Council for Research in Agriculture

Rome, Italy

Council for Research in Agriculture

Rome, Italy
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Matteo G.,University of Padua | Vendramin E.,University of Padua | Fornasier F.,Council for Research in Agriculture | Alberghini S.,University of Padua | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2013

The fermented manure derivative known as Preparation 500 is traditionally used as a field spray in biodynamic agriculture for maintaining and increasing soil fertility. This work aimed at characterizing the product from a microbiological standpoint and at assaying its bioactive properties. The approach involved molecular taxonomical characterization of the culturable microbial community; ARISA fingerprints of the total bacteria and fungal communities; chemical elemental macronutrient analysis via a combustion analyzer; activity assays for six key enzymes; bioassays for bacterial quorum sensing and chitolipooligosaccharide production; and plant hormonelike activity. The material was found to harbor a bacterial community of 2.38 × 108 CFU/g dw dominated by Grampositives with minor instances of Actinobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. ARISA showed a coherence of bacterial assemblages in different preparation lots of the same year in spite of geographic origin. Enzymatic activities showed elevated values of β-glucosidase, alkaline phosphatase, chitinase, and esterase. The preparation had no quorum sensing-detectable signal, and no rhizobial nod gene-inducing properties, but displayed a strong auxin-like effect on plants. Enzymatic analyses indicated a bioactive potential in the fertility and nutrient cycling contexts. The IAA activity and microbial degradation products qualify for a possible activity as soil biostimulants. Quantitative details and possible modes of action are discussed.

Forte V.,Council for Research in Agriculture | Angelini E.,Council for Research in Agriculture | Maixner M.,Julius Kuhn Institute | Borgo M.,Council for Research in Agriculture
Vitis - Journal of Grapevine Research | Year: 2010

This work dealt with Hyalesthes obsoletus, which is the only known vector of Bois noir disease in grapevine. Investigation centered on its flight activity and occurrence on bindweed and stinging nettle and, to a lesser extent, hedge bindweed and dead-nettle in NorthEastern Italy. The survey underlined the importance of bindweed in the insect lifecycle in Northern Italy, where only data from stinging nettle had previously been recorded. H. obsoletus nymphs were found for the first time on the roots of dead-nettle, which proved to be a new host plant. The first observation in Italy of nymphs on hedge bindweed roots was also recorded.

Lord J.S.,University of Leeds | Lazzeri L.,Council for Research in Agriculture | Atkinson H.J.,University of Leeds | Urwin P.E.,University of Leeds
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2011

The effects of brassica green manures on Globodera pallida were assessed in vitro and in soil microcosms. Twelve of 22 brassica accessions significantly inhibited the motility of G. pallida infective juveniles in vitro. Green manures of selected brassicas were then incorporated into soil containing encysted eggs of G. pallida. Their effect on egg viability was estimated by quantifying nematode actin 1 mRNA by RT-qPCR. The leaf glucosinolate profiles of the plants were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Three Brassica juncea lines (Nemfix, Fumus, and ISCI99) containing high concentrations of 2-propenyl glucosinolate were the most effective, causing over 95% mortality of encysted eggs of G. pallida in polyethylene-covered soil. The toxic effects of green manures were greater in polyethylene-covered than in open soil. Toxicity in soil correlated with the concentration of isothiocyanate-producing glucosinolate but not total glucosinolate in green manures. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Savo V.,Third University of Rome | De Zuliani E.,Third University of Rome | Salvati L.,Council for Research in Agriculture | Perini L.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Caneva G.,Third University of Rome
Applied Ecology and Environmental Research | Year: 2012

Climate change is a major global issue that impacts vegetation, agriculture, biodiversity and human safety. These impacts are predicted to be intense in the Mediterranean region. The aim of this paper is to define how local climatic trends are affecting plant communities in the Tolfa-Cerite area (Northern Latium), which is a semi-coastal area with Mediterranean to broad-leaf vegetation. Climate data analysis covered a long time period (1951-2007), considering 18 gauging stations. Data were analyzed using geostatistical methods and descriptive statistics. Climate trends and drought indicators, in relation to different vegetation associations, were analyzed using the zonal statistic tool (ArcGIS). During the investigated period, rainfall showed a uniform decreasing trend, while temperature increased, with an irregular trend. The specialization of climatic data showed a shift towards a thermo-Mediterranean bioclimate. Local climatic trends showed to have more severe impacts on specific plant communities (mesophilous forests, endangered shrubland-pastures, relict associations of meadows, etc). The observed trends towards aridity occurred in many areas covered by vulnerable plant communities. Considering the predicted changes in climate conditions for the Mediterranean area, these communities will face a further aridity increase. A permanent monitoring of these communities may increase the effectiveness of conservation policies and sustainable regional planning. © 2012, ALÖKI Kft., Budapest, Hungary.

Boglione C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pulcini D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pulcini D.,Council for Research in Agriculture | Scardi M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The incidence of skeletal anomalies could be used as an indicator of the "quality" of rearing conditions as these anomalies are thought to result from the inability of homeostatic mechanisms to compensate for environmentally-induced stress and/or altered genetic factors. Identification of rearing conditions that lower the rate of anomalies can be an important step toward profitable aquaculture as malformed market-size fish have to be discarded, thus reducing fish farmers' profits. In this study, the occurrence of skeletal anomalies in adult rainbow trout grown under intensive and organic conditions was monitored. As organic aquaculture animal production is in its early stages, organic broodstock is not available in sufficient quantities. Non-organic juveniles could, therefore, be used for on-growing purposes in organic aquaculture production cycle. Thus, the adult fish analysed in this study experienced intensive conditions during juvenile rearing. Significant differences in the pattern of anomalies were detected between organically and intensively-ongrown specimens, although the occurrence of severe, commercially important anomalies, affecting 2-12.5% of individuals, was comparable in the two systems. Thus, organic aquaculture needs to be improved in order to significantly reduce the incidence of severe anomalies in rainbow trout. © 2014 Boglione et al.

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