229 research outputs found

    Effects of Pre-Germinative Treatments and Temperatures on Tassel Hyacinth [Muscari comosum (L.) Mill.] Seeds

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    Muscari comosum (L.) Mill. is a spontaneous plant that grows in the whole Mediterranean area, including the Basilicata and Puglia regions (southern Italy), where it has received inclusion in the Italian National List for Traditional Agri-Food Product (TAP). The food and medicinal uses of bulb are ancient due to its antioxidant properties and high variety of nutrients, such as starch, sugars, and minerals. Muscari seed is characterized by morpho-physiological dormancy, and in order to achieve uniform germination, some pre-germinative treatments are needed. In this research, the effects of hydro-priming and osmo-priming, i.e., PEG 8000 and KNO3, as well as three germination temperatures (4, 10, and 20 ◦C), have been evaluated. In general, the average results pointed out that the pre-treatments increased the germination index (GI) by 5% and the germination percentage (GP) by 3% compared to the no-primed control. The germination temperature of 10 ◦C significantly reduced the median germination time (T50) by 5.4 days and the mean germination time (MGT) by 5 days compared to temperature at 4 ◦C. In particular, the best results were obtained by “hydropriming treatment × 10 ◦C” interaction, in terms of T50 (34.9 days) and MGT (36.3 days). This combination decreased the T50 by 10.5 days and the MGT by 9.6 days compared to the “control × 4 ◦C” interaction. Pearson’s correlation matrix results highlighted a significant positive link between T50 and MGT (r = 0.993). In conclusion, these techniques enhanced the germination potential so that the use of pre-treated seeds could be included in a cultivation protocol to improve the germination phase and satisfy the growing demand for Italian bulbs

    Underground Hydrogen Storage Safety: Experimental Study of Hydrogen Diffusion through Caprocks

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    Underground Hydrogen Storage (UHS) provides a large-scale and safe solution to balance the fluctuations in energy production from renewable sources and energy consumption but requires a proper and detailed characterization of the candidate reservoirs. The scope of this study was to estimate the hydrogen diffusion coefficient for real caprock samples from two natural gas storage reservoirs that are candidates for underground hydrogen storage. A significant number of adsorption/desorption tests were carried out using a Dynamic Gravimetric Vapor/Gas Sorption System. A total of 15 samples were tested at the reservoir temperature of 45 °C and using both hydrogen and methane. For each sample, two tests were performed with the same gas. Each test included four partial pressure steps of sorption alternated with desorption. After applying overshooting and buoyancy corrections, the data were then interpreted using the early time approximation of the solution to the diffusion equation. Each interpretable partial pressure step provided a value of the diffusion coefficient. In total, more than 90 estimations of the diffusion coefficient out of 120 partial pressure steps were available, allowing a thorough comparison between the diffusion of hydrogen and methane: hydrogen in the range of 1 × 10−10 m2/s to 6 × 10−8 m2/s and methane in the range of 9 × 10−10 m2/s to 2 × 10−8 m2/s. The diffusion coefficients measured on wet samples are 2 times lower compared to those measured on dry samples. Hysteresis in hydrogen adsorption/desorption was also observed

    Effect of Water Regime, Nitrogen Level, and Biostimulant Application on the Water and Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Wild Rocket [<i>Diplotaxis tenuifolia</i> (L.) DC]

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    The use of biostimulants in agriculture is an emerging technique that can contribute to improved production and resource use efficiency. This research was carried out in southern Italy to evaluate the biostimulating effects of seaweed extract (SW) and azoxystrobin (AZ) on wild rocket subjected to two water regimes (WRs) and three nitrogen levels (NLs), and grown in pots under unheated greenhouse conditions. The following treatments were compared: (i) two WRs: restoration of 100% (WR100) and 50% (WR50) of crop evapotranspiration; (ii) three NLs: 0 (N0), 75 (N75), or 150 (N150) kg ha−1 of N; and (iii) three biostimulants (BSs): an untreated control (C), and the application of AZ or SW. This paper reports the effects on N uptake (Nup), N use efficiency (NUE), and water use efficiency (WUE). The following indicators of NUE were assessed: apparent recovery efficiency (RE), internal utilization efficiency (IE), partial productivity factor (PFPn) of N supplied, agronomic efficiency (AE), and physiological efficiency (PE). The following indicators of WUE were assessed: photosynthetic WUE (p_WUE), yield WUE (Y_WUE), biomass WUE (B_WUE), and irrigation yield WUE (IY_WUE). The indicators of NUE were affected differently by treatments. RE was 20% higher with SW. IE was higher with AZ. PFPn increased by 10.4 and 8.1% with AZ and SW, respectively. AE increased by 10.9 and 19.9% after applying AZ and SW, respectively. PE rose by 6.7 and 9.3% after applying AZ and SW. AZ and SW improved p_WUE, mainly under water deficit (interaction of WR × BS). With AZ application, Y_WUE, B_WUE, and IY_WUE were higher by 17.8, 13.8, and 19.3%, respectively, while the application of SW resulted in a smaller increase (9.5–7.7 and 9.9%). SW and AZ were shown to be effective through the moderate improvement of wild rocket’s nitrogen and water use efficiency. The two biostimulants were more effective at improving p_WUE in water deficit conditions, proving to be particularly useful for farmers operating with water scarcity. Therefore, they can provide valuable support to farmers by improving the sustainability of resource use

