Tuscia University
  • Viterbo, Italy
Recent publications
Background The growing demand for rosé sparkling wine has led to an increase in its production. Traditional or Charmat wine‐making influence the aromatic profiles in wine. Analysis such as gas chromatography makes an accurate assessment of wines based on volatile detection but is resource‐intensive. On the other hand, electronic noses emerged as versatile tools, offering rapid, cost‐effective discrimination of wines, and contributing insights into quality and production processes, because of its aptitude to perform a global aromatic pattern evaluation. In this study, rosé sparkling wines were produced using both methods and major volatile compounds and polyols were measured. Wines were tested by e‐nose, and predictive modelling were performed to distinguish them. Results Volatile profiles showed differences between Charmat and traditional methods, especially at five months of aging. A PLS‐DA was carried out on E‐Nose detections, obtaining a model that describes 94 % of the variability, separating samples in different clusters and correctly identifying different classes. The differences derived from PLS‐DA clustering agree with results obtained by gas‐chromatography. Moreover, PCR model was built to verify the ability of the E‐Nose to non‐destructively predict the amount of different volatiles analysed. Conclusion Production methods of Rosé sparkling wine affect the final wine aroma profiles due to the differences in terms of volatiles. The PLS‐DA of the data obtained with E‐nose reveal that distinguishing between Charmat and Traditional methods is possible. Moreover, predictive models using GC‐FID analysis and electronic nose highlight the possibility of fast and efficient prediction of volatiles from the electronic nose. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Trading of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) at local level in Nigeria is mostly undocumented, leading to a lacuna of knowledge about their potentials. To address this knowledge gap, 125 NTFP traders were randomly sampled from five markets in Akure metropolis, Nigeria, to evaluate the potential and challenges of marketing NTFPs to improve their value chains and socioeconomic contributions. Semistructured questionnaires and field observations were used to obtain data, which were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings revealed that the common NTFPs traded in Akure metropolis were wild mango seeds, locust beans, bitter kola, and wrapping leaves, with very high to moderately high demand levels. A larger proportion (60–80%) of the NTFPs were readily accessible in most of the markets surveyed. Only about 14% of the products were available for sale during the dry season, whereas a higher proportion (62%) of the NTFPs were accessible during the rainy season. The remaining products were available throughout both seasons. Most traders derived over 65% of their monthly incomes from the sale of NTFPs, while approximately 18% obtained between 33 and 49% of their incomes from the products. Some of the primary marketing challenges reported in the metropolis included poor transportation, price fluctuation, product seasonality and scarcity, distance to the forests, poor storage facilities, and lack of capital. The marketing of NTFPs has improved traders’ livelihoods through income generation and food provision. There is considerable women participation in marketing of these NTFPs derived from Akure metropolis. Nevertheless, there is a need to provide adequate marketing facilities, including marketing information, and better storage and processing technologies, to enhance sales and meet the high demand for these products while exploiting them sustainably. Further recommendations are provided to ameliorate other critical problems faced in NTFP marketing.
Soil salinity is a well-known abiotic factor affecting the germination and seedling growth of various plant species. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of different chloride salts (NaCl, KCl and MgCl2) and sulfate salts (Na2SO4, K2SO4 and MgSO4) on the seed germination and early seedling growth of two important ethnomedicinal shrubs of North Africa and the Mediterranean basin (Ballota hirsuta and Myrtus communis). Seeds of these species were subjected to five salinity levels (0–100 mM) and incubated at 20 �C under a light regime (12 h photoperiod). Both species demonstrated their highest germination percentage under control conditions (i.e., without salinity). However, as salinity levels increased, the germination percentages for both species decreased, regardless of the type of salt used. Cations appeared to be more determinative than the anions in regulating the seed germination of both species. M. communis seeds displayed greater sensitivity to sodium (Na+) salts, especially when accompanied with chloride (Cl-) anions. At the higher salt concentrations (75 and 100 mM), Na+ salts had a more pronounced inhibitory effect on M. communis seedling growth compared to potassium (K+) and magnesium (Mg2+) salts. Conversely, Mg2+ salts were more detrimental to seedling growth in B. hirsuta. Based on our results, it can be concluded that both of these species are able to tolerate a moderate level of salinity. Overall, B. hirsuta may be a promising choice for rehabilitating the soils dominated by chloride salts, while M. communis could be utilized for restoring sulfate-dominated soils.
