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Now showing items 1 - 8 of 8

  • Comparative determination of cerato-ulmin on cell surface and in mycelial extracts of pathogenic and non-pathogenic Ophiostoma species

    Felice Scala   Emanuela Bertelli   Lucia Coppola   Giovanni Del Sorbo   Stefania Tegli   Aniello Scala  

    Cerato-ulmin (CU) presence was monitored on cell surface and quantitatively determined in mycelial extracts of the elm pathogens Ophiostoma novo-ulmi (races EAN and NAN) and O. ulmi and of the non-pathogenic O. piceae. CU was detected on the surfaces of Ophiostoma novo-ulmi (races EAN and NAN) and, for the first time, of the weak Dutch elm disease pathogen O. ulmi and the nonpathogen O. piceae. Quantitative determination of CU content in the mycelial extracts of the three species showed that high CU cellular content is associated with high CU content in culture filtrates. The content of CU in biomasses and in culture filtrates was influenced by temperature, growth phase and fungal species or race. CU synthesis occurred during the stationary phase and in the late logarithmic phase when fungi were grown at 23 degree and 32 degree C, respectively. High temperatures of growth (32 degree ) did not have a negative effect on the cellular CU content but severely hampered CU secretion in high CU-producers O. novo-ulmi isolates.
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  • Immunochemical relatedness of fungal NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductases and their ability to reconstitute pisatin demethylase activity

    Felice Scala   David Matthews   Michael Costa   Hans D. VanEtten  

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  • Climate, Soil Management, and Cultivar Affect Fusarium Head Blight Incidence and Deoxynivalenol Accumulation in Durum Wheat of Southern Italy

    Valeria Scala   Gabriella Aureli   Gaspare Cesarano   Guido Incerti   Corrado Fanelli   Felice Scala   Massimo Reverberi   Giuliano Bonanomi  

    Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a multifaceted disease caused by some species of Fusarium spp. A huge production of mycotoxins; mostly trichothecenes; often accompanied this disease. Amongst these toxic compounds; deoxynivalenol (DON) and its derivatives represent a major issue for human as well as for animal health and farming. Common and durum wheat are amongst the hosts of trichothecene-producing Fusaria. Differences in susceptibility to fungal infection and toxin accumulation occur in wheat cultivars. Recently; increasing incidence and severity of Fusarium infection and a higher DON accumulation in durum wheat were observed in Italy; especially in Northern regions. In this study; we analyzed wheat yield; technological parameters; the incidence of Fusarium infection and DON content in kernel samples of durum wheat coming from three locations of Southern Italy with different climatic conditions and grown during two seasons; with two methods of cultivation. Four different durum wheat cultivars prevalently cultivated in Southern Italian areas were chosen for this study. Our analysis showed the effects of environment and cultivar types on wheat productivity and key technological parameters for the quality level of the end-product; namely pasta. Notably; although a low rate of mycotoxin contamination in all study sites was assessed; an inverse relation emerged between fungal infection/DON production and durum wheat yield. Further; our study pinpoints the importance of environment conditions on several quality traits of durum wheat grown under Mediterranean climate. The environmental conditions at local level (microscale) and soil management practices may drive FHB outbreak and mycotoxin contamination even in growing area suitable for cropping this wheat species.
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  • Genetic variability and evolutionary diversification of membrane ABC transporters in plants

    Giuseppe Andolfo   Michelina Ruocco   Antimo Di Donato   Luigi Frusciante   Matteo Lorito   Felice Scala   Maria Raffaella Ercolano  

    ATP-binding cassette proteins have been recognized as playing a crucial role in the regulation of growth and resistance processes in all kingdoms of life. They have been deeply studied in vertebrates because of their role in drug resistance; but much less is known about ABC superfamily functions in plants. Recently released plant genome sequences allowed us to identify 803 ABC transporters in four vascular plants (Oryza. sativa; Solanum lycopersicum; Solanum tuberosum and Vitis vinifera) and 76 transporters in the green alga Volvox carteri; by comparing them with those reannotated in Arabidopsis thaliana and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Retrieved proteins have been phylogenetically analysed to infer orthologous relationships. Most orthologous relationships in the A; D; E and F subfamilies were found; and interesting expansions within the ABCG subfamily were observed and discussed. A high level of purifying selection is acting in the five ABC subfamilies A; B; C; D and E. However; evolutionary rates of recent duplicate genes could influence vascular plant genome diversification. The transcription profiles of ABC genes within tomato organs revealed a broad functional role for some transporters and a more specific activity for others; suggesting the presence of key ABC regulators in tomato. The findings achieved in this work could contribute to address several biological questions concerning the evolution of the relationship between genomes of different species. Plant ABC protein inventories obtained could be a valuable tool both for basic and applied studies. Indeed; interpolation of the putative role of gene functions can accelerate the discovering of new ABC superfamily members.
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  • Biochar As Plant Growth Promoter: Better Off Alone or Mixed with Organic Amendments?

