Continuously flooded rice systems are a major contributor to global rice production and food security. Allowing the soil to dry periodically during the growing season (such as with alternate wetting and drying irrigation - AWD) has been shown to decrease methane emissions, water usage, and heavy metal accumulation in rice grain. However, the effects of AWD on rice yields are variable and not well understood.

Bringing pending clearance issue of the genetically modified (GM) mustard back on its table, the central biotech regulator - Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) - has asked the developer

The projected demand of maize production in India in 2050 is 4–5 times of current production. With the scope for area expansion being limited, there is need for enhancement of yield. This calls for identifying areas where huge unrealized yield potential exists. With a view to address the issue, the present study delineates homogeneous agro-climatic zones for maize production system in India taking district as a unit and using the factors production, viz. climate, soil, season and irrigated area under the crop.

Soil N is an essential element for plant growth, but its mineral forms are subject to loss to the environment by leaching and gaseous emissions. Despite its importance for the soil-plant system, factors controlling soil mineral N concentrations over large spatial scales are not well understood. We used NH4+ and NO3− concentrations (0–30 cm depth) from 469 sites across Australia, and determined soil controls on their regional variation. Soil mineral N varied regionally but depended on the different land uses. In the agricultural region of Australia, NH4+ tended to be depleted (4.9 ± 4.8 vs.

Phosphate (P) is an essential macronutrient for plant growth. Roots employ adaptive mechanisms to forage for P in soil. Root hair elongation is particularly important since P is immobile. Here we report that auxin plays a critical role promoting root hair growth in Arabidopsis in response to low external P. Mutants disrupting auxin synthesis (taa1) and transport (aux1) attenuate the low P root hair response. Conversely, targeting AUX1 expression in lateral root cap and epidermal cells rescues this low P response in aux1.

The sub-humid Chaco region of Argentina, originally covered by dry sclerophyll forest, has been subjected to clearing since the end of the '70 and replacement of the forest by no till farming. Land use changes produced a decrease in aboveground carbon stored in forests, but little is known about the impact on soil organic C stocks.

Efforts have been made in recent years to improve knowledge about soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from subSaharan Africa. However, data on soil GHG emissions from smallholder coffee-dairy systems have not hitherto been measured experimentally. This study aimed to quantify soil GHG emissions at different spatial and temporal scales in smallholder coffee-dairy farms in Murang'a County, Central Kenya.

Soil fertility has direct implications on the agricultural production scenarios of a region. Surface soil samples at 1 km grid were collected to assess the fertility status of Lakhimpur district (Assam) in North East India. Fertility parameters like soil organic carbon, available nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, manganese, zinc and copper were determined using standard analytical procedure.

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The UK has an estimated 100 harvest left before soils become too degraded to grow crops, one study shows. Photograph: Tim Gainey/Alamy

Domesticated species are impacted in unintended ways during domestication and breeding. Changes in the nature and intensity of selection impart genetic drift, reduce diversity, and increase the frequency of deleterious alleles. Such outcomes constrain our ability to expand the cultivation of crops into environments that differ from those under which domestication occurred. We address this need in chickpea, an important pulse legume, by harnessing the diversity of wild crop relatives.