Recent Submissions

  • ItemOpen Access
    A review of grass species yields and growth rates in Northland, New Zealand
    (Informa UK Limited on behalf of the Royal Society Te Aparangi, 2024-05-12) Teixeira, C S P; Olykan, S T; Moot, Derrick
    Pastoral farming is a major land use in New Zealand's Northland region, with 3,171 farm holdings and a total area of 637,500 hectares in 2022. The region's pasture grasses include temperate (C3) and subtropical and tropical (C4) grasses which support dairy, and sheep and beef production from grazing. In lowland areas, C3 and some annual C4 grasses are prevalent where cultivation occurs, while perennial C4 grasses dominate areas with low soil fertility and summer dry conditions. Grass-based pasture growth rates (kg dry matter/ha/day) from published and unpublished sources were assembled into the AgYields database. Among the resident and sown grasses tested in Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Whangarei and Dargaville, perennial ryegrass represented ∼60% of the total data points. Dominant kikuyu pastures represented 23% and the remaining species represented 17%. Rates of growth ranged from 5 to 120 kg DM/ha/day, being lowest in late autumn-winter and highest in early summer. Data were compared and agronomic traits (i.e. drought tolerance, biomass production and tillering) are discussed to assess species suitability for the Northland environment. The medium-term prospect suggests an urgent need to improve research into management of cocksfoot and tall fescue-based pastures to provide viable alternatives to overcome the decreasing persistence of perennial ryegrass.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Epigenetic changes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae alters the aromatic profile in alcoholic fermentation
    (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2022-08-11) Kong, Y; Olejar, KJ; On, Stephen; Winefield, Christopher; Wescombe, PA; Brennan, CS; Hider, RN; Chelikani, Venkata
    Epigenetic changes in genomics provide phenotypic modification without DNA sequence alteration. This study shows that benzoic acid, a common food additive and known histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), has an epigenetic effect on Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Benzoic acid stimulated formation of epigenetic histone marks H3K4Me2, H3K27Me2, H3K18ac and H3Ser10p in S. cerevisiae and altered their phenotypic behavior, resulting in increased production of phenylethyl alcohol and ester compounds during alcoholic fermentation. Our study demonstrates the HDACi activity of certain dietary compounds such as sodium butyrate, curcumin and anacardic acid, suggests the potential use of these dietary compounds in altering S. cerevisiae phenotypes without altering host-cell DNA. This study highlights the potential to use common dietary compounds to exploit epigenetic modifications for various fermentation and biotechnology applications as an alternative to genetic modification. These findings indicate that benzoic acid and other food additives may have potential epigenetic effects on human gut microbiota, in which several yeast species are involved.
  • PublicationEmbargo
    Science–policy research collaborations need philosophers
    (Springer Nature, 2024) Schneider, MD; Sogbanmu, TO; Rubin, H; Bortolus, A; Chukwu, EE; Heesen, R; Hewitt, Chad; Kaufer, R; Metzen, H; Mitova, V; Schwenkenbecher, A; Schwindt, E; Slanickova, H; Woolaston, K; Yu, L-A
    'Wicked problems’ are tricky to solve because of their many interconnected components and a lack of any single optimal solution. At the science-policy interface, all problems can look wicked: research exposes the complexity relevant to designing, executing, and implementing policy fit for ambitious human needs. Expertise in philosophical research can help navigate that complexity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Yield and persistence of legume monocultures grown in the Lees Valley, South Island High Country
    (New Zealand Grassland Association, 2023) Olykan, ST; Mills, A; Lucas, RJ; Smith, M; Moot, Derrick
    Six legume monocultures were established in the Lees Valley, North Canterbury (400 m a.s.l.), which has long cold winters. The stony soils have low pH, high aluminium concentration, and low water holding capacity, which can lead to severe summer soil moisture deficits. The aim was to identify legumes that would survive and persist in this environment and, therefore, increase the available nitrogen in the pastoral system. Legume populations of 88±12 seedlings/m² were established and ranged from 45 (sub clover) to 197 seedlings/m² (Caucasian clover). The highest yields were from ‘Pawera’ red clover at 2.5 and 2.9 t DM/ ha in Years 2 and 3, ‘Demand’ white clover produced 1.7 and 2.6 t DM/ha, and ‘Endura’ Caucasian 1.8 and 1.7 t DM/ha. ‘Kaituna’ lucerne yields were low at 0.7 and 1.4 t DM/ha. Caucasian clover was the most persistent legume. A visual assessment in Year 5 found Caucasian was the only legume still dominating its plot (69%) with the lowest area of bare ground (11%). ‘Leura’ subterranean and ‘Bolta’ balansa annual clovers survived for four years but accumulated annual yields were low (<1.0 t DM/ha/yr), and the presence of unsown species was high (>50%). While red and white clover provided the highest yields for two years, Caucasian clover was the most persistent species and is therefore a legume recommended for this environment.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pasture production: A compilation of historical datasets from farms in Bay of Plenty
    (New Zealand Grassland Association, 2023) Teixeira, C; Gee, T; Hawke, M; Moot, Derrick
    Bay of Plenty district, and particularly the Rotorua Lakes area, has a diverse terrain and soil types which influence pasture production. Regular measurement of pasture production enables short term decision making on a farm scale and is invaluable for catchment, district and regional long term management strategies. Thomas (Tom) M. Gee, was a retired farmer with more than 18 years of field trial experience with MAF Field Research Division. He collected data from more than 30 farms after he retired. Data from other sites in the district were collected in the early 1970s by MAF technicians stationed in Whakatane and Tauranga and later by AgResearch staff and a farm consultant based in Rotorua. Tom Gee’s mission was to use these measurements to provide farmers with rates of growth (ROG) data to inform them about their farm. The Gee farm (Fairbank) of 200 ha was originally leased from Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands in 1916 and then purchased before much of it was sold back to the Incorporation in 1970. Tom retired in 1989 but kept meticulously recording pasture growth rates on different farms up to ~ 2007. Some field notes were lost, but datasets with gaps are still useful to assist monthly growth rates calculations. His valuable and extensive (almost 25 years) on farm field records have been retrieved, compiled, assembled, and digitised, to be saved electronically, and entered into the AgYields National Database hosted at Lincoln University. Part of this legacy dataset has been summarised and dry matter yields and growth rates calculated, consistent with previous methods, to provide a quantified description of mean monthly pasture growth rates across the Bay of Plenty region, in New Zealand.