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Pavlov has described hypnosis as a partial sleep. A contemporary approach to this altered state of consciousness will be discussed. Under laboratory conditions subjective and behavioral data will be analyzed after hypnotic induction, shamanic trance and relaxation with listening to music. Role of different cortical regions will be shown after different hypnotic inductions as a function of hypnotic susceptibility. The importance of context will be underlined as an important factor in the possible alteration of consciousness.

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The saline area of the Kiskunság region of Hungary has varied micro-topographic conditions with different plant communities. This study was performed in a dry sandy grassland community ( Potentillo arenariae-Festucetum pseudovinae Soó (1938) 1940) and a neighbouring saline sandy grassland community ( Lepidio crassifolii-Puccinellietum limosae Soó (1947) 1957). These are located at different elevations and have completely different floristic composition and physiognomy due to the soil characteristics and water availability. We assessed how the different environmental conditions during summer period might alter some physiological traits of two dominant xerophytes of sandy grassland ( Achillea collina L., Festuca pseudovina Hack. ex Wiesb.) and two halophytes of saline grassland ( Lepidium crassifolium (W. et K.), Puccinellia limosa (Schur) Holmbg.). The relationship between soil water potential and water content showed lower water availability for plants in the saline habitat as the high water soluble sodium content (900–2000 ppm) of this soil type limits water absorption. Both halophyte species in this study exhibited lower K/Na ratio than xerophyte species. Between the two halophytes L. crassifolium can be described as a “leaf/shoot sodium accumulator” species while P. limosa as a “leaf sodium avoider” species. The four species differed in proline accumulation. The salt adapted species had multifold accumulation of proline as compared to species of dry sandy grassland. The three microhabitats differing in total plant cover offered different microenvironmental conditions for L. crassifolium . Proline content was twice higher in leaves of this species in the microhabitats with high soil Na + content than in the closed microhabitat. Every species showed a transient reversible decrease of potential photochemical efficiency of PSII (F v/ F m ) at midday during the study period. In the saline habitat the midday depression of F v/ F m for L. crassifolium was much larger than in case of P. limosa which reflected its higher susceptibility to photoinhibition. In sandy grassland F v/ F m of A. collina was smaller than that of F. pseudovina . Mesophyll succulence index (Sm) expressing the ratio of water content to chlorophyll content was the highest in L. crassifolium (1.6–2.2 g H 2 O mg −1 Chl). Sm was low in xerophyte species (0.5–1.1 g H 2 O mg Chl), and the lowest value was found for the F. pseudovina (0.54 g H 2 O mg Chl).

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The possibilities latent in molecular marker-based QTL analyses are presented through the example of studying winter survival and heading date in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). The whole range of QTL experiments consists of several important steps, through which answers are found to the following questions: (1) How many QTLs are involved and where do they map, (2) How does the environment influence the effect of a QTL region (environment × QTL interactions), (3) When and where are the genes determining the given trait expressed (QTL dynamics), (4) What interactions occur between these QTLs and pathways leading to specific phenotypes, and (5) How consistent is the effect of a QTL region in different genetic backgrounds and in a wider range of germplasms (comparative mapping and association studies)? This knowledge then makes it possible to continue these experiments in the direction of marker-assisted selection and/or gene isolation through marker saturation of the relevant chromosomal regions and map-based cloning. The latter can give an insight into the exact mechanism through which the gene determines the phenotype.

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The effect of vernalization response and photoperiod sensitivity on reproductive fitness and agronomic traits was examined in a group of 16 H. spontaneum accessions and 8 H. vulgare cultivars in controlled environments. The whole range of plant developmental and agronomic traits was determined by vernalization. The reproductive fitness was severely impaired when the vernalization requirements of the plants were not saturated. Variation in the magnitude of vernalization response significantly correlated with several traits. A larger decrease in reproductive tiller number, average seed number and consequently final grain yield was more characteristic of accessions with a greater vernalization response. When the vernalization requirement was met, long photoperiod enhanced the fitness of the plants and resulted in larger yield and yield components, irrespective of the genotype, while short photoperiod acted as a limiting factor for all these traits. There was, however, a difference in the reaction type of wild and cultivated genotypes due to their different plant strategies.

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The early growth and tillering capacity of two barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) varieties (Dicktoo and Kompolti Korai) were investigated in a gradient growth chamber. The identification of these crop traits is important under organic agricultural conditions in the selection of new varieties for competitiveness against weeds. The results clearly demonstrate that the initial development of the two barley varieties depended considerably on the plant growth conditions. The temperature gradient was found to have the greater effect during early development, causing significant differences in all the traits at all measurement dates. The results indicate that the two varieties differ substantially for two characteristics important for organic farming. As regards tillering ability, Dicktoo appears to be the more desirable type, despite the fact that it is unable to achieve its tillering potential at higher temperatures. Under certain ecological conditions, the relative temperature insensitivity of Kompolti Korai could be an advantage. As far as early development vigour is concerned, Kompolti Korai is clearly a desirable type for organic farming, since it produced rapidly growing, robust plants in all the temperature ranges. From the point of view of organic breeding, a combination of the valuable traits of these two varieties could be the way forward.

