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Nitrogen, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2023) – 5 articles

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15 pages, 2831 KiB  
Review
Herbicides versus Nitrogen Cycle: Assessing the Trade-Offs for Soil Integrity and Crop Yield—An In-Depth Systematic Review
Nitrogen 2023, 4(3), 296-310; https://doi.org/10.3390/nitrogen4030022 - 01 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2032
Abstract
The interaction of herbicides in the nitrogen cycle and their consequences on soil health and agricultural production are essential topics in agronomic research. In this systematic review article, we have synthesized recent studies on this subject. The results revealed that the indiscriminate use [...] Read more.
The interaction of herbicides in the nitrogen cycle and their consequences on soil health and agricultural production are essential topics in agronomic research. In this systematic review article, we have synthesized recent studies on this subject. The results revealed that the indiscriminate use of herbicides can have negative effects on vital processes in the nitrogen cycle, such as reduced enzymatic activity and microbial respiration. Moreover, herbicides alter the soil microbial composition, affecting nitrogen cycling-related activities. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is also impaired, resulting in a reduction in the population of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and a decrease in the availability of this nutrient in the soil. These effects compromise soil fertility and the release of nitrogen to plants. Therefore, sustainable agricultural practices must be adopted, considering nitrogen cycling efficiency and the preservation of soil and natural resources. This understanding is crucial for guiding appropriate management strategies aimed at minimizing the negative effects of herbicides on the nitrogen cycle and ensuring soil health and agricultural productivity. Full article
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10 pages, 621 KiB  
Article
Estimating Fertilizer Nitrogen-Use Efficiency in Transplanted Short-Day Onion
Nitrogen 2023, 4(3), 286-295; https://doi.org/10.3390/nitrogen4030021 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 972
Abstract
Efficient nitrogen (N) fertilizer applications in onion (Allium cepa L.) can reduce input costs and improve fertilizer-use efficiency, while maintaining high yields and quality. Understanding the N requirements of onion at different growth stages is necessary to enhance fertilizer N-use efficiency (FNUE). [...] Read more.
Efficient nitrogen (N) fertilizer applications in onion (Allium cepa L.) can reduce input costs and improve fertilizer-use efficiency, while maintaining high yields and quality. Understanding the N requirements of onion at different growth stages is necessary to enhance fertilizer N-use efficiency (FNUE). In a two-year study (2021 and 2022), the FNUE of onions was determined at five stages of development (at transplant, vegetative growth, bulb initiation, bulb swelling and bulb maturation). The FNUE was estimated by substituting a conventional N fertilizer (ammonium nitrate) with a 5% enriched 15N ammonium nitrate at a rate of 22.4 kg·ha−1 N, at one of five application times corresponding to a stage of development. All onions received a season total of 112 kg·ha−1 N. Marketable yield of onions was significantly greater in 2022 compared to 2021 and FNUE was affected by application timing in both years. In 2021, the FNUE at transplant was 8.9%, increasing to 26.4% and 35.28% at vegetative growth and bulb initiation stages, respectively. At bulb swelling and bulb maturation stages, FNUE was greater than 95%. In 2022, the FNUE at transplant was 25.2%. This increased to 75.7% and 103% at vegetative growth and bulb initiation stages, respectively. Results suggest that the application of fertilizer N at transplant is inefficient due to limited plant uptake ability, while N applications during bulb initiation and swelling were the most efficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimizing Fertilizer Nitrogen Use on Crops)
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7 pages, 1656 KiB  
Communication
The Role of Threonine Deaminase/Dehydratase in Winter Dormancy in Sweet Cherry Buds
Nitrogen 2023, 4(3), 279-285; https://doi.org/10.3390/nitrogen4030020 - 09 Aug 2023
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Abstract
The determination of the endodormancy release and the beginning of ontogenetic development is a challenge, because these are non-observable stages. Changes in protein activity are important aspects of signal transduction. The conversion of threonine to 2-oxobutanoate is the first step towards isoleucine (Ile) [...] Read more.