    Uptake and accumulation of emerging contaminants in processing tomato irrigated with tertiary treated wastewater effluent: a pilot-scale study

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    The reuse of treated wastewater for crop irrigation is vital in water-scarce semi-arid regions. However, concerns arise regarding emerging contaminants (ECs) that persist in treated wastewater and may accumulate in irrigated crops, potentially entering the food chain and the environment. This pilot-scale study conducted in southern Italy focused on tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv Taylor F1) irrigated with treated wastewater to investigate EC uptake, accumulation, and translocation processes. The experiment spanned from June to September 2021 and involved three irrigation strategies: conventional water (FW), treated wastewater spiked with 10 target contaminants at the European average dose (TWWx1), and tertiary WWTP effluent spiked with the target contaminants at a triple dose (TWWx3). The results showed distinct behavior and distribution of ECs between the TWWx1 and TWWx3 strategies. In the TWWx3 strategy, clarithromycin, carbamazepine, metoprolol, fluconazole, and climbazole exhibited interactions with the soil-plant system, with varying degradation rates, soil accumulation rates, and plant accumulation rates. In contrast, naproxen, ketoprofen, diclofenac, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim showed degradation. These findings imply that some ECs may be actively taken up by plants, potentially introducing them into the food chain and raising concerns for humans and the environment

    Productivity and quality of different tomato cultivars under intercropping system with maize and dry farming conditions in Southern Italy

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    This research, carried out in a typical Mediterranean environment of Southern Italy, reports some quantitative and qualitative traits of three local tomato cultivars (‘Arsicolo’, ‘Crovarese’, and ‘San Marzano’) plus a commercial one (‘Datterino’) cultivated without irrigation and intercropped with maize. For each cultivar, in addition to the determination of fruit production, tomato paste and “conserva” paste were prepared using a traditional technique of the Tanagro Valley (province of Salerno, Southern Italy). Results highlighted that ‘Arsicolo’ showed the best fruit yield (32.2 metric tons ha-1) and tomato paste production (92.9% paste return by tomato fruits weight) due to its ancient peculiar adaptability to cultivation in dry conditions, while ‘Datterino’, ‘Crovarese’, and ‘San Marzano’ had 19, 16.7, 10.5 tons ha-1 of fruit yield and 85.7, 83.9, 76.2% of tomato paste return, respectively. Conversely, for the qualitative traits, such as total solids, soluble solids, titratable acidity, and ascorbic acid, ‘Crovarese’ showed the best results (9.1%, 6.6 °Brix, 0.93%, and 39.7 mg per 100 g of fresh weight, respectively). The two components extracted by the principal components analysis (PCA) explained 84.9% of the total variance in the morphological, quantitative and qualitative traits and the dendrogram obtained by hierarchical cluster analysis allowed to divide the cultivars into three groups. Our findings highlighted that local tomato cultivars, intercropped with maize, can be cultivated adopting only few sustainable field operations and with no irrigation

    Biogeochemical characterization of four depleted gas reservoirs for conversion into underground hydrogen storage

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    : Depleted gas reservoirs are a valuable option for underground hydrogen storage (UHS). However, different classes of microorganisms, which are capable of using free H2 as a reducing agent for their metabolism, inhabit deep underground formations and can potentially affect the storage. This study integrates metagenomics based on Illumina-NGS sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA and dsrB and mcrA functional genes to unveil the composition and the variability of indigenous microbial populations of four Italian depleted reservoirs. The obtained mcrA sequences allow us to implement the existing taxonomic database for mcrA gene sequences with newly classified sequences obtained from the Italian gas reservoirs. Moreover, the KEGG and COG predictive functional annotation was used to highlight the metabolic pathways potentially associated with hydrogenotrophic metabolisms. The analyses revealed the specificity of each reservoir microbial community, and taxonomic and functional data highlighted the presence of an enriched number of taxa, whose activity depends on both reservoir hydrochemical composition and nutrient availability, of potential relevance in the context of UHS. This study is the very first to address the profiling of the microbial population and allowed us to perform a preliminary assessment of UHS feasibility in Italy

