Valagro SpA

Atessa, Italy

Valagro SpA

Atessa, Italy
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Valagro S.p.A. | Date: 2017-08-09

The present invention relates to a method for modulating plant processes said method being characterized in that a plant is fed with an eco-friendly, plant- and/or algae-derived, biostimulant composition comprising exogenous small RNA molecules. In particular, the method of the invention can be used for modulating physiological or pathological plant processes, such plant growth, plant productivity, fruit quality, quality of produce, plant yield, plant response to abiotic stress and plant resistance to diseases or to infections.

Valagro S.P.A. | Date: 2015-08-06

The present invention relates to a method for modulating plant processes said method being characterized in that a plant is fed with an eco-friendly, plant- and/or algae-derived, biostimulant composition comprising exogenous small RNA molecules. In particular, the method of the invention can be used for modulating physiological or pathological plant processes, such plant growth, plant productivity, fruit quality, quality of produce, plant yield, plant response to abiotic stress and plant resistance to diseases or to infections.

Santaniello A.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Scartazza A.,National Research Council Italy | Gresta F.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Loreti E.,National Research Council Italy | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2017

Drought represents one of the most relevant abiotic stress affecting growth and yield of crop plants. In order to improve the agricultural productivity within the limited water and land resources, it is mandatory to increase crop yields in presence of unfavorable environmental stresses. The use of biostimulants, often containing seaweed extracts, represents one of the options for farmers willing to alleviate abiotic stress consequences on crops. In this work, we investigated the responses of Arabidopsis plants treated with an extract from the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum (ANE), under drought stress conditions, demonstrating that ANE positively influences Arabidopsis survival. Pre-treatment with ANE induced a partial stomatal closure, associated with changes in the expression levels of genes involved in ABA-responsive and antioxidant system pathways. The pre-activation of these pathways results in a stronger ability of ANE-treated plants to maintain a better photosynthetic performance compared to untreated plants throughout the dehydration period, combined with a higher capacity to dissipate the excess of energy as heat in the reaction centers of photosystem II. Our results suggest that drought stressed plants treated with ANE are able to maintain a strong stomatal control and relatively higher values of both water use efficiency (WUE) and mesophyll conductance during the last phase of dehydration. Simultaneously, the activation of a pre-induced antioxidant defense system, in combination with a more efficient energy dissipation mechanism, prevents irreversible damages to the photosynthetic apparatus. In conclusion, pre-treatment with ANE is effective to acclimate plants to the incoming stress, promoting an increased WUE and dehydration tolerance. © 2017 Santaniello, Scartazza, Gresta, Loreti, Biasone, Di Tommaso, Piaggesi and Perata.

Hoeberichts F.A.,NSure BV | Povero G.,Valagro SpA | Ibanez M.,NSure BV | Strijker A.,NSure BV | And 3 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2017

Dormancy occurs in many woody perennials and fruit trees, and is characterised mainly by the temporal absence of growth. This strategy has an ecological role in ensuring plant survival under non-permissive growing conditions. In kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa), buds must be exposed to a certain amount of chilling to complete dormancy and achieve optimal bud break and flowering in spring. However, in warmer geographical areas bud break can be limited by insufficient winter chilling, leading to less and uneven flowering and lower productivity. Several bud break-enhancing compounds have been shown to be effective in kiwifruit, overcoming the negative effects of poor winter chilling. However, their mode of action is still largely unknown. In this work, using a molecular approach based on Next Generation Sequencing, we characterised dormancy and its breaking after the application of the biostimulant Erger®. Samples were collected at different time-points and in distinct geographical areas, namely Italy and New Zealand. Our results indicated that the effect of Erger® depends on the moment of application. Furthermore, molecular mechanisms that characterise a biostimulant treatment for bud break, irrespective of the region and seasonality, were identified. This characterisation opens new perspectives to improve bud break-enhancing compound formulations and identify their best moment of application. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Petrozza A.,ALSIA Centro Ricerche Metapontum Agrobios | Santaniello A.,PlantLab | Summerer S.,ALSIA Centro Ricerche Metapontum Agrobios | Di Tommaso G.,Valagro S.p.A | And 5 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2014

Drought is one of the most significant abiotic stresses that limits the growth and productivity of crop plants. We investigated the physiological and molecular responses of tomato plants treated with Megafol® (Valagro S.p.A), under specific drought conditions. The goal was to evaluate the impact of Megafol®, a biostimulant composed of a complex of vitamins, aminoacids, proteins and betaines, in attenuating the negative physiological responses of drought. Tomato plants were grown in a greenhouse, and physiological parameters were collected using Scanalyzer 3D (LemnaTec, GmbH), a plant phenomics platform. Using this technology it is possible to dynamically study the effects of biostimulants, such as Megafol®, on plant development in terms of early detection of physiological plant stress responses. The results showed that drought-stressed plants treated with Megafol® were healthier in terms of the biomass produced and chlorophyll fluorescence, thus highlighting the higher tolerance to stress of the treated plants. The effects of Megafol® were also studied at a molecular level by analysing the induction of genes typically involved in drought stress responses. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of Megafol® to reduce drought-stress related damage in tomato plants. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Ferrante A.,University of Milan | Trivellini A.,University of Milan | Vernieri P.,University of Pisa | Piaggesi A.,Valagro SpA
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Biostimulants are generally able to improve mineral use efficiency, enhance plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses and stimulate some physiological processes related to development. In our studies, Actiwave® was tested in floricultural crops such as Camellia japonica L. To speed up growth reducing the nursery. The experiments were performed on flowering camellia, using non-rooted cuttings treated with Actiwave® (Valagro Spa) and gibberillic acid (GA3). The Actiwave was applied providing 0.015 or 0.03 ml per cutting, while the GA3 was applied 1.25 or 2.5 mg per cutting. Treatments were repeated each month with eight applications in total. The biostimulant was distributed on the substrate with a volume of 100 ml. The GA3 instead was nebulized on the leaves and on the substrate of each cutting. Rooting was monitored during the whole experimental period. The measurements of fresh and dry weight were taken after 127 days. Results showed that both Actiwave® and GA3 stimulated the rooting compared with control. The two concentrations of Actiwave® had the same effect, with an average fresh root mass of 0.5 g. The treatment with GA3 was observed for a dose-effect response. The differences in dry weight were observed only on roots, and values were significantly higher in the treatments compared to the control.

