Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economy Analysis
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Am 14.10.2022 fand am Versuchszentrum Laimburg die 3. Kräuterfachtagung statt. Die Tagung wurde in Zusammenarbeit mit der Landwirtschaftskammer Tirol und der Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) organisiert. Ziel der Tagung war es, den wissenschaftlichen Austausch zu fördern und neue Erkenntnisse zum Kräuteranbau an die Praxis weiterzugeben. Sieben Referenten haben über verschiedenste aktuelle Themen im Bereich Kräuteranbau berichtet. Full content:
The phenomenon of antibiotic resistance stands as a paramount health challenge in the contemporary era. Within a One Health approach, it becomes crucial to effectively track the dissemination of antibiotic resistance, not only within humans and animals but also within the environment. To investigate the environment, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) has emerged as a prominent environmental bioindicator due to its social, behavioral, and morphological features. The objective of this study was to describe the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) patterns of bacterial isolates from the body surface and the gut of honey bees sampled from 33 colonies throughout the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy). A total of 608 strains were examined for 19 distinct antimicrobial compounds from various classes, and the results showed that more than 50% of the isolates for eight out of nine provinces showed characteristics of nonsusceptibility toward amoxicillin and penicillin, and, generally, 98.19% of isolated strains were considered AMR and 74.67% exhibited multidrug resistance (MDR) characteristics, more frequent in Gram-negative strains (87.74%) than in Gram-positive ones (60.34%). Additionally, a significant correlation with a lower prevalence of MDR bacteria was demonstrated for one province (Ferrara, odds ratio (OR) = 3.33, (1.67; 6.64), p = 0.0006 ). In conclusion, this study provides evidence for the utility of A. mellifera colonies as bioindicators for MDR bacteria, enabling their characterization and distribution at a geographical level. Additional investigations are required to further explore the potential role of honey bees as bioindicators for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, particularly in terms of their association with environmental characteristics.
Soils are the foundation of agricultural production, ecosystem functioning and human well‐being. Bridging soil knowledge gaps and improving the knowledge system is crucial to meet the growing EU soil policy ambitions in the face of climate change and the ongoing trend in soil degradation. The objective of this article is to assess the current state of knowledge, knowledge use and knowledge gaps concerning sustainable soil management in Europe. This study is based on interviews with 791 stakeholders and 254 researchers and on a comprehensive review of >1800 documents carried out under the European Joint Programme (EJP) on agricultural soils. Despite differences in stakeholder groups, the conclusions are rather consistent and complementary. We identified major knowledge gaps with respect to 1) soil carbon stocks, 2) soil degradation and fertility, and 3) strategies for improved soil management. Transcending these three areas, particularly the loss of soil organic carbon (SOC), peatland degradation, and soil compaction are most critical, thus, we stress the urgency of developing more models and monitoring programmes on soils. Stakeholders further report that insufficient transfer of existing soil research findings to practitioners is a hindrance to the adoption of sustainable soil management practices. In addition to knowledge production, soil knowledge gaps may be addressed by considering seven recommendations from the stakeholders: 1) raising awareness, 2) strengthening knowledge brokers, 3) improving relevance of research activities and resource allocation for land users, 4) peer‐to‐peer communication, 5) targeting advice and information, 6) improving knowledge access and 7) providing incentives. We argue that filling and bridging knowledge gaps should be a priority for policy makers and the insights provided in the article may help prioritize research and dissemination needs enabling a transition to more sustainable soil management in Europe. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
In plants, glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) is an ubiquitous enzyme that catalyzes the reversible amination of 2‐oxoglutarate in glutamate. It contributes to both the amino acid homeostasis and the management of intracellular ammonium, and it is regarded as a key player at the junction of carbon and nitrogen assimilation pathways. To date, information about the GDH of terrestrial plants refers to a very few species only. We focused on selected species belonging to the division Marchantiophyta, providing the first panoramic overview of biochemical and functional features of GDH in liverworts. Native electrophoretic analyses showed an isoenzymatic profile less complex than what was reported for Arabidposis thaliana and other angiosperms: the presence of a single isoform corresponding to an α‐homohexamer, differently prone to thermal inactivation on a species‐ and organ‐basis, was found. Sequence analysis conducted on amino acid sequences confirmed a high similarity of GDH in modern liverworts with the GDH2 protein of A. thaliana , strengthening the hypothesis that the duplication event that gave origin to GDH1 ‐homolog gene from GDH2 occurred after the evolutionary bifurcation that separated bryophytes and tracheophytes. Experiments conducted on Marchantia polymorpha and Calypogeia fissa grown in vitro and compared to A. thaliana demonstrated through in gel activity detection and monodimensional Western Blot that the aminating activity of GDH resulted in strongly enhanced responses to ammonium excess in liverworts as well, even if at a different extent compared to Arabidopsis and other vascular species. The comparative analysis by bi‐dimensional Western Blot suggested that the regulation of the enzyme could be, at least partially, untied from the protein post‐translational pattern. Finally, immuno‐electron microscopy revealed that the GDH enzyme localizes at the subcellular level in both mitochondria and chloroplasts of parenchyma and is specifically associated to the endomembrane system in liverworts.
