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  • Author or Editor: G. Vasas x
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This paper reports results from light and scanning electron microscopic study of a freshwater dinoflagellate considered as a new species for the science, Peridiniopsis keveisp. nov. It was found during the last ten years in different lake, rivers, canals in Hungary and some European countries. it frequently appeared as a water-bloom forming species. The theca morphology and and plate structure analysis of this dinoflagellate established its identity as a new species. P. kevei Grigorszky et Vasas is discussed in the paper in comparsion with related taxa, moreover data about its occurrence and ecology.

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Crocus taxonomy has until now been based primarily on morphology, taking chromosome numbers into consideration. The genetics and genome structure of the genus, the relationships and diversity within the genus are not well known. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) is a whole genome approach to study genetic variation that is gaining in popularity for lower-level systematics. The present study employed the AFLP technique for analyzing relationships among taxa of the Crocus genus (particularly the Crocus vernus aggregate) with Carpathian Basin origin. The molecular variance obtained was based on amplification, separation and detection of EcoRI and Tru1I double-digested Crocus spp. genomic DNAs. Our results confirm the relatedness of C. tommasinianus, C. vittatus and C. heuffelianus at the Verni series of the Crocus genus. C. banaticus is taxonomically isolated as the sole member of the subgenus Crociris based on unique morphological features, but the difference is not convincing from AFLP data. The second interesting AFLP analysis result is the position of C. scepusiensis which separated it from the Crocus vernus aggregate.

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Five species of Plantago genus, namely P. lanceolata, P. major, P. media, P. altissima and P. maritima were screened for iridoid content (CE-MEKC), total caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycoside (CPG) content and antioxidant activity (CUPRAC assay). The five species could be distinguished by TLC pattern analysis in a single run in a system commonly used for quality management of P. lanceolata leaves, as shown by cluster analysis of major bands; with the exception, that P. altissima and P. lanceolata did not show enough pattern difference to be fully separated. P. maritima was shown to have the highest antioxidant capacity (0.42 μmol ascorbic acid equivalent (AAE)/g DW), and the highest level of CPGs (4.29%). P. altissima was shown to be chemically indistinguishable from P. lanceolata with repsect to iridoid content (aucubin 0.55 ± 0.04%, 0.68 ± 0.23%, catalpol 0.66 ± 0.13% and 0.89 ± 0.22%, respectively), CPG content (2.40 ± 0.38% and 2.54 ± 0.56%, respectively) and antioxidant capacity (0.2206 ± 0.0290 and 0.2428 ± 0.0191 μmol AAEAC/g DW). The presented data show the potency of medicinal use of Hungarian wild populations of the studied five species, especially in the case of P. maritima, and that P. altissima can be a potential replacement of P. lanceolata in herbal mixtures.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: K. Szabó, G. Vasas, Á. Kiss and A. Naumov
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Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is an alkaloid type cytotoxic metabolite produced by several cyanobacterial species, which caused human illnesses. The occurrence of CYN has been mostly associated with tropical and subtropical cyanobacteria, but recently it is appearing in several countries, all over the world. We analyzed CYN concentration and polyketide synthase/peptide synthetase (PKS /PS) genes, important parts of the gene cluster responsible for the CYN biosynthesis, in 14 isolated/collected Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii and Aphanizomenon ovalisporum strains originated mostly from Hungary. CYN and PKS /PS genes were detected in Aphanizomenon ovalisporum strains isolated from Spain (of our isolation) and isolated in Israel (IL C-164), but the Hungarian isolate from the hyposaline Lake Szelidi had a lack of production capacity. In the Hungarian samples of C. raciborskii, we found no CYN and PKS /PS genes content comparing to CYN producer C. raciborskii AQS originated from Australia.

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The Hungarian plant protection organization has been performing western corn rootworm moni- toring over the past four years.In 1998 three different trapping activities were carried out at 150 monitoring sites.Hungarian pheromone traps and Multigard ®(yellow sticky)traps were used from July 1 to September 30.The number of catches and the average catches/trap in 1998 were lower than the catch numbers in 1997. In 1998,the pest spread to a lesser degree than in 1997.

