Adalgisa Belligno

University of Catania, Catania, Sicily, Italy

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Publications (22)17.73 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Yellow flesh peaches (Prunus persica L.) from different Sicilian areas (Leonforte, Riesi and Maniace) were investigated for the first time for their polyphenolic composition, with consideration of both peel and flesh tissues. The qualitative and quantitative polyphenolic evaluation was determined at two different maturity stages (commercial and postharvest ripening) via chromatographic separation by using reverse‐phase HPLC‐PDA‐ESI/MS2. This technique provides a comprehensive chromatographic evaluation of 10 compounds (hydroxycinnamates and flavonols), differently distributed in the analyzed tissues. Overall, the hydroxycinnamates were present in both pulp and peel, while flavonols resulted exclusively located in the peel. Peels were found to be richest in polyphenolics with respect to the pulps, containing up to 276 mg/kg fresh weight in Riesi commercial‐ripe peaches. Generally, the peach tissues from commercial‐ripe fruits showed higher phenolics contents than postharvest‐ripe fruits. Practical ApplicationsIt is well documented that the benefits due to the consumption of fruit can be largely attributed to the elevated content of phenolic compounds. High levels of phenolic compounds in fruits are of high importance to maintain the quality of fruits and provide consumers the health benefits of fruit consumption. Thus, the assessment of the distribution of phenolic compounds in various parts of the peach fruit and any variations due at the time of collection are considered interesting from a scientific point of view. The characterization of peach phenolics could represent a useful tool in the area of food authenticity protection since some compounds could represent specific quality markers. Moreover, a study on phenolics quantification at different ripening stages could provide useful information for assessing the fruit harvest timing in order to ensure the best fruit quality.
    Journal of Food Quality 01/2012; 35(4). · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The flavonoid and furocoumarin composition was investigated of peel and pulp tissues of unripe fruits of Citrus myrtifolia Rafinesque, an ingredient of the popular soft drink "chinotto". Compound separation and identification was made using an HPLC-PDA detector coupled to ESI/MS/MS in positive and negative mode. Eighteen compounds (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-, C- and O-glycosyl flavonoids, furocoumarins and polymethoxylated flavones) were identified and quantified. Data indicated that the overall amount of flavonoids and furocoumarins in peel was higher than in the pulp, even though their relative distribution did not significantly change, apart from a different distribution of flavones and a lower content of naringin in the peel.
    Natural product communications 12/2011; 6(12):1857-62. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study evaluated the reliability of the ISO/TS 3632-2 UV-Vis spectrometric method for saffron classification, making experiments on saffron samples to which were added increasing concentrations of common saffron spice adulterants (safflower, marigold and turmeric). The results showed that the ISO/TS 3632-2 method is not able to detect addition of up to 10-20%, w/w, of saffron adulterants. For additions from 20 to 50%, w/w, of the three adulterants, saffron was classified in a wrong category; addition of higher than 50%, w/w, determined variations in the investigated parameters that did not allow identification of the product as "saffron". In all cases, the method did not permit the recognition of the nature of the adulterant. On the contrary, the specificity of the HPLC/PDA/MS technique allowed the unequivocal identification of adulterant characteristic marker molecules that could be recognized by the values of absorbance and mass. The selection of characteristic ions of each marker molecule has revealed concentrations of up to 5%, w/w, for safflower and marigold and up to 2% for turmeric. In addition, the high dyeing power of turmeric allowed the determination of 2%, w/w, addition using exclusively the HPLC/PDA technique.
