Institute Agricole Regional

Aosta, Italy

Institute Agricole Regional

Aosta, Italy

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Dolci P.,University of Turin | Zenato S.,Institute Agricole Regional | Pramotton R.,Institute Agricole Regional | Barmaz A.,Institute Agricole Regional | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2013

In this work, a culture-independent approach, based on PCR-DGGE and RT-PCR-DGGE, has been used to study the succession of bacterial communities that are encountered in Fontina PDO cheese. As already found for other smear ripened cheeses, it appeared that coryneform bacteria were actively present and could therefore be considered determinant in rind formation. DGGE profiles, especially at the RNA level, have shown the presence of Brevibacterium, Corynebacterium and Arthrobacter genera. RT-PCR-DGGE gels have lead to a richer band profile than the one obtained on the basis of DNA analysis, thus indicating that RNA analysis can highlight bacterial species that DNA analysis is not able to show. Thus, the biodiversity of the Fontina PDO surface has been described better by means of RT-PCR-DGGE, and RNA molecules should be considered a more informative target than DNA. © 2012.


Pecetti L.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Johnson R.C.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Romani M.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Bassignana M.,Institute Agricole Regional | Della Marianna G.,Fondazione Fojanini di Studi Superiori
Grass and Forage Science | Year: 2011

A collection was carried out in the Italian Alps to gather local genetic resources and acquire information on the ecological adaptation of supina bluegrass (Poa supina Schrad.), a cool-season grass native to the Alpine region in Europe. It has potential for pastures and a growing interest for turfs, owing to excellent traffic, shade and cold tolerance. Available germplasm for research and breeding is scant, and extensive collections are needed to enable further development of adapted materials. Alpine germplasm has already proved valuable for breeding at lower altitude in pioneering selection work carried out in Germany. Extensive exploration throughout different environments, mostly above 1600m elevation, yielded fifty-five novel populations. Collections largely occurred in environments exposed to heavy disturbance by livestock, but it was also frequently found on very poor substrates along mountain paths and dirt roads, or around buildings. Some populations were present locally in shaded environments. Preliminary ex-situ observations indicated likely among-population variation to occur for important traits of breeding relevance such as disease and drought tolerance. Genetic variation for adaptive traits, although unproven, is hypothesized given the diversified habitats where the species was collected across the Italian Alps. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Bassanino M.,University of Turin | Sacco D.,University of Turin | Curtaz A.,Institute Agricole Regional | Bassignana M.,Institute Agricole Regional | Grignani C.,University of Turin
Italian Journal of Agronomy | Year: 2011

A traditional dairy production system is still common today in the mountain environment of the Italian Alps, enhancing the economic valorisation of milk through the production of quality cheese such as Fontina PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), and favouring the agroenvironmental management of marginal areas. This type of dairy system depends mainly on summer grazing: farmers set up the farm stock on the basis of the high-altitude grassland areas available. For the rest of the year, the livestock is housed on the farm lowland, consequently reaching high stocking rates. Since grassland areas are limited in size here, animal feeding is largely based on acquired forages. In order to study the environmental sustainability of the lowland farm areas, agronomic management, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) farm-gate balances were calculated for 22 livestock farms in the Valle d'Aosta region. Lowland surfaces show a quite high variability, with an average value of 6.8 ha. An unbalanced stocking rate referred to the lowland is common showing an average value of 5.7 livestock units (LU) ha -1, but reaching a maximum of 26.8 LU ha -1. Lowland milk production is approximately 1700 kg per LU per year, but some farms could reach 3500 kg per LU The feed efficiency varies from 1.1 to 4.7 kg milk per kg feed, depending on the farm feeding strategy. The average N farm-gate balance is equal to 75 kg N ha -1. The two main input components are represented by purchased hay and feed, both showing the highest variability between farms. The output data also differ substantially among farms. The manure sold is the most important output component and represents 70% of the total output on average. The P farm gate balance surplus is equal to 6 kg ha -1, but more than 25% of the farms considered show a negative value. The surpluses calculated in this work can be compared with the values belonging to a distribution calculated for bovine farms under different management and environmental conditions in Italy and Europe. They occupy the lower part of the distribution and are similar to those measured in mountains or other extensive environments. © Copyright M. Bassanino et al., 2011.


