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Biology is a study of living objects and their life processes. It examines all aspects of living organisms such as their occurrence, classification, internal and external structure, nutrition, reproduction, inheritance, etc. The term “biology” is commonly replaced by the terms “life sciences” and “biological sciences.” There are dozens of branches of biology. Some of the major ones include:

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Greenhouse plastic contaminations in agricultural soils were studied to quantify and examine the macroplastic and microplastic contaminants on the soil surface, soil profile, and groundwater under greenhouse farmland. Random sampling was used to select three areas in a greenhouse farm where macroplastic and microplastic data were collected. Four composite samples were collected from shallow (0–20 cm) and deep (20–40 cm) soils for each sampling point, respectively. Three soil profiles were dug, and samples were collected at intervals of 20 cm. Groundwater samples were also collected from the same profiles at a depth of 100 cm. Microplastics were extracted using predigestion of organic matter with 30% H2O2 and density separation with ZnCl2. The total mass of macroplastics in the greenhouse farmland was 6.4 kg ha–1. Polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride were the dominant plastic structures, and the dominant sizes were 1–5 and 0.5–1.0 cm, respectively. Overall, the average abundance of microplastics in the greenhouse soil was 225 ± 61.69 pieces/kg, and the dominant size structure was 2–3 mm. The average microplastic concentrations at depths of 0–20 and 20–40 cm were 300 ± 93 and 150.0 ± 76.3 pieces/kg, respectively. The average microplastic concentration in the groundwater was 2.3 pieces/l, and fibers were the dominant plastic structure. Given that microplastics were found in greenhouse soil, soil profiles, and groundwater, we recommend the careful cleaning and disposal of plastics on greenhouse farmland and further research to shed light on the level of microplastic contamination in the soil profiles and groundwater.

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Abstract

Soybean seeds were germinated on an industrial scale after soaking for 0–56 h to produce a special additive for food industrial use. The germination process of three soybean varieties was monitored with near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy based on changes in the amount, status, or character of the water. This paper evaluates the “waterless” NIR spectra of sound, germinated, and heat treated seeds to try to follow the fine details of the germination process. The germination process was analysed with the help of cluster analysis (CA), principal component analysis (PCA), and polar qualification system (PQS) as statistical and chemometric methods. PCA proved to be the most sensitive spectrum evaluation method to follow the fine details of germination. The applied NIR method is suitable for non-destructively, real-time monitoring of the non-linear nature of germination.

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Abstract

A simple and reliable method for quantifying Fusarium head blight (FHB), a widespread disease of barley, would enhance our capacity in identifying resistance sources and highly aggressive isolates. A detached head assay (DHA) was used to reliably assess: (i) resistance of two barley cultivars, Arabi Aswad (AS) and Arabi Abiad (AB) with different susceptibility to FHB and (ii) aggressiveness in a set of 16 fungal isolates of four Fusarium species. The two inoculated cultivars showed different responses in FHB incidence (DI) and severity (DS) using spray and point inoculation on detached barley heads, respectively. On AB, susceptible under several experimental conditions, inoculation with different Fusarium species resulted in significantly higher DI and DS, compared with AS, which showed Fusarium resistance. Furthermore, the values of DI and DS were significantly correlated with the previous findings generated under several experimental conditions. The use of this simple and reliable method in barley breeding programs can speed up the process of identification of sources of resistance to multiple FHB isolates. To our best knowledge, this is the first in-depth report investigating the usefulness of DHA for distinguishing susceptibility of barley plants and aggressiveness of diverse Fusarium species from a breeder's point of view.

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Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica
Authors: József Vuts, István Szarukán, Zsolt Marczali, Éva Bálintné Csonka, Antal Nagy, Arnold Szilágyi, and Miklós Tóth

Abstract

Pollen beetles (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) rank among the most important pests of oilseed rape (Brassica napus). For their timely detection in early spring, yellow sticky or water pan traps are used; however, it has been suggested that the addition of chemical lures to attractive visual cues could improve trap efficacy. During the course of field trials in Hungary, we have developed a 3-component synthetic floral lure consisting of (E)-anethol + (E)-cinnamyl alcohol + (E)-cinnamyl acetate, which attracted large numbers of pollen beetles into large capture-capacity fluorescent yellow funnel traps. There was no apparent difference between the pollen beetle species Brassicogethes aeneus F. 1775 (earlier Meligethes aeneus), Brassicogethes viridescens F. 1775, Brassicogethes coracinus Sturm 1845 and Fabogethes nigrescens Sturm 1845 in their responses to the 3-component lure, which can therefore be used to trap all of them. Funnel traps with the new ternary floral lure were more efficient in catching beetles than those with lures containing 2-phenethyl isothiocyanate, a previously described plant-derived attractant for pollen beetles. However, the effect of the addition of the isothiocyanate to the ternary blend was not completely clear from these experiments and thus requires further studies.

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Abstract

Fungal disease resistant (PIWI) interspecific grape varieties are playing an important role as an alternative for organic wine production. Organic (bio) wines are demanded by numerous conscious consumers around the globe. They choose this kind of wines predominantly because of the absence of synthetic pesticides, fertilisers and sustainable agriculture. Resistant grape growing moreover results in additional environmental and health benefits. Nero and Bianca are among Hungary's most promising interspecific grape cultivars gaining international interest recently, there are, however, limited vitivinicultural knowledge on them. Our aim was to examine the flavonoid and anthocyanin composition for both interspecific varieties during different harvest times in two consecutive vintages. The date of harvest and vintage played a significant effect on grape and wine quality.

Open access

Abstract

Proteases hold an important position in today's world commercial enzyme market. Among various microbial producer genera, Bacillus is leading the commercial protease production. However, industry is still actively looking for new microbial protease producers with distinctive properties. Therefore, this study was undertaken for the evaluation of protease production by Bacillus megaterium DSM 32 strain in terms of its protease productivity, calculation of various production kinetics, partial characterisation of the enzyme, and modelling the protease production process. As results, the highest protease activity, specific cellular protease production rate, and protease productivity were calculated as 255.42 U mL−1, 36.2514 U g−1, and 16.1313 U mL−1 h−1, respectively, in shake flask fermentations. Partial characterisation studies showed that the enzyme has 45 °C and pH 8 as optimum working conditions, and its activity increased by 24% with the addition of 5 mM Mn+2 to the reaction medium. Additionally, the enzyme showed high stability and kept almost full activity in a cell-free medium for 20 days at 4 °C. Furthermore, modified Gompertz model provided the best fit in describing protease production with the lowest error and high fit values.

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Abstract

Poultry processing industry produces large quantities of by products (skin, bone, and feather) that contain significant amounts of protein. The source of gelatine is of great concern for some societies including Muslims, Hindus, and Jews as gelatine is mostly obtained from porcine sources. In the present study, gelatine was obtained from chicken skin and some quality and functional features were evaluated in comparison with commercial gelatines from porcine, bovine, and piscine sources. Chicken skin gelatine formed stable foams by a foaming stability of 83.3% as well as high emulsion activity of 72.8 m2 g−1 compared to commercial gelatines. On the other hand, gel strength and viscosity of chicken skin gelatine were 307 g and 2.5 cP, respectively, and significantly lower than that of commercial gelatines due to high content of impurities. The results concluded that chicken skin may be used in gelatine manufacturing upon efficient removal of fat, which was the most abundant component in the dry matter of chicken skin.