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The toxic effects of cylindrospermopsin (cyanobacterial toxin) on animals have been examined extensively, but little research has focused on their effects on plants. In this study cylindrospermopsin (CYN) caused alterations of growth, soluble protein content and protease enzyme activity were studied on two aquatic plants Lemna minor and Wolffia arrhiza in short-term (5 days) experiments. For the treatments we used CYN containing crude extracts of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum (BGSD-423) and purified CYN as well. The maximal inhibitory effects on fresh weight of L. minor and W. arrhiza caused by crude extract were 60% and 54%, respectively, while the maximum inhibitory effects were 30% and 43% in the case of purified CYN at 20 μg ml−1 CYN content of culture medium. In CYN-treated plants the concentration of soluble protein showed mild increases, especially in W. arrhiza. Protease isoenzyme activity gels showed significant alterations of enzyme activities under the influence of CYN. Several isoenzymes were far more active and new ones appeared in CYN-treated plants. Treatments with cyanobacterial crude extract caused stronger effects than the purified cyanobacterial toxins used in equivalent CYN concentrations.

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Waterbloom samples of Microcystis aeruginosa and Planktothrix agardhii were collected from a variety of ponds, lakes and reservoirs in Hungary. Samples were tested with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization — time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to identify the microcystin forms. The concentration of the microcystins was measured with capillary electrophoresis and the toxicity was tested by sinapis test. DNA was extracted from the samples and tested using a range of primers linked to the biosynthesis of microcystin. All of the fourteen collected samples gave positive results for the presence of the mcy genes with PCR products with sizes between of 425 and 955 bp, respectively, indicating the presence of the genes implicated in the production of microcystins. The results showed that a wide range of microcystin (MC) forms were detected in the Microcystis containing samples, among which MC-LR, -RR, and -YR were the most common. The highest MC concentration was 15,701 mg g−1, which was detected in an angling pond. The samples containing Planktothrix agardhii were less toxic, and the most common form in this species was the Asp3-MC-LR.

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This work focuses on the comparative analysis of the effects of two cyanobacterial toxins of different chemical structure cylindrospermopsin (CYN) and microcystin-LR (MC-LR) on the white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) seedlings. Both cyanotoxins reduced significantly the fresh mass and the length of cotyledons, hypocotyls and main roots of seedlings in a concentration dependent manner. For various mustard organs the 50% inhibitory concentration values (IC50) of growth were between 3–5 μg ml−1 for MC-LR and between 5–10 μg ml−1 for CYN, respectively. Cyanotoxins altered the development of cotyledons, the accumulation of photosynthetically active pigments and anthocyanins. Low MC-LR concentrations (0.01 and 0.1 μg ml−1) stimulated anthocyanin formation in the cotyledons but higher than 1 μg ml-1 MC-LR concentrations strongly inhibited it. The CYN treated chlorotic cotyledons were violet coloured in consequence of high level of anthocyanins, while MC-LR induced chlorosis was accompanied by the appearance of necrotic patches. Necrosis and increases of peroxidase enzyme activity (POD) are general stress responses but these alterations were characteristic only for MC-LR treated mustard plants. These findings provide experimental evidences of developmental alterations induced by protein synthesis and protein phosphatase inhibitory cyanotoxins (CYN and MC-LR) in a model dicotyledonous plant.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: C. Máthé, G. Vasas, G. Borbély, F. Erdődi, D. Beyer, Andrea Kiss, G. Surányi, S. Gonda, Katalin Jámbrik and Márta M-Hamvas

This study compares the histological, cytological and biochemical effects of the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin-LR (MCY-LR) and cylindrospermopsin (CYN) in white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) seedlings, with special regard to the developing root system. Cyanotoxins induced different alterations, indicating their different specific biochemical activities. MCY-LR stimulated mitosis of root tip meristematic cells at lower concentrations (1 μg ml−1) and inhibited it at higher concentrations, while CYN had only inhibitory effects. Low CYN concentrations (0.01 μg ml−1) stimulated lateral root formation, whereas low MCY-LR concentrations increased only the number of lateral root primordia. Both inhibited lateral root development at higher concentrations. They induced lignifications, abnormal cell swelling and inhibited xylem differentiation in roots and shoots. MCY-LR and CYN induced the disruption of metaphase and anaphase spindles, causing altered cell divisions. Similar alterations could be related to decreased protein phosphatase (PP1 and PP2A) activities in shoots and roots. However, in vitro phosphatase assay with purified PP1 catalytic subunit proved that CYN in contrast to MCY-LR, decreased phosphatase activities of mustard in a non-specific way. This study intends to contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of toxic effects of a protein phosphatase (MCY-LR) and a protein synthesis (CYN) inhibitory cyanotoxin in vascular plants.

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