Spanish National Research Council
Recent publications
The increase in the world population, together with the new trends toward the plant consumption, as well as the concern for the environment and the revolution in the food industry, has made hemp one of the most promising substrates to be used as an ingredient in the upcoming years. Nutritionally, it is very suitable for human consumption, both in macro and micronutrients, and at an environmental level it is a very interesting alternative due to the low impact it has. Currently, very little literature is available on hemp protein, when compared to other commonly used substrates. In this review, we aimed to summarized its definition, origin, nutritional profile, safety issues, technological modification by processing, bioactive peptides derived from it, impact of its inclusion in matrices and market situation among other topics. It is important to mention how the information available on hemp increases every year, and there are already products on the market that include it in their composition, giving relevance to this substrate with much to be exploited today. Not only hemp protein is suitable for human consumption, but also its production is environmentally sustainable, and further research has to be carried out in the near future.
Grapevine cultivation is of historic importance arround the Mediterranean basin. The Spanish Levant is an area of notable grapevine diversity, where ancient varieties destined for producing wine, table grapes and raisins can still be found. For some of these neglected varieties, however, no complete description has ever been made; current legislation does not, therefore, allow their commercial use. The botanical characterization of old varieties is an important step toward their identification and can also help to clarify syno-nymies and homonymies, problems very commonly encountered with this crop. The present work provides ampelographic descriptions of seven genotypes for which microsatellite marker profiles were already available, and discusses the possible origins of their names, as well as instances of syno-nymy and homonymy. Seven accessions of ancient grapevine genotypes from the Spanish Levant were subjected to in situ ampelographic analysis following official methods. The characteristics of their leaves, bunches and berries were recorded. The ampelographic descriptions made in the present work provide insight into the history of cultivation of the examined genotypes and would pave the way for their inclusion in the Spanish national catalog, which would allow their commercial use. The information gathered on the possible origin of these genotypes' names, and instances of synonymy and homonymy, enriches our knowledge of this recovered germplasm. The present results contribute toward our understanding of Europe's grapevine genetic diversity, and highlight the need to conserve it.
Context: Vascular dysfunction is considered a hallmark of ageing that has been associated with altered vasomotor responses, in which nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species participate. The consumption of Spirulina extracts, with antioxidant properties, increased recently. Objective: This study investigates the effect of Spirulina aqueous extract (SAE) on the vascular function of the aorta from aged rats. Materials and methods: Aortic segments from aged male Sprague-Dawley rats (20-22 months old) were exposed to SAE (0.1% w/v, for 3 h) to analyse: (i) the vasodilator response induced by acetylcholine (ACh), by the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP), by the carbon monoxide releasing molecule (CORM) and by the KATP channel opener, cromakalim (CK); (ii) the vasoconstrictor response induced by KCl and noradrenaline (NA); (iii) the production of NO and superoxide anion, and (iv) the expression of the p-eNOS and HO-1 proteins. Results: Incubation with SAE increased the expression of p-eNOS (1.6-fold) and HO-1 (2.0-fold), enhanced NO release (1.4-fold in basal and 1.9-fold in ACh-stimulated conditions) while decreased the production of superoxide (0.7-fold). SAE also increased the sensitivity (measured as pEC50) to ACh (control: -7.06 ± 0.11; SAE: -8.16 ± 0.21), SNP (control: -7.96 ± 0.16; SAE: -9.11 ± 0.14) and CK (control: -7.05 ± 0.39; SAE: -8.29 ± 0.53), and potentiated the response to KCl (1.3-fold) and to NA (1.7-fold). Conclusion: The antioxidant properties of SAE improved the vasomotor responses of aorta from aged rats. These results may support the use of Spirulina as a protection against vascular dysfunction.
