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Authors: Edna Madai Méndez-Hernández, Jesús Hernández-Tinoco, José Manuel Salas-Pacheco, Luis Francisco Sánchez-Anguiano, Oscar Arias-Carrión, Ada Agustina Sandoval-Carrillo, Francisco Xavier Castellanos-Juárez, Luis Ángel Ruano-Calderón and Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel

Abstract

The link between Toxoplasma gondii infection and multiple sclerosis remains controversial. In the present study, we aimed to determine the association between T. gondii seropositivity and multiple sclerosis. Using an age- and gender-matched case-control study, we studied 45 patients who had multiple sclerosis attended in two public hospitals and 225 control subjects without this disease and other neurological disorders in Durango City, Mexico. Serum samples of cases and controls were analyzed for detection of anti-Toxoplasma IgG using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunoassay. One (2.22%) of the 45 patients with multiple sclerosis, and 15 (6.67%) of the 225 control subjects without this disease were seropositive for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies. No statistically significant difference (OR = 0.31; 95% CI: 0.04–2.47; P = 0.48) in seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies between cases and controls was found. The frequency of T. gondii seropositivity did not vary among cases and controls about sex or age groups. Results of this study do not support an association between seropositivity to T. gondii and multiple sclerosis. However, additional research with larger sample sizes to confirm this lack of association should be conducted.

Open access

Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a food-borne pathogen with a high chance of infecting neonates, pregnant women, elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Lm infection in neonates can cause neonatal meningitis and sepsis with a high risk of severe neurological and developmental sequelae and high mortality rates. However, whether an acute neonatal Lm infection causes long-term effects on the immune system persisting until adulthood has not been fully elucidated. Here, we established a neonatal Lm infection model and monitored the composition of major immune cell subsets at defined time points post infection (p.i.) in secondary lymphoid organs and the intestine. Twelve weeks p.i., the CD8+ T cell population was decreased in colon and mesenteric lymph nodes (mLNs) with an opposing increase in the spleen. In the colon, we observed an accumulation of CD4+ and CD8+ effector/memory T cells with an increase of T-bet+ T helper 1 (Th1) cells. In addition, 12 weeks p.i. an altered composition of innate lymphoid cell (ILC) and dendritic cell (DC) subsets was still observed in colon and mLNs, respectively. Together, these findings highlight organ-specific long-term consequences of an acute neonatal Lm infection on both the adaptive and innate immune system.

Open access

Abstract

Introduction

Chronic sinusitis caused by anaerobes is a particular concern clinically, because many of the complications are associated with infections caused by these organisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of anaerobic bacteria in chronic sinusitis in adults as a part of a prospective microbiological study.

Materials and methods

Over a one-year period, aspirations of maxillary sinus secretions and/or ethmoid cavities were derived in n = 79 adult patients with chronic sinusitis by endoscopy in a tertiary-care teaching hospital in Hungary. The qualitative and quantitative compositions of the total cultivable aerobic and anaerobic bacterial and fungal flora cultured on the samples were compared. Correct anaerobic species level identifications were carried out according to standard methods.

Results

Bacteria were recovered for all of the 79 aspirates and the numbers of the significant cultured isolates (with colony forming units ≥103) were between 1 and 10. A total of 206 isolates, 106 anaerobic and 100 aerobic or facultative-anaerobic strains were isolated. The most common aerobic bacteria were Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 40), Haemophilus influenzae (n = 29), Moraxella catarrhalis (n = 6), Staphylococcus aureus (n = 7) and Streptococcus pyogenes (n = 6). The anaerobic bacteria included black-pigmented Prevotella spp. and Porphyromonas spp. (n = 27), Actinomyces spp. (n = 13), Gram-positive anaerobic cocci (n = 16), Fusobacterium spp. (n = 19) and Cutibacterium acnes (n = 8).

Conclusions

This study illustrates the microbial dynamics in which anaerobic and aerobic bacteria prevail and highlights the importance of obtaining cultures from patients with chronic sinusitis for guidance in selection of proper antimicrobial therapy.

Open access

Abstract

Obligate anaerobic bacteria are considered important constituents of the microbiota of humans; in addition, they are also important etiological agents in some focal or invasive infections and bacteremia with a high level of mortality. Conflicting data have accumulated over the last decades regarding the extent in which these pathogens play an intrinsic role in bloodstream infections. Clinical characteristics of anaerobic bloodstream infections do not differ from bacteremia caused by other pathogens, but due to their longer generation time and rigorous growth requirements, it usually takes longer to establish the etiological diagnosis. The introduction of matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has represented a technological revolution in microbiological diagnostics, which has allowed for the fast, accurate and reliable identification of anaerobic bacteria at a low sample cost. The purpose of this review article is to summarize the currently available literature data on the prevalence of anaerobic bacteremia in adults for physicians and clinical microbiologists and to shed some light on the complexity of this topic nowadays.

Open access
Authors: Ernst-Jürgen Finke, Wolfgang Beyer, Ulrike Loderstädt and Hagen Frickmann

Abstract

Anthrax is an infectious disease of relevance for military forces. Although spores of Bacillus anthracis obiquitously occur in soil, reports on soil-borne transmission to humans are scarce. In this narrative review, the potential of soil-borne transmission of anthrax to humans is discussed based on pathogen-specific characteristics and reports on anthrax in the course of several centuries of warfare. In theory, anthrax foci can pose a potential risk of infection to animals and humans if sufficient amounts of virulent spores are present in the soil even after an extended period of time. In praxis, however, transmissions are usually due to contacts with animal products and reported events of soil-based transmissions are scarce. In the history of warfare, even in the trenches of World War I, reported anthrax cases due to soil-contaminated wounds are virtually absent. Both the perspectives and the experience of the Western hemisphere and of former Soviet Republics are presented. Based on the accessible data as provided in the review, the transmission risk of anthrax by infections of wounds due to spore-contaminated soil is considered as very low under the most circumstance. Active historic anthrax foci may, however, still pose a risk to the health of deployed soldiers.

Open access

Abstract

The physiological colonization resistance exerted by the murine gut microbiota prevents conventional mice from Campylobacter jejuni infection. In the present study we addressed whether this also held true for Campylobacter coli. Following peroral application, C. coli as opposed to C. jejuni could stably establish within the gastrointestinal tract of conventionally colonized mice until 3 weeks post-challenge. Neither before nor after either Campylobacter application any changes in the gut microbiota composition could be observed. C. coli, but not C. jejuni challenge was associated with pronounced regenerative, but not apoptotic responses in colonic epithelia. At day 21 following C. coli versus C. jejuni application mice exhibited higher numbers of adaptive immune cells including T-lymphocytes and regulatory T-cells in the colonic mucosa and lamina propria that were accompanied by higher large intestinal interferon-γ (IFN-γ) concentrations in the former versus the latter but comparable to naive levels. Campylobacter application resulted in decreased splenic IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and IL-6 concentrations, whereas IL-12p70 secretion was increased in the spleens at day 21 following C. coli application only. In either Campylobacter cohort decreased IL-10 concentrations could be measured in splenic and serum samples. In conclusion, the commensal gut microbiota prevents mice from C. jejuni, but not C. coli infection.

Open access

Abstract

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an aerobic, oxidase-negative and catalase-positive bacillus. S. maltophilia is a recognized opportunistic pathogen. Due to the advancements in invasive medical procedures, organ transplantation and chemotherapy of malignant illnesses, the relevance of this pathogen increased significantly. The therapy of S. maltophilia infections is challenging, as these bacteria show intrinsic resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics, the first-choice drug is sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. Our aim was to assess the epidemiology of S. maltophilia from various clinical samples and the characterization of resistance-levels and resistotyping of these samples over a long surveillance period. The study included S. maltophilia bacterial isolates from blood culture samples, respiratory samples and urine samples and the data for the samples, received between January 2008 until December 2017, a total of 817 S. maltophilia isolates were identified (respiratory samples n = 579, 70.9%, blood culture samples n = 175, 21.4% and urine samples n = 63, 7.7%). Levofloxacin and colistin-susceptibility rates were the highest (92.2%; n = 753), followed by tigecycline (90.5%, n = 739), the first-line agent sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (87.4%, n = 714), while phenotypic resistance rate was highest for amikacin (72.5% of isolates were resistant, n = 592). The clinical problem of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim-resistance is a complex issue, because there is no guideline available for the therapy of these infections.