Although much has been written about sustainable wine consumption, the topic of young consumers’ (age 18–39 years) preferences for natural wine in Italy has been poorly explored. Through an online survey of 640 Italian respondents, we investigate the characteristics that affect consumption of natural wine in Italy. First, a factor analysis was applied to reduce data to a smaller set of summary variables. A probit regression model was then used to explore the effects and evaluate the relative importance of identified factors on participants’ willingness to consume natural wine. The results reveal that being female, in the older age cohort (25–39 years), and being consumer of certified wine and/or biodynamic wine significantly increase the probability of drinking natural wine. The findings also showed that health benefits, natural product interest, previous experience with natural wine, and positive perception of natural wine also drive young consumers of natural wine.
The intensified attention to health, the growing of elderly population, the changing lifestyles, and the medical discoveries have increased demand for natural and nutrient‐rich foods, shaping the popularity of microalgae products. Microalgae thanks to their metabolic versatility represent a promising solution for a “green” economy, exploiting non‐arable land, non‐potable water, capturing CO 2 and solar energy. The interest in microalgae is justified by their high content of bioactive molecules, such as amino acids, peptides, proteins, carbohydrates, polysaccharides, polyunsaturated fatty acids (as ω‐3 fatty acids), pigments (as β‐carotene, astaxanthin, fucoxanthin, phycocyanin, zeaxanthin and lutein), or mineral elements. Such molecules are of interest for human and animal nutrition, cosmetic and biofuel production, for which microalgae are potential renewable sources. Microalgae, also, represent effective biological systems for treating a variety of wastewaters and can be used as a CO 2 mitigation approach, helping to combat the green‐house gas and global warming emergencies. Recently a growing interest is focusing on extremophilic microalgae species, which are easier to cultivate axenically and represent good candidate for the open pond cultivation. In some cases, the cultivation and/or harvesting systems are still immature, but novel techniques appear as promising solutions to overcome such barriers. This review provides an overview on the actual microalgae cultivation systems and the current state of their biotechnological applications to obtain high value compounds or ingredients. Moreover, potential and future research opportunities for environment, human and animal benefits are pointed out. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The olive ( Olea europaea L.) is the most cultivated tree crop in the Mediterranean and among the most cultivated tree crops worldwide. Olive yield is obtained by the product of fruit number and fruit size; therefore, understanding fruit development, in terms of both number and size, is commercially and scientifically relevant. This article reviews the literature on fruit development, from the flower to the mature fruit, considering factors that affect both fruit size and number. The review focuses on olive but includes literature on other species when relevant. The review brings the different factors affecting different phases of fruit development, addressed separately in the literature, under a single frame of interpretation. It is concluded that the different mechanisms regulating the different phases of fruit development, from pistil abortion to fruit set and fruit size, can be considered as different aspects of the same overall strategy, that is, adjusting fruit load to the available resources while striving to achieve the genetically determined fruit size target and the male and female fitness targets.
Ancient grains have gained considerable attention in recent years, as some research suggests they may be healthier than modern wheat. The present study aims to evaluate the chemical, rheological, and microbiological features of three Southern Italian cultivated ancient wheat varieties: Risciola, Carosella, and Saragolla. ATR-FTIR analyses were performed on the finely ground grain samples of the three varieties. The selected grains were ground with a stone mill, and different sifting degrees (whole—100%, type 1—80%, and type 0—72%) were evaluated. The flours showed a good nutritional profile, a higher amylose/amylopectin ratio, and a lower glycemic index than the literature. The gluten index of the samples was in the range 2.6–28.9%, and the flours can be classified as weak, having a value <30%. The farinographic test showed a short development time, low dough stability, a high softening degree, and water absorption, which increased with the degree of sifting. Microbiological analyses performed on flours from ancient grains at different degrees of sifting show their safety, according to their microbiological parameters, which fall within the legal microbiological requirements established by the European Commission Regulation (EC).