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Abstract

The widespread misuse of antibiotics leads to a rapid development of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens all over the globe, resulting in serious difficulties when treating infectious diseases. Possible solutions are not limited to the development of novel synthetic antibiotics but extend to application of plant-derived products either alone or in combination with common antibiotics. The aim of this actual review was to survey the literature from the past 10 years regarding the antibacterial effects of distinct Artemisia species including Artemisia absinthiae constituting an integral component of the Absinthe drink. We further explored the synergistic antibacterial effects of the Artemisia plant products with established antibiotics. The survey portrays the Artemisia derived compounds as potent antibacterial agents that can even restore the efficacy of antibiotics against MDR bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and MDR Escherichia coli. This, in turn, is presumably triggered in part by the interaction of the Artemisia ingredients with the efflux pumps of MDR bacteria. In conclusion, biologically active molecules in Artemisia plants enhance the antibiotic susceptibility of resistant bacteria, which provide promising future therapeutic strategies to combat MDR bacterial pathogens.

Open access

Abstract

Cultured buttermilk is a dairy beverage with a high nutritive value. In the current study, functional cultured buttermilk was formulated using probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum and flaxseed fortification to improve the potential health benefits. The cultured buttermilk samples were analysed for pH, lactic acidity, colour, phase separation, viscosity, microbiology and sensory properties. The results showed non-significant changes in acidity and pH. However, flaxseed fortification decreased phase separation and increased viscosity of buttermilks. In addition, a significant difference in colour attributes was revealed between samples. Sensory characteristics of cultured buttermilks were acceptable to produce a functional food.

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The special volume of Nova Hedwigia is dedicated to the world-famous diatomolo-gist Richard M. Crawford, who started his researches in the Botany Department of London University with three freshwater dinoflagellate species. His main scientific activity focused on diatoms, particularly their morphology and taxonomy, utilising various microscopical techniques. He published 95 papers and the famous book (Diatoms: Biology & Morphology of the Genera).

Although there is no single common scientific thread connecting all contributions, they are all influenced, in some way, by the work of Crawford. The present volume includes 16 papers covering a broad range of topics in diatom and

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Contributions to molecular phylogeny of lichens 3. •

New monophyletic branches of the Trapeliaceae and Xylariaceae

Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: S. Y. Kondratyuk, L. Lőkös, A. S. Kondratiuk, I. Kärnefelt, A. Thell, E. Farkas, and J.-S. Hur

Seven new genera, i.e. Brianiopsis for the former ‘Lambiellaimpavida group, Farkasiella for the former ‘Trapeliopsisaeneofusca group, Gallowayiopsis for the former ‘Trapeliacollaris group, Kleopowiella for the former ‘Trapeliaplacodioides group, Trapegintarasia for the former ‘Trapelialilacea group, Trapejamesia for the former ‘Trapeliacorticola branch, as well as Xyloelixia for the former ‘Xylographaisidiosa group are proposed.

Isolated position of ‘Lambiellacaeca, ‘Lambiellainsularis, ‘Lambiellahepaticicola, ‘Lambiellasphacellata, ‘Placopsisbicolor, ‘Xylographabjoerkii, and ‘Xylographalagoi, is discussed too. Correctness of identification of vouchers of various species of the following genera Placynthiella, Placopsis, Trapelia, and Trapeliopsis is also discussed.

New combinations are proposed for the following 27 species: ‘Ainoa’ sphacellata (for Lecidea sphacelata Th. Fr.), Brianiopsis aliphatica (for Lambiella aliphatica T. Sprib. et Resl), Brianiopsis cerebriformis (for Rimularia cerebriformis Kantvilas), Brianiopsis globulosa (for Rimularia globulosa Coppins), Brianiopsis gyrizans (for Lecidea gyrizans Nyl.), Brianiopsis gyromuscosa (for Rimularia gyromuscosa Aptroot), Brianiopsis impavida (for Lecidea impavida Th. Fr.), Brianiopsis mullensis (for Lecidea mullensis Stirt.), Farkasiella aeneofusca (for Lecidea aeneofusca Flörke ex Flot.), Farkasiella gelatinosa (for Lecidea gelatinosa Flörke), Gallowayiopsis collaris (for Trapelia collaris Orange), Gallowayiopsis glebulosa (for Lichen glebulosus Sm.), Gallowayiopsis obtegens (for Biatora coarctata subsp. obtegens Th. Fr.), Gallowayiopsis roseonigra (for Placopsis roseonigra Brodo), Kleopowiella placodioides (for Trapelia placodioides Coppins et P. James), Kleopowiella bisorediata (for Trapeliopsis bisorediata McCune et F. J. Camacho), Kleopowiella thieleana (for Trapelia thieleana Kantvilas, Lumbsch et Elix), Rimularia coreana (for Trapelia coreana S. Y. Kondr., Lőkös et Hur), Trapegintarasia antarctica (for Trapelia antarctica Ertz, Aptroot, G. Thor et Ovstedal), Trapegintarasia lilacea (for Trapelia lilacea Kantvilas et Elix), Trapegintarasia tristis (for Trapelia tristis Orange), Trapejamesia corticola (for Trapelia corticola Coppins et P. James), Trapejamesia hurii (for Placynthiella hurii S. Y. Kondr. et L. Lőkös), Xyloelixia constricta (for Xylographa constricta T. Sprib.), Xyloelixia disseminata (for Xylographa disseminata Willey), Xyloelixia isidiosa (for Hypocenomyce isidiosa Elix), and Xyloelixia septentrionalis (for Xylographa septentrionalis T. Sprib.).

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This paper contains 142 Campylopoideae records from 10 collecting trips of the author with his colleagues in the East African islands. Among the 27 taxa 15 records were new to a certain island, of which 4 were known before only from continental Africa. With these the known number of species on the Indian Ocean islands raises from 30 to 34. Observations on the ecology, distribution and illustrations of most species are also given.

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Belonging to Lamiaceae family, the genus Teucrium L. is a rich source of secondary metabolites used in pharmacology and industrial medicine. This study aimed to investigate the flavonoid contents of methanol extract and the chemical markers of Teucrium at specific and infraspecific levels and identify the chemotypes of its accessions. Nineteen accessions, eight species, and five subspecies were collected from three sections (Teucris, Polium, and Scordium) belonging to the natural habitats in the west, southwest, centre, and south of Iran. Total flavonoid extraction was attained by the air-dried leaf of Teucrium species and 90% methanol. HPLC coupled with triple quadrupole mass analyser was applied to screen and identify the chemical constituents. Multivariate analyses were implemented by cluster and principal component analysis. Chemical investigation specified 148 chemical compounds, of which 135 flavonoids were tentatively identified. The most abundant derivatives belonged to flavones (41 derivatives), flavonols (37 derivatives), and isoflavonoids (22 derivatives). Based on the cluster analysis, 13 groups of chemical markers were formed in sections Teucris and Scordium and five groups in section Polium as chemotaxonomic indicators. The specified chemotypes were represented by ten in the sections Teucris and Scordium and by six in the section Polium. A relationship was suggested between type and flavonoid quantity (number), altitude, and geographical location. The present study provided valuable information for pharmacological research, bioactivity assessment, and chemotaxonomic purposes. This is the first report on the presence of chemotypes, chemical markers, and quality assessments for the genus Teucrium.

