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1.
Real-time monitoring of Arundo donax response to saline stress through the application of in vivo sensing technology
Janni Michela, Claudia Cocozza, Federico Brilli, Sara Pignattelli, Filippo Vurro, Nicola Coppede, Manuele Bettelli, Davide Calestani, Francesco Loreto, Andrea Zappettini, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: One of the main impacts of climate change on agriculture production is the dramatic increase of saline (Na+) content in substrate, that will impair crop performance and productivity. Here we demonstrate how the application of smart technologies such as an in vivo sensor, termed bioristor, allows to continuously monitor in real-time the dynamic changes of ion concentration in the sap of Arundo donax L. (common name giant reed or giant cane), when exposed to a progressive salinity stress. Data collected in vivo by bioristor sensors inserted at two different heights into A. donax stems enabled us to detect the early phases of stress response upon increasing salinity. Indeed, the continuous time-series of data recorded by the bioristor returned a specific signal which correlated with Na+ content in leaves of Na-stressed plants, opening a new perspective for its application as a tool for in vivo plant phenotyping and selection of genotypes more suitable for the exploitation of saline soils.
Keywords: Arundo donax, saline stress, vivo sensing technology
Published in RUNG: 17.12.2021; Views: 1535; Downloads: 18
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2.
Impact of microplastics on growth, photosynthesis and essential elements in Cucurbita pepo L.
Ilaria Colzi, Luciana Renna, Elisabetta Bianchi, Maria Beatrice Castellani, Andrea Coppi, Sara Pignattelli, Stefano Loppi, Cristina Gonnelli, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: In this study, Cucurbita pepo L., one of the most cultivated, consumed and economically important crop worldwide, was used as model plant to test the toxic effects of the four most abundant microplastics identified in contaminated soils, i.e. polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyvinylchloride (PVC), and polyethyleneterephthalate (PET). Cucurbita plants were grown in pots with increasing concentrations of the microplastics, then plant biometry, photosynthetic parameters and ionome of treated vs. untreated samples were compared to evaluate the toxicity of each plastic. All the pollutants impaired root and, especially, shoot growth. Specific and concentration-dependant effects of the different microplastics were found, including reduction in leaf size, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic efficiency, as well as changes in the micro- and macro-elemental profile. Among all the microplastics, PVC was identified as the most toxic and PE as the less toxic material. PVC decreased the dimensions of the leaf lamina, the values of the photosynthetic performance index and the plant iron concentration to a higher extent in respect to the other treatments. Microplastic toxicity exerted on the growth of C. pepo raises concerns about possible yield and economic loss, as well as for risks of a possible transfer into the food chain.
Keywords: microplastic toxicity, leaf traits, chlorophyll fluorescence, ionome, zucchini
Published in RUNG: 17.12.2021; Views: 1543; Downloads: 7
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3.
Identification of environmental stress conditions by comparative analysis of peroxidase activity in betulla pendula and pinus sp. : Group project report
Patrik Cingerli, Katarina Erker, Nina Žvab-Pernat, Darian Rampih, Miroslav Štrbac, Hena Zukić, Kenan Kapetanović, 2021, treatise, preliminary study, study

Abstract: The study investigated the possibility of developing a biomarker to evaluate the stress level in trees. The analyses have been performed on tree samples appertaining to two different tree species and collected at two locations in Slovenia. The presence and the activity of the proteins – peroxidases was measured by the qualitative method of the agarose gel electrophoresis and the quantitative method of spectrometry. It was found out that by measuring the presence of the biomarkers and pigments in the tree samples we can determine the stress levels and thus the health status of trees.
Keywords: biomarkers, environmental stress, pigments, peroxidase
Published in RUNG: 29.09.2021; Views: 1839; Downloads: 0
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4.
Effects of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) microplastics and acid rain on physiology and growth of Lepidium sativum
Sara Pignattelli, Andrea Broccoli, Manuela Piccardo, Antonio Terlizzi, Monia Renzi, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: This study evaluated the chronic toxicity (30 days) of different sizes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) microplastics (60e3000 mm) provided alone or in combination with acid rain, on garden cress (Lepidium sativum). Both biometrical and physiological traits have been evaluated: i) percentage inhibition of seed germination, plant height, leaf number and fresh biomass production; ii) oxidative stress responses (hydrogen peroxide; ascorbic acid and glutathione production); iii) impairment in photosynthetic machinery in term of pigments production; iv) aminolevulinic acid and proline production. Results highlighted that different sizes of PET, alone or in combination with acid rain, are able to negatively affect both biometrical and physiological plant traits. In particular, the lower size of microplastics is able to negatively affect growth and development, as well as to trigger the oxidative burst. Regarding the pigments production, PET coupled with acid rain, induced a higher production of Chl-b, and an inhibition of aminolevulinic acid.
