Roberto Botta

Università Telematica "Leonardo da Vinci", Grugliasco, Piedmont, Italy

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Publications (41)52.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to apply the Nutrient Analysis Critical Control Point (NACCP) process to ensure that the highest nutrient levels in food can determine a beneficial effect on the health of the consumer. The NACCP process involves a sequence of analysis and controls that depart from raw material production to the evaluation of the effect of nutrition on health. It is articulated through the following points: 1) identification of nutrient level in the food; 2) identification of critical control points (environmental, genetic data, chemical and physical data, production technology, distribution and administration); 3) establishing critical limits that can impoverish and damage the nutrient; 4) establishing measures to monitor; 5) establishing corrective actions. We selected as bio- markers the total phenolic content (TPC) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of a genotyped Italian hazelnut cultivars (Corylus e avellana L.). We performed a clinical study evaluating: a) nutritional status; b) clinical-bio- chemical parameters; c) low density lipoprotein oxidation (LDL-ox); d) the expression level changes of oxidative stress pathway genes in the blood cell at baseline and after 40 g/die of hazelnut consumption. In this study, we found a significant lowering (p ≤ 0.005) of LDL oxidized proteins, in association with the consumption of 40 g/d of hazelnuts. Also, we found a significant variation (p ≤ 0.005) of gene expression of antioxidant and pro-oxidant genes, between the intake of dietary with and without hazelnuts. This results support the hypothesis that the NACCP process could be applied to obtain significant benefits in terms of primary prevention and for contrib- uting to the amelioration of food management at the consumer level.
    Food and Nutrition Sciences 01/2014; 5:79-88.
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    ABSTRACT: The hazelnut cultivar ‘Tonda Gentile delle Langhe’ (TGdL) from Piedmont (Northwest Italy) is known worldwide for the excellent quality of its nuts and is thought to have a monoclonal origin. During 3 years of on-farm exploration carried out in Piedmont within the AGRI-GEN-RES project SAFENUT, 6 accessions of a minor cultivar called ‘Tonda di Biglini’ (TdB), known for its nut quality similar to TGdL, and two plants with low or null suckering habit, found in an orchard of TGdL, were characterized with TGdL reference plants using molecular markers and plant descriptors. In addition, agronomical behaviour and nut quality of TdB were evaluated in a field trial aimed at comparing TdB and TGdL in the same environmental conditions. Although analyses at 27 SSR hazelnut loci revealed the same genetic profile of TGdL for all the considered accessions, observations showed relevant differences in phenological and nut traits: earlier female flowering and nut maturity times (10 days) in TdB than in TGdL; lower percent kernel and higher presence of double kernels in TdB than in TGdL. These results were confirmed in the field trial comparison and were observed also in the non-suckering plants. A sensory analysis conducted on TGdL and TdB kernels using triangle test gave a significant identification indicating organoleptic differences between the two cultivars. In conclusion, given that the distinctive characters found are stable and maintained through propagation as shown in the field trial, TdB can indeed be considered a different cultivar while for the non-suckering individuals the stability of the traits after propagation still need to be confirmed. This report demonstrates the presence of mutations of agronomical relevance within a monoclonal cultivar of hazelnut.
    Scientia Horticulturae 01/2014; 165:303–310. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the effect of different storage conditions currently used by the industry, on the chemical, physical and sensory characteristics of ‘Tonda Gentile delle Langhe’ hazelnuts, during one year of storage. The traditional method of in-shell preservation in a storage room at ambient temperature was compared with refrigerated storage of shelled nuts at 4 °C and 55% relative humidity, with or without modified atmosphere (1% oxygen, 99% nitrogen). The following parameters were measured: moisture content, lipid content, total phenolic content, and antioxidant capacity of the kernel; acidity and peroxide value of the oil. The kernel resistance to breakage was evaluated by texture analysis using a compression test. The hazelnuts were also evaluated by sensory analysis. The results showed that the acidity and the peroxide value were the most discriminating parameters. After one year of storage, the acidity of hazelnuts stored at ambient temperature (0.47% oleic acid) was higher than the value considered the acceptable limit after storage (0.40% oleic acid), while refrigerated storage maintained a low level of acidity and lipid oxidation, with the best performance in modified atmosphere (0.13% oleic acid; 0.057 O2 mmol kg−1). Sensory analysis after 12 months also showed differences among the three storage treatments. In-shell storage of hazelnuts at ambient temperature was able to preserve the kernels below threshold limits of acidity and oxidative degradation for up to 8 months, but refrigeration was necessary to maintain high quality for up to one year. The use of modified atmosphere is recommended for long periods of storage.