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An isolectotype specimen of Eustichia africana deposited in the herbarium LW (Lviv, Ukraine) is discussed and illustrated here. The LW isolectotype of Eustichia africana is found to be the most complete (largest in terms of the number of plant fragments) original collection among initial syntypes (now the lectotype at PRE and numerous isolectotypes) of this taxon distributed in Rehmann’s exsiccatae (and kept in W, PC, PRE, etc). A detailed description and illustration of the LW isolectotype specimen are provided. The special investigation of LW specimens of Fissidens eustichium found to confirm species status of Eustichia africana, which is different from E. longirostris (Brid.) Brid. to which sometimes E. africana was included as synonym since 1923 (while Fissidens eustichium Rehmann nom. nud. was included as synonym [to the latter taxon (= E. longirostris)] since 1894). Thus, the name and the accepted status of species Eustichia africana are resurrected.

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Se designa el lectotipo de Diphysa sennoides Bentham (1853: 12) y se excluyen los otros sintipos determinados como Diphysa floribunda Peyritsch (1859: 78) y Diphysa carthagenen sis Jacquin (1760: 28; 1763: 208). Palabras clave: Coulter, lectotipo, México. The lectotype of Diphysa sennoides Bentham (1853: 12) is designated and the other syntypes determined as Diphysa floribunda Peyritsch (1859: 78) and Diphysa carthagenensis Jacquin (1760: 28; 1763: 208) are excluded.

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Ferula microcolea (Boiss.) Boiss. is an endemic plant in Iran that some of its habitats have been destroyed in recent decades. Since the bioclimatic variables which determine its potential distribution, are poorly defined, a specific analysis is needed. In this study, the species distribution modelling was used for reaching these goals: (i) identifying the bioclimatic factors that constrain the distribution of this species in Iran, (ii) generating a potential habitat suitability map for F. microcolea using Maxent (iii) determining the high suitable areas where this species could be present (iv) evaluating the final model. In all, 66 records of F. microcolea in Iran were used as the occurrence data. Nineteen bioclimatic variables were obtained from the WorldClim database and collinear variables were removed in a sequential manner with regard to the ecological knowledge of the plant. The maxent parameters were optimised with ENMeval R package. For evaluating the performance of the Maxent model, the Area under curve value (AUC) was calculated. The results showed that the model performance was excellent. Analysis of variable contribution demonstrated that the distribution of this species is most influenced by the Annual Mean Temperature. We revealed that the area about 22,005.5 km2 is highly suitable for F. microcolea that is principally located in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province. Although this region is rich in biodiversity, greater focus should be paid to its conservation. Our findings provide a scientific basis for the habitats conservation of this species in Iran.

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A successful management and preservation of the natural populations depend on accurate assessment of genetic diversity. Knowing the genetic diversity within a population is important for choosing the conservation strategies for the species. The genus Carpinus belonging to Coryloideae, Betulaceae, has significant economic and ornamental importance. Determination of the taxa in the genus Carpinus in Iran is one of the most controversial issues among the researchers; for example, we can see this claim in the recent botanical literatures such as Sabeti and Browicz. However, two good species namely C. betulus L. and C. orientalis Mill. are the main species in Iran, adjacent regions and also in Europe. In general, taxonomic and biosystematics studies of the Carpinus are not known in Iran, moreover, in few cases, inter-specific hybrids and intermediate forms are recognised. A detailed molecular (ISSR) study of the Carpinus is done here with the following objectives: 1) to delimitate the species; 2) to carry out population genetic study and produce information on genetic structure, genetic variability within each population in Carpinus betulus and C. orientalis. In present study, 85 randomly collected plants from 17 geographical populations of two Carpinus species were considered. Our results indicated that ISSR markers can be used as a reliable and informative technique for evaluation of genetic diversity and relationships among Carpinus species.

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Pollen morphology of 16 species belonging to 8 different families; Apocynaceae, Brassicaceae, Capparaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae, Solanaceae and Zygophyllaceae were analysed from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the help of microscopic techniques. Both qualitative and quantitative features of pollen were examined including polar and equatorial diameter, colpus length and width, exine sculpturing, pores number, pollen shape, number of sterile and fertile pollen using Leica microscope (D1000) fitted with camera Meiji Infinity 1 and examined statistically by software IBM SPSS Statistics 20. Pollen observed were small to large with suboblate, oblate-spheroidal, prolate-spheroidal and subprolate shape. Exine ornamentations were reticulate and psilate type in all the studied plants. Colpi and pores of the selected plants observed are tricolporate, tricolpate and monoporate. The present study showed that both spring and autumn seasons are the prominent seasons for honey production and beekeeping industries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Brassica camp-estris is the most visited species by honeybees in the study area. Melliferous plants gave knowledge about botanical origin of honey and geographical origin of honeybees. The current study identified numerous bee forage plants which may help to raise the concept of cultivation of melliferous herbaceous plants by the local people, to be used for honey production. The identification of these potential sources may help the beekeepers to increase the honey production and increase in agricultural yields through pollinations.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: T. Pócs, J. G. Graham, M. von Konrat, and J. Larraín

Enumeration and distributional data of 28 liverworts new to Peru are presented, accompanied by taxonomic annotations, phytogeographical evaluation and illustrations. Remarkable new Peruvian records include the very rare northern Andean endemic Platycaulis renifolia as well as Frullania pearceana, hitherto known only from its type locality in Bolivia. Oil bodies are described for the first time in the genus Platycaulis and male branches are newly observed in Radula yanoella, a species hitherto known only in sterile state.

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In view of the ongoing rarity of Ecbolium ligustrinum there is an urgent need for conservation of the species. For this, a detailed work was carried out regarding the untold story of its reproductive ecology. The work was done for three consecutive years (2015–2017) at Midnapore, West Bengal over three different populations collected from three different areas of West Bengal. Field data were also recorded from these three wild populations. The species produces gullet flowers with bi-labiate corolla having long slender tubes. The flowers exhibit one day of longevity. The flowers are visited by 10 species of insects. Among those, four species viz. Eristalis tenax, a Dipteran member and three ant species of Hymenoptera such as Camponotus sp., Formica sp. and Monomorium sp. are the effective pollinators. As per pollination efficiency, Eristalis tenax (PE i = 0.76) is the most successful one. The flowers are shortly protandrous (dichogamous) and passed by three distinct reproductive (male, bisexual and female) phases. The breeding system clearly depicts that the species is facultatively xenogamous supported by myophilous mode of pollination. However, geitonogamous type of pollination is also observed through myrmecophily, an atypical instance found in plants. Lastly, the plant retained some sort of autogamy through ‘fail-safe’ mechanism of pollination, an adaptation which might be developed in absence of pollinators. Therefore, undoubtedly it can be concluded that E. ligustrinum is a partially self-incompatible (ISI = 0.27) species having a mixed mating system, adapted for xenogamy through specialised mode of plant-pollinator interactions.

