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Young adult male Wistar rats were treated, by gavage, with 80 or 320 mg/kg Pb 2+ (lead acetate), 0.4 or 1.6 mg/kg Hg 2+ (mercuric chloride) or both by combining the lower doses. For combination with alcohol, ethanol was added to the rats’ drinking water in 5 v/v %. After 12 weeks of treatment, electrophysiological recording was made from the somatosensory cortex in urethane anaesthesia. Evoked potentials obtained by stimulation of the whiskers were recorded. Both metals, and alcohol alone, increased significantly the latency of the evoked response. Alcohol seemed to abolish the effect of Pb, but not of Hg. Fatigue, calculated form the response amplitude, was increased by Pb and Hg treatment and this effect of Hg was reduced by ethanol. Evoked activity and its dynamic characteristics were sensitive to the complex neurotoxic effect induced in the rats and can provide a basis for developing functional markers.

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Three different insecticides: dimethoate, cypermethrin and amitraz were given, alone or combined with the heavy metals Pb, Hg and Cd, to male Wistar rats per os for 12 weeks from their 4th week of life. After the treatment period, the left hemisphere of the rats was exposed in urethane anaesthesia, and spontaneous and evoked cortical activity was recorded from the primary sensory areas. The effects of dimethoate on the spontaneous activity, and of dimethoate and amitraz on the evoked responses, were increased by the metal combination treatment, whereby the metals alone had no effect on the spontaneous and mild effect on the evoked activity. Finally, the animals were dissected, organ weights measured, and relative organ weights calculated. The weight gain of all treated groups was significantly retarded compared to the control. Several organ weights were also significantly reduced, mainly in groups receiving insecticide plus metal treatment. The toxic interactions observed in this work indicate that combined human exposure to environmental pesticide residues and heavy metals may have unexpectedly severe effects.

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Progress in Agricultural Engineering Sciences
Authors:
Cecilia Hodúr
,
Szabolcs Kertész
,
József Csanádi
,
Gábor Szabó
, and
Zsuzsanna László

In this study the performance of a vibratory shear-enhanced processing system (VSEP) for the concentration of cheese whey was assessed and compared with a classical, cross-flow, plate and frame membrane configuration system (3DTA) with the same membrane (i.e. a C30F UF regenerated cellulose UF membrane with a 30 kDa molecular weight cutoff). The temperature and pressure dependences of the permeate flux, the permeate flux reduction ratio, the resistances and the rejection values were investigated. Comparison of the two systems revealed a definite advantage for the VSEP system equipped with the same membrane and operated at the same pressure and temperature. The VSEP system yielded a permeate protein retention of 99.7% vs. 74.5% for the 3DTA system, together with a higher average flux: 54 L m −2 h −1 vs. 44.2 L m −2 h −1 . The flux reduction ratio ( J/J 0 ) was 0.60 vs. 0.42, and the total resistances 2.87*10 +13 m −1 vs. 4.54*10 +13 m −1 for the VSEP and 3DTA system, respectively.

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Arsenic affects large populations and attacks, among others, the nervous system. Waterborne or occupational exposure causes electrophysiological alterations and motor disturbances in humans, and analogous effects were found in animals. Certain phytochemicals may be protective against As-caused damages. In the present study it was investigated whether the flavonoid rutin, applied via the drinking water (2 g/L), ameliorates the effects of arsenic given by gavage (10 mg/kg b.w., in form of NaAsO2) on open field motility, evoked cortical and peripheral electrophysiological activity, and body weight gain in adult male Wistar rats. Body weight gain was significantly reduced from the 4th week of the 6 weeks arsenic treatment and this effect was largely abolished by rutin in the combination treatment group. Rats treated by arsenic alone showed decreased open field motility; latency of the cortical evoked potentials increased and peripheral nerve conduction velocity decreased. These functional alterations were also counteracted by co-administration of rutin, and both the antioxidant and the chelating activity of rutin might have contributed to the ameliorative effect. These results are apparently novel and support the potential role of natural agents in preserving human health in a contaminated environment.