Open access
Authors: Silke Dubbert, Birgit Klinkert, Michael Schimiczek, Trudy M. Wassenaar and Rudolf von Bünau

Probiotic Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917 (EcN) has a long history of safe use. However, the recently discovered presence of a pks locus in its genome presumably producing colibactin has questioned its safety, as colibactin has been implicated in genotoxicity. Here, we assess the genotoxic potential of EcN. Metabolic products were tested in vitro by the Ames test, a mutagenicity assay developed to detect point mutation-inducing activity. Live EcN were tested by an adapted Ames test. Neither the standard nor the adapted Ames test resulted in increased numbers of revertant colonies, indicating that EcN metabolites or viable cells lacked mutagenic activity. The in vivo Mammalian Alkaline Comet Assay (the gold standard for detecting DNA-strand breaks) was used to determine potentially induced DNA-strand breaks in cells of the gastro-intestinal tract of rats orally administered with viable EcN. Bacteria were given at 109–1011 colony forming units (CFU) per animal by oral gavage on 2 consecutive days and daily for a period of 28 days to 5 rats per group. No significant differences compared to negative controls were found. These results demonstrate that EcN does not induce DNA-strand breaks and does not have any detectable genotoxic potential in the test animals.

Open access

The gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori colonizes approximately half of the human world population. The bacterium injects the effector protein cytotoxin associated gene A (CagA) via a type-IV secretion system into host epithelial cells, where the protein becomes phosphorylated at specific EPIYA-motifs by cellular kinases. Inside the host cell, CagA can interact with over 25 different proteins in both phosphorylation-dependent and phosphorylation-independent manners, resulting in manipulation of host-cell signaling pathways. During the course of an H. pylori infection, certain host-cell proteins undergo tyrosine dephosphorylation in a CagA-dependent manner, including the actin-binding proteins cortactin and vinculin. A predominant response of intracellular CagA is the binding and activation of tyrosine phosphatase, the human Src-homology-region-2-domain-containing-phosphatase-2 (SHP2). Here, we considered the possibility that activated SHP2 might be responsible for the dephosphorylation of cortactin and vinculin. To investigate this, phosphatase inhibitor studies were performed. Additionally, a complete knockout mutant of SHP2 in AGS cells was created by CRISPR/Cas9 technology, and these cells were infected with H. pylori. However, neither the presence of an inhibitor nor the inactivation of SHP2 prevented the dephosphorylation of cortactin and vinculin upon CagA delivery. Tyrosine dephosphorylation of these proteins is therefore independent of SHP2 and instead must be caused by another, as yet unidentified, protein tyrosine phosphatase.

Open access

The terricolous species Cladonia foliacea (Cladoniaceae, lichenised Ascomycota) widely distributed in open, dry lowland steppe and rocky mountain grassland vegetation in Europe was chosen as a potential test organism for ecological experiments, since their thalli are producing cortical solar radiation-protective and UV screening pigment dibenzofuran usnic acid and medullary secondary substance depsidone fumarprotocetraric acid. Significant seasonal differences were found in the amounts of lichen secondary metabolites analysed by HPTLC and HPLC-PDA between summer and winter collected thalli in sandy grassland area in Hungary. The concentrations of usnic acid varied between 7.34 and 15.52 mg/g in summer collected samples and 13.90 and 21.61 mg/g in winter collected ones. A comparable amount (11.61±0.29 mg/g) was measured in pulverised samples. The concentrations of fumarprotocetraric acid varied between 0.60 and 3.01 mg/g in summer collected samples and 2.26 and 5.81 mg/g in winter collected thalli. A comparable amount (2.45±0.21 mg/g) was found in pulverised samples. The range of concentration values is comparable with data known from lichens. A higher amount of usnic acid is produced in winter probably to ensure sufficient protection also for summer. The fumarprotocetraric acid content of the medulla might contribute to the solar irradiation reflecting role of the pale lower surface lobes turning upwards in dry condition.

Open access
Authors: M. Dudáš, P. Eliáš jun., D. R. Letz, Z. Bártová and V. Kolarčik

The distribution of Sonchus palustris in Slovakia was studied using herbarium specimens and literary sources. The herbarium studies, supplemented with targeted field search in the years 2015–2018, revealed 61 new localities and confirmed many other older locations. The species has been recorded in 19 phytogeographical districts and sub-districts of Slovakia. Most of the records are concentrated in the Podunajská nížina lowland in SW Slovakia and in the Ipel'sko-rimavská brázda region in southern Slovakia. Our results showed that the species is relatively common in different types of wetlands and its re-evaluation in the recent version of the Slovak red list is not needed. Chromosome number data for two new populations in eastern Slovakia (both 2n = 18) were counted. The distribution map is given.

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Authors: M. F. Vianna, S. Pelizza, M. L. Russo, S. Rodriguez and A. C. Scorsetti

The diversity of fungal endophytes is poorly known and particularly in the case of Nicotiana tabacum, the literature is limited. The present study assessed and compared the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungi between different organs of tobacco plants. We calculated the relative frequency and rates of colonisation and of isolation of endophytic fungi in roots, stems and leaves, as well as the Shannon–Wiener and Simpson diversity indexes. Similarities between assemblages from the studied organs were also analysed. A total of 1588 endophytic fungal strains assigned to 31 morphospecies were isolated. The highest diversity of endophytes was found in leaves, being Fusarium graminearum and Alternaria botrytis the most common fungal species. This study provides information on the distribution of fungal endophytes inhabiting leaves, stems, and roots of N. tabacum and thus can serve as a starting point for increasing our comprehension on the interactions in which these fungi are involved.

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Heterocentron subtriplinervium (Link et Otto) A. Braun et C. D. Bouche, a potential invasive alien species is reported here for the first time for Asia from the Western Ghats of India. The plant is probably introduced deliberately into gardens for ornamental purpose from where it escaped and become naturalised in the Western Ghats. This species is a potential weed, which quickly conquers areas wherever introduced displacing the indigenous flora. A detailed description, illustration, photograph and relevant notes are provided for easy identification in the field.

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For restoration purposes nature conservation preferably requests the use of local seed sources based on the “local-is-best” (LIB) approach. However, counter-arguments against this usage are potential benefits by increased variation, which could be beneficial especially in times of global change. We here investigate intraspecific morphological variability of one of the most common herbaceous, insect pollinated and zoochorous plants from seed mixtures used for landscape restoration processes in central Europe, the wild carrot, Daucus carota L. (Apiaceae). Our results show that D. carota features no vegetative but two generative characters that significantly differed among plants originating from seeds of natural (I) and restored (R) sites. We could show that effects of mowing always overlay origin-specific characteristics. The earlier genetic analysis did not support a regional provenance concept for restoration purposes, while slight differences in phenological parameters related to fitness pinpoint to ‘mix and match-admixture provenancing’ as a compromise strategy.

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Blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) are ubiquitous, pristine and pioneer photosynthetic microorganisms. Many species of cyanobacteria are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen and such species in wet soils are simultaneously augmenting the fertility of the soil, acting as natural bio-fertilizers. Nostoc and Anabaena are the two important genera of heterocystous cyanobacteria capable of contributing nitrogen to soil, especially in paddy fields. The major objectives of the investigation included survey, collection, isolation and pure culture of nitrogen-fixing species of Cyanobacteria in the soils of Kerala state, India. Altogether, pure cultures of 12 species of Nostoc and 5 species of Anabaena are prepared.

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The identification of the diversity of microscopic fungi of lithobiont communities of the Argentine Islands in specimens collected during the 22nd Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition was the purpose of this work. Samples of rock, soil, mosses and lichens of rock micro-habitats of “Crustose lichen sub-formation and fruticose lichen and moss cushion sub-formation” were used in the work. These samples were used for extracting and cultivation of filamentous fungi on dense nutrient media. Determination of physiological and biochemical characteristics and identification of yeast-like fungi were performed using a microbiological analyser ‘Vitek-2’ (‘Bio Merieux’, France). Cultivation of microorganisms was carried out at temperatures from +2 to +37 °C. In results cultures of microscopic fungi of Zygomycota (Mucor circinelloides), Ascomycota (species of the genera cf. Tlielebolus, Talaromyces), representatives of the Anamorphic fungi group (Geomyces pannorum, species of the genera Alternaria, Acremonium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium) were isolated from Antarctic samples. Microscopic fungi Penicillium spp. were dominated after the frequency in the studied samples (54.5%). Rhodotorula rubra and Candida sp. among isolated yeast fungi, and dark pigmented fungi represented by Aureobasidium pulhdans and Exophiala spp. were identified. The biological properties of a number of isolated fungi (the potential ability to synthesise important biologically active substances: melanins, carotenoids, lipids) are characterised. Mycobiota of rock communities of Argentine Islands is rich on filamentous and yeast fungi similarly to other regions of Antarctica. A number of fungi investigated are potentially able to synthesise biologically active substances. The dark pigmented species of the genera Cladosporium, Exophiala, Aureobasidium pulhdans, capable of melanin synthesis; ‘red’ yeast Rhodotorula rubra (carotenoid producers and resistant to toxic metals); Mucor circinelloides and Geomyces pannorum, lipid producers, are among these fungi. Yeast-like fungi assimilated a wide range of carbohydrates, which will allow them to be further used for cultivation in laboratory and process conditions. The collection of technologically promising strains of microorganisms, part of the Culture Collection of Fungi at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine), is updated with isolated species (strains) of filamentous fungi and yeast – potential producers of biologically active substances, obtained within this study.

