Research Center for Industrial Crops

Bologna, Italy

Research Center for Industrial Crops

Bologna, Italy
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Giacoppo S.,IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo | Gugliandolo A.,IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo | Trubiani O.,University of Chieti Pescara | Pollastro F.,University of Piemonte Orientale | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Histochemistry | Year: 2017

Research in the last decades has widely investigated the anti-oxidant properties of natural products as a therapeutic approach for the prevention and the treatment of oxidative-stress related disorders. In this context, several studies were aimed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of phytocannabinoids, the bioactive compounds of Cannabis sativa. Here, we examined the anti-oxidant ability of Cannabigerol (CBG), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, still little known, into counteracting the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative stress in murine RAW264.7 macrophages. In addition, we tested selective receptor antagonists for cannabinoid receptors and specifically CB1R (SR141716A) and CB2R (AM630) in order to investigate through which CBG may exert its action. Taken together, our in vitro results showed that CBG is able to counteract oxidative stress by activation of CB2 receptors. CB2 antagonist pre-treatment indeed blocked the protective effects of CBG in H2O2 stimulated macrophages, while CB1R was not involved. Specifically, CBG exhibited a potent action in inhibiting oxidative stress, by down-regulation of the main oxidative markers (iNOS, nitrotyrosine and PARP-1), by preventing IκB-α phosphorylation and translocation of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and also via the modulation of MAP kinases pathway. On the other hand, CBG was found to increase anti-oxidant defense of cells by modulating superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1) expression and thus inhibiting cell death (results focused on balance between Bax and Bcl-2). Based on its antioxidant activities, CBG may hold great promise as an anti-oxidant agent and therefore used in clinical practice as a new approach in oxidative-stress related disorders. © S. Giacoppo et al., 2017.


Baasanjav-Gerber C.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | Monien B.H.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | Mewis I.,Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops | Schreiner M.,Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Nutrition and Food Research | Year: 2011

Scope: Juices from Brassicales are mutagenic in Salmonella typhimurium and characteristic adducts are formed with the endogenous DNA in Brassicales homogenates. These effects require myrosinase activity, suggesting an involvement of breakdown products of glucosinolates (GLs). We aimed to identify GLs congeners producing these effects. Methods and results: We investigated twelve individual GLs for mutagenicity in S. typhimurium TA104 and TA100 and for adduct formation with herring sperm DNA using the 32P-postlabelling/thin-layer chromatography method. All bacteriotoxic and mutagenic effects observed required the presence of myrosinase. Neoglucobrassicin, 4-methoxyglucobrassicin and sinalbin showed mutagenicity over wide concentration ranges, with neoglucobrassicin being the most potent congener. Six other GLs led to modest increases in the number of revertants in a small concentration range, before toxicity overshadowed this effect. The remaining three GLs showed some toxicity, but no mutagenicity. However, all twelve GLs formed DNA adducts. Clearly the highest adduct levels were detected with the indole GLs tested. They matched the major adduct spots formed in Brassicales homogenates. Conclusion: The observation that GLs are genotoxic demands follow-up studies on possible genotoxic and carcinogenic effects of these common food compounds in animal models and humans. Our study may be used to prioritize the congeners in further studies. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Baasanjav-Gerber C.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | Hollnagel H.M.,Dow Chemical Company | Brauchmann J.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | Iori R.,Research Center for Industrial Crops | Glatt H.,German Institute of Human Nutrition
Mutagenesis | Year: 2011

Some plants use electrophilic metabolites as a defence against biological enemies. Some of them may react with DNA. We devised a new model to test this hypothesis. Plant tissue was homogenised. After incubation of the homogenate at 37°C for varying periods, the plant DNA was analysed for the presence of adducts using the 32P-postlabelling technique. Adducts were detected with all Brassicales studied. Broccoli was investigated in detail. Adducts were absent in DNA isolated immediately after homogenisation of the plant. Subsequently, five characteristic adduct spots were formed in the homogenate, the maximum being reached after nearly 4 h. Adduct formation was low when broccoli was steamed before homogenisation, but was re-established when myrosinase was added to the homogenate, indicating that the active constituents were glucosinolates. Broccoli juice was mutagenic to Salmonella typhimurium, forming the same adduct spots in these target cells as in plant homogenate, but the relative intensity of the individual spots varied between both models. The patterns of adduct spots formed in homogenates of 15 other Brassicales species and tissues were similar to those detected with broccoli florets heads. However, the relative intensities of the spots varied. Sporadically, some spots were missing or additional spots appeared. These results, therefore, suggest that several different glucosinolates contribute to the adduct formation. © 2010 The Author Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the UK Environmental Mutagen Society. All rights reserved.


