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Acta Agronomica Hungarica
Authors: R. Ahmadvand, A. Takács, J. Taller, I. Wolf and Z. Polgár

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is the fourth most important food crop in the world. It is the most economically valuable and well-known member of the plant family Solanaceae. Potato is the host of many pathogens, including fungi, bacteria, Phytoplasmas, viruses, viroids and nematodes, which cause reductions in the quantity and quality of yield. Apart from the late blight fungus [Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary] viruses are the most important pathogens, with over 40 viruses and virus-like pathogens infecting cultivated potatoes in the field, among which Potato virus Y (PVY), Potato leaf roll virus (PLRV), Potato virus X (PVX), Potato virus A (PVA), Potato virus S (PVS) and Potato virus M (PVM) are some of the most important viruses in the world. In this review, their characteristics and types of resistance to them will be discussed.

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The coat protein (CP) gene from a necrotic strain of potato virus Y (PVY) has been engineered into two-old Hungarian cultivars, namely cv. Mindenes and Somogyi kifli. The integration of the coat protein gene was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using genomic DNA preparations. The transcription and the expression of the integrated CP gene was followed by Northern and Western blot. The pathogene derived resistance was demonstrated by mechanical inoculation of the trans­formant plants after the transfer of the regenerants into soil. The efficiency of the virus protection varied between different potatoes ranging to complete protection to no protection. All plants were tested in field conditions under the special licence, given the competent authority instructed by the Hungarian gene technology act. In two consecutive years three Mindenes independent transformants proved to be highly resistant against two different strains of PVY in provocative experiment.

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A modified dilatometer was used as the basis of a measuring method for investigation of the distortion of multilayer structures at elevated temperatures.

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In this study molecular markers linked to the Ry sto gene, which originates from the wild potato species Solanum stoloniferum and confers extreme resistance against PVY, were identified and the applicability of recently published Ry sto markers was analyzed. Three RAPD markers covering a total distance of 8.60 cM were detected in this experiment. The closest of these markers was located 0.53 cM from the gene. From among the published markers only one had diagnostic value in the experimental plant material, and mapped 2.95 cM from the gene, on the side opposite the RAPD markers developed in the present study. All the markers analyzed were present in Solanum stoloniferum accessions, irrespective of their resistance, indicating that these sequences are linked to the locus and not exclusively to the dominant allele of the Ry sto gene in the wild species. The inapplicability of several published markers indicates that the genetic background is decisive in this tetraploid and highly heterozygous species. This means that it may be necessary to develop markers from the breeding material itself, until the resistance gene is not cloned and cannot be used as a selection marker in marker-assisted selection.

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Late blight disease caused by Phytophthora infestans is one of the most destructive diseases of potato. In the host an arsenal of genes may contribute to the resistance against the pathogen. In the presently available cultivars besides the so called field resistance which is conditioned by an unknown number of minor genes, race specific resistance genes were introgressed. Recently, broad spectrum resistance genes were identified, isolated and incorporated in breeding programs. The inbreeding depression that is characteristic for potato and the different sexual crossability problems associated with the potential resistance gene sources further complicate the development of cultivars with durable late blight resistance. The task to produce genotypes with resistance is challenged also by the recent occurrence of rapidly changing genotypes of the pathogen which are able to reproduce also sexually nowadays worldwide. Due to its importance, the genetic background of late blight resistance is intensively studied. The growing number of isolated major resistance genes and other genes involved in resistance response, as well as the identified QTLs allow the development of molecular tools which may be effectively used in breeding. In this review the complex status of resistance in potato to P. infestans and the breeding aspects of it is discussed.

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We have investigated the Total Glycoalcaloid (TGA), nitrite, and nitrate contents of some Hungarian and foreign potato cultivars in relation to the effect of different combination of fertilisers and green manure, late blight management strategies (none, programmed, or prediction based spraying), and irrigation regime for three years. The Hungarian cultivars have exotic potato species like S. acaule, S. demissum, S. stoloniferum, S. vernei, or S. tub. ssp. andigenum in their genetic background as sources of resistance genes. No effect of fertilisers or irrigation was found on the level of glycoalkaloids and nitrate contents, which were influenced mostly by the genotype and season. In conclusion, the absolute amount and the presence of different antinutritive components of potato tubers were influenced by the technology, genotype, and season in a complex manner. These results in general prove that ware potato production utilising intensive commercial agrotechnical practices and common cultivars is safe regarding the nitrate and TGA content of tubers.

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Abstract

Rapid detection of antibiotic resistances of clinical bacterial strains would allow an early selective antibiotic therapy and a faster intervention and implementation of infection control measurements. In clinical practice, however, conventional antibiotic susceptibility tests of bacteria often need 24 h until the results are obtained. The metabolic heat production of bacteria is an excellent possibility to record their physiological activities and could therefore be used for a rapid discrimination of bacterial strains which are resistant or non-resistant to antibiotics and also to lytic bacteriophages, respectively. Unfortunately, conventional calorimeters suffer from need of comparably large volumes of bacterial suspensions are characterised by slow operation and high costs which restrict their application in clinical laboratories. The present paper demonstrates that a new type of calorimeters developed on silicon-chip technology enables the detection of antibiotic resistances on a minute-timescale. For this reasons, a prototype chip calorimeter was used which sensitivity is 20 nW related to the heat production of about 104 bacteria. For a clear discrimination of antibiotic resistance about 105 bacteria are required. The antibiotic resistances and susceptibilities of different strains of Staphylococcus aureus to cefoxitin and the sensitivities of S. aureus DSM 18421 and E. coli DSM 498 to a mixture of two bacteriophages were studied. Comparing the heat productions of cultures incubated with antibiotics or bacteriophages to those without these antibacterial preparations enabled a clear discrimination of resistant and non-resistant strains already after totally 2 h.

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