Napoli, Italy
Napoli, Italy

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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-RIA | Phase: BBI.VC1.R1-2015 | Award Amount: 6.71M | Year: 2016

Zelcor project aims at demonstrating the feasibility of transforming lignocellulose biorefinery recalcitrant side streams into high added-value biobased products, including fine chemicals. Its concept is to combine chemical and enzymatic catalysis with insects-based biological conversion, within a biorefinery integrated approach. The project is conceived to avoid waste production by recycling waste bio-based products and improve the sustainability of existing second generation biorefineries. It addresses three types of recalcitrant raw materials: lignocellulosic residues from ethanol production, lignins dissolved during pulping process and lignin-like humins formed by sugars conversion. Enzymatic and process engineering will be implemented to design efficient conversion routes and permit technological breakthroughs. A transversal platform for the characterisation of biomolecules will be settled to identify bio-products of commercial interest among lignins and humins multifunctional nanoparticles, phenolic antioxidants, insects-based chitosans and aromatic chemical intermediates. Thanks to this platform, Zelcor will enhance knowledge of the structure-function relationships and the mechanisms involved in recalcitrant raw materials catalytic depolymerisation and bioconversion. Demonstration of the approach feasibility will be performed by process scaling-up, formulation of end-product prototypes and value chain sustainability and safety assessment. The presence of industrial partners all along the value chains, from lignocellulosic feedstock to end products, will facilitate demonstration activities and technological transfers. With this strong industry drive, Zelcor will lead to large scale production of biomolecules for cosmetics, packaging and chemical industry, as well as novel biocatalysts. Zelcor is a 6.7M collaborative project, 49% of which for SMEs (43% EC grant). It gathers 18 organisations from 8 countries, including 6 academia, 8 SMEs, and 3 corporations.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.1-02 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2012

ABSTRESS applies combined, integrated systems biology and comparative genomics approaches to conduct a comprehensive study of the gene networks implicated in the interaction of drought stress and Fusarium infection in legumes. It uses Medicago truncatula as a model to rapidly identify characteristics for introgression into elite pea varieties and a field test of their performance against existing commercial varieties. The project will demonstrate the advantages of applying advanced phenotyping methods for the generation of improved varieties of a commercial crop. Legumes have been chosen as the preferred study crop because they are susceptible to a combination of abiotic and biotic stresses. By increasing their cultivation, they offer the greatest opportunity to reduce the generation of greenhouse gases from agriculture and hence contribute to the efforts to control climate change. Therefore ABSTRESS aligns with the European Strategic Research Agenda 2025. ABSTRESS will achieve a step change in sustainability in agriculture by undertaking breeding research that seeks to develop varieties having improved resistance to a combination of biotic and abiotic stresses. The novelty of the project is demonstrated by the generation, identification and understanding new genetic materials; addressing commercial requirements for the development of a successful new crop variety by using SME expertise; testing new in a range of growing conditions; addressing impact on Fusarium in other crops; have application to crop breeding generally; incorporating drought stress which is likely to be a major factor for climate change; developing high throughput molecular phenotyping, to gain a step change in the speed of the breeding cycle. Thus, this well structured, innovative research can lead to ground breaking achievements in plant breeding. These will help to ameliorate climate change and develop the tools to mitigate their effects on a sustainable food /feed supply chain.


Rogato A.,Institute of Genetics and Biophysics | Rogato A.,Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | D'Apuzzo E.,Institute of Genetics and Biophysics | D'Apuzzo E.,University of Naples Federico II | And 9 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2010

Plants respond to changes of nutrient availability in the soil by modulating their root system developmental plan. This response is mediated by systemic changes of the nutritional status and/or by local perception of specific signals. The effect of nitrate on Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) root development represents a paradigm of these responses, and nitrate transporters are involved both in local and systemic control. Ammonium (NH4 +) represents an important nitrogen (N) source for plants, although toxicity symptoms are often associated with high NH4 + concentration when this is present as the only N source. The reason for these effects is still controversial, and mechanisms associating ammonium supply and plant developmental programs are completely unknown. We determined in Lotus japonicus the range of ammonium concentration that significantly inhibits the elongation of primary and lateral roots without affecting the biomass of the shoot. The comparison of the growth phenotypes in different N conditions indicated the specificity of the ammonium effect, suggesting that this was not mediated by assimilatory negative feedback mechanisms. In the range of inhibitory NH4 + conditions, only the LjAMT1;3 gene, among the members of the LjAMT1 family, showed a strong increased transcription that was reflected by an enlarged topology of expression. Remarkably, the short-root phenotype was phenocopied in transgenic lines by LjAMT1;3 overexpression independently of ammonium supply, and the same phenotype was not induced by another AMT1 member. These data describe a new plant mechanism to cope with environmental changes, giving preliminary information on putative actors involved in this specific ammonium-induced response. © 2010 American Society of Plant Biologists.


