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There is increasing evidence for the health benefits of dietary nitrates including lowering blood pressure and enhancing cardiovascular health. Although commensal oral bacteria play an important role in converting dietary nitrate to nitrite, very little is known about the potential role of these bacteria in blood pressure regulation and maintenance of vascular tone. The main purpose of this review is to present the current evidence on the involvement of the oral microbiome in mediating the beneficial effects of dietary nitrate on vascular function and to identify sources of inter-individual differences in bacterial composition. A systematic approach was used to identify the relevant articles published on PubMed and Web of Science in English from January 1950 until September 2019 examining the effects of dietary nitrate on oral microbiome composition and association with blood pressure and vascular tone. To date, only a limited number of studies have been conducted, with nine in human subjects and three in animals focusing mainly on blood pressure. In general, elimination of oral bacteria with use of a chlorhexidine-based antiseptic mouthwash reduced the conversion of nitrate to nitrite and was accompanied in some studies by an increase in blood pressure in normotensive subjects. In conclusion, our findings suggest that oral bacteria may play an important role in mediating the beneficial effects of nitrate-rich foods on blood pressure. Further human intervention studies assessing the potential effects of dietary nitrate on oral bacteria composition and relationship to real-time measures of vascular function are needed, particularly in individuals with hypertension and those at risk of developing CVD.
Information about seed dormancy cycling and germination in relation to temperature and moisture conditions in the natural environment is important for the conservation and restoration of rare species, including Begonia guishanensis and Paraisometrum mileense, two sympatric perennial limestone (karst) species. Dry afterripening (DAR) and wet and dry (WD) cycles at 15/5 and 25/15°C as well as moist chilling (MC) at 15/5°C were used to mimic the natural environment at different times of the year. A field experiment was conducted to monitor seasonal changes in germination responses of the seeds. About 40–65% of B. guishanensis and 5% of P. mileense seeds were dormant at maturity. DAR at 25/15 and 15/5°C as well as MC and WD cycles at 15/5°C alleviated dormancy for B. guishanensis but not P. mileense, and WD cycles at 25/15°C induced a deeper conditional dormancy for both species. Seeds of B. guishanensis exhibited dormancy cycling in the field, with increased dormancy under natural WD cycles at relatively high temperatures during the transition from the dry to the wet season in April to May and decreased dormancy during the wet season from June to October. KNO3 mitigated the dormancy-inducing effect of both artificial and natural WD cycles at relatively high temperatures for B. guishanensis. The field experiment indicated that seeds of B. guishanensis may be able to form a persistent soil seed bank, while almost all seeds of P. mileense germinate at the beginning of the wet season in the field.
To understand better the microbial functional populations which are involved in methanogenesis and denitrification in paddy soils with rice straw (RS) and/or nitrogen fertiliser (potassium nitrate, N) application, the dynamics of methanogens and the denitrifying community were monitored simultaneously during the incubation period. The results show that the community structure of methanogens remained relatively stable among treatments based on 16S rDNA analysis, but fluctuated based on 16S rRNA. The Methanocellaceae and Methanosarcinaceae dominated all treatments at 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA level, respectively. RS+N increased the relative abundance of Methanosaetaceae at the 16S rRNA level, while there was an increasing trend in that Methanomicrobiaceae following RS addition at the 16S rDNA level. RS and/or N did not significantly change the diversity of methanogens targeting both 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA. RS and RS+N increased copy numbers of methanogens targeting both 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA analyses. The community structure and abundance of nirS and nosZ-containing denitrifiers, and the diversity of nirS-containing denitrifiers was significantly altered only by the N treatment. These results indicate that the community structure, diversity and abundance of methanogens respond differently to RS addition at the 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA levels.
