Recycling livestock manure in agroecosystems can maintain crop production, improve soil fertility, and reduce environmental losses. However, there has been no comprehensive assessment of synergies and trade-offs in the food-energy-soil-environment nexus under manure application. Here, we evaluate the sustainability of maize production under four fertilization regimes (mineral, mineral and manure mixed, manure, and no fertilization) from the aspect of food security, energy output, soil quality, and environmental impact based on a five-year field experiment. Manure and mineral mixed fertilization maintained grain and straw quantity and quality compared with mineral fertilization. Manure and mineral mixed fertilization increased stem/leaf ratio and field residue index by 9.1-28.9% and 4.5-17.9%, respectively. Manure also maintained the theoretical ethanol yield but reduced the straw biomass quality index by increasing ash. Further, manure application increased the soil quality index by 40.5% and reduced N 2 O emissions by 55.0% compared with mineral fertilization. Manure application showed the highest sustainability performance index of 19, followed by mineral (15), mixed (13), and without fertilization (8). In conclusion, manure application maintains food production and energy output, enhances soil quality, and reduces environmental impact, thereby improving the sustainability of maize production.
Hundreds of million tons of food waste (FW) is annually generated from the household sectors. Also, it is regarded as a main conduit for the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the ‘human–environment’ loop. This paper mainly reviews recent studies on the occurrence and dynamics of ARGs in FW and discusses the ins, outs, and spreads of ARGs by the vermicomposting. Our analysis shows that the concentration of FW-borne ARGs and their major hosts (human pathogens) can be effectively reduced and eliminated in the earthworm guts, respectively, due to the increased bacterial fitness cost for ARG-spreading and earthworm immune responses. Of particular interest, the removal performance could be improved by the measures including agricultural waste co-composting and enforced aeration, which concurrently lead to an elevated vermicomposting loading rate and enhanced quality of compost end-products. Furthermore, our review argues that functional microbial inoculum-feeding possibly results in microbial colonization and stable reproduction in earthworm guts. This proposed optimization approach may be instrumental to contain the spread of ARGs and increase the vermicomposting treatment efficiency at the same time.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are important in a nation's economic development and growth. Many SMEs cannot achieve their objectives without instilling a psychological sense of ownership in their team. This study examines the impact of job-based psychological ownership and employee ambidexterity on innovative work behavior and job performance among SME employees. The 279 respondents from Chinese SMEs were sampled using a purposive strategy to obtain data. The proposed research model is evaluated utilizing techniques of structural equation modeling. The study's findings indicate that job-based psychological ownership has significant effects on the job embeddedness of SME employees but no significant predictive influence on job performance. Additionally, employee ambidexterity increases the development of SME employees' job embeddedness but has little effect on job performance. Therefore, it may be inferred that the direct impact of job-based psychological ownership and employee ambidexterity on job performance is negligible; however, there is an indirect impact via job embeddedness. The findings also suggest that managers must develop policies and action plans to teach employees job embeddedness to improve their innovative work behavior and job performance.