Giovenzana V.,University of Milan | Beghi R.,University of Milan | Vagnoli P.,Lallemand Inc. | Iacono F.,Azienda Agricola Fratelli Muratori | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Enology and Viticulture | Year: 2016

Heat removal accounts for ~90% of the total energy requirements of the winery and is mostly related to the temperature control of the wine tanks used for fermentation and maturation. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of a selected wine yeast, chosen to optimize sensory characteristics and minimize SO2 production at temperatures higher than the standard for winemaking, on energy consumption during the fermentation process of the Franciacorta base wine. Fermentations using the new yeast strain were conducted at 15 and 19°C, and energy consumption was compared. Moreover, the sensory, chemical, and aromatic features of the Franciacorta sparkling base wines were measured. Fermentation required 21.6 Wh/Lgrape must at 15°C and 7.7 Wh/Lgrape must at 19°C, reducing energy use by ~65% at the higher temperature. Use of the tested yeast had positive effects on energy saving during fermentation without compromising sensory, chemical, and aromatic profiles of the resulting wine. This work suggests possible methods for wineries to adopt a more sustainable winemaking process that lowers energy consumption and decreases SO2 content in wines, which may introduce eco-labeling strategies and price-premium policies. © 2016 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.


Tavarini S.,University of Pisa | Angelini L.G.,University of Pisa | Casadei N.,Research Center for Industrial Crops | Spugnoli P.,University of Florence | Lazzeri L.,Research Center for Industrial Crops
Italian Journal of Agronomy | Year: 2016

In the recent years, new perspectives for linseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) are open as renewable raw material for bio-based products (Bb), due to its oil composition, and the interesting amounts of coproducts (lignocellulosic biomass). Therefore, the possibility to introduce linseed crop in two environments of central and northern Italy, traditionally devoted to cereal cultivation, has been evaluated. Twoyears field trials were carried out in the coastal plain of Pisa (Tuscany region) and in the Po valley (Bologna, Emilia Romagna region), comparing two linseed varieties (Sideral and Buenos Aires). Agronomical evaluation (yield and yield components), seed and oil characterization (oil, protein content, and fatty acid composition), together with carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content of the residual lignocellulosic biomass were investigated. The two varieties, grown as autumn crop, showed a different percentage of plant survival at the end of winter, with Sideral most resistant to cold. The achieved results showed significant influence of cultivar, location and growing season on yield and yield components, as well as on chemical biomass composition. In particular, Sideral appeared to be the most suitable variety for tested environments, since higher seed yield (3.05 t ha–1 as mean value over years and locations) and above-ground biomass (6.98 t ha–1 as mean value over years and locations) were recorded in comparison with those detected for Buenos Aires (1.93 and 4.48 t ha–1 of seed production and lignocellulosic biomass, respectively). Interestingly, in the northern area, during the 1st year, Buenos Aires was the most productive, despite its low plant survival at the end of winter, which determined a strong reduction in plant density and size. In such conditions, the plants produced a larger number of capsules and, consequently, high seed yield (3.18 t ha–1). Relevant differences were also observed between the two years, due to the variability of climatic characteristics (temperature levels, and moisture regimes). All these findings confirmed as, in linseed, yield and yield components are quantitatively inherited and influenced by both genotype and environment (location and climate). Varietal and environmental effects were also recorded for oil content and yield, and, generally, good oil percentages, for both genotypes, were found (ranging from 44 to 49% on dry matter basis). Oil from the two varieties was characterized by a stable proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids with a high content of alpha-linolenic acid (more than 57%), that makes this oil suitable to be used in paints, resins, varnishes, linoleum, polymers and oleochemicals. Finally, our results pointed out as above-and below-ground biomasses, were different in terms of quantity, and chemical characteristics (N, C and C/N ratio). Interesting amounts of N and C could return into the soil by crop residues (stem portions and roots), thus underling the possibility to maintain and/or increase the soil organic matter pool. © S. Tavarini et al., 2016.