Four species of lupin (white lupin, yellow lupin, blue lupin and Andean lupin) are widely cropped thanks to the excellent nutritional composition of their seeds: high protein content (28–48 g/100 g); good lipid content (4.6–13.5 g/100 g, but up to 20.0 g/100 g in Andean lupin), especially unsaturated triacylglycerols; and richness in antioxidant compounds like carotenoids, tocols and phenolics. Particularly relevant is the amount of free phenolics, highly bioaccessible in the small intestine. However, the typical bitter and toxic alkaloids must be eliminated before lupin consumption, hindering its diffusion and affecting its nutritional value. This review summarises the results of recent research in lupin composition for the above-mentioned three classes of antioxidant compounds, both in non-debittered and debittered seeds. Additionally, the influence of technological processes to further increase their nutritional value as well as the effects of food manufacturing on antioxidant content were scrutinised. Lupin has been demonstrated to be an outstanding raw material source, superior to most crops and suitable for manufacturing foods with good antioxidant and nutritional properties. The bioaccessibility of lupin antioxidants after digestion of ready-to-eat products still emerges as a dearth in current research.
Plant parasitic nematodes represent limiting factors for the production of a wide range of crops. Possible alternatives to synthetic nematicides are based on the use of biological and biotechnological procedures, alone or in combination with other control strategies. Evidences of their beneficial effects are found in improved crop protection and agricultural productivity. For the optimal use of beneficial microorganisms, a depth knowledge of the nematode target is strongly needed. Genetic engineering technologies may be applied to improve their biocontrol activity by synergistically overexpressing quite a few characteristics. The most widely investigated approaches ranging from the traditional biocontrol up to molecular breeding are presented in this chapter.
Wheats (bread and durum wheats) and their main end-use products (particularly bread and pasta) have an important role in the Mediterranean diet as they substantially contribute to nutrient intake [...]
Assessing the financial, energy and emission levels associated with alternative harvesting prescriptions, techniques, and technologies is crucial to sustainable forest management. This study aims at developing an overall predictive system able to estimate productivity, fuel consumption and emissions for a set of different forest harvesting technologies as a function of stand characteristics, site conditions and silvicultural prescriptions. The system consists of two separate group of models, one for felling and processing, and the other for extraction. In the first model, six quantitative (DBH, tree volume, harvest, engine power, purchase price of the machine) and five qualitative independent variables (forest species, management, treatment, operation, type of machine, type of fuel) were considered. In the second model, four qualitative and six quantitative independent variables were applied. Both models have been trained on a large database of real field data using linear and nonlinear approaches based on artificial intelligence. The dataset was randomly separated into two subsets, one using for training the models and the other for validating them. The models reliably predicted fuel consumption (r = 0.84–0.95), energy emission and cost (r = 0.88–0.98), per hour and per hectare, and they were successfully validated. Despite being estimated from a heterogeneous input dataset, constituted by quantitative and qualitative variables, both models proved to be efficient, robust and generally representative. The input variables are intuitive and suitable for practical use by both entrepreneurs and policy makers at the institutional level.
Mulberries are the “essence of the past”, the so-called Proust effect, for the inhabitants of the sericultural regions who enthusiastically remember feeding silkworms with mulberry leaves and picking the different coloured fruits that were their favourite sweets in childhood. To determine the chemistry behind the colour and taste of mulberry soroses, the main metabolites of the local and introduced varieties were studied. The soroses were classified into five different colour types and the size parameters were determined. The main sugars identified were glucose and fructose, while the predominant organic acids were citric and malic acids, which were highest in the darker varieties, and fumaric and tartaric acids, which were highest in the lighter varieties. A total of 42 phenolic compounds were identified. The predominant phenolic acid was chlorogenic acid, followed by other caffeoylquinic acids and coumaroylquinic acids. The predominant anthocyanins were cyanidin-3-glucoside and cyanidin-3-rutinoside. According to PCA analysis, the colour types showed a clear chemotype character. The sweet taste of the yellowish-white soroses was defined by 49% fructose, followed by 45% glucose and 6% organic acids. The sour character of the black genotypes was characterised by a lower sugar and higher (11%) organic acid content. The colour- and species-dependent effect was observed in the proportion of caffeoylquinic acids and quercetin glycosides, which decreased with increasing colour intensity from 60% of the total to 7%, and from 17% to 1%, respectively. An upward trend was observed for flavanols (5% to 29%) and anthocyanins, which accounted for 62% of the total phenolics in black varieties. This article gives an insight into the metabolite composition of mulberry soroses as the sweets of choice between light and sweet and dark and sour.