    Postharvest Biology and Technology 03/2013; 81(-):37-43. · 2.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) is a traditional nut crop in southern Europe. Germplasm exploration conducted on-farm in five countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, and Greece) identified 77 landraces. The present work describes phenotypic variation in nut and husk traits and investigates genetic relationships using ten simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers among these landraces, 57 well-known references cultivars, and 19 wild accessions. Among the 77 landraces, 42 had unique fingerprints while 35 showed a SSR profile identical to a known cultivar. Among the 42 unique landraces, morphological observations revealed high phenotypic diversity, and some had characteristics appreciated by the market such as nut round and caliber. Analysis of genetic relationships and population structure allowed investigation of the origin and spread of the cultivated germplasm in southern Europe. Our results indicate the existence of three primary centers of diversity in the Mediterranean basin: northwestern Spain (Tarragona) and southern Italy (Campania) in the West and Black Sea (Turkey) in the East. Moreover, the data suggest the existence of secondary gene pools in the Iberian (Asturias) and Italian (Liguria and Latium) Peninsulas, where local varieties were recently domesticated from wild forms and/or from introduced ancient domesticated varieties.
    Tree Genetics & Genomes 01/2013; · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seventeen fruit species grown in Piedmont (Northwest Italy) were analysed for SSC, pH, TA, total antioxidant capacity, and total phenolic and anthocyanin contents to evaluate their nutraceutical value and emphasize the value of the local productions. Major fruit species (pear, apple, apricot) were generally higher in SSC and had moderate acidity but were tendentially lower in phenolics (39.89–93.71 mg GAE 100 g−1 fw) and antioxidant capacity (8.07–11.11 mmol Fe2+/kg fw) in comparison with berry fruits. Black mulberry, blackberry, highbush blueberry, currant, raspberry, gooseberry and strawberry confirmed to be excellent antioxidant sources (phenolics 196.98–398.67 mg GAE 100 g−1 fw; FRAP: 11.51–85.97 mmol Fe2+/kg fw) while Damask plums showed intermediate properties (phenolics: 175.30–229.62 mg GAE 100 g−1 fw; FRAP: 12.12–17.88 mmol Fe2+/kg fw). The highest anthocyanin contents were recorded in black mulberry (341.53 mg C3G 100 g−1 fw), black currant (224.79 mg C3G 100 g−1 fw) and highbush blueberry (222.74 mg C3G 100 g−1 fw). Differences between cultivars of the same species indicated the presence of variability that should be considered in breeding and in the orchards planning.
    Scientia Horticulturae 01/2013; 160:351–357. · 1.50 Impact Factor
  • Francesca Dini, Chiara Sartor, Roberto Botta
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was the identification of the mechanisms of resistance to Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu in the hybrid-resistant cultivar 'Bouche de Bétizac' (Castanea sativa × Castanea crenata). Larvae and eggs of the insect are found in the buds of this cultivar at the end of winter, but there is no gall development after budburst. The hypothesis of the presence of a hypersensitive reaction (HR) in the buds was tested using diaminobenzidine (DAB) to detect H(2)O(2) and by Real Time PCR (RT-PCR) to evaluate the expression of a germin-like protein gene. HR in plants is elicited by the production of reactive oxygen compounds, such as H(2)O(2), and results in the programmed cell death. The DAB test was applied to buds of 'Bouche de Bétizac' and of the susceptible cultivar 'Madonna' (C. sativa) at different stages of budburst. The DAB staining produced brown areas in the swelling buds of 'Bouche de Bétizac', indicating the presence of H(2)O(2). On the contrary, all uninfested buds, as well as the infested buds of 'Madonna', appeared whitish. Papers report that germin and germin-like proteins (GLP) with oxalate oxidase activity are discrete markers of stress-responsive gene products. A strong expression of the chestnut GLP gene was detected by RT-PCR at bud swelling in infested 'Bouche de Bétizac' buds but not in 'Madonna' ones. The results support the hypothesis of the occurrence of an HR in 'Bouche de Bétizac' as response to the cynipid infestation, resulting in cell and larvae death.
    Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 08/2012; 60:67-73. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hazelnut is a monoecious species characterized by mid-winter blooming and sporophytic incompatibility. The molecular mechanisms at the basis of the female flower development and of the pollen-stigma interaction are little known, although pollination in this species is a critical factor to ensure good yield. Differential display technique was used to study genes expressed during the female flower development, comparing styles before emergence from the bud and styles at full bloom. The full-length cDNA clone, designated CavPrx (Corylus avellana peroxidase) and isolated in mature styles, was characterized as a sequence encoding for a 330 amino acids protein, containing all the conserved features of class III peroxidases. CavPrx resulted expressed only in styles, with a peak in mature styles pollinated with compatible pollen. Class III peroxidases are expressed in several different plant tissue types and are involved in a broad spectrum of physiological processes. Until now, four peroxidases expressed in the stigma were identified in Arabidopsis thaliana and Senecio squalidus: they were assumed to be possibly involved in pollen-pistil interaction, pollen tube penetration/growth and/or in defence against pathogens. CavPrx is the first gene for a floral peroxidase isolated in hazelnut and its expression pattern suggests a possible role in the pollination process.
