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 Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

20.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>