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Authors: S. Y. Kondratyuk, D. K. Upreti, G. K. Mishra, S. Nayaka, K. K. Ingle, O. O. Orlov, A. S. Kondratiuk, L. Lőkös, E. Farkas, J.-J. Woo and J.-S. Hur

Eight species, new for science, i.e.: Lobothallia gangwondoana S. Y. Kondr., J.-J. Woo et J.-S. Hur and Phyllopsora dodongensis S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur from South Korea, Eastern Asia, Ioplaca rinodinoides S. Y. Kondr., K. K. Ingle, D. K. Upreti et S. Nayaka, Letrouitia assamana S. Y. Kondr., G. K. Mishra et D. K. Upreti, and Rusavskia indochinensis S. Y. Kondr., D. K. Upreti et S. Nayaka from India and China, South Asia, Caloplaca orloviana S. Y. Kondr. and Rusavskia drevlyanica S. Y. Kondr. et O. O. Orlov from Ukraine, Eastern Europe, as well as Xanthoria ibizaensis S. Y. Kondr. et A. S. Kondr. from Ibiza Island, Spain, Mediterranean Europe, are described, illustrated and compared with closely related taxa.

Fominiella tenerifensis S. Y. Kondr., Kärnefelt, A. Thell et Feuerer is for the first time recorded from Mediterranean Europe, Huriella loekoesiana S. Y. Kondr. et Upreti is provided from Russia for the first time, and H. pohangensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur for the first time from China, Phoma candelariellae Z. Kocakaya et Halıcı is new to Ukraine, and Staurothele frustulenta Vain. is recorded from the Forest Zone of Ukraine for the first time.

Twelve new combinations, i.e.: Bryostigma apotheciorum (for Sphaeria apotheciorum A. Massal.), Bryostigma biatoricola (for Arthonia biatoricola Ihlen et Owe-Larss.), Bryostigma dokdoense (for Arthonia dokdoensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös, B. G. Lee, J.-J. Woo et J.-S. Hur), Bryostigma epiphyscium (for Arthonia epiphyscia Nyl.), Bryostigma lobariellae (for Arthonia lobariellae Etayo), Bryostigma lapidicola (for Lecidea lapidicola Taylor), Bryostigma molendoi (for Tichothecium molendoi Heufl. ex Arnold), Bryostigma neglectulum (for Arthonia neglectula Nyl.), Bryostigma parietinarium (for Arthonia parietinaria Hafellner et Fleischhacker), Bryostigma peltigerinum (for Arthonia vagans var. peltigerina Almq.), Bryostigma phaeophysciae (for Arthonia phaeophysciae Grube et Matzer), Bryostigma stereocaulinum (for Arthonia nephromiaria var. stereocaulina Ohlert), are proposed based on results of combined phylogenetic analysis based on mtSSU and RPB2 gene sequences.

Thirty-one new combinations for members of the genus Polyozosia (i.e.: Polyozosia actophila (for Lecanora actophila Wedd.), Polyozosia agardhiana (for Lecanora agardhiana Ach.), Polyozosia altunica (for Myriolecis altunica R. Mamut et A. Abbas), Polyozosia antiqua (for Lecanora antiqua J. R. Laundon), Polyozosia bandolensis (for Lecanora bandolensis B. de Lesd.), Polyozosia behringii (for Lecanora behringii Nyl.), Polyozosia caesioalutacea (for Lecanora caesioalutacea H. Magn.), Polyozosia carlottiana (for Lecanora carlottiana C. J. Lewis et Śliwa), Polyozosia congesta (for Lecanora congesta Clauzade et Vězda), Polyozosia eurycarpa (for Lecanora eurycarpa Poelt, Leuckert et Cl. Roux), Polyozosia expectans (Lecanora expectans Darb.), Polyozosia flowersiana (Lecanora flowersiana H. Magn.), Polyozosia fugiens (for Lecanora fugiens Nyl.), Polyozosia invadens (for Lecanora invadens H. Magn.), Polyozosia juniperina (for Lecanora juniperina Śliwa), Polyozosia latzelii (for Lecanora latzelii Zahlbr.), Polyozosia liguriensis (for Lecanora liguriensis B. de Lesd.), Polyozosia massei (for Myriolecis massei M. Bertrand et J.-Y. Monnat), Polyozosia mons-nivis (for Lecanora mons-nivis Darb.), Polyozosia oyensis (for Lecanora oyensis M.-P. Bertrand et Cl. Roux), Polyozosia percrenata (for Lecanora percrenata H. Magn.), Polyozosia persimilis (for Lecanora hagenii subsp. persimilis Th. Fr.), Polyozosia poeltiana (for Lecanora poeltiana Clauzade et Cl. Roux), Polyozosia prominens (for Lecanora prominens Clauzade et Vězda), Polyozosia prophetae-eliae (for Lecanora prophetae-eliae Sipman), Polyozosia salina (for Lecanora salina H. Magn.), Polyozosia schofieldii (for Lecanora schofieldii Brodo), Polyozosia sverdrupiana (for Lecanora sverdrupiana Øvstedal), Polyozosia torrida (for Lecanora torrida Vain.), Polyozosia wetmorei (for Lecanora wetmorei Śliwa), Polyozosia zosterae (for Lecanora subfusca? zosterae Ach.)) are proposed.

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Lichenes Delicati Exsiccati Editae of little, fine, special lichens is edited in honour of Antonín Vězda (1920–2008). The fifth fascicle of the exsiccate is consisted of 20 species of lichens and lichenicolous fungi and distributed to 12 lichen herbaria of the world. Collectors are K. Buaruang, D. Kalb, K. Kalb, G. E. Lee, L. Lőkös, A. Mertens, W. Polyiam, T. Pócs, W. Saipunkaew, D. Tang, N. Varga and E. Farkas.

Open access

Tamarix L. (Tamaricaceae) is a halophytic shrub in different parts of Asia and North Africa. Taxonomy and species limitation of Tamarix is very complex. This genus has three sections as Tamarix, Oligadenia, and Polyadenia, which are mainly separated by petal length, the number of stamens, the shape of androecial disk and attachment of filament on the androecial disk. As there was no palynological data on pollen features of Tamarix species of Iran, in the present study 12 qualitative and quantitative pollen features were evaluated to find diagnostic ones. Pollen grains of 8 Tamarix species were collected from nature. Pollen grains were studied without any treatment. Measurements were based on at least 50 pollen grains per specimen. Light and scanning electron microscopes were used. Multivariate statistical methods were applied to clarify the species relationships based on pollen data. All species studied showed monad and tricolpate (except some individuals of T. androssowii). Some Tamarix species show a high level of variability, in response to ecological niches and phenotypic plasticity, which make Tamarix species separation much more difficult. Based on the results of the present study, pollen grains features are not in agreement with previous morphological and molecular genetics about the sectional distinction.

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Between the years 2015–2018, 147 stands of Ficus carica L. was found out of cultivation in Baranya county. In 2008 presence of fig wasp (Blastophaga psenes L.) and caprificus individuals that are necessary for pollination, then for producing fertile seeds were detected in Pécs at first time. For germination tests fig seeds were collected from several different stands in Pécs and successful reproduction of the species was confirmed under in vitro conditions. According to former and recent observations (i.e. subspontaneous seedlings and/or successful in vitro germination of common fig seeds in 2010 and 2014) fig wasp may have occurred in Budapest and Máriagyűd too, at least in the last ten years. These results confirm that F. carica is an old ‘new’ casual or may be a naturalised neophyte element of the Hungarian flora. According to the new records the northernmost escaped individuals of F. carica was found at 47.475° N in the Carpathian Basin, 116.5 km N of the closest Slovenian stand in the latitudinal direction.

Open access
Authors: S. Y. Kondratyuk, L. Lőkös, E. Farkas, I. Kärnefelt, A. Thell, Y. Yamamoto and J.-S. Hur

Three new for science genera, i.e.: Erichansenia S. Y. Kondr., Kärnefelt et A. Thell for the ‘Caloplaca’ epithallina group of the subfamily Xanthorioideae, as well as Lendemeriella S. Y. Kondr. for the Caloplaca reptans group, and Pisutiella S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et E. Farkas for the Caloplaca conversa group of the subfamily Caloplacoideae of the Teloschistaceae, are described on the basis of results of the three gene phylogeny of the Teloschistaceae based on nrITS, nrLSU and mtSSU sequences.

