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Ljubljana, Slovenia

Razinger J.,Agricultural Institute of Slovenia | Drinovec L.,Aerosol d.o.o. | Berden-Zrimec M.,Institute of Physical Biology
Central European Journal of Biology | Year: 2012

Early chemical-induced stress in Solanum tuberosum leaves was visualized using delayed fluorescence (DF) imaging. The ability to detect spatially heterogeneous responses of plant leaves exposed to several toxicants using delayed fluorescence was compared to prompt fluorescence (PF) imaging and the standard maximum fluorescence yield of PSII measurements (Fv/Fm). The toxicants used in the study were two photosynthesis inhibitors (herbicides), 100 μM methyl viologen (MV) and 140 μM diuron (DCMU), and two heavy metals, 100 μM cadmium and 100 μM copper. The exposure times were 5 and 72 h. Significant photosynthesis-inhibitor effects were already visualized after 5 h. In addition, a significant reduction in the DF/PF index was measured in DCMU- and MV-treated leaves after 5 h. In contrast, only DCMU-treated leaves exhibited a significant decrease in Fv/Fm after 5 h. All treatments resulted in a significant decrease in the DF/PF parameter after 72 h of exposure, when only MV and Cd treatment resulted in visible symptoms. Our study highlights the power of delayed fluorescence imaging. Abundant quantifiable spatial information was obtained with the instrumental setup. Delayed fluorescence imaging has been confirmed as a very responsive and useful technique for detecting stress induced by photosynthesis inhibitors or heavy metals. © 2012 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien.

Traunsek U.,Omega d.o.o. | Toplak N.,Omega d.o.o. | Jersek B.,University of Ljubljana | Lapanje A.,Institute of Physical Biology | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Microbiological Methods | Year: 2011

Listeriosis is a serious food-borne infection with mortality rates approaching 30%. Therefore, the rapid, cost-effective, and automated detection of Listeria monocytogenes throughout the food chain continues to be a major concern. Here we describe three novel quantitative real-time PCR assays for L. monocytogenes based on amplification of a target hlyA gene with SYBR Green I chemistry and hydrolysis probe (TaqMan MGB probe). In order to offer sensitive, rapid and robust tool of additional economical value the real-time PCR assays were designed and optimized to only 5μl-reactions. All assays were evaluated by using different non-reference Listeria strains isolated from various food matrices. Results demonstrated specificity to L. monocytogenes with accurate quantification over a dynamic range of 5-6 log units with R2 higher than 0.98 and amplification efficiencies reaching above 92%. The detection and quantification limits were as low as 165 genome equivalents. Comparison of novel assays to commercially available TaqMan® Listeria monocytogenes Detection Kit and previously published studies revealed similar specificity, sensitivity and efficiency, but greater robustness and especially cost-efficiency in the view of smaller reaction volumes and continuous increase in sample throughput. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Frey B.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Rieder S.R.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Brunner I.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Plotze M.,ETH Zurich | And 4 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

Several bacterial strains isolated from granitic rock material in front of the Damma glacier (Central Swiss Alps) were shown (i) to grow in the presence of granite powder and a glucose-NH4Cl minimal medium without additional macro- or micronutrients and (ii) to produce weathering-associated agents. In particular, four bacterial isolates (one isolate each of Arthrobacter sp., Janthinobacterium sp., Leifsonia sp., and Polaromonas sp.) were weathering associated. In comparison to what was observed in abiotic experiments, the presence of these strains caused a significant increase of granite dissolution (as measured by the release of Fe, Ca, K, Mg, and Mn). These most promising weathering-associated bacterial species exhibited four main features rendering them more efficient in mineral dissolution than the other investigated isolates: (i) a major part of their bacterial cells was attached to the granite surfaces and not suspended in solution, (ii) they secreted the largest amounts of oxalic acid, (iii) they lowered the pH of the solution, and (iv) they formed significant amounts of HCN. As far as we know, this is the first report showing that the combined action of oxalic acid and HCN appears to be associated with enhanced elemental release from granite, in particular of Fe. This suggests that extensive microbial colonization of the granite surfaces could play a crucial role in the initial soil formation in previously glaciated mountain areas. Copyright © 2010, American society tor Microbiology. AU Rights Reserved.

Korecko J.,ENKI | Jirka V.,ENKI | Sourek B.,ENKI | Sourek B.,Czech Technical University | And 2 more authors.
Solar Energy | Year: 2010

Since the eighties of the 20th century, various types of linear glass rasters for architectural usage have been developed in the Czech Republic made by the continuous melting technology. The development was focused on two main groups of rasters - active rasters with linear Fresnel lenses in fixed installation and with movable photo-thermal and/or photo-thermal/photo-voltaic absorbers. The second group are passive rasters based on total reflection of rays on an optical prism. During the last years we have been working on their standardization, exact measuring of their optical and thermal-technical characteristics and on creation of a final product that could be applied in solar architecture.With the project supported by the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic we were able to build an experimental greenhouse using these active and passive optical glass rasters. The project followed the growing number of technical objectives. The concept of the greenhouse consisted of interdependence construction - structural design of the greenhouse with its technological equipment securing the required temperature and humidity conditions in the interior of the greenhouse. This article aims to show the merits of the proposed scheme and presents the results of the mathematical model in the TRNSYS environment through which we could predict the future energy balance carried out similar works, thus optimizing the investment and operating costs.In this article description of various technology applications for passive and active utilization of solar radiation is presented, as well as some results of short-term and long-term experiments, including evaluation of 1-year operation of the greenhouse from the energy and interior temperature viewpoints. A comparison of the calculated energy flows in the greenhouse to real measured values, for verification of the installed model is also involved. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Lapanje A.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Lapanje A.,Institute of Physical Biology | Wimmersberger C.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Furrer G.,ETH Zurich | And 2 more authors.
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2012

Colonisation and weathering of freshly deglaciated granite are key processes in initial soil formation and development. We have obtained 438 isolates from granite sand covering glacial toe, 284 isolates at 22°C and 154 at 4°C incubation temperatures, respectively, to obtain cultures for the investigation of their weathering capabilities under laboratory conditions. The isolation of bacteria from granite sand was performed on rich-, intermediate- and low-nutrient-content solid media. Isolates were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. According to the genera-associated weathering capabilities described in the literature and according to their abundance in our culture collection, we selected eight strains to analyse their effects on the weathering dynamics of granite sand during the batch culture experiment. Analysis of culturable bacteria showed higher species richness among isolates from 22°C than from 4°C incubations. In the R2A and 1/100 Ravan media, we observed the highest species richness of isolates obtained at 22°C and 4°C incubation temperatures, respectively. The obtained 16S rRNA sequences revealed the presence of alpha-, beta- and gamma-proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. The most numerous group of isolates was distantly related to Collimonas representatives, and according to the sequences of the 16S rRNA genes, they can form a new genus. Isolates from this group had the capability of causing increased dissolution rates for Fe, W, Ni and Rb. In general, at each sampling during the 30-day experiment, every strain showed a unique weathering profile resulting from differential rates of the dissolution and the precipitation of different minerals in the batch culture. Consequently, the presence of different strains, their growth stage and changes in proportions of strains in the bacterial community can affect further soil development and the successive colonisation by plants. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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