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The Carpathian Mts, showing the highest lichen biodiversity in Ukraine, i.e. 1,395 species of 2,106 of the total Ukrainian lichens, have been found to contain the highest proportion of regionally unique taxa (i.e. so far recorded only from the Carpathian Mts) (i.e. 551 species, or 39.5% of the Carpathian and 26.2% of the total Ukrainian lichen flora). Species diversity of widely distributed lichens (i.e. which hitherto known from all five macroregions of Ukraine), as well as ‘scarcely distributed’ lichens (i.e. missing at least in one or more macroregions) are also discussed. Representation of these three groups of lichens in the geomorphological districts of the Carpathian Mts and the administrative oblasts Zakarpattia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi is shown.

The Chornohora Mts, a district of the Carpathian Mts, found to show the highest proportion of species so far recorded from this district of the Carpathian Mts, while the Eastern Beskydy and the Gorgany Mts are characterised hitherto by the highest species diversity of lichens. That is established that among geomorphological districts of Zakarpattia oblast, the Eastern Beskydy and the Gorgany Mts parts of Zakarpattia oblast territory are characterised by the highest number of species of lichen-forming and lichenicolous fungi in the Carpathian macroregion (674 and 611 species, respectively), and the proportion of regionally unique taxa in these two florae is also the highest (483 species or 71.6% and 453 species or 74.1%, respectively). Lichens of the Chyvchyn Mts of Ivano-Frankivsk oblast are found to be the most diverse in this oblast (344 species totally), and they include the highest proportion of regionally unique taxa (171 species or 49.7%). The Eastern Beskydy Mts, part of Lviv oblast territory, the only part of this oblast in the Carpathian Mts, are found to be represented by 224 lichen species of which 32 (i.e. 14.3%) are regionally unique to the Carpathian Mts.

List of the rarest taxa of the regionally unique group (hitherto known from single or a few localities) proposed as candidates for including to regional red lists of Zakarpattia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi oblasts since the whole nature protection activity in Ukraine is done according to oblast division. 254 lichen species are proposed for including in the red list of Zakarpattia oblast, while 44, 4 and 9 species in the red lists of Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Chernivtsi oblasts, respectively. The smallest amount of these taxa is proposed for the red list of Lviv oblast, which includes also the Forest zone of the Ukrainian Plains.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Mohsen Heidary, Maryam Shirani, Melika Moradi, Mehdi Goudarzi, Ramin Pouriran, Tayebe Rezaeian, and Saeed Khoshnood

Abstract

Early diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB), followed by effective treatment, is the cornerstone of global TB control efforts. An estimated 3 million cases of TB remain undetected each year. Early detection and effective management of TB can prevent severe disease and reduce mortality and transmission. Intrinsic and acquired drug resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) severely restricted the anti-TB therapeutic options, and public health policies are required to preserve the new medications to treat TB. In addition, TB and HIV frequently accelerate the progression of each other, and one disease can enhance the other effect. Overall, TB-HIV co-infections show an adverse bidirectional interaction. For HIV-infected patients, the risk of developing TB disease is approximately 22 times higher than for persons with a protective immune response. Analysis of the current TB challenges is critical to meet the goals of the end TB strategy and can go a long way in eradicating the disease. It provides opportunities for global TB control and demonstrates the efforts required to accelerate eliminating TB. This review will discuss the main challenges of the TB era, including resistance, co-infection, diagnosis, and treatment.

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Abstract

Antibiotic resistance constitutes a global threat to the health care systems. The number of infections due to multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria increases progressively resulting in an estimated annual number of 750,000 fatal cases worldwide. Additionally, the lack of novel antibiotic compounds worsens the dilemma. Hence, there is an urgent need for alternative ways to fight antibiotic resistance. One option may be natural compounds with antibacterial properties such as hop and its biologically active ingredients which are used in traditional medicine since ancient times. This prompted us to perform an actual literature survey regarding the antibacterial properties of biologically active ingredients in hop including humulone, lupulone and xanthohumol. The 20 included studies revealed that lupulone and xanthohumol do in fact inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria in vitro. In combination with distinct antibiotic compounds the hop ingredients can even exert synergistic effects resulting in enhanced antibiotic activities against defined Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In conclusion, biologically active ingredients in hop including lupulone and xanthohumol may be potential antibiotic compounds which either alone or in combination with other antibacterial substances open novel avenues in the combat of infections caused by pathogenic including MDR bacteria.

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Egy köles tájfajta műtrágya-reakciójának vizsgálata

Examination of the reaction to fertilization of regional millet variety

Agrokémia és Talajtan
Authors: Zsembeli Zsadány, Sinka Lúcia, Tüdősné Budai Júlia, Kovács Györgyi, Tuba Géza, and Zsembeli József

Kutatómunkák általános célja olyan kísérletek végzése, amelyek feltárják az adott régióban perspektivikusan termeszthető fajták, illetve tájfajták optimális műtrágyázási igényeit. Tanulmányunkban a Karcagon nemesített és fenntartott ’Maxi’ köles tájfajta tápanyagreakciójának vizsgálatából származó eredményeinket mutatjuk be a módosított Országos Műtrágyázási Tartamkísérlet (OMTK) 2017. évi és az annak figyelembevételével 2021-ben beállított Műtrágyázási Kísérleti Kert (MKK) adatai alapján. A kísérleteket Karcagon, a MATE Karcagi Kutatóintézetben, egy mélyben szolonyeces réti csernozjom talajon állítottuk be. 2017-ben a módosított OMTK kezelései 4 nitrogén (40, 80, 120, 160 kg ha 1), 4 foszfor (0, 40, 80, 100 kg ha 1) és 3 kálium (0, 60, 90 kg ha 1) dózis kombinációjából adódtak, illetve volt egy műtrágyázás nélküli abszolút kontroll. 2021-ben az MKK kezelései 3 nitrogén (40, 80, 120 kg ha 1), 3 foszfor (0, 40, 80 kg ha 1) és 2 kálium (0, 60 kg ha 1) dózis kombinációját foglalták magukba, illetve mindegyik parcella felére növénykondicionáló szert juttatunk ki. A termesztett növény mindkét évben a karcagi nemesítésű ’Maxi’ kölesfajta volt. A különböző kezeléscsoportok termésre gyakorolt hatásának statisztikai értékelését egytényezős varianciaanalízissel végeztük el. Mindkét vizsgálati évben a 80 kg ha 1 hatóanyag mennyiségben kijuttatott nitrogén műtrágyázás bizonyult a leginkább megfelelőnek. A magas foszfor dózisok a legtöbb esetben termésdepresszióhoz vezettek. Eredményeink alapján még a közepes – jó kálium ellátottságú karcagi talajokon is hasznos lehet a kálium kijuttatása, bár a káliumtrágyázás termésre gyakorolt hatását a varianciaanalízis nem igazolta. Az Algomel PUSH szerrel végzett növénykondicionálás statisztikailag is igazolhatóan, mintegy 10%-kal növelte a termés nagyságát. Kutatómunkánk folytatásával pontosabban meghatározható lesz számos tájfajta tápanyagreakciója és fajtaspecifikus, a helyi agroökológiai viszonyokat is figyelembe vevő tápanyag dózisok és kombinációk ajánlhatók a gazdálkodóknak.