The imbalance of redox homeostasis contributes to neurodegeneration, including that related to the visual system. Mitochondria, essential in providing energy and responsible for several cell functions, are a significant source of reactive oxygen and/or nitrogen species, and they are, in turn, sensitive to free radical imbalance. Dysfunctional mitochondria are implicated in the development and progression of retinal pathologies and are directly involved in retinal neuronal degeneration. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are higher energy consumers susceptible to mitochondrial dysfunctions that ultimately cause RGC loss. Proper redox balance and mitochondrial homeostasis are essential for maintaining healthy retinal conditions and inducing neuroprotection. In this respect, the antioxidant treatment approach is effective against neuronal oxidative damage and represents a challenge for retinal diseases. Here, we highlighted the latest findings about mitochondrial dysfunction in retinal pathologies linked to RGC degeneration and discussed redox-related strategies with potential neuroprotective properties.
Nowadays, naval propellers are made in Ni-Al or Mn-Al bronzes, which are affected by high cavitation erosion. In this study, the possibility of adopting 6xxx alloy with different superficial treatments obtained through fluidised beds and laser surface texturing was investigated. 6xxx alloy series is known for its versatility due to an excellent mix of mechanical and physical properties, combined with ease of processing, welding, and good chemical resistance; however, its main drawback is low resistance to cavitation erosion. In this study, a total of 4 different surface treatments were produced and characterized such as fluidised bed coatings (Al2O3, S280) and laser textured samples (0–30% overlap). Moreover, the effect of a heat-treatment was evaluated for each kind of specimen analysed. The study was divided into two steps: in the first phase, the samples were morphologically and mechanically characterised through roughness measurements, micro-hardness, scratch, wear, and wettability tests. Successively, a modified ASTM-G32-10 standard was adopted to assess the cavitation erosion resistance; in particular, for each sample, mass and volume loss were analysed and compared to the as-built sample. Results showed a drastic reduction of the wear evaluated through pin-on-disk tests with the application of the high hardness coatings (Al2O3, S280) while a reduction of the cavitation erosion volume of about 20% lower was obtained through the best laser texturing treatment. Graphical Abstract
Individuals and non-governmental organizations’ access to justice in environmental matters may be hindered by a variety of obstacles, such as the fulfillment of legal standing conditions. In this regard, the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), on its Article 9(3), imposes on each State Party the obligation to ensure members of the public, “where they meet the criteria, if any, laid down in its national law”, to have access to justice in order to challenge any violation of national environmental law. In this contribution, I focus on this provision with the purpose of assessing its normative content regarding the criteria for legal standing. To this end, I analyze the interpretation of Article 9(3) given by the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee ( accc ), as well as the relevant case law of domestic courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union ( cjeu ).
Droughts can impact terrestrial ecosystems concurrently but also lagged in time as legacy effects. Although drought legacy effects on plants have been thoroughly shown using tree radial growth and greenness, understanding of legacy effects on gross primary productivity (GPP) remains limited. Here, we quantify for the first time drought legacy effects on GPP at 73 long-term eddy covariance sites across biomes and climate regions. We find sizeable and widespread drought legacy effects at 57 out of 59 sites experiencing strong droughts. We find drought legacy effects diverge globally, with about as many sites experiencing positive (30 sites) and negative (27 sites) legacy effects. Grasslands tend to exhibit positive legacy effects, with GPP being stimulated after drought, whereas other ecosystems such as forests show a mixture of positive, negative, or no legacy effects. We find climatological aridity and drought duration to be the most relevant factors explaining spatial variability of drought legacy effects among forest sites. Our results demonstrate that drought legacy effects on GPP are widespread but divergent and should be considered more explicitly for understanding and projecting the impacts of drought on terrestrial carbon cycling.
Cephalopod fisheries are increasing, but little is known about the cryptic diversity of some key commercial species. Recent studies have shown that cryptic speciation is common in cephalopods, including several oceanic squids formerly considered ‘cosmopolitan species.’ Further efforts are needed to investigate the cryptic diversity of commercial species, to inform management and support sustainable fisheries practices. Thysanoteuthis rhombus is an oceanic squid, currently recognized as the single species of the family Thysanoteuthidae. Thysanoteuthis. rhombus has a global distribution in tropical and subtropical waters and is an economically important species, with the highest catches occurring off Okinawa in Japan and of potential fishery resource for other countries due to its high abundance and large size. Here, we used sequences from 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and cytochrome c oxidase I to characterize its cryptic diversity using samples collected throughout most of its known geographic range. We identified three different putative species whose distributions are concordant with main ocean basins: Thysanoteuthis major, the most abundant species, is widely distributed in the North Pacific Ocean, North Indian Ocean, and limits of the South Atlantic Ocean; Thysanoteuthis rhombus is distributed in the North and South Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; and Thysanoteuthis cf. filiferum, likely the least sampled to date, is found in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. A sister relationship was observed between T. rhombus and T. major, and T. cf. filiferum was found to be the most divergent species. Based on our divergence estimation, we hypothesize that the closure of the Isthmus of Panama during the early Pliocene played a significant role in the split of T. rhombus and T. major, while the split of their ancestor from T. cf. filiferum coincided with an increase in the Pacific Walker Circulation and the longitudinal gradient of surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean during the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene. Our work identifies three different putative species within Thysanoteuthis and has potential use for improving fishery management and conserving the diversity in these species.