The determination of the endodormancy release and the beginning of ontogenetic development is a challenge, because these are non-observable stages. Changes in protein activity are important aspects of signal transduction. The conversion of threonine to 2-oxobutanoate is the first step towards isoleucine (Ile) biosynthesis, which promote growth and development. The reaction is catalyzed by threonine deaminase/dehydratase (TD). This study on TD activity was conducted at the experimental sweet cherry orchard at Berlin-Dahlem. Fresh (FW), dry weight (DW), water content (WC), and the specific TD activity for the cherry cultivars Summit, Karina and Regina were conducted from flower bud samples between October and April. The content of asparagine (Asn), aspartic acid (Asp), Ile, and valine (Val) were exemplarily shown for Summit. In buds of Summit and Karina, the TD activity was one week after the beginning of the ontogenetic development (t1*), significantly higher compared to samplings during endo- and ecodormancy. Such “peak” activity did not occur in the buds of Regina; TD tended for a longer time (day of year, DOY 6–48) to a higher activity, compared to the time DOY 287–350. For the date “one week after t1*”, the upregulation of TD, the markedly increase of the Ile and Val content, and the increase of the water content in the buds, all this enzymatically confirms the estimated start of the ontogenetic development (t1*) in sweet cherry buds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen Signaling in Plants)
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16 pages, 608 KiB  
Article
Effect of Methyl Jasmonate Plus Urea Foliar Application on the Polysaccharide and Monosaccharide Composition of Tempranillo Grapes and Wines and on the Wine’s Quality
Nitrogen 2023, 4(3), 263-278; https://doi.org/10.3390/nitrogen4030019 - 08 Jul 2023
Viewed by 798
Abstract
Polysaccharides are the main group of macromolecules in wines. Climate change is a major problem for viticulturists as it leads to the production of unbalanced grapes. This is attributed to a mismatch between the technological maturity and phenolic maturity of grapes, which can [...] Read more.
Polysaccharides are the main group of macromolecules in wines. Climate change is a major problem for viticulturists as it leads to the production of unbalanced grapes. This is attributed to a mismatch between the technological maturity and phenolic maturity of grapes, which can negatively impact the production of high quality wines. To mitigate this effect, biostimulants can be applied to grapevines. For the first time in the literature, this work studied the foliar application of methyl jasmonate plus urea (MeJ + Ur) on the vineyard and its effect on the monosaccharide and polysaccharide composition of Tempranillo grapes and wines over two consecutive seasons. To achieve this, the extraction and precipitation of polysaccharides was conducted, and the identification and quantitation of monosaccharides was performed via GC–MS. The effect of MeJ + Ur foliar treatment in both the grapes and wines was season-dependent. The MeJ + Ur treatment had a slight impact on the monosaccharide composition of the grapes and also demonstrated a small effect on the wines. Multifactor and discriminant analysis revealed that the season had a greater influence on the monosaccharide and polysaccharide composition of grapes and wines compared to the influence of MeJ + Ur treatment. Interestingly, the MeJ + Ur-treated wines exhibited a higher sensory evaluation than the control wines in the second vintage. To gain further insights into the effect of MeJ + Ur foliar application on the monosaccharide and polysaccharide composition of grapes and wines, further investigations should be conducted. Full article
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10 pages, 785 KiB  
Review
Beyond Soil Inoculation: Cyanobacteria as a Fertilizer Replacement
Nitrogen 2023, 4(3), 253-262; https://doi.org/10.3390/nitrogen4030018 - 04 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2045
Abstract
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as cyanobacteria have the capability to fix atmospheric nitrogen at ambient temperature and pressure, and intensive cultivation of cyanobacteria for fertilizer could lead to its use as an “environmentally friendly” replacement or supplement for nitrogen (N) fertilizer derived from the [...] Read more.
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as cyanobacteria have the capability to fix atmospheric nitrogen at ambient temperature and pressure, and intensive cultivation of cyanobacteria for fertilizer could lead to its use as an “environmentally friendly” replacement or supplement for nitrogen (N) fertilizer derived from the Haber–Bosch process. Prior research has focused on the use of N-fixing bacteria as a soil inoculum, and while this can improve crop yields, yield improvements are generally attributed to plant-growth-promoting substances produced by the bacteria, rather than to biological N fixation. The intensive cultivation of cyanobacteria in raceways or bioreactors can result in a fertilizer that provides N and organic carbon, as well as potentially similar growth-promoting substances observed in prior research work. On-farm or local production of cyanobacterial fertilizer could also circumvent infrastructure limitations, economic and geopolitical issues, and challenges in distribution and transport related to Haber–Bosch-derived N fertilizers. The use of cyanobacterial N fertilizer could have many agronomic and environmental advantages over N fertilizer derived from the Haber–Bosch process, but study of cyanobacteria as a replacement for other N fertilizers remains very limited. Scientific and practical challenges remain for this promising but as-yet unproven approach to maintaining or improving soil N fertility. Full article
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