Dublin, June 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Plant Activator Market - Forecasts from 2021 to 2026" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The global plant activators market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.67% over the forecast period to reach a market size of US$1,097.9 million in 2026, from US$746.28 million in 2019. The market is expected to surge in the coming years, because of the increasing innovation and advancement in the agriculture sector, globally. Plant activators are known as the chemicals that activate the genes and defense in plants by providing signals through signal transduction, which has been mediated by salicylic or other types of acid. Urbanization, increasing food security, growing agricultural trade, surging food demand, globally, will also be major factors in the overall market growth.Increasing food demandThe market is expected to surge in the coming years, because of the increasing food demand, globally. The agriculture sector in the 21st century has been facing a plethora of challenges, such as producing more fiber and food for the growing population, the decline in the rural workforce and arable lands, more feedstocks for an imperative bioenergy market, adapt to climate changes and adopt more sustainable and efficient production methods. There has also been a surge in the usage of pesticides, fertilizers, and activators, to protect the crops from pathogens and increase the quality and productivity of the food. According to the data given by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the global population had been expected to grow by 2.3 billion between the years 2009 and 2050.
Nearly most of the growth has been forecasted to take place in developing nations. Urbanization is also expected to be a major factor in food demand. Approx. 70% of the global population is expected to reside in urban areas by the year 2050, up from 55% in the year 2018. The projected economic growth of approx. 2.9%, per anum, would be a major factor in the reduction and elimination of poverty, by the year 2050. The FAO projection also stated that food production had to increase by approx. 70% between the years 2018 and 2050, to feed the population of 9.1 billion, in the year 2050. Annual cereal production had to be around one billion tonnes, by the year 2050. Feeding the global population adequately and efficiently would also mean producing the kind and type of foods, to ensure nutrition security.Increasing agricultural tradeWith the increasing agricultural trade, globally, the demand for good quality food and crops has surged, in the past few years. According to the World Trade Organisation, agricultural products exports saw the biggest surge of 3.1%, per year, and rose by 36% in the year 2018, as compared to 2008. The total share of soybeans in global exports of agricultural products had surged from 2.6% in the year 2008 to 3.3% in the year 2018 and total approx. US$60 billion. In the year 2018, the major exporters of agricultural products were the European Union, The United States of America, and Brazil. India has also been increasing its total agricultural products exports, in the past few years. According to India's Ministry of Commerce, the country exported worth US$39 billion of agricultural products, in the year 2018. These trends are expected to be a positive development for the plant-based activators market, as the countries have been investing a significant sum of capital into pesticides, fertilizers, activators to reduce food and agricultural waste, and to enhance their overall food productivity.Growth in the usage of plant protector products.There has been a surge in the usage of plant protector products, globally, to enhance food security, increase food productivity, and others. According to the American Phytopathological Society, there had been an emerging consensus about the need for an integrated pest management system or policy to improve and enhance food production, globally. There has been a surge in the number of governments, especially in developing nations, to develop monitoring programs and systematic research systems to generate and get the information needed to assess losses and their major causes.
According to several reports submitted by major scientists, researchers, and the members of the International Society for Plant Pathology, globally, it has been estimated that pests and pathogens are reducing and decreasing crop yields for five imperative food crops by approx. 10 to 40%. Some of the major crop yields reduced by animal pests and pathogens are rice, wheat, potato yields, soybean, and maize. At a worldwide scale, pests and pathogens have been causing wheat losses from 10 to 28%, maize losses have been around 20 to 41%, rice losses have been around 25 to 41%, and soybean losses have been around 11 to 32%, according to a study published in a reputed journal Nature, Ecology and Evolution. Bacteria, viruses, nematodes, fungi, parasitic plants are also among some of the factors that have been working against farmers, globally. These factors have become a major threat to food security, worldwide. Company analysis.Major companies have been involved in the enhancement and advancement of their agricultural products portfolio, in the last few years. For instance, Futureco Bioscience provides defense activators to protect plants against the attacks of fungi, bacteria, and pathogens. The company's product triggers a biochemical modification in plants, which is used to fight these harmful diseases and organisms. Other players are also making significant development in the market. For instance, Eagle Plant Protect Private Ltd. provides plant activators for the protection of the plants.
The company's product is used to protect plants from fungicides and pesticides. Nutra-Park is one of the key players in the market. The company has been focusing on research and development of Vitamin B1, by collaborating with a reputed professor from the Seoul National University, Republic of Korea. Vitamin B1, which is also known as Thiamine, has been an imperative and essential nutrient involved in biochemical pathways in the cells, which includes the Pentose phosphate pathway and Krebs cycle. With these trends, the plant activators market is expected to surge at an exponential rate during the forecast period.Key Topics Covered: 1. Introduction2. Research Methodology3. Executive Summary4. Market Dynamics4.1. Market Drivers4.2. Market Restraints4.3. Porters Five Forces Analysis4.3.1. Bargaining Power of Suppliers4.3.2. Bargaining Power of Buyers4.3.3. The Threat of New Entrants4.3.4. Threat of Substitutes4.3.5. Competitive Rivalry in the Industry4.4. Industry Value Chain Analysis5. Global Plant activators Market Analysis, By Crop type 5.1. Introduction5.2. Pulses5.3. Cereals & Grains5.4. Fruits & Vegetables5.5. Oilseeds5.6. Others6. Global Plant activators Market Analysis, By Source 6.1. Introduction6.2. Biological6.3. Chemical7. Global Plant activators Market Analysis, by Geography 7.1. Introduction7.2. North America 7.2.1. North America Plant activators Market Analysis, By Crop type7.2.2. North America Plant activators Market Analysis, By Source7.2.3. By Country220.127.116.11. United States18.104.22.168. Canada22.214.171.124. Mexico7.3. South America 7.3.1. South America Plant activators Market Analysis, By Crop type7.3.2. South America Plant activators Market Analysis, By Source7.3.3. By Country126.96.36.199. Brazil188.8.131.52. Argentina184.108.40.206. Others7.4. Europe 7.4.1. Europe Plant activators Market Analysis, By Crop type7.4.2. Europe Plant activators Market Analysis, By Source7.4.3. By Country220.127.116.11. UK18.104.22.168. Germany22.214.171.124. France126.96.36.199. Italy188.8.131.52. Others7.5. The Middle East and Africa 7.5.1. Middle East and Africa Plant activators Market Analysis, By Crop type7.5.2. Middle East and Africa Plant activators Market Analysis, By Source7.5.3. By Country184.108.40.206. Saudi Arabia220.127.116.11. South Africa18.104.22.168. Others7.6. Asia Pacific 7.6.1. Asia Pacific Plant activators Market Analysis, By Crop type7.6.2. Asia Pacific Plant activators Market Analysis, By Source7.6.3. By Country22.214.171.124. Japan126.96.36.199. China188.8.131.52. India184.108.40.206. Australia220.127.116.11. Others8. Competitive Environment and Analysis8.1. Major Players and Strategy Analysis8.2. Emerging Players and Market Lucrativeness8.3. Mergers, Acquisitions, Agreements, and Collaborations8.4. Vendor Competitiveness Matrix9. Company Profiles9.1. Syngenta9.2. Nutra-Park9.3. Futereco Bioscience9.4. Eagle Plant Protect Pvt. Ltd.9.5. Gowan9.6. Arysta LifeScience9.7. NUTRI AG9.8. Jaivik Crop Care LLP9.9. Certis USA
Chinese regulators have formally blocked the proposed merger of Huya and Douyu, two of the countrys largest live streaming operators. The planned merger had been orchestrated by social media and gaming giant Tencent and had been valued at approximately $5.3 billion. The announcement was made by the State Administration for Market Regulation in an online 
Austin Hill survived a Friday night demolition derby on the dirt at Knoxville Raceway for his first NASCAR Truck Series victory of the year. Hill restarted on the inside beside Chandler Smith on the fourth overtime attempt and pulled away in Hattori Racing Enterprises No. 16 Toyota in the first NASCAR national series race on the historic half-mile dirt oval.
