Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ozone's impact on soybean yield: Reducing future losses

31.10.2012
People tend to think of ozone as something in the upper atmosphere that protects the earth's surface from UV radiation. At the ground level, however, ozone is a pollutant that damages crops, particularly soybean.

Lisa Ainsworth, a University of Illinois associate professor of crop sciences and USDA Agricultural Research Service plant molecular biologist, said that establishing the exposure threshold for damage is critical to understanding the current and future impact of this pollutant.

"Most of my research is on measuring the effects of ozone on soybean, determining the mechanisms of response, and then trying to improve soybean tolerance to ozone so that we can improve soybean yields," she explained.

Ozone is highly reactive with membranes and proteins and is known to damage the human lung. It also harms plants, slowing photosynthesis and accelerating senescence. As a result, they take in and fix less carbon, reducing yield. Ainsworth said that ground level concentrations of ozone are already high enough to damage crop production.

"Ozone reacts very quickly once it enters the leaf through the stomata," she explained. "It can form other oxygen radicals and also hydrogen peroxide. Then a series of cascading reactions causes a decrease in photosynthesis, reducing stomata conductance."

The plant's response to ozone mimics a hypersensitive response to a pathogen attack. "At quite high concentrations of ozone, you can get leaf bronzing, stippling of the leaves, and necrotic spots," Ainsworth said. "At really high concentrations, you get cell death." The metabolic changes then feed forward to affect plant productivity.

Ainsworth's group conducted a two year study in 2009 and 2010 at the Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment (SoyFACE) facility at the U of I South Farms. It was the first dose-response experiment to look at ozone and soybean under completely open-air conditions.

They investigated the responses of seven different soybean genotypes to eight ozone concentrations. The plants were exposed to ozone concentrations ranging from ambient levels of 38 parts per billion up to 200 parts per billion. "This is quite high, but unfortunately, those kinds of concentrations are what very polluted areas of China and India are looking at today," Ainsworth said.

The researchers found that any increase above the ambient concentration was enough to reduce seed yield: roughly half a bushel per acre for each additional part per billion.

"This is significant," Ainsworth said. "Especially considering that background concentrations of ozone today vary year to year, anywhere from about 38 to 39 parts per billion to about 62. That can be 15 bushels per acre from one year to the next that farmers are losing to ozone." The researchers compared the results of this study, which used modern genotypes, with results from experiments conducted in controlled environments in the 1980s. They found that the responses of the modern genotypes were similar to those of the older genotypes.

"Breeders haven't inadvertently bred for ozone tolerance in more modern lines," Ainsworth said. "They're still sensitive to ozone, which means that farmers are still subject to these yearly variations in ozone and are losing yield accordingly."

Potential increases in background ozone are predicted to increase soybean yield losses by 9 to 19 percent by 2030. Levels were particularly high during this year's growing season because most days were sunny and warm, and thus they were favorable for ozone formation. Peaks on many days exceeded 80 parts per billion, twice the known sensitivity threshold.

The research was recently published online in Plant Physiology and can be accessed at http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/early/2012/10/04/pp.112.205591.abstract. Amy Betzelberger, Craig Yendrek, Jindong Sun, Courtney Leisner, Randall Nelson and Donald Ort are co-authors.

Susan Jongeneel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

nachricht Important to maintain a diversity of habitats in the sea
14.02.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>