Twenty-seven new combinations, i.e.: Erichansenia epithallina (for Caloplaca epithallina Lynge), Erichansenia cryodesertorum (for Shackletonia cryodesertorum Garrido-Ben., Søchting et Pérez-Ort.), Erichansenia sauronii (for Caloplaca sauronii Søchting et Øvstedal), Fauriea mandshuriaensis (for Caloplaca mandshuriaensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur), Fauriea trassii (for Caloplaca trassii Galanina et S. Y. Kondr.), Lendemeriella borealis (for Lecanora pyracea f. borealis Vain.), Lendemeriella dakotensis (for Caloplaca dakotensis Wetmore), Lendemeriella exsecuta (for Lecanora exsecuta Nyl.), Lendemeriella lucifuga (for Caloplaca lucifuga G. Thor), Lendemeriella nivalis (for Zeora nivalis Körb.), Lendemeriella reptans (for Caloplaca reptans Lendemer et B. P. Hodk.), Lendemeriella sorocarpa (for Placodium sorocarpum Vain.), Lendemeriella tornoensis (for Caloplaca tornoensis H. Magn.), Pisutiella congrediens (for Lecanora congrediens Nyl.), Pisutiella conversa (for Callopisma conversum Kremp.), Pisutiella furax (for Caloplaca furax Egea et Llimona), Pisutiella grimmiae (for Lecanora grimmiae Nyl.), Pisutiella ivanpisutii (for Caloplaca ivanpisutii S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et Hur), Pisutiella phaeothamnos (for Caloplaca phaeothamnos K. Kalb et J. Poelt), Pyrenodesmia aetnensis (for Caloplaca aetnensis B. de Lesd.), Pyrenodesmia albolutescens (for Lecanora albolutescens Nyl.), Pyrenodesmia aractina (for Parmelia aractina Fr.), Pyrenodesmia atroflava (for Lecidea atroflava Turner), Pyrenodesmia bicolor (for Caloplaca bicolor H. Magn.), Pyrenodesmia molariformis (for Caloplaca molariformis Frolov, Vondrák, Nadyeina et Khodos.), Pyrenodesmia neotaurica (for Caloplaca neotaurica Vondrák, Khodos., Arup et Søchting), Pyrenodesmia peliophylla (for Placodium peliophyllum Tuck.) are proposed based on results from a combined phylogenetic analysis using nrITS, nrLSU and mtSSU gene sequences.

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Authors: Zoltán Attila Köbölkuti, Klára Cseke, Attila Benke, Mátyás Báder, Attila Borovics and Róbert Németh

Introduction

Since Populus has veritable value as timber, plywood, pulp, and paper, genomic research should create the sound basis for further breeding toward desirable wood quality attributes.

Materials and methods

In this study, we addressed the need for a research methodology that initially identifies and then characterize candidate genes encoding enzymes with wood property phenotypic traits, toward the aim of developing a genomics-based breeding technology.

Results

On 23 different poplar species/hybrid samples, we successfully amplified 55 primers designed on Populus trichocarpa L. Considering the number of polymorphic sites, out of 73,206 bp, 51 SNPs and 31 indel events were found. Non-synonymous single base mutations could be detected in number of 30, 21 out of 164 sequences were the number of minimum recombination events and 41 significant pairwise comparisons between loci could be detected.

Discussion and conclusion

Our results provide a roadmap for a future association genetic study between nucleotide diversity and precise evaluation of phenotype.

Open access
Authors: Gergely Sámuel Bartha, Gergő Tóth, Péter Horváth, Eszter Kiss, Nóra Papp and Monika Kerényi

Introduction

Several Aristolochia species were used as medicinal herb across Europe and in recent years, their antimicrobial activity has also been investigated.

Materials and methods

In this study, A. clematitis was selected to evaluate the aristolochic acids I and II (AA I and AA II) concentrations and the antimicrobial activity of methanol, hexane, butanol, and ethyl acetate extracts of the root, stem, leaf, root, and fruit. AA I and AA II contents were measured by a validated high-performance liquid chromatography–ultraviolet method.

Results

Each fraction of the plant contained AA I and AA II and the root was found to have the highest contents of AA I (1.09%) and AA II (0.7454%). The minimum inhibitory concentrations of all extracts were determined by standard microdilution method. The fruit’s extracts showed the most efficient antimicrobial effect against both methicillin sensitive and resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains.

Conclusion

Correlation between the AA I and AA II concentrations and the antimicrobial effect was not found.

Open access

Abstract

Ecological communities are shaped by a complex interplay between abiotic forcing, biotic regulation and demographic stochasticity. However, community dynamics modelers tend to focus on abiotic forcing overlooking biotic interactions, due to notorious challenges involved in modeling and quantifying inter-specific interactions, particularly for species-rich systems such as planktonic assemblages. Nevertheless, inclusive models with regard to the full range of plausible drivers are essential to characterizing and predicting community response to environmental changes. Here we develop a Bayesian model for identifying, from in-situ time series, the biotic, abiotic and stochastic factors underlying the dynamics of species-rich communities, focusing on the joint biomass dynamics of biologically meaningful groups. We parameterize a multivariate model of population co-variation with an explicit account for demographic stochasticity, density-dependent feedbacks, pairwise interactions, and abiotic stress mediated by changing environmental conditions and resource availability, and work out explicit formulae for partitioning the temporal variance of each group in its biotic, abiotic and stochastic components. We illustrate the methodology by analyzing the joint biomass dynamics of four major phytoplankton functional types namely, diatoms, dinoflagellates, coccolithophores and phytoflagellates at Station L4 in the Western English Channel using weekly biomass records and coincident measurements of environmental covariates describing water conditions and potentially limiting resources. Abiotic and biotic factors explain comparable amounts of temporal variance in log-biomass growth across functional types. Our results demonstrate that effective modelling of resource limitation and inter-specific interactions is critical for quantifying the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors.

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Due to its overall environmental impact, the residual dye in the wastewater from the synthetic dye manufacturing and textile industries is a global concern. The discharge contains a high content of pigments and other additives, possessing complex structures. As per the requirement for dyed clothing, dyestuff in the effluent is less susceptible to acids, bases, and oxygen. Thus, conventional physical and chemical methods are not always efficient in degrading the dyes. Some microorganisms growing in an area affected with textile effluent have the capability to utilize the dyes as a source of carbon or nitrogen or both. As a very clean, inexpensive, and sufficient alternative, bioremediation of textile wastewater using these microorganisms has gained major popularity. This review primarily centers the contribution of bacteria in this sector and the isolation of such bacteria from textile effluent. A secondary focus is discussing the factors which influence the performance by different bacteria.

Open access

Purpose

This study aims to characterize plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in sunflowers growing in different locations at North West of Iran.

Materials and methods

Sunflower plants were collected from different regions of West Azarbaijan, and rhizospheric bacterial strains were isolated and screened for PGP traits. Identification and characterization of the PGPR were conducted based on 16s rDNA sequences and phenotypic analysis, the strains clustered for genetic diversity by rep-PCR method.

Results

Among the 80 bacterial isolates, 20 showed PGP traits and were selected for other potentials. All the selected isolates produced indole-3-acetic acid at the rate of 9.2–33.7 mg/ml. In addition, 13, 15, 12, and 16 were positive for phosphate solubilization, siderephore, hydrogen cyanide, and ammonia production, respectively. The results from a subsequent pot experiment indicated that PGPRs distinctly increased sun flower shoot and root length, shoot and root fresh weight, as well as shoot and root dry weight. Based on 16S rDNA sequences and biochemical and physiological characteristics, 20 PGPRs were identified as Pseudomonas fluorescens (five isolates), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (four isolates), Pseudomonas geniculata (one isolate), Bacillus subtilis (four isolates), Bacillus pumilus (two isolates), Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (two isolates), and Brevibacterium frigoritolerans (two isolates). In rep-PCR, PGPR isolates were differentiated into seven clusters (A–G) at 65% similarity level. These results demonstrated the existence of a considerable species richness and genetic diversity among PGPRs isolated from different regions of North West of Iran.

Conclusions

To the best of our knowledge, this is first report for the identification and characterization of B. frigoritolerans as PGPR in sunflower plants.

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Authors: Rubina Tu¨nde Szabó, Mária Kovács-Weber, Márta Erdélyi, Krisztián Balogh, Natasa Fazekas, Ákos Horváth, Miklós Mézes and Balázs Kovács

Background and aims

The aim of this study was to verify that the comet assay can be used to investigate the DNA damaging effects of T-2 and HT-2 toxins in the liver of broiler chickens. The comet assay is a favorable genotoxic analysis because it is cheap, simple, and can be used in many organisms and different tissues.

Materials and methods

Male broiler chickens were fed with T-2/HT-2 toxins-contaminated diet for 14 days. The comet assay was successfully adapted to chicken liver cells, and the DNA damage was determined by a decrease in the comet parameter (DNA % in the tail) in the experimental groups.

Results

The method of evaluation was found to be critical because DNA damage could not be detected exactly using the CometScore software, due to inaccurate separation of head and comet. However, this problem can be solved by visual evaluation.

Conclusion

In the case of the visual evaluation, each toxin-treated group differed significantly from the control group, indicating that the assay can be useful for the assessment of primary DNA damage caused by T-2/HT-2 toxins.