La Marca M.,CNR Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology | Beffy P.,CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology | Della Croce C.,CNR Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology | Gervasi P.G.,CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology | And 3 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

Primary cultures of rat hepatocytes were used to investigate whether and how eight isothiocynates (ITCs) with different chemical structures (the aromatic benzyl, 4-hydroxybenzyl, phenethyl isothiocyanates and the aliphatic allyl, napin, iberin, raphasatin isothiocyanates and sulforaphane) derived from hydrolyzed glucosinolates, were able to modulate cytochrome P450 (CYP) and antioxidant/detoxifying enzymes and to activate the Nrf2 transcription factor. The aromatic ITCs at 40 μM markedly increased the transcription of CYP1A1 and 1A2 mRNA and increased the associated ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity after 24. h of treatment. By contrast, the aliphatic ITCs (40 μM) decreased CYP1A1 and 1A2 transcription, together with the corresponding EROD activity. The same treatment also caused a striking and similar transcriptional repression of CYP3A2, and the corresponding benzyloxyquinoline debenzylase activity in response to all the ITCs tested. In the same culture conditions, most of the antioxidant/detoxifying enzymes were significantly up-regulated by 40 μM ITCs. In particular, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase and heme oxygenase-1 were induced, although to different levels, at transcriptional, protein and/or activity levels by all the ITCs. However, glutathione S-transferase activity was not induced by the allyl, benzyl, and 4-hydroxybenzyl ITCs, glutathione reductase activity was not induced by benzyl, and 4-hydroxybenzyl ITCs and catalase activity was not induced by allyl ITC. As for the Nrf2 transcription factor, a partial translocation of its protein from the cytosol to the nucleus was revealed by immunoblotting after 1. h of treatment for all the ITCs tested. The ability of ITCs to induce the antioxidant and phase II enzymes did not appear to be affected by their hydrophilicity or other structural factors. Taken together, these results show that these ITCs are effective inducers of ARE/Nrf2-regulated antioxidant/detoxifying genes and have the potential to inhibit, at least in rat liver, the bioactivation of carcinogens dependent on CYP3A2 catalysis. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Confalonieri R.,University of Milan | Donatelli M.,Research Center for Industrial Crops | Donatelli M.,European Commission | Bregaglio S.,University of Milan | And 2 more authors.
iEMSs 2012 - Managing Resources of a Limited Planet: Proceedings of the 6th Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society | Year: 2012

The Agro-ecological Zones Simulator (AZS) is a platform for data and models sharing for scientists and policy makers, facilitating the analysis of climate change impacts and the identification of possible response strategies through a comprehensive regional-level analysis comprised of: (i) Geo-referenced climate, soil and terrain data, combined into a land resources database;(ii) Crop suitability assessment and land productivity of cropping systems; (iii) Procedures for calculating the potential agronomically attainable yield; (iv) Procedures for computing actual yields as limited by water availability and management, biotic and abiotic factors; and (v) Selected agricultural production systems with defined input and management relationships, crop-specific environmental requirements and adaptability characteristics. The software core of the platform is given by an instance of the BioMA platform. The platform facilitates the evaluation of the impacts of projected changes in temperature, precipitation and evaporative demands on crop growth and function, including investigations of adaptation potentials by means of management optimization and use of available or improved crop varieties. Simulations are performed using modelling solutions based on extensible, multi-model components for crop growth and development, soil water dynamics, biotic (e.g., diseases) and abiotic (e.g., ozone concentration, frost events) stressors, hourly and daily weather variable generation, automatic management practices, and with a generic component implementing different approaches for crop suitability. The inclusion of biotic and abiotic factors in modelling solutions allows for explicit computations of changing pressures on crops under a changing climate, increasing the realism of the modeled systems. AZS is currently operational for Latin America and Caribe; it was recently used by the World Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development of Latin America for the analysis of climate change impacts on four major crops: wheat, maize, rice and soybean. The results of those simulations and analysis are presented as a first application of the AZS platform.,.


