BOLOGNA (ITALY)

OPERATING INSTITUTE: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR).

MAIN PURPOSE: Biogeochemistry, genomics, ecophysiology, atmospheric chemistry.

LOCALISATION: 42.8510330866111 11.46240234375

FACILITIES: At CNR-IBIMET (Bologna), facilities are available for gas exchange analysis on site and, at the same time, a VOC collection using a portable infrared gas analyser (Li-Cor 6400) equipped with a leaf chamber fluorometer.
For VOC analytical analysis different instruments are present: (1) A Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) equipped with a Thermal Desorber; (2) A Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) for outline and online measurements, respectively.
At CNR-IBAF (Porano), a recent upgrade of the IRMS lab makes available three isotope ratio mass spectrometers, holding different prep-systems for solid, liquid and gaseous samples. Isotope ratio measurements involve C, H, N, O and S. Isotope ratio mass spectro-meters and prep-systems consist of: (1) GV, Isoprime, in continuous flow with pyroliser EUROVECTOR PyrOH and GILSON Multiprep.; (2) VG Isotech, ISOCHROME II, in continuous flow with elemental analyser Carlo Erba NA1500 and diluter GV, especially dedicated to N, C and S isotope ratio determinations on solid samples; (3) VG Isotech, SIRA 10, dual inlet and continuous flow configurations, coupled with GV Liquiface HPLC interface, especially dedicated to gaseous analyses and chro-matographic separations of metabolites for C isotope ratio determinations.
At CNR-IPP (Firenze), a large number of instruments are present in our laboratories: (1) Fluorescence measurements are perfor-med using an inverted epifluorescence microscope equipped with a high-pressure mercury lamp as light source. A high-performance liquid chromatograph combined with a diode array detector (HPLC-DAD), with a refractive index detector and a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer are used to detect and quantify several plant secondary metabolites. (2) A  GC-MS and a Thermal Desorber are used to identify and quantify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and a GC-FI system combined with a flame ionisation detector is used to analyse several compounds that can be vaporised without decomposition. (3) Gas exchange analysis on site coupled with VOC collection using a portable infrared gas analyser (Li-Cor 6400) equipped with a leaf chamber fluorometer. (4) Two portable systems for measuring gas exchange & fluorescence are also available for collecting VOCs. There is also an  imaging fluorimeter system (Walz IMAGING-PAM).

CONTACT: R. BARALDI (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

RECENT PUBLICATION:
‚óŹ  Sæbø, A, Hanslin, H. M., Baraldi, R., Rapparini, F., Gawronska, H., and Gawronski, S. W. Urban Greening Contribute to Better Air Quality; Plant Choices Matter. 2014. ISHS 2nd Symposium on Woody Ornamentals of the Temperate Zone.

 

TA PROJECTS: Ecophysiological responses of urban trees to drought condition (ECOTREE).

TA User (visit): Arkadiusz Przybysz, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland (May, 2013 – 12 days).
Project Description: Green is a very important element of urban ecosystems which determines the quality of inhabitants’ lives. Unfortunately, the environment in which we live undergoes continuous and often adverse changes as a result also of human activities. It has been predicted by IPCC models (IPCC, 2007) that, because of climatic changes, drought periods will be more frequent and severe in the future, and these conditions will be even more exacerbated in urban areas. Data on factors affecting plant mitigation capacity often originate from experiments with seedlings grown in non-stressed conditions. Such data is not directly applicable to vegetation in urban areas. Thus, this project aims to study the involvement of the antioxidant system and of photoprotective mechanisms in drought resistance and adaptation of common species used for urban greening infrastructures in Italy (Bologna) and Poland (Warsaw). Although most research on plant antioxidants has focused on non-volatile compounds, certain volatiles belonging to the isoprenoid family have also been implicated in protection against oxidative and other abiotic stresses. Furthermore, these volatile isoprenoids, once emitted in the atmosphere, play a crucial role in the formation of tropospheric ozone. Thus, the emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) released by plants will also be investigated for their protective role against oxidative stress and for the effect on air quality. The studies will be carried out on urban ornamental species different in level of VOC emission potential and site requirements: Robinia. pseudoacacia and Liquidambar styraciflua as high VOC emitters and Fraxinus excelsior and Malus domestica as low VOC emitters. R. pseudoacacia and M. domestica are growing on dry sites, but L. styraciflua and F. excelsior prefer moister sites. The experiments will be performed on potted plants of these species exposed to controlled drought conditions. Measurements of the efficiency of photosynthetic apparatus (i.e. gas
exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and photosynthetic pigments) will be performed together with the analysis of isoprenoid emission potential to gain information on how plants are coping with applied stress conditions. Photosynthesis and transpiration will be measured in situ using a portable gas exchange system set up also for VOC sampling. The chemical-physical analysis of volatile isoprenoids will be performed by using a gas chromatograph- mass spectrometer (GC-MS) and Proton Transfer Reaction-Mass Spectrometer (PTR-MS).
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Compost effect on plant metabolism in stress conditions (ORGAMET).

