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Bioactive phenols in leaves of Forsythia species
Published May 19, 2008

Nowadays a number of lignans (arctigenin, matairesinol, pinoresinol and phillygenin) have come to the fore in research due to their various biological activities. In this paper the accumulation of these constituents in leaf extracts of Forsythia plants (F. intermedia, F. ovata 'Robusta’ and `Tetragold', F. suspensa, F. v...iridissima) was quantified using a new isolation method, supercritical CO2 fluid extraction. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents, the antioxidant capacity and the aglycone lignan profile were determined in leaf extracts of Forsythia species. Within the phenols, the flavonoids were only present in small quantities, but the amount of aglycone lignans was extremely high. F. ovata `Robusta' had the highest total lignan content (103.8 mg/g) of all the Forsythia species. The main lignan in this species is arctigenin, which normally makes up about 60% of the total lignan content, but in the case of F. ovata `Robusta' this value was 96.1%. Since this arctigenin content is outstanding compared to that of other Forsythia species, it could be promising to develop a fermentation technology for the production of this natural compound.

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Comparative evaluation of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) populations from different origin
Published February 8, 2006

In our research project under cultivation we examined 4 cultivars ('Soroksári 40', 'Lutea , 'Goral', 'Bona') and 28 wild populations of chamomile assuring all of them the same environmental conditions. Plant height, flower-diameter, essential-oil content, and the main terpenoid and flavonoid composition were analysed. The aim of our study was establish the genetic background of breeding a new cultivar as well as encircle those natural habitats that give chamomile drug with the best quality.

In the case of plant height populations from the Great Hungarian Plain were lower than plants from Transdanubia and the control cultivars. Between the wild and the standard individuals we found significant differences with relevance to the flower-diameter. With regard to the essential oil content the populations were very heterogeneous even those, which came from the same habitat. Populations form Transdanubia and Nagyiván reached the essential oil level of the cultivars (0.721-0.931 gi100g), and 75% of the examined plants exceeded the minimum requirement of the PhHg VIII.

According to the essential oil composition our previous statement was confirmed that in the populations of Transdanubia and Northern part of Danube—Tisza Mid Region the main component is bisabolol-oxide A (30-41.2%), while plants native to the territory cast of the river Tisza are mainly characterised by a-bisabolol (32.3-48.4). In some samples the ratio of bisabolol-oxide B was more than 10%. The chamazulene content was higher in the cultivars selected to this component (above 20%), than in the wild populations (varied between 1.22 and 17.2%). Populations originated from the central part of Hortobágy region had extremely high apigenin content (10-13 mg/g), but in the case of chlorogenic acid, hyperoside and quercitrin we did not find any differences affected by the origin.

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Comparative investigation on Hypericum perforatum L. populations of different origin
Published February 23, 2000

Widespread application for herbal medicines based on Hyperici herba has been experienced in the last few years, especially in the treatment of depression syndrome. As the wild origins could not satisfy the market demands neither in quantitative nor in qualitative res­pect, the necessity of the development of intensive growing methods ...has been raised. In the course of our investigations we intended to clear up the morphological and chemical variability among and within populations of different origin in order to start a new breeding program. According to our data, growth dynamics of populations could be characterised by a logistic curve. According to the time of flowering the populations formed early, middle and late groups. Morphological diversity among populations was measurable in differences of flower length, plant height, different leaf types and plant habit, according to which characteristics groups were distinguished. Generally, the accessions were the most homogenous in plant height (CV: 7-15%), followed by inflorescence-lengths (CV: 11-36%) and the least uniform characteristics proved to be the number of flowering shoots (CV: 14-59%). The greatest morphological heterogeneity was experienced in the accessions of wild origin as it has been expected. In the second vegetation period generally a much better homogeneity was obtained, than in the first year. The most outstanding accessions produced 1.2 t of dry flowers and 4 t of dry flowering shoots, calculating to one hectare area. The individual yields varied on a large scale in each population (CV: 18-70%).