    Natural product communications 12/2011; 6(12):1873-6. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitrogen fertilization is useful for obtaining higher growth and quality of productions, and the use of nitrogen fertilization is widespread. To evaluate the influence of nitrogen-rich fertilizers on quality characteristics of celery, shelf life tests of celery grown with 2 levels of nitrogen and 2 different nitrogen fertilizers were performed. The treatments of the celery samples were identified as follows: T1, mineral nitrogen (80 kg ha(-1)); T2, mineral nitrogen (120 kg ha(-1)); T3, organic nitrogen (80 kg ha(-1)); T4, organic nitrogen (120 kg ha(-1)); R4, residual organic nitrogen (120 kg ha(-1)); and C, untreated control. Celery plants were selected and packaged in either of the following 2 plastic films: antifog polyolefin (AFP) film or microperforated polypropylene (MPP) film. The nitrate contents, weight loss, hardness, changes in color parameters, and total phenols were studied for both packaging types during storage. The results demonstrated that celery fertilized with organic nitrogen and packaged in AFP film reached a shelf life of 37 d. The control sample packaged in MPP film was not marketable after 20 d, but the same untreated sample packaged in AFP film reached a shelf life of 30 d.
    Journal of Food Science 05/2011; 76(4):S225-32. · 1.78 Impact Factor
  • Russo M.A., Verde E., Belligno A., Malusá E.
    Current Topics in Plant Biology. 01/2011; 12:141-149.
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    ABSTRACT: Nitrogen fertilization is useful and widespread to obtain higher growth and quality of productions. To evaluate the influence of nitrogen-rich fertilizers on the quality characteristics, shelf-life tests of celery grown with two levels (80-120 kg ha-1) of two different nitrogen fertilizers were performed. Celery plants were selected and packed in two plastic films (anti-fog polyolefin and micro-perforated polypropylene). Nitrate contents, weight loss, hardness, changes in colour parameters and total phenols, were studied in both packaging solutions during storage. Results showed that celery fertilized with organic nitrogen and packed in anti-fog polyolefin reached a shelf-life of 37 days. Not treated sample packed in micro-perforated polypropylene was not marketable after 20 days, while the same sample packed in anti-fog polyolefin reached 30 days.
    Nature Precedings 01/2010;
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    Marco Antonio Russo, Adalgisa Belligno
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of the different nitrate availability on some enzymatic activities has been evaluated in iron deficient and iron sufficient maize plants (Zea mays L.). In order to evaluate if the induction of sensitive to pH enzymatic activities is affected by the variation of the apoplast reaction due to the different nitrate availability, two experimental tests were done on maize plants grown in nutrient solution with different NO3- availability and with Fe-sufficiency (+Fe) (added with 80 uM Fe(III)-EDTA) and Fe-deficiency (-Fe) (added with 0.1 uM Fe(III)-EDTA). As regards 0.4 mM NO3- (NS2), independently of iron availability, phosphoenolpiruvate carboxilase and malate dehydrogenase inductions are higher than those recorded for the experiment with 4.0 mM NO3-. The two activities, for the reaction determined in citosol by NO3- uptake, show different responses according to Fe availability. In NS1 the higher nitrate uptake and the contemporaneous H+ incoming cause in (+Fe) plants a decrease of PEP-carboxilase activation and, during the first 24 hours, of malate dehydrogenase. The shifting of the peak of maximum activity shows that iron deficiency conditions, interfering with e- transport, determinate a slowing down of the enzyme induction, independently of nitrate availability. In NS2, PEPcase is higher under Fe-deficiency and malate dehydrogenase is higher under Fe-sufficiency, both during the first 24 hours. The different nitrate availability causes a different use of the acid content. In fact, in NS1 citric content, precursor of molecules for the production of phytosiderophores, increased in (-Fe) theses. On the contrary, low nitrate availabilities determined a decrease in acid contents, mostly in (-Fe) theses. This result justifies the higher energy demand to activate membrane carriers under stress conditions for the reduced nitrate availability.
