Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg

Ora - Auer, Italy

Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg

Ora - Auer, Italy
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Meraner A.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Baric S.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Pelster B.,University of Innsbruck | Dalla Via J.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg
Conservation Genetics | Year: 2010

Marble trout, endemic to the Adriatic drainage basin, is severely threatened by hybridisation with non-native brown trout. In the present study, we analysed 12 microsatellite DNA loci to assess genetic population structure and differentiation between sympatric phenotypic marble and brown trout at nine sampling sites in the upper Etsch/Adige River system. FST and AMOVA analyses revealed significant genetic differentiation between marble and brown trout samples. Thus, admixture between brown and marble trout appears to be incomplete. However, factorial correspondence analysis depicted marble trout, Atlantic brown trout and intermediate genotypes. Bayesian-based individual assignment tests identified indigenous marble trout at five sampling sites. In four other samples no 'pure' marble trout were detected. Bidirectional, first-generation hybridisation, involving both sexes of both parental species was observed. In locations where 'pure' marble trout still exist, post-F1 hybridisation appears to be directed towards brown trout. This has likely slowed the rate of hybridisation between the two trout species and the decline of relic marble trout populations. Based on these results, restoration management actions are proposed, such as the abandonment of brown trout stocking activities, sharper angling policies, establishment of indigenous marble trout breeding strains and the elaboration of a conservation priority list. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Canovas D.,University of Seville | Canovas D.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Marcos A.T.,University of Seville | Gacek A.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 6 more authors.
Genetics | Year: 2014

Acetylation of histones is a key regulatory mechanism of gene expression in eukaryotes. GcnE is an acetyltransferase of Aspergillus nidulans involved in the acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 and lysine 14. Previous works have demonstrated that deletion of gcnE results in defects in primary and secondary metabolism. Here we unveil the role of GcnE in development and show that a ΔgcnE mutant strain has minor growth defects but is impaired in normal conidiophore development. No signs of conidiation were found after 3 days of incubation, and immature and aberrant conidiophores were found after 1 week of incubation. Centroid linkage clustering and principal component (PC) analysis of transcriptomic data suggest that GcnE occupies a central position in Aspergillus developmental regulation and that it is essential for inducing conidiation genes. GcnE function was found to be required for the acetylation of histone H3K9/K14 at the promoter of the master regulator of conidiation, brlA, as well as at the promoters of the upstream developmental regulators of conidiation flbA, flbB, flbC, and flbD (fluffy genes). However, analysis of the gene expression of brlA and the fluffy genes revealed that the lack of conidiation originated in a complete absence of brlA expression in the ΔgcnE strain. Ectopic induction of brlA from a heterologous alcA promoter did not remediate the conidiation defects in the ΔgcnE strain, suggesting that additional GcnE-mediated mechanisms must operate. Therefore, we conclude that GcnE is the only nonessential histone modifier with a strong role in fungal development found so far. © 2014 by the Genetics Society of America.


Storti A.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Dalla Via J.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano | Baric S.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg
Erwerbs-Obstbau | Year: 2012

Apple (Malus × domestica) is economically one of the most important fruit crops in the world, with several thousand described varieties of which only a small number is commercially grown. Characterisation of genetic resources of apple is usually based on morphological traits, which are modulated by environmental and ecological factors, and for this reason pomological description needs to be complemented by molecular approaches. Ten accessions assigned to the apple cultivars 'Antonovka', 'Laxton's Superb' and 'Worcester Pearmain' were derived from several germplasm collections in Europe and analysed at 14 variable microsatellite loci. In order to verify their assignment, the molecular genetic data were compared to a database containing molecular genetic profiles of reference varieties. Within the five accessions of different origin maintained as 'Antonovka', two genotypes were identified, which could be assigned as the common 'Antonovka' and 'Antonovka polutorafuntowaja'. All the three accessions of 'Laxton's Superb' displayed the same genotype that was consequently considered to be authentic, and the comparison with the entries of the database enabled to reveal the probable parent pair for this cultivar. For the two accessions of 'Worcester Pearmain', the comparative database approach allowed to recognise a misidentification in one of the two germplasm collections. A comparative analysis of different accessions of a cultivar from independent origins and the constitution of a database are required, in order to contribute to a reliable determination of apple cultivars maintained in germplasm collections. © 2012 The Author(s).


