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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: WATER-1b-2015 | Award Amount: 9.80M | Year: 2016

The aim of the project is to implement and demonstrate at large scale the long-term technological and economic feasibility of an innovative, sustainable and efficient solution for the treatment of high salinity wastewater from the F&D industry. Conventional wastewater treatments have proven ineffective for this kind of wastewater, as the bacterial processes typically used for the elimination of organic matter and nutrients are inhibited under high salinity contents. Therefore, generally combinations of biological and physicochemical methods are used which greatly increase the costs of the treatment, making it unaffordable for SMEs, who voluntarily decide not to comply with EU directives and discharge without prior treatment, causing severe damage to the environment. The solution of SALTGAE to this issue consists in the implementation of innovative technologies for each step of the wastewater treatment that will promote energy and resource efficiency, and reduce costs. Amongst these, the use of halotolerant algae/bacteria consortiums in HRAPs for the elimination of organic matter and nutrients stands out for its high added value: not only will it provide an effective and ecological solution for wastewater treatment, but also it will represent an innovative way of producing algal biomass, that will subsequently be valorized into different by-products, reducing the economic and environmental impact of the treatment. Moreover, the project will also address cross-cutting barriers to innovation related to wastewater by developing a platform for the mobilization and networking of stakeholders from all the different sectors related to wastewater, and for the dissemination of results, enabling the development of a common roadmap for the alignment of legislation, regulation and pricing methodologies and promoting financial investment and paradigm shift in perception from wastewater treatment to resource valorisation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.3-04 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2013

Good fertility is essential for the sustainability of livestock production. Of all livestock sectors, fertility of dairy cattle is raising the greatest cause for concern. Cow fertility has declined, particularly in Holstein cattle, from 80% pregnancy to first service 20 years ago to less than 40% today. Poor fertility is one of the main reasons for early culling, such that modern dairy cows complete fewer than 3 lactations, on average. The FECUND project will address the metabolic and genetic causes of low reproductive success of dairy cows in an interdisciplinary approach that will integrate in vivo and in vitro studies, biology, physiology, -omics technologies and bioinformatics. FECUND will focus on the early phases of reproduction from oocyte development to implantation of the conceptus. Starting from biological materials produced from high and low genetic merit cattle and from cows under energy stress of early lactation vs dry cows and heifers, FECUND will study, independently, the effects of genetics and metabolic stress on reproductive physiology to identify factors and early markers associated with high and low developmental potential, and with positive mother-conceptus interaction during the early stages of reproduction. These data will be mined to reveal physiological pathways and key candidate genes controlling variations of fertility. The biological knowledge created on early reproductive events in vivo will be validated in vitro, and extended to create further knowledge on the effects of the local environment on oocyte and embryo programming at the epigenetic level. Validated information will be used to improve herd management, gene assisted and genomic selection and assisted reproductive technologies, from in vitro ooctye maturation to optimised embryo culture. Information on biomarkers, indicator traits and improvements in assisted reproduction will be translated to applications that can be immediately implemented by SMEs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.3-06 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2012

The Gene2Farm project will address the needs of the cattle industry, in particular of the SMEs and end users, for an accessible, adaptable and reliable system to apply the new genomic knowledge to underpin sustainability and profitability of European cattle farming. Gene2Farm will undertake a comprehensive programme of work from statistical theory development, through genome sequencing, to address new phenotyping approaches and the construction of tools, that will be validated in conjunction with SMEs and industry partners. Advanced statistical theory and applications will use the genomic and phenotypic information to optimise and customise genomic selection, breeding and population management and between breed predictions. The project will sequence key animals and exchange data with other international projects to create the most comprehensive bovine genome sequence database. Detailed analysis of these genome sequences will define genome structure, shared alleles, frequencies and historic haplotypes, within and between populations. This information will be used to optimise the informativeness of SNP panels and select SNPs to tag haplotypes, and hence ensure that genotype information can be used within and between breeds. The project will explore the opportunities for extended phenotypic collection, including the use of automated on farm systems and will develop standardisation protocols that, in consultation with ICAR, could be used by the industry for data collection and management. Developed tools will be tested and validated by demonstration in collaboration with dairy, dual purpose, beef and minority breed organisations. Finally a dissemination programme will ensure that training needs of the industry are served from an entry level training programme for farmers to advanced summer schools for the SMEs and expert user community.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.49M | Year: 2013

The EU market for processed foods is changing: there is now an increasing demand by consumers for foods that have undergone fewer changes during processing, foods that resemble more to the original raw materials with high nutritive values, flavour and a natural image. These pressures are especially significant for a SME dominated sector, the dried foods: although it represents more than 8 billion in Europe, the sales of dried foods are currently in stagnation or declining. Indeed, not only the food processing machinery SMEs must improve the drying process to achieve high quality dried food to meet the customer high requirements, but also they must tackle the energy consumption and pollution issues which are typical of such equipment. For the food machinery SMEs, today is the time to respond to these changes and enable the dried food industries to recover their competitiveness. To do so, they need to face 3 main challenges: Low quality of the final dried products, High energy consumption to dry the raw materials, Significant environmental pollution, via CO2/odor emissions. The STEAMDRY project gathers 4 SMEs and 1 association, which aims at developing a new drying plant to allow food producers and food processing SMEs to dry their foods with efficiency, high quality and sustainability, thanks to: -Innovative drying technology, using superheated steam at low pressure, ensuring efficiency through better heat transfer and a better quality of product due to lower temperature -2-step cleaning system to remove the dust/particles from the extra steam and allow its reuse in the upstream process, reducing the energy bill -New optical multi-sensor integrated in the process control, to monitor the food drying quality along with the energy balance of the system. The STEAMDRY process will enable the food processing machinery and food processing SMEs to recover their competitivity via the production of high quality dried products, with lower process impact on energy environment