Renna M.,University of Turin | Cornale P.,University of Turin | Lussiana C.,University of Turin | Battaglini L.M.,University of Turin | And 2 more authors.
Animal Science Journal | Year: 2014

This study was designed to evaluate the effects of two feeding methods on milk yield, composition and fatty acid (FA) profile obtained from dual-purpose cattle. Twenty-four Aosta Red Pied cows beyond peak of lactation were assigned to two groups and fed hay and concentrates in the proportions 0.69 and 0.31 on a dry matter basis for 10 weeks. Concentrates were offered separately from forages 6 times a day (separate ration, SR) or as a total mixed ration (TMR). The feeding method did not significantly influence dry matter intake (16.8 vs. 16.9kg/head/day for SR- and TMR-fed cows, respectively), milk yield (17.4 vs. 17.5kg/head/day), milk fat, protein and lactose contents (36.4 vs. 35.2, 33.5 vs. 32.8, and 47.3 vs. 47.4g/kg) and yields (607.9 vs. 613.4, 567.4 vs. 572.7 and 805.5 vs. 829.7g/head/day). The overall milk FA profile was very similar between groups. Milk concentrations of FA used as indirect markers of rumen function (C18:2 t10c12, odd- and branched-chain FA) and the extent of ruminal biohydrogenation were comparable (P>0.05) between SR- and TMR-fed cows, suggesting that ruminal pH did not vary considerably as a consequence of the feeding strategy applied. © 2013 Japanese Society of Animal Science.


Giordano M.,University of Turin | Zecca O.,Institute Agricole Regional | Belviso S.,University of Turin | Reinotti M.,Institute Agricole Regional | And 2 more authors.
Italian Journal of Food Science | Year: 2013

The volatile composition of aromatic grape varieties at harvest is a very important criterion in the choice of vinification technique to yield the optimal quality of the final product. The berry mechanical characteristics are important for assessing resistance to fungal attacks and for the estimation of shattering. In this study the effect of irrigation on the volatile fingerprint and the mechanical properties of the Muscat blanc [Vitis vinifera L.) grapes grown in mountain north-west region of Italy was investigated. Three water regimes were compared: standard irrigation, moderate irrigation and drought. In the meteorological conditions of the considered season, a significant increase in the amounts of the most representative free volatile components of the Muscat blanc variety (linalool and geraniol markers), was observed in standard irrigation treatment. Significantly higher amounts of four C13-norisoprenoid bound compounds were observed in the drought treatment with respect to the standard treatment. Furthermore, no influence of irrigation treatment on berry skin hardness and thickness parameters was noted. Therefore, in the considered alpine environment, on aromatic Muscat blanc variety, the optimum irrigation treatment is an important choose to improve the quality of the grapes.


Vacchiano G.,University of Turin | Barni E.,University of Turin | Lonati M.,University of Turin | Masante D.,University of Turin | And 3 more authors.
Plant Biosystems | Year: 2013

We modeled the distribution of the South African alien Senecio inaequidens DC. in the Aosta Valley, Western Italian Alps, using data extracted from the Regional floristic database and from an intensive field survey carried out in years 2009-2010. The aims of the work were (1) to evaluate whether the species is in the introduction, colonization, or establishment stage of invasion, (2) to detect the environmental factors that drive the invasion process, and (3) to highlight the potential range of distribution of the alien species. The modeling framework was a stepwise generalized linear model (GLM), using gridded presence/absence data and environmental predictors such as topography, climate, land use, and anthropogenic and natural disturbances. GLM were fit both with and without an additional independent variable to take into account current dispersal limitations. S. inaequidens displayed a very fast spread in the Aosta Valley in the years 1990-2010. The species was positively associated with roads and rivers, southern slopes, and negatively with elevation. However, it was found at an elevation of 1600 m, showing the ability to reach higher elevations than those observed for other invasive alien species, and confirming to be pre-adapted to mountain conditions. The difference between the species distribution models, with and without dispersal constraints, suggested that the availability of seed sources still limits the potential distribution of the species, rather than the environmental variables, and that the realized regional niche differs to a great extent from the equilibrium niche. When limitations to the seed source cease (i.e., in the establishment stage), the species will likely invade large areas that are currently characterized by pastures and grasslands with native species of high agricultural importance. The invasion of S. inaequidens should therefore be considered a serious threat, due to its potential to invade mountain regions, and in particular to colonize habitats used for grazing and forage, thus leading to a high risk for cattle and human health. We discuss the relevance of the results both concerning communication with the public and to support local eradication and control activities. The inclusion of S. inaequidens in the "black list" of the regional law for the conservation of alpine flora (L.R. 45/2009) will help to transfer the information and support invasion control, in particular at medium elevations. © 2013 © 2013 Società Botanica Italiana.