Forage maize (Zea mays L.) is often grown year after year on the same land on many intensive dairy farms in north-west Europe. This results in agronomical problems such as weed resistance and decline of soil quality, which may be solved by ley-arable farming. In the current study, forage maize was grown at different nitrogen (N) fertilization levels for 3 years on permanent arable land and on temporary arable land after ploughing out different types of grass–clover swards. Swards differed in management (grazing or cutting) and age (temporary or permanent). Maize yield and soil residual mineral N content were measured after the maize harvest. There was no effect on maize yield of the management of ploughed-out grass–clover swards but a clear effect of the age of grass–clover swards. The N fertilizer replacement value (NFRV) of all ploughed grass–clover swards was >170 kg N/ha in the first year after ploughing. In the third year after ploughing, NFRV of the permanent sward still exceeded 200 kg N/ha, whereas that of the temporary swards decreased to 30 kg N/ha on average. Soil residual nitrate (NO3−) remained below the local, legal threshold of 90 kg NO3− N/ha except for the ploughed-out permanent sward in the third year after ploughing (166 kg NO3− N/ha). The current study highlights the potential of forage maize – ley rotations in saving fertilizer N. This is beneficial both for the environment and for the profitability of dairy production in north-western Europe.
Nitrate promotes seed germination at low concentrations in many plant species, and functions as both a nutrient and a signal. As a nutrient, it is assimilated via nitrite to ammonium, which is then incorporated into amino acids. Nitrate reductase (NR) catalyses the reduction of nitrate to nitrite, the committed step in the assimilation. Seed sensitivity to nitrate is affected by other environmental factors, such as light and after-ripening, and by genotypes. Mode of nitrate action in seed germination has been well documented in Arabidopsis thaliana and the hedge mustard Sisymbrium officinale. In these species nitrate promotes seed germination independent of its assimilation by NR, suggesting that it acts as a signal to stimulate germination. In Arabidopsis, maternally applied nitrate affects the degree of primary dormancy in both wild-type and mutants defective in NR. This indicates that nitrate acts not only during germination, but also during seed development to negatively regulate primary dormancy. Functional genomics studies in Arabidopsis have revealed that nitrate elicits downstream events similar to other germination stimulators, such as after-ripening, light and stratification, suggesting that these distinct environmental signals share the same target(s). In Arabidopsis, the NIN-like protein 8 (NLP8) transcription factor, which acts downstream of nitrate signalling, induces nitrate-dependent gene expression. In particular, a gene encoding the abscisic acid (ABA) catabolic enzyme CYP707A2 is directly regulated by NLP8. This regulation triggers a nitrate-induced ABA decrease that permits seed germination. This review article summarizes an update of our current understanding of the regulation of seed dormancy and germination by nitrate.
This research note discusses the accuracy of the main sources used to study the foreign sector during the export-led growth process in Chile. Chilean foreign trade statistics are available for the period under analysis (1850-1930) and offered a good overview of products exported and imported. Bilateral trade data are also available providing information of exports and imports by origin and destiny. Although more research is needed on trade prices, we conclude that Chilean statistics are reliable and provide a way for understanding the export-led growth in Chile and the trade performance of the Chilean partners.
Incorporation of cover crop residue into the soil has been suggested as a means for reducing weed seedbanks. To explore this hypothesis, we buried mesh bags of seeds mixed with sand at 15-cm depth in late fall in plots that had been planted with rye (Secale cereale L.) or hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.) or left unplanted. Separate bags contained either velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medik.), giant foxtail (Setaria faberi Herrm.), Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii S. Watson), or common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.). The experiment used a randomized complete block design with five replications, and enough bags were buried to allow a final recovery in each of the following three springs. Each spring, bags were exhumed, and seeds were either counted and tested for viability or mixed with chopped cover crop material or simply stirred for control bags, and the material was reburied. The experiment was completed twice with initial burials in fall of 2011 and 2013. Rye had no consistent effect on persistence of seeds of any of the species. For two observation intervals, rye increased persistence of a species; for another two intervals, it decreased persistence relative to the control; but mostly rye did not affect persistence. Hairy vetch decreased persistence of C. album and A. powellii in both runs of the experiment but had no effect on persistence of A. theophrasti and S. faberi. Germination of the first two species is promoted by nitrate, whereas A. theophrasti germination is not sensitive to nitrate, and S. faberi is only rarely nitrate sensitive. We suggest that nitrate released during decomposition of hairy vetch may have promoted fatal germination of C. album and A. powellii. Incorporation of legume cover crops like hairy vetch may provide a means for decreasing the seedbanks of the many weed species whose germination is promoted by nitrate. The lack of any reduction of A. theophrasti and S. faberi seed persistence in response to hairy vetch and the inconsistent and mostly negligible effect of rye indicate that a general increase in readily decomposable organic matter through incorporation of cover crops may be ineffective at reducing weed seedbanks.
