Brno, Czech Republic

Mendel University in Brno
Brno, Czech Republic
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-03a-2014 | Award Amount: 6.64M | Year: 2015

EMPHASIS is a participatory research project addressing native and alien pests threats (insect pests, pathogens, weeds) for a range of both natural ecosystems and farming systems (field crops, protected crops, forestry, orchards and amenity plants). The overall goal is to ensure a European food security system and the protection of biodiversity and of ecosystems services while developing integrated mechanisms of response measures (practical solutions) to predict, to prevent and to protect agriculture and forestry systems from native and alien pests threats. The specific objectives are the following: 1.Predict, Prioritize and Planning: pest management challenges and opportunities will be evaluated according to stakeholder-focused criteria and through pathway analysis; 2.Prevent: practical solutions for surveillance in different pathways to enhance preparedness will be provided to end-users, and monitoring tools following outbreaks and eradication will be developed; 3.Protect: practical solutions for managing native and alien pests in agriculture, horticulture and forestry will be developed, their technical and economic feasibility will be demonstrated and their market uptake will be enhanced. 4.Promote: a mutual learning process with end-users will be developed, and the solutions identified by the project will be promoted through training and dissemination. The project is in line with EU policy framework (Plant Health Dir. 2000/29/EC, EU Biodiversity strategy to 2020, Dir. 2009/128/EC on sustainable use of pesticides, Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe) and its future developments (Reg. on protective measures against pests of plants, Reg. on Invasive Alien Species). The project is not focused on a single management systems but the plant/pest ecosystems dealt with are treated with a multi-method approach to design true IPM methodology that will be developed for key systems with portability to other similar systems, thereby having a large impact.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.4-07 | Award Amount: 1.59M | Year: 2013

Sharka, caused by the Plum Pox Virus (PPV), is the most devastating disease affecting stone fruit trees in Europe. In order to respond to this critical situation, the FP7-funded SharCo project (2008-2012) devoted a significant part of its efforts on the development of first-generation PPV resistant plant materials, guidelines for new plantings, and molecular tools for the implementation of marker assisted selection (MAS) in apricot breeding programs. The first steps in establishing MAS were achieved in SharCo but presented some limitations that hampered the EU-wide implementation of a high throughput MAS approach. In this context, the current proposal, MARS (for Marker Assisted Resistance to Sharka), will boost the production of sharka resistant stone fruit cultivars by transferring the efficient and reliable procedures of MAS conceived in SharCo to SMEs. The SharCo molecular tools are continually being upgraded and these improvements will be transferred to SMEs as well; they will enable screening, at the seedling stage, thousands of apricot progenies in which several resistance genes where pyramided and/or sharka resistance was combined with locally adapted, high value varieties. It is expected that the translation of MAS to SMEs fill the need for high throughput selection of PPV resistant apricot cultivars adapted for cultivation all over Europe. Such an approach will contribute significantly to building efficient and durable resistance to sharka disease at the European level.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2011.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.37M | Year: 2012

The objective of this 4-year project is to provide the analytical basis for a socio-ecological transition in Europe: the change to a new growth path with smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as is envisaged in the EU 2020 strategy. In order to support the transition, we analyse the need, the feasibility and best practice for change, specifying the institutional changes needed at all policy levels to implement these options. The old and new challenges Europe is facing define the starting point: globalisation, new technologies and postindustrialisation, demographic change and ecology in the context of welfare systems that have come under stress due to high public deficits. The vision is that Europe will become a role model for a high road growth path which actively incorporates social and ecological goals, employment, gender and cultural aspects in an ambitious, forward looking way while continuing to be competitive in a globalised world. To achieve these objectives, the consortium will carry out and synthesise robust research in research areas covering the challenges to the welfare system, the biophysical dimension of socio-economic development, the identification of drivers towards socio-ecological transition, the role of governance and institutions on the European as well as the regional level. The consortium will benefit from ongoing dialogue with international experts in the form of expert panels and sounding boards, taking into account their views on the direction and feasibility for this new growth path. The project will be carried out by a consortium of 34 partners from universities and research institutes with international and interdisciplinary expertise. It represents 12 member states. High level Scientific and Policy Boards will monitor the analysis and the policy conclusions to guarantee the impact and dissemination of the results.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EURO-1-2014 | Award Amount: 2.89M | Year: 2015

Plans for economic and monetary integration in the European Union call for fundamental changes in fiscal relations among EU member states and other countries. The 2012 Blueprint for the European Monetary Union (EMU) calls for deeper integration of fiscal policies at the level of domestic EU members, including establishing EU own-source revenues. The 2013 Social Dimension of the EMU emphasizes that this fiscal revisioning must also improve coordination of employment and social policies post-crisis to counteract declines in state revenues, evaluate fragmented policy initiatives during the crisis, and improve human well-being and capabilities ends in themselves and as preconditions to stable integration and sustainable growth. This project will carry out in-depth comparative, interdisciplinary research using constitutional, legal, technical, institutional, qualitative, and quantitative methods to address four core issues: * Options for expanding EU legislative competences or governance mechanisms for effective harmonization of member tax and social policies; * Reform options for state-level coordination of fairer, more stable, and more sustainable tax and social policy regimes; * Strategies for the increased effectiveness and harmonization of tax administration and compliance structures within the EU and non-EU areas; and * Recommendations for true own-source EU revenues. This project is relevant to fundamental political and structural challenges that face the EU as it pursues deep fiscal integration. Fiscal policies encompass both revenue production and state spending priorities, and have tremendous impact on life choices, business planning, and economic development. Whether under conditions of stable growth or disruption, state revenues remain at the heart of state governance capacities; throughout, the well-being of the population as a whole remains at the heart of social and political stability and productivity.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-11d-2015 | Award Amount: 5.40M | Year: 2016

