year: 2011

Three haplotypes of the recently discovered bacterium species "Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" are described and related to geographic ranges. The first two are associated with Zebra Chip/Psyllid Yellows of potatoes and other solanaceous plants, vectored by the tomato/potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli in North and Central America and New Zealand. The third is associated with diseased carrots in Finland and vectored by the carrot psyllid Trioza apicalis. The haplotypes are described by SNPs on the 16s rRNA, 16s/23s ISR and 50s rplJ and rplL ribosomal protein genes. These SNPs are inherited as a package across the three genes. Haplotype "a" has been found primarily from Honduras and Guatemala through western Mexico to Arizona and California, and in New Zealand. Haplotype "b" is currently known from eastern Mexico and northwards through Texas to south central Washington. These haplotypes show some range overlap in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska. The haplotypes are not yet known to elicit biological differences in the plant or insect hosts. These apparently stable haplotypes suggest separate bacterial populations of long standing. © 2011 KNPV.

Gadd J.B.,University of Canterbury | Tremblay L.A.,Landcare Research | Northcott G.L.,Plant and Food Research
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2010

Agricultural wastes are a source of steroid estrogens and, if present, conjugated estrogens may add to the estrogen load released to soil and aquatic environments. Dairy shed effluent samples were collected from 18 farms for analysis of steroid estrogens by GC-MS, conjugated estrogens by LC-MS-MS, and estrogenic activity by E-screen in vitro bioassay. 17α-estradiol was found at highest concentrations (median 730 ng l-1), followed by estrone (100 ng l-1) and 17β-estradiol (24 ng l-1). Conjugated estrogens (estrone-3-sulfate, 17α-estradiol-3-sulfate and 17β-estradiol-3,17-disulfate) were measured in most samples (12-320 ng l-1). Median estrogenic activity was 46 ng l-1 17β-estradiol equivalents. Conjugated estrogens contributed up to 22% of the total estrogen load from dairy farming, demonstrating their significance. Steroid estrogens dominated overall estrogenic activity measured in the samples. Significantly, 17α-estradiol contributed 25% of overall activity, despite potency 2% that of 17β-estradiol, highlighting the importance in environmental risk assessments of this previously neglected compound. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kim D.-G.,Landcare Research | Hernandez-Ramirez G.,Plant and Food Research | Giltrap D.,Landcare Research
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2013

Rising atmospheric concentrations of nitrous oxide (N2O) contribute to global warming and associated climate change. It is often assumed that there is a linear relationship between nitrogen (N) input and direct N2O emission in managed ecosystems and, therefore, direct N2O emission for national greenhouse gas inventories use constant emission factors (EF). However, a growing body of studies shows that increases in direct N2O emission are related by a nonlinear relationship to increasing N input. We examined the dependency of direct N2O emission on N input using 26 published datasets where at least four different levels of N input had been applied. In 18 of these datasets the relationship of direct N2O emission to N input was nonlinear (exponential or hyperbolic) while the relationship was linear in four datasets. We also found that direct N2O EF remains constant or increases or decreases nonlinearly with changing N input. Studies show that direct N2O emissions increase abruptly at N input rates above plant uptake capacity. The remaining surplus N could serve as source of additional N2O production, and also indirectly promote N2O production by inhibiting biochemical N2O reduction. Accordingly, we propose a hypothetical relationship to conceptually describe in three steps the response of direct N2O emissions to increasing N input rates: (1) linear (N limited soil condition), (2) exponential, and (3) steady-state (carbon (C) limited soil condition). In this study, due to the limited availability of data, it was not possible to assess these hypothetical explanations fully. We recommend further comprehensive experimental examination and simulation using process-based models be conducted to address the issues reported in this review. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..

Makhotkina O.,University of Auckland | Pineau B.,Plant and Food Research | Kilmartin P.A.,University of Auckland
Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research | Year: 2012

Background and Aims: Most white wines lose fresh and fruity characteristics, associated with volatile esters, during ageing in the bottle. A higher storage temperature accelerates these changes. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of storage temperature on the chemical and sensory properties of Sauvignon Blanc wines. Methods and Results: Three commercially bottled Sauvignon Blanc wines from the 2008 and 2009 vintages were stored at 5, 10, 18°C and at room temperature for 12months. Wines stored at warmer temperatures (18°C and room temperature) contained lower concentrations of acetate esters, including the prominent varietal thiol 3MHA, and ethyl esters of fatty acids, than the wines stored at cooler temperatures (5 and 10°C). A warmer temperature accelerated the rate of ester hydrolysis. Conversely, the concentrations of ethyl esters of branched acids were higher in wines stored at the warmer temperatures. The sensory profile of the wines was assessed after 12months for the two 2008 wines and after 8months for the 2009 wine. The wines stored at cooler temperatures were characterised by higher fruity and fresh vegetal aromas, whereas the wines stored at warmer temperatures exhibited the opposite sensory profile, with dominant woody/smoky/oaky, buttery, flinty and canned asparagus notes. Conclusions: These results indicate that temperature-dependent hydrolysis processes are critical for Sauvignon Blanc aroma stability during the first year in the bottle. Significance of the Study: Cool storage temperature conditions can significantly increase the shelf-life of Sauvignon Blanc wines by preserving their fruity and fresh green characters. © 2012 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Inc..