The content of hypericin varied between 1,85 and 9,9 mg/g in 1996, and between 0,18 and 2,70 mg/g in 1997, showing high individual divergences. Flavonoid values -including first of all hyperosid, rutin and quercitrin - reached 17-39 mg/g in the first and 15-20 mg/g in the second year, respectively. Individual and seasonal variation was less than in hypericin. A joint high level of these two compound groups seems to have low frequencies.

The superior population were selected for further breeding.


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Evaluation of morphological parameters and bioactive compounds in different varieties of beetroot (Beta vulgaris L. ssp. esculenta GURKE var. rubra L.)
Published September 20, 2015

Beetroot consumption based on pickled beets generally in Hungary which is due to the higher yield from second crop harvested in autumn and processed by manufacturing industry. Researches of the past years confirmed its favourable nutritional-physiological effects on human body so demands, as for fresh salad, also increased. The trial aimed at t...esting the interaction of varieties on quality parameters and in the same time suggestions are made how to use different varieties of beetroot according to its quality. Morphological and sensory evaluations were examined on 10 varieties of beetroot harvested in autumn. The regular spherical shape can reduce the refining loss during the processing of beetroot which is beneficial for the manufacturing industry. In our trial the root shape of Libero, Mona Lisa and Rubin varieties approached most the regular spherical shape (diameter/length – 1.0) which is favoured by not only processing industry but also fresh market. The highest red pigment content (betanin) was observed in Mona Lisa, Akela and Cylindra (34.58–47.66 mg/100 g). A similar trend could be observed in yellow pigments (vulgaxanthins) which proves the close correlation between the quantities of the two pigments (r=0.898). Highest total polyphenol (77.13–83.37 mg GAE/100g) and flavonoid (21.73–22.73 mg CE/100g) contents were detected in Akela, Mona Lisa and Bonel. These varieties are favourable for fresh salad and they can satisfy processing requirements also. Highest water soluble solids content was found in Akela (7.15%). In our conditions nitrate (NO3-N) values below 900 mg/kg were examined in all of the varieties which is favourable in the case of beetroot.

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Optimization of RNA isolation from stone fruits at different ripening stages
Published March 25, 2009

This study was conducted to select the most appropriate RNA isolation method that can be used successfully in case of stone fruits. The changing pattern of gene expression during the ripening process of stone fruits may elucidate the molecular background of several phenotypical or phytochemical alterations present among different genotypes. Our... laboratory aims to study the expression of genes encoding for enzymes that catalyze crucial steps in the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway. RNA isolation from fruit mesocarp is a challanging task due to high levels of sugars and polyphenolics accumulating during fruit development. Therefore, at first, the optimal techniques eligible for RNA isolation from fruit tissues at different ripening stages must be selected. Our study compares three different RNA isolation protocols and describes their potential applicability according to different fruit species and ripening stages.

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Comparative analysis of Hungarian Matricaria recutita (L.) Rausch. populations
Published October 20, 2003

Matricaria recutita L. is a traditional medicinal plant in Hungary and its drug is known as „Hungaricum", world-wide. Plant samples and seeds were collected from 12 different habitats of three significant geographical regions of Hungary in 2001. Morphological, production biological and chemical properties of samples were examined. In... relation to the morphological characteristics, a negative correlation (r= -0.75) could be observed between the average height of the plants (height of flowering shoots) and the pH value of the soil. According to the composition of the essential oil, the populations accumulating typically chamasulene (10-20%), a-bisabolol (30-50%) or bisabolol-oxid (30-50%) could be completely distinguished. Concerning the flavonoid composition the quantity of apigenin-7-glucoside was outstanding in the populations originating from the Great Hungarian Plain, it has reached the concentration of 1.8-2.8 mg/g, while the samples collected in Transdanubia could be characterised by much lower level of apigenin-7-glucoside (around 1.5 mg/g).

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