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: INNOSUP-1-2015 | Award Amount: 4.20M | Year: 2016

The EU faces huge challenges in food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime and inland water management. Blue Growth solutions can play an important role in meeting these challenges and unlock the potential of oceans and inland water for the benefit of European competitiveness. Blue Growth is identified as a key emerging industry to be supported via inter cluster collaboration as well as a key driver for the EU economy. NEPTUNE aims at developing new cross-sectoral and cross-border industrial value-chains, including notably SMEs, to foster the development of Blue Growth industries in Europe and beyond. This will be based on the construction or reconfiguration of value chains driven by the integration of new technologies and know-how between Water, Aerospace, ICT and Agriculture industries. NETPUNE addresses in particular three key aspects of Blue Growth that have a great potential to benefit from such collaboration and SME innovation support: (i) Water management in urban and rural environments; (ii) Fluvial and maritime transport and port logisitics; (iii) Environment and renewable marine energy. From a methodological perspective, NEPTUNE focuses on two main concepts: the innovative Open Space Platform that refers to the collaborative space and innovation animation techniques via a project emergence methodology that helps SMEs and other stakeholders to identify market trends and opportunities and support the incubation of Blue Growth projects and innovation ideas. NEPTUNE expects to support at least 100 SMEs for the development of 40 new innovative solutions. NEPTUNE brings together 10 of Europes leading clusters from 7 countries and 2 additional innovation, creativity and inter-cluster expert organisations to implement this ambitious project.

PubMed | University of Warmia and Mazury, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano and West Pomeranian University of Technology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society | Year: 2016

Despite the growing number of sequenced bovine genomes, the knowledge of the population-wide variation of sequences remains limited. In many studies, statistical methodology was not applied in order to relate findings in the sequenced samples to a population-wide level. Our goal was to assess the population-wide variation in DNA sequence based on whole-genome sequences of 32 Holstein-Friesian cows. The number of SNPs significantly varied across individuals. The number of identified SNPs increased with coverage, following a logarithmic curve. A total of 15,272,427 SNPs were identified, 99.16% of them being bi-allelic. Missense SNPs were classified into three categories based on their genomic location: housekeeping genes, genes undergoing strong selection, and genes neutral to selection. The number of missense SNPs was significantly higher within genes neutral to selection than in the other two categories. The number of variants located within 3UTR and 5UTR regions was also significantly different across gene families. Moreover, the number of insertions and deletions differed significantly among cows varying between 261,712 and 330,103 insertions and from 271,398 to 343,649 deletions. Results not only demonstrate inter-individual variation in the number of SNPs and indels but also show that the number of missense SNPs differs across genes representing different functional backgrounds.

Nicolazzi E.L.,Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano | Picciolini M.,Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano | Strozzi F.,Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano | Schnabel R.D.,University of Missouri | And 5 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2014

Background: Currently, six commercial whole-genome SNP chips are available for cattle genotyping, produced by two different genotyping platforms. Technical issues need to be addressed to combine data that originates from the different platforms, or different versions of the same array generated by the manufacturer. For example: i) genome coordinates for SNPs may refer to different genome assemblies; ii) reference genome sequences are updated over time changing the positions, or even removing sequences which contain SNPs; iii) not all commercial SNP ID's are searchable within public databases; iv) SNPs can be coded using different formats and referencing different strands (e.g. A/B or A/C/T/G alleles, referencing forward/reverse, top/bottom or plus/minus strand); v) Due to new information being discovered, higher density chips do not necessarily include all the SNPs present in the lower density chips; and, vi) SNP IDs may not be consistent across chips and platforms. Most researchers and breed associations manage SNP data in real-time and thus require tools to standardise data in a user-friendly manner.Description: Here we present SNPchiMp, a MySQL database linked to an open access web-based interface. Features of this interface include, but are not limited to, the following functions: 1) referencing the SNP mapping information to the latest genome assembly, 2) extraction of information contained in dbSNP for SNPs present in all commercially available bovine chips, and 3) identification of SNPs in common between two or more bovine chips (e.g. for SNP imputation from lower to higher density). In addition, SNPchiMp can retrieve this information on subsets of SNPs, accessing such data either via physical position on a supported assembly, or by a list of SNP IDs, rs or ss identifiers.Conclusions: This tool combines many different sources of information, that otherwise are time consuming to obtain and difficult to integrate. The SNPchiMp not only provides the information in a user-friendly format, but also enables researchers to perform a large number of operations with a few clicks of the mouse. This significantly reduces the time needed to execute the large number of operations required to manage SNP data. © 2014 Nicolazzi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Ozkan H.,Cukurova University | Willcox G.,University of Lyon | Graner A.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research | Salamini F.,Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano | Kilian B.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2011

The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture had revolutionary consequences for the development of human societies. Crops such as wheat, barley, lentil, pea and chickpea played a crucial role in the establishment of complex civilizations in south west Asia. Wild emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccoides) was one of the first cereals to be domesticated in the Fertile Crescent between c. 12,000 and c. 10,000 years ago. This step provided the key for subsequent bread wheat evolution. Wild emmer is found today in the western Fertile Crescent in Jordan, Syria and Israel, the central part of southeastern Turkey and mountain areas in eastern Iraq and western Iran. In this review, we summarize issues concerning geography and domestication of wild emmer wheat based on published molecular and archaeobotanical data and on our recent findings. We suggest that modern domestic tetraploid wheats derived from wild emmer lines from southeast Turkey. However, our understanding of emmer domestication is not complete. The "dispersed-specific" domestication model proposed for einkorn might well be appropriate also for emmer. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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