Publications

NIBIOs employees contribute to several hundred scientific articles and research reports every year. You can browse or search in our collection which contains references and links to these publications as well as other research and dissemination activities. The collection is continously updated with new and historical material.

2021

To document

Abstract

Brassica oleracea var. acephala (kale) is a cruciferous vegetable widely cultivated for its leaves and flower buds in Europe and a food of global interest as a “superfood”. Brassica crops accumulate phytochemicals called glucosinolates (GSLs) which play an important role in plant defense against biotic stresses. Studies carried out to date suggest that GSLs may have a role in the adaptation of plants to different environments, but direct evidence is lacking. We grew two kale populations divergently selected for high and low indol-3-ylmethylGSL (IM) content (H-IM and L-IM, respectively) in different environments and analyzed agronomic parameters, GSL profiles and metabolomic profile. We found a significant increase in fresh and dry foliar weight in H-IM kale populations compared to L-IM in addition to a greater accumulation of total GSLs, indole GSLs and, specifically, IM and 1-methoxyindol-3-ylmethylGSL (1MeOIM). Metabolomic analysis revealed a significant different concentration of 44 metabolites in H-IM kale populations compared to L-IM. According to tentative peak identification from MS interpretation, 80% were phenolics, including flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin and anthocyanin derivates, including acyl flavonoids), chlorogenic acids (esters of hydroxycinnamic acids and quinic acid), hydroxycinnamic acids (ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid) and coumarins. H-IM kale populations could be more tolerant to diverse environmental conditions, possibly due to GSLs and the associated metabolites with predicted antioxidant potential.

To document

Abstract

Subtropical forests are important ecosystems globally due to their extensive role in carbon sequestration. Extreme climate events are known to introduce disturbances in the ecosystem that cause long-term changes in carbon balance and radiation reflectance. However, how these ecosystem function changes contribute to global warming in terms of radiative forcing (RF), especially in the years following a disturbance, still needs to be investigated. We studied an extreme snow event that occurred in a subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in south-western China in 2015 and used 9 years (2011–2019) of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and surface albedo (α) data to investigate the effect of the event on the ecosystem RF changes. In the year of the disturbance, leaf area index (LAI) declined by 40% and α by 32%. The annual NEE was −718 ± 128 g C m−2 as a sink in the pre-disturbance years (2011–2014), but after the event, the sink strength dropped significantly by 76% (2015). Both the vegetation, indicated by LAI, and α recovered to pre-disturbance levels in the fourth post-disturbance year (2018). However, the NEE recovery lagged and occurred a year later in 2019, suggesting a more severe and lasting impact on the ecosystem carbon balance. Overall, the extreme event caused a positive (warming effect) net RF which was predominantly caused by changes in α (90%–93%) rather than those in NEE. This result suggests that, compared to the climate effect caused by forest carbon sequestration changes, the climate effect of α alterations can be more sensitive to vegetation damage induced by natural disturbances. Moreover, this study demonstrates the important role of vegetation recovery in driving canopy reflectance and ecosystem carbon balance during the post-disturbance period, which determines the ecosystem feedbacks to the climate change.

To document

Abstract

Conversion of semi-natural habitats, such as field margins, fallows, hedgerows, grassland, woodlots and forests, to agricultural land could increase agricultural production and help meet rising global food demand. Yet, the extent to which such habitat loss would impact biodiversity and wild species is unknown. Here we survey species richness for four taxa (vascular plants, earthworms, spiders, wild bees) and agricultural yield across a range of arable, grassland, mixed, horticulture, permanent crop, for organic and non-organic agricultural land on 169 farms across 10 European regions. We find that semi-natural habitats currently constitute 23% of land area with 49% of species unique to these habitats. We estimate that conversion of semi-natural land that achieves a 10% increase in agricultural production will have the greatest impact on biodiversity in arable systems and the least impact in grassland systems, with organic practices having better species retention than non-organic practices. Our findings will help inform sustainable agricultural development.

To document

Abstract

In this study, cuticular wax load, its chemical composition, and biosynthesis, was studied during development of wild type (WT) bilberry fruit and its natural glossy type (GT) mutant. GT fruit cuticular wax load was comparable with WT fruits. In both, the proportion of triterpenoids decreased during fruit development concomitant with increasing proportions of total aliphatic compounds. In GT fruit, a higher proportion of triterpenoids in cuticular wax was accompanied by a lower proportion of fatty acids and ketones compared to WT fruit as well as lower density of crystalloid structures on berry surfaces. Our results suggest that the glossy phenotype could be caused by the absence of rod-like structures in GT fruit associated with reduction in proportions of ketones and fatty acids in the cuticular wax. Especially CER26-like, FAR2, CER3-like, LTP, MIXTA, and BAS genes showed fruit skin preferential expression patterns indicating their role in cuticular wax biosynthesis and secretion.