At the Seaview Hotel in Surfside, a vast and once impersonal ballroom has become a refuge a shared space of hope and sorrow where grieving families comfort each other during the agonizing wait for news of relatives trapped inside a collapsed condo building. Officials announced on Wednesday that they were switching their mission from rescue to recovery, but there is no plan to stop the private briefings for the families, said Maggie Castro, a Miami-Dade firefighter and paramedic who keeps relatives updated and has forged her own connections with them. Obviously, this is a huge tragedy, but if I can find some kind of bright spot in this whole thing, it's to be with these families, watching their emotions come and go and ... watching them evolve through their stages and then also watching them bond, Castro said.
Chinas market regulator has blocked the merger of Tencent-backed game streaming platforms Douyu and Huya following an anti-monopoly investigation, as authorities ramp up scrutiny of some of the countrys biggest technology companies
A new House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection is expected to hold its first public hearing with police officers who responded to the attack and custodial staff who cleaned up afterward
(Bloomberg) -- California called off its power-grid emergency as night fell and temperatures dropped, averting rolling blackouts amid a heat wave that drove temperatures into triple-digits and sent electricity demand soaring.The states grid operator took the rare step of ordering a stage-2 emergency -- one step away from mandatory outages -- as wildfires in Oregon threatened transmission lines bringing power into California. The move came as a historic drought grips the Western U.S. and tempera
The White House says President Joe Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call that he must take action against cybercriminals acting in his country and that the U_S_ reserves the right to defend its people and its critical infrastructure."
A tentative labor deal between Volvo Trucks North America and a union representing nearly 3,000 workers who have gone on strike twice this year at a southwest Virginia truck plant has been rejected by the striking workers
Haitis interim government said Friday that it asked the U.S. to deploy troops to protect key infrastructure as it tries to stabilize the country and prepare the way for elections in the aftermath of President Jovenel Moses assassination
OpenRoad FilmsThis is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beasts Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.This week:The Real Housewives existential crisis.Death, taxes, and watching trash on Netflix.Cinema returns with Adam Drivers musical cunnilingus.I think you should watch I Think You Should Leave.Pfizer, Moderna, and, now, AstraTubbica.Your Love of Julia Roberts Wig Offends Me
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyIf you had told climate activists a year ago that the country was on the cusp of $25 billion for electric transmission lines and a smart grid, $7.5 billion for charging stations and $3.5 billion to help weatherize the homes of low-income homeowners, they would have been ecstatic. These are the kind of big-bucks investments theyd been pleading for years without much success and now, defying the odds, a bipartisan group of senators working with
Courtesy Violetta GrudinaMOSCOWThe new wave of threats began almost as soon as Violetta Grudina, an opposition politician and a gay rights activist in Russia, declared her candidacy in local elections. It was a dark beginning to an election campaign but hardly a surprising one.Such attacks were not new to Grudina: Once a few years ago, she was pushed down and kicked in her face by a nationalist thug for her unwomanly appearance. Last spring, rifle bullets flew through her office window.But th
Stephen Zenner/GettyDonald Trump is doing Dallas on Sunday, his second appearance at a CPAC conclave since leaving the White House. Only speakers slavishly devoted to Trump are booked, like the governor proud to be called a female Trump, South Dakotas Kristi Noem, Florida sidekick Sen. Rick Scott, and Donald Trump, Jr. whos become a warm-up act for the old man.Junior droned on about all the things dear old Dad was supposedly right about: Ukraine, Russia, the election, cancel culture, Hunter
NetflixHeist barely qualifies as a docuseries, given that approximately 95 percent of its action is staged dramatic recreations of events that are narrated by a few principal figuresone of whom, its ultimately revealed, is actually an actor reciting lines from a pre-recorded interview. The proceedings generally artificial nature, which extends to commentary that often sounds as if its been scripted, is a nagging problem for Netflixs latest true-crime effort. In the end, however, even more p
Michael Dwyer/APDays after a bizarre armed highway standoff in Massachusetts involving a group called Rise Of The Moors, prosecutors face an unusual problem: at least two of the 11 defendants in the case refuse to identify themselves.I am a free Moor, a national, a free, living man, one unidentified defendant told a judge during his arraignment on Tuesday.The testimony was faux-legal nonsense. But in some seemingly widening circles, this jargon verges on religion. Over the past year, from Mass
Courtesy Marvel/Disney+This post contains spoilers for Black Widow.For the casual viewer, Black Widow will likely prove all kinds of confusing. But its hard to blame anyone whos confused as to why Marvel is just now releasing its first standalone film dedicated to Natasha Romanoff. After all, she is technically dead.Black Widow, which helped Phase Four of Marvels sprawling cinematic universe Friday, takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. (The fo
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A potentially deep U.S. recession and the sharpest global financial crisis since the Great Depression will give Democrat Barack Obama little time to bask in the afterglow of his historic win in the U.S. presidential election.
The decisive election victory "may help to instill a bit more confidence, but the problems have been well-documented," said Kenneth Broux, an economist at Lloyds TSB. "The economy is facing many, many difficulties."
"The task for the new president is to first restore trust and confidence," said Jim Dunigan, managing executive for investments at PNC Wealth Management. "We saw a little bit of that ... [and] people are hopeful. He's got to deliver on that early."
President Bush on Wednesday said he would work to ensure a smooth transition so the new president can tackle economic and other problems quickly. Obama's presidential rival, Republican John McCain, also pledged support to help end the ongoing financial crisis.
Obama, the first black elected president, captured 52% of the nationwide vote and Democrats extended their majority control in Congress. The 47-year-old senator from Illinois won traditionally Democratic states and made strong inroads in GOP-leaning areas amid intense dissatisfaction with the Bush administration.
