Gasteiz / Vitoria, Spain
Gasteiz / Vitoria, Spain

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Iturritxa E.,Neiker | Ganley R.J.,Scion Research | Wright J.,University of Pretoria | Heppe E.,Neiker | And 3 more authors.
Fungal Biology | Year: 2011

Pitch canker, caused by Fusarium circinatum, is a destructive disease of Pinus species and has recently been shown to represent a substantial threat to natural and commercial forests in northern Spain. The genetic diversity of F. circinatum in the Basque Country of Spain was assessed by characterising 96 isolates based on vegetative compatibility groups (VCGs), mating type assays, polymorphic DNA-markers and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analyses. For this purpose, F. circinatum isolates were collected from diseased Pinus radiata as well as from insects associated with this host. Overall, a low level of diversity was detected in the population. The isolates represented only two VCGs and they were all of the same mating type. AFLP analyses revealed three genotypes and polymorphic DNA-markers specific for F. circinatum showed nine genotypes. The most common genotypes represented 97. % of all isolates for AFLP analysis and 68. % of isolates for the polymorphic DNA-marker sets. Over all, this indicates that pitch canker in the Basque Country of Spain is caused by a clonally propagating population of F. circinatum, typical of a recently introduced pathogen. © 2010 The British Mycological Society.

Iturritxa E.,NEIKER | Ganley R.J.,New Zealand Forest Research Institute | Raposo R.,CIFOR INIA Ctra | Garcia-Serna I.,NEIKER | And 3 more authors.
Forest Pathology | Year: 2013

Pitch canker, caused by Fusarium circinatum, and Diplodia shoot blight, caused by Diplodia pinea, are both damaging to pines (Pinus spp.) grown in plantations throughout the world, including Spain. To assess the potential for interspecific differences in susceptibility to contribute to the management of pitch canker and Diplodia shoot blight in the Atlantic region of Spain, the present study was undertaken to characterize the susceptibility of six pine species (P. sylvestris, P. nigra, P. pinaster, P. radiata, P. halepensis and P. pinea) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) to F. circinatum and D. pinea. Based on inoculations of 2-year-old trees, Ps. menziesii, P. pinea and P. nigra were the most resistant to F. circinatum, with lesion lengths ranging from 3.7 to 21.5 mm, 2.2 to 12.6 mm and 2.8 to 30.9 mm, respectively. At the other extreme, Pinus radiata was the most susceptible, sustaining lesions that ranged from 8.5 to 74.8 mm in length. Pinus sylvestris, P. pinaster and P. halepensis showed an intermediate response to F. circinatum. Broadly similar results were observed in inoculations with D. pinea, with Ps. menziesii being relatively resistant and P. radiata being highly susceptible. Consistent with these results, field surveys revealed no pitch canker in stands of Ps. menziesii and low severity of Diplodia shoot blight, whereas P. radiata was severely affected by both diseases. Our findings suggest that selection of appropriate species can greatly reduce the risk of damage from two important canker diseases affecting pine plantations in the Atlantic region of Spain. Furthermore, intraspecific variation in susceptibility implies that selection may allow for the enhancement of resistance in otherwise susceptible species. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

PubMed | Bioplant, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, NEIKER, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and APPACALE S.A.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics. Theoretische und angewandte Genetik | Year: 2016

SNPs in candidate genes Pain - 1, InvCD141 (invertases), SSIV (starch synthase), StCDF1 (transcription factor), LapN (leucine aminopeptidase), and cytoplasm type are associated with potato tuber yield, starch content and/or starch yield. Tuber yield (TY), starch content (TSC), and starch yield (TSY) are complex characters of high importance for the potato crop in general and for industrial starch production in particular. DNA markers associated with superior alleles of genes that control the natural variation of TY, TSC, and TSY could increase precision and speed of breeding new cultivars optimized for potato starch production. Diagnostic DNA markers are identified by association mapping in populations of tetraploid potato varieties and advanced breeding clones. A novel association mapping population of 282 genotypes including varieties, breeding clones and Andean landraces was assembled and field evaluated in Northern Spain for TY, TSC, TSY, tuber number (TN) and tuber weight (TW). The landraces had lower mean values of TY, TW, TN, and TSY. The population was genotyped for 183 microsatellite alleles, 221 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in fourteen candidate genes and eight known diagnostic markers for TSC and TSY. Association test statistics including kinship and population structure reproduced five known marker-trait associations of candidate genes and discovered new ones, particularly for tuber yield and starch yield. The inclusion of landraces increased the number of detected marker-trait associations. Integration of the present association mapping results with previous QTL linkage mapping studies for TY, TSC, TSY, TW, TN, and tuberization revealed some hot spots of QTL for these traits in the potato genome. The genomic positions of markers linked or associated with QTL for complex tuber traits suggest high multiplicity and genome wide distribution of the underlying genes.