Buono S.,University of Naples Federico II | Langellotti A.L.,University of Naples Federico II | Martello A.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte M.,Arterra Bioscience S.r.l. | And 7 more authors.
Archives of Dermatological Research | Year: 2012

The use of microalgae in the skin care market is already established although the scientific rationale for their benefit was not clearly defined. In this work, the biological activities of dermatologic interest of the water extract from the microalga Botryococcus braunii (BBWE) were evaluated by a battery of in vitro assays. At concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 0.001 % (w/v) BBWE promoted adipocytes differentiation by inhibiting hormone-sensitive lipase, thus promoting triglyceride accumulation in the cells. BBWE also induced gene expression of proteins involved in the maintenance of skin cells water balance such as aquaporin-3 (AQP3), filaggrin (FLG) and involucrin (INV). 0.1 % BBWE increased the gene expression of AQP3 of 2.6-folds, that of FLG and INV of 1.5- and 1.9-folds, respectively. Moreover, it induced the biosynthesis of collagen I and collagen III by 80 and 40 %, respectively, compared to the untreated control. BBWE antioxidant activity, evaluated by oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay, was of 43.5 μmol Trolox per gram of extract: a quite high value among those found for other microalgae extracts. BBWE inhibited the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene expression and the consequent nitrite oxide (NO) production under oxidative stress. At a concentration of 0.02 % BBWE reduced by 50 % the expression of iNOS and by about 75 % the NO production. Taken together, the results demonstrated that B. braunii water extract exerted an array of biological activities concurring with the skin health maintenance; therefore, it is a potential bioactive ingredient to be included in cosmetic products. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | Arterra Bioscience srl and Italian Institute of Technology
Type: | Journal: Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine | Year: 2016

The realization of biologically relevant human tissue equivalents as an in vitro model to investigate human diseases, as well as to test the efficacy or toxicity of novel compounds, is emerging as a new challenge in tissue engineering. Currently, the in vitro three-dimensional (3D) dermis model mainly involves the use of cells embedded in exogenous non-human matrices. However, such models feature biological and functional disparities with native dermis, therefore limiting their relevance to the in vivo situation. The purpose of this study was to provide a reliable endogenous human dermal equivalent (HDE) able to recapitulate the extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling of the native dermis occurring after external damage. To this end, UVA irradiation was used to induce photodamage to both the HDE and to a fibroblast-populated collagen matrix. The photodamage was investigated at the cellular and ECM level and the results showed that, although a cellular response was detected in both systems, no ECM reorganization characteristic of the in vivo photo-aged dermis could be detected in the fibroblast-populated collagen matrix. In contrast in the HDE, the neosynthesized ECM recapitulated the characteristic ageing behaviour of the dermis found in vivo, in terms of collagen and hyaluronic acid synthesis as well as collagen organization remodelling. This study therefore demonstrates the role of the endogenous ECM in recapitulating in vitro the functionality of the human dermis and the proposed HDE as a novel tool for photoprotection trials. Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Tito A.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | Carola A.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | Bimonte M.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | Barbulova A.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Cosmetic Science | Year: 2011

Synopsis Heavy metals can cause several genotoxic effects on cells, including oxidative stress, DNA sequence breakage and protein modification. Among the body organs, skin is certainly the most exposed to heavy metal stress and thus the most damaged by the toxic effects that these chemicals cause. Moreover, heavy metals, in particular nickel, can induce the over-expression of collagenases (enzymes responsible for collagen degradation), leading to weakening of the skin extracellular matrix. Plants have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to protect their cells from heavy metal toxicity, including the synthesis of metal chelating proteins and peptides, such as metallothioneins and phytochelatins (PC), which capture the metals and prevent the damages on the cellular structures. To protect human skin cells from heavy metal toxicity, we developed a new cosmetic active ingredient from Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato) cultured stem cells. This product, besides its high content of antioxidant compounds, contained PC, effective in the protection of skin cells towards heavy metal toxicity. We have demonstrated that this new product preserves nuclear DNA integrity from heavy metal damages, by inducing genes responsible for DNA repair and protection, and neutralizes the effect of heavy metals on collagen degradation, by inhibiting collagenase expression and inducing the synthesis of new collagen. © 2011 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.


