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Weed seeds with mechanical damage are more susceptible to mortality in soil than nondamaged seeds. In this study we introduce a colorimetric assay to distinguish mechanically damaged weed seeds from nondamaged weed seeds. Our objectives were to 1) compare steepates from mechanically damaged seeds against steepates from nondamaged seeds for their capacities to reduce resazurin—a nontoxic, water-soluble dye that changes color and light absorbance properties in response to pH; and 2) use light absorbance data from steepate-resazurin solutions to create classification trees for distinguishing damaged from nondamaged weed seeds. Species in this study included barnyardgrass, curly dock, junglerice, kochia, oakleaf datura, Palmer amaranth, spurred anoda, stinkgrass, tall morningglory, and yellow foxtail. Seeds of each species were subjected to mechanical damage treatments that collectively represented a range of damage severities. Damaged and nondamaged seeds were individually soaked in water to produce steepates that were combined with resazurin. Light absorbance properties of steepate-resazurin solutions indicated that for all species except kochia, damaged seeds reduced resazurin to greater extents than nondamaged seeds. Prediction accuracy rates for classification trees that used absorbance values as predictor variables were conditioned by species and damage type. Prediction accuracy rates were relatively low (66% to 86% accurate) for lightly damaged seeds, especially grass weed seeds. Prediction accuracy rates were high (91% to 99% accurate) for severely damaged seeds of specific broadleaf and grass weeds. Steepate-resazurin solutions that successfully separated seeds took no more than 32 h to produce. The results of this study indicate that the resazurin assay is a method for quickly distinguishing damaged from nondamaged weed seeds. Because rapid assessments of seed intactness may accelerate the development of tactics for reducing the number of weed seeds in soil, we advocate further development of resazurin assays by laboratories studying methods for weed seedbank depletion.
This paper uses the framework of the Just–Pope production function to evaluate the impacts of climate change on yields of the rainfed Aman rice crop in Bangladesh. It analyses disaggregated district-level data on climate variables and Aman rice yield over a 48 year time horizon. The results reveal that changes in maximum temperatures have had positive and negative effects on yield in the linear and quadratic functional forms, respectively. However, the elasticity values in the variance function confirm that maximum temperature is risk-increasing for Aman rice while minimum temperature is likely to decrease yield variability. Rainfall has become risk-increasing for Aman rice. Based on three climate change scenarios, this paper also reveals that future climate change is expected to increase the variability of Aman rice yields. Finally, statistically significant dummies for different in-country climate zones require zone-specific adaptation policies to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change.
Kochia growing on an industrial site where chlorsulfuron was applied repeatedly over several seasons was confirmed to be resistant to chlorsulfuron and several other acetolactate synthase (ALS) -inhibiting herbicides. In growth room experiments, resistant (R) plants were 2 to >180 times more resistant to five sulfonylurea herbicides and one imidazolinone herbicide (imazethapyr) than susceptible (S) plants, as measured by the ratio of dosages required to inhibit shoot dry matter accumulation by 50% (GR50 R/S). Similarly, in vitro assays of ALS activity indicated that from 3 to 30 times more herbicide was required to inhibit the enzyme from R plants than from S plants. Results of ALS enzyme assays indicated that R kochia was approximately equally resistant to metsulfuron, triasulfuron, and thifensulfuron, and 2.5 times more resistant to tribenuron than thifensulfuron. However, the response of R kochia growing in a spring wheat crop in the field was not consistent with results of the ALS enzyme assays. In field experiments, thifensulfuron at 32 g ai ha−1 had little effect on R kochia. In contrast, metsulfuron, triasulfuron, and tribenuron at 8 g ha−1 did not reduce R kochia seedling densities, but caused severe stunting such that 2 mo after treatment the shoot biomass of plants in untreated plots was four times greater than in sprayed plots. Herbicides with alternative modes of action including fluroxypyr, bromoxynil/MCPA ester, dichlorprop/2,4-D ester, and 2,4-D ester provided good control of R kochia in the field. Quinclorac did not reduce kochia densities, but surviving plants were stunted. To delay or avoid development of ALS inhibitor-resistant kochia populations, these alternative herbicides applied alone or in tank mixtures could be incorporated into a herbicide rotation.
Germinated seeds of wild oat populations that were susceptible (S) or resistant (R) to triallate at the recommended soil-applied rate (1.7 kg/ha) were treated with six triallate concentrations on filter paper in petri dishes. Measurement of shoot length 8 d after treatment provided an accurate indication of differences among populations, and was more reliable than determining shoot fresh weight. ED50 values (herbicide concentrations that reduced shoot length by 50% relative to untreated controls), derived from nonlinear regression analysis, indicated four and five levels of response to triallate among eight S and seven R populations, respectively. The ED50 values varied from 0.11 to 11 ppm a.i. triallate for the most susceptible to the most resistant populations, respectively. Routine testing of wild oat samples suspected of resistance, at triallate concentrations of 0.5 or 1 ppm in the petri dish bioassay, effectively identified populations that had become resistant to the recommended soil-applied rate.
A seedling bioassay was used to determine the response of triallate-resistant (R) and -susceptible (S) wild oat populations to difenzoquat and EPTC. The bioassay, based on seedling shoot length at 10 d after treatment, provided a reliable and rapid means of determining if wild oat populations were resistant to difenzoquat. Using a bioassay concentration of 15 ppm difenzoquat, it was possible to identify populations that were resistant to the recommended foliar-applied rate (0.85 kg ai/ha). Expected herbicide dosages that reduced shoot length by 50% (ED50) derived from nonlinear regression analysis indicated three and two levels of response to difenzoquat among eight S and seven R populations, respectively, indicating within population variability in their response to difenzoquat. Of the populations tested, none was resistant to EPTC. On the contrary, some R populations had lower ED50 values than did S populations, suggesting an increased sensitivity to EPTC.
Floating gardening is a form of hydroponics or soil-less culture. It is an age-old practice of crop cultivation in the floodplains of southern Bangladesh, where aquatic plants such as water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) are used to construct floating platforms on which seedlings are raised and vegetables and other crops cultivated in the rainy season. The platform residue is used in the preparation of beds for winter vegetable gardening. Floating gardening was introduced in 2006 on a pilot-scale in the north-east wetlands of the country, as a contribution to food security and as a supplementary income for the marginalized community. The overall experience of floating cultivation in three selected villages was encouraging. Local people became aware of this new farming system and their level of knowledge improved. Communities were mobilized into groups to make floating platforms, and platform residues were later used to establish winter gardens. Cultivation was successful on both types of plot, and vegetables were both consumed by the producers and sold in the market. The input–output analysis revealed floating gardening to be a feasible alternative livelihood option for the wetland dwellers. The method provided targeted landless people with parcels of land in the monsoon, enabling them to grow vegetables. Floating gardening and associated winter gardening appear to have the potential for introduction to other parts of the world where aquatic weed management is a major problem.
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