Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture - Webinar Series: Innovating and Scaling for Social Transformation in International Food Systems
Aim of the ERA-Net SusCrop video contest
The ERA- Net SusCrop is launching a video contest to actively involve EVERYBODY from across the world to reflect, communicate and inspire on 'what sustainable crop production means to you?'.
Check out the current issue of Fruits - The International Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Horticulture online at https://www.pubhort.org/fruits/ (Volume 78, issue 1, January-February 2023).
Chronica Horticulturae Volume 63 Number 1 (March 2023) is available for download - proceed to https://www.ishs.org/chronica-horticulturae/vol63nr1.
Topics in this number include
News & Views from the Board
Haruka Kondo is a researcher of the Laboratory of Floriculture & Ornamentals, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan. His research focuses on orchid breeding using intergeneric hybridization. Many intergeneric hybrids of Epidendrum between other Epidendroideae, such as genus Cattleya, Barkeria and Brassavola, have been artificially bred. However, intergeneric hybrids or later generations are usually partially or completely sterile, which makes further breeding programs difficult.
Dr. Jie Gao, a recent Ph. D. graduate, is an associate professor at the Environmental Horticulture Research Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China. The objective of her study focused on the molecular regulation mechanisms of Chinese orchid, Cymbidium sinense, leaf variegation. The Chinese orchid is a symbol of elegance and purity in China. Among Chinese orchids, the leaf color variation of C. sinense is the most abundant. The leaf color variation makes C. sinense more diversified and more valuable. However, the variegation formation process remains largely unexplored.
In Citrus, flower intensity could be partially reduced or increased by applying gibberellins (GA3) or paclobutrazol (PBZ). However, under extreme harvest conditions, very high or very low treatments of these chemicals do not have any effect. Fruit inhibits flowering by activating CcMADS-box19 gene expression in the leaf, which blocks the inductive signalling preventing the expression of the CiFT3 gene. But signals that activate this repressive mechanism are unknown. The hypothesis of hormonal signalling is based on the inhibitory effect of GA3 on flowering.
In the Laboratory for Flavours and Metabolites of the Laimburg Research Centre (Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Italy), our working group is investigating the degradation products of chlorophyll in methanolic extracts of plant leaves and peels of apple fruits. These so-called phyllobilins (PB) are studied using high resolution mass-spectrometry in an untargeted approach, after previously monitoring the content of chlorophyll and its decreasing in the samples using Ultra-Violet/Visual-spectrophotometry.
Dr. Milena Oliveira holds a PhD in Agronomy from the Federal University of Ceará (UFC), an MSc in Plant Physiology from the Federal University of Viçosa, and a BSc in Agronomy Engineering from UFC, Brazil. Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel, under the supervision of Prof. Noemi Tel-Zur. Milena has expertise in plant physiology, biochemistry, postharvest, and molecular biology for dryland agriculture. Since the completion of her PhD, she has studied Cactaceae species as alternative fruit crop for dryland agriculture.
Tomato is the main horticultural crop for processing industry. Tomato puree is a source of phytonutrients such as carotenoids. Puree viscosity is a major quality trait, and industrial companies need reliable indicators of tomato fruit ability to produce viscous puree. Fruit quality is primarily assessed by measuring the soluble solid content, which is insufficient to predict puree viscosity. The choice of the variety and transformation process are the levers for action used by industrial producers to manage the final puree viscosity.
Sijia Chen is a PhD candidate working on the effect of light spectrum on the fruit set of sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), at the Horticulture and Product Physiology Department, Wageningen University (The Netherlands). She studies under the supervision of Dr. Ep Heuvelink, Professor Leo Marcelis, and Professor Remko Offringa. She found that the fruit set of sweet pepper can vary strongly under different light spectra. Far-red radiation strongly reduced the fruit set of sweet pepper grown within climate chambers. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown.
Wounding is a fundamental factor effecting the survival of woody cuttings for plant propagation. Adventitious rooting is directly related to mechanical damage as a result of plant detachment. In this sense, methods of manipulating wounded regions to stimulate adventitious roots have most frequently been applied to hardwood species. Our first experiments investigating the role of wounds in cutting propagation of woody species indicated that additionally injured tissue along the cutting base showed an apparent increase in rooting compared to uninjured controls.
