Institute of Physical Biology

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Institute of Physical Biology

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Kuncic M.K.,University of Ljubljana | Jaklic D.,University of Ljubljana | Lapanje A.,Institute of Physical Biology | Gunde-Cimerman N.,University of Ljubljana
British Journal of Biomedical Science | Year: 2012

In the present study, Slovenian honey samples produced from different floral sources are evaluated for their antibacterial and antifungal properties. The peroxide contribution to antibacterial activity is also determined. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the honeys was assessed against four bacterial species (Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus ) and against eight fungal species (Aspergillus niger, Aureobasidium pullulans, Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Penicillium chrysogenum and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa). Honey at concentrations between 1% and 50% (v/v) were tested. Although all of the bacterial species were inhibited by the different honey samples, the chestnut and pasture honeys showed the highest antibacterial activities. The antifungal activities were concentration-dependent, with five ( Aureobasidium pullulans, Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa) inhibited only at honey concentrations greater than 50%. The fungi Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans and Penicillium chrysogenum were not inhibited by any of the tested honeys, even at the highest concentrations. The lowest MICs seen were 2.5% (v/v) for the chestnut, fir and forest honeys against Staphylococcus aureus, and 10.0% (v/v) for the chestnut and pasture honeys against Cladosporium cladosporioides. The non-peroxide action of chestnut honey was tested against Escherichia coli. The MIC of the catalase-treated chestnut honey was 50% (v/v). The antibacterial effect of Slovenian honeys is mostly due to peroxide action. These data support the concept that Slovenian honeys are effective antibacterials and antifungals, and can thus be applied for medicinal purposes.

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.

Lapanje A.,Institute of Physical Biology | Zrimec A.,Institute of Physical Biology | Drobne D.,University of Ljubljana | Rupnik M.,Institute of Public Health Maribor
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2010

In previous studies we detected lower species richness and lower Hg sensitivity of the bacteria present in egested guts of Porcellio scaber (Crustacea, Isopoda) from chronically Hg polluted than from unpolluted environment. Basis for such results were further investigated by sequencing of 16S rRNA genes of mercury-resistant (Hgr) isolates and clone libraries. We observed up to 385 times higher numbers of Hgr bacteria in guts of animals from polluted than from unpolluted environment. The majority of Hgr strains contained merA genes. Sequencing of 16S rRNA clones from egested guts of animals from Hg-polluted environments showed elevated number of bacteria from Pseudomonas, Listeria and Bacteroidetes relatives groups. In animals from pristine environment number of bacteria from Achromobacter relatives, Alcaligenes, Paracoccus, Ochrobactrum relatives, Rhizobium/Agrobacterium, Bacillus and Microbacterium groups were elevated. Such bacterial community shifts in guts of animals from Hg-polluted environment could significantly contribute to P. scaber Hg tolerance. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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.

Drinovec L.,Institute of Physical Biology | Flander-Putrle V.,Marine Biology Station Piran | Knez M.,Institute of Physical Biology | Beran A.,National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics - OGS | Berden-Zrimec M.,Institute of Physical Biology
Environmental and Experimental Botany | Year: 2011

We present a method for in situ monitoring of phytoplankton composition changes in a marine environment. The method is based on delayed fluorescence excitation spectra analyzed with CHEMTAX software, which is generally used for determination of phytoplankton communities with HPLC pigment data. Delayed fluorescence (DF) is a photosynthetic parameter that can only be measured in living cells. Algal DF excitation spectra are group-specific, based on their composition of photosynthetic pigments. DF excitation spectra of 14 marine algal species from different families were measured with a delayed fluorescence spectrometer. Mixtures were prepared from northern Adriatic algal species representing six taxonomic groups: dinoflagellates (Prorocentrum minimum), diatoms (Skeletonema costatum), cyanobacteria (Synechococcus sp.), prasinophytes (Micromonas sp.), cryptophytes (Teleaulax sp.), and prymnesiophytes (Isochrysis galbana). The DF excitation spectra (DFS) and HPLC pigment compositions of the mixtures were analyzed with CHEMTAX software. The prediction power of DFS-CHEMTAX method was comparable to HPLC-CHEMTAX. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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.

Hubad B.,Institute of Physical Biology | Lapanje A.,Institute of Physical Biology
Journal of Hospital Infection | Year: 2012

The ambient air in nine locations in a pulmonary hospital and a tuberculosis diagnostic laboratory was analysed to determine the hazard posed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In four locations, between 6 and 20 M. tuberculosis cell equivalents/m 3 were detected. The results indicated that inadequately ventilated corridors had the highest cell equivalents. In these areas healthcare workers were less aware of infection hazard compared to areas with known sources of M. tuberculosis and the wearing of protective masks and passive ventilation were not in place. Based on these results, further infection prevention and control measures need to be implemented. © 2011 The Healthcare Infection Society.

Kopinc R.,Institute of Physical Biology | Lapanje A.,Institute of Physical Biology
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Year: 2012

Objectives: Antibiotic susceptibility testing of the Mycobacterium avium complex is often characterized by a lack of correlation between in vitro results and clinical response. The reason for this discrepancy might lie in the difference between in vitro susceptibility testing conditions and the actual environment experienced by mycobacteria in the host. The availability of iron is one such difference, which is limited in host macrophages upon infection, but abundant in susceptibility testing media. Accordingly, the aim of our study was to determine whether iron limitation affects the antibiotic susceptibility profile of M. avium subspecies hominissuis. Methods: Susceptibilities to multiple antibiotics targeting various cellular processes were determined in media with normal- and low-iron concentrations using the resazurin microplate assay. Differences in susceptibilities were evaluated by monitoring changes in the MIC and growth inhibition at subinhibitory antibiotic concentrations (sub-MICs). Results: Cultures grown in low-iron conditions were less susceptible to the DNA synthesis inhibitors 6-mercaptopurine and levofloxacin at sub-MICs. Decreased susceptibility to the protein synthesis inhibitors azithromycin (>2-fold) and streptomycin (at sub-MICs) was observed only during adaptation to low-iron conditions. On the contrary, increased susceptibility to antibiotics that interfere with cell wall synthesis [isoniazid (4-fold), d-cycloserine (2-fold) and ethambutol (at sub-MICs)], mycobactin synthesis [4-aminosalicylate (at sub-MICs)] and mRNA synthesis [rifampicin (4-fold)] was observed in low-iron conditions. Conclusions: The susceptibility profile in low-iron conditions significantly differs from that observed in normal-iron conditions. Mimicking the host environment in terms of iron availability should be considered for in vitro susceptibility testing of mycobacteria, especially for antibiotics interfering with iron metabolism, such as 4-aminosalicylate. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

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