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Sturchio E.,DIPIA Inc | Napolitano P.,DIPIA Inc | Beni C.,Agricultural Research Council Research Center for the Soil Plant System | Mecozzi M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra
Global Nest Journal | Year: 2012

Arsenic is an ubiquitous and highly toxic metalloid widely distributed in the environment through both natural and anthropogenic pathways (Liu et al., 2004) and its presence in food composites is a matter of concerns to the well being of both humans and animals. In fact, As has been recently found in drinking water (network and groundwater) in some Italian regions, including Lazio (Central Italy), at concentration ranging between 25 and 80 μg L -1, higher than the limits set by law (10 μg L -1) where Arsenic-contaminated groundwaters are often used in agriculture to irrigate crops for food and animal consumption; this determines that arsenic can enter human food chain. Inorganic or organic species of the metalloid arsenic occur in the environment. Either inorganic or organic As occurs in the environment and inorganic forms (iAs) are more toxic than the organic ones (oAs). Most of the human health effects of arsenic have been established based on epidemiologic studies, which have shown a significant association between the consumption of arsenic through drinking water and cancers of the skin, lung, bladder, liver, and kidney, neurologic disease, cardiovascular disease, as well as other non-malignant diseases. Arsenic is not an essential element for plants and its over-concentration in soils can generate toxicity phenomena. Its translocation from soil to plant constitutes one of the main human exposure ways. In this research we evaluated the effects of As exposure on Vicia faba seedlings by means of infrared (FTIR) and near infrared (FTNIR) spectroscopy to investigate molecular modifications caused by the interactions of plant with As. Both techniques showed relevant molecular modifications depending on As exposure. Molecular modifications evidenced by FTIR spectroscopy were mainly related to modified structures involving methyl groups of polysaccharides proteins and lipids, resulting better evidenced in meristem root samples. However, seconds derivative FTIR spectra did not show modification of the secondary structure of proteins. The molecular modifications shown by FTNIR spectroscopy were mainly related to the bands of hydroxyl groups with carboxylic and methyl groups, involving hydrogen bonds between carbohydrates and nucleic acids and lipids. These molecular and structural modifications are determined by the direct introduction of As within the plant biomolecules. © 2012 Global NEST Printed in Greece. All rights reserved.

Rouphael Y.,Lebanese University | Cardarelli M.,University of Tuscia | Rea E.,Agricultural Research Council Research Center for the Soil Plant System | Colla G.,University of Tuscia
Photosynthetica | Year: 2012

The aim of the current work was to determine whether grafting could improve salinity tolerance of melon and cucumber, and whether possible induction of tolerance to salt stress was associated with the protection of the photosynthetic apparatus. Two greenhouse experiments were carried out to determine gas exchange, mineral composition, growth and yield of melon (Cucumis melo L. cv. Cyrano) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Akito) plants, either ungrafted or grafted onto the Cucurbita hybrid rootstocks (Cucurbita maxima Duch. × Cucurbita moschata Duch.), 'P360', and 'PS1313', respectively. Plants were grown hydroponically and supplied with two nutrient solutions - a nonsalinized control and a salinized solution which contained 40 mmol L -1 of NaCl. Salinity induced a smaller decrease in leaf area index (LAI), in grafted-compared to ungrafted plants. Similarly, the P N and g s reduction in NaCl treatment compared to control were significantly lower in grafted plants (34% and 34%, respectively, for melon and 14% and 15.5%, respectively, for cucumber) compared to ungrafted plants (42% and 40%, respectively, for melon and 30% and 21%, respectively, for cucumber). In all grafting combinations, negative correlations were recorded between Na + and Cl - in the leaf tissue and P N. Grafting reduced concentrations of sodium, but not chloride, in leaves. Under saline conditions a smaller reduction in melon and cucumber shoot biomass dry mass and fruit yield were recorded, with positive correlations between shoot biomass, yield and P N. These results suggest that the use of salt tolerant Cucurbita rootstock can improve melon and cucumber photosynthetic capacity under salt stress and consequently crop performance. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Cardarelli M.,Agricultural Research Council Research Center for the Soil Plant System | Rouphael Y.,Lebanese University | Rea E.,Agricultural Research Council Research Center for the Soil Plant System | Lucini L.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | And 2 more authors.
HortScience | Year: 2013

Three greenhouse experiments were carried out to compare the responses of Aloe arborescens and Aloe barbadensis with organic fertilization (standard or reduced fertilization level), arbuscular mycorrhiza [with AM (+AM) or without AM (-AM)], and salinity (1 or 80 mM NaCl) in terms of plant growth, leaf yield, mineral composition, and nutraceutical value. In all experiments, the yield of fresh leaves was significantly higher by 320%, 252%, and 72%, respectively, in A. barbadensis in comparison with A. arborescens. Doubling the fertilizer dose, plant growth parameters increased, but the bioactive compounds were negatively affected. The highest antioxidant activity was recorded with A. barbadensis using both fertilization regimes, whereas the highest values of anthraquinones aloin were observed in A. barbadensis using a reduced fertilization regime and when plants were inoculated with AM fungi. β-polysaccharide concentration was significantly higher in A. barbadensis in comparison with A. arborescens and was increased by 33% when plants were inoculated with AM fungi. In both Aloe species, increasing the salinity decreased the leaf fresh weight and total dry biomass but increased the aloin and β-polysaccharides content by 66% and 21%, respectively. The results suggest that cultural practices such as organic fertilization, inoculation with AM fungi, and irrigation with saline water can represent effective tools to achieve a more favorable phytochemical profile.

Ritota M.,Agricultural Research Council Research Center for the Soil Plant System | Casciani L.,Agricultural Research Council Research Center for the Soil Plant System | Failla S.,Agricultural Research Council | Valentini M.,Agricultural Research Council Research Center for the Soil Plant System
Meat Science | Year: 2012

1H-high resolution magic angle spinning-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was employed to gain the metabolic profile of longissimus dorsi and semitendinosus muscles of four different breeds: Chianina, Holstein Friesian, Maremmana and Buffalo.Principal component analysis, partial least squares projection to latent structure - discriminant analysis and orthogonal partial least squares projection to latent structure - discriminant analysis were used to build models capable of discriminating the muscle type according to the breed. Data analysis led to an excellent classification for Buffalo and Chianina, while for Holstein Friesian the separation was lower. In the case of Maremmana the use of intelligent bucketing was necessary due to some resonances shifting allowed improvement of the discrimination ability. Finally, by using the Variable Importance in Projection values the metabolites relevant for the classification were identified. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Sturchio E.,ISPESL | Boccia P.,ISPESL | Meconi C.,ISPESL | Zanellato M.,ISPESL | And 6 more authors.
Chemistry and Ecology | Year: 2011

Arsenic is a highly toxic element and its presence in food composites is a matter of concern for the well-being of both humans and animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of arsenic on food vegetables and polluted soils. Vicia faba seedlings grown on polluted soils were used to evaluate the phytotoxic and genotoxic effects by comet assay. The results of these tests were dependent upon different types of soils. We studied different types of soils and contamination effects on Raphanus sativus L. and Lactuca sativa L. cropping by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). For both analytical approaches, we found indicators correlated to As contamination, chemical for NMR, i.e. modification of composition, and morphological for MRI, i.e reorganisation of internal tissues. Samples of vegetables were collected to analyse their micro- and macronutrient contents and level of metals using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) analysis, which confirms the results obtained by MRI. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

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