Open access

Introduction

In this study, we analyzed gynandromorphs with female terminalia, to dissect mating-related female behaviors in Drosophila.

Materials and methods

We used gynandromorphs, experimentally modified wild-type (Oregon-R) females, and mutant females that lacked different components of the female reproductive apparatus.

Results

Many of the gynandromorphs mated but did not expel the mating plug (MP). Some of these – with thousands of sperm in the uterus – failed to take up sperm into the storage organs. There were gynandromorphs that stored plenty of sperm but failed to release them to fertilize eggs. Expelling the MP, sperm uptake into the storage organs, and the release of stored sperm along egg production are separate steps occurring during Drosophila female fertility. Cuticle landmarks of the gynandromorphs revealed that while the nerve foci that control MP expelling and also those that control sperm uptake reside in the abdominal, the sperm release foci derive from the thoracic region of the blastoderm.

Discussion and conclusion

The gynandromorph study is confirmed by analyses of (a) mutations that cause female sterility: Fs(3)Avar (preventing egg deposition), Tm2gs (removing germline cells), and iab-4DB (eliminating gonad formation) and (b) by experimentally manipulated wild-type females: decapitated or cut through ventral nerve cord.

Open access
Authors: F. Tóth, Franciska Tóthné Bogdányi, Renáta Petrikovszki, Anita Gódor, M. Zalai, B. Bálint, P. Sunder and A. Myrta

The effectiveness of dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) to control root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) and weeds was tested for the first time in Hungary in two consecutive protected cucumber crops with application made only before the first crop. The treatments were Accolade EC (DMDS 94.1%) at 400 l/ha applied by driplines, Nemathorin 10 G (fosthiazate) at 30 kg/ha, and an untreated control. During the first cucumber cycle vigour-index, yield, root-gall index, Meloidogyne juveniles in the soil and germination of weeds were evaluated. All considered parameters were significantly improved by using DMDS compared respectively to the chemical standard and untreated control: (i) vigour-index of 7.0, 4.3 and 3.6; (ii) cumulative yield/sample of 45.1 kg, 30.9 kg, and 16.6 kg; root-gall index (RGI) of 1.2, 4.9, and 5.9; (iii) M. incognita J2/25 g soil of 0.25, 48.5 and 78.0, and (iv) number of weed seedlings/sample in the 20–30 cm soil profile of 1.1, 2.6, and 4.2. During the second cucumber crop, only root-gall index was evaluated. Results showed that a single DMDS treatment applied before the first crop had a prolonged beneficial effect on the following crop. In the second crop cycle, root gall indices were 5.58, 9.18, and 8.44 for DMDS treated plots, chemical control and untreated control, respectively.

Open access
Authors: Elisabetta Gerace, Vincenzo Di Marco Lo Presti and Carmelo Biondo

Cryptosporidium is a protozoan that infects a wide variety of vertebrates, including humans, causing acute gastroenteritis. The disease manifests with abdominal pain and diarrhea similar to that of choleric infection. In the immunocompromised hosts, the parasite causes prolonged infections that can also be fatal. For this reason, cryptosporidiosis is considered one of riskiest opportunistic infections for patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The best way to control the infection in these patients is setting up sensitive and specific diagnostic tests for epidemiological surveillance and morbidity reduction. Here, we summarized the general aspects of Cryptosporidium infection focusing on available diagnostic tools used for the diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis. Molecular methods currently available for its detection and progress in the development of new diagnostics for cryptosporidiosis are also discussed.

Open access

Phthorimaea operculella is a significant insect pest of cultivated potatoes in tropical and subtropical regions such as Iran. Since the potato is one of the most valuable sources of human food, non-chemical control of potato pests is essential. Application of medicinal plant extracts is a low-risk alternative method to synthetic chemical insecticides. Hence, the present study was conducted to investigate a potential strategy to improve the insecticidal activity of plant extracts for efficient management of P. operculella. The insecticidal efficacy of pure methanolic extract (PME) and Fe3O4@methanolic extract (FME) of Cuminum cyminum were evaluated against the potato tuber moth under laboratory conditions. The morphological characteristics of Fe3O4@Cumin were investigated by scanning electron microscope. Magnetic properties of the samples were determined using a vibration sample magnetometer. XRD was used to prove the crystalline structure of Fe3O4@Cumin. SEM, FTIR, XRD, and VSM analyses confirmed that the methanolic extract was loaded on Fe3O4. The toxicity of PME and Fe3O4@Cumin were evaluated on one-day-old eggs and penetration the first instar larvae of P. operculella into potato tubers and leaves. The LC50 values of Cumin extract and Fe3O4@ Cumin were 961.07 and 601.48 and 496.84 and 268.82 ppm for penetrating neonate larvae to tubers and leaves, and 874.90 and 595.16 ppm for eggs, respectively. Bioassays revealed that Fe3O4@Cumin was more toxic than non-formulated Cumin methanolic extract against eggs and neonate larvae of P. operculella. The formulated methanolic extract was significantly more repellent against the pest. Our results suggested that the prepared nanocomposite could be used as a new effective tool for P. operculella management strategies to protect potatoes.

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Abstract

Foundation species and invasive species strongly influence community diversity and structure, but typically in different ways. However, when widespread invasive species provide novel habitat within a community, their net effect may depend on both the environment and community composition. Fouling communities in northern and southern California harbors were surveyed to determine whether there was variation between two locations in the percent cover of an invasive bryozoan, Watersipora subtorquata (d'Orbigny, 1852), and its relationship to community diversity and composition in these two environments. Diversity significantly differed between locations and had a location-dependent association with W. subtorquata abundance. Communities were significantly dissimilar between locations, and W. subtorquata abundance had the highest percent contribution to community dissimilarity when compared to other species in the community. These results suggest that invasive species may have both facilitative and inhibitive relationships with species in a community, but that the net balance of these interactions depends on both the environmental and community context.

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The economic threshold level of Meloidogyne incognita, Alternaria dauci and Rhizoctonia solani were determined on carrot (Daucus carota L.) under greenhouse conditions. The results revealed that plant length, plant fresh weight, shoot and root dry weight, chlorophyll and carotenoid decreased progressively with the corresponding increase in the inoculum levels of each pathogen. The significant reduction in plant growth parameters, chlorophyll and carotenoid occurred when 2000 or more second stage juveniles (J2s) of M. incognita, 1.0 g or more inoculum of A. dauci or R. solani per kg soil were inoculated. Maximum reduction in plant growth attributes, chlorophyll and carotenoid occurred at the highest inoculum level of the test pathogens. Increase in the inoculum level of M. incognita caused an increase in the number of root galls, while the multiplication of nematode was found inversely related to the inoculum density. The increase in the inoculum levels of A. dauci and R. solani resulted in a progressive increase in leaf blight and crown rot indices and caused a higher reduction in plant growth parameters. The damaging threshold level of M. incognita was 2000 J2 per kg soil while 1.0 g per kg soil of A. dauci or R. solani was threshold level on carrot. The assessment of infestation levels of test pathogens will enable growers to cost-effectively select and implement the management tactics.

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Introduction

Effect of water stress on the physiology and biochemistry of two different Coleus species, Coleus forskholii and Coleus amboinicus, was studied.

Materials and methods

Drought stress was imposed by withholding the water supply until leaf water potentials reached −0.4, −0.8, and −1.2 MPa. Physiological parameters such as relative water content and water uptake capacity were studied along with lipid peroxidation, superoxide, H2O2, and OH accumulation-, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) scavenging assays. Antioxidant defense system in Coleus under drought stress was studied by quantifying the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, ascorbic acid, reduced glutathione-, and α-tocopherol content as well as activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, peroxidase, and glutathione reductase. Accumulation of osmolytes proline, glycine betaine, and phytohormone abscisic acid was also used as key parameters for assessing their performance.

Results

There was a marked variation in the antioxidative defense system and osmolyte accumulation in these two species under drought stress. Relative water content was reduced and water uptake capacity was increased.

Discussion

A comparative study in the perspectives of osmolyte accumulation, antioxidant, and physiological responses inferred C. amboinicus as a drought stress-tolerant species when compared to C. forskholii.