Giorno F.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Giorno F.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Guerriero G.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Baric S.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Mariani C.,Radboud University Nijmegen
BMC Genomics | Year: 2012

Background: Heat shock transcriptional factors (Hsfs) play a crucial role in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stress conditions and in plant growth and development. Apple (Malus domestica Borkh) is an economically important fruit tree whose genome has been fully sequenced. So far, no detailed characterization of the Hsf gene family is available for this crop plant.Results: A genome-wide analysis was carried out in Malus domestica to identify heat shock transcriptional factor (Hsf) genes, named MdHsfs. Twenty five MdHsfs were identified and classified in three main groups (class A, B and C) according to the structural characteristics and to the phylogenetic comparison with Arabidopsis thaliana and Populus trichocarpa. Chromosomal duplications were analyzed and segmental duplications were shown to have occurred more frequently in the expansion of Hsf genes in the apple genome. Furthermore, MdHsfs transcripts were detected in several apple organs, and expression changes were observed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis in developing flowers and fruits as well as in leaves, harvested from trees grown in the field and exposed to the naturally increased temperatures.Conclusions: The apple genome comprises 25 full length Hsf genes. The data obtained from this investigation contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of the Hsf gene family in apple, and provide the basis for further studies to dissect Hsf function during development as well as in response to environmental stimuli. © 2012 Giorno et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Guerriero G.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Guerriero G.,Applied Genomics | Giorno F.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Ciccotti A.M.,Research and Innovation Center | And 2 more authors.
Tree Physiology | Year: 2012

Apple proliferation (AP) represents a serious threat to several fruit-growing areas and is responsible for great economic losses. Several studies have highlighted the key role played by the cell wall in response to pathogen attack. The existence of a cell wall integrity signaling pathway which senses perturbations in the cell wall architecture upon abiotic/biotic stresses and activates specific defence responses has been widely demonstrated in plants. More recently a role played by cell wall-related genes has also been reported in plants infected by phytoplasmas. With the aim of shedding light on the cell wall response to AP disease in the economically relevant fruit-tree Malus × domestica Borkh., we investigated the expression of the cellulose (CesA) and callose synthase (CalS) genes in different organs (i.e., leaves, roots and branch phloem) of healthy and infected symptomatic outdoor-grown trees, sampled over the course of two time points (i.e., spring and autumn 2011), as well as in in vitro micropropagated control and infected plantlets. A strong up-regulation in the expression of cell wall biosynthetic genes was recorded in roots from infected trees. Secondary cell wall CesAs showed up-regulation in the phloem tissue from branches of infected plants, while either a down-regulation of some genes or no major changes were observed in the leaves. Micropropagated plantlets also showed an increase in cell wall-related genes and constitute a useful system for a general assessment of gene expression analysis upon phytoplasma infection. Finally, we also report the presence of several 'knot'-like structures along the roots of infected apple trees and discuss the occurrence of this interesting phenotype in relation to the gene expression results and the modalities of phytoplasma diffusion. © 2012 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Oettl S.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Schlink K.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2015

The psyllid species Cacopsylla melanoneura (Förster) and Cacopsylla picta (Förster) are vectors of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma Mali', the causal agent of apple proliferation, one of the economically most important apple diseases in Europe. Both vectors are present in apple orchards of South Tyrol and Trentino provinces in Northern Italy. As no direct treatment of the disease is possible, monitoring of the psyllids provides information about the vector presence in the orchards and enables targeted control. Thus, fast and reliable identification of the various psyllids occurring in the apple orchards is required. Morphological differentiation is problematic due to extensive resemblance of some psyllid species especially among females and is error-prone for nymphs. Here we present a rapid and cost-effective polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method based on the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I region for the molecular identification of the vector species as well as eight further Cacopsylla species present in the orchards. This method was verified through 98.9% consensus with morphologically identified males, through sequencing and subsequent phylogenetic analysis. In case of doubtful morphological identification of females, the method was able to provide a refined species assignment and could also remarkably facilitate the identification of nymphs. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved.