Background Potato is the most important non‐cereal crop, providing an alternative source of carbohydrates, the major energy source of the human diet. The blanching process is a critical unit operation during the fresh fruits and vegetables processing and preservation. High‐humidity hot‐air impingement blanching (HHAIB) is a promising emerging technology beneficially approved for pretreating different food materials. This research aimed to obtain the optimum HHAIB conditions for potatoes' browning enzyme inhibition, maintaining their nutritional and physical quality compared with conventional hot water blanching (HWB). Results The polyphenol oxidase (PPO) inactivation, total phenol content (TPC), 2,2‐Diphenyl‐1‐picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, color, textural attributes, thermal properties, microstructure, and particles crystallinity were evaluated. The thermal and optical results showed that the required levels of RH, temperature, and duration of HHAIB for PPO inactivation (2.59 %) fully gelatinized the potato starches. Besides, these levels enhanced the TPC (312.54 μg GAE.g ‐1 FP), DPPH scavenging (1.99 μmol TE.g ‐1 FP), color, and crystallinity. The HHAIB lower temperatures (85 and 95 °C) revealed unfavorable effects on the blanched potato's color and crystallinity, with PPO residual activity. Conclusion The HHAIB was superior to HWB, inhibiting the PPO, maintaining nutrients, and saving physical properties, especially at the optimum conditions (50% RH, 105 °C, and 4 min) revealed by the principal component analysis, providing an excellent technique for blanching and pretreating potatoes, preserving them, and maintaining their quality. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Farm size plays a critical role in agricultural sustainability, which has profound implications for the economic and environmental performances of food production. However, the mechanisms and magnitude of how farm size impacts sustainability remain incomplete. Based on 365 farms survey in the North China Plain, we aimed to evaluate agricultural sustainability of large and small farms (LF vs. SF) concerning greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), reactive nitrogen (N) losses, energy use efficiency, and net economic benefits. Our results showed that the sustainability performance index of LF (7.7–9.2) was higher than that of SF (6.7–7.7) mainly due to the 1.4–2.1 times higher net profit in LF than SF. The relationship between sustainability performance index and farm size revealed that 35–55 ha was an optimal range for farms with wheat–maize double cropping. The LF and SF with low GHGs had a higher sustainability performance index relative to the high emission ones. Both wheat and maize for the low GHG emission LF had the highest sustainability performance index (9.2 and 8.4). This was mainly due to low GHG emission farms having more efficient management, i.e., optimized N fertilization and scientific irrigation schedule. A literature review supported that increasing farm size improves agricultural sustainability in China. In conclusion, optimal farm size and the use of low emission agronomic practices could improve agricultural sustainability by reducing the environmental consequences and enhancing economic benefits. Graphical Abstract
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in mRNA and 5-methylcytosine (5mC) in DNA have critical functions for regulating gene expression and modulating plant growth and development. However, the interplay between m6A and 5mC is an elusive territory and remains unclear mechanistically in plants. We reported an occurrence of crosstalk between m6A and 5mC in maize (Zea mays) via the interaction between mRNA adenosine methylase (ZmMTA), the core component of the m6A methyltransferase complex, and Decrease in DNA methylation 1 (ZmDDM1), a key chromatin-remodeling factor that regulates DNA methylation. Genes with m6A modification were coordinated with a much higher level of DNA methylation than genes without m6A modification. Dysfunction of ZmMTA caused severe arrest during maize embryogenesis and endosperm development, leading to a significant decrease in CHH methylation in the 5’ region of m6A-modified genes. Instead, loss-of-function of ZmDDM1 had no noteworthy effects on ZmMTA-related activity. This study establishes a direct link between m6A and 5mC during maize kernel development and provides insights into the interplay between RNA modification and DNA methylation.
Using inefficient pesticides that target pests can elevate the risk of pesticide residues, which leads to significant threats to the safety both of human food and non-target organisms. Delivery systems...
Aims: Tillage and mulching are two agricultural practices that play a crucial role in improving crop growth. Tillage involves mechanical manipulation of the soil, which helps improve soil aeration, drainage, and root penetration. By loosening the compacted soil, tillage allows plant roots access to nutrients and ensures adequate drainage, which is essential for both healthy root development and optimal crop growth. However, their combined influence on soil enzymatic activities along with maize growth still needs further investigation. Methods: That's why current study was conducted with two factors (different tillage techniques and mulching levels) and four replications. No tillage, conventional tillage and deep tillage practices was done with and without wheat straw mulching (8 kg/ ha). Results: Results showed that deep tillage with mulching caused significant improvement in days to emergence (9.98%), emergence/m 2 (12.18%), plant height (8.97%), leaf area/plant (17.33%), grains/ear (6.91%), 1000 grains weight (4.72%), grains yield (1.88%) and biological yield (13.29%) over no tillage and no mulching. It also significantly improved total soluble sugar, total protein, free proline, total carbohydrates, urease activity,alkaline phosphatase activity, invertase and catalase activity (D) compared to no tillage and no mulching. Conclusion: In conclusion, deep tillage with mulching is a better technology than conventional tillage and no tillage with mulching to improve maize growth and quality attributes. It can also regulate the soil enzymes and health in positive manner. More investigations are suggested at field level using different cereal crops for declaration of deep tillage with straw mulching as best treatment for enhancement of their production.
