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Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is the most versatile and accurate molecular cytogenetic technique for determining euchromatic-heterochromatic boundaries and the locations of repetitive and single-copy DNA sequences and of chromosome-specific BAC clones on chromosomes. The combination of cytogenetic and genetic methods yields a highresolution physical map. FISH allows direct mapping of specific DNA sequences inside the cell (interphase nuclei), along meiotic pachytene chromosomes and isolated chromatin (DNA fibres). The increased sensitivity of the technique and its ability to detect gene locations provide a powerful research tool for genetic and pre-breeding studies. FISH-based physical mapping plays an important role and is increasingly used for studies at the cytological level on the chromatin organization that controls gene expression and regulation. The present minireview describes some of the benefits of alternative FISH-based techniques and their application for studying plant chromosomes and genomes.

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Biome interfaces are expected to exhibit chorological symmetry, i.e., decreasing trends in the number of species associated with each of the two neighbouring biomes as we progress from one into the other. Our aim was to test for such a pattern within the forest steppe biome, which is a transition zone in itself between the temperate deciduous forests and the steppe biome. Presence of chorological symmetry would provide indirect evidence for the prehuman presence of zonal steppes in the Carpathian basin. We also whished to provide an example with this analysis for drawing biogeographical conclusions based on quantitative species occurrence data, an information source hitherto neglected in Central Europe. Occurrence patterns of forest and steppe species were analysed at the Duna-Tisza köze (Danube-Tisza Interfluve) by the traditional qualitative biogeographic method and by hierarchical classification of predicted spatial pattern based on Generalized Linear Models with logistic link function. Species presences were explained by variables describing spatial orientation. In this approach, an outgroup of sand grassland species was also added to characetrise the discrimination ability of the approach. The quantitative method discriminated the out-group of sand grassland species, providing evidence of its suitability for our purpose. The results of the quantitative investigations were also in accordance with the qualitative evaluation. Surprisingly, forest and steppe species showed similar distributional patterns, i.e., no chorological symmetry was discernable. The quantitative biogeographic approach unveiled important evidence for deciding about the potential presence of zonal steppes in the Carpathian basin. Although the observed similarity of the distribution of forest and steppe species may have multiple reasons, the major cause of the lack of chorological symmetry is most probably the lack of zonal steppe South of the forest steppe biome in the Carpathian basin. Additional explanations include land use pattern and the mountain belt around the basin acting as a refugium in the ice ages.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: P. Molnár, G. Várkonyi, and M. Tóth

Auditing in the food industry: M. Dillon and CH. Griffith (Eds), Woodhead Publishing, Limited, Cambridge, 2001, ISBN 1 85573 450 8, 222 pages EU food law: K. Goodburn (Ed.), Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, 2001, ISBN 1 85573 557 1, 244 pages  Food chemical safety: D. H. Watson (Ed.), Vol. 1: Contaminants, CRC - Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, England, 2001, ISBN 1 85573 462 1, 322 pages, Vol. 2: Additives ISBN: 1 85573 563 6, 308 pages

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Periodicity of pheromone titer in female moths, modulated by various factors (age, photoperiod, temperature), has been reported for a number species, however, comparative studies on pheromone strains of those species where pheromone polymorphism is known to occur has so far scarcely been studied.In this study, the rhythm and age dependence of calling behavior as well as of the titer of the respective main sex pheromone components, and timing and frequency of mating within E-and Z-strains of European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis Hbn. (Lepidoptera: Pyraustidae) were compared during scotophase, under laboratory conditions (18/6 hours photoregime, 26 °C).Very similar trends were fund in both strains in the diel fluctuation of both calling behavior and pheromone titer within the scotophase, as well as its age dependence, and also in timing and mating frequency. The titer of the respective main pheromone component gradually increased during the scotophase. Highest titers were found in freshly emerged females, however even 6-day-old females produced roughly half amounts. Freshly emerged females of both strains were ready to mate with males of their own strain, however, the percentage of matings were higher in 1–3-day-old age cohorts. Differences between strains was found in the total amount of the respective main pheromone components in the gland. The average amount of ( Z )11-tetradecenyl acetate extracted from the ovipositor of Z-strain females 10 min. before the end of the scotophase was 2.17 ng / female equivalent, whereas the corresponding value of ( E )11-tetradecenyl acetate for E-strain females was 8.25 ng / female equivalent. Moreover, E-strain females tended to start calling somewhat earlier, and the percentages of calling females was higher during the peak calling period than that of the Z-strain. Significance of these findings in characterizing the strains are discussed.

