CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment

Sassari, Italy

CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment

Sassari, Italy

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Lelievre F.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Seddaiu G.,University of Sassari | Ledda L.,University of Sassari | Porqueddu C.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Volaire F.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology
Field Crops Research | Year: 2011

In Mediterranean areas, water use efficiency (WUE) is mainly increased by maximising crop growth during the rainy seasons. Perennial forage species have a number of advantages in comparison to the predominantly used annuals. They can utilize water from autumn to spring, while annuals need to be sown or to germinate from the soil seed bank. Under Mediterranean annual rainfall pattern, perennial plants must grow from autumn to spring and survive under summer aridity. Drought survival can impact water use efficiency through plant mortality and stand recovery after autumn rainfalls. In order to enhance knowledge of physiological and agronomic traits associated with WUE and persistence, a 3-year study was conducted at two Mediterranean sites, comparing a range of accessions of two perennial species, cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.) and tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh). Within the accessions of predominantly Mediterranean origin, we defined four major functional types, i.e. groups of accessions with similar response to summer drought. One type (FT1) is represented by the only cultivar of a semi-arid cocksfoot (Kasbah) that is completely summer dormant, with high persistence under the most arid situations but with low WUE. The type FT2 all cocksfoot cultivars (Currie, Delta-1, Jana, Medly, and Ottava) that are not or less summer dormant, with good perenniality and intermediate productivity at rainy seasons. The type FT3 includes the cultivars of tall fescue (Centurion, Flecha, Fraydo, and Tanit) that combine an incomplete summer dormancy, a deep rooting system and the highest WUE from autumn to spring. The type FT4 is represented by a cultivar of tall fescue (Sisa) with no summer dormancy, therefore less persistent and also less productive. Dehydration avoidance in tall fescue and cocksfoot and summer dormancy in cocksfoot were the main strategies contributing to persistence under summer drought. WUE in autumn was highly correlated with sward recovery after drought. Seasonal and total WUE were also highly correlated with biomass production over the same period and with depth and density of the root system. Parameterization of functional types of the major species of forage grasses will enhance future modelling work to test the effects of a range of environments and future climate scenarios. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Maresca B.,University of Naples Federico II | Spagnuolo M.S.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Cigliano L.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) in the extracellular space, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), depends on the balance between its synthesis and clearance. The physiological role of extracellular chaperones, capable of affecting early events in the amyloid cascade, is increasingly being investigated by many research groups. Among these proteins, we focused on haptoglobin, which we recently found to form a complex with beta-amyloid in brain tissues or cerebrospinal fluids from patients with AD. We also previously reported that haptoglobin increases with age in rat hippocampus. Major aim of this study was to evaluate whether haptoglobin influences Aβ interaction with astrocytes and its internalization into these cells. Haptoglobin effect on Aβ-induced cell death was also explored. We report here that haptoglobin impairs Aβ uptake by human glioblastoma–astrocytoma cell line U-87 MG and limits the toxicity of this peptide on these cells. Of note, our data also show that Aβ can stimulate haptoglobin release by astrocyte cell lines. The study of the risk of developing AD should be focused not only on the analysis of Aβ but also on the level of critical ligands, such as haptoglobin, able to influence peptide aggregation or clearance. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Piluzza G.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Sulas L.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Bullitta S.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment
Grass and Forage Science | Year: 2014

The literature about tannins, polyphenolic secondary metabolites of plants, with both beneficial and adverse function according to their concentration and chemical structure, is vast and often conflicting. Tannins in forages have often been described as antinutritional factors, but this review aims to update information on beneficial effects on animals and the environment. Although research on the relation between tannins and animal production and health, for example, dry-matter intake, digestibility, rumen fermentation and diseases, has mainly focused on condensed tannins, this review also discusses potential benefits from the use of hydrolysable tannins as a feed additive. Attention is given to the use of tannins in the mitigation of methane emissions from ruminants in forage-based feeding systems and as a natural and ecologically friendly resource for improvement of nutrient utilization and environmental sustainability in meat and dairy farming. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Piluzza G.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Bullitta S.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment
Pharmaceutical Biology | Year: 2011

