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Concept: Paddy field


Several reports suggested that rice seedling nursery-box application of some systemic insecticides (neonicotinoids and fipronil) is the cause of the decline in dragonfly species noted since the 1990s in Japan. We conducted paddy mesocosm experiments to investigate the effect of the systemic insecticides clothianidin, fipronil and chlorantraniliprole on rice paddy field biological communities. Concentrations of all insecticides in the paddy water were reduced to the limit of detection within 3 months after application. However, residuals of these insecticides in the paddy soil were detected throughout the experimental period. Plankton species were affected by clothianidin and chlorantraniliprole right after the applications, but they recovered after the concentrations decreased. On the other hand, the effects of fipronil treatment, especially on Odonata, were larger than those of any other treatment. The number of adult dragonflies completing eclosion was severely decreased in the fipronil treatment. These results suggest that the accumulation of these insecticides in paddy soil reduces biodiversity by eliminating dragonfly nymphs, which occupy a high trophic level in paddy fields.

Concepts: Indonesia, Irrigation, Paddy field, Satoyama, Dragonfly


Modeling approaches for pesticide regulation are required to provide generic and conservative evaluations on pesticide fate and exposure based on limited data. This study investigates the modeling approach for pesticide simulation in a rice paddy, by developing a component-based modeling system and characterizing the dependence of pesticide concentrations on individual fate processes. The developed system covers the modeling complexity from a “base model” which considers only the essential processes of water management, water-sediment exchange, and aquatic dissipation, to a “full model” for all commonly simulated processes. Model capability and performance were demonstrated by case studies with 5 pesticides in 13 rice fields of the California’s Sacramento Valley. With registrant-submitted dissipation half-lives, the base model conservatively estimated dissolved pesticide concentrations within one order of magnitude of measured data. The full model simulations were calibrated to characterize the key model parameters and processes varying with chemical properties and field conditions. Metabolism in water was identified as an important process in predicting pesticide fate in all tested rice fields. Relative contributions of metabolism, hydrolysis, direct aquatic photolysis, and volatilization to the overall pesticide dissipation were significantly correlated to the model sensitivities to the corresponding physicochemical properties and half-lives. While modeling results were sensitive to metabolism half-lives in water for all fields, significances of metabolism in sediment and water-sediment exchange were only observed for pesticides with pre-flooding applications or with rapid dissipation in sediment. Results suggest that, in addition to the development of regional modeling scenarios for rice production, the registrant-submitted maximum values for the aquatic dissipation half-lives could be used for evaluating pesticide for regulatory purposes.

Concepts: Indonesia, Simulation, Irrigation, Rice, Aquatic plant, Paddy field


Rice cultivation relies on pesticide applications to ensure high yields. However, the regular use of pesticides seriously affects the quality of neighboring surface water systems. Thus complete knowledge of the environmental fate and dissipation of pesticides in the paddy rice environment should become available. So far only a few studies have provided comprehensive assessment of the dissipation of pesticides under the submerged cultivation conditions followed in rice. Thus, laboratory and 2-year field studies were performed to assess the dissipation of two new generation rice herbicides (penoxsulam and profoxydim) and one of the most important rice fungicides (tricyclazole). A good agreement between laboratory and field experiments was observed with a faster dissipation of penoxsulam and tricyclazole under field conditions. Profoxydim was the least persistent chemical (DT50 soil<1d; DT50 water 0.5-1.2d), followed by penoxsulam which persisted for longer particularly in the water compartment (DT50water=3.8-5.9d). Tricyclazole was the most persistent pesticide, especially in the soil compartment with DT50 values of 44.5-84.6 (field) and 197d (laboratory). These results could be utilized for the assessment of the environmental risk associated with the use of those pesticides in rice cultivation and the determination of potential mitigation measures for minimizing the risk for contamination of neighboring natural water resources.

