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Crop Centre in Print

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

Challenges of devising nitrogen recommendation systems for open field vegetables


Large amounts of nitrogen fertiliser are often applied to field vegetable crops to ensure the maximum yield of quality produce. To avoid unnecessary environmental pollution the amounts of nitrogen could easily be optimised. However the process of devising nitrogen recommendation systems can be complex, as crops are so diverse and can be grown in intensive and varied rotations. Further information


Wed 18 April 2018, 15:47

Preceding crop and seasonal effects influence fungal, bacterial and nematode diversity in wheat and oilseed rape rhizosphere and soil

applied_soil_ecology_feb18.jpgSally Hilton, Amanda J Bennett, Dave Chandler, Peter Mills, Gary D Bending

Crop rotation can have major influences on yield, which may be the result of changes in the composition of the rhizosphere microbiome In the current study we investigated the effect of preceding crops on wheat and oilseed rape yield, with associated changes in the rhizosphere and bulk soil communities of fungi, bacteria and nematodes using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of rRNA genes. We conclude that overall, preceding crop had less impact on community composition than season or crop type, but that specific changes in communities at particular plant growth stages may have substantive impacts on crop growth.

Applied Soil Ecology. February 2018

Mon 26 March 2018, 14:55

The use of an electronic nose to detect early signs of soft-rot infection in potatoes

biosystems_engineering_mar18.jpgMassimo F Rutolo, John P Clarkson, James A Covington

In this paper we report on the detection of soft-rot in potatoes caused by the bacterium Pectobacterium carotovorum through the use of an array of low cost gas sensors. This disease results in significant crop losses in store (circa 5%) with associated negative financial impacts. As soft-rot is associated with a strong odour and there is forced air movement through potato stores, our aim was to investigate the potential of an array of low-cost gas sensors to detect the disease. The identified sensors offer promise for an automated in-store monitoring system

Biosystems Engineering. March 2018

Mon 26 March 2018, 14:51

Inoculum potential of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum sclerotia depends on isolate and host plant

plant_pathology_feb18.jpgAndrew Taylor, Emma Coventry, Claire Handy, Jon S West, Caroline S Young and John P Clarkson

The soilborne fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum infects many important crop plants. Central to the success of this pathogen is the production of sclerotia, which enables survival in soil and constitutes the primary inoculum. This study aimed to determine how crop plant type and S. sclerotiorum isolate impact sclerotial production and germination and hence inoculum potential. These findings, once further validated in field trials, could be used to inform future crop rotation decisions.

Plant Pathology. February 2018

Mon 05 March 2018, 08:54

Handbook of Pest Management in Organic Farming - Pest Management in Organic Field vegetables in Temperate Areas

Handbook of Pest Management in Organic FarmingDaniel, Claudia; Collier, Rosemary; Niggli, Urs and Koller, Martin (2018) Pest Management in Organic Field vegeatables in Temperate Areas In: Vacante, Vincenzo and Kreiter, Serge (Eds.)

Preventative measures and the creation of resilient growing systems are key parts of pest management practice in organic field vegetable production.
Soil improvement, crop rotation, site selection, habitat management, variety choice, timing of plant and plant spacing are all considered before planting in order to avoid the most detrimental pest problems.
For some crops (eg. cabbage and carrot (Finch and Collier, 2000)), a holistic pest control strategy, which combines preventative and direct control measures, is available, however in lettuce production, pest management under organic conditions still relies heavily on direct pest control measures.
Due to the huge variety of vegetable crops and their associated pest insects, specific tailored approaches are necessary.
Within this chapter, strategies and methods of pest control in organic field vegetable production that are available currently are described.

Handbook of Pest Management in Organic Farming, Wallingford UK, chapter 17, pp 443-467

Wed 07 February 2018, 12:02

A laboratory simulation of Arabidopsis seed dormancy cycling provides new insight into its regulation by clock genes and the dormancy‐related genes DOG1, MFT, CIPK23 and PHYA

Footitt, S., Ölcer‐Footitt, H., Hambidge, A. J., Finch‐Savage, W. E

plant_cell__env_aug17.jpgEnvironmental signals drive seed dormancy cycling in the soil to synchronise germination with the optimal time of year; a process essential for species fitness and survival. Previous correlation of transcription profiles in exhumed seeds with annual environmental signals revealed the coordination of dormancy regulating mechanisms with the soil environment. Here, we developed a rapid and robust laboratory dormancy cycling simulation using mutants in known dormancy-related genes. Involvement of the clock in dormancy cycling was clear when mutants in the morning and evening loops of the clock were compared. Dormancy induction was faster when the morning loop was compromised and delayed when the evening loop was compromised.

Plant, Cell & Environment, August 2017

Fri 25 August 2017, 09:59

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