Adding nitrate to or increasing the concentration of lipid in the diet are established strategies for reducing enteric methane (CH4) emissions, but their effectiveness when used in combination has been largely unexplored. This study investigated the effect of dietary nitrate and increased lipid included alone or together on CH4 emissions and performance traits of finishing beef cattle. The experiment was a 2×4 factorial design comprising two breeds (cross-bred Aberdeen Angus (AAx) and cross-bred Limousin (LIMx) steers) and four dietary treatments (each based on 550 g forage : 450 g concentrate/kg dry matter (DM)). The four dietary treatments were assigned according to a 2×2 factorial design where the control treatment contained rapeseed meal as the main protein source, which was replaced either with nitrate (21.5 g nitrate/kg DM); maize distillers dark grains (MDDG, which increased diet ether extract from 24 to 37 g/kg DM) or both nitrate and MDDG. Steers (n=20/dietary treatment) were allocated to each of the four treatments in equal numbers of each breed with feed offered ad libitum. After 28 days adaptation to dietary treatments, individual animal intake, performance and feed efficiency were recorded for 56 days. Thereafter, CH4 emissions were measured over 13 weeks (six steers/week). Increasing dietary lipid did not adversely affect animal performance and showed no interactions with dietary nitrate. In contrast, addition of nitrate to diets resulted in poorer live-weight gain (P<0.01) and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.05) compared with diets not containing nitrate. Daily CH4 output was lower (P<0.001) on nitrate-containing diets but increasing dietary lipid resulted in only a non-significant reduction in CH4. There were no interactions associated with CH4 emissions between dietary nitrate and lipid. Cross-bred Aberdeen Angus steers achieved greater live-weight gains (P<0.01), but had greater DM intakes (P<0.001), greater fat depth (P<0.01) and poorer residual feed intakes (P<0.01) than LIMx steers. Cross-bred Aberdeen Angus steers had higher daily CH4 outputs (P<0.001) but emitted less CH4 per kilogram DM intake than LIMx steers (P<0.05). In conclusion, inclusion of nitrate reduced CH4 emissions in growing beef cattle although the efficacy of nitrate was less than in previous work. When increased dietary lipid and nitrate inclusion were combined there was no evidence of an interaction between treatments and therefore combining different nutritional treatments to mitigate CH4 emissions could be a useful means of achieving reductions in CH4 while minimising any adverse effects.
Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) can be grown as a local food source and as an alternative to soybean (Glycine max) to diversify organic crop rotations. To understand the benefits of diversification of organic cropping systems, the effects of preceding alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and corn (Zea mays) crops on yields of five dry bean types and one soybean type, and the effect of bean type on following spring wheat (Triticum aestivum) yields, were tested at four Minnesota locations. Dry bean and soybean yields following alfalfa were 25% greater than yields following corn at two of four locations, though bean yields following corn were greater at one location. A preceding alfalfa crop benefited bean yields at locations where hog manure or no manure was applied to corn, whereas bean yields following corn fertilized with cow manure were similar to or greater than bean yields following alfalfa. Among dry bean types, black bean yielded similarly to soybean at three of four locations, but dark red kidney bean consistently yielded 25–65% lower than soybean. Navy, pinto and heirloom dry bean types yielded similarly to soybean at two of four locations. Across locations, weed biomass was 3–15 times greater in dry bean than in soybean and dry bean yield response to weed competition varied among bean types. However, dry bean, regardless of the preceding crop, demonstrated the potential to produce yields comparable with soybean in organic systems and the substitution of dry bean for soybean did not affect subsequent wheat yields. More studies are needed to identify nitrogen fertility dynamics in organic systems as they relate to dry bean yield.