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Authors: S. Leon-Cisneros, A. Quirola-Garcés, J. Alvarez-Santana, N. Barriga-Medina, D. Ramirez-Villacís, M. Caviedes, L. Ramirez-Cárdenas and A. Leon-Reyes

Anthocyanins are plants metabolites that are recognized by its red/purple coloration produced in flowers, seeds and leaves. These molecules are potentially important to the industry for its antioxidant capacity, disease prevention and as a natural dye. Currently, the production of anthocyanins is carried out using in vitro culture of Vitis vinifera and its yield is increased by using elicitors or stress factors. Zea mays is relevant due to its high content of cyanidin-3-β-glucoside anthocyanin. In the present study the production of cyanidin-3-β-glucoside was evaluated with different mechanisms of elicitation using in vivo and in vitro culture of purple and white maize varieties. The highest callus induction (85%) for white maize was obtained in MS medium supplemented with 2 mg/L of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, while for purple maize (93%) was obtained in N6 medium with 2 mg/L of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, using germinated seed as explant for both varieties. Methyl jasmonate was evaluated as an elicitation tool, however no cyanidin-3-β-glucoside was found to be accumulated or produced in vitro. In contrast, using germinated seeds and radicle tissue, elicitation using phosphorus deficiency treatment produced the highest cyanidin-3-β-glucoside accumulation (0.06 mg g−1) in white maize. No elicitation and further production of anthocyanins was found when purple maize were used using this method. Therefore, in vivo elicitation in white maize is a potential method to produce a stable anthocyanin that could be optimized for future applications.

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Cereal breeding programs are interested in increasing the number of generations per year to reduce the time needed to develop new cultivars. A common method to accomplish this is to extend the photoperiod to speed up plant growth. For oat, this method is problematic because the species responds to changes in light and temperature. Current methods of fast generation cycling in oat require embryo rescue, which is labor intensive and has a low success rate. Recently a method was developed using increased photoperiod and foliar mineral supplement to reduce generation time for wheat and barley. We evaluated this newly published method in oat and found that anthesis occurred 15 ± 3 days faster, however there was a 3-fold reduction in seed count and a 2-fold reduction in inflorescence weight. In addition, we measured endogenous ascorbate to evaluate the physiological status of the plants under fast generation cycling conditions. For oat, fast generation cycling would be effective to more rapidly advance populations using single seed descent, but not as useful when seed yield is important.

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Authors: D. Huang, H. Zhang, M. Tar, Y. Zhang, F. Ni, J. Ren, D. Fu, L. Purnhauser and J. Wu

Stripe or yellow rust (Yr), caused by Puccinia striiformis Westend. (Pst), is one of the most important wheat diseases worldwide. New aggressive Pst races can spread quickly, even between countries and continents. To identify and exploit stripe rust resistance genes, breeders must characterize first the Pst resistance and genotypes of their cultivars. To find new sources of resistances it is important to study how wheat varieties respond to Pst races that predominate in other continents. In this study we evaluated stripe rust resistance in 53 Hungarian winter wheat cultivars in China. Twenty-four cultivars (45.3%) had all stage resistance (ASR) and 1 (1.9%) had adult-plant resistance (APR), based on seedling tests in growth chambers and adult-plant tests in fields. We molecularly genotyped six Yr resistance genes: Yr5, Yr10, Yr15, Yr17, Yr18, and Yr36. Yr18, an APR gene, was present alone in five cultivars, and in ‘GK Kapos’, that also had seedling resistance. The other five Yr genes were absent in all cultivars tested.

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Few researches address the compatibility of organic mulching and entomopathogenic (EPN) and slug-parasitic (SPN) nematodes, although organic mulching may provide favourable conditions for these beneficial organisms. Our aim was to examine the effect of different concentrations (0.1, 0.5, 1 and 5%) of aqueous extracts of green waste compost, the dry leaf litters of the common walnut (Juglans regia) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides) on EPN (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema feltiae, Steinernema kraussei) and SPN (Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita) species. Experiments were set up in 96-well, flat-bottom microplates. After a 24-hour exposure time, the number of dead animals was counted under a transmission microscope. Green waste compost extracts caused quite low or no mortality in case of all examined species. Mortality caused by the 5% Norway maple leaf litter extract was moderate (34.6%) in the case of S. carpocapsae juveniles, while 100% of juveniles of other species died. The highest (5%) concentration of the common walnut leaf litter extract caused 100% mortality in all species. As a conclusion, green waste compost mulch seems to be more compatible with EPN and SPN species than common walnut or Norway maple leaf litter mulch.

Open access
Authors: Q. Riaz, K. Ács, F. Békés, R.F. Eastwood, A. Farahnaky, M. Majzoobi and C.L. Blanchard

Grain fructans play an important role in the physiology of wheat plants and also impact on the health of consumers of wheat-based products. Given the potential economic importance of fructan levels, if genetic variability could be identified for this trait, it may be a potentially useful breeding target for developing climate-resilient and nutritionally enhanced wheat varieties. The aim of the current study was to screen 78 genetically diverse Australian wheat varieties released between 1860 and 2015 to determine if historic breeding targets have resulted in changes in fructan levels and to identify potential breeding parents for the development of varieties with specific fructan levels. The impact of seasonal conditions on grain fructan levels were also investigated. Analysis of the varieties in this study indicated that historic breeding targets have not impacted on grain fructan levels. Fructan content in flours varied between 1.01 to 2.27%, showing some variation among the varieties. However, a significant variation in fructan levels was observed between different harvest years (mean values for 2015 and 2016 samples were 1.38 and 1.74%, respectively). While large variations in fructan contents of different varieties were not found, there were some varieties with consistently higher or lower fructan contents which could be used to breed varieties with specific fructan levels.

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Maize samples collected in Serbia during a period of seven years were investigated on the presence of fumonisins. Concentration of fumonisins was determined by validated direct competitive Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay method. This method was in accordance with European Union requirements, therefore accredited and performed in the Serbian accredited official laboratory. Summary analysis of all obtained results revealed fumonisins contamination in 82% of the total of 291 maize samples with average contamination being 1.515 mg/kg. An increase in the percentage of contaminated samples (from 51 to 100%), as well as an increase in mean fumonisin concentration in positive samples (from 0.227 to 3.281 mg/kg) and median values in positive samples (from 0.070 to 2.140 mg/kg) was noticed during the observation period. Although in Serbia there is no regular control of fumonisins in corn for animal feeding, long-term results indicate their wide distribution in this grain. Since the data on climate elements show change in temperature and precipitation in relation to multiannual average on the territory of Serbia, further research on the effects of climate change on the development of mold, the appearance of insects and the production of toxins are necessary in order to check the resistance of currently grown hybrids in the territory of Serbia on fungal growth and fumonisins production.

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Wheat endosperm storage proteins are the major components of gluten. They play an important role in dough properties and in bread making quality in various wheat varieties. In the present study, the different alleles encoded at the 5 glutenin loci were identified from a set of 38 tetraploid wheat germplasm obtained from interspecific crosses between durum wheats (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. durum (Desf.) Husn.) and their relatives (T. dicoccum Schübl. and T. polonicum L.) using SDS-PAGE. At Glu-A1 and Glu-B1, encoding high molecular weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS), 2 and 4 alleles were observed, respectively. Low molecular weight glutenin subunits (LMW-GS) displayed similar polymorphism, as 3, 5 and 3 alleles were identified at loci Glu-A3, Glu-B3 and Glu-B2, respectively. One new allele was detected at Glu-B3 locus and appeared in nine accessions obtained from five crosses. This allele codes for five subunits (2 + 8 + 9 + 13 + 18), encoded by the Glu-B3b without subunit 16 plus subunits 2 and 18. A total of 38 patterns resulted from the genetic combination of the alleles encoding at the five glutenin loci. This led to a significantly higher Nei coefficient of genetic variation in Glu-1, Glu-3 and Glu-B2 loci (0.54). The germplasm analyzed exhibited allelic variation in HMW and LMW glutenin subunit composition and the variation differed from that of tetraploid wheats of other countries. The presence of high quality alleles in glutenin loci have led the accessions to be considered as an asset in breeding programs aimed for wheat quality.

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Abstract

In gravel pits, a mosaic of habitats with various environmental conditions created during mining has a great potential for persistence of many species. We focused on such a mosaic in a gravel pit surrounded by agricultural landscape. We investigated which habitats within sludge deposits in different successional stages (from bare sands to secondary forest) and agriculturally reclaimed area enhanced diversity, species richness and abundance of carabids and supported occurrence of threatened species. Since some of these habitats were extensively managed while others were invaded by the alien plant Solidago gigantea, we also tested the effect of management and the cover of S. gigantea on carabid assemblages. We found a gradient in carabid assemblages from psammophilous ones in bare sandy soils towards similar assemblages in plots with well-developed vegetation cover. Here, carabid assemblages were represented predominantly by common species of agricultural and forest lands without higher habitat requirements. Contrarily, plots with bare sand could serve as a refuge for rare psammophilous carabid species, which cannot occur in surrounding landscape due to vanished suitable habitats. Therefore, keeping some of habitats in early plant successional states is important for maintaining habitat mosaic and for persistence of such species as well. Management of grasslands and cover of S. gigantea had no effect on carabid assemblage. We presume that carabids were likely more affected by vegetation structure and density than species composition.

