Botanical samples were used as monitors for zinc pollution resulting from vehicular traffic. Euphorbia terracina and Calotropis procera were the botanical monitors used in this work. Zinc concentrations were reported alongside a motorway stretch of 50 km. Variations
in concentration with respect to the perpendicular distance from the roadside were also reported. The effect of wind turbulence
and the wind direction on the concentrations is discussed. In addition, differences between open areas and confined areas
with respect to the elemental uptake were also discussed. INAA, using reactor neutrons, was employed for the determination
of Zn concentrations in the samples.
Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was applied to the rapid determination of magnesium in the botanical reference materials Beech Leaves-100 and Spruce Needles-101. The magnesium content was quantitatively determined by measuring the gamma-ray photopeak at 1014 keV of the short-lived radionuclide27Mg (9.46 m). The magnesium concentrations in the two materials were found to be 834.6±50.2 g·g–1 dry weight and 618.6±36.2 g·g–1, respectively. When assaying a 0.1 g sample under the same experimental conditions the limit of detection is 30 g of Mg.
Neutron activation analysis is one of many analytical techniques used at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the certification of NIST Standard Reference Materials (SRMs). NAA competes favorably with all other techniques because of it's unique capabilities for high accuracy even at very low concentrations for many elements. In this paper, instrumental and radiochemical NAA results are described for 25 elements in two new NIST SRMs, SRM 1515 (Apple Leaves) and SRM 1547 (Peach Leaves), and are compared to the certified values for 19 elements in these two new botanical reference materials.
Authors:Endre Sós, Alexandra Szigeti, Éva Fok, Viktor Molnár, Károly Erdélyi, Edina Perge, Imre Biksi, and János Gál
Smaller macropodid species (commonly referred to as wallabies) are extremely susceptible to toxoplasmosis: in most cases, infection with Toxoplasma gondii leads to death within a short time. Between June 2006 and July 2010, T. gondii was detected by immunohistochemical examination in six Tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) that died in the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden; in another four specimens histopathology revealed T. gondii-like organisms (which could not be differentiated from Neospora caninum solely by morphology), and in another 11 animals toxoplasmosis as the possible cause of death could not be excluded. The current zoo population of 12 Tammar wallabies was tested for T. gondii IgG antibodies by the modified agglutination test (MAT), with negative results. We suppose that most of the deaths were due to acute toxoplasmosis resulting from a recent infection.
Three botanical reference materials prepared by the National Bureau of Standards have been studied by neutron activation analysis
to evaluate their suitability with respect to the determination of vanadium in biological samples. Various decomposition methods
were applied in connection with chemical or radiochemical separations, and results for vanadium were compared with those found
by purely instrumental neutron activation analysis. Significantly lower results indicate losses or incomplete dissolution,
which makes SRM 1575 Pine Needles and SRM 1573 Tomato Leaves less satisfactory than SRM 1570 Spinach. A reference value of
1.15 mg/kg of this material is recommended, based on results from 3 different methods. All three materials are preferable
to SRM 1571 Orchard Leaves, while Bowen's Kale remains the material of choice because of its lower concentration.
Individual samples of several sets of plants (lichens, tobacco, spruce needles, grass, botanical reference materials) show highly significant correlations of Al, Fe, Hf, La, Na, Th, Ti and V with Sc. These correlations result from the terrigenous part of aerosols deposited on and measured together with the plants. The composition of this contamination is almost uniform among the different plant sets and can be approximated by the composition of the upper continental crust. The mass of the terrigenous material ranges from <1 to >100 mg/g plant. Its presence is expected to lead to concentrations of the above and of other elements that deviate substantially from those of plants without contamination. This is proved by the comparison of two sets of spruce needles, one of which was measured without and the other after removal of the aerosol.
The Capsicum genus, which originates from the American continent, contains species with a chromosome number of n=12. The plants have white, lilac or purple flowers, and hollow fruit of very varied shape and size, containing glands alongside the veins that produce a pungent alkaloid known as capsaicin. The majority of varieties in the species C. annuum, grown in the largest volume throughout the world and consumed as fresh vegetables or ground spices, are non-pungent. Interspecific crosses are often possible between C. annuum and related, white-flowered species, thus facilitating breeding for resistance against various diseases and pests and the search for new, valuable traits. Species with lilac and purple flowers can be crossed with each other, but direct crosses with white-flowered species are unsuccessful.
Authors:Marta Skorek, Violetta Kozik, Teresa Kowalska, and Mieczysław Sajewicz
Recently, a growing interest has been observed in preventive and “anti-ageing” medicine, accompanied by a dynamic growth of the cosmetic industry worldwide. Different companies compete in introducing the best performing antioxidants to cosmetic preparations and to diet supplements, and in the course of recent years, great attention has been drawn by trans-resveratrol. For economic reasons, the main sources of trans-resveratrol for the cosmetic industry are plants and plant extracts, and the most popular plant is common grape vine (Vitis vinifera L.). The novelty of this study was the development of a simple thin-layer chromatographic method in the reversed-phase (RP) mode with densitometric detection in the fluorescence mode (the irradiation wavelength λ = 340 nm), enabling quantification of trans-resveratrol in selected cosmetic raw materials of natural origin. Cosmetic raw materials considered were red, white, and fruit wines (employed in “wine spas”), commercial extracts of red wines and other fruits, and commercial extracts of grape skins and seeds, making twenty different samples altogether. Prior to thin-layer chromatographic analysis, trans-resveratrol was isolated from the investigated raw materials by means of solid-phase extraction (SPE). The polyphenols fraction adsorbed on SPE cartridges was eluted, and the eluates containing trans-resveratrol (along with other stilbene derivatives) were developed by means of TLC. The chromatograms were densitometrically scanned and trans-resveratrol extracted from raw materials was quantified, based on the calibration curve obtained for the trans-resveratrol standard. The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) values of the developed method were determined as equal to 1.88 and 5.69 ng, respectively. The presence of trans-resveratrol in the analyzed samples was additionally confirmed by visualizing the chromatograms with anisaldehyde as a selective visualizing reagent.