CVD is the leading cause of death worldwide, a consequence of mostly poor lifestyle and dietary behaviours. Although whole fruit and vegetable consumption has been consistently shown to reduce CVD risk, the exact protective constituents of these foods are yet to be clearly identified. A recent and biologically plausible hypothesis supporting the cardioprotective effects of vegetables has been linked to their inorganic nitrate content. Approximately 60–80 % inorganic nitrate exposure in the human diet is contributed by vegetable consumption. Although inorganic nitrate is a relatively stable molecule, under specific conditions it can be metabolised in the body to produce NO via the newly discovered nitrate–nitrite–NO pathway. NO is a major signalling molecule in the human body, and has a key role in maintaining vascular tone, smooth muscle cell proliferation, platelet activity and inflammation. Currently, there is accumulating evidence demonstrating that inorganic nitrate can lead to lower blood pressure and improved vascular compliance in humans. The aim of this review is to present an informative, balanced and critical review of the current evidence investigating the role of inorganic nitrate and nitrite in the development, prevention and/or treatment of CVD. Although there is evidence supporting short-term inorganic nitrate intakes for reduced blood pressure, there is a severe lack of research examining the role of long-term nitrate intakes in the treatment and/or prevention of hard CVD outcomes, such as myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality. Epidemiological evidence is needed in this field to justify continued research efforts.
American burnweed is an increasingly common annual weed in wild blueberry fields in Atlantic Canada and Maine. Knowledge of seed dormancy characteristics and potential for this species to form persistent seedbanks in wild blueberry soils, however, is lacking. A series of experiments were therefore conducted to investigate potential mechanisms regulating American burnweed seed dormancy in wild blueberry fields. Seeds were dormant at maturity and did not germinate in dark or light under warm conditions. Cold moist stratification (CMS) at 4 C for 90 d followed by exposure to warm conditions (22/15 C day/night) and light caused >90% germination, and germination was generally maximized following 80 d CMS. Exogenous potassium nitrate applied as a 5% solution did not stimulate germination, but nearly all seeds (>95%) germinated following treatment with 200, 400, 600, or 800 ppm (w/v) gibberellic acid (GA3) solution. Physical removal of the seed coat or seed exposure to short durations of dry heat did not increase germination. Seed exposure to 1 s of direct flame increased germination, but germination was low relative to germination following CMS and treatment with GA3. Based on these results, we conclude that American burnweed seeds in wild blueberry fields exhibit non–deep physiological dormancy that is most readily broken by CMS and light or seed treatment with GA3. Seeds will likely be exposed to favorable conditions for breaking dormancy (cold temperatures and light) in wild blueberry fields due to lack of tillage and seed burial, indicating high potential for this weed species to proliferate in wild blueberry fields if not properly managed.
Few studies have examined the impacts of ground water quality on residential property values. Using a unique data set of well tests, we link residential real estate transactions to home-specific contamination and conduct a hedonic analysis of sales in Lake County, Florida, where pollution concerns relate primarily to agricultural run-off. We find that recent testing and contamination of ground water there correspond to a 2–6 percent depreciation in home values, an effect that diminishes over time. Focusing on nitrogen-based contamination, we find that prices decline mainly when concentrations exceed the regulatory health standard, suggesting as much as a 15 percent depreciation at levels twice the standard.
Previous studies have shown that the intake of freeze-dried strawberry powder (FDSP) improves select markers of cardiovascular health in adults with cardiovascular risk factors; however, whether these improvements can be observed in at-risk adolescents is unknown. A randomised, double-blind, cross-over study enrolled twenty-five overweight or obese males, aged 14–18 years, to consume 50 g of a FDSP or a control powder, daily for 1 week. Before and after each test period, measures of microvascular function, plasma nitrate/nitrite, platelet reactivity and blood lipids were collected at baseline and acutely 1 h after FDSP intake. Acute plasma nitrate/nitrite levels increased 1 h after consuming the FDSP during Study Visit 1 before daily FDSP intake (P<0·001) and during Study Visit 2 after 1 week of FDSP intake (P<0·001) compared with control powder intake. As a group, fasting nitrate/nitrite levels did not significantly change after 1 week of control or FDSP intake. However, for those individuals where fasting nitrate levels increased after short-term FDSP intake compared with controls, an increase in reactive hyperaemia index (RHI) was observed (P=0·014), whereas RHI was unchanged in those individuals who did not have a significant increase in nitrate (P=0·396). Taken together, these data support the concept that strawberries can provide vascular health benefits to heavier adolescent males.