Highly simplified microbial communities colonise rocks and soils of continental Antarctica ice‐free deserts. These two habitats impose different selection pressures on organisms, yet the possible filtering effects on the diversity and composition of microbial communities have not hitherto been fully characterised. We hence compared fungal communities in rocks and soils in three localities of inner Victoria Land. We found low fungal diversity in both substrates, with a mean species richness of 28 across all samples, and significantly lower diversity in rocks than in soils. Rock and soil communities were strongly differentiated, with a multinomial species classification method identifying just three out of 328 taxa as generalists with no affinity for either substrate. Rocks were characterised by a higher abundance of lichen‐forming fungi (typically Buellia , Carbonea , Pleopsidium , Lecanora , and Lecidea ), possibly owing to the more protected environment and the porosity of rocks permitting photosynthetic activity. In contrast, soils were dominated by obligate yeasts (typically Naganishia and Meyerozyma ), the abundances of which were correlated with edaphic factors, and the black yeast Cryomyces . Our study suggests that strong differences in selection pressures may account for the wide divergences of fungal communities in rocks and soils of inner Victoria Land.
Reserve starch, the main component of durum wheat semolina, is constituted of two glucan homopolymers (amylose and amylopectin) that differ in their chemical structure. Amylose is mainly a linear structure formed of α-1,4-linked glucose units, with a lower polymerization degree, whereas amylopectin is a highly branched structure of α-1,4-chains linked by α-1,6-bonds. Variation of the amylose/amylopectin ratio has a profound effect on the starch properties which may impact the wheat technological and nutritional characteristics and their possible use in the food and non-food sector. In this work a set of genotypes, with a range of amylose from 14.9 to 57.8%, derived from the durum wheat cv. Svevo was characterised at biochemical and rheological level and used to produce pasta to better understand the role of amylose content in a common genetic background. A negative correlation was observed between amylose content and semolina swelling power, starch peak viscosity, and pasta stickiness. A worsening of the firmness was observed in the low amylose pasta compared to the control (cv. Svevo), whereas no difference was highlighted in the high amylose samples. The resistant starch was higher in the high amylose (HA) pasta compared to the control and low amylose (LA) pasta. Noteworthy, the extent of starch digestion was reduced in the HA pasta while the LA genotypes offered a higher starch digestion, suggesting other possible applications.
BACKGROUND Botrytis cinerea (Bc) is the causative agent of the gray mold disease of the wine grape bunches. In particular climatic and edaphic conditions, typical of some wine regions, the grapes infected by this fungus can develop noble rot, the basic phenomena for the production of sweet botrytized wines or some high‐quality dry wines, like, for instance, Amarone. The possibility of an early detection of noble rot on plant and in postharvest is an interesting option for managing botrytized wines . RESULTS the present work aimed to early detect and monitor the development of noble rot, in postharvest, on Trebbiano wine grapes by means of destructive and non‐destructive analytical approaches (e.g., Electronic nose and NIR spectroscopy). The development of Bc led to substantial modifications in grape composition, including dehydration, biosynthesis, and accumulation of different compounds due to Bc metabolism, grape stress responses, or both. However, these modifications are appreciable, notably at advanced stages of infection. Consequently, a specific focus was to monitor the infection in the first 72 hours post‐inoculation for testing, potentially through non‐destructive technologies, the identifiability of the real early stages of Bc development. CONCLUSIONS the destructive chemical analyses performed in the 16 monitored days confirmed what is widely reported in the literature regarding the metabolic/compositional changes that occur following the development of Botrytis . Moreover, non‐destructive technologies allowed to identify the evolution of B. cinerea , even at early stages of presence. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Plants continuously monitor the environment to detect changing conditions and to properly respond, avoiding deleterious effects on their fitness and survival. An enormous number of cell-surface and intracellular immune receptors are deployed to perceive danger signals associated with microbial infections. Ligand binding by cognate receptors represents the first essential event in triggering plant immunity and determining the tissue invasion attempt outcome. Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) are secondary messengers rapidly produced in different subcellular localizations upon the perception of immunogenic signals. Danger signal transduction inside the plant cells involves cytoskeletal rearrangements as well as several organelles and interactions between them to activate key immune signaling modules. Such immune processes depend on ROS and RNS accumulation, highlighting their role as key regulators in the execution of the immune cellular programme. In fact, ROS and RNS are synergic and inter-dependent intracellular signals required for decoding danger signals and for the modulation of defense-related responses. Here we summarize the current knowledge on ROS/RNS production, compartmentalization and signaling in plant cells that have perceived immunogenic danger signals.