Yet Obama's party failed to win a so-called supermajority in the U.S. Senate that would have prevented minority Republicans from blocking Democratic initiatives via filibuster. Democrats gained five seats to 56, including two independents, with at least one seat still too close to call. Sixty seats are needed to prevent filibusters.
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said he would work with Obama to "strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance further and work toward resolving global issues such as the world economy, terror and the environment."
The U.S. presidency is decided in the Electoral College, where Obama held a 349-163 edge, according to the latest tally, with two states not yet formally called. The tally far exceeds the 270 needed for victory. See full story.
Democrats were also on track to pad their majority in the 435-seat House of Representatives by 20 to 30 seats, reports indicated. In the 100-member Senate, where roughly a third of seats were up for election, Democrats held all their existing seats and picked off at least five Republican seats. The contest for one GOP-held seat in Oregon remained too close to call. See full story.
There remain plenty of unknowns, however. Annunziata noted Obama's criticism of free trade and said protectionist measures are always tempting at a time of economic crisis. Yet he saw encouraging signs in Obama's choice of advisers, most of whom are committed to free trade and international cooperation.
Obama's economic advisers have included former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee, former Clinton White House aides Jason Furman and Gene Sperling, and Clinton-era Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers.
Media speculation has centered on a range of potential nominees, including New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner and J.P. Morgan Chase JPM, +3.20% CEO James Dimon.
An upcoming summit of world leaders from the world's 20 largest industrialized and developing nations in Washington on Nov. 15 will also present a window into Obama's thinking on economic issues, although it's not clear how much of a role the president-elect will want to play.
Expanding Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, meanwhile, make it more likely an Obama administration will press for a large stimulus package, though it's unclear how that will be squared with a surging budget deficit.
Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said the need for additional stimulus is "urgent." The last stimulus package, in the form of one-time tax rebates, provided only a temporary boost and quickly evaporated, Broux noted.
Yet Obama could face a budget deficit wider than any seen since World War II, when measured as a proportion of the overall economy. The federal government has already approved a $700 billion bank-bailout package and additional aid may be required to keep financial institutions operating and avert a collapse in lending.
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PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. On the outside, the electric version of Fords F-150 pickup looks much like its wildly popular gas-powered version. Yet the resemblance is deceiving. With its new battery-powered truck, Ford is making a costly bet that buyers will embrace a vehicle that would help transform how the world drives.
Branded the F-150 Lightning, the pickup will be able to travel up to 300 miles per battery charge, thanks to a frame designed to safely hold a huge lithium-ion battery that can power your house should the electricity go out. Going from zero to 60 mph will take just 4.5 seconds.
With a starting price near $40,000 (before options), Ford F, +2.99% has calculated that an electric version of Americas top-selling vehicle will appeal to the sorts of buyers who favor rugged pickup trucks prized for strength and durability. If it succeeds, it could speed the nations transition away from petroleum burners a cornerstone of President Joe Bidens broad effort to fight climate change.
For the Biden administration to prevail in its push for green energy-driven manufacturing, it will need to overcome resistance as well as skepticism. Critics fear the loss of auto industry jobs in a shift away from gasoline-fueled vehicles. Because EVs are much simpler,it takes fewer workers to build them.And bottlenecked supply chains could leave automakers short of computer chips and vehicle batteries, along with other parts, for months and perhaps years.
That said, a vehicle like the Lightning is so critical to Bidens policies that even before its formal unveiling,he visited the Ford plant in Michiganwhere it will be built beginning next year. The president even drove the truck on a test track.
For its part, Ford is taking a significant risk by sinking so much capital into an electric version of a pickup that commands a huge and loyal following. In a typical year, Ford sells about 900,000 F-series trucks nationally. It has been Americas top-selling vehicle for nearly four decades.
Gas-powered F-150s are staples on job sites across the nation, where workers haul equipment and materials and often dont see a need for change. So it could be years before Ford realizes a return on its investment in an electric F-150. This year, through April, the company has sold only 10,000 of its new gas-electric hybrid F-150s just over 6% of the F-150s total sales.
Still, introducing a capable electric truck at a fairly reasonable price could potentially produce the breakthrough that draws many more people to battery-powered vehicles of all sizes, said Ivan Drury, a senior manager at Edmunds.com.
If youre going to choose one vehicle in the industry thats going to do it, this is going to be the one, Drury said. I expect this to be a home run, and I expect it to really convert a lot of consumers minds.
At the same time, the electric truck, due in showrooms by the middle of next year, comes at a time when American drivers remain reluctant to jettison gas vehicles. Through April, automakers sold about 108,000 fully electric vehicles in the U.S. Though thats nearly twice the number from the same period last year, EVs still account for only 2% of U.S. vehicle sales, according to Edmunds.
To be sure, Ford wont stop building gas-powered trucks for years. They remain an enormous cash cow. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that the F-Series generates $42 billion in annual U.S. revenue for the automaker more than such entire companies as McDonalds MCD, +1.22%, Nike NKE, +0.23% or Netflix NFLX, +0.98% do.
Initially, Ford expects Lightning customers to be mainly higher-income urban and suburban residents who seldom go off road or use truck beds to haul anything heavy. But the company plans a commercial version designed to make work more efficient. Ultimately, Farley expects sales to be evenly balanced between work and personal buyers.
It sounds good, but its not good for the type of business Im in, said Jimmie Williams, owner of a landscaping firm on Chicagos South Side. He doesnt think the battery will have enough range to last the 12-14-hour days his crews sometimes work maintaining about 700 properties.
Aside from a charging port and a Lightning decal, Fords new truck resembles a standard F-150. That was intentional. Ford wants the Lightning to be perceived as just as capable as gasoline versions, if not more so.
Even the base version of the electric F-150, with two rows of seats and a 230-mile estimated range per battery charge, can haul up to a ton in its bed. A high-end Lightning equipped with a longer-range battery can tow an estimated 10,000 pounds, matching many gas-powered trucks, though falling about 3,000 pounds shy of Fords V-8 engines.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the truck is its price, which Ford said is about equal to a comparably equipped gasoline F-150. With a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 still available on Ford electric vehicles, the base price falls to around $32,500. Thats below the lowest-priced gas F-150 with a crew cab, which starts at roughly $37,000.
The Lightning has a front trunk with plugs for power tools and lights at job or camp sites. And if the electricity goes, out, it can run your house for up to three days, which Farley expects to be a big selling point.
Competition for the Lightning is looming. General Motors GM, +4.82% says its working on an electric Silverado. Stellantis is developing an electric Ram. Teslas TSLA, +0.63% angular Cybertruck is due out this year. And startups Bollinger Motors, Nikola NKLA, +0.86%, Rivian and Lordstown Motors RIDE, +0.56% have trucks in the works.