Since 1991, several provinces in the Netherlands have put much effort in establishing soil-quality monitoring networks. The purpose of these networks is to provide insight in the trends in (geochemical) soil quality, on which new policies for environmental protection can be based, such as restrictions in certain landuse types and cleaner production processes. The soil quality networks are yet too young to serve this goal. Monitoring efforts are concentrated on micro- and macro-elements, particularly in the top layer of the soil (mainly heavy metals and PAH) as well as phreatic groundwater (mainly nitrates and phosphates) in the various regions of a province. The regional soil-quality monitoring networks focus explicitly on diffuse environmental pollution in the rural areas, which means that sample sites influenced by soil pollution caused by local sources are excluded. Regional differences in soil quality in the rural areas are primarily caused by chemical and physical differences in the natural soil composition and by differences in deposition loads (direct and indirect). Hydrological conditions can also exert a large influence, particularly for nitrate leaching. This leads to three major criteria which the network design is based upon: (1) soil type, (2) landuse (assumed to be representative for deposition), and (3) groundwater tables. Subregions are formed by combining these criteria. Subregions are considered to be more or less homogeneous at a regional scale with respect to the criteria named. Within each region, a pre-calculated number of sites, based on variability of present concentrations, have been sampled and the sample material has been analyzed. Descriptive statistical parameters could thus computed; they are the base for the geochemical soil mapping of the individual, homogeneous subregions.
A recent evaluation of all operational soil-quality monitoring networks shows that these networks are effective instruments to gain insight into the differences in quality of the soil and the phreatic groundwater between the various regions. The understanding of these differences and the processes that caused them provide the provincial authorities with valuable information for policy making and environmental management. The evaluation also reveals differences in network designs, mostly due to local differences in physical-chemical properties and political choices.
It can be concluded from the first results of the networks that the relative high loads of zinc and copper, caused by spreading manure on the farmlands in areas of intensive agricultural landuse, have led to notably higher concentrations of these elements in the top layer of the soil compared to more natural lands like forested areas. The fact that the intensive agricultural landuse is mainly situated on relatively highly permeable sandy soils results in high nitrate concentrations in the phreatic groundwater, up to concentrations far beyond EG drinking-water target levels. First monitoring results signalled several environmental problems of which most of the policy makers were already aware, but could not quantify. Delineation of the most vulnerable areas and/or areas with unacceptably high loads and quantification of concentrations of different elements enable regional governments to take appropriate measures.
The soil-quality monitoring networks will focus in the coming years on the effectiveness of the measures taken in the various areas. Efforts are being made to integrate the relatively new soil-quality monitoring networks and the longer existing groundwater-quality monitoring networks to achieve a better understanding of the (bio)geochemical cycling processes. Tuning the individual regional soil-quality monitoring networks of the various provinces will enable the provision of additional information about soil quality at a larger scale.
A previous study showed the additive methane (CH4)-mitigating effect of nitrate and linseed fed to non-lactating cows. Before practical application, the use of this new strategy in dairy cows requires further investigation in terms of persistency of methanogenesis reduction and absence of residuals in milk products. The objective of this experiment was to study the long-term effect of linseed plus nitrate on enteric CH4 emission and performance in dairy cows. We also assessed the effect of this feeding strategy on the presence of nitrate residuals in milk products, total tract digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance and rumen fermentation. A total of 16 lactating Holstein cows were allocated to two groups in a randomised design conducted in parallel for 17 weeks. Diets were on a dry matter (DM) basis: (1) control (54% maize silage, 6% hay and 40% concentrate; CON) or (2) control plus 3.5% added fat from linseed and 1.8% nitrate (LIN+NIT). Diets were equivalent in terms of CP (16%), starch (28%) and NDF (33%), and were offered twice daily. Cows were fed ad libitum, except during weeks 5, 16 and 17 in which feed was restricted to 95% of dry matter intake (DMI) to ensure complete consumption of meals during measurement periods. Milk production and DMI were measured weekly. Nitrate and nitrite concentrations in milk and milk products were determined monthly. Daily CH4 emission was quantified in open circuit respiration chambers (weeks 5 and 16). Total tract apparent digestibility, N balance and rumen fermentation parameters were determined in week 17. Daily DMI tended to be lower with LIN+NIT from week 4 to 16 (−5.1 kg/day on average). The LIN+NIT diet decreased milk production during 6 non-consecutive weeks (−2.5 kg/day on average). Nitrate or nitrite residuals were not detected in milk and associated products. The LIN+NIT diet reduced CH4 emission to a similar extent at the beginning and end of the trial (−47%, g/day; −30%, g/kg DMI; −33%, g/kg fat- and protein-corrected milk, on average). Diets did not affect N efficiency and nutrients digestibility. In the rumen, LIN+NIT did not affect protozoa number but reduced total volatile fatty acid (−12%) and propionate (−31%) concentrations. We concluded that linseed plus nitrate may have a long-term CH4-mitigating effect in dairy cows and that consuming milk products from cows fed nitrate may be safe in terms of nitrate and nitrite residuals. Further work is required to optimise the doses of linseed plus nitrate to avoid reduced cows performance.
