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Seidler-Lozykowska K.,Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants
Journal of Essential Oil Research

In 1994-2003 samples of chamomile flowers were analyzed in order to determine the essential oil, α-bisabolol and chamazulene content. The correlation between changes in weather conditions and these active compound contents was estimated to understand the reason of significant differences over the years. The results showed different reactions of chamomile genotypes to weather conditions. High temperature and intensive insolation had a negative effect on the oil content, whereas it had a strongly positive effect on the α-bisabolol content. © 2010 Allured Business Media. Source

Czaplicki Z.,Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants
Fibres and Textiles in Eastern Europe

This paper reports on the structure and most significant parameters of wool from alpacas bred in Poland. The external and internal structures of the fibre were evaluated based on microscopic observations of the fibre surface and cross sections. It was determined that both the surfaces and cross sections of the alpaca fibres show differences when compared to wool fibres. The diameter, which is the most important fibre parameter, was measured using three methods (including the Laser-Scan method).Investigations were made on 15 samples taken from various alpacas from a herd of 120 animals. Depending on the investigation method used, certain differences in the fibre diameter were observed. An analysis showed that the results of measurements of alpaca wool diameter best correlate when using the scanning electron microscopy and Laser-Scan methods. Large variations in the fibre thickness of the various samples prove the non-uniformity of wool from the whole alpaca herd, indicating that alpacas are bred in an uncontrolled (random) way. Source

Pietrzyk A.J.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Panjikar S.,German Electron Synchrotron | Panjikar S.,Australian Synchrotron | Bujacz A.,Technical University of Lodz | And 6 more authors.
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography

Three crystal structures of a lipoprotein (Bmlp7) of unknown function, a member of the 30 kDa lipoprotein family from mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) haemolymph, have been determined. The 1.33 Å resolution structure is an excellent example of how a precise crystallographic study can contribute to protein identification. The correct sequence of this haemolymph-isolated protein was assigned thanks to superb-quality electron-density maps. Two unexpected cadmium cations were found in this crystal structure [Bmlp7-I(Cd)] and their presence may be connected to a detoxification mechanism in this insect. For a comparison of the metal-binding sites, the crystal structure of a platinum complex (Bmlp7-Pt) was also solved at 1.94 Å resolution. The third (2.50 Å resolution) structure, of the native protein harvested in a different season (Bmlp7-II), corresponds to a different polymorph with an altered pattern of intermolecular inter-actions and with a total absence of cadmium ions and highlights the possible involvement of Bmlp7 in the response to environmental pollution. The N-terminal domain of Bmlp7 has a fold resembling a clockwise spiral created by six helices and can be classified as a VHS domain. The C-terminal domain is folded as a Β-trefoil. The biological function of Bmlp7 is unknown, but its structural homology to sugar-binding proteins suggests that, in analogy to other 30 kDa haemolymph lipoproteins, it could play a role as an anti-apoptotic factor or function in the immune response of the insect to fungal infections. © 2012 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore - all rights reserved. Source

Zubek S.,Jagiellonian University | Mielcarek S.,Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants | Turnau K.,Jagiellonian University

Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John's-wort, Hypericaceae) is a valuable medicinal plant species cultivated for pharmaceutical purposes. Although the chemical composition and pharmacological activities of H. perforatum have been well studied, no data are available concerning the influence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on this important herb. A laboratory experiment was therefore conducted in order to test three AMF inocula on H. perforatum with a view to show whether AMF could influence plant vitality (biomass and photosynthetic activity) and the production of the most valuable secondary metabolites, namely anthraquinone derivatives (hypericin and pseudohypericin) as well as the prenylated phloroglucinol-hyperforin. The following treatments were prepared: (1) control-sterile soil without AMF inoculation, (2) Rhizophagus intraradices (syn. Glomus intraradices), (3) Funneliformis mosseae (syn. Glomus mosseae), and (4) an AMF Mix which contained: Funneliformis constrictum (syn. Glomus constrictum), Funneliformis geosporum (syn. Glomus geosporum), F. mosseae, and R. intraradices. The application of R. intraradices inoculum resulted in the highest mycorrhizal colonization, whereas the lowest values of mycorrhizal parameters were detected in the AMF Mix. There were no statistically significant differences in H. perforatum shoot mass in any of the treatments. However, we found AMF species specificity in the stimulation of H. perforatum photosynthetic activity and the production of secondary metabolites. Inoculation with the AMF Mix resulted in higher photosynthetic performance index (PI total) values in comparison to all the other treatments. The plants inoculated with R. intraradices and the AMF Mix were characterized by a higher concentration of hypericin and pseudohypericin in the shoots. However, no differences in the content of these metabolites were detected after the application of F. mosseae. In the case of hyperforin, no significant differences were found between the control plants and those inoculated with any of the AMF applied. The enhanced content of anthraquinone derivatives and, at the same time, better plant vitality suggest that the improved production of these metabolites was a result of the positive effect of the applied AMF strains on H. perforatum. This could be due to improved mineral nutrition or to AMF-induced changes in the phytohormonal balance. Our results are promising from the biotechnological point of view, i. e. the future inoculation of H. perforatum with AMF in order to improve the quality of medicinal plant raw material obtained from cultivation. © 2011 The Author(s). Source

Andrzejewska J.,University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz | Sadowska K.,University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz | Mielcarek S.,Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants
Industrial Crops and Products

In the moderate climate of Poland it is recommended that milk thistle (Silybum marianum L. Gaertn.) be grown on fertile soils. The plant, however, develops a strong root system, so a working hypothesis has developed that cultivation can be extended to light soils with periodic water deficits. The aim of the present research was to determine the effects of sowing milk thistle on light soil at different dates and rates on the achene yield and flavonolignan content. This experiment was carried out during 2004-2006 at the Mochelek Experiment Station of the University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz (53°13' N; 17°51' E). The average fruit yields were 1.23tha -1; those of silymarin were 26.5kgha -1. The moisture and thermal conditions during the research years caused the fruit yields to range from 0.55 to 1.68tha -1 and silymarin yields from 13.3 to 35.4kgha -1. Delaying sowing from early to mid-April increased the plant density and decreased numbers of inflorescences and fruits per inflorescence; as a result, no effect of sowing date on fruit yield was found. Delaying the sowing date increased silymarin content by about 0.4% and its yield by 5.3kgha -1. Increasing the sowing rate from 12 to 24kgha -1 resulted in a slight (40kgha -1) but significant increase in achene yield; however, it did not affect the silymarin content. The average silymarin content in fruits was 2.18%. The ratio of silydianin to silychristin was 1:2.2, and the ratio of silydianin to the sum of silybinin and isosilybinin was 1:3.3. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

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