Five of the 20 raw materials identified by the European Commission as critical are commonly found in association with alkaline rocks and carbonatites (heavy and light rare earth elements, niobium, fluorspar, and phosphate). Other elements increasingly important for hi-tech applications, and found in these rocks include hafnium (Hf), tantalum (Ta), scandium (Sc) and zirconium (Zr). In fact, there is a greater chance of a carbonatite complex having resources economic to mine than any other rock type (about 20 active mines in ca. 500 known carbonatite complexes). Less than 3% of critical raw materials supply is indigenous to the EU. However, deposits are known and exploration is ongoing in parts of northern Europe. In central and southern Europe the presence of abundant alkaline volcanic rocks indicates the likelihood that deposits exist within about a km of the surface. This project will make a step-change in exploration models for alkaline and carbonatite provinces, using mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry, and state-of-the-art interpretation of high resolution geophysics and downhole measurement tools, to make robust predictions about mineral prospectivity at depth. This will be achieved through studies at seven key natural laboratories, combined with Expert Council workshops. The results will be incorporated into new geomodels on multiple scales. In contrast to known deposits, Europe is well endowed with expertise. The project brings together industry partners involved in exploration, geophysics and environmental assessment with two geological surveys, a major museum and five universities. The results will make Europe the world leader in this specialist area. They will give the four SME industry partners world-leading expertise to develop and expand their businesses, transferring their business expertise from Africa to Europe. The project will help give European hi-tech industry the confidence to innovate in manufacturing using critical raw materials.

Trcala M.,Mendel University in Brno
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2012

This paper deals with the numerical solution of a three-dimensional problem of non-isothermal moisture transfer in the anisotropic structure of wood and corresponding wood deformations in convective drying. The simulation is based on the unsteady-state nonlinear diffusion of moisture and heat with respect to the orthotropic nature of wood. The moisture gradient and the temperature gradient are set as driving forces for mass and heat transfer. The model respects the dependence of material coefficients on temperature and moisture, the Soret effect, the Duffour effect and the anisotropic nature of wood. A matrix form of the multiphysics model for FEM solver was derived and numerical simulations were performed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

The multi-heart-cutting two-dimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method using atmospheric pressure photoionization has been developed and successfully validated for the determination of nine endocrine disrupting compounds in river water. The method is based on the use of two different reverse-phase columns connected through a six-port two-position switching valve equipped with a 200μl loop. An orthogonal separation was achieved by proper selection of stationary phases, mobile phases, and the use of a gradient elution in both dimensions. The method shows excellent performance in terms of accuracy (86.2-111.1%), precision (intra-batch: 6.7-11.2%, inter-batch: 7.2-13.5%), and sensitivity (1.2-7.1ngl -1). Twenty real samples collected from the Loučka and the Svratka rivers were analyzed, the studied compounds were found in all Svratka samples (9.7-11.2ngl -1 for β-estradiol, 7.6-9.3ngl -1 for estrone, and 24.6-38.7ngl -1 for bisphenol A). © 2012 Elsevier B.V..

Matejicek D.,Mendel University in Brno
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2011

The development of an on-line system for the simultaneous determination of α-estradiol, β-estradiol, estrone and 17α-ethynylestradiol in river sediments is described. The analytes were extracted from sediments by microwave-assisted extraction. A crude extract was directly analysed by a heart-cutting two dimensional high-performance liquid chromatography-ion trap-tandem mass spectrometry with an atmospheric pressure photoionization source operating in the positive mode. The method shows excellent performance in terms of accuracy, precision, and sensitivity. The accuracy of each estrogen was in the range of 98.8-107.1%. Intra-batch and inter-batch precisions were in the range of 6.2-7.0% and 8.3-9.5%, respectively. The limits of detection ranged from 90 to 250pgg-1. A significant reduction in the total analysis time and a reduction in sample manipulation are the main advantages of the proposed method. Finally, the method was applied on real sediment samples. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

The present review summarizes the underlying biochemical and molecular mechanisms that can explain cardioprotective effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and their competition with arachidonic acid as a substrate of cyclooxygenase COX-2 and lipoxygenase 5-LOX, and modulation of the signaling pathways of the transcription factors peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR), sterol-response element binding protein (SREBP) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). Consequences, namely decreased production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines, stimulation of β-oxidation, inhibition of fatty acid synthesis and down-regulation of the genes coding for enzymes of cholesterol synthesis and uptake are reviewed. Factors influencing responses of an organism to EPA/DHA intake are discussed and these include species, sex, dose and time interval of administration. Examples of food enrichment with EPA. +. DHA are presented under consideration of a low efficiency of conversion of α-linolenic acid to EPA (DHA). © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Mendel University in Brno | Date: 2015-10-07

The present invention provides a pricking-cut device, comprising a prick (1) having on one end longitudinal guiding means (2) for guiding the root system (7) of the pricked out plant (8). The invention further encompasses a method of pricking out plants including a step of inserting the root system of a pricked-out plant into growing substrate, wherein a pricking-cut device comprising guiding means is provided, the root system (7) of the pricked-out plant (8) is inserted in a straightened position into guiding means (2) of a pricking-cut device, whereupon the pricking-out device together with the root system (7) of the pricked-out plant (8) is inserted into a layer of growing substrate by a unidirectional movement and passed through the layer of the growing substrate by the unidirectional movement, whereas in a pre-determined depth in the layer of growing substrate the root system (7) is released from the guiding means (2) of the pricking-cut device, and said pricking-out device then continues to move by the same unidirectional movement out of the growing substrate.

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