    Molecular Biology Reports 04/2012; 39(4):4997-5008. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) develops in chestnut buds that remain asymptomatic from oviposition (June-July) until budburst; it is, thus, easily spread by plant material used in propagation. Therefore, it is particularly interesting to identify infested plant batches before their movement. Unfortunately, a non-destructive method for checking buds has not yet been developed, and the only technique available is the screening of a bud sample. The visual investigation is long and requires highly skilled and trained staff. The purpose of this work was to set up an effective and fast method able to identify the presence of first instar larvae of D. kuriphilus in a large number of chestnut buds by PCR. Four primer pairs were designed on nuclear and mitochondrial sequences of a set of seven gall wasp taxa and tested on five different cynipid's DNA. Nested diagnostic PCR was carried out on DNA extracted from samples of 2 g buds simulating four levels of infestation (larvae were added to uninfested buds); 320 bp amplicon of 28S sequence was chosen as a marker to detect one larva out of 2 g buds. The method showed a potential efficiency of 5000 to 15,000 buds per week, depending on bud size.
    Bulletin of entomological research 01/2012; 102(3):367-71. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    Chapter: CHESTNUT
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    ABSTRACT: The genus Castanea, chestnuts and chinkapins, belongs to the family Fagaceae, which inckudes other important timber producting genera such as Quercus and Fagus. The geus Castanea is divided into three geographically delimited sections with at least seven consistently recognized interfertile species: 4 species in Asia (C. mollissima, C. henryi, C. seguinii, and C. crenata), two or more species in North America (C.dentata, C. ozarkensis, and C. pumila) and one in Europe and Turkey (C.sativa). The most important diseases of chestnut are ink disease (Phytophthora) and chesnut blight (Cryphonectria). Resistance to these is the major objetive fpr rootstock breeding in Europe and scion breeding in North America. In both cases, the source of resistance was Asian species. European breeding programs developed resistant haybrid rootstocks, which are propagated by stooling, cuttings or in vitro culture. A major pest od chestnut is the wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus whose control is bsed on the spread of parasitoids but also on the selection of resitant cultivars. For nut production, the most importan breeding objetivs include the following: good horticultural traits, product quality, suitability to storage and processing, and ease of peeling. For timber, important characters include wood quality, rapid growth, and nonchecking of wood (ring-shake). Molecular maps have been developed, which has expanded the genetic knowledge of the chestnut. An efficient genetic transformation protocol for C. sativa through the coculture of somatic embryos with different strains of Agrobacterium has been described.
    01/2012: pages 729-770; , ISBN: 978-1-4419-0762-2
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    ABSTRACT: Castanea sativa Miller displays a high variability of morphological and ecological traits, vegetative and reproductive habits, nut morphology, wood characteristics, adaptability, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. The present range of distribution of the species has been strongly influenced by human migrations and it is thought that Romans played a crucial role in the spread of the cultivation in Europe, although in some areas there is also evidence of local domestication and spontaneous spread of the tree after the last glacial period. In Switzerland chestnut stands are found mostly in the South (Canton Ticino), a region where the debate about the origin of the local germplasm, whether derived from the survival or spontaneous migration of C. sativa on the territory or due to the introduction of the tree during the Roman colonisation, is still open. This study aims contributing to depict the chestnut genetic situation of the species in Canton Ticino as a contribution to the debate about the native character of the species. The study area is located in Switzerland, on the southern slopes of the Alps, where 3 C. sativa populations were sampled and analysed at 9 SSR loci. Populations showed a high degree of diversity, as it is observed in most natural population of tree species: all nine SSR loci were polymorphic (no fixed alleles were detected), and genetic diversity, measured by expected heterozygosity, was high ranging in the populations between 0.647 and 0.721, on average. Results suggest that three homogeneous gene pools contributed to the formation of the 3 populations sampled. The genetic germplasm structuring of the analysed chestnut stands is very mild as confirmed by the relatively low level of genetic differentiation and divergence observed among sites.
    Silvae Genetica 01/2012; 61(6):292-300. · 0.44 Impact Factor
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    European Journal of Horticultural Science 01/2011; · 0.38 Impact Factor
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    Scientia Horticulturae 01/2011; · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of two concentrations (500 and 1000mgL−1) of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and the combination of IBA treatments (1000mgL−1) with two ethylene inhibitors, 1-MCP (1-Methylcyclopropene) and AgNO3, on adventitious root formation and bud retention of semi-hardwood cuttings were investigated in hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) cultivar ‘Tonda Gentile delle Langhe’.The IBA 500mgL−1 treatment promoted percentages of rooting (70.0%) similar to IBA 1000mgL−1 treatment but reduced bud abscission resulting in 56.3% of rooted cuttings with at least one bud retained. The use of 1-MCP and AgNO3 in combination with IBA 1000mgL−1 treatment reduced bud abscission without modifying the rooting response.