Casazza A.A.,University of Genoa | Casazza A.A.,Genova Engineering, LLC. | Aliakbarian B.,University of Genoa | Aliakbarian B.,Genova Engineering, LLC. | And 9 more authors.
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2015

Grape and apple skins and seeds are rich in natural antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols. Polyphenols exhibit a wide range of beneficial biological properties acting as antioxidants and antiinflammatory that can be exploited for vascular diseases. The polyphenol content in grapes and apples depends on cultivar and growing conditions. For this study, four different cultivars of apples (Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Renetta Canada and Raventze) and three of grapes (Fumin, Premetta and Petit Rouge), typical of Aosta Valley (Italy), were harvested at commercial maturity. Skins were collected and dried. Powdered samples were extracted with methanol using microwave assisted extraction (MAE, 110 °C, 60 min) and high pressure and temperature extraction (HPTE, 150 °C, 150 min). The non-conventional methodologies were compared with the classic solid-liquid extraction (25 °C, 19 h). The extracts were characterized in terms of total polyphenols (TP) content and their antiradical power. HPLC analysis was also performed to quantify main single phenolic compounds. For grape and apple skins, the higher TP yields were obtained by HPTE using Jonagold and Premetta cultivars, respectively. In general, extraction yields of HPTE have reached values higher than 30 and 10 mg of Gallic Acid Equivalent per g of Dry Material for grape and apple skins, respectively. Moreover, the biological vaso-protective activity of apple extracts was investigated by evaluating the expression of endothelial activation markers in an in vitro model of endothelial dysfunction induced by the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα. Copyright © 2015, AIDIC ServiziS.r.l.


Berard J.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | Berard J.,Institute Agricole Regional | Kalbe C.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | Losel D.,Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | And 2 more authors.
Histochemistry and Cell Biology | Year: 2011

In pigs, myogenesis is a biphasic phenomenon with the formation of primary and secondary fibres. Hyperplasia was reported to be accomplished around 90 days of gestation. However, some studies suggest a substantial increase in the total fibre number (TFN) from birth to weaning by counting fibre number in the muscle cross sections. The aim of this study was to establish in which way TFN increases after birth and whether this increase is imputable to new (tertiary) myofibres and/or fibre elongation. The semitendinosus muscle of 128 piglets was examined at days 1 (n = 63), 7 (n = 12), 21 (n = 12), and 28 (n = 41) of age. TFN was increased at days 7, 21 and 28 of age when compared with day 1 (P < 0.01). From day 1 to 28, TFN increased from 463 × 10 3 to 825 × 10 3. Microscopy of longitudinal and transversal serial sections revealed that at day 7 of age very small fibres expressing the embryonic myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform were apparent all over the muscle. In addition, intrafascicular terminations of normal-sized fibres expressed the embryonic MyHC isoform. These data suggest that the TFN in the pig muscle is not fixed at birth and its postnatal increase may be related to both elongation of existing muscle fibres and genesis of tertiary myofibres, mainly between birth and 3 weeks of age. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | Institute Agricole Regional, Research and Innovation Center and Technology Transfer Center
Type: | Journal: Food microbiology | Year: 2016

Red-brown pigmentation can occasionally form in smeared-ripened cheese such as Fontina during the ripening process. This reaction is due to over-development of the typical microbiota present on the rind. Previous studies have demonstrated the relationship between red-brown pigmentation and the traditional utilization of wooden shelves during cheese ripening. The first part of the paper focuses on the characterisation of yeast and bacterial microbiota: plate counts and 454-pyrosequencing were performed in spoiled (n=6) and non-spoiled cheeses (n=6) and on the wooden shelves used during ripening. The second part shows different systems tested for cleaning the wooden shelves and avoiding the development of the red-brown defect in cheese: washing with hot water and ozone treatment. Actinobacteria, dominated on the wooden shelves, suggesting to be responsible for the red-brown pigmentation; they were also found in traces in the defected cheese samples. Galactomyces and Debaryomyces were the main species characterizing the yeast population, with Debaryomyces being the most dominant species on the shelves used during ripening of the red-brown defective cheese. Hot water treatment reduced the microbial contamination of shelves, whereas only the ozone treatment ensured complete elimination of both yeast and bacteria, resulting in the cheese rind not having the red-brown defect.

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