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There are extensive data on effects of antifungal agents on the plant pathogens, especially on Fusariums spp. species. However, investigations on the interaction of chemicals and the treated cultivars are rare. The aim of the study was to test two types of fungicide mixtures, azoxystrobin-propiconazole, and prothioconazole-tebuconazole, which are applied in wheat cultivars intensively, on six fodder maize hybrids that were infected with Fusarium proliferatum in the R1 growth stage in a field trial. The effect of the fungicide treatment was tested on the starch content and antifungal, antioxidant polyphenols of the kernels in the R3–R4 and R6 stage of the cultivars. The level of the fungal presence and the fumonisin concentration of the kernels were increased significantly under the artificial infection. The fumonisin concentration was variable at the R6 stage of the hybrid maize kernels. The treatment with prothioconazole and tebuconazole was found to be suitable when it was done before flowering, while the azoxystrobin-propiconazole treatments were equally successful before and after maize flowering considering the decreasing fumonisin concentration of the kernels. Both fungicide mixtures, when they were applied after maize flowering, affected the starch biosynthesis to the R3–R4 stage significantly. Meanwhile, azoxystrobin-propiconazole also significantly affected the antioxidant flavone/flavanol contents from the R3–R4 stage to the R6 stage.

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Abstract

To overcome the problems of seasonality and geographical location in fruit production and processing, the production of aseptic semi-finished juice is an excellent solution. Even without refrigeration, aseptic pressing has a shelf life of more than a year, making it possible to produce finished products all year round. The production technology involves the addition of ascorbic acid to the pulp to fix or preserve colour. There is an increasing customer demand for ascorbic acid substitutes on the international market. In Hungary, one of the most important exports is aseptic sour cherry juice. In our work, ascorbic acid used for colour fixation was replaced by acerola concentrate. The anthocyanin content and colour coordinate values (L*, a*, b*, H, C) of aseptically filled sour cherry juice were determined and compared with the control sample during the 12 months of storage.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors:
Éva Németh-Zámbori
,
Zsuzsanna Pluhár
,
Krisztina Szabó
,
Mahmoud Malekzadeh
,
Péter Radácsi
,
Katalin Inotai
,
Bonifác Komáromi
, and
Katarzyna Seidler-Lozykowska

A pot experiment was carried out with lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Different water supply was applied: 25%, 40% and 70% saturation of soil water capacity (SWC). Morphological traits, biomass and phenolic type active ingredients were investigated.

Among the two species, main differences were registered in biomass and TPC. Lower SWC resulted in reduced biomass production of lemon balm, while the applied stress treatments did not effect the biomass of thyme. In lemon balm, highest TPC contents were measured in control plants both in shoots and roots but in thyme, the shoots showed a significantly increased TPC at the 25% SWC conditions. Neither the content of total flavonoids nor that of the rosmarinic acid was affected by the treatments. The antioxidant capacity proved to be in tight connection with the TPC in both species (r = 0.766–0.883). The rosmarinic acid content of lemon balm plants contributed to the antioxidant capacity, as well (r = 0.679–0.869).

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors:
L. Institóris
,
Dóra Kovács
,
I. Kecskeméti-Kovács
,
Anita Lukács
,
Andrea Szabó
,
Zsuzsanna Lengyel
,
A. Papp
,
L. Nagymajtényi
, and
I. Dési

Detectable interactions between NOEL (No Observed Effect Level) doses of Pb, Hg and Cd in general toxicological, hematological, and immune function parameters were investigated. The metals (Pb-acetate, 20 mg/kg; HgCl2, 0.40 mg/kg; CdCl2, 1.61 mg/kg) were combined. First, the rats received the combination Pb+Hg+Cd for 4 weeks per os. Significant difference vs. control was found only in the weight of lung and popliteal lymph node (PLN). The Pb+Hg and Pb+Cd combinations significantly decreased the PLN to 100 g body weight and PLN to brain weight ratio, and Pb+Hg also decreased the relative adrenal weight. After 12 weeks treatment with the same doses, effects on the thymus, kidney, and adrenal weights in the Pb+Hg, and thymus weight in the Pb+Cd, combination were seen. Pb+Cd also affected the white and red blood cell count and hematocrit. Combined with Hg or Cd, NOEL dose Pb showed toxicity, indicating that exposure limits may be inefficient in combined exposure situations.

