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Pessoa M.F.,New University of Lisbon | Scotti-Campos P.,New University of Lisbon | Scotti-Campos P.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacao Agraria E Veterinaria Ip Iniav | Pais I.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacao Agraria E Veterinaria Ip Iniav | And 13 more authors.
Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2016

The economic and financial crisis has increased the number of urban horticulture on lands close to present or past industrial areas. "Tronchuda" or the Portuguese cabbage (Brassica oleraceae L var. costata DC) was studied because of its importance in Portuguese diet. It belongs to a number of economically significant horticultural crops (Brassica species), which are also known to be nutritionally well-balanced vegetables. "Tronchuda" produced in urban horticultures from 4 regions of mainland Portugal was studied for its nutritional profile along with elemental soil analysis of each sampling site. This study revealed significant interactions between essential elements in soil and plant leaves - the edible part of the plant for human nutrition. In general, these organs contained poor concentrations of Fe and Si, while Mn is absent, regardless of the sampling sites. Conversely, Ca levels were abundant with values ranging between 3.3% and 3.9%. Soils from CAP showed a soil nutrient exhaustion of Fe, Mn and Mo, although the highest protein and sucrose contents in the leaves was observed in plants growing in those soils. Protein, lipids and carbohydrates concentrations differed according to sampling site, reflecting different production practices.

Batista-Santos P.,University of Lisbon | Duro N.,University of Lisbon | Duro N.,New University of Lisbon | Rodrigues A.P.,University of Lisbon | And 15 more authors.
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Casuarina glauca is an actinorhizal tree which establishes root-nodule symbiosis with N2-fixing Frankia bacteria. This plant is commonly found in saline zones and is widely used to remediate marginal soils and prevent desertification. The nature of its ability to survive in extreme environments and the extent of Frankia contribution to stress tolerance remain unknown. Thus, we evaluated the ability of C.glauca to cope with salt stress and the influence of the symbiosis on this trait. To this end, we analysed the impact of salt on plant growth, mineral contents, water relations, photosynthetic-related parameters and non-structural sugars in nodulated vs. non-nodulated plants. Although the effects on photosynthesis and stomatal conductance started to become measurable in the presence of 200mM NaCl, photochemical (e.g., photosynthetic electron flow) and biochemical (e.g., activity of photosynthetic enzymes) parameters were only strongly impaired when NaCl levels reached 600mM. These results indicate the maintenance of high tissue hydration under salt stress, probably associated with enhanced osmotic potential. Furthermore, the maintenance of photosynthetic assimilation potential (Amax), together with the increase in the quantum yield of down-regulated energy dissipation of PSII (YNPQ), suggested a down-regulation of photosynthesis instead of photo-damaging effects. A comparison of the impact of increasing NaCl levels on the activities of photosynthetic (RubisCO and ribulose-5 phosphate kinase) and respiratory (pyruvate kinase and NADH-dependent malate dehydrogenase) enzymes vs. photosynthetic electron flow and fluorescence parameters, revealed that biochemical impairments are more limiting than photochemical damage. Altogether, these results indicate that, under controlled conditions, C.glauca tolerates high NaCl levels and that this capacity is linked to photosynthetic adjustments. © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Pataco I.M.,New University of Lisbon | Mourinho M.P.,New University of Lisbon | Oliveira K.,New University of Lisbon | Santos C.,New University of Lisbon | And 8 more authors.
Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2015

The biofortification, process of nutrients creation for food crops, provides a sustainable strategy for rural populations in developing countries. Crops are created for greater levels of micronutrients, by using conventional and transgenic breeding methods. Recent studies provide evidence that biofortification is a promising strategy to combat nutritional deficits. Being a basic and common food of the population of developing countries, the flour got a significant attention as appropriate matrix for biofortification.

Oliveira K.,New University of Lisbon | Pataco I.M.,New University of Lisbon | Mourinho M.P.,New University of Lisbon | Santos C.,New University of Lisbon | And 8 more authors.
Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2015

Selenium is an antioxidant trace mineral with important biochemical functions related to the enzymatic activity of selenoproteins. Due to a wide variation in the content of selenium from different plant sources, there is a high risk of deficiency of this nutrient in human nutrition, and particularly in the early childhood. Thus, the use of biofortified staple foods, namely selenium rice flour can be understood as an important trait, namely for food production for infants. This study aims to evaluate the importance of selenium biofortified rice flour, further considering baby foods.

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