Publications by authors named "Maurizio Mascarello"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Genome skimming reveals novel plastid markers for the molecular identification of illegally logged African timber species.

PLoS One 2021 11;16(6):e0251655. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Meise Botanic Garden, Meise, Belgium.

Tropical forests represent vast carbon stocks and continue to be key carbon sinks and buffer climate changes. The international policy constructed several mechanisms aiming at conservation and sustainable use of these forests. Illegal logging is an important threat of forests, especially in the tropics. Several laws and regulations have been set up to combat illegal timber trade. Despite significant enforcement efforts of these regulations, illegal logging continues to be a serious problem and impacts for the functioning of the forest ecosystem and global biodiversity in the tropics. Microscopic analysis of wood samples and the use of conventional plant DNA barcodes often do not allow to distinguish closely-related species. The use of novel molecular technologies could make an important contribution for the identification of tree species. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatics tools to obtain the complete de-novo chloroplast genome of 62 commercial African timber species using the genome skimming method. Then, we performed a comparative genomic analysis that revealed new candidate genetic regions for the discrimination of closely-related species. We concluded that genome skimming is a promising method for the development of plant genetic markers to combat illegal logging activities supporting CITES, FLEGT and the EU Timber Regulation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0251655PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8195358PMC
June 2021

A small secreted protein from Zymoseptoria tritici interacts with a wheat E3 ubiquitin ligase to promote disease.

J Exp Bot 2021 02;72(2):733-746

School of Agriculture & Food Science and UCD Earth Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Septoria tritici blotch (STB), caused by the ascomycete fungus Zymoseptoria tritici, is a major threat to wheat production worldwide. The Z. tritici genome encodes many small secreted proteins (ZtSSPs) that are likely to play a key role in the successful colonization of host tissues. However, few of these ZtSSPs have been functionally characterized for their role during infection. In this study, we identified and characterized a small, conserved cysteine-rich secreted effector from Z. tritici which has homologues in other plant pathogens in the Dothideomycetes. ZtSSP2 was expressed throughout Z. tritici infection in wheat, with the highest levels observed early during infection. A yeast two-hybrid assay revealed an interaction between ZtSSP2 and wheat E3 ubiquitin ligase (TaE3UBQ) in yeast, and this was further confirmed in planta using bimolecular fluorescence complementation and co-immunoprecipitation. Down-regulation of this wheat E3 ligase using virus-induced gene silencing increased the susceptibility of wheat to STB. Together, these results suggest that TaE3UBQ is likely to play a role in plant immunity to defend against Z. tritici.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/eraa489DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7853600PMC
February 2021

A large-scale species level dated angiosperm phylogeny for evolutionary and ecological analyses.

Biodivers Data J 2020 21;8:e39677. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium Universite Libre de Bruxelles Brussels Belgium.

Phylogenies are a central and indispensable tool for evolutionary and ecological research. Even though most angiosperm families are well investigated from a phylogenetic point of view, there are far less possibilities to carry out large-scale meta-analyses at order level or higher. Here, we reconstructed a large-scale dated phylogeny including nearly 1/8th of all angiosperm species, based on two plastid barcoding genes, (incl. ) and Novel sequences were generated for several species, while the rest of the data were mined from GenBank. The resulting tree was dated using 56 angiosperm fossils as calibration points. The resulting megaphylogeny is one of the largest dated phylogenetic tree of angiosperms yet, consisting of 36,101 sampled species, representing 8,399 genera, 426 families and all orders. This novel framework will be useful for investigating different broad scale research questions in ecological and evolutionary biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.8.e39677DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6987248PMC
January 2020

In Vitro Morphogenesis of Arabidopsis to Search for Novel Endophytic Fungi Modulating Plant Growth.

PLoS One 2015 7;10(12):e0143353. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.

Fungal endophytes have shown to affect plant growth and to confer stress tolerance to the host; however, effects of endophytes isolated from water plants have been poorly investigated. In this study, fungi isolated from stems (stem-E) and roots (root-E) of Mentha aquatica L. (water mint) were identified, and their morphogenetic properties analysed on in vitro cultured Arabidopsis (L.) Heynh., 14 and 21 days after inoculation (DAI). Nineteen fungi were analysed and, based on ITS analysis, 17 isolates showed to be genetically distinct. The overall effect of water mint endophytes on Arabidopsis fresh (FW) and dry weight (DW) was neutral and positive, respectively, and the increased DW, mainly occurring 14 DAI, was possibly related to plant defence mechanism. Only three fungi increased both FW and DW of Arabidopsis at 14 and 21 DAI, thus behaving as plant growth promoting (PGP) fungi. E-treatment caused a reduction of root depth and primary root length in most cases and inhibition-to-promotion of root area and lateral root length, from 14 DAI. Only Phoma macrostoma, among the water mint PGP fungi, increased both root area and depth, 21 DAI. Root depth and area 14 DAI were shown to influence DWs, indicating that the extension of the root system, and thus nutrient uptake, was an important determinant of plant dry biomass. Reduction of Arabidopsis root depth occurred to a great extent when plants where treated with stem-E while root area decreased or increased under the effects of stem-E and root-E, respectively, pointing to an influence of the endophyte origin on root extension. M. aquatica and many other perennial hydrophytes have growing worldwide application in water pollution remediation. The present study provided a model for directed screening of endophytes able to modulate plant growth in the perspective of future field applications of these fungi.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0143353PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4671684PMC
August 2016
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