Elevated temperature has already caused a significant loss of wine growing areas and resulted in inferior fruit quality, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. The existence of broad genetic diversity in V. vinifera is key in adapting viticulture to climate change; however, a lack of understanding on the variability in berry metabolic response to climate change remains a major challenge to build ad-hoc strategies for quality fruit production.
Most of the research was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture of Israel and JNF-KKL
Hairy stork’s-bill (Erodium crassifolium) (HSB) is one of the few Geraniaceae species that produce tubers. While HSB tubers were occasionally used as a food source by desert nomads, they have not yet been taken up in the modern kitchen. Recently, HSB tubers were recognized as harboring potential to become an industrial pharmaceutical crop. The objective of this study was to determine a set of agricultural practices that would maximize the yield of the bioactive compounds of the present HSB genetic material.
The effect of vegetation on solar PV panel efficiency was tested in a commercial solar farm in the Negev Desert of Israel. Panel temperature in two test sites of 0.22 hectares each with different plant treatments was up to 3.5oC lower at midday compared to the panel temperature in an adjacent reference plot with bare loess soil. The temperature difference was not uniform, being greatest for the upper panels in a ground-mounted array (average reduction 2.2°C), and lowest for panels closest to the ground (1.0°C reduction).
Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter (tef) is a small annual grain, panicle-bearing, C4 cereal crop native to Ethiopia, where it is a major staple food. The objectives of the present study were to characterize the responses of two tef genotypes to escalating nitrogen (N) levels in terms of shoot, root, and grain biomass production, N concentration and uptake, and to determine an optimum N range at which tef performance is maximized. The N was applied in the irrigation water (Fertigation) in order to provide a consistent concentration of N in the root zone.
The ectendomycorrhizal fungus Terfezia boudieri is known to secrete auxin. While some of the effects of fungal auxin on the plant root system have been described, a comprehensive understanding is still lacking. A dual culture system to study pre mycorrhizal signal exchange revealed previously unrecognized root-fungus interaction mediated by the fungal auxin. The secreted fungal auxin induced negative taproot gravitropism, attenuated taproot growth rate, and inhibited initial host development.
With globalization in the last century, introduction of exotic plant species for commercial use has become more accessible. Such attempts may involve extreme land changes. We stress that domestication of native species should be preferred to the introduction of exotic species. We took the initial steps in domesticating several species by examining commercial uses and studying aspects of plant physiology.
Desert truffles are mycorrhizal, hypogeous fungi considered a delicacy. On the basis of morphological characters, we identified three desert truffle species that grow in the same habitat in the Negev desert. These include Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.), Tirmania nivea (Desf.) Trappe, and Terfezia boudieri (Chatain), all associated with Helianthemum sessiliflorum. Their taxonomy was confirmed by PCR-RFLP. The main volatiles of fruit bodies of T. boudieri and T.
Fifteen years of research and development aimed at the production of high-quality earlywinter strawberries in the Negev desert, are concluded. This goal required synchronization of seasonal yields with the peaks of the markets' demand, November− February. For this purpose, selected infra short-day (ISD) cultivars were used. Rooted plug plants with enhanced capacity of simultaneous fast vegetative growth and fruiting were produced. Production was carried out in greenhouses and various protocols aimed at yield enhancement were tested.
The increased demand of high quantity and quality of cherry tomatoes requires the application of a wide range of pre-harvest pesticides. The application of dozens of pre-harvest pesticides frequently results in multiple pesticide residues, to which the end consumer is exposed. Incorrect usage of these pesticides may result in hazardous food contamination and therefore, it is crucial to monitor pesticide residues in preand post-marketed agricultural commodities.
The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruit is of major importance for the nutrition of broad populations in the world’s desert strip; yet it is sorely understudied. Understanding the mechanism regulating date fruit development and ripening is essential to customise date crop to the climatic change, which elaborates yield losses due to often too early occurring wet season. This study aimed to uncover the mechanism regulating date fruit ripening.