    Giuliano Bonanomi   Francesca Menniti - Ippolito   Gaspare Cesarano   Bruno Nanni   Nadia Lombardi   Angelo Rita   Antonio Saracino   Felice Scala  

    Biochar is nowadays largely used as a soil amendment and is commercialized worldwide. However; in temperate agro-ecosystems the beneficial effect of biochar on crop productivity is limited; with several studies reporting negative crop responses. In this work; we studied the effect of 10 biochar and 9 not pyrogenic organic amendments (NPOA); using pure and in all possible combinations on lettuce growth (Lactuca sativa). Organic materials were characterized by 13C-CPMAS NMR spectroscopy and elemental analysis (pH; EC; C; N; C/N and H/C ratios). Pure biochars and NPOAs have variable effects; ranging from inhibition to strong stimulation on lettuce growth. For NPOAs; major inhibitory effects were found with N poor materials characterized by high C/N and H/C ratio. Among pure biochars; instead; those having a low H/C ratio seem to be the best for promoting plant growth. When biochars and organic amendments were mixed; non-additive interactions; either synergistic or antagonistic; were prevalent. However; the mixture effect on plant growth was mainly dependent on the chemical quality of NPOAs; while biochar chemistry played a secondary role. Synergisms were prevalent when N rich and lignin poor materials were mixed with biochar. On the contrary; antagonistic interactions occurred when leaf litter or woody materials were mixed with biochar. Further research is needed to identify the mechanisms behind the observed non-additive effects and to develop biochar-organic amendment combinations that maximize plant productivity in different agricultural systems.
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  • Evaluating the risk of ovarian cancer before surgery using the ADNEX model to differentiate between benign, borderline, early and advanced stage invasive, and secondary metastatic tumours: prospective multicentre diagnostic study

    B Van Calster   Kirsten Van Hoorde   Lil Valentin   Antonia Carla Testa   Daniela Fischerova   Caroline D van Holsbeke   Luca Savelli   Dorella Franchi   Elisabeth Epstein   Jeroen Kaijser   Vanya M. C. A. Van Belle   Artur Czekierdowski   Stefano Guerriero   Robert Fruscio   Chiara Lanzani   Felice Scala   Tom Bourne   Dirk Timmerman  

    OBJECTIVES To develop a risk prediction model to preoperatively discriminate between benign; borderline; stage I invasive; stage II-IV invasive; and secondary metastatic ovarian tumours. DESIGN Observational diagnostic study using prospectively collected clinical and ultrasound data. SETTING 24 ultrasound centres in 10 countries. PARTICIPANTS Women with an ovarian (including para-ovarian and tubal) mass and who underwent a standardised ultrasound examination before surgery. The model was developed on 3506 patients recruited between 1999 and 2007; temporally validated on 2403 patients recruited between 2009 and 2012; and then updated on all 5909 patients. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Histological classification and surgical staging of the mass. RESULTS The Assessment of Different NEoplasias in the adneXa (ADNEX) model contains three clinical and six ultrasound predictors: age; serum CA-125 level; type of centre (oncology centres v other hospitals); maximum diameter of lesion; proportion of solid tissue; more than 10 cyst locules; number of papillary projections; acoustic shadows; and ascites. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for the classic discrimination between benign and malignant tumours was 0.94 (0.93 to 0.95) on temporal validation. The AUC was 0.85 for benign versus borderline; 0.92 for benign versus stage I cancer; 0.99 for benign versus stage II-IV cancer; and 0.95 for benign versus secondary metastatic. AUCs between malignant subtypes varied between 0.71 and 0.95; with an AUC of 0.75 for borderline versus stage I cancer and 0.82 for stage II-IV versus secondary metastatic. Calibration curves showed that the estimated risks were accurate. CONCLUSIONS The ADNEX model discriminates well between benign and malignant tumours and offers fair to excellent discrimination between four types of ovarian malignancy. The use of ADNEX has the potential to improve triage and management decisions and so reduce morbidity and mortality associated with adnexal pathology.
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  • Genes from mycoparasitic fungi as a source for improving plant resistance to fungal pathogens.

    Matteo Lorito   Sheridan Lois Woo   Itzhel García   Gianna Colucci   Gary E. Harman   J. A. Pintor-Toro   Edgardo Filippone   Simonetta Muccifora   Christopher B. Lawrence   Astolfo Zoina   Sadik Tuzun   Felice Scala  

    Disease resistance in transgenic plants has been improved, for the first time, by the insertion of a gene from a biocontrol fungus. The gene encoding a strongly antifungal endochitinase from the mycoparasitic fungus Trichoderma harzianum was transferred to tobacco and potato. High expression levels of the fungal gene were obtained in different plant tissues, which had no visible effect on plant growth and development. Substantial differences in endochitinase activity were detected among transformants. Selected transgenic lines were highly tolerant or completely resistant to the foliar pathogens Alternaria alternata, A. solani, Botrytis cinerea, and the soilborne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. The high level and the broad spectrum of resistance obtained with a single chitinase gene from Trichoderma overcome the limited efficacy of transgenic expression in plants of chitinase genes from plants and bacteria. These results demonstrate a rich source of genes from biocontrol fungi that can be used to control diseases in plants.
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  • Draft whole-genome sequence of the Diaporthe helianthi 7/96 strain, causal agent of sunflower stem canker

    Riccardo Baroncelli   Felice Scala   Mariarosaira Vergara   Michael R. Thon   Michelina Ruocco  

    Diaporthe helianthi is a fungus pathogenic to sunflower. Virulent strains of this fungus cause stem canker with important yield losses and reduction of oil content. Here we present the first draft whole-genome sequence of the highly virulent isolate D. helianthi strain 7/96; thus providing a useful platform for future research on stem canker of sunflower and fungal genomics. The genome sequence of the D. helianthi isolate 7/96 was deposited at DDBJ/ENA/GenBank under the accession number MAVT00000000 (BioProject PRJNA327798).
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