Concepts: Water, Indonesia, Irrigation, Water resources, Pesticide application, Rice, Aquatic plant, Paddy field


There is a growing awareness that if we are to achieve the ambitious goal of malaria elimination, we must compliment indoor-based vector control interventions (such as bednets and indoor spraying) with outdoor-based interventions such as larval source management (LSM). The effectiveness of LSM is limited by our capacity to identify and map mosquito aquatic habitats. This study provides a proof of concept for the use of a low-cost (< $1000) drone (DJI Phantom) for mapping water bodies in seven sites across Zanzibar including natural water bodies, irrigated and non-irrigated rice paddies, peri-urban and urban locations.

Concepts: Malaria, Water, Anopheles, Mosquito, Irrigation, Aquatic plant, Paddy field, Drone music


Azole resistance is an emerging problem in Aspergillus which impacts the management of aspergillosis. Here in we report the emergence and clonal spread of resistance to triazoles in environmental Aspergillus fumigatus isolates in India. A total of 44 (7%) A. fumigatus isolates from 24 environmental samples were found to be triazole resistant. The isolation rate of resistant A. fumigatus was highest (33%) from soil of tea gardens followed by soil from flower pots of the hospital garden (20%), soil beneath cotton trees (20%), rice paddy fields (12.3%), air samples of hospital wards (7.6%) and from soil admixed with bird droppings (3.8%). These strains showed cross-resistance to voriconazole, posaconazole, itraconazole and to six triazole fungicides used extensively in agriculture. Our analyses identified that all triazole-resistant strains from India shared the same TR(34)/L98H mutation in the cyp51 gene. In contrast to the genetic uniformity of azole-resistant strains the azole-susceptible isolates from patients and environments in India were genetically very diverse. All nine loci were highly polymorphic in populations of azole-susceptible isolates from both clinical and environmental samples. Furthermore, all Indian environmental and clinical azole resistant isolates shared the same multilocus microsatellite genotype not found in any other analyzed samples, either from within India or from the Netherlands, France, Germany or China. Our population genetic analyses suggest that the Indian azole-resistant A. fumigatus genotype was likely an extremely adaptive recombinant progeny derived from a cross between an azole-resistant strain migrated from outside of India and a native azole-susceptible strain from within India, followed by mutation and then rapid dispersal through many parts of India. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that exposure of A. fumigatus to azole fungicides in the environment causes cross-resistance to medical triazoles. The study emphasises the need of continued surveillance of resistance in environmental and clinical A. fumigatus strains.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Mutation, Evolution, Aspergillosis, Aspergillus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Paddy field


Due to the increasing environmental impact of food production, carbon footprint as an indicator can guide farmland management. This study established a method and estimated the carbon footprint of grain production in China based on life cycle analysis (LCA). The results showed that grain production has a high carbon footprint in 2013, i.e., 4052 kg ce/ha or 0.48 kg ce/kg for maize, 5455 kg ce/ha or 0.75 kg ce/kg for wheat and 11881 kg ce/ha or 1.60 kg ce/kg for rice. These footprints are higher than that of other countries, such as the United States, Canada and India. The most important factors governing carbon emissions were the application of nitrogen fertiliser (8-49%), straw burning (0-70%), energy consumption by machinery (6-40%), energy consumption for irrigation (0-44%) and CH4 emissions from rice paddies (15-73%). The most important carbon sequestration factors included returning of crop straw (41-90%), chemical nitrogen fertiliser application (10-59%) and no-till farming practices (0-10%). Different factors dominated in different crop systems in different regions. To identity site-specific key factors and take countermeasures could significantly lower carbon footprint, e.g., ban straw burning in northeast and south China, stopping continuous flooding irrigation in wheat and rice production system.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Agriculture, United States, Nitrogen, Maize, Rice, Life cycle assessment, Paddy field


Rice grain with excessive cadmium (Cd) is a major source of dietary Cd intake and a serious threat to health for people who consume rice as a staple food. The development of elite rice cultivars with consistently low Cd content is challenging for conventional breeding approaches, and new strategies urgently need to be developed. Here, we report the development of new indica rice lines with low Cd accumulation and no transgenes by knocking out the metal transporter gene OsNramp5 using CRISPR/Cas9 system. Hydroponic culture showed that Cd concentrations in shoots and roots of osnramp5 mutants were dramatically decreased, resulting in rescue of impaired growth in high Cd condition. Cd-contaminated paddy field trials demonstrated that Cd concentration in osnramp5 grains was consistently less than 0.05 mg/kg, in contrast to high Cd concentrations from 0.33 mg/kg to 2.90 mg/kg in grains of Huazhan (the wild-type indica rice). In particular, the plant yield was not significantly affected in osnramp5 mutants. Furthermore, we developed promising hybrid rice lines with extremely low Cd content in grains. Our work supplies a practical approach to developing Cd pollution-safe indica rice cultivars that minimizes Cd contamination risk in grains.