    Scientia Horticulturae - SCI HORT-AMSTERDAM. 01/2011; 131:103-106.
  • Journal of Biotechnology 11/2010; 150:504-504. · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eighty-six new microsatellite loci were developed for European hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) by screening two genomic libraries enriched for dinucleotide repeats. The loci, 73 developed from a GA-enriched library and 13 from a CA-enriched library, showed a high level of polymorphism in 50 accessions. The number of alleles per locus ranged from five to 21, with a mean of 10.55. Mean values for expected heterozygosity, observed heterozygosity, and polymorphism information content were high, averaging 0.76, 0.69, and 0.73, respectively. In a mapping population, loci segregated 1:1, 1:2:1, and 1:1:1:1. Segregation distortion and null alleles were observed at some loci. Eighty-one of the 86 loci were assigned to linkage groups. A neighbor-joining dendrogram reflected great diversity among the 50 accessions and showed clustering by geographic origin. KeywordsSimple sequence repeat–Filbert–Genetic diversity
    Tree Genetics & Genomes 07/2010; 6(4):513-531. · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Biotechnology - J BIOTECHNOL. 01/2010; 150:499-500.
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    Paolo Boccacci, Roberto Botta
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    ABSTRACT: The European AGRI GEN RES 068 (Genetic Resources in Agriculture) project acronymed SAFENUT (‘Safeguard of almond and hazelnut genetic resources: from traditional uses to modern agro-industrial opportunities’) is aimed at increasing the knowledge on the European germplasm of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.). In this context, the study of the genetic structure of hazelnut cultivated germplasm is an important goal and requires the choice of proper molecular markers. In the present work, microsatellite data obtained at 16 SSR loci for 75 accessions from Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Iran were elaborated for the analysis of marker information content, the genetic structure of hazelnut cultivar gene pools, and the differentiation among cultivars sampled in the four regions. Data elaborations allowed to further develop the information reported in literature and to select a set of SSR loci to be proposed as molecular descriptors for hazelnut. A high level of genetic diversity was detected in all investigated cultivars. An excess of heterozygosity was observed in Spanish and Turkish gene pools, while a heterozygosis deficit was observed in Iranian samples. Genetic differentiation among cultivars from different regions was significant, even in the case of genetically close groups such as the Spanish and Italian ones. Nevertheless, the Italian accessions from Liguria region (North-West Italy) resulted genetically closer to varieties of Turkish origin than to Italian ones. Statistical analysis indicated that hazelnut appears to have been domesticated independently in the four areas, suggesting that present cultivars have a multiple origin.
    Scientia Horticulturae. 01/2010;
  • Acta horticulturae 01/2010; 866:267-274.
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    ABSTRACT: Forty one simple sequence repeats were isolated from two microsatellite enriched libraries of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.). After screening, 17 selected microsatellite loci were characterized and evaluated on a set of 31 cultivars and clones from Algerian and Californian germplasm. All primer pairs produced an amplification product of the expected size and detected high polymorphism among the analysed samples. These nuclear simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers are expected to be a very effective tool for evaluating genetic diversity in date palm germplasm. Acrosstaxa amplification showed the usefulness of most SSR markers in 14 other species across the genus Phoenix.
    Biologia Plantarum 02/2009; 53(1):164-166. · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    Paolo Boccacci, Roberto Botta
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    ABSTRACT: The place and time of European hazel (Corylusavellana L.) domestication is not clear, although it was already cultivated by the Romans. In this study, 75 accessions from Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Iran were analysed using 13 chloroplast microsatellite to investigate the origin and diffusion of hazelnut cultivars. Four loci were polymorphic and identified a total of four different chlorotypes. Their distribution was not uniform in each geographical group. The most frequent chlorotype A was present in all groups. An increase in chlorotype number and diversity from Spain eastward to Italy, Turkey, and Iran was observed. Results suggest that some spread of cultivars occurred from East to West and that hazelnut cultivation was not introduced from the eastern Mediterranean basin into Spain and southern Italy by Greeks or Arabs. Moreover, the results suggest considerable exchange of germplasm between Italy and Spain, probably by the Romans. Hazelnut appears to have been domesticated independently in three areas: the Mediterranean, Turkey, and Iran.
    Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 01/2009; 56(6):851-859. · 1.59 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

517 Citations
52.53 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2014
    • Università Telematica "Leonardo da Vinci"
      Grugliasco, Piedmont, Italy
  • 2000–2013
    • Università degli Studi di Torino
      • Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
      Torino, Piedmont, Italy
  • 2003
    • University of Bristol
      Bristol, England, United Kingdom