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Phytogeographical regions have been set up traditionally on the basis of the flora. Several examples indicate that the potential natural vegetation is also suitable for this purpose although the flora- and vegetation-based boundaries do not necessarily overlap. We define a vegetation region as an area where the physical geographic features are rather uniform, and which consists of landscapes with floristically/structurally similar vegetation and/or their repetitive mosaics. In this paper, we delimited the boundaries of the Pannonian region based on the distribution of characteristic plant communities. The line runs most often on the border between Quercus cerris-Quercus petraea and Carpinus betulus/Fagus sylvatica dominated landscapes. We provided descriptions of the potential vegetation on both sides of the boundary. The region has an area of 167,012 km2. The region is either in direct contact with the neighboring regions (e.g., Western Carpathians), or is separated from them by transitional areas (towards the Eastern Alps), and character-poor areas with non-Pannonian, non-Alpine, non-Dinaric vegetation (in the southwest to the Western Balkan). Often, the boundary does not coincide with the boundary of the Pannonicum floristic province. We found that vegetation region boundaries can help reevaluate long-established floristic region boundaries. The boundary of the ’floristic Pannonian region’ also requires revision based on integrated distribution databases and statistical analyses. We argue that the method applied here is simple, repeatable and falsifiable. Our map provides an opportunity to the European Union to use a scientifically more sound biogeographical circumscription of the Pannonian region in her Natura 2000 and other programs.

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The taxonomy of the genus Bulbocodium , in which two European species, a smaller eastern (B. versicolor) and a more robust western (B. vernum) are included, has been controversial since the description of the eastern species in 1821. Nuclear encoded ribosomal DNA ITS1 and the entire chloroplast DNA ITS were sequenced from several European populations, from France to the Ukraine, and the leaf width of mature living individuals was measured and analysed by ANOVA and Tukey-test. Although the studied DNA regions proved to be invariable, leaf width shows extreme variability. We found no correlation between the leaf size of the individuals and the geographical position of the populations, and in addition, the sequenced DNA regions showed total uniformity. Thus, our results do not support the division of the genus Bulbocodium into two taxa, at least in the sampled area. The formerly described size variants can be treated taxonomically at the forma level.

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The effect of Cd2+, as one of the most widespread toxic environmental pollutants, was studied on g-aminobutyric acid (GABA) evoked responses of identified neurons in the central nervous system of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L. (Gastropoda). In the experiments, the modulation of the action of GABA both on neuronal activity (current clamp recording) and on the a GABA activated membrane Cl-current (voltage clamp studies) has been shown. It was found that: 1. GABA could evoked three different various types of response in GABA sensitive neurons: i) hyperpolarization with strong inhibition of ongoing spike activity, ii) short depolarization with an increase of spike the activity, iii) biphasic respone with a short excitation followed by a more prolonged long inhibition. 2. In low-Cl solution the inhibitory action of GABA was reduced or eliminated, but the excitatory one was not or only moderately affected. 3. CdCl2 inhibited the GABA evoked hyperpolarization, but left intact or only slightly reduced the excitation evoked by GABA. 4. The inward Cl-current evoked by GABA at a –75 mV holding potential was slightly augmented in the presence of 1 mmol/l Cd2+, but was reduced or blocked at higher cadmium concentrations. The effect of Cd2+ was concentration and time dependent. 5. Parallel with reducing the GABA evoked current, cadmium increased both the time to peak and the half inactivation time of the current. 6. CdCl2 alone, in 50 mmol/l concentration, induced a 1–2 nA inward current. The blocking effect of cadmium on GABA activated inhibitory processes can be an important component of the neuro-toxic effects of this heavy metal ion.