David Wamhoff is a PhD candidate at Leibniz University Hannover, Institute for Horticultural Production Systems, Section Woody Plant and Propagation Physiology (section head: Prof. Dr. Traud Winkelmann), studying the potential genetic reasons for differences in adventitious root (AR) formation in rose. Roses are the most valuable ornamental plants spanning multiple market segments worldwide (cut roses, garden roses, and miniature roses).
Saba Taheri is a PhD candidate in the in vitro plant biotechnology and nanotechnology laboratory at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. She works under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stefaan Werbrouck and Prof. Dr. Andre Skirtach. Her research focuses on the development of a new method for the slow release of plant growth regulators (PGR) by microcarriers. PGR are essential in the tissue culture of plants. Thus far, the mechanism of delivery of these compounds is through absorption from the growing medium.
Ovidia Agapie is a junior research scientist at the Breeding and Biodiversity Department, part of Vegetable Research and Development Station Buzau, Romania. She is a PhD student at the University of Agronomic Science and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest and her thesis is entitled “Assessment of hot pepper germplasm collection from VRDS Buzau in order to obtain cultivars set by direction of use”, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Florin Stănică. Her research is focused on the breeding and maintenance of genetic resources of hot pepper to obtain new genotypes set by directions of use.
To face the future, farmers and breeders need access to a large genetic diversity. This diversity helps them to adapt to new circumstances, such as droughts by developing and planting drought tolerant varieties. This diversity has to be stored somewhere and while in situ conservation is essential, it is in general more difficult to access and if unprotected at risk of disappearing. Gene banks therefore play an important role, providing ex situ conservation approaches such as field or seed banks. However, these gene banks face their own challenges.
Asparagus officinalis L. (family: Asparagaceae) is the only cultivated member of the genus though many other congeners are widespread within global flora. Among these, A. acutifolius L. and A. albus L. are widely represented in the Mediterranean basin. Since ancient times, they have been used by local populations for food and medicinal purposes. The present focus on these wild plants originates from their rediscovered use in local cuisine, the related biodiversity protection systems, and their consequent agronomic potential as new crops.
A new series of ISHS Talks on Vertical Farming organized by Prof. Dr. Francesco Orsini, Prof. Dr. Leo F.M. Marcelis and Prof. Dr. Murat Kacira is available.
Check out the new issue of eJHS online at https://www.pubhort.org/ejhs/ (Volume 88, issue 1, February 2023) including the following articles:
First episode in a new ISHS Horticulture Debate series called "Hort Forum"
Are 2-D orchard canopy management systems a leap forward or a side-step?
Speaker: Terence Lee Robinson, Professor of Pomology, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell AgriTech, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University (USA)
Pineapple News #28 - the newsletter of the ISHS Pineapple Working Group - is available.
Check out the Working Group home page at https://www.ishs.org/pineapple and select > Pineapple Newsletters
Chronica Horticulturae Volume 62 Number 4 (December 2022) is available for download - proceed to https://www.ishs.org/chronica-horticulturae/vol62nr4.
Topics in this number include
News & Views from the Board
Check out the current issue of Fruits - The International Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Horticulture online at https://www.pubhort.org/fruits/ (Volume 77, issue 6, November-December 2022).
Check out the new issue of eJHS online at https://www.pubhort.org/ejhs/ (Volume 87, issue 6, December 2022) including the following articles:
Brianna Heilsnis is a Ph.D student in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, under the supervision of Dr. Shawn Mehlenbacher in the Hazelnut Breeding and Genetics lab. Her research is focused on host plant resistance to eastern filbert blight (EFB), which is caused by the ascomycete Anisogramma anomala. Currently, the hazelnut industry in Oregon is protected by a dominant allele on linkage group (LG) 6, originally discovered in the European hazelnut, Corylus avellana ‘Gasaway’. However, when tested against other A.
Tree architecture is important because it influences the light interception in the canopy. It determines where the different organs (e.g., leaves and fruits) are borne and, consequently, the source-sink interactions on the tree. Tree architecture directly affects the yield of filbert (Corylus avellana L.).