The European Commission has set targets for a reduction in nutrient losses by at least 50% and a reduction in fertiliser use by at least 20% by 2030 while ensuring no deterioration in soil fertility. Within the mandate of the European Joint Programme EJP Soil 'Towards climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils', the objective of this study was to assess current fertilisation practices across Europe and discuss the potential for harmonisation of fertilisa-tion methodologies as a strategy to reduce nutrient loss and overall fertiliser use. A stocktake study of current methods of delivering fertilisation advice took place across 23 European countries. The stocktake was in the form of a questionnaire, comprising 46 questions. Information was gathered on a large range of factors, including soil analysis methods, along with soil, crop and climatic factors taken into consideration within fertilisation calculations. For affiliations refer to page 23
The possibility of industrial exploitation of winemaking products, as for all byproducts of vegetal origin, constantly deals with a raw material (grape pomace, GP) whose chemical composition and functional properties vary over time depending on the varietal and geographical origin of the grapes, the climatic conditions (vintage effect), and the winemaking technique. This work studied the compositional variability of polyphenolic skin and seed extracts from GP derived from white and red winemaking of different Italian grape varieties. The total polyphenolic content (GAE), the main classes of polyphenolic compounds, and the DPPH index were determined. Seed extracts were always richer in total polyphenols and condensed tannins and had higher antiradical activity (DPPH) than skin extracts: 144–298 mg GAE/g d.w. extract for skins and 327–540 mg GAE/g for seeds; the DPPH values were 1.77–3.40 mg AAE/g for skins and 3.10–10.48 mg AAE/g for seeds. Furthermore, it was verified that the evaluation of the GAE index of seed extracts, offering a good estimate of the antiradical properties (DPPH index), could represent a simple and rapid method for selecting the best lots of seeds to be used. Conversely, GP skins could be used as flour in the food industry due to their high content of dietary fiber and the presence of flavonols, which possess very interesting functional properties. Important differences in the flavonols profile were observed both between cultivars and between unfermented and fermented pomace.
Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca (XFP), Neofusicoccum mediterraneum, N. stellenboschiana and other fungi have been found in olive groves of Salento (Apulia, Italy) that show symptoms of severe decline. XFP is well known to be the cause of olive quick decline syndrome (OQDS). It has also been assessed that Neofusicoccum spp. causes a distinct disease syndrome, namely, branch and twig dieback (BTD). All these phytopathogens incite severe symptoms that can compromise the viability of large canopy sectors or the whole tree. However, their specific symptoms are not easily distinguished, especially during the final stages of the disease when branches are definitively desiccated. By contrast, they can be differentiated during the initial phases of the infection when some facets of the diseases are typical, especially wood discoloration, incited solely by fungi. Here, we describe the typical symptomatological features of OQDS and BTD that can be observed in the field and that have been confirmed by Koch postulate experiments. Similar symptoms, caused by some abiotic adverse conditions and even by additional biotic factors, are also described. Thus, this review aims at: (i) raising the awareness that declining olive trees in Salento do not have to be linked a priori to XFP; (ii) defining the guidelines for a correct symptomatic diagnosis to orient proper laboratory analyses, which is crucial for the application of effective control measures. The possibility that bacterium and fungi could act as a polyspecies and in conjunction with predisposing abiotic stresses is also widely discussed.
Megachile (Chalicodoma) parietina (Geoffroy, 1785) is a Palearctic solitary bee included in the Red List of some central European Countries. Females build durable nests, reused year after year, by mixing soil with a salivary secretion. Like for most solitary bees, the resources contained within M. parietina nests attract several other insects which exploit pollen supplies or feed on the immature brood. These associated insects have mainly been studied for mantained bees and considered for their effect on the host reproductive success. A very large nesting aggregation of M. parietina in Central Tuscany has been studied for three consecutive years. We have identified 32 associated insect species, which certainly are an underestimate of the species present. Among the identified species, only eight had been previously reported for M. parietina . All the species were classified both according to the specificity for the host taxon ( Chalicodoma , Megachilidae, Anthophila, Hymenoptera, Others) and to the ecological relationship (cleptoparasites, parasitoids, predators of larvae, food commensal, scavengers, and occasional nest users). This highlighted both the richness of the ecological network within the nesting aggregation and the value of studying these nesting sites to fill Eltonian shortfalls, i.e. the deficiency in ecology knowledge, of bees and their associated fauna. Implications for insect conservation. We suggest that, besides their role in pollination, large and stable bee nesting sites increase the local insect biodiversity, and that attention should be paid to their conservation within actions aimed to support populations of wild pollinators.