All will face an inevitable obstacle in seeking buyers: brand loyalty. Pickup drivers often stick with one company for life. Sometimes, they choose a brand because its been in the family for years, if not generations.
Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX) have confirmed a $200 million investment in a new high-tech manufacturing facility in Spain. Construction of the new plant in Zaragoza will begin later in the year. Upon completion, the company will have four plants in the country.
Covering 86,000 square feet, the high-tech facility will initially house 150 personnel. There are plans to expand it to 323,000 square feet, consequently creating 600 jobs by 2030. The facility will be constructed according to sustainability and eco-efficiency standards.
Intelligent and autonomous technologies will be integrated into the high-tech manufacturing facility. The facility will be used to produce drug-delivery devices as Becton Dickinson looks to strengthen its prospects in the high-growth pre-filled syringe business. Drug delivery devices produced in the facility will be sold to pharmaceutical companies in the European Union.
"This new plant will also add needed capacity to support major vaccination campaigns, such as the one currently taking place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Eric Borin, BD Pharmaceutical Systems Worldwide President.
The upcoming manufacturing facility is part of BD's $1.2 billion 4-year investment plan which was announced last year. The medical technology company is in the process of following its plan on upgrading its manufacturing capacity and technology of pre-filled syringes and drug delivery devices. (See Becton Dickinson stock analysis on TipRanks)
Leerink Partners analyst Richard Newitter has reiterated a Hold rating on the stock. According to the analyst, there are other large-cap offerings with greater upward estimate revision and better stock upside potential.
Newitter stated, There was a lot to unpack this quarter, not to mention a surprise Diabetes spin-off announcement, but ultimately we think the main reason the stock came under pressure was due to FY22 EPS uncertainty.
Shares of SGOCO Group(NASDAQ: SGOC) were up over 500% on Friday on heavy trading volume. The penny stock didn't release any news to trigger this price movement. SGOCO Group is a penny stock that manufactures phase change storage systems, among other items.
Elizabeth Warren has sharp words for Wells Fargo. The bankis discontinuing personal lines of credit and will shut down existing ones in the coming weeks,CNBC reported,citing customer letters it has reviewed. In a frequently asked questions section of a letter sent by the back, Wells Fargo warned that the discontinuation of such bank accounts may impact customers credit scores.
The good news: That pension and your savings are and will be great assets for you in retirement, so congratulations on that! There are many factors that go into knowing how much youll need for retirement, and a few ways to break down these annual estimates. For example, if you were to use the 4% rule, which is a traditional rule of thumb that suggests you take out 4% of your retirement savings every year to live on, youd generate about $30,000 to $35,000 a year, said Morgan Hill, chief executive officer of Hill and Hill Financial.
Strategy Analytics estimates that 5G smartphone shipments could hit 624 million units this year from just 269 million in 2020. There were almost 136 million 5G smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2021, according to the research firm, and sales are likely to get stronger as the year progresses. As such, now is a good time to load up on key beneficiaries of the growth in 5G smartphones.
My husband had just had his salary cut by 50%, and we were living with my parents in Westchester County, New York, because we could no longer afford the rent on our apartment in Brooklyn. Now, our monthly mortgage payment is $1,500 less than our rent in Brooklyn. In New York City, some parking spaces go for what we bought an entire house for in Savannah.
Stocks can flirt with a price bottom for a lot of reasons. Usually, however, investors will assume that there is something fundamentally unsound about the stock, or the company. Perhaps its business model is flawed, perhaps its product has grown unpopular these, and many more factors can drive the share price down. But sometimes, perhaps just as often, a stock price will fall when there is no underlying unsoundness. A spate of bad news, a quarter that misses expectations, or a bad sales month
A woman has been accused of punching a 6-year-old Asian boy while hurling racial slurs at him and his mother in Las Vegas this week. What you need to know: The incident occurred at The Shops at Crystals, an upscale shopping mall located in the CityCenter complex. Tiktok user @uhmmajo managed to film part of the alleged attack, which shows the woman having an unhinged meltdown.
The stock market put in a strong showing on Friday, sending the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) to new record levels. Earlier this year, the investing thesis for many fast-growing companies got called into question by changing macroeconomic conditions. For many investors, Snowflake has been a colossal disappointment.
In this article, we discuss the 20 Chinese companies listed on NYSE/NASDAQ/AMEX. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these companies, go directly to the 5 Chinese Companies Listed on NYSE/NASDAQ/AMEX. The trade tension between the United States and China over the past few years has dominated headlines around the world, fueling speculation 
Signs of panic buying emerged Friday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange amid a powerful stock-market rally in the final minutes of trade, a day after one of the worst selloffs for equities since mid June. Market internals suggest that investors are buying mightily headed into the weekend. The NYSE Arms Index, a volume-weighted breadth measure, fell to 0.413, with many on Wall Street see declines below 0.500 as suggesting panic buying. The Arms Index is calculated by dividing the ratio of t
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Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) productivity is commonly limited by the availability of water. Increasing transpiration efficiency (biomass produced per unit of water used, TE) can potentially lead to increased grain yield in water-limited environments (more crop per drop). Currently, the ability to screen large populations for TE is limited by slow, low-throughput and/or expensive screening procedures. Here, we propose a low-cost, low-technology, rapid, and scalable method to screen for TE. The method uses a Pot-in-Bucket system that allows continuous watering of the pots and frequent monitoring of water use. To investigate the robustness of the method across environments, and to determine the shortest trial duration required to get accurate and repeatableTE estimates in wheat, plants from 11 genotypes varying in phenology were sown at three dates and grown for different durations in a polyhouse with partial environmental control.
The method revealed significant genotypic variations in TE among the 11 studied wheat genotypes. Genotype rankings for TE were consistent when plants were harvested the same day, at the flag-leaf stage or later. For these harvests, genotype rankings were consistent across experiments despite changes in environmental conditions, such as evaporative demand.
These results indicate that (1) the Pot-In-Bucket system is suitable to screen TE for breeding purposes in populations with varying phenology, (2) multiple short trials can be carried out within a season to allow increased throughput of genotypes for TE screening, and (3) root biomass measurement is not required to screen for TE, as whole-plant TE and shoot-only TE are highly correlated, at least in wheat. The method is particularly relevant in developing countries where low-cost and relatively high labour input may be most applicable.
