• Feasibility Study on the Use of Visible–Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for the Screening of Individual and Total Glucosinolate Contents in Broccoli

      Hernandez-Hierro, Jose Miguel; Valverde, Juan; Villacreces, Salvador; Reilly, Kim; Gaffney, Michael; Gonzalez-Miret, Maria Lourdes; Heredia, Francisco J.; Downey, Gerard; Spanish MICINN; Junta de Andalucia; et al. (American Chemical Society, 11/07/2012)
      The potential of visible–near-infrared spectroscopy to determine selected individual and total glucosinolates in broccoli has been evaluated. Modified partial least-squares regression was used to develop quantitative models to predict glucosinolate contents. Both the whole spectrum and different spectral regions were separately evaluated to develop the quantitative models; in all cases the best results were obtained using the near-infrared zone between 2000 and 2498 nm. These models have been externally validated for the screening of glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, 4-methoxyglucobrassicin, neoglucobrassicin, and total glucosinolates contents. In addition, discriminant partial least-squares was used to distinguish between two possible broccoli cultivars and showed a high degree of accuracy. In the case of the qualitative analysis, best results were obtained using the whole spectrum (i.e., 400–2498 nm) with a correct classification rate of 100% in external validation being obtained.
    • Fertiliser characteristics of stored spent mushroom substrate as a sustainable source of nutrients and organic matter for tillage, grassland and agricultural soils

      Velusami, B.; Jordan, S.N.; Curran, T.; Grogan, Helen; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme (Teagasc, 2021-05-12)
      Spent mushroom substrate (SMS) is an organic manure that can be used with advantage in agriculture. Under European Union (EU) (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, SMS cannot be applied to land over the winter months and must be stored on concrete surfaces, either covered or uncovered, to prevent nutrient-rich runoff seeping into groundwater. Spent mushroom substrate at four storage facilities, two covered and two uncovered, was analysed for physical and chemical characteristics after storage for up to 12 mo. Significant differences (P<0.05) were identified for all parameters across the four sites, except for pH, but there were no consistent differences that correlated with uncovered or covered storage conditions. The content of nitrogen (N) and manganese (Mn) was significantly lower in uncovered SMS, while the content of iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) was significantly higher. The chemical nitrogen-phospous-potassium (NPK) fertiliser equivalent value of SMS, when applied at a rate of 10 t/ha, was between €105 and €191 per hectare. Nitrogen-phospous-potassium concentrations per kg wet weight were all higher in SMS that was stored under cover, meaning higher chemical fertiliser savings are possible. The high pH of stored SMS (7.8–8.1) means it could be used with good effect on acid soils instead of ground limestone. The low bulk density of SMS (0.545–0.593 g/cm3) makes it an ideal amendment to soils to improve soil structure and quality. There is some variability in the nutrient content of SMS from different sources, so it is advisable to get the material analysed when including in nutrient management plans.
    • First Report of Shot Hole Disease on Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Caused by Micrococcus aloeverae in Ireland

      Smith, L.; Gibriel, H. A. Y.; Brennan, C.; del Pino de Elias, M.; Twamley, A.; Doohan, F.; Grogan, Helen; Feechan, A.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 15/S/759 (Scientific Societies, 2020-08-13)
      First Report of Shot Hole Disease on Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Caused by Micrococcus aloeverae in Ireland
    • First Report of Shot Hole Disease on Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Caused by Micrococcus aloeverae in Ireland

      Smith, L.; Gibriel, H. A. Y.; Brennan, C.; del Pino de Elias, M.; Twamley, A.; Doohan, F.; Grogan, Helen; Feechan, A.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 15/S/759 (American Phytopathological Society, 2020-08-13)
      First Report of Shot Hole disease on Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Caused by Micrococcus aloeverae in Ireland
    • Genetic regulation of compost and plant degradation mechanisms in Agaricus bisporus