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by human chromosome 21 (HSA21) trisomy. It is characterized by a poorly understood intellectual disability (ID). We studied two mouse models of DS, one with an extra copy of the Dyrk1A gene (189N3) and the other with an extra copy of the mouse Chr16 syntenic region (Dp(16)1Yey). RNA-seq analysis of the transcripts deregulated in the embryonic hippocampus revealed an enrichment in genes associated with chromatin for the 189N3 model, and synapses for the Dp(16)1Yey model. A large-scale yeast two-hybrid screen (82 different screens, including 72 HSA21 baits and 10 rebounds) of a human brain library containing at least 10 ⁷ independent fragments identified 1,949 novel protein–protein interactions. The direct interactors of HSA21 baits and rebounds were significantly enriched in ID-related genes ( P -value < 2.29 × 10 ⁻⁸ ). Proximity ligation assays showed that some of the proteins encoded by HSA21 were located at the dendritic spine postsynaptic density, in a protein network at the dendritic spine postsynapse. We located HSA21 DYRK1A and DSCAM, mutations of which increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) 20-fold, in this postsynaptic network. We found that an intracellular domain of DSCAM bound either DLGs, which are multimeric scaffolds comprising receptors, ion channels and associated signaling proteins, or DYRK1A. The DYRK1A-DSCAM interaction domain is conserved in Drosophila and humans. The postsynaptic network was found to be enriched in proteins associated with ARC-related synaptic plasticity, ASD, and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. These results highlight links between DS and brain diseases with a complex genetic basis.
Impressive Imidacloprid (IMD) degradation and bacterial inactivation were attained through the photocatalytic activation of peroxymonosulfate (PMS) via a novel, N-doped MgO@Fe3O4, under visible light. After complete characterization (XPS, XRD, FT-IR, FE-SEM, EDX, HRTEM, DRS, BET, VSM, and EIS), using [PMS]=75 mg/L, [N-MgO@Fe3O4]=150 mg/L at pH=5.6, around 95% of 10 mg/L IMD was degraded within 60 min; highly synergic interactions between the various catalytic routes were revealed. Extensive scavenger tests and EPR studies revealed that SO4•-, HO•, and ¹O2 are generated and play a key role in IMD degradation. Tap water experiments proceeded unhindered, and only the presence of high HCO3⁻ and PO4³⁻ concentration resulted in a decrease in the IMD degradation efficiency, while negligible leaching, magnetization, notable separation, and reusability properties were well-preserved for six repetitive cycles. Finally, E. coli disinfection was achieved before IMD degradation, possibly affected by its transformation byproducts. The overall efficacy of N-MgO@Fe3O4 indicated the potential for implementation in contaminated waters.
Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) is a non-destructive technique to determine the soil apparent dielectric constant, ε a , the volumetric water content, θ, and bulk electrical conductivity, σ. However, the high cost of TDR devices may limit its use. This study evaluates two different low-cost Vector Network Analyzers (VNA) commercially available (NanoVNA), with 1.5 (VNA1.5) and 3.0 (VNA3.0) GHz maximum operating frequency. NanoVNA can be used for measurements of Frequency Domain Reflectometry (FDR) or, after suitable post-processing, for θ and σ TDR measures. Although FDR and TDR are dual procedures, TDR is easier to interpret for soil experiments. The TDR waveforms and ε a measured with NanoVNA connected to 10 and 20 cm length three-rod probes immersed in air, distilled water, and a soil column with different θ were compared to those measured using a TDR100 (Campbell Sci.) instrument. The capacity of VNAs to measure σ was evaluated by immersing a 10 cm length three-rod probe in different NaCl-water solutions. Measurements obtained with the VNA and TDR100 were compared in a field test using two-rod 22 cm length TDR probes inserted in soil plots with increasing water content. A robust fit was observed between TDR waveforms registered with the two VNAs and the TDR100. Although VNA3.0 doubles the frequency range of VNA1.5, both devices allowed for good estimates of ε a (ε aVNA1.5, 3.0 = 1.001 ε aTDR100-0.2125; R 2 = 0.999). These results indicate that the low-cost VNA devices can measure soil water content with similar accuracy and precision as the TDR100. A good agreement (σ VNA1.5, 3.0 = 0.999 σ CM + 0.0023; R 2 = 0.999) was also observed between the σ measured using a conductivity meter (CM) and that estimated with the VNAs. Finally, a good correlation was also observed between θ measured in the field experiment with TDR100 and the VNA1.5 and VNA3.0 devices.
We construct deterministic solutions to the Helmholtz equation in Rm which behave accordingly to the Random Wave Model. We then find the number of their nodal domains, their nodal volume and the topologies and nesting trees of their nodal set in growing balls around the origin. The proof of the pseudo-random behaviour of the functions under consideration hinges on a de-randomisation technique pioneered by Bourgain and proceeds via computing their Lp-norms. The study of their nodal set relies on its stability properties and on the evaluation of their doubling index, in an average sense.