The general objective of our research is to carry out experiments that are suitable to reveal the optimal fertilization demand of regionally bred or potentially producible crop varieties for a specific region. In our recent study, the results gained from the examination of the nutrient reaction of the regional millet variety ‘Maxi’ bred and maintained in Karcag are introduced based on the data originating from the modified Long-term National Fertilization Experiments (OMTK) in 2017 and from the Fertilization Experimental Garden (MKK) established at Karcag in 2021. Both experiments were set up in the MATE Research Institute of Karcag on a meadow chernozem soil salty in the deeper layers. In 2017, there were 4 nitrogen (40, 80, 120, 160 kg ha−1), 4 phosphorus (0, 40, 80, 100 kg ha−1), and 3 potassium (0, 60, 90 kg ha−1) dosage combinations applied and one unfertilized absolute control in the OMTK trial. In 2021, in the MKK experiment, treatments involved 3 nitrogen (40, 80, 120 kg ha−1), 3 phosphorus (0, 40, 80 kg ha−1), and 2 potassium (0, 60 kg ha−1) dosage combinations, furthermore, on half of the plots a plant conditioner was sprayed. Millet variety ‘Maxi’ bred at Karcag was the indicator crop in both years. For the statistical analysis of the effect of the various treatment groups on yields, One-way ANOVA tests were used. We considered the 80 kg ha−1 nitrogen substance dose the most suitable in both years. High dosage of phosphorus application resulted in yield depression in most of the cases. Based on our results, potassium fertilization can be effective even on the soils of Karcag with medium to good potassium supplies, though the analysis of variance did not justify the effect of K-fertilization on yields. The 10% yields increase due to plant conditioning with Algomel PUSH was statistically proven. By continuing or research, the reaction to fertilization of several regional crop varieties can be determined more precisely, and variety-specific nutrient doses and combinations can be determined and suggested to the local famers taking the regional agri-ecological conditions into consideration.

Open access

Abstract

Effect of adding foxtail millet flour (FMF) (10, 20, and 30% w/w) to refined wheat flour (RWF) on physicochemical and rheological properties of dough was studied. Qualitative properties of Brotchen bread including moisture, ash, crude fibre, specific volume, and colour of the breads were evaluated. Adding FMF to the flour increased crude fibre, fat, ash, and protein contents and reduced falling number, damaged starch and wet gluten contents, and sample lightness. Consistograph test indicated that addition of the FMF decreased water absorption capacity, maximum pressure, and tolerance, however, drops in pressure at 250 and 450 s became greater. Alveograph test revealed that with adding FMF, dough resistance to extension and dough strength decreased but an increase in dough extensibility was obtained at FMF30%. Increasing the amount of FMF resulted in a decrease in the volume of the bread, and the FMB (foxtail millet bread) 30% had the highest browning index and b*. The FMB20% had the highest resilience and springiness, while higher level of foxtail (30%) increased chewiness.

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine whether the physicochemical factors of the matrix and the traditional acid-set cheese-making conditions allow the growth of coagulase-positive staphylococci (CoPS) and the synthesis of enterotoxins, which should contribute to an objective risk assessment in cheese production related to CoPS. CoPS were isolated from 72% of acid-set cheeses ranging from 1.70 to 5.15 log10 CFU g−1. CoPS in a number ≥ 4 log10 CFU g−1 were determined in 5.56% of the acid-set cheese samples. Out of the total number of CoPS isolated from cheese, 37.62% of the isolates have been shown to produce enterotoxins. All isolated strains that produced enterotoxins were identified as Staphylococcus aureus based on the detection of spa gene by PCR. For cheese-derived isolates with CoPS number ≥ 4 log10 CFU g−1, it has been proven that they possess sec gene encoding staphylococcal enterotoxin C. According to our results, during the proper fermentation process of artisanal acid-set cheese, the conditions do not support the growth of a critical level of staphylococci or the production of enterotoxins.

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Abstract

Its ability to survive under different environmental conditions makes Listeria monocytogenes a critical concern for food safety. When the microorganisms are exposed to sublethal heat treatment above their optimum growth temperature, they increase stress adaptation for further heat treatments. In order to investigate heat stress resistance of L. monocytogenes, L. innocua as a surrogate was exposed to sublethal heat at 46 °C for 30 and 60 min, prior to heat treatment at 60 °C. There was no significant difference in D60°C values between samples exposed to sublethal heat for 30 min and non-pre-heat-treated samples (control) (P > 0.05). In comparison, sublethal heat treatment for 60 min caused a significant increase in D60°C values compared to control samples (P < 0.05). Additionally, cluster analysis of mass spectra obtained from MALDI-TOF was analysed by discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) for sublethal heat treatment at 46 °C for 30 min and control group to check stress response at the proteomic level. However, differentiation of stress responses by distinct clusters was not revealing.

Open access

Abstract

Gluten-free (GF) breads are often described with low quality, rapidly staling, dry mouthfeel and crumbling texture attributes. In lack of recent texture profile data on commercially available, preservative-free, freshly-baked GF bread, this study aimed to compare different types of GF products with their wheat-based counterparts during a 4-day-long storage test. Texture analysis data showed that GF loaves performed better than or comparable to the wheat-based ones in hardness, springiness and cohesiveness. Among sensorial properties mouth-feel, softness and aroma were evaluated as significantly better or similar for GF versus wheat-based products. GF cob had a saltier taste, which reduced the flavour experience. Both the texture results of the storage test and sensory data showed that the quality of GF bread products improved in recent years; they stayed comparable with their wheat-based counterparts even during a 4-day-long storage period.

Open access

Abstract

Fresh thyme leaves (Thymus vulgaris L.) were dried at 45 °C for 5 h and naturally fermented at 20 °C in a brine solution containing salt and vinegar for 18 days. The ethanolic extracts of fresh (FT), dried (DT), and fermented-pickled (PT) thyme leaves were assessed in terms of total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), antioxidant capacity values and subjected to in vitro gastrointestinal digestion. TPC, TFC, and antioxidant capacity values of fermented thyme leaves were found significantly higher than of dried and fresh samples. The bioaccessibility index (BI) value for TPC and TFC was highest for PT and lowest for DT, indicating that both processes had different effects on the structure of phenolic compounds present in the thyme leaves. Similarly both Recovery and BI values of DPPH antioxidant capacity were highest for PT, but lowest for fresh samples. When CUPRAC assay was applied, the recovery % for FT and PT was similar, and the BI was higher for FT. Results showed that compared to the results of fresh thyme leaves, drying and pickling had a considerable effect on the initial phenolic compounds extracted and their fate during in vitro digestion.