Webb J.,Ricardo PLC | Sorensen P.,University of Aarhus | Velthof G.,Wageningen University | Amon B.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering | And 6 more authors.
Advances in Agronomy | Year: 2013

Using the nitrogen (N) in organic manures more effectively reduces losses to the environment. A requirement to take allowance of the N conserved by reduced ammonia (NH3)-emission techniques would increase manure-N efficiency by up to 15%. Covering manure stores and land application of slurry by injection beneath the soil surface and by rapid incorporation of both slurries and solid manures into uncropped soil reduce NH3 emissions. Injection of cattle slurry also reduces N immobilization compared with application methods, which mix the slurry with soil and increases manure-N efficiency by ca 10-15%. In growing cereals, NH3 emissions can be reduced by band spreading within the canopy. Anaerobic digestion of slurry may also increase manure-N availability in the season of application by 10-20%, compared with undigested slurry. Slurry acidification may increase manure-N efficiency by 35-65% by reducing total NH3 losses by 70% compared with unacidified slurry stored without cover and not incorporated after spreading. To fully utilize the fertilizer value of manure-N, uptake over more than 1 year needs to be accounted for. This is particularly important for solid manures which provide less-available N in the season after application than slurries but release more N to crops in subsequent years. Using manure-N as a sole N source may limit overall manure-N efficiency. Applying manures at reduced rates over a larger crop area, using N fertilizer at times when crop recovery of manure-N may be limited, may give the greatest overall manure-N efficiency. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Iturritxa E.,NEIKER | Mesanza N.,NEIKER | Brenning A.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Brenning A.,University of Waterloo
Plant Pathology | Year: 2015

Diplodia pinea (causing diplodia blight), Fusarium circinatum (causing pitch canker), and Mycosphaerella spp. (causing needle blight) are examples of major fungal agents that damage Pinus spp. These diseases have a major negative impact on commercial plantation production, in addition to the risk of being introduced to native forest ecosystems. This study aimed to model the spatial risk of major forest diseases to Monterey pine plantations in northern Spain, to provide a basis for more focused management strategies. Generalized linear mixed-effects models were used to identify empirical relationships between environmental variables and disease occurrence. Field surveys and laboratory tests confirmed that D. pinea caused shoot blight in 24% of sampled plantations. Fusarium circinatum and Mycosphaerella spp. were detected in 15 and 71% of analysed plantations, respectively. The results confirmed that disease risk was strongly related to summer precipitation, moderately related to solar radiation, followed by summer temperature and tree age. The predicted probability of disease incidence was >20, 98 and 85% for Mycosphaerella spp., F. circinatum and D. pinea, respectively. The resultant maps from this study may be used to identify high-risk areas for increased monitoring and awareness of fungal diseases. © 2014 British Society for Plant Pathology.

Velthof G.L.,Wageningen University | Lesschen J.P.,Wageningen University | Webb J.,Aea Environment And Energy | Pietrzak S.,Institute of Technology and Life science ITP | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

A series of environmental policies have been implemented in the European Union (EU) to decrease nitrogen (N) emissions from agriculture. The Nitrates Directive (ND) is one of the main policies; it aims to reduce nitrate leaching from agriculture through a number of measures.A study was carried out to quantify the effects of the ND in the EU-27 on the leaching and runoff of nitrate (NO3 -) to groundwater and surface waters, and on the emissions of ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dinitrogen (N2) to the atmosphere. We formulated a scenario with and a scenario without implementation of the ND. The model MITERRA-Europe was used to calculate N emissions on a regional level in the EU-27 for the period 2000-2008. The calculated total N loss from agriculture in the EU-27 was 13Mton N in 2008, with 53% as N2, 22% as NO3, 21% as NH3, 3% as N2O, and 1% as NOx. The N emissions and leaching in the EU-27 slightly decreased in the period 2000-2008. Total emissions in the EU in 2008 were smaller with implementation of the ND than without the ND, by 3% for NH3, 6% for N2O, 9% for NOx, and 16% for N leaching and runoff in 2008. However, regional differences were large. The lower emissions with ND were mainly due to the lower N inputs by fertilizers and manures. In conclusion, implementation of the ND decreased both N leaching losses to ground and surface waters, and gaseous emissions to the atmosphere. It is expected that the ND will result in a further decrease in N emissions in EU-27 in the near future, because the implementation of the measures for the ND is expected to become more strict. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