Keywords: polyethylene terephthalate, acid rain, lepidium sativum, oxidative burst, germinability, chlorophylls
Published in RUNG: 02.04.2021; Views: 1801; Downloads: 0
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5.
Short-term physiological and biometrical responses of Lepidium sativum seedlings exposed to PET-made microplastics and acid rain
Sara Pignattelli, Andrea Broccoli, Manuela Piccardo, Serena Felline, Antonio Terlizzi, Monia Renzi, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Plastics enter in terrestrial natural system primarily by agricultural purposes, while acid rain is the result of anthropogenic activities. The synergistic effects of microplastics and acid rain on plant growth are not known. In this study, different sizes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and acid rain are tested on Lepidium sativum, in two separate experimental sets. In the first one we treated plants only with PET, in the second one we used PET and acid rain together. In both experimentations we analyzed: i) plant biometrical parameters (shoot height, leaf number, percentage inhibition of seed germination, fresh biomass), and ii) oxidative stress responses (hydrogen peroxide; ascorbic acid and glutathione). Results carried out from our experiments highlighted that different sizes of polyethylene terephthalate are able to affect plant growth and physiological responses, with or without acid rain supplied during acute toxicity (6 days). Short description: This study showed that different sizes of PET microplastics affect physiological and biometrical responses of Lepidum sativum seedlings, with or without acid rain; roots and leaves responded differently
Keywords: Polyethylene terephthalate Acid rain Oxidative stress Biometrical response Lepidium sativum
Published in RUNG: 16.12.2020; Views: 2189; Downloads: 0
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6.
Physiological responses of garden cress (L. sativum) to different types of microplastics
Sara Pignattelli, Andrea Broccoli, Monia Renzi, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: In this study, for the first time, acute and chronic toxicity caused by four different kinds of microplastics: polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyvinylchloride (PVC), and a commercial mixture (PE + PVC) on Lepidium sativum were evaluated. Parameters considered were: i) biometric parameters (e.g. percentage inhibition of seed germination, plant height, leaf number and fresh biomass productions); and ii) oxidative stress (e.g. levels of hydrogen peroxide, glutathione, and ascorbic acid). On plants exposed to chronic stress chlorophylls, carotenoids, aminolaevulinic acid, and proline productions were, also, evaluated. PVC resulted the most toxic than other plastic materials tested. This study represents the first paper highlighting microplastics are able to produce oxidative burst in tested plants and could represent an important starting point for future researches on biochemical effects of microplastic in terrestrial environments such as agroecosystems.
Keywords: Polypropylene Polyethylene Polyvinylchloride Plastic packaging Microplastics Plant exposure
Published in RUNG: 24.04.2020; Views: 2691; Downloads: 0
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7.
Development of encapsulation techniques for the production and conservation of synthetic seeds in ornamental plants
Yelda Ozden-Tokatli, Anna De Carlo, Fusun Gumusel, Sara Pignattelli, Maurizio Lambardi, 2008, original scientific article

Abstract: The synthetic seed ("synseed") technology, initially developed through the encapsulation of somatic embryos, is now available for the use with non-embryogenic in vitro-derived explants, such as buds and nodal segments. For ornamental plants, to date there are few reports dealing with the production and the conservation of synseeds. Hence, the present study was conducted to develop an efficient encapsulation protocol for apical and axillary buds from various ornamental shrubs, i.e., oleander (Nerium oleander L.), photinia (Photinia fraseri Dress.), and lilac (Syringa vulgaris L.). For encapsulation, apical and axillary buds were excised, directly immersed in a Na-alginate solution, and then released dropwise in 100 mM CaCl2 center dot 2H(2)O for bead hardening. With photinia, best results were achieved when the synseeds were prepared using 3% Na-alginate, beads hardened for 30 min and germinated on hormone-free or BA-containing gelled MS medium. Thus, up to 92% of synseeds germinated and converted to shoots in a period of 10-11 days. The synthetic seeds of lilac, containing apical buds, showed a shorter germination time when 10-30 g 1(-1) sucrose was included in their "artificial endosperm". Successful medium-term conservation was then achieved with the storage of synthetic seeds at 4 degrees C in the dark on gelled MS medium, where up to 75% (oleander) and and 9 1 % (photinia) synseeds still germinated after 2 or 3 months of cold storage, respectively. Moreover, promising results have been obtained with the cryopreservation of photinia apical buds by means of the technique of "encapsulation-dehydration".
Keywords: conservation, cryopreservation, encapsulation, ornamentals, synthetic seeds
Published in RUNG: 20.04.2020; Views: 2677; Downloads: 0
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8.
