No 2 (2022)

Published December 6, 2022



Does the Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) harbour vancomycin-resistant enterococci in Hungary?

Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) are high priority nosocomial bacteria with a potential for zoonotic transmission. Thus, its emergence outside health establishments is a major concern. In order to study the prevalence of VRE in wildlife, we collected 221 faecal samples from free-ranging Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) from urban and rural habitats in Hungary, from March to August 2020. The screening for resistant enterococci was done using bile esculin azide (BEA) agar supplemented with Vancomycin, specific to the screening of VRE. None of the samples from either habitat types yielded VRE. It seems that Hooded Crows from Hungary do not necessarily constitute a reservoir of VREs at present. Nonetheless, a continuous surveillance of VRE in wildlife would be judicious.

Harnessing diversity in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) to enhance climate resilience and micronutrient concentration through genetic and agronomic biofortification

Huge consumption of wheat-driven food products with low bioavailability and small concentrations of zinc is responsible for zinc-induced malnutrition and associated health complications. The contemporary durum wheat varieties have inherently tiny zinc concentrations in developing grain, which cannot meet the daily human zinc demand. Despite the fact that over two billion people are suffering from iron and zinc-induced malnutrition, various intervention measures have been deployed to reverse the effect of zinc-induced malnutrition on humans. There are evidences that agronomic and genetic biofortification approaches can increase grain yield and nutritional quality (i.e. zinc, iron, protein, and vitamins) of durum wheat to a greater extent. However, there is a lack of direct empirical evidence for which the influence of both biofortification approaches on improving human health. Application of micronutrient-containing fertilizers either in the soil or foliarly is effective in combination with NPK, organic fertilizers coupled with efficient durum wheat varieties, emphasizing the need for integrated soil fertility management (ISFM). Although genetic biofortification is a cost-effective and sustainable approach, agronomic biofortification provides an immediate and effective route to enhancing micronutrient concentrations in durum wheat grain. The application of zinc-containing fertilizers is more effective under drought conditions than in normal growing situations. Hence, this article provides a key information for agronomists and breeders about the potential of biofortification interventions to improve durum wheat yield and enrich the grain qualitative traits to ensure food and nutritional security of the ever-increasing world population.

Effect of noninvasive castration method on weight gain, behavior and meat quality of ram lambs

In the course of producing heavyweight lambs (above 35 kg), males need to be separated from females at the end of the fattening period.  If not, the rams must be castrated because they reach sexual maturity, and their activity bothers the ewes or unwanted pregnancy may occur. The present study surveys if the Hungarian sheep keepers know or use the non-surgical elastrator method for castration and assess the effect of castration (surgical and non-surgical) on daily weight gain, behavior, moving activity, and meat quality of rams, respectively. We found many advantages regarding the use of the elastrator method. Based on the survey results, 100% of farmers who used elastrator had a positive experience and favorable opinion about this method. There is no need to separate the rams, which allows for less area requirement and more economical technological conditions. The traditional castration (with a knife) process is longer (4–6 minutes), and caused longer-lasting stress while the elastrator application is bloodless, took only 20–30 seconds, and were stress-free. The number of steps of ring-gelded individuals was much lower than that of the non-castrated rams. The difference in steps number could also be seen in ewes separated into different ram groups. The weight gains of individuals castrated by the ring were better than the surgically castrated ones and also individuals with testicles. The palatability of the meat from the non-castrated group was less favorable, and the chewiness of the ringed group was the best. Finally, our results highlighted the benefits of the noninvasive elastrator method in animal welfare aspects.

Analysis of the plant physiological effects of late, artificial corn smut infestation using remote sensing methods

In Hungary, corn is also infected by several important pathogens. In this experiment, we analysed the plant physiological effects of artificial late cron smut infestation using remote sensing methods under field conditions We examined the experimental area from which the data comes from with a DJI Phantom 4 Multispectral Drone NDVI and NDRE indices were calculated and analyzed in GIS programs. Individuals treated with a higher dose remained much greener than the untreated control. They also showed significant differences within the indices used.