The R&D centre has managed to identify and isolate a set of microalgae species belonging to the Thraustochytridos family that have high levels of lipids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The research is being funded by the Department of Economic Development and Competitiveness of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community through the Berriker programme of the Directorate for Food Quality and Industries. Bioactive compounds that can be used to produce functional foods currently represent one of the most important areas of research for the food industry; that is why Neiker-Tecnalia is seeking innovative proposals for the sector. The biochemical analyses of the strains isolated by the research centre reveal a presence of 20% of DHA among all the fatty acids that these microalgae produce. Neiker-Tecnalia has developed a crop protocol suited to the selected microalgae that takes into consideration the influence of a range of factors, including salinity, the concentration of nutrients or the type of nutrients. Cultivation of this type allows the obtaining of DHA and other omega-3-type polyunsaturated fatty acids to be optimised to a maximum. What is more, the biochemical analysis of these species has revealed the presence of other compounds of interest for the food industry: natural pigments with an antioxidant capability or extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, such as lipases, cellulases or proteases. The Thraustochytridos species isolated in the research were taken from samples collected in the Bizkaian salt marshes of Pobeña (Muskiz), Txipio (Plentzia) and Busturia (Urdaibai). The Neofood project goes beyond the identifying of microalgae with bioactive compounds and likewise seeks to prepare new food creations that incorporate the health-giving and sensory aspect of the beneficial compounds of the microalgae. Omega-3-type polyunsaturated fatty acids are regarded as nutrients indispensable for health. The scientific community and the food industry alike recognise the benefits of consuming them and recommend that they be added to diets. Fish oil is currently one of the main commercial sources of polyunsaturated omega-3-type fatty acids. The expected growth in the demand for these compounds as well as their origin is driving the quest for producer microorganisms such a microalgae, a prominent one among them being the family of the Thraustochytrids. These unicellular micro-organisms of marine origin, which are widely distributed in ecological and geographical terms, are found on cold, temperate and tropical coastlines, such as mangrove swamps, salt marshes and estuaries. These micro-organisms carry out heterotrophic nutrition which mostly involves decomposing organic matter. They are characterised by their capacity to build up large quantities of lipids, up to 50% of their weight, and by having a significant presence of DHA that can be as much as between 27% and 70% of the total amount of the fatty acids they produce.

Merino P.,NEIKER | Ramirez-Fanlo E.,NEIKER | Arriaga H.,NEIKER | del Hierro O.,NEIKER | And 2 more authors.
Animal Feed Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Ruminant livestock systems emit CH4 and N2O to the atmosphere. Quantification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Spain is reported annually in the National Emission Inventory. The objective of this study was to update the annual CH4 and N2O emissions by dairy and beef cattle, and dairy ewes in the Basque Country of Northern Spain according to the recommendations of IPCC (2006) (Tier 2) using regional farm management data. A mathematical approach was used to assess uncertainties of estimated emission factors (EF). CH4 EF from enteric fermentation was 107kg CH4/hd/yr for dairy cattle with a milk yield of 7870kg milk/hd/yr. The corresponding values for beef cows and dairy ewes were 60 and 8.4kg CH4/hd/yr. Emission of CH4 from enteric fermentation accounted for 87% of total CH4 emissions in ruminant production, with dairy and beef cattle the main contributors. The regional contribution of beef cattle to enteric CH4 emissions has become important recently as many farmers have changed from dairy to beef cattle production. CH4 EF (Tier 2) from manure management was 33.2, 2.0 and 0.3kg CH4/hd/yr for dairy cattle, beef cattle and dairy ewes. From 2005, many small dairy cow farms (<20 livestock units) have closed and manure management has become mostly liquid slurry resulting in higher CH4 emissions. The EF of N2O from manure management was 1.0, 1.4 and 0.1kg N2O/hd/yr for dairy cattle, beef cattle and dairy ewes. EF values calculated from Tier 2 were higher than those from Tier 1, except for dairy cattle EF from enteric fermentation, since these animals are mainly fed high concentrate diets with high digestibility which result in lower enteric CH4 emissions/hd. By improving livestock characterization we obtained lower uncertainties for EF calculated as Tier 2 than for default values from Tier 1. Emissions from manure management had the largest uncertainty, and the uncertainty of N2O EF from manure management was higher than for enteric CH4 EF due to its high natural variability and poor knowledge of it. The animal category with the lowest uncertainty was dairy cattle, as more accurate data were available due to it largely being in intensified production systems.This paper is part of the special issue entitled: Greenhouse Gases in Animal Agriculture - Finding a Balance between Food and Emissions, Guest Edited by T.A. McAllister, Section Guest Editors: K.A. Beauchemin, X. Hao, S. McGinn and Editor for Animal Feed Science and Technology, P.H. Robinson. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Evira-Recuenco M.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria Y Alimentaria | Iturritxa E.,NEIKER | Raposo R.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria Y Alimentaria
Forests | Year: 2015