Lack of evidence for chemical integration of the cuckoo-bee Stelis nasuta (Latreille, 1809) and Coelioxys aurolimbata (Förster, 1853) with their main host Megachile parietina (Geoffroy, 1785) Abstract-Megachile parietina is a solitary megachilid species, which sometimes nests in large aggregations. Such a condition attracts a diverse entomological fauna, including several parasites. Here, we focused on two cuckoo-bees of this species, Stelis nasuta and Coelioxys aurolimbata (Megachilidae) and investigated if chemical integration with the host favours their reproductive success. Lipids on the epicuticle and in the Dufour's gland secretion, possibly contributing to protecting the eggs against dehydration, of the three species showed species-specific mixtures of long-chained linear alkanes and alkenes. Moreover, contrary to what has been reported for some cuckoo-bees of the genus Nomada, we found no evidence that the mandibular glands of parasite males contribute to female chemical mimicry. Therefore, we found no indication that chemical integration is part of the adaptive strategies of these two brood parasites. cuticular hydrocarbons / Dufour's gland / mandibular glands / ovaries / parasite adaptations
Wound-healing delay is one of the major problems of type 2 diabetes, representing also a clinical emergency in non-healing chronic wounds. Natural antioxidants show interesting wound-healing properties, including those extracted from waste derived from olive oil production. Olive mill wastewater is one of the main by-products of the olive oil-making process, and it is rich in high-value secondary metabolites, mainly hydroxytyrosol. We proposed an eco-friendly extraction method, employing both ultrasound-assisted and Soxhlet techniques and ethanol as a solvent, to recover valuable molecules from Roggianella cv (Olea europea L.) olive mill wastewater, which was further entrapped in a pectin polymer via an enzymatic reaction using porcine pancreatic lipase. Pectin, in combination with other substances, promoted and accelerated wound healing and demonstrated good potential to produce a biomedical conjugate for wound treatment. The antioxidant activity of the extracts and conjugate were evaluated against lipophilic (IC50 equal to 0.152 mg mL−1) and hydrophilic (IC50 equal to 0.0371 mg mL−1) radical species as well as the in vitro cytotoxicity via NRU, h-CLAT, and a wound-healing scratch assay and assessment. The pectin conjugate did not exert hemolytic effects on the peripheral blood, demonstrating interesting wound-healing properties due to its ability to stimulate cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner.
Simple Summary Triticale is a human-created cereal, originally bred with the aim of combining the useful traits of Triticum (high yield potential and good grain quality) and Secale (vigor and resistance to diseases and abiotic stresses, including soil conditions). Triticale has several final destinations; herbages and grains are mainly used for livestock feeding, the grains can be used for niche food and the whole plant can be used as energy crop. In 2020, more than 13 million tons were harvested in Europe. Italy contributes to European production with a minority share that is equal to approximately 0.5% of the entire production. An overview of the varietal landscape, major uses and perspectives for triticale cultivation in Italy is presented. Abstract Triticale is currently grown throughout the world with a wider diffusion in Europe, with Poland, Belarus, Germany, France and Spain as major producers. Although triticale occupies a very small fraction of the Italian cultivated land (16,000 ha of harvested area, mean value of the past 5 years), a continuous interest for this crop and its possible uses explains the work and progress made by breeding activities in different periods. The aim of this review is to report some experiences related to the cultivation of triticale in Italy. A general long-term view of the performance of triticale varieties in Italy has been distilled from a large amount of data derived from the pluri-decennial Italian national variety trials network. This activity, historically coordinated by CREA-GB, extends over several decades and examines the agronomic performance, in different Italian environments, of the most widespread and emerging varieties of triticale. Indications on new breeding targets can be deduced from the elaborations in the frame of both climatic change and market demands.
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1,027 members
Luigi Pari
  • Research Unit for Agricultural Engineering (Roma) (CRA-ING)
Marco Caruso
  • Research Centre for Olive, Fruit and Citrus Crops
Valentina Picchi
  • Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-Food Processing (CREA-IT)
Via Casamassima 148, 70010, Rome, Italy