    Nature Precedings 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to study, as a function of the different availability of nitrogen in the reduced form, mineral and organic, the induction of the synthesis of some ROS-scavenging molecules and the evolution of some enzymatic activities such as ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and polyphenoloxidase (PPO). Chicory seedlings were grown in nutritive solution for 35 days in controlled conditions. On the 14th day, one third of the plants was transferred into a nutritive solution containing (NH4)2SO4 60 mM, one third was transferred into a medium containing Urea 60 mM, and the remaining was let grow into the nutrition solution, as a control. Three samplings of leaves were performed, respectively after 21, 28 and 35 days of growth. The urea and ammonium sulphate-treated samples showed higher ascorbic acid and polyphenol contents than the control, together with a lower anthocyanins content. APX showed the highest activity in the urea-treated samples, while the highest PPO activity was to refer to samples treated with ammonium sulphate. The variations of the organic components showed the incidence of the nitrogen supply in the reduced form on the cell redox potential, confirming the importance of fertilization for obtaining high amounts of antioxidant molecules.
    Nature Precedings 01/2010;
  • Russo M.A., Malusà E., Belligno A.
    Agrochimica -Pisa- 01/2009; LIII(1):13-23. · 0.31 Impact Factor
  • A. Belligno, V. Sardo
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    ABSTRACT: The sustainability of irrigation with saline waters can only be achieved if the appropriate management of the whole soil–water–plant–atmosphere system is considered. In the present paper is argued that existing guidelines on plant tolerance to salinity and leaching requirement supply just roughly approximate, sometimes misleading indications for a correct management. Results of previous experiments and demonstration activities with woody and herbaceous plants are reported to demonstrate that plant tolerance to salinity is much higher than resulting from the literature; that climate and management conditions can radically influence plant response; that the principle of increasing the leaching fraction when salinity is higher is basically wrong.
    12/2007: pages 25-30;
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    ABSTRACT: Tomato is moderately tolerant to salt. However, under stress conditions, antioxidative defense mechanisms in tomato are activated. The effects of diluted seawater on the antioxidant capacity, namely ascorbate, tocopherols and cellular redox status, have been evaluated in three tomato cultivars. Two salad tomato cultivars, Jama and Gimar and a cherry tomato cv. Naomi were used. Our results indicate that the three cultivars had different salt tolerance. Naomi showed the best adaptive response due to its increased antioxidant pool after salinization.
    12/2007: pages 43-51;
  • Adalgisa Belligno, Marco Russo, Vito Sardo, Ju Ying Wu
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    ABSTRACT: Since soil microorganisms are quite sensitive to changes in their habitat, their response in terms of selected metabolic and enzymatic activities was investigated as a possible indicator of the effects of saline irrigation in lysimeter-grown plants of Olea europea and Nicotiana glauca. Water electrical conductivity ranged from 0.8 dS/m in the control to 8.9,17.5, and 26.2 dS/m in treatments with 20%, 40% and 60% diluted seawater, respectively. While some results were non-significant, the following main conclusions could be drawn: Microbial biomass carbon, soluble soil carbon and respiration activity were not significantly correlated to salinity. In addition, the microbial biomass nitrogen was not correlated to salinity. Contrary to this, enzyme activities as shown by hydrolysis rate of fluorescein diacetate (FDA), acid and alkaline phosphatase, and β-glucosidase decreased consistently with salinity without any significant difference between the two plant species. FDA gave the most sensitive and consistent response.
    12/2007: pages 131-139;
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    ABSTRACT: In a long-term experiment bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seedlings were grown for 18 days in hydroponics in either phosphate-sufficient (+P) or phosphate-deficient (-P) nutrient solutions. Phosphate deprivation halved the phosphorous content of roots. In plasma membrane (PM) fractions isolated from -P roots the phospholipid (PL) level was reduced from 35 to 21 mol%, while PL composition and degree of unsaturation were hardly altered. Digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) accumulated up to 26% of total PM lipids, replacing PL to a large extent. Molecular species and fatty acid compositions of DGDG in root PM were different compared to DGDG present in the -P plastids. In a short-term study, bean seedlings were grown for 18 days in hydroponics with a complete nutrient solution containing phosphate and then incubated in a -P medium for increasing time ranging from 1 up to 96 h. At the end of the starvation period phosphorous content of -P roots was reduced by 30% compared to +P ones. An activation of phospholipase D and phospholipase C was observed after 1 and 2h of phosphate deprivation, respectively. Maximal phosphatidic acid accumulation was detected after 4h of phosphate deprivation, when also DGDG started to accumulate in PM of bean roots. The fatty acid composition of PLD-derived phosphatidylbutanol resembled that of phosphatidylcholine.
