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Petriccione M.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit | Ciarmiello L.F.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit | Boccacci P.,University of Turin | De Luca A.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit | Piccirillo P.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2010

'Tonda di Giffoni' is among the most highly appreciated Italian hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) cultivars. Due to its round kernels and excellent processing quality, it was awarded a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) from the European Union. To identify clones expressing improved nut and production qualities, a 'Tonda di Giffoni' clonal selection programme was conducted across hazelnut orchards in the Irno valley of Italy from 1995 to 2006. One hundred different clones were selected and propagated in a replicated trial under similar climate, soil, and cultural conditions. From this work, the 29 best clones were identified and from 2006 to 2008 their agronomic and pomological characteristics were observed. Microsatellite or simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to successfully confirm true-to-type identity of the clones. Traits evaluated included flowering time (anthesis), bud break, suckering, trunk diameter, nut and kernel characteristics and productivity (yield). Best linear unbiased predictions for clone means and estimates of intraclass correlation coefficient were obtained using R environment, lme4 and ggplot2 packages. Five clones superior to that of the standard of 'Tonda di Giffoni' were identified in this study. Furthermore, yield and number of suckers produced showed sufficient variability to likely be exploited for breeding. The selected clones express features useful for both growers and the processing industry and will be propagated and planted in hazelnut orchards for further study and commercial production. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Woodrow P.,The Second University of Naples | Pontecorvo G.,The Second University of Naples | Ciarmiello L.F.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit | Fuggi A.,The Second University of Naples | Carillo P.,The Second University of Naples
Molecular Biology Reports | Year: 2011

Stress modulation of retrotransposons may play a role in generating host genetic plasticity in response to environmental stress. Transposable elements have been suggested to contribute to the evolution of genes, by providing cis-regulatory elements leading to changes in expression patterns. Indeed, their promoter elements are similar to those of plant defence genes and may bind similar defence-induced transcription factors. We previously isolated a new Ty1-copia retrontrasposon named Ttd1a and showed its activation and mobilization in salt and light stresses. Here, using a retard mobility assay in Triticum durum L. crude extracts, we showed that the CAAT motif present in the Ttd1a retrotransposon promoter, is involved in DNA-protein binding under salt and light stresses and therefore in the regulation of Ttd1a activity. Data presented in this paper suggest that nuclear proteins can interact with the CAAT motif either directly or indirectly and enhance Ttd1a by a specific ligand-dependent activation under stress. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.

Ciarmiello L.F.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit | Piccirillo P.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit | Pontecorvo G.,The Second University of Naples | De Luca A.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Biology Reports | Year: 2011

English walnut (Juglans regia L.) is the most economically important species from all the 21 species belonging to the genus Juglans and is an important and healthy food as well as base material for timber industry. The aim of this study was to develop a simple technique for specific characterization of English walnut using DNA method. The first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) as well as the intervening 5.8S coding region of the rRNA gene for 18 cultivars of J. regia L. isolated from different geographic origins were characterized. The size of the spacers sequences ranged from 257 to 263 bases for ITS1 and from 217 to 219 bases for ITS2. Variation of GC contents has also been observed and scored as 55-56.7 and 57.1-58.9% for ITS1 and ITS2, respectively. This data exhibited the presence of polymorphism among cultivars. Alignment of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 sequences from 18 walnut cultivars showed that there were 244 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 1 short insertion-deletion (indel) at 5′ end ITS1. Amplification refractory mutation system strategy was successfully applied to the SNP markers of the ITS1 and ITS2 sequences for the fingerprinting analysis of 17 on 18 walnut cultivars. The prediction of ITS1 and ITS2 RNA secondary structure from each cultivar was improved by detecting key functional elements shared by all sequences in the alignments. Phylogenetic analysis of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region clearly separated the isolated sequences into two clusters. The results showed that ITS1 and ITS2 region could be used to discriminate these walnut cultivars. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Woodrow P.,University of Naples | Pontecorvo G.,University of Naples | Ciarmiello L.F.,Cra Fruit Tree Research Unit
Molecular Biology Reports | Year: 2012

Long terminal repeat (LTR)-retrotransposons are mobile genetic elements that are ubiquitous in plants and constitute a major portion of their nuclear genomes. LTR-retrotransposons possess unique properties that make them appropriate for investigating relationships between populations, varieties and closely related species. Myrtus communis L. is an evergreen shrub growing spontaneously throughout the Mediterranean area. Accessions show significant variations for agriculturally important traits, so the development of specific molecular markers for conservation and characterization of myrtle germplasm is desirable to conserve biodiversity. In this study, we isolated the first retrotransposon Ty1-copia-like element (Tmc1) in Myrtus communis L. genome and used this as a molecular marker. We successfully employed the S-SAP marker system to specifically characterize four myrtle accessions belonging to different areas in the province of Caserta (Italy). The high level of polymorphism detected in isolated LTRs, make Tmc1 a good molecular marker for this species. Our findings confirm that retrotransposon-based molecular markers are particularly valuable tools for plant molecular characterization studies. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.

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