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Abstract

This work aimed to evaluate the effect of ethylene treatment on ripening of 1-MCP treated pear after 6 months of cold storage. Pear treated with gaseous 1-MCP at 625–650 ppb for 24 h at 0 °C was stored at 0 °C for 6 months with normal air, and treated groups were exposed to 100 ppm ethylene at 20 °C for 24 h. After that, samples were kept at 0, 10, and 15 °C for 2 weeks. Stiffness, chlorophyll fluorescence, ethylene and CO2 production of fruit were investigated during 2 weeks. Application of ethylene resumed the ripening of pear after long term storage. The results showed that fruit treated with ethylene achieved more homogeneous surface colour in comparison with non ethylene treated pears. In addition, the ethylene and carbon dioxide production of ethylene treated pears had higher values than that of control. The ethylene treatment could accelerate the softening of pear. Temperature also has significant effect on ripening during storage. This study found that ethylene treatment could accelerate the normal ripening of 1-MCP treated pears.

Open access

Abstract

This study validated the performance of the reverse transcriptase‐polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) based Cepheid Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay against the TIB MOLBIOL E-gene/EAV, a standard laboratory rRT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 assay. Upper and lower respiratory tract samples (nasopharyngeal and nasal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage, and tracheal aspirate) were obtained from patients suspected to have contracted COVID-19. Results from the Xpert® Xpress and standard rRT-PCR assays were compared for positive and negative agreement and analyzed for precision, reproducibility, 95% confidence intervals, and coefficients of variation. The Xpert® Xpress assay demonstrated 100% agreement with the standard lab rRT-PCR for both upper and lower respiratory tract samples. Both the Xpert® Xpress and lab rRT-CPR identified weakly positive (Ct values 35–39) sample replicates with 100% reproducibility and showed 100% precision in identifying triplicates of upper respiratory tract samples. The single-cartridge Xpert® Xpress system has a short turnaround time and can be employed to improve patient management and hospital bed allocation. Further verification of the system is required before implementation and consideration must be paid to its higher cost and impracticality for high-throughput use.

Open access

Soil science, a relatively young field of research with a history of fewer than two centuries, experienced an exponential expansion in scientific output in the last decades. While the output of all sub-disciplines is growing, research efforts in these sub-disciplines differ, reflecting the importance of the subjects. The broadening focus of soil science can be detected by the content of the increasing number and diverting thematic sessions of the World Soil Science Congresses, which are held every four years since the beginning of the 20th century. The structure of the current world congress is supposed to reflect the contemporary understanding of the internal structure of soil science, including its subdivision by major themes. Considering these soil themes/sub-disciplines, we assessed the evolution of soil science in the last three decades using scientific publications as indicators. Furthermore, we evaluated the inter-linkages of soil topics within soil research using network analysis and assessed the contribution of science to the broader fields of studies, from agriculture to engineering and environmental sciences. Results show that scientific interest towards all sub-disciplines is exploding, but environment-related topics, including subjects related to climate and contamination, show an even sharper increase. As far as the internal structure of soil science is concerned, research efforts are organised around the major topics of microbiology, soil contamination, nutrients, soil physics and water management. Our study reveals that currently the highest interest towards soil is coming from ecology and environmental sciences, followed by agriculture, engineering, geology and plant sciences, respectively.

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Abstract

Fruit of Ziziphus jujuba Mill. are used as functional foods for centuries due to their rich content and bioactivities. Although in vitro antioxidant and hypoglycaemic activity of jujube fruit were investigated previously, the bioavailability phenomenon has been disregarded so far. For this study, 80% ethanol extract of Ziziphus jujuba fruit (ZJE) was investigated for its in vitro hypoglycaemic and antioxidant potentials, before and after the interaction with simulated human digestion. DPPH scavenging activity, FRAP, CUPRAC, and TOAC assays were used for this purpose. Moreover, inhibition potentials of α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzymes and advanced glycation end products (AGE) were examined for the hypoglycaemic effect. Results indicated that ZJE showed significant antioxidant and dose dependent enzyme and AGE inhibition activity. Nonetheless, subsequent to simulated human digestion in vitro bioactivities of ZJE were significantly lowered for bioavailable fraction (IN). Protocatechuic acid (PA) (major phenolic compound of the fruit) contents of the extract and fractions were measured via HPTLC for more accurate understanding of the effects of human digestion and bioavailability profile.

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Abstract

To determine the most effective preservation method for MiBa (a traditional Chinese rice product), MiBa treated with 75% alcohol, 75% alcohol + inhibitor, ozone treatment; untreated (control); and raw rice were subjected to 16S rRNA gene and ITS three-generation sequencing by High-throughput Sequencing Technology. According to the results the preservation effects of different treatment methods ranked as follows: ozone treatment >75% alcohol treatment >75% alcohol+inhibitor > control. Bacterial composition analysis showed that the bacterial community on the surface of MiBa treated with ozone was dominated by genera Leuconostoc and Serratia. The fungal community consisted mainly of Aspergillus and Alternaria. In summary, ozone treatment proved to be the most effective in inhibiting microbial contamination during the storage of MiBa, effectively extending its shelf life.

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Abstract

In this research, the impacts of various enzymes (phospholipase-A2 (0.3% v/v), lipase (0.03% w/v), and protease (0.5% w/v)) on the physico-chemical and functional characteristics of the treated egg white protein (EWP) were determined. The pH, turbidity, colour (L*, a*, b*, and ∆E*), gas concentrations in the package, relative foaming capacity (RFC), and foaming stability were analysed during storage at 4 °C. The protease (1,000 ± 60.82) and lipase (790 ± 41.63) increased RFC values significantly (control: 616 ± 36.05) on the initial day. The enzymes significantly decreased (P < 0.05) the turbidity values from 0.46 ± 0.10 (control) to –0.30 ± 0.05 (lipase) and –0.35 ± 0.03 (protease), whereas it was increased by phospholipase-A2 (0.53 ± 0.06). This research points out the efficacy of the enzymes in improving functionality of EWP. In conclusion, treatment with protease enzyme provided the best RFC values at day 27. However, utilisation of protease led to decrease in L* and b* values.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: N. Kellner, E. Antal, A. Szabó, and R. Matolcsi

Abstract

Guignardia bidwellii, indigenous to North America, is a significant pathogen of grapes long known in Hungary, infecting only the growing green parts of the vine (leaves, petioles, shoots, and bunches). In the absence of adequate plant protection and extreme weather conditions such as a predominantly humid, warm year, black rot of grapes can be expected. The pathogen can cause high yield losses due to grape rot and reduce wine quality if the infection is severe.

The evolution of certain biogenic amine compounds were investigated under the influence of grape black rot. The results obtained showed that they were present in low concentrations from an oenological point of view. Polyphenol composition was consistent with the literature, blackening affected mainly the concentration of catechin. Black rot fungus does not produce β-glucosidase enzyme. In terms of resveratrol content, black rot has no particular effect. However, like Botrytis cinerea, it produces glycerol and, proportionally, gluconic acid in lower concentrations.

It can be concluded that black rot of grapes does not cause health problems when introduced into wine processing.