      Dunne, Keith; O' Donoghue, Martin-Timothy; Grogan, Helen; Heneghan, Mary; IT Sligo; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (2021-06-16)
      Agaricus bisporus (common button mushroom) is an economically significant mushroom with an annual global value in excess of $4.7 billion (Eastwood et al, 2015). When commercially grown, A. bisporus mushrooms are mostly picked from the first and second flush. This is due to the third flush resulting in reduced yields (Royse and Sanchez, 2008), which are also often more prone to disease. This occurs despite significant nutrients and nitrogen being available in the compost for A. bisporus to utilise. To further understand why this is occurring, microarray analysis was carried out on compost samples throughout a full commercial growth cycle, with the aim of identifying genes that may be responsible for this reduction in yield.
    • A Guide to Vegetable Growing

      Alexander, Stephen (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2012-04)
      This book provides easy to follow guidelines for growing your own vegetables.
    • Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Emissions during Disturbance and Removal of Stored Spent Mushroom Compost

      Velusami, Balasubramanian; Curran, Thomas P; Grogan, Helen; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; UCD School of Biosystems Engineering; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2013-12)
      Spent mushroom compost (SMC) is a by-product of the mushroom industry that is used as an agricultural fertilizer. In Europe, SMC storage and use are governed by EU Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC to protect waterways against pollution by nitrates. A health and safety risk was identified during the removal of stored SMC for land application, as the stored SMC released high levels of toxic H2S gas into the atmosphere when disturbed. In this study, emissions of H2S were monitored at two outdoor and two indoor locations where stored SMC was being removed for land application. A repeating peaktrough pattern of H2S emissions was detected at all sites, with peaks corresponding to periods of active disturbance of SMC. The highest H2S concentrations (10 s average) detected at the SMC face were, respectively, 680 and 2083 ppm at outdoor sites 1 and 2, and 687 and 89 ppm at indoor sites 3 and 4. Higher concentrations of H2S were released from older SMC compared to newer material. Indoor-stored SMC had lower moisture content (53% to 65%) compared to outdoor-stored material (66% to 72%), while the temperature of indoor-stored SMC was higher (33°C to 51°C) compared to outdoorstored material (24°C to 36°C). The current short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 10 ppm was exceeded at all sites except site 4, which was smaller than the other sites, indicating a significant health and safety risk associated with working in the vicinity of stored SMC when it is being actively disturbed. Results suggest that SMC stored under cover in small heaps (600 m3) emits less H2S during disturbance and removal compared to SMC stored outdoors in large heaps (>1500 m3). This should be taken into consideration in the design, construction, and management of SMC storage facilities. Health and safety protocols should be in place at SMC storage facilities to cover the risks of exposure to toxic H2S gas during disturbance of stored SMC.
    • Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Emissions in the Human-Occupied Zone during Disturbance and Removal of Stored Spent Mushroom Compost

      Velusami, Balasubramanian; Curran, Thomas P; Grogan, Helen (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2013-12)
      Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas levels were monitored in the human-occupied zone at four spent mushroom compost (SMC) storage sites during removal of SMC for application on agricultural land. During SMC removal operations, H2S gas monitors were mounted on the outside of the tractor, positioned at the SMC periphery, and worn by individual tractor drivers. The highest H2S concentrations (10 s average) detected outside the tractor, at the SMC periphery, and for the tractor driver were, respectively, 454, 249, and 100 ppm for the outdoor sites and 214, 75, and 51 ppm for the indoor sites. The highest short-term exposure values (STEV, over a 15 min period) outside the tractor, at the SMC periphery, and for the tractor driver were 147, 55, and 86 ppm for the outdoor sites and 19, 9, and 10 ppm for the indoor sites. The values exceeded the current maximum permissible concentration limit of 10 ppm for all the sites except for the SMC periphery and tractor driver at the indoor sites. Results suggest that H2S levels detected at indoor storage sites during SMC removal are lower compared to outdoor storage sites. Results indicate that there is a substantial health and safety risk associated with working in the vicinity of stored SMC when it is being disturbed and removed for land application, and that the risk is great for the tractor driver. This article discusses possible control measures and lists recommendations to reduce the risks.
    • Identification and control of Cobweb disease on mushrooms