    Phytochemistry 07/2007; 68(11):1564-71. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Citrus pulp is the pulp and peel waste generated by citrus fruit processing. It can be a pollutant when it is disposed of by burning or dumping, but it is rich in organic carbon (monosaccharides, polysaccharides, pectins, and organic acids), suggesting that it could also be a valuable soil amendment. For the purpose of studying the effects of citrus pulp amendant on soil fertility, a study was carried out using lysimeters where the soil was amended with different quantities of dried citrus pulp. Soil samples were taken periodically over a period of 2 years to evaluate the evolution of the organic matter and the activity of the microbial biomass. The former was evaluated by calculating the TOC and by extracting and characterizing the humified component, while the latter was evaluated through the calculation of the basal respiration, the C microbial content and some enzymatic activities (alkaline phosphatases, β-glucosidase, and arylsulphatase). The introduction of citrus pulp brought about an improvement in soil quality which continued for 20 months after the application of the amendant. In particular, there was an increase in the soil organic matter, despite the notable mineralization process which took place in the short-term due to the citrus fruit industry residues. In the medium term, the chemical-spectroscopic characterization of the organic compounds of the soil highlighted a great similarity to the natural humic substances. The improvement in soil quality was also demonstrated by the activity of the microbial biomass, with a large and long-lasting increase in microbial and respired C and the stimulation of enzymatic activity.
    Journal of Sustainable Agriculture. 01/2007; 30(4):53-66.
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of phosphate deficiency on enzymatic activities and on compounds of the secondary metabolism linked with the production of root exudates in bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plants cv. ‘Bianco di Bagnasco.’ Phosphate deficiency induced a decrease in root total soluble phenolic content, but also caused an increase in total soluble phenolic content of exudates. Alteration of phenolic production was paralleled by increased activity of L-phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and decreased activity of chalcone isomerase (CHI) in roots. Two isoflavonoids daidzein and naringenin, have been detected in roots; they are considered signal molecules in the chemical trafficking with soil microorganisms. Naringenin content was reduced by phosphorus (P) deficiency, due to lower activity of CHI, the enzyme responsible for its biosynthesis. On the other hand, daidzein content was higher in –P plants than in the control. The results are discussed, considering the possible roles of phenolics and flavonoids in plant-soil microbe interactions and rizosphere modification.
    Journal of Plant Nutrition 01/2006; 29(2):245-258. · 0.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The reduced availability of water resources in semi-arid Mediterranean regions requires an efficient use of supply sources. Urban wastewater, after treatment to minimise health hazards, may constitute an important resource for irrigation in areas characterised by intensive agriculture. These considerations have motivated an investigation (during the irrigation season 1996) of the dynamics of microbial biomass in the soil of a citrus orchard in eastern Sicily, which has been irrigated for 15 years with lagooned urban wastewater, to evaluate the effects of this practice on soil fertility. The analyses of parameters regarding soil microbial biomass (microbial carbon and microbial nitrogen, soluble carbon and nitrogen, cumulative respiration, respiratory quotient and enzymatic activity in the soil) have confirmed that the evolution of soil microflora is directly conditioned by the type of water used for irrigation and climatic conditions. Just before the beginning of the irrigation season (May), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soluble C, cumulative respiration and enzymatic activity were significantly higher in the soil irrigated with wastewater with respect to the same soil irrigated with 'clear' water; the qCO2 was significantly lower. In June, after 1 month of irrigation, both soils showed an increase of all microbial parameters except for enzymatic activity and qCO2 which showed a significant reduction. In September, at the end of the irrigation period, there was a decrease of almost all investigated parameters in both plots, which was more evident in the soil irrigated with 'clear' water. The microbial biomass of the soil irrigated with wastewater, during the irrigation period, did not undergo any negative effects, having an evolution analogous to the plot irrigated with 'clear' water. The use of lagooned wastewater after three lustrums has shown, particularly in the dry season, an increase in quantity of easily available nutrients, with an improvement of the metabolic efficiency of soil microflora coupled with a more marked activity of total hydrolase and phosphatases. The variations of the parameters related to the soil microflora were strongly influenced by the seasonal climatic trend.