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In this paper, we elaborated a new concept (the Regularities-Deviations-Uniqueness; RDU framework) to analyse regional vegetation patterns and applied it to the Pannonian region of the Carpathian Basin. We introduced three criteria, namely: distributional regularity, distributional deviation, and compositional uniqueness. Regularities conform to the pattern expected based on macroclimate and relief. Deviations are singular phenomena and are defined as the conspicuous departures from the regular pattern at odds with either zonal pattern (climate rules), or the repetitive extrazonal patterns (relief and meso-climate interactions). Endemic plant communities of the Pannonian region (defined by a unique species composition) are regarded as the unique features. The main regularities recognised for the Pannonian region are: (1) the altitudinal pattern of vegetation belts, (2) the horizontal zonation of the Dunántúl, (3) the gradient of continentality along the mountain ranges, and (4) the circular zonality of the Nagyalföld. Deviations are mostly explained by local vegetation history, mesoclimate, and edaphic factors. The major deviations include (i) occurrence of mixed Pinus sylvestris forests in Őrség, (ii) cool continental forest-steppe forests on Kisalföld, and Gödöllői-dombvidék, (iii) the direct contact of Fagus and Quercus pubescens forests (Bakony, Balatonfelvidék), (iv) the Fraxinus excelsior-Tilia spp. forests on rock outcrops, and (v) the Sphagnum bogs on the Alföld. Individuality of the Pannonian region is demonstrated by the endemic zonal forest-steppe forests and intrazonal endemic communities such as the Cerasus mahaleb-Quercus pubescens forests, and the vegetation on calcareous sand, dolomite and saline soils and the like. We argue that the introduced criteria are suitable for the entitation and description of other biogeographical regions, and offer useful tool for interregional comparisons.

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Triticum monococcum represents an important source of useful genes and alleles that it would be desirable to use in wheat breeding programmes. The well-defined landmarks on the Am chromosomes could accelerate the targeted introgression of T. monococcum chromatin into the wheat genome.Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using the repetitive DNA probes pSc119.2, Afa family and pTa71 showed that the pSc119.2 probe was not suitable for the identification of Am chromosomes. In contrast, the whole set of Am chromosomes (especially chromosomes 1, 4, 5 and 7) could be discriminated based on the hybridization pattern of pTa71 and Afa family. In situ hybridization with microsatellite motifs (GAA, CAG, AAC and AGG) proved that SSRs represent additional landmarks for the identification of Am chromosomes. The most promising SSR probes were the GAA and CAG motifs, which clearly discriminated the 6Am chromosome and, when used in combination with the Afa family and pTa71 probes, allowed the whole set of Am chromosomes to be reliably identified.In conclusion, fluorescence in situ hybridization using the repetitive DNA probes Afa family and pTa71, combined with SSR probes, makes it possible to identify the Am chromosomes of T. monococcum and to discriminate them from Au chromosomes in the polyploid wheat background.

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New wheat × barley, wheat × Aegilops biuncialis and wheat × rye hybrids were produced with the aim of alien gene transfer from these species into wheat. Amphiploids were produced with the help of colchicine treatment from the last two combinations. The new wheat × barley hybrids were multiplied in tissue culture because of the high degree of sterility and then pollinated with wheat to obtain backcross progenies. Wheat-barley chromosome pairing was detected using genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) in two combinations (Mv9 kr1 × Igri, Asakazekomugi × Manas). In vitro conditions caused an increase in chromosome arm association frequency in both combinations and in fertility in some regenerants. Five wheat-barley translocations were produced in a wheat background and characterized through the combination of cytogenetic and molecular genetic approaches (GISH, FISH and SSR markers). The following translocations were identified: 2DS.2DL-1HS, 3HS.3BL, 6BS.6BL-4HL, 4D-5HS and 7DL.7DS-5HS. Physical mapping of the SSR markers on chromosomes 1H and 5H was carried out using the intragenomic and interspecific translocation breakpoints and the centromere as physical landmarks.  Disomic wheat-Aegilops biuncialis additions were produced after backcrossing the wheat-Ae. biuncialis amphiploids. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was carried out using two repetitive DNA clones (pSc119.2 and pAs1) on Ae. biuncialis and its two diploid progenitor species to detect chromosome polymorphism. The 7M and 3M disomic chromosome additions were selected and five more lines still need to be characterized.  The octoploid triticale (Mv9 kr1 × Lovászpatonai) produced in Martonvásár was crossed with a 1RS.1BL wheat cultivar Matador. GISH analysis detected pairing between the 1RS arm of the translocation chromosome and that of Lovászpatonai rye in 32 % of the pollen mother cells, making it possible to select recombinants from this combination. The new recombinants between the 1RS of Petkus and the 1RS of Lovászpatonai rye cultivars are being analysed with the help of microsatellite markers.

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