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  • Author or Editor: Á. Pogány x
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Automated behavioural observations are routinely used in many fields of biology, including ethology, behavioural ecology and physiology. When preferences for certain resources are investigated, the focus is often on simple response variables, such as duration and frequency of visits to choice chambers. Here we present an automated motion detector system that use passive infrared sensors to eliminate many drawbacks of currently existing methods. Signals from the sensors are processed by a custom-built interface, and after unnecessary data is filtered by a computer software, the total time and frequency of the subject’s visits to each of the choice chambers are calculated. We validate the detector system by monitoring (using the system) and in the same time video recording mating preferences of zebra finches in a four-way choice apparatus. Manual scoring of the video recordings showed very high consistency with data from the detector system both for time and for frequency of visits. Furthermore, the validation revealed that if we used micro-switches or light barriers, the most commonly applied automatic detection techniques, this would have resulted in approximately 22% less information compared to our lossless system. The system provides a low-cost alternative for monitoring animal movements, and we discuss its further applicability.

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Fatty acid hydroperoxide-producing lipoxygenase (LOX) and hydroperoxide-degrading glutathione peroxidase (GPOX) enzyme activities were studied in leaves of virus resistant Xanthi-nc and susceptible Samsun-nn tobacco cultivars after inoculation with Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Total LOX activity showed a maximum at pH 5.5 in cell-free extracts of uninfected leaves. LOX activity markedly increased at this pH after TMV inoculation, but a substantial induction was detected also in the basic pH range with an emerging peak around pH = 8.5. TMV-elicited LOX induction was weaker and appeared later in Samsun-nn than in Xanthi-nc leaves. GPOX activity was also substantially induced by TMV infection. However, this induction appeared only 4 days post-inoculation in resistant Xanthi-nc plants in tissues surrounding the localized necrotic lesions. In contrast, GPOX activity did not change in TMV-inoculated, susceptible Samsun-nn leaves. Several glutathione S-transferase (GST) isoenzymes also display GPOX activity. The expression of a tau class GST gene was markedly induced by TMV inoculation in Xanthi-nc leaves. This tobacco GST gene was partially cloned and sequenced.

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