Nitrate and nitrite are probable human carcinogens when ingested under conditions that increase the formation of N-nitroso compounds. There have been limited efforts to develop US databases of dietary nitrate and nitrite for standard FFQ. Here we describe the development of a dietary nitrate and nitrite database and its calibration.
We analysed data from a calibration study of 1942 members of the NIH–AARP (NIH–AARP, National Institutes of Health–AARP) Diet and Health Study who reported all foods and beverages consumed on the preceding day in two non-consecutive 24 h dietary recalls (24HR) and completed an FFQ. Based on a literature review, we developed a database of nitrate and nitrite contents for foods reported on these 24HR and for food category line items on the FFQ. We calculated daily nitrate and nitrite intakes for both instruments, and used a measurement error model to compute correlation coefficients and attenuation factors for the FFQ-based intake estimates using 24HR-based values as reference data.
FFQ-based median nitrate intake was 68·9 and 74·1 mg/d, and nitrite intake was 1·3 and 1·0 mg/d, in men and women, respectively. These values were similar to 24HR-based intake estimates. Energy-adjusted correlation coefficients between FFQ- and 24HR-based values for men and women respectively were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·59 and 0·58 for nitrite; energy-adjusted attenuation factors were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·47 and 0·38 for nitrite.
The performance of the FFQ in assessing dietary nitrate and nitrite intakes is comparable to that for many other macro- and micronutrients.
Adding nitrate to the diet or increasing the concentration of dietary lipid are effective strategies for reducing enteric methane emissions. This study investigated their effect on health and performance of finishing beef cattle. The experiment was a two×two×three factorial design comprising two breeds (CHX, crossbred Charolais; LU, Luing); two basal diets consisting of (g/kg dry matter (DM), forage to concentrate ratios) 520 : 480 (Mixed) or 84 : 916 (Concentrate); and three treatments: (i) control with rapeseed meal as the main protein source replaced with either (ii) calcium nitrate (18 g nitrate/kg diet DM) or (iii) rapeseed cake (RSC, increasing acid hydrolysed ether extract from 25 to 48 g/kg diet DM). Steers (n=84) were allocated to each of the six basal diet×treatments in equal numbers of each breed with feed offered ad libitum. Blood methaemoglobin (MetHb) concentrations (marker for nitrate poisoning) were monitored throughout the study in steers receiving nitrate. After dietary adaptation over 28 days, individual animal intake, performance and feed efficiency were recorded for a test period of 56 days. Blood MetHb concentrations were low and similar up to 14 g nitrate/kg diet DM but increased when nitrate increased to 18 g nitrate/kg diet DM (P<0.001). An interaction between basal diet and day (P<0.001) indicated that MetHb% was consistently greater in Concentrate – than Mixed-fed steers at 18 g nitrate/kg diet DM. Maximum individual MetHb% was 15.4% (of total Hb), which is lower than considered clinically significant (30%). MetHb concentrations for individual steers remained consistent across time. Concentrate-fed steers were more efficient (lower residual feed intake (RFI) values) than Mixed-fed steers (P<0.01), with lower dry matter intake (DMI) (kg/day) (P<0.001) and similar average daily gain (ADG). CHX steers were more efficient (lower RFI; P<0.01) than LU steers with greater ADG (P<0.01), lower DMI (/kg BW; P<0.01) and lower fat depth (P<0.001). ADG, BW or DMI did not differ across dietary treatments (P>0.05). Neither basal diet nor treatment affected carcass quality (P>0.05), but CHX steers achieved a greater killing out proportion (P<0.001) than LU steers. Thus, adding nitrate to the diet or increasing the level of dietary lipid through the use of cold-pressed RSC, did not adversely affect health or performance of finishing beef steers when used within the diets studied.