The hybrid AC/DC distribution network has become a research hotspot because of the wide access to multiple sources and loads. Meanwhile, extreme disasters in the planning period cause huge losses to the hybrid AC/DC distribution networks. A coupled PV‐energy storage‐charging station (PV‐ES‐CS) is an efficient use form of local DC energy sources that can provide significant power restoration during recovery periods. However, over investment will happen if too many PV‐ES‐CSs are installed. Therefore, it is important to determine the optimal numbers and locations of PV‐ES‐CS in hybrid AC/DC distribution networks balanced with economics and resilience. Firstly, the advantages of PV‐ES‐CS in normal operation and extreme disasters are analysed and the payment function is quantified accurately. Secondly, a bi‐level optimal allocation model of PV‐ES‐CS in hybrid AC/DC distribution networks is established. In this model, the payment function using Nash equilibrium to balance economics and resilience is addressed at the upper‐level, and the typical scenarios are simulated, and the optimal results are obtained using the genetic algorithm in lower level. Finally, a series of examples are analysed, which demonstrate the necessity of balancing economics and resilience, and advantages of DC lines in network restoration after disasters.
Proteins form complex networks through interaction to drive biological processes. Thus, dissecting protein–protein interactions (PPIs) is essential for interpreting cellular processes. To overcome the drawbacks of traditional approaches for analyzing PPIs, enzyme-catalyzed proximity labeling (PL) techniques based on peroxidases or biotin ligases have been developed and successfully utilized in mammalian systems. However, the use of toxic H2O2 in peroxidase-based PL, the requirement of long incubation time (16–24 h), and higher incubation temperature (37 °C) with biotin in BioID-based PL significantly restricted their applications in plants. TurboID-based PL, a recently developed approach, circumvents the limitations of these methods by providing rapid PL of proteins under room temperature. We recently optimized the use of TurboID-based PL in plants and demonstrated that it performs better than BioID in labeling endogenous proteins. Here, we describe a step-by-step protocol for TurboID-based PL in studying PPIs in planta, including Agrobacterium-based transient expression of proteins, biotin treatment, protein extraction, removal of free biotin, quantification, and enrichment of the biotinylated proteins by affinity purification. We describe the PL using plant viral immune receptor N, which belongs to the nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) class of immune receptors, as a model. The method described could be easily adapted to study PPI networks of other proteins in Nicotiana benthamiana and provides valuable information for future application of TurboID-based PL in other plant species.
Nanozymes are conceived to replace natural enzymes to avoid expensive processing techniques and fragile reservation conditions. Unfortunately, the self‐limited reaction has run counter to the desire for sustainable catalysis as natural enzymes. Herein, the universal mechanism to overcome the self‐limitation of nanozymes caused by the absorption of ions on the active sites is explored. Therefore, the dual noble metals (Au/Pt) are introduced as the center to synthesize two kinds of nanozymes with different types of central metal elements (Cu and Ce) and also compounds (metal‐organic framework and metallic oxide), showing a similar bond between a central metal and oxygen atom. The morphology characterization and density functional theory calculations demonstrate that the improvement in the electronic environment of neighboring oxygen atoms by inducing the charge redistribution via the bond between noble metals and compounds is crucial for enhancing catalytic activity and avoiding the adsorption of the nontarget substrate. This work not only experimentally proves that the adjustment on the electronic environment of adjacent atoms in the catalytic center is a feasible and universal approach to overcome the self‐limited reaction, but also achieves the application of self‐powered and portable immunosensor to broaden nanozymes in sensitive detection of illegal addition in food.
In this paper, we study the flocking behavior of a locally interacting multi‐agent system with a unit speed constraint. Using the spectral gap of a connected stochastic matrix, together with an elaborate estimation on perturbations of a linearized system, we obtain a sufficient condition imposed only on initial data and model parameters to guarantee flocking and further show that the system achieves a consensus at an exponential rate.
