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Disciglio G.,University of Foggia | Lops F.,University of Foggia | Carlucci A.,University of Foggia | Gatta G.,University of Foggia | And 4 more authors.
Italian Journal of Agronomy | Year: 2016

The root-parasitic weed Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel represents a major problem for processing tomato crops. The control of this holoparasitic plant is difficult, and better understanding of treatment methods is needed to develop new and specific control strategies. This study investigated 12 agronomic, chemical, biological and biotechnological strategies for the control of this parasitic weed, in comparison with the untreated situation. The trial was carried out in 2014 at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Environment of the University of Foggia (southern Italy), using processing tomato plants grown in pots filled with soil from a field that was heavily infested with P. ramosa. After transplantation, top dressing was performed with 70 kg ha–1 nitrogen. A randomised block design with 3 replicates (pots) was adopted. During the growing cycle of the tomato, at 70, 75, 81 and 88 days after transplantation, the number of parasitic shoots (branched plants) that had emerged in each pot was determined, and the leaf chlorophyll of the plants was measured using a soil-plantanalysis- development meter. At harvesting on 8 August 2014, the major quanti-qualitative yield parameters were determined, including marketable yield, mean weight, dry matter, soluble solids, and fruit colour. The results show lower chlorophyll levels in the parasitised tomato plants, compared to healthy plants. None of the treatments provided complete control against P. ramosa. However, among the methods tested, Radicon® biostimulant (Radicon, Inc., Elk Grove Village, IL, USA), compost activated with Fusarium oxysporum, nitrogen and sulphur mineral fertilisers, Enzone™ soil fumigant (Elliott Chemicals Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand), and a resistant tomato genotype mitigated the virulence of the attacks of this parasite. These effects should be improved by combining some of these treatments, especially for gradual and continued reduction in the seed bank of the parasite in the soil. For the tomato yields across the different treatments, there were no significant differences seen; however, the yields showed an improving trend for treatments with lower presence of the P. ramosa weed. © G. Disciglio et al., 2016 Licensee PAGEPress, Italy.

Pasqua T.,University of Calabria | Filice E.,University of Calabria | Mazza R.,University of Calabria | Quintieri A.M.,University of Calabria | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine | Year: 2015

Heat shock proteins (HSPs), highly conserved in all organisms, act as molecular chaperones activated by several stresses. The HSP70 class of stress-induced proteins is the most studied subtype in cardiovascular and inflammatory disease. Because of the high similarity between plant and mammalian HSP70, the aim of this work was to evaluate whether recombinant HSP70 of plant origin (r-AtHSP70) was able to protect rat cardiac and hepatic function under ischemic and sepsis conditions. We demonstrated for the first time that, in ex vivo isolated and perfused rat heart, exogenous r-AtHSP70 exerted direct negative inotropic and lusitropic effects via Akt/endothelial nitric oxide synthase pathway, induced post-conditioning cardioprotection via Reperfusion Injury Salvage Kinase and Survivor Activating Factor Enhancement pathways, and did not cause hepatic damage. In vivo administration of r-AtHSP70 protected both heart and liver against lipopolysaccharide-dependent sepsis, as revealed by the reduced plasma levels of interleukin-1β, tumour necrosis factor alpha, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase. These results suggest exogenous r-AtHSP70 as a molecular modulator able to protect myocardial function and to prevent cardiac and liver dysfunctions during inflammatory conditions. © 2015 The Authors.

Nigro A.,University of Calabria | Mauro L.,University of Calabria | Giordano F.,University of Calabria | Panza S.,University of Calabria | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2016

The chaperone HSP70 protein is widely present in many different tumors and its expression correlates with an increased cell survival, low differentiation, and poor therapeutic outcome in human breast cancer. The intracellular protein has prevalently a cytoprotective function, while the extracellular HSP70 mediates immunologic responses. Evolutionarily, HSPs are well conserved from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, and human HSP70 shows a strong similarity to that of plant origin. In the current article, we have tested the potential effect of recombinant HSP70, from Arabidopsis thaliana, on cell survival and metastatic properties of breast cancer cells. Our data show that HSP70 sustains cell viability in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast tumoral cells and increases Cyclin D1 and Survivin expression. The extracellular HSP70 triggers cell migration and the activation of MMPs particularly in MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, under UV-induced stress condition, the low levels of phospho-AKT were increased by exogenous HSP70, together with the upregulation of Cyclin D1, particularly in the tumoral cell phenotype. On the other hand, UV increased TP53 expression, and the coincubation of HSP70 lowers the TP53 levels similar to the control. These findings correlate with the cytoprotective and antiapoptotic role of HSPs, as reported in different cellular contexts. This is the first study on mammary cells that highlights how the heterologous HSP70 from Arabidopsis thaliana sustains cell survival prevalently in breast cancer cell types, thus maintaining their metastatic potential. Therefore, targeting HSP70 would be of clinical importance since HSP70 blocking selectively targets tumor cells, in which it supports cell growth and survival. © 2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

Ferradini N.,University of Perugia | Iannacone R.,Research Center Metapontum Agrobios | Capomaccio S.,University of Perugia | Capomaccio S.,Catholic University Sacro Cuore | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are molecular chaperones involved in many cellular functions. It has been shown that mammalian cytosolic HSP70 binds antigenic peptides mediating the activation of the immune system, and that it plays a determining role in tumour immunogenicity. This suggests that HSP70 may be used for the production of conjugated vaccines. Human and plant HSPs share high sequence similarity and some important biological functions in vitro. In addition, plant HSPs have no endotoxic side effects. Extraction of HSP70 from plants for use as vaccine adjuvant requires enhancing its concentration in plant tissues. In this work, we explored the possibility to produce HSP70 in both transgenic and non-transgenic plants, using alfalfa as a model species. First, a transcriptional analysis of a constitutive and an inducible HSP70 genes was conducted in Arabidopsis thaliana. Then the coding sequence of the inducible form was cloned and introduced into alfalfa by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, and the accumulation of the protein in leaf tissue of transgenic plants was demonstrated. We also tested diverse alfalfa varieties for heat-inducible expression of endogenous HSP70, revealing variety-specific responses to heat shock. © 2015 Ferradini et al.

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