Context: Scientific information on antioxidant properties and phenolic content of less widely used plants can be useful. Therefore, the assessment of such properties remains an interesting and useful task, particularly for finding new sources for natural antioxidants, functional foods, and nutraceuticals. Objective: As knowledge about antioxidant properties and phenolic content of many plant species used as traditional plant remedies is limited, we determined in vitro the total antioxidant activity and the phenolic content of several plant species traditionally used for ethnoveterinary practices. Materials and methods: For 24 extracts (70% acetone) from wild and cultivated plant species traditionally used for health care of animals we determined the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) by the two assays 1,1-diphenyl-2- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and the 2,2′-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6- sulphonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS). The phenolic content was determined by the Folin Ciocalteu method. Results: Total phenolics, calculated as gallic acid equivalent (GAE), showed variation ranging from 3.18 (Allium sativum L. (Liliaceae)) to 147.68 (Pistacia lentiscus L. (Anacardiaceae)) mgGAE/g dry weight (DW). High TEAC values corresponded to high phenolic content, while plants with low antioxidant activity exhibited low total phenolic content. The TEAC determined through each assay and total phenolic content were positively correlated, R 2 = 0.9152 and R 2 = 0.8896, respectively, for DPPH and ABTS assay. Discussion and conclusion: These findings suggest that phenolic content could be used as an indicator of antioxidant properties. The results of this study encourage investigations on Mediterranean plant species as sources of antioxidants. © 2011 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


Piluzza G.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Virdis S.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Serralutzu F.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Bullitta S.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2015

Ethno-pharmacological relevance The cultural heritage of Sardinian shepherds is rapidly vanishing and survives in the memory of elderly people. The objective of our study was not only to report the usage of plants and their preparation for administration but also the use of other remedies of different origin arising from traditional ethno-veterinary knowledge, as Sardinian shepherds were used to employ plants, animals, minerals and combinations of several substances to prepare remedies for prophylaxis or therapy on their animals. Materials and methods The work was carried out in rural areas of the island of Sardinia (Italy) by interviewing shepherds and filling questionnaires in order to record ethno-veterinary practices traditionally used for animal health care. Results Ethno-veterinary remedies traditionally utilised for treatments of small ruminants against ecto-and endo-parasites, gastrointestinal diseases, viral and bacterial diseases, wounds, sprains and bruises were identified. Non herbal remedies outnumbered the herbal ones, as usually plant species were mainly used for the care of cattle and equines. A total of 150 ethno-veterinary uses were documented for the treatment of 33 animal conditions, a detailed account of the formulations and their administration to sheep and goats was provided. Herbal remedies involved the use of twenty two spontaneous species and seven cultivated species. Conclusions This study identifies remedies used in ethno-veterinary practices for small ruminants care in Sardinia, the second major Mediterranean island which has agro-pastoral activities dating back to Neolithic. Moreover, the danger of losing oral traditions, and the increasing attention towards traditional remedies as potential sources of natural products for improving animal health and welfare, support the interest of our survey. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Piluzza G.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Sulas L.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Bullitta S.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment
Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry | Year: 2014

Knowledge about the forage yield potential and bioactive compound contents of Mediterranean natural populations of chicory is still scarce, even though it could be very helpful in view of the exploitation of the feeding value of local chicory germplasm for ruminants. Dry matter yield, chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, total polyphenols, flavonoids, and condensed tannins content were determined in 7 natural populations of Mediterranean wild chicory and, as a comparison, in the chicory commercial variety Spadona. Original seed was collected in different pastureland areas of Sardinia (Italy) and plants were grown in North Sardinia. Statistically significant differences were found in the leaf dry matter yield, ranging from 1.3 to 3.8 t ha-1, and were not found in protein and fiber contents. The local populations were comparable to the commercial variety; however, the antioxidant activities, detected by means of 2 in vitro assays, significantly differed between populations. Among bioactive compounds, total flavonoids ranged from 27 to 37 g catechin equivalent kg-1 dry weight and statistically significant differences were also found in total polyphenol content and nontannic polyphenols; condensed tannins were not detected. Considering the importance of some bioactive compounds for the enhancement of animal nutrition and welfare, the exploitation of variability in bioactive compound content and antioxidant capacity of the chicory natural populations can be important for a more complete valorization of its Mediterranean germplasm. © TÜBİTAK.