Open access

The present research endeavor was undertaken to depict the response of different generations viz., F1, F2, BC1F1, BC1F2, BC1F3, BC1F4 and BC1F5 of triticale × wheat and wheat × rye hybrids towards the different parameters of haploid induction. The experimental material included the different generations obtained utilizing five genotypes of triticale (DT-123, DT-126, TL-2900, TL-2908 and TL-9335), four genotypes of Himalayan rye (Karoki rye, shanoor rye, tino rye and triloki rye) with various elite bread wheat genotypes as parents in wide hybridization programme. The triticale × wheat and wheat × rye recombinants were further subjected to Imperata cylindrica-mediated chromosome elimination approach of doubled haploidy breeding. The variability in the haploid induction parameters was observed to be under genetic control for embryo formation and regeneration, while pseudoseed formation was only affected by auxin treatment. Among the different generations, the backcross generations viz., BC1F1 and BC1F2 were found to exhibit significant positive response towards haploid induction parameters in both triticale × wheat and wheat × rye hybridization. Knowledge of effective generation for haploid induction in triticale × wheat and wheat × rye hybridization not only saved the time and energy but also enhanced the efficiency of haploid induction.

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Authors: J.L. Zárate-Castrejón, C.L. Aguirre-Mancilla, E. Solís-Moya, J.E. Ruiz-Nieto, J.C. Raya-Pérez, J.G. Ramírez-Pimentel and V. Montero-Tavera

Yellow rust is a wheat disease caused by Puccinia striiformis, this pathogen causes economic losses in susceptible materials, which represent up to 70% of wheat varieties. Currently, the incorporation of genetic resistance through molecular tools, is a process used in the generation of new varieties resistant to this pathogen. A strategy employed to identify genes involved in the resistance to yellow rust is to screen differential EST obtained by suppressive subtractive hybridization. In this research, cDNA was extracted from healthy and inoculated plants from the resistant line V-26 from INIFAP. A set of 200 differentially expressed EST were cloned and sequenced, and 31 of them were selected for expression profile analysis by RT-PCR; additionally, with the aim of validate RT-PCR results, five genes were selected for RT-qPCR analysis in genotypes inoculated by P. striiformis. The results showed high levels of expression of selected genes in genotypes classified as resistant in the field conditions (21, 143, 230, 242, 261 and 277), while in the susceptible genotype 16, few genes were induced by the rust. Expression profiles confirmed significant differences between resistant and susceptible lines.

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Authors: Patricia Patricio, José Artur Paiva and Luís Miguel Borrego

Sepsis leads to a systemic immune response, and despite the progress of modern medicine, it is still responsible for a high mortality rate.

The immune response to sepsis is dependent on the innate and adaptive immune systems. The first line is the innate system, which requires complex and multiple pathways in order to eliminate the invading threats. The adaptive responses start after the innate response. The cell-mediated arm of CD4+ and CD8+ T and B cells is the main responsible for this response.

A coordinated cytokine response is essential for the host immune response. A dysregulated response can lead to a hyperinflammatory condition (cytokine storm). This hyperinflammation leads to neutrophils activation and may also lead to organ dysfunction. An imbalance of this response can increase the anti-inflammatory response, leading to compensatory anti-inflammatory response syndrome (CARS), persistent inflammation-immunsupression, catabolism syndrome (PICS), and, above all, an immune paralysis stat.

This immune paralysis leads to opportunistic infections, Candida species being one of the emerging microorganisms involved. The host immune response is different for bacterial or Candida sepsis.

Immune responses for bacterial and Candida sepsis are described in this paper.

Open access

When applied in funnel traps, the known three-component floral lure of Cetonia a. aurata and Potosia cuprea attracts large numbers of beetles. Further increasing the attractive power of these traps offers the opportunity to develop a more potent mass-trapping tool that directly reduces local scarab populations and, hence, fruit damage. The current study was initiated by the observation of adult beetles aggregating and feeding in large numbers on ripening fruit, accompanied by the presence of fermentation volatiles detectable by the human nose. Addition of apple pieces to the ternary C. aurata aurata / P. cuprea lure resulted in increased catches, but only in traps where the apple fermented as a result of beetle feeding. Volatile extracts collected from fermenting apple were subjected to GC-EAG, and bioactive peaks were identified as 1-hexanol, acetic acid, n-butyric acid, isovaleric acid, hexanoic acid and 3-methylphenol by GC-MS and GC peak enhancement. In preliminary field trials, a synthetic mixture of all identified compounds reduced activity of the ternary lure, indicating that some were inhibitory. As certain individual compounds or their particular combinations enhanced activity of the ternary lure only numerically, further experiments are discussed to optimize a synergistic blend of fruit fermentation and/or beetle-derived volatiles.

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Authors: Mughal Qayum, Muhammad Nisar, Abdur Rauf, Imran Khan, Waqar Ahmad Kaleem, Muslim Raza, Nasiara Karim, Munawar Ahmad Saleem, Saud Bawazeer, Sengul Uysal, Gokhan Zengin, Saqib Jahan and Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan

Introduction

Natural products derived from medicinal plants provide beneficial cancer chemotherapeutic drugs. Bioactive constituents from plants are explored for their anticancer properties.

Methods

Three known compounds (deacetylbaccatin III, tasumatrol B, and taxawallin J) were isolated from Taxus wallichiana. Compounds were screened against four cancer cell lines, such as eA498, HepG2, NCI-H226, and MDR 2780AD. Cytotoxic activity was evaluated using MTT assay against cancer cell lines.

Results

Tasumatrol B showed good cytotoxic activity conducted for the improvement of inhibiting potential of these compounds against the cancer drug target protein (EGFR tyrosine kinase enzyme). The docking study showed that all compounds have binding affinities and interaction profile with the receptor tyrosine kinase.

Discussion

The study suggests that these compounds could be used for the discovery of novel inhibitors against the target receptors for the treatment of cancer.

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Abstract

Mangroves are dynamic ecosystems due to influence of abiotic and biotic factors, but the latter are far less studied. Interactions between key invertebrate groups, trees, and soil properties, among others, determine the community structure throughout mangrove stand developing. Covariation among these factors, however, obscures their mutual relationships in shaping mangrove community assemblage patterns. In the estuary of Pacoti River (Ceará State, northeast Brazil), we compared the diversity and distribution of brachyurans and trees among several mid-littoral areas, and their relation with sediment features, to understand their relationships in community assemblage of new mangrove stands in developing. To discriminate the relation among these variables, ordination of data (PCA) and multivariate multiple correlation (PLS) were used. Data show that intertidal establishment of Brachyura was determined primarily by sediment properties, but further spatial distribution and diversity of this key faunal group, and the tree species that establishes, can influence each other. The prop roots habitat of Rhizophora mangle supports a higher brachyuran richness, since it allows the existence of multispecific crab burrow systems underground. Our results show that Rhizophora and brachyurans are key engineer organisms involved in shaping the physical and, hence, the ecological structure of newly established mangrove stands at Neotropics.

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The predatory mites Neoseiulus barkeri, Amblyseius swirskii and Cydnoseius negevi are native phytoseiid mites in Egypt. The biology of these predators was studied using Achroia grisella eggs as food source. Tested phytoseiids were succeeded to develop to adulthood and sustain oviposition on A. grisella eggs. For Cydnoseius negevi, the development was slower and fecundity was lower than for Neoseiulus barkeri and Amblyseius swirskii. The predation rate during immature stages of Cydnoseius negevi was higher than those of Neoseiulus barkeri and Amblyseius swirskii. During oviposition period, N. barkeri consumed more eggs than other phytoseiids did. The higher mean fecundity was recorded for Neoseiulus barkeri and Amblyseius swirskii as opposed to the lower mean for Cydnoseius negevi. When Amblyseius swirskii fed on Achroia grisella eggs, the oviposition period, female longevity and mean generation time were longer than for Cydnoseius negevi and Neoseiulus barkeri. Feeding on eggs of Achroia grisella resulted in the lowest mean fecundity, net reproductive rate, intrinsic rate of natural increase, finite rate of increase and gross reproductive rate for Cydnoseius negevi. The sex ratio of all predators' progeny was in female-biased. Consequently, the moth egg was alternative food for Neoseiulus barkeri and Amblyseius swirskii, while it considers as survival prey for Cydnoseius negevi.

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Authors: N. von Allmen, K. Gorzelniak, O. Liesenfeld, M. Njoya, J. Duncan, E. M. Marlowe, T. Hartel, A. Knaust, B. Hoppe and M. Walter

Rapid detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization status facilitates isolation and decolonization and reduces MRSA infections. Liquid but not dry swabs allow fully automated detection methods. However, the accuracy of culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using liquid and dry swabs has not been analyzed. We compared different swab collection systems for routine nasal–throat MRSA screening in patients admitted to a tertiary care trauma center in Germany. Over 3 consecutive months, dry swabs (month 1), ESwabs (month 2), or MSwabs (month 3) were processed using Cepheid GeneXpert, Roche cobas and BD-MAX™ MRSA tests compared to chromogenic culture. Among 1680 subjects, the MRSA detection rate using PCR methods did not differ significantly between dry swabs, ESwab, and MSwab (6.0%, 6.2%, and 5.3%, respectively). Detection rates using chromogenic culture were 2.9%, 3.9%, and 1.9%, using dry, ESwab, and MSwab, respectively. Using chromogenic culture as the “gold standard”, negative predictive values for the PCR tests ranged from 99.2–100%, and positive predictive values from 33.3–54.8%. Thus, efficient and accurate MRSA screening can be achieved using dry, as well as liquid E- or MSwab, collection systems. Specimen collection using ESwab or MSwab facilitates efficient processing for chromogenic culture in full laboratory automation while also allowing molecular testing in automated PCR systems.