Background Eggshell speckle phenotype is an important trait in poultry production because they affect eggshell quality. However, the genetic architecture of speckled eggshells remains unclear. In this study, we determined the heritability of eggshell speckles and conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on purebred Rhode Island Red (RIR) hens at 28 weeks to detect potential genomic loci and candidate genes associated with eggshell speckles. Results The heritability of eggshell speckles was 0.35 at 28 weeks, and the speckle level is not related to other eggshell quality traits in terms of phenotypic correlation. We detected 311 SNPs (6 significantly, and 305 suggestively associated) and 39 candidate genes associated with eggshell speckles. Based on the pathway analysis, the 39 candidate genes were mainly involved in alpha-linolenic acid metabolism, linoleic acid metabolism, ether lipid metabolism, GnRH signaling pathway, vascular smooth muscle contraction, and MAPK signaling pathway. Ultimately, ten genes, LOC423226, SPTBN5, EHD4, LOC77155, TYRO3, ITPKA, DLL4, PLA2G4B, PLA2G4EL5, and PLA2G4EL6 were considered the most promising genes associated with eggshell speckles that were implicated in immunoregulation, calcium transport, and phospholipid metabolism, while its function in laying hens requires further studies. Conclusions This study provides new insights into understanding the genetic basis of eggshell speckles and has practical application value for the genetic improvement of eggshell quality.
Background and Aims Stanford type A aortic dissection (AD) is a degenerative aortic remodelling disease marked by an exceedingly high mortality without effective pharmacologic therapies. Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) lining tunica media adopt a range of states, and their transformation from contractile to synthetic phenotypes fundamentally triggers AD. However, the underlying pathomechanisms governing this population shift and subsequent AD, particularly at distinct disease temporal stages, remain elusive. Methods Ascending aortas from nine patients undergoing ascending aorta replacement and five individuals undergoing heart transplantation were subjected to single-cell RNA sequencing. The pathogenic targets governing the phenotypic switch of SMCs were identified by trajectory inference, functional scoring, single-cell regulatory network inference and clustering, regulon, and interactome analyses and confirmed using human ascending aortas, primary SMCs, and a β-aminopropionitrile monofumarate–induced AD model. Results The transcriptional profiles of 93 397 cells revealed a dynamic temporal-specific phenotypic transition and marked elevation of the activator protein-1 (AP-1) complex, actively enabling synthetic SMC expansion. Mechanistically, tumour necrosis factor signalling enhanced AP-1 transcriptional activity by dampening mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Targeting this axis with the OXPHOS enhancer coenzyme Q10 or AP-1-specific inhibitor T-5224 impedes phenotypic transition and aortic degeneration while improving survival by 42.88% (58.3%–83.3% for coenzyme Q10 treatment), 150.15% (33.3%–83.3% for 2-week T-5224), and 175.38% (33.3%–91.7% for 3-week T-5224) in the β-aminopropionitrile monofumarate–induced AD model. Conclusions This cross-sectional compendium of cellular atlas of human ascending aortas during AD progression provides previously unappreciated insights into a transcriptional programme permitting aortic degeneration, highlighting a translational proof of concept for an anti-remodelling intervention as an attractive strategy to manage temporal-specific AD by modulating the tumour necrosis factor–OXPHOS–AP-1 axis.
Stoichiometric rules may explain the allometric scaling among biological traits and body size, a fundamental law of nature. However, testing the scaling of elemental stoichiometry and growth to size over the course of plant ontogeny is challenging. Here, we used a fast‐growing bamboo species to examine how the concentrations and contents of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), relative growth rate ( G ), and nutrient productivity scale with whole‐plant mass ( M ) at the culm elongation and maturation stages. The whole‐plant C content vs M and N content vs P content scaled isometrically, and the N or P content vs M scaled as a general 3/4 power function across both growth stages. The scaling exponents of G vs M and N (and P) productivity in newly grown mass vs M relationships across the whole growth stages decreased as a −1 power function. These findings reveal the previously undocumented generality of stoichiometric allometries over the course of plant ontogeny and provide new insights for understanding the origin of ubiquitous quarter‐power scaling laws in the biosphere.
