Energy and exergy efficiencies of the wheat and rye bread and hamburger bun making processes are assessed based on data from Turkey and Germany. Amount of the land required to produce the same amount of wheat in Turkey is 3.34 times of that required in Germany; this ratio is 2.30 for the rye grain. These results show that the efficiency of the conversion of the solar energy into the grain mass is low in Turkey. CDP (Cumulative degree of perfection) for the wheat and the rye grain production is 3.73 and 4.96 in Turkey, and 11.26 and 10.46 in Germany. Specific energy utilization for rye bread production is almost the same in Turkey and Germany; but it is 12% higher in Turkey for wheat bread and hamburger bun making. Hamburger bun production requires the maximum energy utilization due to the higher weight loss in baking. The rye bread production process requires the minimum energy utilization due to the lower energy input in the agriculture and higher efficiency in the flour production. The maximum exergy destructions occur during the milling and the baking steps.
China is the largest country in grain production and consumption with the greatest emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) in the world. To learn the historical changes and regional differences in GHG emission of the major grain crop production can provide important references to the mitigation of GHG emission in the country and other similar countries. Therefore, we quantified the carbon footprints of rice ( L.), wheat ( L.) and maize ( L.) production based on agricultural inputs in the country over the period of 1978–2012. The results showed that area-scaled carbon footprint of rice, wheat and maize production increased gradually from 1286, 937 and 895 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO -eq) ha in 1978–2682, 2978 and 2294 kg CO -eq ha in 2012, respectively, and the average increase rates for the three crops were correspondingly 41, 60 and 41 kg CO -eq ha a . During the last ten years, however, all the average yield-scaled carbon footprints of rice, wheat and maize decreased by 0.11 kg CO -eq kg 10a . Chemical fertilizer contributed the largest ratio to the total GHG emission by 66, 68 and 76% for rice, wheat and maize, respectively. Significant increasing contribution ratio to the carbon footprint was found in the electricity used for crop irrigation. There were large differences in both the area- and yield-scaled carbon footprints among the cropping regions with the lowest GHG emission occurring in the major cropping regions. Our findings indicate a great potential to reduce GHG emission of grain production through optimizing the spatial layout of cropping region and enhancing chemical fertilizer use efficiency. Further efforts also need to be made on water-saving irrigation to decrease the electricity usage.
This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between economic indicators of soybean crops (Glycine max L.) cultivated with Crop-Livestock Integration (CLI) or with grain production in winter, and the chemical, physical and biological attributes of the soil. It was selected ten agricultural sites in Santa Catarina to measure economic results and edaphic attributes, data was submitted to a Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Results indicated that soybean production in the summer and grain production in the winter yielded better economic results compared with summer soybean and CLI in winter. This reflects the higher productivity of the crops (9.1%) and the improved chemical, physical, and biological attributes of the soil (with the exception of organic matter content and macroporosity, which were better under the soybean system with CLI).
This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between economic indicators of soybean crops ( Glycine max L.) cultivated with Crop-Livestock Integration (CLI) or with grain production in winter, and the chemical, physical and biological attributes of the soil. It was selected ten agricultural sites in Santa Catarina to measure economic results and edaphic attributes, data was submitted to a Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Results indicated that soybean production in the summer and grain production in the winter yielded better economic results compared with summer soybean and CLI in winter. This reflects the higher productivity of the crops (9.1%) and the improved chemical, physical, and biological attributes of the soil (with the exception of organic matter content and macroporosity, which were better under the soybean system with CLI).
GASR7 is a member of Snakin/GASA gene family in higher plants and has been found associated with grain length (GL) in rice and wheat under normal growth conditions. Here, we report the characterization of three distinct TaGASR7 homoeologs (TaGASR7-A1, TaGASR7-B1 and TaGASR7-D1) in common wheat and their deduced proteins and haplotype variation. TaGASR7 homoeologs were located on wheat group 7 chromosomes. Compared with previously characterized Snakin/GASA members, the central region in deduced TaGASR7 proteins and their orthologs was unique in containing a polyglycine tract. Through analyzing longer genomic sequence, more nucleotide differences were found for the two previously reported major haplotypes (H1c and H1g) of TaGASR7-A1. In contrast, no haplotype variation was detected for TaGASR7-B1 and TaGASR7-D1 in the 94 elite common wheat varieties examined. H1c, but not H1g, tended to associate with larger GL values in nine cultivation environments differing in water and nutrient application. However, the positive association between H1c and other grain traits (grain weight and yield) was affected by cultivation environment. Both H1c- and H1g-type alleles were more highly expressed in the unfertilized caryopses and those collected at 5 days after flowering (DAF). Interestingly, at 5 DAF, the expression level of H1c-type alleles was significantly lower than that of H1g-type alleles. By combining our data with those published previously, we suggest that TaGASR7-A1 is mainly a genetic determinant of GL in wheat with pleiotropic effects on grain weight and yield. Potential mechanism underlying TaGASR7-A1 function and its utility in enhancing genetic and breeding studies of wheat grain morphometric and yield traits are discussed.