Open access
Authors: H. Mahmoudi, M. Salari, M. Ghayeb Zamharir and M. Ghorbani

A safflower disease was observed in the fields of South Khorasan (Iran) in 2017–2018. Affected plants had extensive fasciation, bushy growth, small leaves, phyllody and shortened internodes. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were performed using universal phytoplasma primers pairs P1/P7, R16mF1/mR1 and M1/M2 to detect putative phytoplasma (s). Nested PCR analyses showed that all symptomatic plants were positive for phytoplasma infection, while asymptomatic plants were negative. Nucleotide sequence analysis and RFLP analyses of PCR-amplified 16S rDNA sequences indicated that safflower fasciation in Iran was associated with a phytoplasma that belonged to the peanut witches' broom group (16SrII). Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that safflowers fasciation phytoplasma (SaP) must be classified in ‘Candidatus phytoplasma aurantifolia’ (16SrII) taxonomic group. To our knowledge, this is the first documentation of a phytoplasma associated with safflower fasciation in Iran and the world.

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Authors: A. Bachir, I. Selmi, A. Lehad, M. Louanchi and N. Mahfoudhi

Rugose wood disease constitutes one of the major grapevine disease complexes causing significant economic damage worldwide. It is widely distributed in all grapevine growing areas of the world and comprised of four individual syndromes, which may be caused by different viruses. These syndromes are Corky bark, LN 33 stem grooving, Kober stem grooving and Rupestris stem pitting (RSP). The present study focuses on the prevalence of three viruses associated with rugose wood complex (RWC) in Algeria.

Field inspections and collection of symptomatic samples were conducted on autumn 2012 in the table wine and autochthone accession in the western and central regions of Algeria. A total of 202 samples were tested by RT-PCR using specific primers for Grapevine virus A (GVA), Grapevine virus D (GVD) and Grapevine rupestris stem pitting associated virus (GRSPaV).

The results of RT-PCR indicated the presence of the viruses GVA, GVD and GRSPaV with 68,81% (139 out of 202 infected samples) total average infection rate. The results also indicated the predominance of GRSPaV compared to the prevalence of GVA and GVD with an infection rate of 57,92% vs. 36,63% (74 out of 202) and 2,97% (6 out of 202), respectively. Mixed infections of these three viruses were not observed in any of the samples analysed, however the mixed infection of GVA and GRSPaV was noted with a high rate of 26.73%. The grapevine cultivars; Kings Rubi, Carignan and Mersguerra were the most infected, while the Alicante Bouschet cultivar presented the lowest infection rate. To the best of our knowledge, the present study reports for the first time on the presence of GVD in Algeria.

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Authors: Hagen Frickmann, Andreas Hahn, Stefan Berlec, Johannes Ulrich, Moritz Jansson, Norbert Georg Schwarz, Philipp Warnke and Andreas Podbielski

Introduction: Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus are important causes of severe diseases like blood stream infections. This study comparatively assessed potential differences in their impact on disease severity in local and systemic infections.

Methods: Over a 5-year interval, patients in whom either E. coli or S. aureus was detected in superficial or primary sterile compartments were assessed for the primary endpoint death during hospital stay and the secondary endpoints duration of hospital stay and infectious disease as the main diagnosis.

Results: Significance was achieved for the impacts as follows: Superficial infection with S. aureus was associated with an odds ratio of 0.27 regarding the risk of death and of 1.42 regarding infectious disease as main diagnosis. Superficial infection with E. coli was associated with a reduced duration of hospital stay by −2.46 days and a reduced odds ratio of infectious diseases as main diagnosis of 0.04. The hospital stay of patients with E. coli was increased due to third-generation cephalosporin and ciprofloxacin resistance, and in the case of patients with S. aureus due to tetracycline and fusidic acid resistance.

Conclusions: Reduced disease severity of superficial infections due to both E. coli and S. aureus and resistance-driven prolonged stays in hospital were confirmed, while other outcome parameters were comparable.

Open access

Abstract

In this paper, we want to support the idea of using a family of indices of similarity, that we call the Simpson's family indices or nestedness-based similarity functions (NBSF) for comparing operational geographic units (OGUs) (phytosociological relevés, animal traps, watersheds, administrative units, industrial areas, islands etc.). In these cases, similarity-dissimilarity depends, in addition to factors that induce replacement, also on factors that produce reduction or increment in the number of features within the same typology of OGUs (e.g., extent, reduction of fertility, anthropogenic pressure etc.). To keep into consideration this aspect, the indices are defined to be equal to 1 when the OGUs are completely nested. The results of the application to four simulated data sets prove that, when the data set does not show clear nested pattern, the use of NBSF produces results similar to the nestedness-free similarity functions, however since NBSF clearly detect nested situations, we should prefer their use in the circumstances where we think important to put in evidence nestedness. In conclusion, we support the idea of using both types of indices in order to improve the knowledge about the structure of any data set.

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The effect of Azospirillum brasilense Sp7 (Sp7) on maize (Zea mays, Mill cv. B73) seedlings was compared when using two common carriers to deliver Sp7 to the seed: phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). Seedling height, leaf chlorophyll levels, and root growth parameters were analyzed with WinRHIZO® at an early vegetative stage of plant development. Scanning and transmission electron microscope (SEM & TEM) analysis showed that carrier components do not effect bacterial binding to plant roots. MgSO4 + Sp7 caused a significant increase in the abundance of thick lateral roots, but stunted plant height, compared to other treatment groups, while relative chlorophyll contents (SPAD) significantly increased in seedlings inoculated with PBS + Sp7, revealing that the two inoculation carriers differentially affect the Sp7-associated plants.

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Authors: Muhammad Saad, Helen Mary, Umar Amjid, Ghulam Shabir, Kashif Aslam, Shahid Masood Shah and Abdul Rehman Khan

Tartary buckwheat, known for its rich source of health beneficial secondary metabolites, is cultivated in many areas of the world. Among different environmental factors, photoperiod strongly influence its growth, flowering time, and ultimately the yield. In this context, epigenetics could contribute significantly in the regulation of plant response against changing environment. Therefore, with the aim to study the involvement of DNA methylation in photoperiod mediated plant response, genome-wide DNA methylation analysis was performed in two accessions (A1 and A2) of Tartary buckwheat using three photoperiodic treatments, i.e., 10-hr light/day (T1), 12-hr light/day (T2), and 14-hr light/day (T3). Flowering time and plant fresh weight data revealed that accessions A1 and A2 prefer T1 and T2 treatments, respectively. Total DNA methylation ratio increased with the increase in photoperiod in accession A1 but decreased under same conditions in accession A2. Full methylation increased significantly while intensive decrease in hemimethylation was noted from T2 to T3 in A1, whereas full methylation strongly increased and hemimethylation strongly decreased from T1 to T2 in A2. Overall, the DNA methylation events appeared more frequently than demethylation events. This study reports for the first time an accession-/genotype specific pattern of shift in the DNA methylation under different photoperiodic treatments that will pave the way toward identification of specific genes involved in the regulation of plant response against photoperiodic stress.

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Treatment of barley grain with gibberellic acid (GA3) during malting promotes abnormal proteolysis and rapid rootlets growth affecting malt quality. This study investigated the potential of ethylene treatment as an alternative by comparing the amylase activity, total starch and total reducing sugars of germinating ‘Puma’ barley seeds treated with ethylene, 1-methylcyclopropane (1-MCP), GA3, daminozide (B-nine), GA3 + 1-MCP, ethylene + B-nine and the control after 24, 48 and 72 h from soaking. Ethylene had no effect on amylase activity. B-nine reduced amylase activity by 16 and 9.6% compared to the control after 48 and 72 h, respectively. The amylase activity of ethylene + B-nine treated seeds was higher (13.3 and 4%) than B-nine treated seeds after 48 and 72 h. This suggest that endogenous GA is important for normal amylase activity and, ethylene stimulates amylase activity where GA synthesis is inhibited. Ethylene and GA3 treatments reduced starch (83.3 mg g−1 and 76.7 mg g−1, respectively) and increased reducing sugars (16.0 and 17.1 µg ml−1, respectively) compared to the control (115.3 mg g−1 starch and 12.1 µg ml−1 reducing sugars) after 72 h. It was concluded that, ethylene may replace GA3 treatment without interfering with starch changing processes during barley malting.

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