    Science of The Total Environment 03/2002; 285(1-3):69-77. · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • Science of The Total Environment 02/2002; 285(3):69-77. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    A Belligno, A Hamdy, V Sardo
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    ABSTRACT: Research was conducted with seven vegetated ponds to assess the potential of using reeds and vetiver grass to purify urban wastewaters after primary treatment. The research was conducted using an integrated approach that included the assessment of:-plant action; the potential of treated waters for reuse in irrigation; interaction with soils; disposal/combustion of plants in power generation; social and economic implications; and the expected effects on the ecosystem. Results of the purifying action of the constructed wetlands were not always consistent. The total suspended solids were reduced by 55 -95.4 %; BOD 5 by 58 -92 %; N by 11 -68.3 %; P by 17.2 -25.4 %; Fe by 31%; colibacteria by 25 -85%; and faecal colibacteria by 13 -90%. The reduction in microbial load was not sufficient to comply with the existing regulations. The experiments gave useful information for the design and implementation of the system and provided interesting data on the effects of purified waters on irrigated plants. In a pepper crop, irrigation with treated wastewater had positive impacts on plant development, fruit number, and fresh fruit weight (as compared to water supplemented with inorganic fertilizers). Furthermore, it was possible to correlate the relationships between treated waters and four widely different soils (clay loam, sandy loam, sandy clay and a calcareous loam), after about 500 mm treated water had infiltrated through them. The peak biomass of the purifying plants was about 4.5 kg/m 2 (dry matter). The study also obtained general hints on social, economic and environmental aspects.
    ICID International Workshop on Wastewater Reuse Management. 10/2001; 19.
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    ABSTRACT: The present study reports for the first time qualitative and quantitative data about flavonoids and furocoumarins distribution of unripe Citrus × myrtifolia Rafinesque homogenate, used as ingredient of the popular soft drink Chinotto. No data are available in literature about the chemical characterization of flavonoids and furocoumarins of the chinotto homogenate used to produce the industrial extract. Samples for analysis were therefore processed to better reproduce the crude materials used to obtain industrial chinotto extract: the whole fruits were cut in half, seeds removed, softly squeezed discarding part of the juice, and homogenized in small pieces. The polyphenolics separation was made by HPLC–PDA detector coupled to ESI/MS/MS in positive and negative mode. It has allowed the identification and relative quantification of 16 compounds, among which the flavone-C-glycoside lucenin-2, the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl flavanone glycoside melitidin and five polymethoxylated flavones have been detected for the first time in Citrus × myrtifolia. The flavonoids and furocoumarins distribution was compared with one of the Citrus × myrtifolia juice, and the antioxidant activity of both samples was assessed by ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)-fluorescein assay.
    European Food Research and Technology 233(5). · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated for the first time some physical quality attributes of unripe Citrus × myrtifolia Rafi-nesque which is the ingredient of the popular soft drink Chinotto. Samples for analysis were processed to better repro-duce the crude materials used for industrial chinotto extract, discarding part of the juice. Fruit bioactive compounds such as ascorbic acid, carotenoids, chlorophylls, flavonoids and antioxidant capacity were estimated. An important nutritional aspect arose from the data presented was the high concentration of flavonoids (780 mg/100g FW) and vita-min C (42 mg/100g FW). A good antioxidant capacity (5872 µM Trolox equivalents/100g FW) was estimated by oxygen radical absorbing capacity (ORAC). This matrix could be considered as a good nutraceutical source, giving new op-portunity to citrus industry.