Water availability is one of the primary limiting factors of yield for bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). With projected increase in water-stress events in some regions due to climate change [1, 2] and continuing global population growth, greater food production is needed. This can be achieved, in part, through greater crop yield and more efficient use of limited resources, such as water. Transpiration efficiency (TE), which is defined as the amount of biomass produced per unit of water transpired, has been suggested as a trait of interest to improve yield in drought-prone environments, in particular where crops rely on stored soil moisture [3,4,5]. In such environments, crops that are able to utilise available soil water more efficiently can maintain greater soil water reserves early during the crop cycle to use later in the season, when water can be more effectively used to produce grain yield (e.g. [6, 7]). In Australia, increases in yield with the release of new wheat cultivars has been linked with increases in TE , suggesting that indirect selection for TE has occurred as a by-product of breeding for yield in the drought-prone environments of the Australian wheatbelt . Crop simulation studies have also indicated major potential yield gains related to an increase in TE or its component traits [5, 10, 11]. Further, experimental work on carbon-13 isotope discrimination (CID) in leaf dry biomass, a surrogate trait for TE, has highlighted the potential of TE to increase yield in wheat . Selection based on CID has resulted in the release of two high water-use efficiency cultivars in Australia, Drysdale and Rees [4, 13].
TE of a plant is typically expressed as grams of biomass produced (with or without the roots) per kilogram of water transpired. It is commonly measured in sealed pots that exclude soil evaporation and deep drainage. TE differs from water use efficiency (WUE), a term used in agronomy and ecology, which typically refers to field measurements of biomass per unit of initial soil water plus in crop rainfall and any irrigation applied but which does not account for soil water evaporation, deep drainage and excludes root biomass . TE can also be defined at the leaf level, and then corresponds to the ratio between carbon assimilation (photosynthesis) and water flux through the stomata. Leaf TE is commonly measured using gas exchange with point measurements in terms of both space (part of a leaf) and time (seconds to minutes). As a result, TE measured on individual leaves is typically more variable than plant-level measurements . Even with multiple leaf-level point measurements per plant in stable light conditions, TE measured on parts of single leaves may still be poorly correlated with whole-plant TE . Overall, measurements on individual leaves are generally less suitable for large-scale phenotyping than plant-level measurements.
While genomics has the potential to accelerate crop adaptation, one of the current greatest bottlenecks is arguably the ability to phenotype large numbers of genotypes  for traits of importance for target production environments such as TE [3, 17]. TE at the plant level can be phenotyped with gravimetric methods in pots, by estimating the amount of water transpired by changes in pot weight over time. In this case, the watering and weighing can be performed manually  or with automated platforms [19,20,21]. TE can also be phenotyped indirectly, in either pot or field experiments, using CID measurements on dried laminas typically harvested between the stem elongation stage and flowering . In C3 species such wheat, CID is a stable trait that negatively correlates with TE [12, 22, 23]. In comparison to direct measurements of whole-plant TE that requires dedicated experiments, CID can be measured from samples harvested in field trials, such as breeding trials. However it is also more expensive  and its relationship with TE in C4 plants is not as straight forward as in C3 plants [25, 26].
Here, we propose a method for screening a large number of plants for TE quickly, accurately and efficiently with a low-cost platform that can be easily scalable. While measurements of whole-plant TE are typically done around flowering [8, 27], this paper demonstrates that reliable screening of TE can be achieved with shorter trial duration, to allow multiple trials to be carried out in a season and thus increase the throughput of whole-plant TE phenotyping.
Three experiments were conducted with 11 wheat genotypes grown in a pot system that maintains a constant water table and allows recording of water loss over time (Fig.1 and Additional file 1: Figure S1). Above-ground and root biomass were measured to determine TE for the shoot and the whole plant, respectively. In the first experiment, six harvests were performed at regular intervals from 40days after sowing (i.e. at stage 6 visible leaves on average across genotypes) to 14days after flowering (on average across all genotypes) in order to identify the shortest period required to get consistent genotypic discrimination for TE. To ensure the repeatability of the method, another two consecutive experiments were conducted with later sowings, where TE measurements occurred at the shortest time identified in the first experiment.
Pot in Bucket system. a A schematic diagram of the system, b a photograph where the bucket has a section removed to exhibit the capillarity mat that allows water to be taken up from the bucket to the soil in the pot, as well as the float valve, which controls the water level in the bucket, and c a photograph and d diagram of the float valve, where the micropipette tip can be blocked by the polystyrene float to stop the water flow from the water reservoir, and thus controls the water level in the bucket. Details of the system and how to construct it are presented in Additional file 1: Figure S1 and Additional file 2
The Pot in Bucket system (Fig.1 and Additional file 1: Figure S1; Additional file 2) was adapted from the system described by Hunter et al. [28, 29]. It consists of (1) a pot of soil where the plant or plants are grown, which is connected with (2) a capillary mat to (3) a bucket where the water level is kept constant due to (4) a float valve, itself connected to (5) a water reservoir via (6) a tube (Fig.1; details for the construction can been seen in Additional file 1: Figure S1 and in a demonstration video, Additional file 2). For wheat, the pots used were 1.4 L ANOVApot (137mm top diameter, 116mm base diameter, 140mm height, http://www.anovapot.com/php/anovapot.php), specifically designed to reduce the escape of roots through the pot drainage hole. However, other types of pots could be used in the system, as a root barrier is placed under the pot to stop roots from growing outside of the pot (Fig.1a and Additional file 1: Figure S1F). The base of the pot, with its grid-covered central hole, rests on a piece of capillary mat draped over a small container that sits inside a bucket (Fig.1b), A float valve contained within the small container (Fig.1c) maintains a constant water table within the bucket providing water to the upper pot via capillary flow to the central hole and the soil medium. The valve is connected via a standard medical IV drip with a 200m filter to a 5L container (reservoir), which is sealed to avoid any evaporationyetloose enough to preventvacuum forming (Fig.1a). Hence, water use from plant transpiration and soil evaporation corresponds to the amount of water removed from the reservoir. The measurement of water loss can thus be done by either weighing the reservoir to see how much water has been removed, or by weighing the amount of water required to refill the reservoir to a pre-defined level, which can be faster.
All three experiments were conducted in a shade house, with solarweave covers that exclude rain in Gatton, Queensland, Australia (275541.4S, 1523394.4E). Eleven wheat genotypes were grown in the experiments: (1) seven varieties from varying genetic backgrounds (Babax, Drysdale, Hartog, Mace, Scout, Seri M82 and Suntop), which were known to contrast for TE and vary for phenology; and (2) four near isogenic lines (NILs) contrasting in CID to test the ability of the system to phenotype changes in TE which are likely to be more subtle. The NILs were produced following an initial cross of the low CID variety Quarrion to high CID variety Hartog and then three further rounds of crossing to the recurrent parent Hartog with selection of backcross-derived progeny for CID. In total, four rounds of crossing to Hartog produce BC3-derived NILs varying for CID. In previous well-managed, irrigated field experiments, NIL11 and NIL28 exhibited low CID and are expected to have a high TE; while NIL63, and NIL113 exhibited high CID, and are expected to have a low TE.