TA User (visit): Maria de los Angeles Bustamente Muñoz, CEBAS-CSIC, Spain (June, 2013).
Project Description: The dryer and warmer conditions predicted for the Mediterranean basin in future decades (IPCC 2007) may alter plant ecophysiology and restrict growth and productivity. Despite being adapted to the environment, climate change may further affect the physiological activity of Mediterranean plants. In fact, Mediterranean summer drought is generally considered the primary constraint to the productivity and distribution of Mediterranean vegetation. Also, the increasing waste generation, especially from livestock production, and the difficulty of its disposal and management can imply an associated environmental impact. Thus, it is necessary to optimise the use of potential resources, such as these wastes, treating and recycling them to achieve sustainable crop production and to ensure the sustainability of the soil-plant system. Composting can constitute a suitable process to recycle these wastes, obtaining a stabilised and humified material that can be used with agricultural purposes or for soil restoration. Within this context, different studies have shown that compost application increases soil organic matter content, improving physical and chemical soil properties and thus, preventing soil erosion and plant drought stress. Also, although there are not many studies about the possible impact of soil amendment with compost on plant ecophysiology, it is known that compost application stimulates plant growth, and improves plant resistance to different kind of stresses, such as salt stress. Some studies have been also carried out on the effect of mineral fertilisation on biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions, including isoprenoids, but little is known regarding to the use of organic materials.
Therefore, the aim of this project is to study the influence of the use of organic amendments on the plant resistance to drought by studying plant ecophysiology and BVOCs emission, these aspects being of great importance from the point of view of the restoration of degraded arid and semiarid soils. For this, potted plants of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) will be grown in the control and compost-amended soils and they will be exposed to controlled drought conditions. Then, eco-physiological measurements, with portable or laboratory based gas exchange systems, and the analysis of BVOC emissions, by using Proton Transfer Reaction and Gas-Cromatograph mass spectrometers (PTR-MS and a GC-MS), will be performed.

Response of isoprene emission and photosynthetic apparatus to urban stresses in sweet gum (Liquidambar styracifluaL.) ISOSWEET.

TA User (visit): Arkadiusz Przybysz, Warsaw University of Life Science, Warsaw, POLAND (September, 2014 - 13 days).
Project Description: Urban areas undergoes continuous and often adverse changes. Increased temperature, salinity and reduced water availability are major factors limiting plant growth. It has been predicted that drought periods will be even more frequent and severe in the near future, and these conditions will be especially pronounced in the cities. Salt is commonly used in order to de-ice roads. Solution can be appropriate design and maintenance of urban greenery. Unfortunately data on factors allowing plants to mitigate urban stresses do not cover all plant defence mechanisms. This project aims to study involvement of antioxidant system and photoprotective mechanisms in drought resistance. As most researches on plant antioxidants has focused on non-volatile compounds, in this work we will examine volatile organic compounds belonging to the isoprenoid family, which are also involved in protection against oxidative and other abiotic stresses. Isoprene is known as a thermal protectant to the photosynthetic apparatus. Moreover, these volatile isoprenoids, once emitted into the atmosphere, play a crucial role in the formation of tropospheric ozone and other oxidants, and increases the lifetime of greenhouse gases such as methane. For this reason isoprenoids emission may influence climate changes. Thus, in this project isoprene emission from plant will be investigated for both reasons, protective role against oxidative stress in plants and effect on air quality. The study object will be Liquidambar styraciflua, as this species is listed among high isoprene emitters and drought sensitive. The experiments will be performed on potted plants exposed to salt stress and drought cycles. Measurements of the efficiency of photosynthetic apparatus (i.e. gas exchange, chlorophyll a fluorescence), photosynthetic pigments (xanthophylls, chl a and b, lutein, β-carotene) and water status (transpiration rate, leaf water potential, relative water content) will be performed together with the analysis of isoprenoid emission potential to gain information on effect of applied stress on plant conditions and VOC emission. Efficiency of photosynthesis apparatus and transpiration will be measured in situ using a portable gas exchange system Licor 6400 set up also for VOC sampling. Identification and quantification of VOC will be performed by using a Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer and Proton Transfer Reaction-Mass Spectrometer. This study is continuation of last year work during which the isoprene emission and physiological responses of low isoprene emittor Cercis siliquastrum exposed to controlled drought were investigated.


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