The circadian clock generates rhythms in biological processes including plant development and metabolism. Light synchronizes the circadian clock with the day and night cycle and also triggers developmental transitions such as germination, or flowering. The circadian and light signaling pathways are closely interconnected and understanding their mechanisms of action and regulation requires the integration of both pathways in their complexity. Here, we provide a glimpse into how chromatin remodeling lies at the interface of the circadian and light signaling regulation. We focus on histone acetylation/deacetylation and the generation of permissive or repressive states for transcription. Several chromatin remodelers intervene in both pathways, suggesting that interaction with specific transcription factors might specify the proper timing or light-dependent responses. Deciphering the repertoire of chromatin remodelers and their interacting transcription factors will provide a view on the circadian and light-dependent epigenetic landscape amenable for mechanistic studies and timely regulation of transcription in plants.
The standard problem for the classical heat equation posed in a bounded domain Ω of Rn is the initial and boundary value problem. If the Laplace operator is replaced by a version of the fractional Laplacian, the initial and boundary value problem can still be solved on the condition that the non-zero boundary data must be singular, i.e., the solution u(t, x) blows up as x approaches ∂Ω in a definite way. In this paper we construct a theory of existence and uniqueness of solutions of the parabolic problem with singular data taken in a very precise sense, and also admitting initial data and a forcing term. When the boundary data are zero we recover the standard fractional heat semigroup. A general class of integro-differential operators may replace the classical fractional Laplacian operators, thus enlarging the scope of the work. As further results on the spectral theory of the fractional heat semigroup, we show that a one-sided Weyl-type law holds in the general class, which was previously known for the restricted and spectral fractional Laplacians, but is new for the censored (or regional) fractional Laplacian. This yields bounds on the fractional heat kernel.
The intensification of agricultural systems has caused a noticeable impact on agro-ecosystem services. Thus, the adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices such as crop diversification and reduction of external inputs represent an alternative strategy to minimize the impacts of intensive agricultural systems to the environment. This study aimed at evaluating the effects of crop rotation, conservation tillage, and low-input strategies on soil quality and farming performance using a set of 7 indicators based on a fuzzy logic approach. Data were collected from three Mediterranean long-term field experiments (LTEs) mostly oriented on cereal-based and vegetables cropping systems, located in Spain and Italy. The selected agro-environmental indicators clearly discriminated both from a geographical point of view and between monoculture and diversification, showing their suitability for the evaluation of diversified cropping systems. Such indicators highlighted that implementing crop diversification and reducing soil disturbance and chemical inputs enhanced soil quality. In this context, the most significant effects of diversified cropping strategies were the increase of crucial variables such as soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (Pav), and bulk density (BD) maintaining a stability of yields in all the three LTEs. These results provide strong evidence for the benefits of crop diversification in Mediterranean areas, highlighting that diversification represents a very promising strategy for more sustainable land management. Simple and composite indicators calculated using fuzzy method can be proposed as tool to assess the effects of diversification strategies on cropping systems performance. This approach can be used to define local solutions to help the re-design of cropping system through crop diversification transition across Europe.
The Middle Pleistocene was a period of dynamic changes in Europe. During MIS 11, a number of modern mammal taxa appeared and environmental conditions remained warm and favourable for a relatively long time. The Medzhybizh 1 locality of Ukraine dated to this very period comprises alluvial deposits with rich animal remains, which allow not only to reconstruct the fauna composition, but also to highlight the environmental conditions that dominated at this locality. A revision of the fauna of Medzhybizh 1 locality based on remains of all vertebrate groups revealed a taxonomically diverse fish community (16 species of 11 genera) dominated by cyprinids common for lacustrine or riverine assemblages. Amphibians are represented by 11 species, while the number of reptile and bird remains are less significant. Mammals are the most represented group at the locality, including small mammals (30 species), carnivorans (2 species), and ungulates (5 taxa), the latter dominated by C. elaphus. The taxonomic composition of terrestrial groups indicates temperate climate with boreal-type forests and meadows similar to cold steppe, as well as low wet areas and riparian habitats inhabited by amphibians, reptiles, insectivores, beavers, and various voles. The fish assemblage indicates a partially overgrown but well-aerated water body (lake or slow-flowing river) with sandy-silty bottom. Lithic artefacts found at the Medzhybizh 1 locality contribute to a better understanding of relationships between ancient hominins and faunas during the Middle Pleistocene of Eastern Europe.
