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  • Author or Editor: R. Bacsó x
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Similarities and differences in the immune systems of plants and animals are discussed in relation to non-specific and specific immunity (resistance), systemic acquired resistance (immune memory), transgenerational immune memory and gene silencing. Furthermore, we attempt to answer the question “what is inhibiting or killing pathogens during the immune (resistance) process”? Therefore, the possible roles of reactive oxygen species and antioxidants in pathogen inhibition are evaluated in different types of plant disease resistance.

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In spite of the enormous information from research on genetics of plant disease resistance, the question still remains unresolved: what is directly inhibiting or killing pathogens and suppressing symptoms in resistant plants? This is particularly true for resistance to viral infections. Here we show that externally applied reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or ROS-producing (O 2 ·− [superoxide] and H2O2) chemical systems infiltrated into tobacco leaves 2 hours after inoculation suppress replication of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in the susceptible Samsun (nn) cultivar. This was determined by a biological and a real-time PCR method. Infiltration of leaves of the resistant Xanthi (NN) cultivar with the ROS-producing chemicals and H2O2 significantly suppressed local necrotic lesions (i.e. the hypersensitive response) after inoculation of tobacco leaves with TMV. Accordingly, an early accumulation or external application of ROS, such as O 2 ·− and H2O2, in tobacco may contribute to the development of resistance to TMV infection.

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During a five-year period, the International Atomic Energy Agency supported a Coordinated Research Programme (CRP) to investigate the quantitative relationship between internal body burdens of a number of elements of environmental health significance and their respective concentrations in hair. The use of nuclear-related analytical techniques, such as neutron activation analysis, X-ray fluorescence, particle-induced X-ray emission and radiotracers, was emphasized. One aspect of the CRP focused on studies in man, using autopsy cases, of mineral distribution in five tissues, i.e. liver, kidney, lung, brain and bone in addition to hair, and the elements of primary importance were As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Se and Zn. Emphasis was placed on analytical quality assurance. Hair and internal tissue samples were obtained from subjects from Bulgaria, China, the former German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Japan, Norway and Sweden.

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