Habyarimana E.,Research Center for Industrial Crops | Lorenzoni C.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Busconi M.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Maydica | Year: 2010

Growth of biomass sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) under semi-arid conditions in Mediterranean region is mainly hindered by water deficit. This study aimed at physiologically and genetically evaluating sorghum genotypes for biomass performance under different water regimes. Of the seventy-seven varieties studied, tropical landraces were more promising at large, in terms of aboveground biomass yields under irrigation and rainfed experiments. Performance under drought-stressed conditions was dependent upon green leaf area retention (r:-0.47; P: 0.001), plant height (r: 0.50; P: 0.001), and maturity (r: 0.61; P: 0.001). A stay-green source (SDS 1948-3) along with a senescent type (IS 33350) was identified. In the segregating progeny from their cross, stay-green inheritance appeared polygenic with a dominant major gene that determine a reduced rate of senescence. Stay-green genotypes displayed high leaf relative water content (r =-0,22; P = ≤ 0,01), and high leaf nitrogen content (r =-0,26; P = ≤ 0,01). Nine linkage groups were constructed using 40 SSRs loci purposefully selected from known map positions that could span 439 cM (Kosambi's function), with a mean distance of 15 cM between any two adjacent loci. Three chromosomal regions possibly related with delayed senescence were perliminarly located. SDS 1948-3, a population supplied by ICRISAT, coming from Kenya, could be of interest contributing to drought tolerance in breeding for sorghum with high and stable biomass yield.


Cianchetta S.,Research Center for Industrial Crops | Galletti S.,Research Center for Industrial Crops | Burzi P.L.,Research Center for Industrial Crops | Cerato C.,Research Center for Industrial Crops
Biotechnology and Bioengineering | Year: 2010

Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuel requires a hydrolysis step to obtain fermentable sugars, generally accomplished by fungal enzymes. An assorted library of cellulolytic microbial strains should facilitate the development of optimal enzyme cocktails specific for locally available feedstocks. Only a limited number of strains can be simultaneously assayed in screening based on large volume cultivation methods, as in shake flasks. This study describes a miniaturization strategy aimed at allowing parallel assessment of large numbers of fungal strains. Trichoderma strains were cultivated stationary on microcrystalline cellulose using flat bottom 24-well plates containing an agarized medium. Supernatants obtained by a rapid centrifugation step of the whole culture plates were evaluated for extracellular total cellulase activity, measured as filter paper activity, using a microplate-based assay. The results obtained were consistent with those observed in shake-flask experiments and more than 300 Trichoderma strains were accordingly characterized for cellulase production. Five strains, displaying on shake-flasks at least 80% of the activity shown by the hyper-cellulolytic mutant Trichoderma Rut-C30, were correctly recognized by the screening on 24-well plates, demonstrating the feasibility of this approach. Cellulase activity distribution for the entire Trichoderma collection is also reported. One strain (T. harzianum Ba8/86) displayed the closest profile to the reference strain Rut-C30 in time course experiments. The method is scalable and addresses a major bottleneck in screening programs, allowing small-scale parallel cultivation and rapid supernatant extraction. It can also be easily integrated with highthroughput enzyme assays and could be suitable for automation. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | Research Center for Industrial Crops
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biotechnology and bioengineering | Year: 2010

Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuel requires a hydrolysis step to obtain fermentable sugars, generally accomplished by fungal enzymes. An assorted library of cellulolytic microbial strains should facilitate the development of optimal enzyme cocktails specific for locally available feedstocks. Only a limited number of strains can be simultaneously assayed in screening based on large volume cultivation methods, as in shake flasks. This study describes a miniaturization strategy aimed at allowing parallel assessment of large numbers of fungal strains. Trichoderma strains were cultivated stationary on microcrystalline cellulose using flat bottom 24-well plates containing an agarized medium. Supernatants obtained by a rapid centrifugation step of the whole culture plates were evaluated for extracellular total cellulase activity, measured as filter paper activity, using a microplate-based assay. The results obtained were consistent with those observed in shake-flask experiments and more than 300 Trichoderma strains were accordingly characterized for cellulase production. Five strains, displaying on shake-flasks at least 80% of the activity shown by the hyper-cellulolytic mutant Trichoderma Rut-C30, were correctly recognized by the screening on 24-well plates, demonstrating the feasibility of this approach. Cellulase activity distribution for the entire Trichoderma collection is also reported. One strain (T. harzianum Ba8/86) displayed the closest profile to the reference strain Rut-C30 in time course experiments. The method is scalable and addresses a major bottleneck in screening programs, allowing small-scale parallel cultivation and rapid supernatant extraction. It can also be easily integrated with high-throughput enzyme assays and could be suitable for automation.

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