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Tillering ability is a complex trait, the development of which is influenced by both environmental factors and complex genetic regulation. In the present experiments this complex regulation was dissected into its various components in an effort to separate the effect on tillering of major genes influencing ontogeny from that of other genomic factors. The tillering rate of a facultative × winter barley mapping population was examined in the field after autumn and spring sowing. The vernalisation sensitivity gene Vrn-H2 exerted a considerable influence on tillering in spring-sown barley. In addition to the major genes, QTL analysis revealed two chromosome regions (1HS and 3HL) with a significant influence on the extent of tillering. Neither of these regions were involved in the regulation of heading date, and their effect on tillering was the most intense at the beginning of ontogeny, gradually declining as the influence of the Vrn-H2 gene increased. The function of the Vrn-H2 locus in the regulation of tillering is manifested partly through a direct effect on the transition from the vegetative to the generative phase and partly indirectly via epistatic regulation of other chromosome regions influencing tillering.

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In order to evaluate the effect of light intensity and photoperiod on heading and to establish the reaction types of barley, a set of barley germplasm of various geographical origin and growth habit was examined in a series of controlled growth chamber experiments combining two levels of light intensity with long and short photoperiod regimes. Low light intensity contributed only a limited portion to the total variance of heading and this originated to a large extent from the genotype × light intensity interaction for both photoperiods. Under the long photoperiod regime the effect of low light intensity was only apparent in a significant delay in heading. Under a short photoperiod the type of sensitivity depended on the growth habit. Low light intensity hastened plant development in 15% of the spring barley varieties, while the flowering of 44% of the winter barley varieties was significantly delayed. Establishing the reaction types for photoperiod and low light intensity in this range of barley germplasm made it possible to identify the typical reaction types of the two growth-habit groups. In addition, it also became possible to identify genotypes with contrasting or unusual combinations of these traits.

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The effect of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) and nisin was studied on micro-organisms in minced chicken and beef meat. Pressure in the range of 0-800 MPa and nisin (670 IU g-1) were applied for vacuum packed minced meat. In chicken meat the total viable cell count decreased by 3 log cycles as an effect of HHP at 300 MPa and by 5 log cycles in combination with nisin. The D value is 35-39 MPa for pseudomonads in minced chicken meat. In case of inoculation with L. monocytogenes, the cell count in beef meat was reduced only by pressure higher than 200 MPa (“shoulder”) with a characteristic value of D=37-38 MPa. B. cereus spores, both dormant and heat activated, were very resistant (D=800 MPa) in beef. However, the survival of pressurised spores after chilled storage (for two weeks at 4 °C) was smaller for non-heat activated spores than for heat activated spores. Efficiency of HHP combined with nisin needs further research work.

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In this study sap flow dynamics of mature sessile oak trees (Quercus petraea) in a marginal sessile oakturkey oak forest was investigated in 2009. That year spring was dry without significant rain in April and May and the driest month was August. Due to the extreme weather conditions the volumetric soil water content (SWC) of upper 30 cm was low on experimental days in May (0.13–0.14 cm3 cm−3) but it reached the lowest value in August (0.08 cm3 cm−3). Sap flow was measured in a dominant and a co-dominant tree by heat dissipation method from 26 March till 30 October. In the present paper several three-day long periods of the continuous seasonal recordings were chosen to represent the effects of typical weather conditions and different stages of canopy development on sap flow dynamics. The daily maximum sap flow density values of dominant and co-dominant trees were similar (0.30–0.32 cm3 cm−2 min−1) in moist period (July). Rains and transient increase of SWC after proceeding drought resulted in change of diurnal course of sap flow in experimental days of July. In this period dominant trees also showed considerable sap flow (0.19 cm3 cm−2 min−1) during night hours and short sap flow peaks in early morning (6:00 to 8:00 a.m.) indicating the refilling of desiccated tissues. After the progressive drought in August the daily maximum sap flow density decreased to 0.07 cm3 cm-2 min-1 in dominant tree and to 0.12 cm3 cm−2 min−1 in the co-dominant. Both trees exhibited gradual stomatal closure from morning hours.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors:
J. Bányai
,
P. Szűcs
,
I. Karsai
,
K. Mészáros
,
Cs. Kuti
,
L. Láng
, and
Z. Bedő

A total of 96 winter wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars registered in Hungary were analysed using 15 wheat microsatellite markers located on different chromosome arms. Analyses revealed 91 SSR alleles with sizes ranging from 123–239 base pairs. The total number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 (Gwm664 and Gwm415) to 11 (Gwm219) with an average number of 6.1. The polymorphic information content (PIC) values ranged from 0.06 to 0.85 with an average number of 0.60 for all markers. Several markers included allele sizes characteristic of a single or a small number of cultivars. At most 9 SSR markers were required to distinguish the 96 cultivars, so the simple sequence repeats could serve as a relatively cheap, rapid method for identifying winter wheat cultivars.

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