Cadmium phytoextraction potential of different Alyssum species
Rita Barzanti, Ilaria Colzi, Miluscia Arnetoli, Alessia Gallo, Sara Pignattelli, Roberto Gabbrielli, Cristina Gonnelli, 2011, original scientific article

Abstract: This work was planned for providing useful information about the possibility of using serpentine adapted plants for phytoextraction of cadmium, element scarcely represented in such metalliferous environment. To this aim, we investigated variation in cadmium tolerance, accumulation and translocation in three Alyssum plants with different phenotypes: Alyssum bertolonii, that is a serpentine endemic nickel hyper-accumulator, and two populations of Alyssum montanum, one adapted and one not adapted to serpentine soils. Plants were hydroponically cultivated in presence of increasing concentrations of CdSO(4) for two weeks. For the metal concentration used in the experiments, the three different Alyssum populations showed variation in cadmium tolerance, accumulation and content. The serpentine adapted population of A. montanum showed statistically higher cadmium tolerance and accumulation than A. bertolonii and the population of A. montanum not adapted to serpentine soil thus deserving to be investigated for phytoextraction purposes. Furthermore, as for the kinetic parameters of the cadmium uptake system, A. montanum serpentine population presented a low apparent K(m) value, suggesting a high affinity for this metal of its uptake system, whereas the V(max) values were not significantly different among the plants. Present data revealed metallicolous plants are also suitable for the phytoremediation of metals under-represented in the environment of their initial origin. Nonetheless, field trials on real contaminated soils are essential.
Keywords: Alyssum, Cadmium, Tolerance, Accumulation, Phytoextraction
Published in RUNG: 20.04.2020; Views: 2759; Downloads: 0
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9.
Silver nanoparticles enter the tree stem faster through leaves than through roots
Claudia Cocozza, Annalisa Perone, Cristiana Giordano, Maria Cristina Salvatici, Sara Pignattelli, Aida Raio, Marcus Schaub, Kruno Sever, John L. Innes, Roberto Tognetti, Paolo Cherubini, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: A major environmental pollution problem is the release into the atmosphere of particulate matter, including nanoparticles (NPs), which causes serious hazards to human and ecosystem health, particularly in urban areas. However, knowledge about the uptake, translocation and accumulation of NPs in plant tissues is almost completely lacking. The uptake of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) and their transport and accumulation in the leaves, stems and roots of three different tree species, downy oak (Quercus pubescens Willd.), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and black poplar (Populus nigra L.), were assessed. In the experiment, Ag- NPs were supplied separately to the leaves (via spraying, the foliar treatment) and roots (via watering, the root treatment) of the three species. Uptake, transport and accumulation of Ag were investigated through spectroscopy. The concentration of Ag in the stem was higher in the foliar than in the root treatment, and in poplar more than in oak and pine. Foliar treatment with Ag-NPs reduced aboveground biomass and stem length in poplars, but not in oaks or pines. Species-specific signals of oxidative stress were observed; foliar treatment of oak caused the accumulation of H2O2 in leaves, and both foliar and root treatments of poplar led to increased O2− in leaves. Ag-NPs affected leaf and root bacteria and fungi; in the case of leaves, foliar treatment reduced bacterial populations in oak and poplar and fungi populations in pine, and in the case of roots, root treatment reduced bacteria and increased fungi in poplar. Species-specific mechanisms of interaction, transport, allocation and storage of NPs in trees were found. We demonstrated definitively that NPs enter into the tree stem through leaves faster than through roots in all of the investigated tree species.
Keywords: Ag-NPs, pathway of uptake, Pinus sylvestris L., Populus nigra L., Quercus pubescens Willd.
Published in RUNG: 20.04.2020; Views: 2744; Downloads: 0
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10.
Exploring element accumulation patterns of a metal excluder plant naturally colonizing a highly contaminated soil
Sara Pignattelli, Ilaria Colzi, Lorenzo Cecchi, Miluscia Arnetoli, Roberto Monnanni, Roberto Gabbrielli, Cristina Gonnelli, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: This work investigates the element distribution in Silene paradoxa growing on the mine dump of Fenice Capanne (Tuscany, Italy). The accumulation of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn in root apoplast and symplast and in shoot was assessed and compared to the levels of the same metals in the respective rizosphere soils, analyzing both the total and the phytoavailable fractions. Levels of As, Cu, Fe, Pb and Zn, were above toxicity thresholds in both soil and shoot samples. Inter- and intra-element correlations were analyzed in plant and soil using different statistical methods. Soil total and phytoavailable metal concentration were shown not to be dominant in determining metal accumulation by the plant, since no significant positive correlation was found between metal concentration in soils and plants. Moreover, results indicated that S. paradoxa was able to cope with the studied multi-metal contaminated soil excluding the elements from its tissues and preferentially accumulating them into the root compartment, thus suggesting this species as possible good candidate for phytostabilization purposes.
Keywords: Metals, Mine dump, Phytostabilization, Silene paradoxa, Compositional data analysis
Published in RUNG: 20.04.2020; Views: 2669; Downloads: 0
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