Epidemiological studies suggest that green leafy vegetables, which are high in dietary nitrate, are protective against CVD such as stroke. High blood pressure (BP) is a major risk factor for stroke and inorganic nitrate has been shown to reduce BP. The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that diets containing high-nitrate (HN) vegetables would increase plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations and reduce BP in healthy women.
A randomized, crossover trial, where participants received HN vegetables (HN diet) or avoided HN vegetables (Control diet) for 1 week. Before and after each intervention, resting BP and plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations were measured.
University of Exeter, UK.
Nineteen healthy women (mean age 20 (sd 2) years; mean BMI 22·5 (sd 3·8) kg/m2).
The HN diet significantly increased plasma nitrate concentration (before HN diet: mean 24·4 (sd 5·6) µmol/l; after HN diet: mean 61·0 (sd 44·1) µmol/l, P<0·05) and plasma nitrite concentration (before HN diet: mean 98 (sd 91) nmol/l; after HN diet: mean 185 (sd 34) nmol/l, P<0·05). No significant change in plasma nitrate or nitrite concentration was observed after the Control diet. The HN diet significantly reduced resting systolic BP (before HN diet: mean 107 (sd 9) mmHg; after HN diet: mean 103 (sd 6) mmHg, P<0·05). No significant change in systolic BP was observed after the Control diet (before Control diet: mean 106 (sd 8) mmHg; after Control diet: mean 106 (sd 8) mmHg).
Consumption of HN vegetables significantly increased plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations and reduced BP in normotensive women.
Seeds have evolved to be highly efficient environmental sensors that respond not only to their prevailing environment, but also their environmental history, to regulate dormancy and the initiation of germination. In the present work we investigate the combined impact of a number of environmental signals (temperature, nitrate, light) during seed development on the mother plant, during post-shedding imbibition and during prolonged post-shedding exposure in both dry and imbibed states, simulating time in the soil seed bank. The differing response to these environments was observed in contrasting winter (Cvi, Ler) and summer (Bur) annual Arabidopsis ecotypes. Results presented show that environmental signals both pre- and post-shedding determine the depth of physiological dormancy and therefore the germination response to the ambient environment. The ecotype differences in seed response to ambient germination conditions are greatly enhanced by seed maturation in different environments. Further variation in response develops following shedding when seeds do not receive the full complement of environmental signals required for germination and enter the soil seed bank in either dry or imbibed states. Species seed dormancy characteristics cannot therefore be easily defined, as seed dormancy is a dynamic state subject to within-species adaptation to local environments.
Seeds of Sisymbrium officinale display physiological dormancy and require nitrate to germinate. Rupture of the testa precedes radicle protrusion through the endosperm (germination sensu stricto). While both endosperm rupture and testa rupture (TR) required nitrate, endosperm rupture was fully inhibited by abscisic acid (ABA) but TR was not inhibited. The gibberellic acid (GA)-synthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol prevented TR, which was reverted by exogenous GA4 but not by nitrate. The orientation of TR was transverse, which prompted the question whether seeds elongate prior to radicle protrusion, concurrent with an increase in water content. Between 9 h and 1 d no increase in length or water content was observed. During incubation in ABA the length of imbibed seeds without TR did not increase between 1 and 5 d, whereas nitrate added to ABA induced TR and a 94% increase in length. At the same time the water content of seeds without TR increased by 18%, while the water content of seeds with TR increased by 38%. Length and water content were correlated in a single-seed analysis for seeds with TR, but not for seeds without TR. Increased length was also observed in Arabidopsis seeds with nitrate-induced TR. These results indicate that prior to endosperm rupture dormancy release by nitrate is accompanied by TR, seed elongation and an increase in water content. A new multiphasic model is proposed for the imbibition curve, where the second phase of the classical triphasic curve is split into three sub-phases, of which phases IIB and IIC are associated with TR.