      Grogan, Helen; Gaze, Richard (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), IrelandHorticultural Development Council, 2008)
      This factsheet is a summary of the most important information currently available on Cobweb disease (Cladobotryum spp.). Its objective is to provide guidance on the recognition, prevention and control of the disease.
    • Identification and control of dry bubble disease of mushrooms

      Gaze, Richard; Grogan, Helen (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), IrelandHorticultural Development Council, 2008)
      This factsheet is a summary of the most important information currently available on Dry bubble disease of mushrooms (Verticillium fungicola). Its objective is to provide guidance to the recognition, prevention and control of the disease.
    • Is urban growing of fruit and vegetables associated with better diet quality and what mediates this relationship? Evidence from a cross-sectional survey

      Mead, Bethan R.; Christiansen, Paul; Davies, Jessica A.C.; Falagán, Natalia; Kourmpetli, Sofia; Liu, Lingxuan; Walsh, Lael; Hardman, Charlotte A.; Global Food Security; Biotechnology and Biological Services Research Council; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-03-18)
      Urban agriculture (UA), the growing of fruits and vegetables in urban and peri-urban areas, may improve food security and access, public health and dietary quality on both a broad and personal scale. However, there is little research on the relationship between UA and diet, and potential mediating factors are also unclear. This study aimed to investigate if proximity to and engagement with UA is associated with better diet quality, and what accounts for this relationship. UK-based adults (N = 583, 69% Female) completed measures of proximity to and engagement with UA, perceived access to fruits and vegetables, health and ethical food choice motivations, connection with nature, psychological distress and dietary quality in an online survey. Participants were recruited from UA-related groups and the general public. Proposed relationships were analysed using a structural equation model. Greater proximity to and engagement with UA was associated with greater perceived access to fruits and vegetables, more health-related food choice motivations, more ethical-related food choice, feeling more connected with nature, and, surprisingly greater psychological distress. Furthermore, proximity to and engagement with UA was indirectly associated with better diet quality via health-, and ethical-related, food choice motivations. While the direct pathway between proximity to and engagement with UA and diet quality was not significant, UA is associated with better diet quality, partly via healthier and ethical food choice motivations. Upscaling UA may have benefits for dietary quality via these factors, and more research is needed to test causal relationships and understand these complex interactions.
    • Is urban growing of fruit and vegetables associated with better diet quality and what mediates this relationship? Evidence from a cross-sectional survey.

      Mead, Bethan; Christiansen, Paul; Davies, Jessica; Falagán, Natalia; Kourmpetli, Sofia; Liu, Lingxuan; Walsh, Lael; Hardman, Charlotte; Global Food Security's ‘Resilience of the UK Food System Programme’; BBSRC; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-03-18)
      Urban agriculture (UA), the growing of fruits and vegetables in urban and peri-urban areas, may improve food security and access, public health and dietary quality on both a broad and personal scale. However, there is little research on the relationship between UA and diet, and potential mediating factors are also unclear. This study aimed to investigate if proximity to and engagement with UA is associated with better diet quality, and what accounts for this relationship. UK-based adults (N = 583, 69% Female) completed measures of proximity to and engagement with UA, perceived access to fruits and vegetables, health and ethical food choice motivations, connection with nature, psychological distress and dietary quality in an online survey. Participants were recruited from UA-related groups and the general public. Proposed relationships were analysed using a structural equation model. Greater proximity to and engagement with UA was associated with greater perceived access to fruits and vegetables, more health-related food choice motivations, more ethical-related food choice, feeling more connected with nature, and, surprisingly greater psychological distress. Furthermore, proximity to and engagement with UA was indirectly associated with better diet quality via health-, and ethical-related, food choice motivations. While the direct pathway between proximity to and engagement with UA and diet quality was not significant, UA is associated with better diet quality, partly via healthier and ethical food choice motivations. Upscaling UA may have benefits for dietary quality via these factors, and more research is needed to test causal relationships and understand these complex interactions.
    • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis as a natural anti-listerial agent in the mushroom industry