The 11 genotypes were sown on May 6 (Exp. 1), June 16 (Exp. 2) and July 14 (Exp. 3) 2015 using five pots per genotype and two plants of the same genotype per pot (four seeds sown and thinned to two plants). Plants were grown using the PIB system with unrestricted access to water in a red silty-clay soil collected from the Redland Bay Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Research Station (273142.4S 1531447.2E). The soil was mixed thoroughly with 2.8g/L of Osmocote All Purpose fertiliser (NPK of 21.2:1.9:5.7). When seedlings had emerged, a 2cm layer of white polyurethane beads was applied to the soil surface in each pot (between 7 to 14days after sowing) to reduce moisture loss through evaporation, as well as inhibiting weed growth.
A complete randomized block design was used having blocks of 55 pots, each block consisting of five-pot replicates of each genotype, was used for each harvesting time and each experiment (Table1). Pots used for measurements were surrounded by border pots to reduce border effects . For each experiment, an additional three pots with no plants were used to measure any background moisture loss (e.g. remaining soil evaporation).
Air temperature (Tair) and atmospheric relative humidity (RH) were measured using a Vaisala HMP60 sensor (Vaisala, Helsinki, Finland), and light radiation was measured using a radiation sensor (Apogee Instruments, Providence, Utah USA) at 2m from the soil, recording every minute and averaged every 10min. vapour pressure deficit (VPD) was calculated as follows :
Measurements of plant water use were made weekly from 25days after sowing (stage 4 visible leaves) until harvest. Prior to 25days, soil imbibition with water (after sowing), soil evaporation (mainly before the addition of a layer of plastic beads on soil surface) and very small transpiration rate from seedlings prevented accurate and reliable measurements of transpiration.
Weekly observations of plant development were made on the main stem of one plant from each of the pots of the last-harvested block from experiment 1 (E1H6) and of all of the pots from experiments 2 and 3 (E2H1 and E3H1). Measurements included the number of visible green leaves, number of dead leaves, tiller number, stem number, and Zadoks score for the main stem .
Plants were harvested approximately every fortnight from 40days after sowing in Experiment 1, with the exception of the final harvest, which occurred 6days after the previous harvest (i.e. 14days after the trial-average of the main-stem flowering time; Table1). In Experiments 2 and 3, all plants were harvested approximately 1000Cd (degree-days with a base temperature of 0C)after sowing, i.e. after the flag leaf was fully expanded for most genotypes (Table1).
At each harvest, plants were cut at the soil level and dissected into the main plant components: green leaf blades, senesced blades, stems with leaf sheaths, and spikes. Leaf area of the green blades was measured using a leaf area meter (LI-3100C; LI-COR, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska USA). Roots were collected by carefully removing the soil substrate using a hose fitted with a fine spray head and gently teasing the roots apart. Due to the highly dispersible nature of the soil used in this experiment, the roots did not require excessive manipulation to remove soil particles, which can often result in inadvertent loss of roots. Once separated, all plant material was oven dried at 70C for five days, and then weighed to record dry biomass.
Transpiration efficiency was calculated as the ratio of dry (unless otherwise stated, e.g. in Additional file 1: Figure S4) biomass per cumulative gram of water transpired from 25days after sowing until harvest. The cumulative transpiration per pot was calculated as the total amount of water removed from each water reservoir, minus the average cumulative water lost from the three water loss control pots without plants, in each experiment for the period considered.
T-tests were applied to determine confidence interval and compare genotypic differences (P=0.05). Least significant differences (LSD) were calculated to group genotypes with similar TE (P=0.05). A series of bivariate linear models were performed to estimate phenotypic correlations between experiments and harvests, thus providing a measure of the strength of the agreement in genotype rankings between experiments and harvests. All data analyses were performed using the R software environment .
In cereals, transpiration efficiency (TE) is typically measured at flowering or soon after, prior to the main period of leaf senescence. When harvested 8days after the trial-average flowering time of the main head (E1H5), the 11 studied genotypes had a relatively wide range of TE, with shoot TE (i.e. excluding the roots) varying from 4.5 to 6gkg1, and whole-plant TE ranging from 5.6 to 7.5gkg1 (Fig.2). Significant differences (P<0.05) among genotypes were found for both whole-plant and shoot-only TE, with Scout, Suntop, NIL 28 and NIL 11 having the greatest TE, while Babax, and particularly Mace, were the less water efficient (Fig.2).
Whole-plant (shoots plus roots) and shoot-only transpiration efficiency for all 11 genotypes studied. Data for a harvest 8days after the trial-mean flowering date of the main head in experiment 1 (E1H5), and for b all harvests and experiments (excluding E1H1). Error bars represent confidence interval at P=0.05 (n=5)
Whole-plant and shoot TE were highly correlated (r=0.94; Fig.3) and the ranking of genotypes for the two traits was generally consistent across harvests and experiments. As whole-plant and shoot TE were so closely correlated, results for shoot TE only are presented elsewhere.
Whole-plant transpiration efficiency versus shoot transpiration efficiency for all 11 genotypes studied. The figure includes individual-pot data from all the harvests and experiments, except the two earliest harvests from Experiment 1 (E1H1 and E1H2), for which biomass accumulation and water use were low, and the root biomass harder to measure accurately. For information, when only data from E1H1 was excluded the relationship had a r2 of 0.815. The 1:1 relationship is represented by the hatched line
In the first experiment (Fig.4, Table2), TE across genotypes was analysed for harvests from the trial-mean 6-leaf stage (E1H1) to 14days after trial-mean flowering time for the main head (E1H6), i.e. before major leaf senescence. At the 6-leaf stage (E1H1), genotypic differences for TE were mostly not significant (Table2), most likely due to the small plant size and their limited water use, which made differences in TE difficult to capture. As a result, data from this first harvest (E1H1) were excluded from the analysis. The first significant genotypic differences in TE were detected 912Cd after sowing (E1H2), at the trial-mean 8-leaf stage (Zadoks stages varied from 16 to 18 among genotypes).
Genotypic variations in shoot transpiration efficiency over thermal time. Data for all harvests of Experiment 1, with the exception of harvest 1 (E1H1), for which the small size of the plants (6-leaf stage for the trial average) and their limited water use make differences in TE difficult to capture. For clarity, only five of the 11 genotypes were presented in this figure. Error bars represent confidence interval at P=0.05 (n=5). See Additional file 1: Figure S2 for all genotypes
Genotype rankings were relatively stable for TE for all the harvests from flag leaf (i.e. Zadoks 3739) to 14days after the trial-mean flowering time of the main head (Table2, Fig.4 and Additional file 1: Figure S2; E1H3-E1H6). TE measured at harvest 2 (E1H2) had a correlation coefficient of only 0.38 with the harvest performed soon after flowering (E1H5; Table3). By contrast, correlation coefficients of harvest 3 (E1H3) onwards with the reference harvest E1H5 near flowering were above 0.7 (Table3). This suggests that while significant differences in TE can be detected around the 8-leaf stage, 912Cd after sowing (E1H2), better discrimination among genotypes can be achieved 2weeks later, 1127Cd after sowing (E1H3), from the flag-leaf stage onwards.
