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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.

2023

Abstract

To ensure compliance with food safety regulations, monitoring programs and reliable analytical methods to detect relevant chemical pollutants in food and the environment are key instruments. Pesticides are an important part of pest management in agriculture to sustain and increase crop yields and control post-harvest decay, while pesticide residues in food may pose a risk to human health. Thus, the levels of pesticide residues in food must be controlled and should align with Maximum Residue Levels regulations to ensure food safety. Food safety monitoring programs and analytical methods for pesticide residues and metabolites are well developed. Future developments to ensure food safety must include the increased awareness and improved regulatory framework to meet the challenges with natural toxins, emerging contaminants, novel biopesticides, and antimicrobial resistance in food and the environment. The reality of a complex mixture of pollutants, natural toxins, and their metabolites potentially occurring in food and the environment implies the necessity to consider combined effects of chemicals in risk assessment. Here, we present challenges, monitoring efforts, and future perspectives for chemical food safety focused on the importance of current developments in high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) technologies to meet the needs in food safety and environmental monitoring.

Abstract

A major challenge for plants in a rapidly changing climate is to adapt to rising temperatures. Some plants adapt to temperature conditions by generating an epigenetic memory that can be transmitted both meiotically and mitotically. Such epigenetic memories may increase phenotypic variation to global warming and provide time for adaptation to occur through classical genetic selection. The goal of this study was to understand how warmer temperature conditions experienced during sexual and asexual reproduction affect the transcriptomes of different strawberry (Fragaria vesca) ecotypes. We let four European F. vesca ecotypes reproduce at two contrasting temperatures (18 and 28°C), either asexually through stolon formation for several generations, or sexually by seeds (achenes). We then analyzed the transcriptome of unfolding leaves, with emphasis on differential expression of genes belonging to the epigenetic machinery. For asexually reproduced plants we found a general transcriptomic response to temperature conditions but for sexually reproduced plants we found less significant responses. We predicted several splicing isoforms for important genes (e.g. a SOC1, LHY, and SVP homolog), and found significantly more differentially presented splicing event variants following asexual vs. sexual reproduction. This difference could be due to the stochastic character of recombination during meiosis or to differential creation or erasure of epigenetic marks during embryogenesis and seed development. Strikingly, very few differentially expressed genes were shared between ecotypes, perhaps because ecotypes differ greatly both genetically and epigenetically. Genes related to the epigenetic machinery were predominantly upregulated at 28°C during asexual reproduction but downregulated after sexual reproduction, indicating that temperature-induced change affects the epigenetic machinery differently during the two types of reproduction.

To document

Abstract

Plants must adapt with increasing speed to global warming to maintain their fitness. One rapid adaptation mechanism is epigenetic memory, which may provide organisms sufficient time to adapt to climate change. We studied how the perennial Fragaria vesca adapted to warmer temperatures (28°C vs. 18°C) over three asexual generations. Differences in flowering time, stolon number, and petiole length were induced by warmer temperature in one or more ecotypes after three asexual generations and persisted in a common garden environment. Induced methylome changes differed between the four ecotypes from Norway, Iceland, Italy, and Spain, but shared methylome responses were also identified. Most differentially methylated regions (DMRs) occurred in the CHG context, and most CHG and CHH DMRs were hypermethylated at the warmer temperature. In eight CHG DMR peaks, a highly similar methylation pattern could be observed between ecotypes. On average, 13% of the differentially methylated genes between ecotypes also showed a temperature-induced change in gene expression. We observed ecotype-specific methylation and expression patterns for genes related to gibberellin metabolism, flowering time, and epigenetic mechanisms. Furthermore, we observed a negative correlation with gene expression when repetitive elements were found near (±2 kb) or inside genes. In conclusion, lasting phenotypic changes indicative of an epigenetic memory were induced by warmer temperature and were accompanied by changes in DNA methylation patterns. Both shared methylation patterns and transcriptome differences between F. vesca accessions were observed, indicating that DNA methylation may be involved in both general and ecotype-specific phenotypic variation.