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Gozzo F.,Environmental and Nutritional science | Faoro F.,University of Milan
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2013

Induction of plant defense(s) against pathogen challenge(s) has been the object of progressively more intense research in the past two decades. Insights on mechanisms of systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and similar, alternative processes, as well as on problems encountered on moving to their practical application in open field, have been carefully pursued and, as far as possible, defined. In reviewing the number of research works published in metabolomic, genetic, biochemical, and crop protection correlated disciplines, the following outline has been adopted: 1, introduction to the processes currently considered as models of the innate immunity; 2, primary signals, such as salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and abscisic acid (ABA), involved with different roles in the above-mentioned processes; 3, long-distance signals, identified from petiole exudates as mobile signaling metabolites during expressed resistance; 4, exogenous inducers, including the most significant chemicals known to stimulate the plant resistance induction and originated from both synthetic and natural sources; 5, fungicides shown to act as stimulators of SAR in addition to their biocidal action; 6, elusive mechanism of priming, reporting on the most recent working hypotheses on the pretranscriptional ways through which treated plants may express resistance upon pathogen attack and how this resistance can be transmitted to the next generation; 7, fitness costs and benefits of SAR so far reported from field application of induced resistance; 8, factors affecting efficacy of induced resistance in the open field, indicating that forces, unrevealed under controlled conditions, may be operative in the field; 9, concluding remarks address the efforts required to apply the strategy of crop resistance induction according to the rules of integrated pest management. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Alfieri M.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Hidalgo A.,Environmental and Nutritional science | Berardo N.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Redaelli R.,Italian Agricultural Research Council
Journal of Cereal Science | Year: 2014

Maize (Zea mays L.) is a promising crop for improving the nutritional quality of foods, because of the presence of broad natural variability for the content of carotenoids. One hundred Italian and nine public lines were screened by PCR to identify the alleles of Hydroxylase3 (HYD3) and Lycopene epsilon cyclase (LCYE) genes, codifying for key enzymes of the carotenoid pathway and associated with high or low β-carotene contents. Nineteen selected genotypes carrying different alleles were grown in 2011 and/or 2012, and used to obtain F1 seeds. HPLC analysis highlighted the richness in zeaxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin of Italian germplasm (mean values 12.63 and 2.88mg/kg d.m., respectively). The percentage of positive and significant mid parent heterosis (MPH) and best parent heterosis (BPH) values (51% and 29%) indicated the presence of a high heterotic response for carotenoids. The compounds on the same branch of the pathway were found to be positively correlated; on the contrary, no consistent correlation was observed between the different HYD3 alleles and β-carotene content. Finally, total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was also measured. These lines resulted therefore as interesting raw materials for the market of maize-based foods. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Marasco R.,Environmental and Nutritional science | Marasco R.,University of Milan | Rolli E.,Environmental and Nutritional science | Rolli E.,University of Milan | And 10 more authors.
Plant Signaling and Behavior | Year: 2013

The association between plant and plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) contributes to the successful thriving of plants in extreme environments featured by water shortage. We have recently shown that, with respect to the noncultivated desert soil, the rhizosphere of pepper plants cultivated under desert farming hosts PGPB communities that are endowed with a large portfolio of PGP traits. Pepper plants exposed to bacterial isolates from plants cultivated under desert farming exhibited a higher tolerance to water shortage, compared with untreated control. This promotion was mediated by a larger root system (up to 40%), stimulated by the bacteria, that enhanced plant ability to uptake water from dry soil. We provide initial evidence that the nature of the interaction can have a limited level of specificity and that PGPB isolates may determine resistance to water stress in plants others than the one of the original isolation. It is apparent that, in relation to plant resistance to water stress, a feature of primary evolutionary importance for all plants, a cross-compatibility between PGPB and different plant models exists at least on a short term. © Landes Bioscience.

Mazzini S.,Environmental and Nutritional science | Scaglioni L.,Environmental and Nutritional science | Mondelli R.,Environmental and Nutritional science | Caruso M.,Nerviano Medical science | Sirtori F.R.,Core Oncology
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

The antitumor anthracycline nemorubicin is converted by human liver microsomes to a major metabolite, PNU-159682 (PNU), which was found to be much more potent than its parent drug toward cultured tumor cells and in vivo tumor models. The mechanism of action of nemorubicin appears different from other anthracyclines and until now is the object of studies. In fact PNU is deemed to play a dominant, but still unclear, role in the in vivo antitumor activity of nemorubicin. The interaction of PNU with the oligonucleotides d(CGTACG) 2, d(CGATCG)2 and d(CGCGCG)2 was studied with a combined use of 1H and 31P NMR spectroscopy and by ESI-mass experiments. The NMR studies allowed to establish that the intercalation between the base pairs of the duplex leads to very stable complexes and at the same time to exclude the formation of covalent bonds. Melting experiments monitored by NMR, allowed to observe with high accuracy the behaviour of the imine protons with temperature, and the results showed that the re-annealing occurs after melting. The formation of reversible complexes was confirmed by HPLC-tandem mass spectra, also combined with endonuclease P1digestion. The MS/MS spectra showed the loss of neutral PNU before breaking the double helix, a behaviour typical of intercalators. After digestion with the enzyme, the spectra did not show any compound with PNU bound to the bases. The evidence of a reversible process appears from both proton and phosphorus NOESY spectra of PNU bound to d(CGTACG)2 and to d(CGATCG)2. The dissociation rate constants (koff) of the slow step of the intercalation process, measured by 31P NMR NOE-exchange experiments, showed that the kinetics of the process is slower for PNU than for doxorubicin and nemorubicin, leading to a 10- to 20-fold increase of the residence time of PNU into the intercalation sites, with respect to doxorubicin. A relevant number of NOE interactions allowed to derive a model of the complexes in solution from restrained MD calculations. The conformation of PNU bound to the oligonucleotides was also derived from the coupling constant values. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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