Apple proliferation caused by 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' is an economically important disease of apple (Malus × domestica). The availability of a simple quantitative approach to assess pathogen load in infected host plants would certainly contribute to a better understanding of pathogenesis and epidemiology. This study proposes a quantification approach not requiring the analysis of external standard curves. It is based on the simultaneous detection of the 16S rRNA gene of the pathogen and the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase gene of the host plant in a single-tube reaction using TaqMan chemistry. The quantity of the phytoplasma relative to its host plant is determined as the difference between C T values of the two target genes (ΔC T). To assess the agreement of the relative quantification approach with a standard curve-based method, a dataset of 450 DNA samples from infected apple trees was reanalysed. Comparison of the ΔC T-based relative quantities with the corresponding absolute values revealed high degrees of agreement between the relative and absolute quantification methods. The ΔC T procedure can thus be considered adequate for quantification of the phytoplasma in infected host plant tissue. In addition, this approach ensures improved methodological standardisation and increased analysis throughput. © 2012 The Author(s).


Molecular biology techniques have become indispensable tools in various areas of research and routine applications. In South Tyrol (northern Italy), molecular methods have been applied to the field of fruit growing over the last decade, and the main applications have been related to plant pathology and identification of apple cultivars. This review article illustrates how the implementation of existing methods and the development of new assays have contributed to gain more insights about the spread and epidemiology of phytoplasma diseases affecting apple trees and grapevine in South Tyrol, to identify and characterise the causal agents of newly emerging disorders, or to describe the local genetic diversity of the apple. © 2012 The Author(s).


Brunner P.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

Crop load regulation in modern apple fruit growing is an essential tool for obtaining regular and high quality yields. Common applied thinning products in Italy, such as naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), naphtaleneacetamide (NAD), benzyladenine (BA), 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (ethephon) and ammonium thiosulphate (ATS), do not always give satisfactory and consistent thinning results. Therefore, the interest farmers have in finding new thinning agents remains high. Within the present study, the impact of metamitron as a thinning compound was tested on 'Golden Delicious' CloneB Lb®, 'Golden Delicious' Reinders® and 'Fuji' KIKU®8 apple plants, in different open field trials. Results indicate that metamitron reduced fruit set in a concentration-dependent manner and highest abscission rates were encountered when thinning was conducted at 12 mm fruit diameter. Fruit drop increased generally in those plants, where leaf net photosynthesis was strongly inhibited by metamitron. At the same time, an increase in leaf chlorophyll fluorescence of photosystem I was detected. Maximum photosynthetic stress levels were recorded approximately 6 days after application, whereas a complete recovering occurred within 3-4 weeks. Fruit quality parameters such as fruit size, fruit color, soluble solid content, and titratable acidity were improved by metamitron. Fruit russeting remained unaltered, besides some leaf phytotoxic effects compared to treated plants. So far, only the poor return bloom remains a concern. To sum up, the present study shows that metamitron would represent a very promising and powerful tool for regulating apple crop load.


Thalheimer M.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2016

A new device for continuous measurement of fruit or stem growth on the basis of an optoelectronic reflex sensor and a microcontroller board was developed and successfully tested under open field conditions.The principle of the system is based on the detection of alternating narrow white and blacks bars printed on a flexible tape, which is tightened as a loop around the measured object and slides under an infrared reflex sensor in response to the object's radial growth.The design of this new sensor allows continuous, long term measurements without the need of periodic maintenance or physical adjustments of the measurement device.The new system measures changes of fruit or stem perimeter rather than diameter, thus yielding a more relevant information about the growth of objects which are intrinsically not of perfectly circular cross-sectional shape. The described sensor is very lightweight and does not require any mechanical frame or support structure. The tested prototypes had a measurement resolution of 0.5 mm of perimeter, corresponding to a resolution of about 0.16 mm of diameter for a spherical object. The cost of the sensor is very modest, as it consists of only few and inexpensive components. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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