Concepts: Gene, Indonesia, Cadmium, Cereal, Maize, Rice, Paddy field, Staple food


The effects of three irrigation levels (traditional normal amount of irrigation [NA100%], 70%, and 30% of the normal amount [NA70% and NA30%]) and two rice varieties (Oryza sativa L. Huayou14 and Hanyou8) on CH4 and N2O emissions were investigated over two years under contrasting climate conditions (a ‘warm and dry’ season in 2013 and a normal season in 2014). Hanyou8 was developed as a drought-resistant variety. The mean seasonal air temperature in 2013 was 2.3 °C higher than in 2014, while the amount of precipitation from transplanting to the grain-filling stage in 2013 was only 36% of that in 2014. CH4 emission rose by 93-161%, but rice grain yield fell by 7-13% in 2013, compared to 2014 under the NA100% conditions. Surface standing water depths (SSWD) were higher in Hanyou8 than in Huayou14 due to the lower water demand by Hanyou8. A reduction in the amount of irrigation water applied can effectively reduce the CH4 emissions regardless of the rice variety and climate condition. However, less irrigation during the ‘warm and dry’ season greatly decreased Huayou14 grain yield, but had little impact on Hanyou8. In contrast, N2O emission depended more on fertilization and SSWD than on rice variety.

Concepts: Climate, Nitrogen, Irrigation, Nitrous oxide, Rice, Oryza sativa, Greenhouse gas, Paddy field


Under paddy field conditions, biological sulfur oxidation occurs in the oxidized surface soil layer and rhizosphere, in which oxygen leaks from the aerenchyma system of rice plants. In the present study, we examined community shifts in sulfur-oxidizing bacteria associated with the oxidized surface soil layer and rice roots under different sulfur fertilization conditions based on the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene in order to explore the existence of oligotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the paddy rice ecosystem. Rice plants were grown in pots with no fertilization (control) or CaCO3 or CaSO4 fertilization. A principal-coordinates analysis (PCoA) showed that CaSO4 fertilization markedly affected bacterial communities associated with rice roots and soil, whereas no significant differences were observed in plant growth among the fertilizer treatments examined. In rice roots, the relative abundance of Acidobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and TM7 was significantly higher in CaSO4-fertilized pots than in control pots. Alphaproteobacteria, Bradyrhizobiaceae, and Methylocystaceae members were significantly more abundant in CaSO4-fertilized roots than in control roots. On the other hand, the abundance of Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria was lower in CaSO4-fertilized soil than in control soil. These results indicate that the bacteria associated with rice roots and soil responded to the sulfur amendment, suggesting that more diverse bacteria are involved in sulfur oxidation in the rice paddy ecosystem than previously considered.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Bacteria, RNA, Ribosomal RNA, Fertilizer, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Paddy field


Surface soils, under various land uses, were contaminated by radionuclides that were released by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Because paddy fields are one of the main land uses in Japan, we investigated the spatial distribution of radiocesium and the influence of irrigation water in a paddy field during cultivation. Soil core samples collected at a paddy field in Fukushima showed that plowing had disturbed the original depth distribution of radiocesium. The horizontal distribution of radiocesium did not show any evidence for significant influence of radiocesium from irrigation water, and its accumulation within the paddy field, since the original amount of radiocesium was much larger than was added into the paddy field by irrigation water. However, it is possible that rainfall significantly increases the loading of radiocesium.

Concepts: Water, Indonesia, Han Dynasty, Irrigation, Nuclear power, Aquatic plant, Paddy field, Land management