Open access

Abstract

Potato tubers defend themselves against herbivores with endogenous secondary compounds such as solanine and scopolamine. They also recruit endophytes and members of the tuberosphere to repel herbivores. Many of these endophyte defence features are overcome by cooking, with some notable exceptions that have been identified by rDNA analysis of potato peel samples and may account for some previously unrecognised features of potato peel colic. This is relevant regarding the rather modern way of cooking, where the potato peel is left intact in food and consumed.

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Progress in Agricultural Engineering Sciences
Authors: József Mihalkó, Dóra Szepesi-Bencsik, Gabriella Zsarnóczay, and László Ferenc Friedrich

Abstract

Animal food, especially meat, has played an important role in the history of mankind. Different meats can be used in the production of meat products. In addition to lean meats, mechanically deboned meat (MDM) and mechanically separated meat (MSM) can also be used in meat products. However, the latter does not qualify as meat due to damage to the muscular structure due to the high pressure applied during the separation, therefore cannot be included in the meat content of products.

The aim of our experiment was to compare whole, minced meat, MDM and MSM from turkey (raw and in the form of meat paste). Technofunctional tests (water-holding and -binding capacity), color measurement, chemical composition (moisture, protein and fat content), electron microscopic recording, rheological properties show that the quality of MSM is inferior to other meat raw materials. These properties can also result in the production of lower quality products.

Open access
Acta Alimentaria
Authors: J. Radović, A. Leković, A. Damjanović, Đ. Kopanja, M. Dodevska, T. Stanojković, T. Marinković, Č. Jelić, and T. Kundaković-Vasović

Abstract

The composition of biologically active compounds of Calocybe gambosa (Lyophyllaceae) was analysed, and the antioxidant and cytotoxic activities were tested in vitro. C. gambosa was low in energy, fat, and carbohydrates, but rich in proteins and fibres. The total polyphenol content in the extracts was low (23.08 ± 0.67 in aqueous and 24.99 ± 4.25 μg GA mg−1 of extract in methanolic extract). The methanolic extract showed anti-DPPH radical activity with an IC50 of 626.10 ± 25.20 μg mL−1. The sample of C. gambosa is rich in nucleotides and amino acids responsible for its pleasant taste. The nucleoside and 5′-monophosphates contents were 0.97 mg g−1 and 2.32 mg g−1 of dry mushroom, respectively. The contents of essential and non-essential amino acids were 18.41 ± 0.06 and 41.75 ± 0.30 mg g−1 d.w., respectively. The percentages of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids were 42.6% and 57.4%, respectively. The most abundant water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins were B1 and E, respectively. Cytotoxic effect of the extracts was examined against different cancer cell lines, and the best cytotoxicity was showed by the peptide extract against colon cancer cell line LS174.

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Abstract

Pre-drying prior to freezing may reduce several freezing drawbacks. Nevertheless, drying may cause nutritional quality losses. Instant Controlled Pressure Drop process has been proposed to intensify pre-drying process. This research is dedicated to study the evolution of the main bioactive compounds (total phenolics, flavonoid, and tannins contents) of quince dehydrofrozen fruits. Fresh samples were subjected to air drying at 40 °C and 3 m s−1 air velocity down to a final water content of 0.3 g g−1 db. Pre-dried samples were Instant Controlled Pressure Drop (DIC) treated under different conditions, i.e. saturated steam pressure (P) and treatment time (t), following a 2-factor/5-level Experimental Design. Treated fruits were frozen at –30 °C then were thawed at 20 °C in order to study the impacts of DIC on phenolic compounds. Response Surface Methodology (RSM) confirmed that pressure was the most influencing parameter in terms of polyphenol, flavonoid, and tannins contents. Finally, DIC pre-treatment allowed the improvement of phenolic content retention compared to untreated DIC samples.

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Abstract

Quinoa is a pseudocereal having outstanding nutritional profile and health-promoting biofunctional compounds. It is able to pop into an affordable, crispy, and flavourful ready-to-eat snack by conventional oil-popping method. Oil-popping is the process of frying grains in hot oil for a short time to induce vapour-driven expansion of grains. The effects of process variables on oil-popping quality of quinoa were evaluated. The conditions of processing were optimised using Response Surface Methodology. The grains (10 g) were hydrated by adding 0.1–0.3 mL of water containing a varying salt concentration of 0–1%, w/w and popped in coconut oil maintained at a popping temperature of 200–240 °C for a popping time of 10–30 s. The developed popped quinoa was analysed for popping quality indices. It was found that the increase in popping temperature, popping time, and salt concentration, and decrease in moisture level significantly decreased bulk density but increased popping yield (% popped grains), expansion ratio (degree of volume expansion), and flake size (average kernel size) of popped quinoa. Overall acceptability of popped quinoa in terms of sensory attributes was positively correlated with popping temperature and popping time. The optimised variables generated a popping yield of 75.56%, expansion ratio of 3.07, flake size of 11.58 mm3, bulk density of 0.29 g mL−1, and overall acceptability score of 8.40. A threefold expansion and a fair popping yield obtained from oil-popped quinoa offer a significant potential to generate profit for manufacturers.

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Abstract

With the enhancement of people’s awareness of drinking health, the health factors in Wuliangye-flavour liquor is worth our attention. Bacterial communities in 4 layers of Zaopei from the same fermentation pit and amino acids as major health factors in 4 liquors directly related Zaopeis were investigated by Illumina MiSeq sequencing and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, respectively. Results indicated that 18 amino acids were detected and 8 dominant bacteria (genus level) were observed. Meanwhile, total amino acids, 11 amino acids (Glu, Asp, Val, etc), bacterial diversity, and the percentages of Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas increased with the increase of Zaopei’s depth; 5 amino acids (Pro, Ser, Phe, etc) and the percentages of Pediococcus and Bacteroides first increased and then decreased with the increase of Zaopei’s depth. Moreover, 11 amino acids were significantly (P < 0.01) and strongly (|ρ| > 0.8) positively correlated with Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas numbers.

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Abstract

Transcription factors of the nuclear factor kappa‐light‐chain‐enhancer of activated B cells (NF-ĸB) family control important signaling pathways in the regulation of the host innate immune system. Various bacterial pathogens in the human gastrointestinal tract induce NF-ĸB activity and provoke pro-inflammatory signaling events in infected epithelial cells. NF-ĸB activation requires the phosphorylation-dependent proteolysis of inhibitor of ĸB (IĸB) molecules including the NF-ĸB precursors through ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. The canonical NF-ĸB pathway merges on IĸB kinases (IKKs), which are required for signal transduction. Using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, secreted embryonic alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) reporter assays and cytokine enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we demonstrate that the actin-binding protein cortactin is involved in NF-ĸB activation and subsequent interleukin-8 (IL-8) production upon infection by Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enterica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Our data indicate that cortactin is needed to efficiently activate the c-Sarcoma (Src) kinase, which can positively stimulate NF-ĸB during infection. In contrast, cortactin is not involved in activation of NF-ĸB and IL-8 expression upon infection with Campylobacter species C. jejuni, C. coli or C. consisus, suggesting that Campylobacter species pluralis (spp.) induce a different signaling pathway upstream of cortactin to trigger the innate immune response.

