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Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

Spinelli R.,CNR Tree and Timber Institute | Ebone A.,IPLA | Gianella M.,IPLA
Biomass and Bioenergy

Traditional coppice stands cover millions of hectares throughout Europe and offer large amounts of biomass. The study analyzed 10 commercial coppice harvesting operations in northwestern Italy, where modern machines were deployed. Removals, prices, work, revenues and costs were carefully determined. Firewood was the main product, representing between 70% and 100% of the total product mass and value. Traditional coppice stands often yield over 200m3 of energy biomass per hectare, at the time of cut. Cable yarding operations were better organized than ground-based operations, which explained why they incurred the same harvesting cost, despite the more challenging site conditions under which they were deployed. Mean harvesting cost was 45€m-3, of which about 10% was needed for felling, 70% for extraction and processing, and the remaining 20% for loading and transportation. All operations accrued some profit, which varied between 13 and 43€m-3 or between 1600 and 8600€ha-1, depending on operational efficiency, value recovery and stand yield. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Salazar N.,IPLA | Binetti A.,IPLA | Binetti A.,CONICET | Gueimonde M.,IPLA | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Food Microbiology

Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis IPLA R1 and Bifidobacterium longum IPLA E44 strains were tested for their safety and ability to modulate the intestinal microbiota in vivo. Chemically simulated gastrointestinal digestion showed considerably lower survival of E44 than R1 strain, the first microorganism also being more sensitive to refrigerated storage in 10% skimmed milk at 4°C. Harmful glycosidic activities were absent, or at low levels, in the strains R1 and E44. Both strains were sensitive to most antibiotics and resistant to aminoglycosides, a common feature in bifidobacteria. Similar to several other bifidobacteria strains, B. animalis subsp. lactis IPLA R1 displayed a moderate resistance against tetracycline which correlated with the presence of tet(W) gene in its genome. The general parameters indicating well-being status, as well as translocation to different organs and histological examination of the gut tissues, revealed no changes induced by the administration of bifidobacteria to rats. Twelve-week-old male Wistar rats were distributed into three groups, eight rats in each. Two groups were administered daily over 108cfu of the corresponding strain suspended in 10% skimmed milk for 24days, whereas rats in the placebo group received skimmed milk without microorganisms added. The microbiota and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) were monitored in faeces at different time points during treatment and in caecum content at the end of the assay. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) showed that faecal and caecal Bifidobacterium levels were higher in bifidobacteria-fed rats than in the placebo rats at the end of the intervention, whereas total anaerobic plate counts did not show significant differences. Quantification of B. animalis and B. longum by qPCR showed that, independent of the microorganism administered, treatment with bifidobacteria resulted in higher levels of B. animalis in the caecum. PCR-DGGE analysis of microbial populations revealed a higher diversity of bands in caecum content of rats fed B. animalis IPLA R1 than in the placebo group and rats fed B. longum IPLA E44. Remarkably, although no variations in the proportion of acetate, propionate and butyrate were found, at the end of the assay the total SCFA concentration in the faeces of rats fed bifidobacteria was significantly higher and those in caecum content significantly lower, than that of the placebo group. This suggests a displacement of the SCFA production to parts of the colon beyond the caecum in rats receiving bifidobacteria. Therefore, the oral administration of B. animalis IPLA R1 and B. longum E44 can be considered safe, these microorganisms having the ability to modulate the intestinal microbiota of rats by influencing SCFA and the bifidobacterial population levels. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Torello Marinoni D.,University of Turin | Akkak A.,University of Turin | Akkak A.,University of Foggia | Beltramo C.,University of Turin | And 8 more authors.
Tree Genetics and Genomes

Castanea sativa Mill. is an important multipurpose tree species for north-western Italy, and specially for Piedmont Region. The preservation of its germplasm from the genetic erosion due to the changes in socio-economic structure of rural areas and specific pathogen attacks is critical. The principal aims of this work were to characterize the chestnut germplasm grown in Piedmont and investigate its genetic structure. Sixty-eight grafted chestnut trees were evaluated using 10 SSRs (simple sequence repeats) loci and 20 morphological descriptors. Thirty-six different genotypes were identified; the analysis of the genetic structure of this germplasm revealed that four gene pools contributed to the formation of the population sampled. In general, cultivars tended to group into a main gene pool on the basis of their prevalent use and growing area. These results are substantially in agreement with those of the cluster analysis that was carried out to estimate the genetic relationships among the cultivars. Morphological analyses showed large variation of traits among the individuals, related with the market destination of the nuts and useful for cultivar and clonal selection. Discriminant analysis was applied to find a correlation between genetic and morphological data: nut and leaf shape, nut hairiness and male flower type resulted to be the most discriminant traits associated with the genetic structure. In the end, this work clarified the genetic structure of the cultivated germplasm in Piedmont describing the main cultivars of the region, giving useful information for conservation and breeding purposes. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Paoletti E.,CNR Plant Protection Institute | Manning W.J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Ferrara A.M.,IPLA | Tagliaferro F.,IPLA

Ozone (O3) is the air pollutant of major concern for vegetation. Levels in Mediterranean cities may exceed the criteria for vegetation protection. Ozone may induce a number of plant responses, e.g., visible injury on the leaves, that affect the ornamental value of urban forests. Antioxidant application may protect sensitive plants from ozone. The most successful synthetic antioxidant is ethylenediurea (EDU). Here we set the optimal EDU dose and concentration (260 mg m-2 leaf, 450 ppm) for protecting adult Fraxinus excelsior trees from ozone visible injury by means of EDU applications as soil drench. © iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry. Source

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