Overall, genotype rankings for TE were similar, regardless of time of measurement from harvest 2 (E1H2) to 6 (E1H6). However, a time greater than approximately 1000Cd (i.e. flag-leaf stage) was required for TE to be highly correlated with TE measured around flowering.
Two experiments were performed with later sowings to assess how stable genotype rankings are across environments, when harvest occurs after the flag-leaf stage, around 1000Cd after sowing. Lower TE (Fig.5) was observed in both later-sown experiments (E2H1 and E3H1) compared to TE measured at a similar phenological stage in Experiment 1 (E1H3), likely due to greater evaporative demand (i.e. higher VPD) in these later-sown experiments (Table1). As in Experiment 1, significant genotypic differences were observed in experiments 2 and 3 (E2H1 and E3H1; Table4 and Fig.5). Importantly, genotypic values of TE in Experiments 2 and 3 were significantly correlated with those from Experiment 1, and in particular with the reference harvest, which occurred soon after the trial-mean flowering time of the main head (E1H5) (correlation of 0.73 and 0.79, respectively; Table3). Note that E3H1 (harvested at 905Cd after sowing) was strongly correlated with TE measured around flowering (r=0.79; E1H5) while E1H2, which was harvested in similar conditions (harvested at 912Cd) was not (r=0.38), thus illustrating the impact that environments can have on the results. In this case, plants from E1H2 had experienced a lower VPD than E3H1 plants on average (Table1) and particularly towards time of harvest when growth rate and transpiration rate were at their maximum (data not shown).
Genotypic variations in shoot transpiration efficiency measured at~1000Cd after sowing, across experiments. Measurements for three experiments (i.e. E1H3, E2H1 and E3H1) are shown. For clarity, only five of the 11 genotypes were presented in this figure. Error bars represent confidence interval at P=0.05 (n=5). See Additional file 1: Figure S3 for all genotypes
Transpiration efficiency was also estimated between the different harvests to look at the accuracy of such estimates (Table5). High correlations of TE with the reference (i.e. TE measured soon after the main-head flowering, E1H5) were consistently found for water use measurements taken over 3weeks or more. This indicates that it is possible to only measure water use and plant growth over a short period of time to identify line differences in TE, as long as (1) the plants are big enough (here from harvest 1 onwards, i.e. from the 6-leaf stage) and (2) plant biomass is estimated at the beginning of the measurement period.
Non-destructive estimates of root and shoot fresh biomass and TE were tested against measurements from harvested plants to assess their accuracy. In the Pot-In-Bucket system, pot weights were recorded (1) initially, after full wetting of the soil; (2) at harvest with the plant in the pot; and (3) at harvest after cutting the above-ground biomass to estimate the fresh biomass of the roots (31), shoots (23) and whole plants (21), as well as TE for fresh biomass. Such whole-pot estimates for root, above-ground, and whole-plant biomass were correlated both with (1) fresh biomass (e.g. for E1H6: roots, r=0.71; shoots, r=0.95; whole-plant, r=0.94; Additional file 1: Figures S4A, C and E), and (2) dry biomass (e.g. for E1H6: roots, r=0.65; shoots, r=0.95; whole-plant, r=0.91; Additional file 1: Figures S4B, D and F) at each particular stage (data only shown for E1H6).
By contrast, estimates for TE derived from pot weight were poorly correlated with the ones estimated from measured plant biomass (r<0.24 for whole plant TE; Additional file 1: Figure S4G and H). Hence, in the conditions tested, the accuracy of TE estimates derived from pot weight was insufficient to compare genotypes.
In the conditions tested in this study, TE for whole-plant biomass (including roots) was closely correlated with TE for above-ground biomass from the 8-leaf stage onwards (Fig.3; r=0.94). Similar results have been found in other conditions in wheat and in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] . Root extraction is a labour-intensive process, and it often results in small amounts of fine roots being lost during washing, introducing error into root biomass estimates  and thus also whole-plant TE estimates. While the Pot-in-Bucket system presented here allows estimation of whole-plant biomass from pot weight measurement over time (Additional file 1: Figure S4; ), those estimates were not precise enough to provide useful estimates of TE in the conditions tested (Additional file 1: Figure S4G-H). Overall, given the high correlation between shoot and whole-plant TE and the practical difficulties that come with root-biomass estimation, shoot TE appears as an appropriate target for genetic and breeding purposes.
However, genotypic differences in biomass partitioning to roots have been observed under well-watered conditions in crops such as wheat, sorghum and maize (Zea mays L.), which means that the exclusion of the roots could potentially affect the ranking of genotypes for TE . In the present study, some variation in genotype ranking between shoot TE and whole-plant TE was observed for specific conditions (Fig.3; data not presented). In sorghum, significant genotype by environment (GE) interactions have been reported for shoot TE, but not for whole-plant TE, thus illustrating the potential importance of including roots in the calculation of TE . Hence, considering root biomass may be important for detailed physiological studies.
Trial duration and growing conditions affected TE (Figs.4, 5). While TE estimates changed over time (Fig.4 and Additional file 1: Figure S2), genotype rankings for TE remained consistent from the flag-leaf stage (E1H3) through to 2weeks after flowering (last studied harvest) in Experiment 1 (E1H6; Table3 and Fig.4 and Additional file 1: Figure S2). This suggests that a trial should run at least up to the flag-leaf stage (i.e. 9001000Cd after sowing; but before major leaf senescence) to allow accurate screening of TE in wheat.
The studied genotypes varied for phenology (Table1). In the proposed method, all genotypes were harvested at a common date for each harvest (reported stages in the text are given for the average across genotypes). By doing so, genotypes grew in the same environmental conditions, and did not experience different environmental conditions towards harvest, when plants are the biggest and transpire the most, i.e. when environmental conditions have the greatest impact on TE. That said, TE of genotypes harvested at the same stage (flowering) or at the same date (at flag leaf) were also relatively highly correlated (0.57) in a set of genotypes varying by 30days for flowering (Chenu and Fletcher, unpublished data). Overall, harvesting all genotypes at the same time is simpler than targeting specific stages, and it allowed genotype ranking to be maintained across experiments. Thus, the proposed method was found suitable for screening genotypes with different phenology.
In terms of the effect of environmental conditions, TE tended to be lower for higher VPD conditions (e.g. for similar stages: E2H1 and E3H1 compared to E1H3; Table1 and Fig.5). Importantly however, the genotype rankings observed in all of these conditions were highly correlated (Table3). Other studies have reported non-significant GE interactions for TE under well-watered conditions ( for rice (Oryza sativa L.); ,  and  for sorghum). Even in studies where significant GE interactions for TE were observed, these interactions were still smaller than the genotypic main effect (in peanut (Arachis hypogea L.) ; in sorghum  and ). Thus, the method proposed should be suitable for other species as well.