Petriccione M.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Salzano A.M.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Di Cecco I.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Scaloni A.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Scortichini M.,Italian Agricultural Research Council
Journal of Proteomics | Year: 2014

For plant pathogenic bacteria, adaptation to the apoplast is considered as key in the establishment of the parasitic lifestyle. Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa), the causal agent of the bacterial canker of kiwifruit, uses leaves as the entry site to colonize plants. Through a combined approach based on 2-DE, nanoLC-ESI-LIT-MS/MS and quantitative PCR, we investigated Psa colonization of the Actinidia deliciosa "Hayward" leaf apoplast during the bacterial biotrophic phase. A total of 58 differentially represented protein species were identified in artificially inoculated leaves. Although the pathogen increased its population density during the initial period of apoplast colonization, plant defense mechanisms were able to impede further disease development. We identified a concerted action of different proteins mainly belonging to the plant defense and metabolism category, which intervened at different times and participated in reducing the pathogen population. On the other hand, bacterial BamA was highly represented during the first week of leaf apoplast colonization, whereas OmpA and Cpn60 were induced later. In addition to presenting further proteomic information on the molecular factors actively participating in this pathosystem, our data characterize the early events of host colonization and will promote the eventual development of novel bioassays for pathogen detection in kiwiplants. Biological significance: This original study evaluates on a proteomic perspective the interaction occurring into the leaf apoplast between Actinidia deliciosa and its specific pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae. Despite the initial bacterial multiplication, a concerted action of the plant defense mechanisms blocked the infection during 21. days of apoplast colonization, as revealed by the number of differentially-represented proteins identified in artificially-inoculated and control leaves. Three bacterial proteins were also recognized among the over-represented molecules in infected plants. This study may contribute to improve breeding programs aimed at selecting resistant/tolerant kiwifruit cultivars toward P. syringae pv. actinidiae, which present a high representation of the plant proteins here shown to be involved in resistance mechanisms. In addition to present additional information on the molecular players actively participating in this pathosystem, our data will also facilitate the technological development of future bioassays for the detection of this pathogen in kiwiplants. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Ledda L.,University of Sassari | Deligios P.A.,University of Sassari | Farci R.,University of Sassari | Sulas L.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment
Industrial Crops and Products | Year: 2013

In order to explore complementary biomass sources, field studies were conducted on Cynara cardunculus botanical varieties (globe artichoke and cultivated cardoon) for energy purposes. In addition, the potential of milk thistle (Silybum marianum L. Gaertn.) as a suitable energy crop for Southern Europe countries was investigated. The three different crops were compared over three years (2007-2010) in a Mediterranean environment (Sardinia, Southern Italy) for quantitative and qualitative (calorific value, ultimate and proximate analyses, ash composition) biomass characteristics.Annual biomass production across years averaged about 10, 4, and 16Mgha-1 in cardoon, globe artichoke and milk thistle, respectively. The chemical analysis of biomass showed a similar composition among crops with a mean ash content of 14% and a higher calorific value of about 17MJkg-1. Annual energy yield ranged between 64GJha-1 reached by globe artichoke and 275GJha-1 reached in milk thistle. The exploitation of globe artichoke crop residues for energetic purpose can represent a complementary income for farmers. The present study confirms the good biomass yield of cardoon in cultivation systems characterized by limited water input and indicate milk thistle as a promising crop for biomass production. Future work is necessary in order to investigate different genotypes of the three crops for potential biomass and grain yield and their chemical composition, to detect agronomic practices suitable to optimize qualitative crops performances and to set up specific cropping systems. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Iannuzzi L.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment
Buffalo Bulletin | Year: 2013

