Please find the latest journal publications from the Crop Centre listed below.
Read our articles in the Vegetable Farmer
For a full list of publications from the School of Life Sciences please visit the Latest Journal Publications
Adaptive significance of functional germination traits in crop wild relatives of Brassica
E Castillo-Lorenzo, WE Finch-Savage, CE Seal, HW Pritchard
Functional germination traits contribute to both niche competitiveness and crop yield outcomes. However, there is little understanding of the adaptive significance of the germination thermal- and hydro-parameters in crop wild relatives, yet these species are anticipated to be the source of adaptive traits for future agriculture. Seeds of 10 seed lots of Brassica species, sub-species and inbred lines from across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East were subjected to a range of temperature and water potential conditions. Our results show that the selection of the crop B. oleracea for fastest germination under irrigated conditions likely limits the capacity of the current genepool to cope with erratic periods of drought predicted in future European climates.
Assessment of the response of pollinator abundance to environmental pressures using structured expert elicitation
Barons, Martine J., Hanea, Anca M., Wright, Sophia K., Baldock, Katherine C. R., Wilfert, Lena, Chandler, Dave, Datta, Samik, Fannon, Jessica, Hartfield, Chris, Lucas, Andrew, Ollerton, Jeff, Potts, Simon G. and Carreck, Norman L.
For policy-makers wishing to make evidence-based decisions which will best support pollinator abundance and pollination services, one of the problems faced is how to access the information and evidence they need, and how to combine it to formulate and evaluate candidate policies. The pressures affecting the survival and pollination capabilities of honey bees, wild bees, and other pollinators are well documented, but incomplete. In order to estimate the potential effectiveness of various candidate policy choices, there is an urgent need to quantify the effect of various combinations of factors on the pollination ecosystem service. Here we report and discuss the outputs of the novel use of a structured expert elicitation, designed to quantify the probability of good pollinator abundance given a variety of weather, disease, and habitat scenarios.
Characterisation of pathogen specific regions and novel effector candidates in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae
A reference-quality assembly of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae (Foc), the causative agent of onion basal rot has been generated along with genomes of additional pathogenic and non-pathogenic isolates of onion. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed a single origin of the Foc pathogenic lineage. FTF1 and a subset of other transcription factors implicated in regulation of effector expression were found to be expressed in planta
An improved method for the rapid isolation of RNA from Arabidopsis and seeds of other species high in polyphenols and polysaccharides
Footitt Steven, Awan Sajjad Zahoor and Finch-Savage William E
Seeds are notoriously high in polyphenols and polysaccharides, which reduce RNA quality and yield, and interfere with downstream applications. We present simple modifications to a rapid RNA extraction protocol for use with seeds. The inclusion of polyethylene glycol in place of polyvinylpyrrolidone reduced polyphenol and polysaccharide contamination. In addition, replacing NaCl with KCl improved the RNA yield from Arabidopsis seeds still bound by mucilage.
The use of gas phase detection and monitoring of potato soft rot infection in store
Rutolo Massimo F, Clarkson John P, Harper Glyn and Covington James A
Soft rot caused mainly by the bacterium Pectobacterium carotovorum is a major cause of potato post-harvest storage losses. This work reports on pre-symptomatic detection and monitoring of soft rot under laboratory and commercial research store conditions by means of an array of gas sensors
Results showed that a number of gas sensors could detect and monitor early soft rot development with considerable accuracy.
Investigating the potential of an autodissemination system for managing populations of vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Coleoptera : Curculionidae) with entomopathogenic fungi
Pope Tom, Hough Gemma, Arbona Charlotte, Bennison Jude, Roberts Harriet, Prince Gillian and Chandler Dave
Vine weevil, also known as black vine weevil, (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) is an economically important pest affecting soft fruit and nursery stock in temperate regions. We used laboratory and polytunnel experiments to investigate a novel control system based on autodissemination of spores of an entomopathogenic fungus to populations of adult vine weevils. The fungus was applied as a conidial powder, used on its own or formulated with talc, to a simple plastic refuge for vine weevils. The potential of an autodissemination system for entomopathogenic fungi as a means of controlling vine weevil as part of an integrated pest management programme is discussed.