    Chemical Composition of Essential Oils of Bulbs and Aerial Parts of Two Cultivars of Allium sativum and Their Antibiofilm Activity against Food and Nosocomial Pathogens

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    This work aimed to evaluate the chemical composition of the essential oils (EOs) of two cultivars of Allium sativum and their antibiofilm activity against the food pathogens Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus. The crystal violet assay ascertained the susceptibility of the bacterial biofilms, while the MTT assay let to evaluations of the metabolic changes occurring in the bacterial cells within biofilms. Their chemical composition indicated some sulfuric compounds (i.e., allicin, diallyl disulfide, and allyl propyl disulfide), and decene as some of the main components of the EOs. The aerial parts and bulbs' EOs from the two cultivars showed chemical differences, which seemed to affect the antibiofilm activity. The EOs from aerial parts of 'Bianco del Veneto' inhibited the biofilm formation of L. monocytogenes and E. coli (60.55% and 40.33%, respectively). In comparison, the 'Staravec' EO inhibited the cellular metabolism of E. coli (62.44%) and S. aureus (51.52%) sessile cells. These results indicate their possible use as preserving agents in the food industry and suggest their potential exploitation in the development of new formulations to avoid or limit nosocomial infections

    Nematicidal Potential of Sulla (<i>Hedysarum coronarium</i> L.) against the Root-Knot Nematode <i>Meloidogyne incognita</i>

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    The content of nematicidal metabolites such as saponins, flavonoids and tannins in sulla (Hedysarum coronarium L.) suggests its potential nematicidal activity. In this study, the biocidal activity of 62.5–1000 μg mL−1 concentrations of flavonoid and tannin fractions from sulla was assessed in in vitro assays on the infective juveniles (J2) of the root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita, while the suppressive effects of soil amendments with 10–40 g kg−1 soil rates of sulla biomass were investigated on potted tomato infested by M. incognita. The content of total nitrogen, carbon, flavonoids, tannins and saponins of sulla experimental material was also determined. After a 96-h exposure, more than 80% of the M. incognita J2 were killed even by a 125 µg mL−1 concentration of the flavonoid extract, while mortality peaked at 89% only at the 1000 µg mL−1 concentration of the tannin solution. Soil incorporation with sulla biomass significantly reduced the M. incognita densities both on tomato roots and in the soil, compared to either the non-treated control and chemical treatment with Fluopyram. The data confirmed the nematicidal potential of sulla, mainly due to its content of flavonoids and tannins, suggesting its suitability as green manure or a soil amendment for sustainable RKN management

    Preoperative Localization in Colonic Surgery (PLoCoS Study): a multicentric experience on behalf of the Italian Society of Colorectal Surgery (SICCR)

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    : The aim of this prospective multicentric study was to compare the accurate colonic lesion localization ratio between CT and colonoscopy in comparison with surgery. All consecutive patients from 1st January to 31st December 2019 with a histologically confirmed diagnosis of dysplastic adenoma or adenocarcinoma with planned elective, curative colonic resection who underwent both colonoscopy and CT scans were included. Each patient underwent conventional colonoscopy and CT to stage the tumour, and the localization results of each procedure were registered. CT and colonoscopic localization were compared with surgical localization, adopted as the reference. Our analysis included 745 patients from 23 centres. After comparing the accuracy of colonoscopy and CT (for visible lesions) in localizing colonic lesions, no significant differences were found between the two preoperative tools (510/661 vs 499/661 correctly localized lesions, p = 0.518). Furthermore, after analysing only the patients who underwent complete colonoscopy and had a visible lesion on CT, no significant difference was observed between conventional colonoscopy and CT (331/427 vs 340/427, p = 0.505). Considering the intraoperative localization results as a reference, a comparison between colonoscopy and CT showed that colonoscopy significantly failed to correctly locate the lesions localized in the descending colon (17/32 vs 26/32, p = 0.031). We did not identify an advantage in using CT to localize colonic tumours. In this setting, colonoscopy should be considered the reference to properly localize lesions; however, to better identify lesions in the descending colon, CT could be considered a valuable tool to improve the accuracy of lesion localization
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