The immune system plays an important role in defending against pathogens and regulating physiological homeostasis, but the strength of the immune responses depends on the type of pathogen. The immune system of bats shows a high variability in responsiveness towards various pathogens; they can safely harbor certain pathogens that are highly lethal to other mammals. Oxidative stress may act as a pathophysiological cellular mechanism mediating the immunological function of bats because of its potentially detrimental effects on physiological homeostasis, fertility, and longevity. By experimentally exposing greater mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis) to three antigens, it was previously shown that animals reacted immunologically most strongly to bacterial and viral antigens, but not to fungal one. As a follow up, in this study we observed that both bacterial and fungal antigens induced a significant increase of plasma oxidative damage, whereas viral antigens did not cause any increase of plasma oxidative damage at all albeit the mild immune response. Thus, experimental bats were able to avoid oxidative stress only in the face of a viral antigen, possibly by dampening inflammatory signaling. Bats may be able to handle viral infections and live well beyond expectations by reducing the detrimental effects of molecular oxidation.
The medical field of surgery has integrated robots with Artificial Intelligence into its procedures. Currently, these machines primarily assist physicians in their activities, but it is plausible that, with ongoing scientific and technological advancements, AI robot surgeons could replace human surgeons in the near future. After providing an overview of the current state of robotic surgery and prospective future developments and scenarios, the paper will focus on the potential difficulties patients may experience in accepting interventions performed by an AI robot surgeon, largely owing to their perception of the robot as non-human. The prevailing concerns that will be analyzed and discussed from a philosophical standpoint include the belief that the AI robotic surgeon is not considered part of the medical team, its perceived incapacity to empathize with patients and to create emotional involvement, and the fear that it might commit severe errors unanticipated by its programming or react inappropriately to adverse events.
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.
Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa), P. syringae pv. tomato (Pst) and P. savastanoi pv. savastanoi (Psav) are worldwide impacting bacterial plant pathogens and are mainly managed by the preventive application of cupric salts, which are dangerous for the ecosystem, favoured the selection of resistant strains and are candidates to be replaced in the next few years. Thus, there is an urgent need to find efficient and bio-based solutions to mitigate these bacterial plant diseases. Nanotechnology could represent an innovative way to control plant diseases, providing alternative solutions to the agrochemicals traditionally employed, thanks to the formulation of the so-called third generation and nanotechnology-based agrochemicals. Results In this work, a novel nanostructured formulation (NPF) composed of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) as carrier, high amylose starch (HAS) as excipient and chitosan (CH) and gallic acid (GA) as antimicrobials, was tested at 2% in vitro and in vivo respect to the three different Pseudomonas plant pathogens. In vitro agar assays demonstrated that the NPF inhibited up to 80% Psa, Pst and Psav. Moreover, the NPF did not decrease biofilm synthesis and it did not influence bacterial cells flocculation and adhesion. On plants, the NPF displayed complete biocompatibility and boosted the transcript levels of the major systemic acquired resistance responsive genes in kiwifruit and olive plants. Conclusion This works provides novel and valuable information regarding the several modes of action of the novel NPF, which could potentially be useful to mitigate Psa, Pst and Psav even in organic agriculture.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels and coal are primary contributors of greenhouse gases leading to global climate change and warming. The toxicity of heavy metals and metalloids in the environment threatens ecological functionality, diversity and global human life. The ability of microalgae to thrive in harsh environments such as industrial wastewater, polluted lakes, and contaminated seawaters presents new, environmentally friendly, and less expensive CO2 remediation solutions. Numerous microalgal species grown in wastewater for industrial purposes may absorb and convert nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic matter into proteins, oil, and carbohydrates. In any multi-faceted micro-ecological system, the role of bacteria and their interactions with microalgae can be harnessed appropriately to enhance microalgae performance in either wastewater treatment or algal production systems. This algal-bacterial energy nexus review focuses on examining the processes used in the capture, storage, and biological fixation of CO2 by various microalgal species, as well as the optimized production of microalgae in open and closed cultivation systems. Microalgal production depends on different biotic and abiotic variables to ultimately deliver a high yield of microalgal biomass.
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1,916 members
Pier Paolo Danieli
  • Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Gaia Vaglio Laurin
  • Department of Innovation of Biological Systems, Food and Forestry DIBAF
Giovanni Chillemi
  • Department of Innovation of Biological Systems, Food and Forestry DIBAF
Alessandro D'Annibale
  • Department of Innovation of Biological Systems, Food and Forestry DIBAF
Antonio Tiezzi
  • Departement for the Innovation in Biological, Agrofood and Forest systems
via S. Maria in Gradi 4, 01100, Viterbo, Italy
Head of institution
Prof. Stefano Ubertini