The evolution of High-Performance Computing (HPC) platforms enables the design and execution of progressively larger and more complex workflow applications in these systems. The complexity comes not only from the number of elements that compose the workflows but also from the type of computations they perform. While traditional HPC workflows target simulations and modelling of physical phenomena, current needs require in addition data analytics (DA) and artificial intelligence (AI) tasks. However, the development of these workflows is hampered by the lack of proper programming models and environments that support the integration of HPC, DA, and AI, as well as the lack of tools to easily deploy and execute the workflows in HPC systems. To progress in this direction, this paper presents use cases where complex workflows are required and investigates the main issues to be addressed for the HPC/DA/AI convergence. Based on this study, the paper identifies the challenges of a new workflow platform to manage complex workflows. Finally, it proposes a development approach for such a workflow platform addressing these challenges in two directions: first, by defining a software stack that provides the functionalities to manage these complex workflows; and second, by proposing the HPC Workflow as a Service (HPCWaaS) paradigm, which leverages the software stack to facilitate the reusability of complex workflows in federated HPC infrastructures. Proposals presented in this work are subject to study and development as part of the EuroHPC eFlows4HPC project.
Accurate and precise monitoring of the absolute density (i.e., number of fish per area or volume unit) of exploited fish stocks would be strongly advisable for deriving stock status and for designing proper management plans. Moreover, monitoring should be achieved at relevant (i.e., sufficiently large) temporal and spatial scales. This objective is particularly challenging for data-poor fisheries, as is often the case for recreational fisheries. Therefore, the feasibility of underwater video monitoring (vertical unbaited cameras) for estimating, as a proof of concept, the absolute density (and its ecological drivers) of a coastal sedentary fish species is demonstrated. The absolute density of a small serranid (Serranus scriba) targeted by recreational fishing was estimated along the southern coast of Mallorca Island (nearly 100 km). The median fish density ranged between 111 ind/km² (Es Molinar) and 14,110 ind/km² (Cabrera). Absolute density was correlated with fishing exposure, habitat, and depth. Site specific, seemingly long-term, effects of fishing exposure were negatively correlated with fish density, but short-term effects (assessed by the interaction between fishing exposure and before/after the season when recreational fishing occurred in the study area) were not detected. We suggest that the short-term effects of fishing may remain undetected because highly exploited sites could contain fish that are already not vulnerable to recreational fishing gear, irrespective of the short-term fishing pressure exerted. Such a process may explain some hyper-depletion patterns and should preclude the use of fisheries-dependent data for monitoring fish density. The results reported here indicate that monitoring fish abundance with vertical unbaited cameras at large spatial and temporal scales can be a reliable alternative for many species.
The climatic trends of Wind Speed (WS) and wave height play a key role in wind and wave energy assessments, climate change analyses, and air-sea interactions, among many others. Using ERA5 reanalysis, this study reveals the climatic trends of global oceanic WS and wave height for 1979–2018, including the overall trends, regional and seasonal differences of the trends, with a special focus on the differences and similarities between the trends in wind-sea wave height (Hwind) and swell wave height (Hswell), as well as the contributions of climate indices to WS, Hwind, Hswell and Significant Wave Height (Hs) respectively, by employing linear regression and correlation analysis. The results show an overall global oceanic increase for 1979–2018 in WS (+0.47 cm/s/yr), with increases of +0.13, +0.28 and +0.32 cm/yr in Hwind, Hswell and Hs respectively, and a stronger increasing trend in the Southern Hemisphere than in the Northern Hemisphere. There is good agreement between the spatial distribution of annual and seasonal trends in WS and those of Hwind, as well as between Hswell and Hs. Areas with strong increasing trends of WS and Hwind are mainly located in the tropical South Indian Ocean and tropical Pacific Ocean. Hswell and Hs exhibit significant increases in most global oceans. The months with the broadest and strongest increase in Hswell and Hs are June-July-August (JJA). There is a close relationship among the WS, wave height climatology and the modes of climate variability. The wind has the strongest response to climate indices, followed by the wind-sea, with swell having a minimal response.