Open access

Abstract

Despite vaccine availability, the global spread of COVID-19 continues, largely facilitated by emerging SARS-CoV-2 mutations. Our earlier research documented that a specific combination of plant-derived compounds can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 binding to its ACE2 receptor and controlling key cellular mechanisms of viral infectivity. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of a defined mixture of plant extracts and micronutrients against original SARS-CoV-2 and its Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Kappa, and Mu variants. The composition containing vitamin C, N-acetylcysteine, resveratrol, theaflavin, curcumin, quercetin, naringenin, baicalin, and broccoli extract demonstrated a highest efficacy by inhibiting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) binding of SARS-CoV-2 to its cellular ACE2 receptor by 90%. In vitro exposure of test pseudo-typed variants to this formula for 1 h before or simultaneously administrated to human pulmonary cells resulted in up to 60% inhibition in their cellular entry. Additionally, this composition significantly inhibited other cellular mechanisms of viral infectivity, including the activity of viral RdRp, furin, and cathepsin L. These findings demonstrate the efficacy of natural compounds against SARS-CoV-2 including its mutated forms through pleiotropic mechanisms. Our results imply that simultaneous inhibition of multiple mechanisms of viral infection of host cells could be an effective strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Open access

Abstract

A number of methods have been applied to measure total antioxidant capacity (TAC), including FRAP, which is based on reducing the amount of iron ions in a complex compound. Researchers often use measurement of absorbance 10 min after mixing a sample with the FRAP reaction solution to calculate TAC. The FRAP solution has been shown to alter absorbance over time by ca 0.0010–0.0020 per hour, under storage conditions. This article intends to show that some substances do not fully or sufficiently react within the common analysis period. It is evident from the results that some substances react more quickly and others very slowly. Absorbance in relation to various phenols was measured. Compared to the levels of absorbance at 10 min, mean absorbance at 48 h was higher by 5,395% for vanillin, 426% for caffeic acid, 170% for sinapinic acid, 67% for gallic acid, 19% for syringic acid, and only by 4% for Trolox. Results for vanillin and caffeic acid indicate potential auto-catalysis.

Open access

Abstract

Hungarian fruit vinegars were characterised in terms of physicochemical attributes (total polyphenol content, antioxidant characteristics/FRAP, CUPRAC, ABTS/, ascorbic acid content, pH, total soluble solids), sensory profiles, and antimicrobial properties.

Both compositional and sensory profiles showed distinct patterns depending on the type of vinegar (Tokaj wine, balsamic or apple) and the additional fruit used. Balsamic vinegars maturated on rosehip, sea buckthorn, and raspberry showed outstanding antioxidant performances. Rosehip, raspberry, and quince vinegars, as well as vinegars produced from Tokaji aszú and balsamic apple obtained high scores for fruity and sweet notes.

Antimicrobial activities were tested on Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms, including probiotic bacteria. Generally, only weak activities were obtained, which was attributed to the natural sugar content of the samples, depending on the type of the vinegar and the fruit. Similar results, but more pronounced bacterial growth inhibitions were obtained for probiotic strains, however, some probiotic strains were resistant to at least two of the vinegars. Based on these, balsamic apple, raspberry, rosehip, quince, and sea buckthorn may qualify as potential functional components of probiotic preparations containing some of the strains tested.

Open access
Acta Alimentaria
Authors: P.Y.Z. Jiang, Y.F. Tian, X.Y. Liu, L.L Wei, Y.X. Bai, X.L. Liu, and S.B. Li

Abstract

Marine organisms have attracted considerable attention in recent years. In this study, peptides with osteogenic activity from Pinctada martensii were isolated and identified. Additionally, the effects of the hydrolysates on MC3T3-E1 cell proliferation and differentiation were evaluated using the MTT and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assays, respectively. First, trypsin, pancreatin, and neutral protease were used to hydrolyse the intact shellfish. The hydrolysates with the greatest effects on osteoblast proliferation and ALP activity were separated and purified. Second, fraction WP2 was isolated and purified using a Sephadex G-25 column. WP2, which had the highest osteogenic activity, increased cell growth by 48.57 ± 0.05% and ALP activity by 6.27 ± 0.07 mU. Finally, four novel peptides were identified in WP2 (FDNEGKGKLPEEY, IVLDSGDGVTH, IVLDSGDGVSH, and SSENSDLQRQ) by Orbitrap Fusion Lumos Tribrid orbital liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Our findings revealed that P. martensii contains peptides with potential osteogenic activity.

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Abstract

Aroma components of wines play an important role in the sensory quality of wines. In our paper we investigate the effect of commercially available yeast nutrients under different fermentation parameters. Caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and different fatty acid esters were used as markers of the alcoholic fermentation process. The optimal temperature for the fermentation of different white wines was at 15–16 °C, in the case of examined wines lower concentrations of fatty acids and fatty acid esters were found at this temperature. At 25–26 °C fermentation temperature very high concentrations of fatty acids and fatty acid esters were detected. Applying different nitrogen-containing wine additives we managed to achieve better aroma profiles for white wines even using musts of lower quality.

Open access

Abstract

Consumers increasingly address their attention to healthy fruits produced under organic agricultural managements. However, such produce may be less appealing in appearance influencing the purchase decisions of consumers. This research had the purpose to determine on three Italian local apple cultivars (Casciana, Rosa, Ruggine) the sensory appreciation of fruit through experiments conducted with blind (BC) and sighted (SC) consumers. The appreciation of apples differed between consumers with different visual ability. This aspect mainly concerned cvs Casciana and Rosa with contrasting fruit appearance traits. The BCs were inclined to better evaluate Casciana apples characterised by less attractive fruits. Conversely, the visual factor could have influenced the SCs’ judgment, as they appreciated Rosa more by the best outer traits of fruits. Intriguing responses were obtained when SCs were blindfolded.

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Abstract

The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank (RSCB PDB) provides a wide range of digital data regarding biology and biomedicine. This huge internet resource involves a wide range of important biological data, obtained from experiments around the globe by different scientists. The Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB) represents a brilliant collection of 3D structure data associated with important and vital biomolecules including nucleic acids (RNAs and DNAs) and proteins. Moreover, this database accumulates knowledge regarding function and evolution of biomacromolecules which supports different disciplines such as biotechnology. 3D structure, functional characteristics and phylogenetic properties of biomacromolecules give a deep understanding of the biomolecules’ characteristics. An important advantage of the wwPDB database is the data updating time, which is done every week. This updating process helps users to have the newest data and information for their projects. The data and information in wwPDB can be a great support to have an accurate imagination and illustrations of the biomacromolecules in biotechnology. As demonstrated by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, rapidly reliable and accessible biological data for microbiology, immunology, vaccinology, and drug development are critical to address many healthcare-related challenges that are facing humanity. The aim of this paper is to introduce the readers to wwPDB, and to highlight the importance of this database in biotechnology, with the expectation that the number of scientists interested in the utilization of Protein Data Bank’s resources will increase substantially in the coming years.

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