The aim of this study was to determine the impact of seed inoculum on subsequent disease development in nurseries, specifically studying incidence of seed infection, transmission rate of seed to seedlings, and rate of disease development from the primary inoculum source. Transmission rate of Fusarium circinatum (F. circinatum) from symptomatic trees of Pinus radiata (P. radiata) to seed was 0.73%, being the fungus mainly on the coat. Seed infection incidence was positively correlated with tree disease severity. Seeds also become contaminated with F. circinatum during storage, where high relative humidity had a great effect regardless of temperature. Transmission rates from seeds to symptomatic seedlings measured at 48 days after seed inoculation with 104 and 106 was 28% and 80%, respectively. Seedlings showed symptoms of wilting and dieback, and eventually died within the total duration of this study (475 days). By this time, there were two remaining symptomless seedlings (1% of the total). F. circinatum was recovered from each of them, demonstrating its persistence in seedlings. Fungus populations in roots were estimated between 105 and 107 cfu/g in symptomatic plants for both inoculum doses and up to 104 cfu/g in asymptomatic plants. Disease infection rate was similar in post-emergence damping-off (up two months growing) and for established seedlings (up to eight months) after seeds were inoculated with 104 spores/mL. © 2015 by the authors.

Villalba D.,University of Lleida | Ripoll G.,CSIC - Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria | Ruiz R.,NEIKER | Bernues A.,CSIC - Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2010

A stochastic simulation model was used to assess the effects of diverse management strategies on beef herds under mountain conditions in the Spanish Pyrenees. Animals grazed on different seasonal resources (valley meadows, forest pastures and mountain pastures) and were fed with forages and concentrates during winter. The simulated management strategies were winter calving (WC, weaning at 180 days), autumn calving (AC, weaning at 160 days), 8-month calving (8MC, weaning at 180 days), and two calvings in 3 years, with weaning taking place at either 170 days of age (2C3Y) or at 9 months (2C3Y9 M). Each strategy was tested for two types of production systems: (i) cow-calf farms that market calves just after weaning; and (ii) cow-calf/finishing farms that fatten the animals by means of an intensive feeding system until achieving a suitable weight for slaughter. A herd of 100 cows was simulated over 15 years, but only data obtained after reaching the steady state (year 6) was used in the analysis. The strategies were evaluated by considering reproductive, productive and economic performance. The percentages of pregnant cows at the end of the mating season were highest for 8MC, 2C3Y and 2C3Y9M (between 92% and 94%). The percentage was intermediate for AC (88%) and lowest for WC (78%), which also showed greater variability between years. The two strategies that extensified management (2C3Y, 2C3Y9M) produced, as expected, a lower number of calves weaned per year (59 and 60), whereas this figure was the highest for 8MC (90). Although AC and 8MC resulted in higher productive performances, the increased labour requirements and winter feeding costs resulted in low economic margins for these strategies, which also meant poorer utilization of natural resources. In economic terms, WC was the best strategy for cow-calf/finishing farms, whereas 2C3Y was the worst of the two types of production systems, although it resulted in the most intense utilization of grazing resources. The long lactating period of 2C3Y9M did not affect the reproductive performance of cows, so this strategy yielded the highest economic margin at weaning. The extensification strategies (2C3Y and 2C3Y9M) were less sensitive to changes in the price of feedstuffs. The information obtained from the simulation of the different strategies is useful for evaluating the possible trade-offs between production, economics, use of natural resources and labour requirements. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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