Felix Büchele is a PhD candidate from the University of Hohenheim, currently conducting research at the Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee in Ravensburg, Germany, studying postharvest physiology of horticultural crops. Although long-term cold storage has become an essential part of the production and marketing strategy of apples worldwide, it remains associated with significant risks, as well as high energy usage, and subsequently high costs.
Australian mangoes (Mangifera indica) enjoy a high reputation owing to their large size, attractive skin blush, and sweet and juicy taste. Increasing demand in overseas markets, particularly Asian, indicates a great potential for export. However, risks during export such as high storage temperature in air freight or long in-transit times of sea shipments can cause loss of fruit quality and shelf life, and consequently disappoint consumers.
Clara Gambart is a PhD student at the Laboratory of Tropical Crop Improvement at KU Leuven (the University of Leuven, Belgium) and graduate research fellow at the One CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research). In 2019, she obtained her Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering (KU Leuven). Triggered by her Master thesis, in which she investigated potential agro-ecological intensification strategies on banana-based farming systems, she started a PhD in 2019.
Leaf fall in the evergreen mango (Mangifera indica L.) is affected by physiological age and light environment. Details of these effects need to be determined. Previous studies have not described the dynamics of annual leaf fall of these trees. Our work aimed to decipher the effects of architectural and environmental factors on leaf fall at the scale of the growth unit (GU) during a year. Our experiment began by describing the initial states of 240 GUs, sampled from five mature ‘Cogshall’ mango trees at three depths, expressed as 1, 2, or 4 GU from the terminal GU along the branch.
Maintaining healthy soil is a major challenge in agriculture. Tree-based intercropping is very promising to ensure high production and conserve soil quality, as shown in agroforestry systems. Trees improve soil fertility through the input of organic matter by litterfall and root turnover, which enhance the soil microbial activity. This study aims to evaluate the effects of apple trees (Malus × domestica Borkh. ‘Golden Delicious’) on soil qualities and their potential to improve the yield of an unfertilized organic radish crop (Raphanus sativus L. ‘Ostergruss’).
To determine strategies to increase plant tolerance to high temperature we must examine plant physiological and metabolic processes. High temperature leads to an alteration in photosynthesis, modification of plant metabolism, plant growth reduction, and overall reduction in the quality of horticultural products. Diplotaxis tenuifolia L., commonly known as wild rocket, is a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae. This plant is cultivated as a baby-leaf salad. Our goal in this study was to understand the physiological and molecular responses in this plant when subjected to heat stress.
Kenneth Oduor is a Ph.D. Student in the Agronomy Department at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), under the supervision of Professor Jose Dubeux. He holds an MSc in Agronomy (2016) and a first-class honors degree in BSc. in Agricultural Education and Extension (2013), from the University of Nairobi (Kenya), where he received a scholarship award for his master’s degree. His research focused on strategies to reduce the spread of the invasive cactus species Opuntia stricta in Kenya.
Sandra V. Medina-López is a Ph.D. candidate in the Food Science and Technology Institute at the National University of Colombia, in a joint guardianship with the doctoral Advanced Techniques in Food and Agricultural Research and Development program at the Technical University of Cartagena, under the supervision of her academic advisors, Dr. Maria Soledad Hernández and Dr. Juan Pablo Fernández. Sandra’s research focused on exploring sustainable ways to apply local Colombian plant biodiversity resources.
Sofia Flores is a PhD student in the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium, under the supervision of Dr. Van Meerbeek. She is conducting her research in her home country at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Lima, Peru. Her research project explores the natural landscapes near the city of Lima, commonly known as “lomas,” to select native species (e.g. Atriplex rotundifolia, Begonia octopetala, Ismene amancaes, Nolana humifusa, Stenomesson flavum) adapted to these harsh environments and incorporate them into the urban green of the arid city of Lima.
Christophe El-Nakhel is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Naples Federico II, Department of Agricultural Sciences (DIA), Portici, Italy. His research interests include several topics within the field of horticulture, comprising soilless cultivation systems, protected cultivation, space farming, nutrient eustress, biofortification, microgreens, and biostimulant application on horticultural crops. Under the supervision of Prof. Youssef Rouphael, he investigated preharvest factors influencing microgreens quantitative and qualitative traits.