Tito A.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | Bimonte M.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | Carola A.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | De Lucia A.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Cosmetic Science | Year: 2015

Synopsis Objective Raspberry plants, belonging to the species of Rubus idaeus, are known for their excellent therapeutic properties as they are particularly rich in compounds with strong antioxidant activity, which promote health and well-being of human cells. Besides their high content of phenolic compounds, Rubus plants are rich in oil-soluble compounds, which are also primary components of the hydrolipidic film barrier of the skin. As plant cell cultures represented a valuable system to produce interesting compounds and ingredients for cosmetic applications, we developed liquid suspension cultures from Rubus idaeus leaves and used them to obtain an active ingredient aimed at improving hydration and moisturization capacity in the skin. Methods Rubus idaeus cells, grown in the laboratory under sterile and controlled conditions as liquid suspension cultures, were processed to obtain an oil-soluble (liposoluble) extract, containing phenolic compounds and a wide range of fatty acids. The extract was tested on cultured keratinocytes and fibroblasts and then on the skin in vivo, to assess its cosmetic activities. Results When tested on skin cell cultures, the extract induced the genes responsible for skin hydration, such as aquaporin 3, filaggrin, involucrin and hyaluronic acid synthase, and stimulated the expression and the activity of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase, involved in ceramide production. Moreover, the liposoluble extract increased the synthesis of the extracellular matrix components in cultured fibroblasts and showed a remarkable skin-hydrating capacity when tested on human skin in vivo. Conclusions Thanks to these activities, the Rubus idaeus liposoluble extract has several potential applications in skin care cosmetics: it can be used as hydrating and moisturizing ingredient in face and body lotions, and as anti-ageing product in face creams specifically designed to fight wrinkle formation.


Rogato A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Valkov V.T.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Alves L.M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Apone F.,Arterra Bioscience Srl | And 2 more authors.
Plant Science | Year: 2016

G Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCRs) are integral membrane proteins involved in various signalling pathways by perceiving many extracellular signals and transducing them to heterotrimeric G proteins, which further transduce these signals to intracellular downstream effectors. GCR1 is the only reliable plant candidate as a member of the GPCRs superfamily. In the legume/rhizobia symbiotic interaction, G proteins are involved in signalling pathways controlling different steps of the nodulation program. In order to investigate the putative hierarchic role played by GCR1 in these symbiotic pathways we identified and characterized the Lotus japonicus gene encoding the seven transmembrane GCR1 protein. The detailed molecular and topological analyses of LjGCR1 expression patterns that are presented suggest a possible involvement in the early steps of nodule organogenesis. Furthermore, phenotypic analyses of independent transgenic RNAi lines, showing a significant LjGCR1 expression down regulation, suggest an epistatic action in the control of molecular markers of nodulation pathways, although no macroscopic symbiotic phenotypes could be revealed. © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


The present invention relates to a new group of pesticides consisting of inactivated microorganisms containing double-strand RNA molecules (dsRNA), corresponding to receptor genes coupled with G proteins (GPCR) whose functioning is vital for phytophagous invertebrates (insects, mites and molluscs) or for infesting or in any case harmful organisms for the health of human beings and domestic animals, and to a method for the preparation of said microorganisms.


PubMed | CNR Institute of Neuroscience and Arterra Bioscience Srl
Type: | Journal: Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology | Year: 2016

G Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCRs) are integral membrane proteins involved in various signalling pathways by perceiving many extracellular signals and transducing them to heterotrimeric G proteins, which further transduce these signals to intracellular downstream effectors. GCR1 is the only reliable plant candidate as a member of the GPCRs superfamily. In the legume/rhizobia symbiotic interaction, G proteins are involved in signalling pathways controlling different steps of the nodulation program. In order to investigate the putative hierarchic role played by GCR1 in these symbiotic pathways we identified and characterized the Lotus japonicus gene encoding the seven transmembrane GCR1 protein. The detailed molecular and topological analyses of LjGCR1 expression patterns that are presented suggest a possible involvement in the early steps of nodule organogenesis. Furthermore, phenotypic analyses of independent transgenic RNAi lines, showing a significant LjGCR1 expression down regulation, suggest an epistatic action in the control of molecular markers of nodulation pathways, although no macroscopic symbiotic phenotypes could be revealed.

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