Innovations in materials science are the key element for solving technological challenges. Various energy and environmental applications require designing materials with tailored compositions, microstructures and specific target-oriented performance. Y and Mn co-substituted BaZrO3, e.g. BaZr0.85Y0.15Mn0.05O3-δ, has previously attracted attention as a membrane material for H2 separation from gas mixtures due to its mixed proton-electron conductivity leading to appreciable levels of H2-flux at elevated temperatures and its good thermo-chemical stability under reducing environments. In the present work, we developed ceramic materials within the BaZr0.8Y0.2-xMnxO3-δ series, where x = 0.02–0.15. The study of their functional properties in dependence of the Y-to-Mn ratio disclosed that thermal expansion and hydration decrease by increasing the Mn content as well as the total electrical conductivity. In addition to that, XPS analysis and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectra (NEXAFS) in the vicinity of O K-edge and Mn L2,3-edges indicated that the Mn atoms oxidation state in the surface and in the bulk range from Mn²⁺ to Mn⁴⁺ depending on the ambient conditions that can be encountered in MPEC electrodes, which it is suggested to be related with a hydration mechanism mediated by Mn oxidation and subsequent proton attachment to oxygen neighbors, similar to LSM.
There is scarce knowledge on what are the actual water requirements of persimmon trees (Diospyros kaki). Research on this topic is required to better adjust irrigation water supplies to the actual crop water needs. This study aimed to determine the transpiration coefficients (Kp) of persimmon ‘Rojo Brillante’ trees and assess how transpiration and Kp are influenced by environmental factors and the atmospheric demand under Mediterranean climatic conditions. This was done over the course of three growing seasons by means of sap flow measurements calibrated with whole canopy gas exchange chambers. Irrigation was applied aiming to avoid water limiting conditions for trees. This was verified by monitoring the trees’ water status across the growing seasons. Sap flow measurements were linearly and highly correlated (p < 0.001) with canopy transpiration (Ep) obtained with the whole canopy chambers, but either overestimated or underestimated it. Ep increased from April until June-July in response to canopy development and increased midday canopy light interception. There was a positive linear relationship between daily Ep, reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and solar radiation. However, a non-linear relationship was obtained between Ep and vapor pressure deficit (VPD). A positive non-linear relationship (p < 0.01) was observed between Kp (Ep / ETo in non-limited water conditions) and VPD, illustrating the low stomatal regulation that persimmon trees exhibit in response to air dryness. Kp varied over the growing seasons following the ETo pattern although showing comparatively a slighter decrease during the last part of the growing season. From June to September, Kp of persimmon ‘Rojo Brillante’ trees with a midday photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) intercepted of ~30 % ranged from 0.45 to 0.56. A strong relationship was obtained between Kp and percentage of midday intercepted PAR that can be used to estimate Kp of persimmon ‘Rojo Brillante’ trees with a range of ground canopy covers. This information is useful for deriving specific water use models for persimmon trees to be implemented in decision support systems. The monthly transpiration coefficients here provided will be useful for optimizing irrigation scheduling decisions in persimmon orchards and therefore irrigation water management.
A new stochastic weather generator, ClimaSG, is presented and evaluated under a wide range of climates. The model requires monthly means data as inputs to generate daily weather data. Validation tests revealed that ClimaSG performed well in capturing monthly rainfall variability but showed some limitations for generating extreme temperatures. Solar radiation, air humidity, and wind speed were reproduced acceptably. The weather generator was particularly accurate in predicting mean and extreme values of ET0, which indicates that ClimaSG may be used as the basis for calculating crop water requirements and for irrigation design and planning purposes. The suitability of synthetic weather series generated with ClimaSG for crop modelling applications was further assessed by running the model OliveCan for low density rainfed (LD) and super high density irrigated (SHD) olive orchards for several locations in Spain. Yield distributions simulated with synthetic weather rarely differed significantly from those obtained with actual weather data, although the coefficient of variation (CV) was usually underestimated. Considering its low input requirements and satisfactory performance, ClimaSG represents a promising source of weather data for different practical applications.
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5,355 members
Jose Luis Chiara
  • Instituto de Química Orgánica General
Guillem Alenyà
  • Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial
Serrano 117, 28006, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Head of institution
Presidente CSIC
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