Angela Ricci is a post-doc in the Plant Biotechnology Lab of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences at Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Bruno Mezzetti and Dr. Silvia Sabbadini. Their work is currently focused on developing efficient and reproducible in vitro protocols for regeneration and genetic transformation suitable for peach with the aim to stably express RNA interference (RNAi)-based gene constructs with the specific goal to induce Plum pox virus (PPV) resistance.
Farzaneh Bekhradi is PhD graduate from the University of Tehran, Iran. After graduation she joined the Sepahan Rooyesh Company in Iran as a Research & Development manager. Her research concerns innovative and environmentally friendly projects such as grafting and vertical farming in addition to the effect of different LEDs lights. She collaborates in many research projects with colleagues at universities in Iran, and has participated in many national and international symposia.
The poor quality of organic seeds due to pathogen contamination is a main challenge for the development of organic farming. In conventional agriculture, chemical seed treatments can effectively manage this issue. In organic agriculture, however, only limited seed treatments are available. The goal of our project was to evaluate seed treatments compatible with organic farming against two bean diseases, anthracnose caused by the fungi Colletotrichum lindemuthianum and halo-blight caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. phaseolicola.
Check out the new issue of eJHS online at https://www.pubhort.org/ejhs/ (Volume 87, issue 5) including the following articles:
You are invited to attend the 'I International Symposium on Growing Media, Compost Utilization and Substrate Analysis for Soilless Cultivation' in Quebec City (Canada), June 11-15 2023.
The symposium incorporates the following two ISHS symposium series:
- International Symposium on Growing Media, Composting and Substrate Analysis
- International Symposium on Growing Media, Soilless Cultivation, and Compost Utilization in Horticulture
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Neither ISHS nor its officials are engaging in such practices.
Check out the current issue of Fruits - The International Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Horticulture online at https://www.pubhort.org/fruits/ (Volume 77, issue 5, September-October 2022).
Save the date: 2-4 November 2022
FAO: Global Conference on Sustainable Plant Production - Innovation, Efficiency, Resilience
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is organizing the Global Conference on Sustainable Plant Production (GPC) with the theme "Innovation, Efficiency and Resilience", on 2-4 November 2022.
Chronica Horticulturae Volume 62 Number 3 (September 2022) is available for download - proceed to https://www.ishs.org/chronica-horticulturae/vol62nr3.
Topics in this number include
News & Views from the Board
On Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 15:30-17:15 h CEST, KeyGene organized an international seminar DNA analysis approaches boost breeding in asexually reproduced crops.
The seminar was actively supported by the ISHS Division Ornamental Plants
Lucía Verde is a Ph.D candidate in the Postharvest Programme at the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA), Lleida (Spain), under the supervision of Dr. Rosario Torres and Dr. Josep Usall. She completed her BSc in Biology in 2017, and her MSc in Agrobiotechnology in 2018. These degrees were obtained from A Coruña (Spain) and Salamanca University (Spain), respectively. Her research studies are focused on the disease caused by the fungus, Monilinia spp., known as brown rot, in stone fruit. The main species responsible for this disease are Monilinia laxa, M. fructicola and M.
José María Vadillo received his BS degree in Agricultural Engineering at the University of Extremadura, Spain, in 2017. After graduation, he began his master’s studies in Agronomic Engineering and Agri-food Chain Management Engineering at the University of Cordoba, Spain, finishing in 2020. He is currently a student of the Food Science PhD programme at the Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de Extremadura (CICYTEX), Spain, under the supervision of Dr. Henar Prieto and Dr. Carmen Giménez.
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a widely cultivated agricultural crop in most Arab countries. ‘Barhi’ is very popular among the date palm cultivars grown in the United Arab Emirates and is often consumed at the Bisr stage (crunchy apple-like texture fruit). After harvest and during marketing, the major challenge of this fruit (Bisr stage) is to retain its long-term quality. Several studies have reported different spray treatments with elicitors or edible coating to improve the marketability of fresh fruit.
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is one of the most important fruit trees grown in arid and semi-arid regions. Despite the immense capabilities of date palm, maintaining the fruit’s quality, marketability, and shelf life remains a challenge. Chemical treatments control some diseases but they can be harmful for the environment. Our goal was to find a safe, natural, effective, economical disease treatment.