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The City of Fresno provides residents with three 96-gallon carts as a basic level of service. There is one cart for trash (gray), one for recyclables (blue), and one for green waste (green). All carts are emptied on the same day by automated collection trucks.
This document is CIR 1452, one of a series of the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date August 2004. Revised June 2018. Reviewed May 2021. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.
PCA and LD analysis of 113 cultivated and wild pear accessions based on whole-genome SNP analysis. a PCA plots of the first two eigenvectors of all 113 pear accessions. b LD decay determined by correlation of allele frequencies (r2) against distance (kb) among polymorphic SNP sites in different pear groups, including cultivated Asian (red), cultivated European (light blue), wild Asian (blue), and wild European (green)
Abstract:In this review, we present the recent developments and future prospects of improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops using various complementary approaches. These include conventional breeding and molecular genetics, in addition to alternative farming techniques based on no-till continuous cover cropping cultures and/or organic nitrogen (N) nutrition. Whatever the mode of N fertilization, an increased knowledge of the mechanisms controlling plant N economy is essential for improving NUE and for reducing excessive input of fertilizers, while maintaining an acceptable yield and sufficient profit margin for the farmers. Using plants grown under agronomic conditions, with different tillage conditions, in pure or associated cultures, at low and high N mineral fertilizer input, or using organic fertilization, it is now possible to develop further whole plant agronomic and physiological studies. These can be combined with gene, protein and metabolite profiling to build up a comprehensive picture depicting the different steps of N uptake, assimilation and recycling to produce either biomass in vegetative organs or proteins in storage organs. We provide a critical overview as to how our understanding of the agro-ecophysiological, physiological and molecular controls of N assimilation in crops, under varying environmental conditions, has been improved. We have used combined approaches, based on agronomic studies, whole plant physiology, quantitative genetics, forward and reverse genetics and the emerging systems biology. Long-term sustainability may require a gradual transition from synthetic N inputs to legume-based crop rotation, including continuous cover cropping systems, where these may be possible in certain areas of the world, depending on climatic conditions. Current knowledge and prospects for future agronomic development and application for breeding crops adapted to lower mineral fertilizer input and to alternative farming techniques are explored, whilst taking into account the constraints of both the current world economic situation and the environment.Keywords: agriculture; cover cropping; conservation tillage; fertilizers; genetics; nitrogen; green manure; agro-biodiversity, sustainability
The detrimental impacts of nitrate loss from the soil have toxicological implications for animals and humans  and also on the environment leading to the eutrophication of freshwater  and marine ecosystems . This phenomenon is manifested by a proliferation of green algae, reduced infiltration of light, oxygen depletion in surface water, disappearance of benthic invertebrates and the production of toxins harmful to fish, livestock and humans. Soils are also at risk from eutrophication, as excessive amounts of nutrients can cause oxygen depletion in the soil and thus prevent the proper functioning of natural microorganisms. This, in turn, affects soil fertility. Moreover, it has been reported that synthetic N fertilizers can promote microbial C utilization depleting both soil and sub-soil organic N content . Eutrophic soils are the source for the emission of N2O (nitrous oxide), which can react with the stratospheric ozone , thus increasing the greenhouse effect and also the emission of toxic ammonia (NH3) into the atmosphere that can contribute to acidification [20-22]. The process of gaseous ammonia loss from plant foliage can range from 2 to 15kg N/ha/year released, depending on the crop examined or the location [23,24]. Additionally, when the plant does not take up urea fertilizers applied to the soil, up to 40% can also be lost in the form of ammonia [25,26].
Green manure fertilization (see  for a review) aims to improve soil fertility and quality by incorporation into the soil of any field or forage crop while the cultivated plant is still at the green vegetative stage, or just after the flowering stage. Green manure can also be crushed or rolled before no-till seeding (Figure 1).
N production from legumes is a key benefit of growing cover crops and green manures. The amount of N available from legumes depends on the species of legume grown, the total biomass produced, and the percentage of N in the plant tissue. Cultural and environmental conditions that limit legume growth, such as a delayed planting date, poor stand establishment, and drought will reduce the amount of N produced. Conditions that encourage good N production include getting a good stand, optimum soil nutrient levels and soil pH, good nodulation, and adequate soil moisture. The portion of green-manure N available to a following crop is usually about 40% to 60% of the total amount contained in the legume . Interestingly, it has been demonstrated that leguminous cover crops were also able to replace 60% of the chemical N fertilization for cotton production, although the quantity of available N derived from the cover crop was not synchronized with the requirements of the cotton plant . In turn, one has to consider that NUE is strongly affected by the organic residues remaining from the preceding crop and the application rate of both synthetic N or organic fertilizers applied to the next crop .
Both raw and composted manures are useful in organic crop production (for a review see ). Used properly, with attention to balancing soil fertility, manures can supplant all or most needs for purchased N fertilizer, especially when combined with a whole system fertility plan that includes crop rotation and cover cropping with N-fixing legumes. However, there is often a lack of synchronization between the timing of N mineralization originating from the catch crop and the N requirement of the main crop, thus leading to a loss of part of the N initially saved by the catch crop. It is therefore necessary to improve estimates of the longer-term N effects of catch crops and to optimize crop sequences in order to estimate accurately the turnover of N retained in the soil by the nitrate catch crops [92,93]. Thus, the grower needs to monitor nutrients in the soil via soil testing, and learn the characteristics of the manure and/or compost to be used. The grower should adjust the rates and select additional fertilizers and amendments accordingly. Finally, development of viable green manure-based alternatives leading to applied crop synergisms will probably not occur without refinement of whole-systems approaches within which green manure secure multiple ecosystemic services , utilizing and conserving functional agro-biodiversity services .
If organic farming needs to use both classical and green manure to replace chemical N fertilization, it appears that plant genetic adaptations and breeding for these alternative farming techniques are needed to increase crop NUE, for example in wheat [96-99]. Additionally, the development of biomarkers for determining the potential of NUE and optimization of N inputs in crop plants under organic farming cultivation conditions will be required .
In wheat, the overexpression of a gene for GS1 from French bean led to an increase in grain yield (grain weight in particular) and therefore of NUE, which was estimated to be about 20% . However, to our knowledge there has been no further development of this interesting study, either because of the difficulty of field testing in Europe or because this testing is currently being performed in the private sector. Similar work was conducted in maize consisting in the overexpression of a native gene encoding GS1 (Gln1-3) of maize. Grain yield (mainly grain number) of the maize transgenic plants grown under greenhouse conditions was increased by about 30%. However, grain N content and biomass production of the transgenic plants were not modified at maturity . More recently, transgenic rice lines overexpressing GS1 showed improved harvest index, N harvest index and N utilization efficiency. However, these lines did not exhibit higher NUE under N-limiting conditions compared to non-limiting N conditions .
When vegetable crops such as lettuce or spinach are grown under greenhouse conditions they can accumulate substantial amounts of nitrate in the leaf cell vacuoles. The threshold of nitrate accumulation often exceeds the limits permitted by law, even when N fertilization is reduced because mineralization of soil organic matter always provides a surplus of nitrate to the plant . In human food, when nitrate is absorbed in excess, its reduction to ni