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Progress in Agricultural Engineering Sciences
Authors:
Viktória Zsom-Muha
,
Lien Le Phuong Nguyen
,
László Baranyai
,
Géza Hitka
,
Zsuzsanna Horváth-Mezőfi
,
Gergő Szabó
, and
Tamás Zsom

Abstract

Among improper harvest and/or postharvest storage conditions, the effect of direct sunlight plays an important role in quality degradation of potato resulting in the development of green surface color based on chlorophyll formation associated with the formation of poisonous chemicals – glycoalcaloids – known as α-chaconine and α-solanine. Yellow skinned and fleshed potatoes with or without visible initial marks of green surface color were stored at normal room temperature under direct natural (sun)light conditions for almost two months. The aim of this study was the preliminary investigation of the sunlight induced formation of chlorophyll related compounds in potato indirectly by the detection of chlorophyll development. This attempt was based on nondestructive determination of chlorophyll related spectral and fluorescence indices for both sunlight exposed and unexposed potato sides. For both potato groups the chlorophyll content related DA-index® and chlorophyll fluorescence characteristics (F0, Fm, Fv and Fv/Fm) increased during the storage period representing chlorophyll formation. In the case of Fm, Fv and Fv/Fm values, the yellow samples reached the values of the initial spotted green samples by the 7th–9th days. From this time, the chlorophyll fluorescence values changed only minimally. After storage day 34, in the case of both at day 0 yellow and green spotted potatoes, the sunny side's F0 value was lower than that of shaded side. Close relationship was found between the results of Walz monitoring-PAM (Pulse Amplitude-Modulated) chlorophyll fluorometer and the PSI (Photon Systems Instruments) chlorophyll fluorescence imaging device (e.g. Fv R2 = 0.7226). According to our preliminary results, the Vis/NIR DA-meter®, the monitoring-PAM and the chlorophyll fluorescence imaging fluorometers were found to be suitable nondestructive devices for further investigations concerning the postharvest chlorophyll formation based greening phenomena, which is associated with solanine development in potato.

Open access
Progress in Agricultural Engineering Sciences
Authors:
Zsuzsanna Horváth-Mezőfi
,
Emese Bátor
,
Gergő Szabó
,
Mónika Göb
,
Zoltán Sasvár
,
Lien Le Phuong Nguyen
,
Koppány Majzinger
,
Karina Ilona Hidas
,
Anna Visy
,
Géza Hitka
, and
Tamás Zsom

Abstract

Ethylene has key roles in triggering and speeding up ripening processes, which in tomatoes take the form of various qualitative changes. Tomatoes, just like all climacteric fruits, need a continuous ethylene exposure to accelerate ripening. Therefore, it is possible to use ripening regulators preventing ethylene binding. According to some studies, chlorophyll fluorescence measurements can be used at least as efficiently as tristimulus colorimetry classifying tomatoes based on maturity. Measurements were carried out by treating fresh tomatoes with 1-MCP (1-methylcyclopropene) at six different stages of ripening and studying the changes in chlorophyll content related quality characteristics (e.g. surface colour, chlorophyll fluorescence) during postharvest storage (two-week refrigerated storage at 15 °C followed by a two-week shelf life). According to our results, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic activity of the treated samples decreased much less than those of untreated ones. Additionally, anti-ripening treatment proved to be more effective on tomatoes at an earlier stage of ripening.

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