Catholic University of Piacenza

Castelfranco Emilia, Italy

Catholic University of Piacenza

Castelfranco Emilia, Italy
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Caffagni A.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Arru L.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Meriggi P.,Catholic University of Piacenza | Milc J.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | And 2 more authors.
Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis | Year: 2011

Iodine is an essential microelement for human health, and the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of such element should range from 40 to 200 μg day-1. Because of the low iodine contents in vegetables, cereals, and many other foods, iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) is one of the most widespread nutrient-deficiency diseases in the world. Therefore, investigations of I uptake in plants with the aim of fortifying them can help reach the important health and social objective of IDD elimination. This study was conducted to determine the effects of the absorption of iodine from two different chemical forms-potassium iodide (I-) and potassium iodate (IO- 3)-in a wide range of wild and cultivated plant species. Pot plants were irrigated with different concentrations of I- or IO- 3, namely 0.05% and 0.1% (w/v) I- and 0.05%, 0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.5% (w/v) IO- 3. Inhibiting effects on plant growth were observed after adding these amounts of iodine to the irrigation water. Plants were able to tolerate high levels of iodine as IO- 3 better than I- in the root environment. Among cultivated species, barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) showed the lowest biomass reductions due to iodine toxicity and maize (Zea mays L.) together with tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) showed the greatest. After the screening, cultivated tomato and potato were shown to be good targets for a fortification- rate study among the species screened. When fed with 0.05% iodine salts, potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruits absorbed iodine up to 272 and 527 μg/100 g fresh weight (FW) from IO- 3 and 1,875 and 3,900 μg/100 g FW from I-. These uptake levels were well more than the RDA of 150 μg day-1 for adults. Moreover, the agronomic efficiency of iodine accumulation of potato tubers and tomato fruits was calculated. Both plant organs showed greater accumulation efficiency for given units of iodine from iodide than from iodate. This accumulation efficiency decreased in both potato tubers and tomato fruits at iodine concentrations greater than 0.05% for iodide and at respectively 0.2% and 0.1% for iodate. On the basis of the uptake curve, it was finally possible to calculate the doses of supply in the irrigation water of iodine as iodate (0.028% for potato and 0.014% for tomato) as well as of iodide (0.004% for potato and 0.002% for tomato) to reach the 150 μg day-1 RDA for adults in 100 g of such vegetables, to efficiently control IDD, although these results still need to be validated. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Acutis M.,University of Milan | Alfieri L.,University of Milan | Giussani A.,University of Milan | Provolo G.,University of Milan | And 12 more authors.
Land Use Policy | Year: 2014

Intensive agriculture and livestock breeding represent critical factors in the Lombardy region since the nitrate vulnerable zones are 62% of utilised agricultural plain area. The aim of reducing the environmental risk caused by agriculture activities (e.g. nitrogen losses into groundwater and atmosphere) can be only achieved through a critical and scientific analysis of livestock manure management in a whole-farm perspective. Keeping in mind this objective, the decision support system (DSS) ValorE was developed. It can be described as a tool able to evaluate from the environmental, technical, agronomic and economic points of view the main components of manure management (production, storage, treatment and land application) for a variety of livestock types (i.e., cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats and horses), under different scenarios adopted at farm and territorial scale. ValorE consists of three main components: data management subsystem, model management subsystem and two versions of user-interface, both for farm and territorial scale. Most of the inputs to the DSS comes from external databases, while a software tool developed in the .NET environment and implemented using object oriented programming (C# language), provides the logic to manage the scenario simulation of agronomic and environmental farm-scale models. Users and stakeholders can carry out comparative analysis, starting from the knowledge of the current perspective, in terms of manure management system at farm or territorial scale by interrogating the available databases. Moreover, they can generate different alternative scenarios thanks to different options for the manure handling and cropping system simulation. Then they can finally evaluate and compare different scenarios through multidisciplinary and synthetic indicators but also visualise spatial effects exploiting the coupled webGIS. ValorE is therefore an attempt to offer a comprehensive tool for improving both farm strategy and decision making process, which is particularly important in a very intensive agricultural area, with one of the highest livestock density in the world, as Lombardy. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Soldi S.,AAAAT Advanced Analytical Technologies Srl | Vasileiadis S.,University of South Australia | Uggeri F.,AAAAT Advanced Analytical Technologies Srl | Campanale M.,Catholic University of Rome | And 5 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology | Year: 2015

Rifaximin, with its low systemic absorption, may represent a treatment of choice for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), mainly due to its ability to act on IBS pathogenesis, through the influence on gut microbiota. The aim of the present study was to assess, by biomolecular tools, the rifaximin active modulation exerted on gut microbiota of non-constipated IBS patients. Fifteen non-constipated IBS subjects were treated with 550 mg rifaximin three times a day for 14 days. Stool samples were collected before starting the treatment, at the end of it, and after a 6-week washout period. Real-time polymerase chain reaction, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and next-generation sequencing were applied to all the samples to verify and quantify possible microbial fluctuations. Rifaximin treatment did not affect the overall composition of the microbiota of the treated subjects, inducing fluctuations in few bacterial groups, balanced by the replacement of homologs or complementary bacterial groups. Rifaximin appeared to influence mainly potentially detrimental bacteria, such as Clostridium, but increasing the presence of some species, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. A decrease in the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio after 14 days of treatment and bacterial profiles with higher biodiversity were observed during the follow-up compared to baseline. Rifaximin treatment, although effective on IBS symptom relief and normalization of lactulose breath test, did not induce dramatic shifts in the microbiota composition of the subjects, stimulating microbial reorganization in some populations toward a more diverse composition. It was not possible to speculate on differences of fecal microbiota modification between responders vs nonresponders and to correlate the quali-/quantitative modification of upper gastrointestinal microbiota and clinical response. © 2015 Soldi et al.