Cytogenetics represents one of the modern biotechnologies applied to the genetic improvement of livestock, including the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), one of the most important economic species raised in the world, especially in the East Countries. Cytogenetics covers several aspects of the genetic improvement. In the present paper, an update on the evolutionary, clinical and molecular cytogenetics of the water buffalo is reported. Evoluzionary cytogenetics: Two main types of buffaloes are present in the world: the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and the Asiatic buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). The latter has two subspecies: the river type (2n=50) and the swamp type (2n=48). These two species diverged by a tandem fusion translocation involving river buffalo chromosomes 4 and 9 (telomere of 4p and centromere of 9). This fusion was accompanied by loss of the nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) present in river buffalo chromosome 4p, and large portions of constitutive heterochromatin (HC) present in river buffalo chromosome 9. River and swamp buffaloes are normally crossbreed, especially to increase milk production in swamp buffaloes. The hybrid (2n=49) could have a lower fertility due to unbalanced chromosome embryos. Further informations differentiating tribe bovinae (cattle and water buffalo) from the remaining ones belonging to bovidae family will be given. Clinical cytogenetics: The study of water buffalo karyotype is very important because several studies have demonstrated that about 20% of females with reproductive problems (lack of oestrus in fertility age or large delay in the return in oestrus) show sex chromosome abnormalities and almost of them have been found to be sterile for serious damages occurring in internal sex adducts. In Italy, in collaboration with the National Buffalo Breeder Association (ANASB), cytogenetic controls of bulls and males addressed to the reproduction, as well as on some females with reproductive problems, have been performed to eliminate the carriers of chromosome abnormalities, adding economic value to river buffalo breeding. These studies are routinely performed by using both CBA- and RBA-banding techniques. Specific cases are also studied by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique and specific molecular markers (generally bovine BAC-clones). Molecular cytogenetics: The availability of specific molecular markers containing coding sequences (generally bovine or ovine BAC-clones) and the use of the FISH-technique have opened the door to the molecular cytogenetics also for water buffalo. Indeed, cytogenetic maps with specific and detailed location of loci containing expressed coding (and no-coding) sequences along the chromosomes, have been performed for this species, although these maps are not particularly dense. However, they are useful: (a) to increase our knowledge on water buffalo genome by detailed physical description of mapped loci per single chromosome and chromosome band; (b) to study such chromosome abnormalities; (c) to anchor genetic maps (linkage, RH-maps) to specific chromosome regions; (d) to delineate the karyotype evolution of river buffalo versus cattle, sheep and related bovids, as well as between bovids and humans, especially to transfer useful information from human to animal genomes.


Piluzza G.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment | Bullitta S.,CNR Institute for Animal Production System In Mediterranean Environment
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2010

Background: Although secondary metabolites have often been studied considering their primary role as plant-defensive and their effect on consumers detrimental, their effects are usually dose-dependent, so it is important to consider their content at all phenological phases and in different plant organs. In this study the content of total phenolics (TotP), non-tannic phenolics (NTP) and proanthocyanidins (PA) was determined in natural populations of pasture species at defined phenological phases and in different plant organs and also in pathogen-infected plants. Results: Variation in TotP, NTP and PA contentwas observed in all species, phenological phases and plant organs. Leaf blades were the organs with the highest content in all species. The content of all examined compounds increased in infected leaves, reaching themaximum when 20% of plant tissues were attacked and decreasing at higher infection levels. Conclusion: Delphinidin was found as an appropriate standard related to the PA structure of each plant species. PA concentrations were always in the range considered beneficial for animals, not exceeding 60 g delphinidin equivalent kg-1 dry matter. The Folin-Ciocalteu and butanol/HCl/Fe3+ assays remain the most practical methods for screening large numbers of different plant species for TotP and PA.© 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

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