The European Union (EU) has advised to increase the production of grain legumes, both to reduce EU dependency on soybean imports from the Americas and to reduce pollution from intensive cereal production. Several studies have indicated that preceding grain legume had a positive effect on the yields of subsequent cereals; this argument being often used to promote cultivation of grain legumes. However, no quantitative synthesis of the data has been performed on a global scale to estimate the relative increases in cereal yields arisen from cultivation of preceding grain legumes. Here, we performed a meta-analysis of 1181 yields of cereals cultivated in 15 countries. The results show that the yields of cereals cultivated after grain legumes were, on the average, + 29% higher than the yields of cereals cultivated after cereals. Our findings also show that the positive effect of grain legumes decreased with the nitrogen (N) fertilization applied to subsequent cereals, then became negligible when the mean N fertilization exceeded 150 kg N ha−1. This threshold is often exceeded in European conventional cereal systems.
Cereals are vulnerable substrates for fungal growth and subsequent mycotoxin contamination. One of the major fungal genera to colonize the ecosystem of stored grain is Penicillium, especially species in the series of Viridicata and Verrucosa. Culturing these species on grains, we hoped to induce the production of relevant secondary metabolites produced by these fungi in the early stage of cereal breakdown. In a multivariate setup six different cereal grains (wheat, rye, barley, oat, rice, and maize), one kind of white beans, and two standard fungal media, Yeast Extract Sucrose agar (YES agar) and Czapek Yeast Autolysate agar (CYA agar), were inoculated with the ten most important cereal-associated species from Penicillium (P. aurantiogriseum, P. cyclopium, P. freii, P. melanoconidium, P. neoechinulatum, P. polonicum, P. tricolor, P. viridicatum, P. hordei, and P. verrucosum). P. nordicum is a meat-associated species, which was included due to its chemical association with P. verrucosum, in addition to see if a substrate change would alter the profile of known chemistry. We found that cereals function very well as substrates for secondary metabolite production, but did not present significantly different secondary metabolite profiles, concerning known chemistry, as compared to standard laboratory agar media. However, white beans altered the semi-quantitative secondary metabolite profiles for several species. Correlations between substrates and certain metabolites were observed, as illuminated by principal component analysis. Many bioactive secondary metabolites were observed for the first time in the analyzed fungal species, including ergot type alkaloids in P. hordei.
Weeds are currently present in a wide range of ecosystems worldwide. Although the beginning of their evolution is largely unknown, researchers assumed that they developed in tandem with cultivation since the appearance of agricultural habitats some 12,000 years ago. These rapidly-evolving plants invaded the human disturbed areas and thrived in the new habitat. Here we present unprecedented new findings of the presence of "proto-weeds" and small-scale trial cultivation in Ohalo II, a 23,000-year-old hunter-gatherers' sedentary camp on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Israel. We examined the plant remains retrieved from the site (ca. 150,000 specimens), placing particular emphasis on the search for evidence of plant cultivation by Ohalo II people and the presence of weed species. The archaeobotanically- rich plant assemblage demonstrates extensive human gathering of over 140 plant species and food preparation by grinding wild wheat and barley. Among these, we identified 13 well-known current weeds mixed with numerous seeds of wild emmer, barley, and oat. This collection provides the earliest evidence of a human-disturbed environment-at least 11 millennia before the onset of agriculture-that provided the conditions for the development of "proto-weeds", a prerequisite for weed evolution. Finally, we suggest that their presence indicates the earliest, small-scale attempt to cultivate wild cereals seen in the archaeological record.
As a staple food for people worldwide, wheat is one of the major exposure pathways for heavy metals (HMs). Therefore, the safety of the wheat grain directly affects food security and human health. Long-term agricultural activities are sources of heavy metal pollution in farmland ecosystems. This study assessed the pollution situation of HMs in wheat grain from the major wheat-cultivation areas of Baoji, a typical agricultural area in Shaanxi, to assess the dietary health risks caused by consuming wheat grains and to prevent food pollution. The results showed that the mean grain concentration of Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb were 0.11, 0.09, 4.41, 26.79, 0.01 and 0.03 mg/kg, respectively. These values were all remarkably lower than the tolerance limits of the Chinese food hygiene standard (GB2762-2017). According to the metal pollution index (MPI) analysis, wheat grain consumption poses no direct threat to human health. The health risk assessment showed that there was a noncarcinogenic risk to adults and children for wheat consumed in the study area. In the study area, no carcinogenic risk was manifested. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that the source of Ni was different from that of the other tested HMs and was mainly from industry, where as the others were mainly derived from agricultural activities. Therefore, more attention should be paid to Cu and Zn input through agricultural activities in fields to further prevent the accumulation of these HMs in wheat grains and their related human health risks.