Raynes J.K.,University of Canterbury | Pearce F.G.,University of Canterbury | Meade S.J.,Plant and Food Research | Gerrard J.A.,University of Canterbury
Biotechnology Progress | Year: 2011

Organophosphate hydrolase has potential as a bioremediation and chemical detoxification enzyme, but the problems of reusability and stability need to be addressed to use this enzyme on an industrial scale. Immobilizing the enzyme to a nanoscaffold may help to solve these problems. Amyloid fibrils generated from insulin and crystallin provided a novel nanoscaffold for the immobilization of organophosphate hydrolase, using glutaraldehyde as the crosslinking reagent. Electrophoretic, centrifugation, and temperature stability experiments, together with transmission electron microscopy were undertaken to verify that crosslinking had successfully occurred. The resulting fibrils remained active towards the substrate paraoxon and when immobilized to the insulin amyloid fibrils, the enzyme exhibited a significant (∼300%) increase in the relative temperature stability at 40, 45, and 50°C (as measured by comparing the initial enzyme activity to the activity remaining after heating), compared to free enzyme. This confirms that amyloid fibrils could provide a new type of nanoscaffold for enzyme immobilization. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

O'Donoghue E.M.,Plant and Food Research | Sutherland P.W.,Plant and Food Research
Protoplasma | Year: 2012

The localization of cell wall polysaccharides of the fused petals of monocotyledonous Sandersonia aurantiaca flowers has been identified using antibodies directed to pectin and xyloglucan epitopes and detection by fluorescence microscopy. Cross sections of the petal tissue were taken from cut flowers in bud and at various stages of maturity and senescence. Patterns of esterification in pectin backbones were identified by JIM5 and 2F4 labelling. Pectic galactan and arabinan side branches were detected by LM5 and LM6, respectively, while fucosylated xyloglucan was identified by CCRC-M1. The labelling patterns highlighted compositional differences between walls of the outer/inner epidermis compared to the spongy parenchyma cells of the interior mesophyll for fucosylated xyloglucan and arabinan. Partially esterified homogalacturonan was present in the junction zones of the outer epidermis and points of contact between cells of the mesophyll, and persisted throughout senescence. Pectic galactans were ubiquitous in the outer and inner epidermal cell walls and walls of the interior mesophyll at flower opening, whereas pectic arabinan was found predominantly in the epidermal cells. Galactan was lost from walls of all cells as flowers began to senesce, while fucosylated xyloglucan appeared to increase over this time. Such differences in the location of polysaccharides and the timing of changes suggest distinct combinations of certain polysaccharides offer mechanical and rheological advantages that may assist with flower opening and senescence. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Hamiaux C.,Plant and Food Research | Drummond R.S.M.,Plant and Food Research | Janssen B.J.,Plant and Food Research | Ledger S.E.,Plant and Food Research | And 4 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2012

Strigolactones are a recently discovered class of plant hormone involved in branching, leaf senescence, root development, and plant-microbe interactions [1-6]. They are carotenoid-derived lactones, synthesized in the roots and transported acropetally to modulate axillary bud outgrowth (i.e., branching) [1, 2]. However, a receptor for strigolactones has not been identified. We have identified the DAD2 gene from petunia, an ortholog of the rice and Arabidopsis D14 genes, and present evidence for its roles in strigolactone perception and signaling. DAD2 acts in the strigolactone pathway, and the dad2 mutant is insensitive to the strigolactone analog GR24. The crystal structure of DAD2 reveals an α/β hydrolase fold containing a canonical catalytic triad with a large internal cavity capable of accommodating strigolactones. In the presence of GR24 DAD2 interacts with PhMAX2A, a central component of strigolactone signaling, in a GR24 concentration-dependent manner. DAD2 can hydrolyze GR24, with mutants of the catalytic triad abolishing both this activity and the ability of DAD2 to interact with PhMAX2A. The hydrolysis products can neither stimulate the protein-protein interaction nor modulate branching. These observations suggest that DAD2 acts to bind the mobile strigolactone signal and then interacts with PhMAX2A during catalysis to initiate an SCF-mediated signal transduction pathway. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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