Iriti M.,University of Milan | Vitalini S.,University of Milan | Di Tommaso G.,Valagro SpA | D'Amico S.,Valagro SpA | And 2 more authors.
Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research | Year: 2011

Background and Aims: Chitosan, a chitin deacetylated derivative, is a biopolymer able to elicit the plant defence machinery against a variety of pathogens. In crop protection, it is successfully employed for its low toxicity, mainly against virus diseases. In this study, the efficacy of a new chitosan formulation (Kendal Cops ® (Kc)) was evaluated in grapevine against powdery mildew infection. Total polyphenol (TP) content and antiradical power of different grape tissues and of experimental wines produced from treated grapes were also assessed. Methods and Results: Field treatments with different Kc dilutions or with Kc alternated or mixed with fungicides, or with fungicides alone (penconazole and methyldinocap) were carried out in an experimental vineyard of the cv. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Kc was effective in controlling powdery mildew, particularly at the concentration of 0.1%, even under high disease pressure conditions. In this case, disease severity was 2.39% in treated grapes, compared with 87.5 and 0.92% in untreated and conventional fungicide-treated grapevines, respectively. TP content, measured by Folin-Ciocalteau colorimetric assay, was significantly higher in all Kc-treated grape tissues, compared with both untreated controls and fungicide-treated grapes. A similar trend was reported with regard to the antioxidant activity, assessed by 2,2-diphenyl-1-pycryl hydrazyl free radical scavenging test. Analysis of wines showed that both TPs and antiradical power were significantly higher in wines made from Kc-treated grapes compared with fungicide-treated ones. Conclusions: Kc not only protected grapevine from powdery mildew but also improved TP content and antioxidant activity in both grapes and wine. Significance of the Study: The possibility of using plant defence inducers in crop protection deserves particular attention because of their low environmental impact and of their ability to improve some quality traits of plant foodstuffs. Furthermore, in contrast to fungicides, they hardly select resistant pathogen strains and do not incur fitness costs for the plant. © 2011 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Inc.

Di Tommaso D.,Valagro SpA
Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech | Year: 2012

Seaweeds growing in challenging environments have developed, since their presence in the Oceans, biochemical means to face biotic and abiotic stresses. The resulting molecules have a great potential as active ingredients for humans. In this article we underline the importance of 5 classes of substances in brown seaweeds, starting from their ecological role and getting to the functions they may have for human health, not forgetting that we are only at the beginning of the story, needing further testing and information to try to get the full picture of those truly ancient inhabitants of the Seven Seas.

Povero G.,Valagro SpA | Mejia J.F.,Valagro SpA | Di Tommaso D.,Valagro SpA | Piaggesi A.,Valagro SpA | Warrior P.,Valagro SpA
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2016

The use of natural plant biostimulants is proposed as an innovative solution to address the challenges to sustainable agriculture, to ensure optimal nutrient uptake, crop yield, quality, and tolerance to abiotic stress. However, the process of selection and characterization of plant biostimulant matrices is complex and involves a series of rigorous evaluations customized to the needs of the plant. Here, we propose a highly differentiated plant biostimulant development and production platform, which involves a combination of technology, processes, and know-how. Chemistry, biology and omic concepts are combined/integrated to investigate and understand the specific mode(s) of action of bioactive ingredients. The proposed approach allows to predict and characterize the function of natural compounds as biostimulants. By managing and analyzing massive amounts of complex data, it is therefore possible to discover, evaluate and validate new product candidates, thus expanding the uses of existing products to meet the emerging needs of agriculture. © 2016 Povero, Mejia, Di Tommaso, Piaggesi and Warrior.

EDDHSA/Fe is a promising substitute of EDDHA/Fe to fight iron chlorosis. o,o-EDDHSA structure contains two chiral carbons giving the racemic and meso couples of stereoisomers. Ion-pair HPLC and UHPLC-UV/Vis-ESI-MS/MS methods were developed for the determination of racemic and meso-o,o-EDDHSA/Fe in commercial samples of chelates. The lack of a commercial EDDHSA standard was overcome by sulfonation of a commercial available o,o-EDDHA standard and subsequent quantification by 1H-NMR. Assignment of configurations was carried out starting from racemic and meso-o,o-EDDHA/Fe by direct sulfonation to give the corresponding o,o-EDDHSA/Fe isomers. The performances of these methods were assessed in terms of intra and inter-day precision, linearity and selectivity. The high selectivity and lower detection limit (nanomolar) of the UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS method could allow to deepen the knowledge relative to meso and rac-o,o-EDDHSA/Fe interactions with plants, its fate in different soil conditions, its mobility and other environmental aspects. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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