Biochar, as a potential CO 2 adsorbent, is of great significance in addressing the problem of global warming. Previous studies have demonstrated that the CO 2 adsorption performance of biochar can be improved by nitrogen and sulfur doping. Co-doping can integrate the structure and function of two elements. However, the physicochemical interaction of nitrogen and sulfur during doping and the CO 2 adsorption process remains unclear in co-doped biochar. In this study, the heteroatom-doped biochar was prepared with different additives (urea, sodium thiosulfate, and thiourea) via hydrothermal carbonization, and the physicochemical interaction of nitrogen and sulfur in co-doped biochar was investigated extensively. The findings revealed that nitrogen and sulfur competed for limited doped active sites on the carbon skeleton during the co-doping process. Interestingly, thiourea retained the amino group on the surface of biochar to a great extent due to carbon–sulfur double bond breaking and bonding, which facilitated the formation of pore in the activation process. Significantly, co-doping had no significant improvement effect although nitrogen and sulfur doping separately enhanced the CO 2 adsorption performance of biochar by 11.9% and 8.5%. The nitrogen-containing and sulfur-containing functional groups in co-doped biochar exhibited mutual inhibition in the process of CO 2 adsorption. The findings of this study will have pertinent implications in the application of N/S co-doped biochar for CO 2 adsorption. Graphical Abstract
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is one of the most severe swine diseases in the pig industry. The identification of biomarkers for PRRSV infection is valuable for controlling, eliminating, and treating PRRSV. This study utilized the ultra‐performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry metabolite profiling platform to identify differential metabolites in exosomes between the control and NADC30‐like PRRSV strain infected pigs. Using multivariate analysis combined with univariate analysis, unsupervised principal component analysis and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis models were constructed between the groups. A total of 41 differential metabolites were detected, with 14 upregulated and 27 downregulated metabolites with PRRSV infection. MetaboAnalyst and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes were used to identify potentially relevant significant pathways, and a receiver operating characteristic curve was used to quantify the predictive performance of differential metabolites. The results indicated that tryptophan‐related L‐kynurenine, 5‐hydroxytryptophan, and D (+)‐tryptophan significantly increased among PRRSV infected groups, which may play an important role in the progression of PRRSV infection. Metabolites related to amino acid synthesis and metabolism, including 2‐arachidonoylglycerol Lysopcs and phosphatidylcholines may also contribute to the lack of immune protection in piglets after PRRSV infection. Moreover, L‐kynurenine and taurocholic acid may serve as potential biomarkers for early diagnosis or drug targeting of PRRSV. Overall, these findings provide an important reference to our understanding of PRRS pathogenesis and immune or protective responses during PRRSV acute infection in the host.
We design a graphene-based broadband tunable terahertz metamaterial absorber (MMA). Its structure consists of a surface graphene pattern layer, a medium layer and an underlying metal film. CST simulation results show that the absorption bandwidth for more than 90% absorption rate reaches 2.12 THz, and the range is 3.2-5.32 THz. The absorption bandwidth for more than 99% absorption rate reaches 1.38 THz, and the range is 3.45-4.83 THz, which was not achieved by most of the previous MMA. Multiple reflection interference theory is used to confirm the simulation results. In order to explore the physical mechanism of wideband absorption, we study the surface electric field distribution of the structure. We also find that the absorber has polarization insensitivity and wide-angle incidence characteristics. The absorption frequency of the absorber can be adjusted by changing the chemical potential of graphene. Therefore, the absorber has potential applications in terahertz absorption, filtering and sensing.
BACKGROUND Suspension concentrate (SC) is one of the most widely used formulations for agricultural plant protection. With the rapid development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) plant protection, the problems of spray drift, droplet rebound and poor wettability in the application of SC in UAVs have attracted wide attention. Although some tank‐mix adjuvants have been used to enhance dosage delivery for UAV, their effects and mechanisms are not fully clear, and few formulations are specifically designed for UAV. RESULTS The type and concentration of tank‐mix adjuvant affect the dosage delivery of SC. MO501 can significantly reduce DV <100 μm , and inhibit droplets rebound on peanut leaves at concentrations ≥0.5%. Silwet 408 can achieve complete wetting and superspreading after adding ≥0.2% concentrations, but only ≥0.5% can inhibit rebound. XL‐70 shows excellent regulation ability even at low concentration, and 0.2% concentration can simultaneously suppress impact and promote spreading. Besides, the formulation oil dispersion (OD) can significantly reduce the driftable fine fraction and inhibit rebound at dilution ratios of ≤250‐fold, thus enhance dosage delivery. CONCLUSION SC is prone to rebound on hydrophobic leaf surfaces and shows poor wetting and spreading properties. Appropriate types and concentrations of tank‐mix adjuvants and formulation improvement are two effective strategies for improving the dosage delivery of pesticides, while the addition of inappropriate adjuvants may cause potential risks instead. These findings provide guidance for the rational selection of tank‐mix adjuvants and potential applications of OD for UAV plant protection. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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