Genotypic TE differences were enhanced in Experiments 2 and 3 (Fig.5 and Additional file 1: Figure S3), probably because of greater VPD. This agrees with previous reports of more detailed analyses of VPD effects, which have shown that increased VPD tends to increase TE differences among genotypes [3, 20]. Given the response of transpiration rate to VPD , low VPD conditions and/or small plant size (e.g. E1H2, E1H3) result in limited transpiration, while higher VPD conditions typically result in increased transpiration (e.g. with a lower leaf area, plants in E3H1 (higher VPD) transpired more than larger plants in E1H3 (lower VPD) at a similar developmental stage; Table1). In addition, genetic variation for transpiration rates is typically greater under high than under low VPD (e.g. [20, 41]), possibly resulting in higher genetic variations for TE [3, 20]. Hence, high VPD conditions may allow earlier discrimination of the genotypic variability for TE.
Measuring biomass accumulation and water use for shorter windows of time later in the vegetative period, did not substantially affect the genotype ranking for TE. Hence, TE measurements could be made over shorter time periods (21days minimum here) if plant biomass is estimated at the beginning of the period (Table5).
Overall, while sowing time did affect the absolute value of TE, it had little impact on genotypic rankings. Importantly, it was identified that a minimum period of about 9001000Cd (flag-leaf stage) is required to identify genotypic differences in TE. Furthermore, discrimination for TE among genotypes was enhanced under higher VPD conditions.
After the flag-leaf stage, the genotype ranking for TE is relatively stable. While trials to phenotype TE typically run up to flowering or a bit longer (e.g. [3, 8]), shortening the trial duration up to the flag-leaf stage means that, at least in wheat, multiple experiments may be conducted in the same space within a single season, greatly increasing the potential throughput of a screening platform. In this study, trial duration was shortened by a third compared to the reference period to near flowering (E1H3 vs E1H5), so that two experiments (Experiments 1 and 3) could easilybe carried outwithin the usual Australian wheat growing season.
The Pot-in-Bucket system allowed accurate non-destructive estimations of plant biomass (Additional file 1: Figure S4A-F) by measuring the increase in pot weight (i.e. difference between an empty pot with fully-wetted soil, and the same pot with the grown plant). However, those non-destructive biomass estimates did not result in accurate estimations of TE (Additional file 1: Figure S4G-H). Doing the measurements early morning before shoot water content drops could improve the results[42, 43]. Alternatively, shoot biomass could be estimated via image analysis (e.g. [19, 21]). A method allowing non-destructive measurements of biomass (and thus TE) would allow an integrative phenotyping-breeding process, with TE being phenotyped at the flag leaf, and plant crossed later, at flowering (e.g. ).
While the Pot-in-Bucket system does not allow screening under limited soilwater conditions, the system has value for plant breeding for drought-prone regions as TE in well-watered and drought-stressed conditions have been found positively correlated (P<0.01) in wheat . In these circumstances, screening under favourable conditions could be preferable as it maximises variation among genotypes and increases heritability . In addition, the Pot-in-Bucket system can be set up in controlled environments to study tolerance to high temperature and/or elevated CO2. Hence, the Pot-in-Bucket system appears appropriate (1) for breeding for drought-prone regions, particularly where crops rely heavily on stored soil water [3, 5, 11, 13], and (2) to study impacts of factors associated with global warming on TE.
The Pot-in-Bucket system is a low-cost, low-technology method that can be scaled up to do high-throughput phenotyping of TE in wheat or other crops with particular relevance to developing countries, such as rice and barley or bigger crops such as maize and sorghum, when using bigger ANOVApot (van Oosterom, unpublished data). While expensive high-throughput systems requiring state-of-the-art technology are appropriate for measuring TE in developed countries or in international research institutes (e.g. Australia ; Europe ; ICRISAT ), these technologies are not appropriate for crop improvement programs where resources and technologies are more limited. Cheaper phenotyping platforms such as the one proposed by Pereyra-Irujo et al.  can be manufactured, but they still require a certain level of engineering.
The Pot-In-Bucket system presented here is a transferable concept that does not require any specific skilled labour and could readily be implemented anywhere in the world (Additional file 1: Figure S1). The technology is simple and cost effective, enabling the system to be built and maintained effectively. The system is however relatively labour intensive for its construction, maintenance and usage. For example, in this study, monitoring and recording of water use required one person for 1day per week, and the harvesting of plants was also manual. The method thus appears be particularly effective for small experiments in most countries, and for medium-to-high throughput experiments where the cost of labour is relatively low. Cheap, low-technology and scalable methods, such as clear-pot root phenotyping platform  have already successfully been transferred to developing countries. By leveraging the low cost of labour, the Pot-In-Bucket system could be effectively deployed in developing nations to enable crop improvement programs to screen the extent of genetic diversity for TE in their germplasm collections, ultimately enabling the mapping of genes associated with TE.
Harvests of wheat genotypes differing in phenology were performed every fortnight in a Pot-in-Bucket system to identify the minimum period required to get accurate and robust estimates of transpiration efficiency (TE). Measuring TE at early stages of plant development (before 8-leaf stage) did not allow confident discrimination among genotypes, as the small amount of water used and small plant biomass produced led to poor TE estimates. Only when harvesting at or after the flag-leaf stage, was significant variation in TE detected with relatively consistent genotype ranking. Environmental conditions resulting from different sowing times affected the absolute value of TE but had little influence on the genotype ranking for TE. Genotypic discrimination for TE was enhanced in high VPD conditions. Furthermore, measuring root biomass did not appear to be necessary to estimate TE for genetic and breeding purposes, as whole-plant TE and shoot TE were highly correlated.
The low-cost, low-technology and high-throughput Pot-in-Bucket method should enable breeding programs with limited resources, e.g. in developing countries, to screen their germplasm for variation in TE to improve drought adaptation in wheat and other crops.
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AF and KC conducted the experiment. AF analysed data with supervision from KC and JC. MH developed the platform (Pot-In-Bucket) used during this study. GR developed the NILs. All authors contributed feedback on the writing of this manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
MN. Hunter invented the ANOVApot. He has shares and is a director in Anova Solutions P/L (ACN 088443752) that has been assigned patent rights, which apply to ANOVApot in Australia, New Zealand, US and Europe. All other authors declare no competing interest.
This work was supported by the University of Queensland, and was partially funded the Grains Research and Development Corporation of Australia (GRDC project CSP00179), and by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, and through the PhD scholarship for Andrew Fletcher.
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Fletcher, A., Christopher, J., Hunter, M. et al. A low-cost method to rapidly and accurately screen for transpiration efficiency in wheat. Plant Methods 14, 77 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13007-018-0339-y
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