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Caruso P.,Centro Of Ricerca Per Lagrumicoltura E Le Colture Mediterranee | Russo M.P.,Centro Of Ricerca Per Lagrumicoltura E Le Colture Mediterranee | Las Casas G.,Centro Of Ricerca Per Lagrumicoltura E Le Colture Mediterranee | Timpanaro N.,Centro Of Ricerca Per Lagrumicoltura E Le Colture Mediterranee | And 6 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2016

Despite citrus fruits are an excellent source of ascorbic acid (AsA), the fundamental process of its biosynthesis is not completely elucidated. In plants at least four distinct pathways are involved in AsA biosynthesis, including L-galactose, myo-inositol, L-gulose and D-galacturonic acid. In this work we present the preliminary results about the expression of some genes involved in the above mentioned pathways. We analysed gene expression in the juice of four sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] cultivars ('Newhall' and 'Lanelate' navel genotypes, 'Tarocco TDV' and 'Tarocco Meli' blood ones) during fruit development and maturation. Genes related to the L-galactose pathway displayed an upregulation especially in the first phase of fruit development in correspondence of the maximum content of AsA; the same trend was also observed for myo-inositol route. Regarding the genes included in the recycling and L-gulose pathways, their expression increased in November-January. It could be probably due to cold temperatures, although it is still unclear whether the reduction in the AsA content is associated, totally or in part, to degradation process. The contribution of each pathway to the biosynthesis of AsA is probably regulated by a complex mechanism including not only transcriptional regulation but also post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications. Additional expression analyses evaluating the role of genotype and some external factors (i.e. cold, light) in fruits and other tissues are still in progress. © 2016, International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


Guarnaccia P.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Pinio M.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Testa G.,University of Catania | Branca F.,University of Catania
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

The genus Isatis (Brassicaceae) encompasses about 30 species, most of them producing in their leaves the blue pigment indigo (indigotin), one of the oldest natural dyes known to man. Among them, Isatis tinctoria L., a biennial and mainly outbreeding species, is the earliest source of indigo cultivated since the Middle Ages in Europe. Since I. tinctoria has not yet been subjected to any formal breeding program, great diversity of bio-morphological and physiochemical traits is expressed. As a result of the historical disappearance of indigo-producing crops, today there is a considerable lack of knowledge regarding agronomical management and pigment extraction. First results show a wide genetic variability of I. tinctoria with good adaptation to the Mediterranean climate conditions. In this frame the "Impronte" research project (www.impronte.org) funded by the Sicilian Region (PSR 2007-13, Mis. 124) aims to provide new perspectives to the Sicilian farmers to produce a high quality indigo to satisfy present and future demands of natural dye industry.


Branca F.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Chiarenza G.L.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Pinio M.,University of Catania | Alonso Alos M.,University of Catania | Argento S.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Several traditional landraces of cauliflower are largely utilized by local communities in different regions of Italy, by several types propagated by growers differing mainly for colour, grain size, shape of the curd. These landraces are endangered by introduction of new F1 hybrids which risk to contaminate traditional gene pool with a serious genetic drift. In this frame DISPA, since twenty years has collected, characterized, evaluated and conserved Sicilian landraces of violet cauliflower identifying genotypes; it has established synthetic lines and F1 hybrids, by DH lines, interesting for their nutraceutical traits. These activities deal with the improvement of propagation materials both to satisfy local market and GDOs demand and to support new functional foods chains. In this context Sicilian landraces of violet cauliflower, characterized by high plant rusticity and adaptability to Mediterranean climatic condition, could allow friendly environmental crops by containing the use of pesticides and fertilizers.


Branca F.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Chiarenza G.L.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Pinio M.,University of Catania | Cavallaro C.,University of Catania
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Broccoli seems to have been domesticated in the eastern Mediterranean area where it began the process of domestication that has given rise to current types and landraces of which many are today grown in south Italy and in Sicily. We characterised ten landraces of broccoli grown in several areas of Sicily utilising the principal IBPGR descriptor used for this crop and we registered their seed production. Six heads of each landraces, harvested at commercial ripening stage, were collected to detect some characters such as the fresh weight, longitudinal and transverse size, stem diameter, grain size, colour, angle of curvature and the chromatic parameters (CIE L* a* b*) of the main head. With regard to seed production we registered seed yield for each landraces at seed physiological maturity. The landraces showed significant differences especially for some characters, such as fresh weight, height, maximum diameter, angle of curvature, chromatic parameters a* and b* of the main head. Seed production showed a significant variance among the landraces studied and varied from 3.4 to 20.1 q ha-1.


Ragusa L.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Chiarenza G.L.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Pinio M.,Science and Technology Park of Sicily PSTS | Tribulato A.,University of Catania | Branca F.,University of Catania
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2013

Kale is an underutilized crop which seems to be the first result of the domestication process of Brassica oleracea wild type complex (n=9). This crop is still grown in all European countries in home gardens and peri-urban vegetable farms and is appreciated for its rusticity and the high content of bioactive compounds. Kale leaves, in fact, contain high amounts of total polyphenols, ascorbic acid and glucosinolates. Seed production is important for a wide range of vegetable crops and its development depends upon many factors such as the genetic profile and physiological and environmental conditions. An important prerequisite for the successful production of seeds is the optimal timing of harvest. In view to enhance kale production and provide to growers qualified genotypes, attention was paid to the evaluation of twenty-three types of kale grown on the Italian and Iberian peninsulas for seed production which were compared to four commercial cultivars. Besides seed production, in the experiment plant characterization, according to the main IBPGRI descriptors, was performed. Seeds were sown in seedling trays and were transplanted when they had 4-5 expanded leaves. An experimental field (following a density of 2 plants m-2) was carried out with the aim to determine seed yields. The experimental design was a splitplot with three replicates. Siliquas were collected from ten plants for each replicas when the seeds reached their physiological maturity. Seed production showed significant differences among the compared genotypes; it varied from 0.59 q ha-1 to 25.69 q ha -1 respectively for one Italian and one Iberian types; the Italian landraces showed to be more productive. Plant characterization highlighted allowed to highlight the descriptors which appeared more discriminating such as plant shape, as well as several leaf and petiole traits.

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