Prandini A.,Catholic University of Piacenza | Sigolo S.,Catholic University of Piacenza | Morlacchini M.,CERZOO Centro Ricerche per la Zootecnia e lAmbiente | Marocco A.,Catholic University of Piacenza | Pinto M.L.,ISTA Veneto Sementi
Animal Feed Science and Technology | Year: 2011

The objective of the study was to evaluate three commercial hybrids of high-protein maize against conventional maize using growing pigs in a 42 day performance study. The following experimental diets were compared: (1) basal diet containing conventional maize (control); (2) diet containing hybrid IPM1; (3) diet containing hybrid IPM2; and (4) diet containing hybrid IPM3. The diets were offered to female and castrated male commercial piglets (MBI LW, Fomeva; 36 pigs/treatment) in 2 phases: starter (D0-21) and finisher (D22-42). The 36 piglets for each dietary treatment were divided into 9 pens (replicates), with each pen containing 4 piglets of the same sex (5 and 4 pens with castrated males and females, respectively). The animals were housed in 5 rooms. The diets were assigned to the pens in a randomised complete block design and all the diets were iso-nitrogenous and iso-energetic. The protein contents of the high-protein maize hybrids were from 14.7 to 38.2% higher than the conventional maize and, with the exception of lysine, contained higher levels of both essential and non essential amino acids. The high-protein maize hybrids also contained more oil (range 19.4-53.1%) and less starch (range 14.5-17.9%) than the conventional maize. The pigs fed the diet based on IPM2 ate more feed in the second period (D22-42) (782, 744, 970 and 730 g/d, respectively, in conventional, IPM1, IPM2, and IPM3 maize; with P<0.05) than those on the other treatments and tended to grow faster (350, 361, 431 and 334 g/d, respectively, in conventional, IPM1, IPM2, and IPM3 maize; with P=0.06) and to be heavier at D42 (20.59, 21.23, 22.61 and 20.03 kg, respectively, in conventional, IPM1, IPM2, and IPM3 maize; with P=0.07) than pigs on the other three treatments. Pigs fed diets formulated with conventional and high-protein maize exhibited a similar feed conversion ratio. The results suggest substitution of conventional maize with high-protein maize may enable soybean meal to be reduced in pig diets without adverse effect on animal performance. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Prandini A.,Catholic University of Piacenza | Sigolo S.,Catholic University of Piacenza | Piva G.,Catholic University of Piacenza
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis | Year: 2011

A total of 52 Italian and French commercial cheeses were analysed for fatty acid composition and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) concentration. The cheeses were first grouped according to the ruminant species of the milk used in manufacturing, then according to the following criteria: (1) cheeses obtained from milk of the same ruminant species but using different production technologies; (2) cheeses produced from milk of different ruminant species but through similar cheesemaking processes. Comparative studies of fatty acid composition and CLA levels in the different cheese classes were carried out. In our study, the arrangement of the ruminant species according to the increasing CLA concentration in cheese was: goat = cow < sheep. Sheep cheeses had the highest levels of CLA (9.86. mg/g fat), α-linolenic acid (0.75%) and trans-vaccenic acid (1.63%), and the lowest contents of linoleic acid (1.80%) and oleic acid (16.83%). The comparison of cheeses obtained from milk of the same ruminant species but through different production technologies reported statistically significant differences in the fatty acid profiles that could be due to a different degree of lipolysis in the cheeses compared. Nevertheless, statistically significant differences in CLA concentration were not found; this suggests that the factors involved in the cheesemaking process generally do not affect the CLA content in milk fat. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Licciardello C.,Cra Centro Of Ricerca Per Lagrumicoltura E Le Colture Mediterranee | Russo M.P.,Cra Centro Of Ricerca Per Lagrumicoltura E Le Colture Mediterranee | Reforgiato Recupero G.,Cra Centro Of Ricerca Per Lagrumicoltura E Le Colture Mediterranee | Bernardi J.,Catholic University of Piacenza | And 4 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

A flesh-specific oligonucleotide custom array was designed to study gene expression during blood orange ripening. The array included 301 probes derived from a subtracted SSH library, a cDNA-AFLP collection, and a set of regulatory genes from the HarvEST Citrus database. The custom array was hybridized using fruits of 'Moro', a blood cultivar, and 'Cadenera', a common one, at three different ripening stages: the immature phase, the halfway point of maturation (corresponding to the start of 'Moro' pigmentation) and the full ripening. Among 301 probes, 27 in total, corresponding to 20 different transcripts, gave indication of differential expression in stage-stage and/or cultivar-cultivar comparisons. Transcripts encoding for anthocyanins biosynthesis represented most of the total over-expressed probes. The remaining differentially expressed transcripts were functionally associated with primary metabolism as flavour biosynthesis, defense and signal transduction. The expressed products indicating differentially expression were confirmed by Real time RT-PCR. The main novelty of the customized array here proposed is the use of expressed sequences specifically derived from blood orange flesh, integrating collections from other cultivars to study expression levels in fruits of different cultivars in ripening stages. This is of support to provide information about processes related to anthocyanin pigmentation in fruit flesh. To investigate the involvement of a member of the Glutathione S-Transferase gene family in the vacuolarization of anthocyanins, the SemiQ RT-PCR analysis was performed on various tissues (albedo, flavedo, flesh, young and adult leaves, ovary) of 'Moro' and Cadenera, comparing in silico predictions and molecular approaches. Real time RTPCR was conducted on different pigmented and not pigmented tissues of lemon and sweet oranges, showing the involvement fruit-specific (flesh and rind) of a GST in the anthocyanins pathway.

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