      Dygico, Lionel K.; O'Connor, Paula M.; Hayes, Maria; Gahan, Cormac G M; Grogan, Helen; Burgess, Catherine; Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine; 14F881 (Elsevier, 2019-01-28)
      Mushroom growth substrates from different commercial producers of mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) were screened for the presence of bacteria with potential for use as biocontrol agents for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in the mushroom production environment. Eight anti-listerial strains were isolated from different sources and all were identified using 16s rRNA gene sequencing as Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. Whole-genome sequencing of the Lc. lactis isolates indicated that strains from different sites and substrate types were highly similar. Colony MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry found that these strains were Nisin Z producers but inhibitory activity was highly influenced by the incubation conditions and was strain dependant. The biofilm forming ability of these strains was tested using a crystal violet assay and all were found to be strong biofilm formers. Growth of Lc. lactis subsp. lactis using mixed-biofilm conditions with L. monocytogenes on stainless steel resulted in a 4-log reduction of L. monocytogenes cell numbers. Additional sampling of mushroom producers showed that these anti-listerial Lc. lactis strains are commonly present in the mushroom production environment. Lc. lactis has a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) status and therefore has potential for use as an environmentally benign solution to control L. monocytogenes in order to prevent product contamination and to enhance consumer confidence in the mushroom industry.
    • Multiple viral infections in Agaricus bisporus - Characterisation of 18 unique RNA viruses and 8 ORFans identified by deep sequencing

      Deakin, Gregory; Dobbs, Edward; Bennett, Julie M.; Jones, Ian M.; Grogan, Helen; Burton, Kerry S.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; European Commission; 201043; 286836 (Nature Publishing Group, 26/05/2017)
      Thirty unique non-host RNAs were sequenced in the cultivated fungus, Agaricus bisporus, comprising 18 viruses each encoding an RdRp domain with an additional 8 ORFans (non-host RNAs with no similarity to known sequences). Two viruses were multipartite with component RNAs showing correlative abundances and common 3′ motifs. The viruses, all positive sense single-stranded, were classified into diverse orders/families. Multiple infections of Agaricus may represent a diverse, dynamic and interactive viral ecosystem with sequence variability ranging over 2 orders of magnitude and evidence of recombination, horizontal gene transfer and variable fragment numbers. Large numbers of viral RNAs were detected in multiple Agaricus samples; up to 24 in samples symptomatic for disease and 8–17 in asymptomatic samples, suggesting adaptive strategies for co-existence. The viral composition of growing cultures was dynamic, with evidence of gains and losses depending on the environment and included new hypothetical viruses when compared with the current transcriptome and EST databases. As the non-cellular transmission of mycoviruses is rare, the founding infections may be ancient, preserved in wild Agaricus populations, which act as reservoirs for subsequent cell-to-cell infection when host populations are expanded massively through fungiculture.
    • Mushroom Virus X (MVX) prevention

      Gaze, Richard; Grogan, Helen (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), IrelandHorticultural Development Council, 2007)
      This factsheet is a summary of the most important information currently available. Its objective is to provide guidance to the recognition, prevention and control of the disease.
    • On farm and fresh produce management

      Reilly, Kim (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 02/01/2013)
      This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction, Pre-harvest factors affecting phytochemical content, Harvest and post-harvest management practices, Future prospects, and References.
    • The Potential for Decision Support Tools to Improve the Management of Root-Feeding Fly Pests of Vegetables in Western Europe

