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Abstract  

The aim of the study reported in this paper was to derive factors describing the translocation of radiocesium from the green plant parts to the crop. Wheat, rye and potatoes were contaminated and harvested at different growth stages to allow the assessment of the contamination of the crop with known date of the radioactive deposition. At harvest, the cesium concentrations in the crop, the green plant parts (i.e., straw without ears) and the roots were measured. The results show that the contamination of the crop depends strongly on the date of134Cs application and on the type of plants. The highest translocation was observed when cesium was applied during flowering.

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The aim of these experiments was the investigation of the correlation between the metabolic enzyme activities and the intestinal and hepatic excretion of p-nitrophenol (PNP) and its metabolites (PNP-glucuronide: PNP-G and PNP-sulfate: PNP-S) in the same group of rats (n = 10). A jejunal loop was perfused with isotonic medium containing PNP in a concentration of 500 μM. The samples were obtained from the luminal perfusion medium and from the bile. For enzyme assays tissue samples were obtained from the liver and jejunum at the end of experiments. Significant differences were calculated by the Student’s t-test. The activity of UDP-glucuronyltransferase and sulfotransferase was about three times higher in the liver than in the small intestine. The activity of the ß-glucuronidase was about six times higher, the activity of the arylsulfatase was approximately seven times greater in the liver than in the jejunum. No significant difference was found between the luminal appearance and the biliary excretion of PNP-G. Contrary to these findings, the biliary excretion of PNP-S was significantly higher than the luminal appearance of PNP-sulfate. It can be concluded that no direct correlation exists between the activity of metabolic enzymes and the excretion rate of PNP-metabolites in the liver and in the jejunal segment of the small intestine.

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In the extrahepatic drug metabolism the intestinal tract can play an important role. These experiments were designed to study the biotransformation of p-nitrophenol (PNP) in the small intestine in the rat. Various segments of the small intestine (proximal and distal jejunum, terminal ileum) were perfused with isotonic solution in vivo containing different concentrations of PNP (20–100–500–1000 μM) and the concentrations of metabolites (PNP-G: p-nitrophenol glucuronide, PNP-S: p-nitrophenol sulfate) were determined in the perfusion medium. It was found a decreasing tendency in the glucuronidation from the proximal to distal segment of the small intestine: e.g. 430 nmol, 240 nmol, and 100 nmol PNP-G appeared in the perfusion medium in the proximal, distal jejunum and in the terminal ileum, respectively, when 500 μM PNP was luminally perfused for 90 minutes. Similar ratio was found at the luminal perfusion of other PNP-concentrations, too. Luminal appearance of sulfoconjugate of PNP was considerably lower and no clear gradient tendency in the formation of PNP-S could be detected in the small intestine from the proximal to distal segment. Our results show that there are considerable differences in drug metabolism in various segments of the small intestine. We have found a gradient conjugating activity from proximal to distal segment of small intestine in the glucuronidation of PNP.

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Community Ecology
Authors:
P. Batáry
,
A. Kovács-Hostyánszki
,
C. Fischer
,
T. Tscharntke
, and
A. Holzschuh

Hedges and forest edges play a major role in providing nesting sites, food resources and shelter for birds in agricultural landscapes of western and central Europe. We investigated the response of farmland vs. woodland birds at two degrees of isolation of hedges from forest and to vegetation structure. We surveyed 200 m long sections of six forest edges, six hedges connected to forests and six isolated hedges. Species richness and abundance of farmland birds were higher in hedges than in forest edges, species richness and abundance of woodland birds were lower in hedges than in the forest edges. Species richness and abundance of both groups did not differ between connected and isolated hedges. Width and height of hedges and edges did not affect the species richness and abundance of either farmland or woodland birds. Furthermore, bird community composition differed between habitat types (hedge vs. forest edge) and also between hedge isolation levels (hedges connected to forest vs. isolated hedges). Based on our results, we emphasize the importance of hedges in conserving farmland birds and encourage policy makers to support hedge creation and maintenance with landscape-wide management strategies supporting a diverse hedge structure. Both connected and isolated hedges play an important role as they harbour different bird communities.

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In this paper we present results from recent studies focusing on elucidation of the mechanism of visualization of simple sugars (e.g. d -(+)-glucose, d -(+)-galactose, and d -(−)-fructose) developed on glass TLC plates precoated with 3-aminopropyl chemically bonded stationary phase and then heated at elevated temperatures, a method originally developed, then recommended commercially, by Merck.Detection of the sugars under UV illumination is possible because of their substantial fluorescence; this suggests that during heating the analytes probably undergo a process which results in their structural transformation. We postulated a possible analogy with the Maillard reaction, omnipresent in innumerable living organisms.To verify our assumption we performed analysis with high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and IR, UV, and fluorescence spectroscopy. All the results obtained seem to confirm the analogy between the Maillard reaction and the reaction of simple carbohydrates after development on the amino stationary phase.

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Community Ecology
Authors:
J. H. Fischer
,
C. F. McCauley
,
D. P. Armstrong
,
I. Debski
, and
H. U. Wittmer

Abstract

Seabirds are considered ecosystem engineers, because they facilitate ecosystem functioning (e.g., nutrient cycling), crucial for other marine and terrestrial species, including reptiles. However, studies of seabird-reptile interactions are limited. Here, we assessed the influence of the ‘Critically Endangered’ Whenua Hou Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides whenuahouensis) on the occurrence of two threatened skinks, Stewart Island green skink (Oligosoma aff. chloronoton) and southern grass skink (O. aff. polychroma). We surveyed skinks for 26 consecutive days at 51 sites with and 48 sites without Diving Petrel burrows in the dunes on Codfish Island (Whenua Hou), New Zealand. We used occupancy modelling to assess the influence of burrows on the occurrence of skinks, while accounting for other factors affecting occupancy (Ψ) and detection probabilities (p). Diving Petrel burrows had a contrasting effect on the occurrence of skinks. On average, Ψ̂ of Stewart Island green skinks was 114% higher at sites with burrows compared to sites without, while Ψ̂ of southern grass skinks was only 2% higher. Occurrence of both skinks was negatively influenced by the presence of the other skink species. On average p̂ were low: 0.013 and 0.038 for Stewart Island green and southern grass skinks, respectively. Stewart Island green skinks appear attracted to burrows, which might facilitate thermoregulation (i.e., shelter from temperature extremes). The larger Stewart Island green skinks may subsequently exclude the smaller southern grass skinks at burrows, causing the contrasting relationships. We suggest that these interspecific interactions should be considered when implementing conservation management, e.g., through the order of species reintroductions.

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