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Sankt Josef (Weststeiermark), Austria

Mikulcik K.,Agrana Zucker GmbH | Hein W.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH
Zuckerindustrie | Year: 2012

Beet growing - evolution of campaign - Tulln sugar silo - fire at Leopoldsdorf - fermenter for biogas production - detection of deteriorated beets - use of ground calcium carbonate (GCC) - nitrite in animal feed.

Gruber S.,Vienna University of Technology | Omann M.,Vienna University of Technology | Omann M.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH | Zeilinger S.,Vienna University of Technology
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2013

Background: Eukaryotic organisms employ cell surface receptors such as the seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as sensors to connect to the environment. GPCRs react to a variety of extracellular cues and are considered to play central roles in the signal transduction in fungi. Several species of the filamentous ascomycete Trichoderma are potent mycoparasites, i.e. can attack and parasitize other fungi, which turns them into successful bio-fungicides for the protection of plants against fungal phytopathogens. The identification and characterization of GPCRs will provide insights into how Trichoderma communicates with its environment and senses the presence of host fungi. Results: We mined the recently published genomes of the two mycoparasitic biocontrol agents Trichoderma atroviride and Trichoderma virens and compared the identified GPCR-like proteins to those of the saprophyte Trichoderma reesei. Phylogenetic analyses resulted in 14 classes and revealed differences not only among the three Trichoderma species but also between Trichoderma and other fungi. The class comprising proteins of the PAQR family was significantly expanded both in Trichoderma compared to other fungi as well as in the two mycoparasites compared to T. reesei. Expression analysis of the PAQR-encoding genes of the three Trichoderma species revealed that all except one were actually transcribed. Furthermore, the class of receptors with a DUF300 domain was expanded in T. atroviride, and T. virens showed an expansion of PTH11-like receptors compared to T. atroviride and T. reesei. Conclusions: Comparative genome analyses of three Trichoderma species revealed a great diversity of putative GPCRs with genus- and species- specific differences. The expansion of certain classes in the mycoparasites T. atroviride and T. virens is likely to reflect the capability of these fungi to establish various ecological niches and interactions with other organisms such as fungi and plants. These GPCRs consequently represent interesting candidates for future research on the mechanisms underlying mycoparasitism and biocontrol. © 2013 Gruber et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Gruber S.,Vienna University of Technology | Omann M.,Vienna University of Technology | Omann M.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH | Rodriguez C.E.,Vienna University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2012

Background: Species of the fungal genus Trichoderma are important industrial producers of cellulases and hemicellulases, but also widely used as biocontrol agents (BCAs) in agriculture. In the latter function Trichoderma species stimulate plant growth, induce plant defense and directly antagonize plant pathogenic fungi through their mycoparasitic capabilities. The recent release of the genome sequences of four mycoparasitic Trichoderma species now forms the basis for large-scale genetic manipulations of these important BCAs. Thus far, only a limited number of dominant selection markers, including Hygromycin B resistance (hph) and the acetamidase-encoding amdS gene, have been available for transformation of Trichoderma spp. For more extensive functional genomics studies the utilization of additional dominant markers will be essential. Results: We established the Escherichia coli neomycin phosphotransferase II-encoding nptII gene as a novel selectable marker for the transformation of Trichoderma atroviride conferring geneticin resistance. The nptII marker cassette was stably integrated into the fungal genome and transformants exhibited unaltered phenotypes compared to the wild-type. Co-transformation of T. atroviride with nptII and a constitutively activated version of the Gα subunit-encoding tga3 gene (tga3Q207L) resulted in a high number of mitotically stable, geneticin-resistant transformants. Further analyses revealed a co-transformation frequency of 68% with 15 transformants having additionally integrated tga3Q207L into their genome. Constitutive activation of the Tga3-mediated signaling pathway resulted in increased vegetative growth and an enhanced ability to antagonize plant pathogenic host fungi. Conclusion: The neomycin phosphotransferase II-encoding nptII gene from Escherichia coli proved to be a valuable tool for conferring geneticin resistance to the filamentous fungus T. atroviride thereby contributing to an enhanced genetic tractability of these important BCAs. © 2012 Gruber et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Emerstorfer F.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH | Hein W.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH | Bauer H.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH
Zuckerindustrie | Year: 2012

Stagnation of the technological beet quality in Austria has peaked in discussions about methods of calculation used for predicting the same. Consequently, a project was started in 2010 in order to compare various predictive formulas for the technological beet quality on the basis of beet material from a practice variety trial as well as from weekly blended samples collected in the last campaign at Leopoldsdorf and Tulln. The beet material was analyzed for the common quality parameters such as sodium, potassium, α-amino nitrogen and sugar content as well as for dry substance for a so-called "refractometer formula". Finally, results for thick juice purity were calculated with different "classical formulas" and the "refractometer formula". Comparing these results, the latter delivered the highest values. However, aside from a formula which also takes into account invert sugar, only the "refractometer formula" considerably reacted to decreasing beet quality over the progression of the last campaign. Consequently, it is planned to recalculate the factors of this formula because it is based on a simpler and less time-consuming analytical procedure compared to formulas which take into account invert sugar.

Hein W.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH | Bauer H.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH | Emerstorfer F.,Zuckerforschung Tulln GmbH
Zuckerindustrie | Year: 2012

Due to economic changes within the European sugar industry in the last decade, most sugar producers have been confronted with longer sugar campaigns, thus creating extremely challenging circumstances for applied technologies. In Austria, a two-year project was initiated to optimize some process steps within juice purification. The project incorporates the development of an automated determination system for the optimal flocculating point, the optimized dosing of alkalizing agents as well as the application of precipitated or ground calcium carbonate (PCC/GCC) and dextranase. All these measures are undertaken to improve the filterability of juices in juice purification in order to maintain a high processing capacity of the factory. After a short summary of results for the above-mentioned measures, the authors report about the impartial identification of deteriorated beet, which was the focal point of the second project-year. This part of the work compares results achieved with an image analysis system and an industrial FID-detector.

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