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Cartagena, Spain

Manteca I.A.,Geologica y Cartografica | Estrella T.R.,Geologica y Cartografica | Alhama F.,UPCT
Water Resources Management

The Agua Amarga coastal aquifer, located in the southeast of Spain (Alicante province) has suffered a significant decrease in its piezometric levels due to its use to supply water to Alicante I and II desalination plants. In order to recover its natural levels and to preserve the salt marsh of ecological interest linked to the aquifer, whose origin is related to ancient saltworks, a pilot scheme based on depositing seawater over the salt marsh surface has been carried out from December 2009 to July 2010. As a result, piezometric levels have increased by around 2 and 3 m below the salt marsh and a general decrease in groundwater salinity of between 15 and 100 g/l has been measured. A flow-transport numerical model with SEAWAT is used to assess and evaluate the seawater depositing programme. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Conesa M.R.,Technical University of Cartagena | Garcia-Salinas M.D.,Technical University of Cartagena | de la Rosa J.M.,Technical University of Cartagena | Fernandez-Trujillo J.P.,UPCT | And 2 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae

The quality traits of fruit harvested from 'Fortune' mandarin trees (Citrus clementina Hort. Ex. Tanaka×C. reticulata Blanco) subjected to different irrigation strategies was studied at harvest, during cold storage (33 d at 5°C), and after an additional shelf-life period of 5 d at 25°C. Plant water status was also determined in the pre-harvest period. Irrigation treatments consisted of a control irrigated at 100% of crop evapotranspiration throughout the season, and two deficit irrigation treatments irrigated during the fruit growth period to maintain the ratio between the fruit growth rate (FGR) of the control trees and those of the water deficit treatment (signal intensity, SIFGR) at two different water stress levels: (i) Severe (DI10) when this ratio was around 1.1 (SIFGR), and (ii) moderate (DI5) when it was around 1.05. The amount of water applied in DI10 and DI5 represented a reduction of 40% and 29%, respectively, compared with the control. No negative effects on the yield parameters studied were observed. During the second fruit growth stage, differences in stem water potential at midday of around 0.4 and 0.9MPa in DI5 and DI10 treatments, respectively, respect control promoted a significant decrease in FGR. Overall, both DI treatments improved fruit quality at harvest due to increased total soluble solids and juice proline content, fruit maintained their quality longer during storage than the control. Cold stored fruit of both DI treatments presented similar fruit hardness values but a higher juice proline content, total soluble solids and titratable acidity, and, as a consequence, a lower maturity index than the control. At the end of storage, DI fruit showed a thicker skin and lower commercial losses due to chilling injury. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Garcia-Almodovar R.C.,CSIC - Center of Edafology and Applied Biology of the Segura | Clemente-Moreno M.J.,CSIC - Center of Edafology and Applied Biology of the Segura | Diaz-Vivancos P.,CSIC - Center of Edafology and Applied Biology of the Segura | Petri C.,UPCT | And 3 more authors.
Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture

Plum pox virus (PPV), a quarantine virus, is the causal agent of sharka, the most devastating viral disease of stone fruits. The aim of this study was to produce several transgenic plum lines resistant to PPV, set up an efficient and reliable in vitro PPV resistant test and compare it with the standard greenhouse evaluation. Transgenic plants with the hairpin h-UTR/P1 construct were produced after infection of hypocotyls from mature European plum seeds with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Ten transgenic lines were in vitro grafted onto PPV-D infected ‘GF305’ peach and evaluated for PPV presence by RT-PCR. PPV was detected in all non-transgenic grafts whereas in seven transgenic lines it was never found or disappeared with time. PPV-resistant transgenic lines were rooted, acclimatized and evaluated with the standard procedures under greenhouse conditions. Our data indicates that greenhouse and in vitro results agreed. The proposed in vitro evaluation method could be used to screen sharka resistant plum lines providing a fast, reliable and contained methodology. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Guerrero-Gonzalez A.,Technical University of Cartagena | Garcia-Cordova F.,Technical University of Cartagena | Ruz-Vila F.A.,UPCT
International Review of Electrical Engineering

In this paper, an autonomous vehicle capable of operating during large periods of time for observation and monitoring is proposed. The vehicle integrates photovoltaic panels and a methanol fuel cell, together with a neurobiological inspired control architecture for intelligent navigation. In this work, the autonomy of the vehicle is evaluated in several scenarios, when the vehicle is moving in mission and when the vehicle is not moving. The energetical management module generates recharge missions with a variable priority level depending on the batteries level to the mission planner. The biologically inspired neural network architecture proposed for nonholonomic mobile robots makes the integration of a kinematic adaptive neuro-controller for trajectory tracking and an obstacle avoidance adaptive neuro- controller possible. © 2010 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. - All rights reserved. Source

Conesa M.R.,Technical University of Cartagena | de la Rosa J.M.,Technical University of Cartagena | Artes-Hernandez F.,UPCT | Dodd I.C.,Lancaster University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

BACKGROUND: In table grapes, berry firmness influences consumer acceptance so it is important to avoid berry shattering and dehydration during their post-harvest life. Since studies of irrigation effects on table grape quality are comparatively rare, sensory evaluation aimed to identify high-quality berries obtained under different deficit irrigation treatments. A 3-year study examined the effects of deficit irrigation strategies on some physical quality attributes at harvest, after 28 days of cold storage at 0 °C and after an additional shelf-life period of 3 days at 15 °C. Control vines were irrigated to ensure non-limiting water conditions (110% of crop evapo-transpiration), while both regulated deficit irrigation treatment (RDI) and partial root-zone drying (PRD) treatments applied 35% less water post-veraison. The null irrigation treatment (NI) only received natural precipitation (72% less water than control vines). RESULTS: Total yield and physical quality at harvest were not significantly affected by RDI or PRD. Only severe deficit (NI) decreased berry size, and this treatment had the most dehydrated berries and the worst sensory scores post-harvest. After cold storage, increased berry shattering of the PRD treatment was correlated with lower leaf xylem abscisic acid (ABA) concentration at the time of harvest. Overall quality, especially stem browning, determined the shelf-life, and longer storage duration tended to diminish treatment differences. CONCLUSIONS: Only NI clusters showed lower quality than their irrigated counterparts. Neither RDI nor PRD had any noticeable effect on berry quality at the end of cold storage and shelf-life, with the slight differences detected between these treatments related to stem browning and dehydration. Sensory results were similar in RDI and PRD, which provided grapes that were more acceptable to consumers than the control. Thus, it is possible to decrease irrigation of table grapes without adversely affecting the physical quality of the berries. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry. Source

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