      Collier, Rosemary; Mazzi, Dominique; Folkedal Schjøll, Annette; Schorpp, Quentin; Thöming, Gunda; Johansen, Tor J.; Meadow, Richard; Meyling, Nicolai V.; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Vogler, Ute; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-06-13)
      Several important vegetable crops grown outdoors in temperate climates in Europe can be damaged by the root-feeding larvae of Diptera (Delia radicum, Delia floralis, Chamaepsila rosae, Delia platura, Delia florilega, Delia antiqua). Knowledge of pest insect phenology is a key component of any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy, and this review considers the methods used to monitor and forecast the occurrence of root-feeding flies as a basis for decision-making by growers and the ways that such information can be applied. It has highlighted some current management approaches where such information is very useful for decision support, for example, the management of C. rosae with insecticidal sprays and the management of all of these pests using crop covers. There are other approaches, particularly those that need to be applied at sowing or transplanting, where knowledge of pest phenology and abundance is less necessary. Going forward, it is likely that the number of insecticidal control options available to European vegetable growers will diminish and they will need to move from a strategy which often involves using a single ‘silver bullet’ to a combination of approaches/tools with partial effects (applied within an IPM framework). For the less-effective, combined methods, accurate information about pest phenology and abundance and reliable decision support are likely to be extremely important.
    • Potential of cultivar and crop management to affect phytochemical content in winter-grown sprouting broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica)

      Reilly, Kim; Valverde, Juan; Finn, Leo; Rai, Dilip K.; Brunton, Nigel; Sorenson, Jens C; Sorenson, Hilmer; Gaffney, Michael; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 06/NITAFRC6 (Wiley, 08/07/2013)
      BACKGROUND: Variety and crop management strategies affect the content of bioactive compounds (phenolics, flavonoids and glucosinolates) in green broccoli (calabrese) types, which are cultivated during summer and autumn in temperate European climates. Sprouting broccoli types are morphologically distinct and are grown over the winter season and harvested until early spring. Thus they show considerable potential for development as an import substitution crop for growers and consumers during the ‘hungry gap’ of early spring. The present study investigated the effect of variety and management practices on phytochemical content in a range of sprouting broccoli varieties. RESULTS: Yields were significantly higher in white sprouting broccoli varieties. Levels of phenolics and flavonoids were in the range 81.6-270.4 and 16.9–104.8 mg 100g -1 FW respectively depending on year and cultivar, and were highest in varieties TZ 5052, TZ 5055, Red Admiral and Improved White Sprouting. In-row spacing did not affect flavonoid content. Phenolic and flavonoid content generally increased with increasing floret maturity and levels were high in edible portions of the crop. Crop wastes (leaf and flower) contained 145.9-239.3 and 21.5–116.6 mg 100g -1 FW total phenolics and flavonoids respectively depending on cultivar, tissue and year. Climatic factors had a significant effect on phenolic and flavonoid content. Levels of total and some individual glucosinolates were higher in sprouting broccoli than in the green broccoli variety Ironman. CONCLUSION: Levels of total phenolics, flavonoids and glucosinolates are higher in sprouting than green broccoli types. Sprouting broccoli represents an excellent source of dietary bioactive compounds.
    • Preliminary study on the use of near infrared hyperspectral imaging for quantitation and localisation of total glucosinolates in freeze-dried broccoli

      Hernandez-Hierro, Jose Miguel; Esquerre, Carlos; Valverde, Juan; Villacreces, Salvador; Reilly, Kim; Gaffney, Michael; Gonzalez-Miret, Maria Lourdes; Heredia, Francisco J.; O'Donnell, Colm P.; Downey, Gerard; et al. (Elsevier, 15/11/2013)
      The use of hyperspectral imaging to (a) quantify and (b) localise total glucosinolates in florets of a single broccoli species has been examined. Two different spectral regions (vis–NIR and NIR), a number of spectral pre-treatments and different mask development strategies were studied to develop the quantitative models. These models were then applied to freeze-dried slices of broccoli to identify regions within individual florets which were rich in glucosinolates. The procedure demonstrates potential for the quantitative screening and localisation of total glucosinolates in broccoli using the 950–1650 nm wavelength range. These compounds were mainly located in the external part of florets.
    • Protected crop growing : a guide for home and market gardeners

      Gaffney, Michael; Finn, Leo (Teagasc, 2011-07)
      There is no better feeling than eating something you have grown yourself. This is especially true for crops like tomatoes which require constant care to get them from seed to plate. There can be a great feeling of accomplishment. This guide is designed to give people the confidence to have a go at growing themselves.