Preliminary studies to evaluate the use of spectral data in monitoring of apple orchard parameters

The introduction/application of precision agricultural technologies has more important role in various fruit growing sectors among others apple growing. Remote sensing methods can detect electromagnetic waves where the green colour of the leaf is responsible for the chlorophyll content. The absorption of chlorophyll is in the wavelength range of 450–670 nm. Samples of apple tree leaves were taken on a weekly basis from the apple orchard at Horticultural Unit of Pallag on University of Debrecen in 2019 summer. Our studies were performed on 2 cultivars (Early Gold, Golden Reinders) and the samples were processed using 2 methodologies: a non-destructive spectral method and spectrophotometric method chlorophyll and carotenoid contents were calculated, which were created into some groups and compared with the spectral values. When the plant begins to lose strong green colour and turns yellow spectral measurements show that chlorophyll content decreases as the proportion of chlorophyll-carotenoid in the plant changes.  In case of grouping into intervals, it can be observed that as the chlorophyll content increases the reflectance value decreases continuously due to the strong absorption. Based on the results, close relationship between the pigments can be detected.

Volume of Paulownia Shan Tong (Paulownia fortunei × Paulownia tomentosa) plantation in Eastern Hungary: a case study

Volume tables for tree plantations are not unknown in international practice. In many places, this is due to the uniqueness of the species or variety composition of the plantations and the cultivation technology used. In most cases, this is also justified by specific soil (ecological) conditions. In Hungary, publications on Paulownia have not yet included a volume table. This is the first one we are publishing, thus it can be considered as a gap-filler. The research was conducted in Monostorpályi, a 1.8 hectare, 8-year-old municipal plantation. 8 trees were selected randomly and their parameters were studied.

The effect of gossypol acetate on the fertility of boars

This study evaluated the effect of gossypol acetate, a potential antifertility compound, on semen quality and testicular histopathology of boars. Six boars were allotted into two experimental groups. Half of the animals were fed a diet that was supplemented with 2 mg of gossypol acetate per kg body weight per day for 9 weeks, control animals received a gossypol acetate-free feed. During the experimental period, semen was collected weekly from each boar and semen parameters were recorded. The animals were then euthanized, testicular samples were collected and histopathological examination of the testicular cells, as well as morphometrical analysis of the seminiferous tubules, were performed. The percentage of spermatozoa showing tail abnormalities increased significantly (P=0.017) in the semen of boars fed gossypol acetate-supplemented feed, while several other semen parameters deteriorated without showing statistical significance. Gossypol acetate supplementation also led to a decrease (P=0.042) in the number of spermatogonia in the seminiferous tubules and an increase (P=0.020) in the number of vacuoles in the seminiferous epithelium, consistent with changes seen in cases of male reproductive toxicity. In conclusion, gossypol acetate negatively affected a number of semen characteristics and also had detrimental effects on the histopathology of the testes.

Texture analysis as a method for grape berry characterization

The marketability of table grapes is mainly characterized by berry size, color, taste and texture. Mechanical measurements of table grape berries could provide objective information on the textural qualities of grape berries. In addition, this method might be suitable to study the effects of phytotechnical methods (such as girdling) on table grape quality. The aim of this preliminary work was to demonstrate how instrumental testing could be used to examine the effects of girdling on berry grape texture and define the textural characteristics of table grape berries. Cane girdling was carried out at veraison in two table grape varieties. Texture analysis was performed several times during the maturity. Besides this examination another five varieties were analyzed to assess their berry mechanical properties. Double compression test was used to determine berry hardness and its derived parameters. Puncture test was applied to evaluate skin hardness, skin elasticity and skin break energy. Skin thickness was also investigated. Berry hardness, skin hardness and skin thickness of the girdled grapevines were significantly affected by this technique. Most of the textural parameters showed differences among the seven cultivars.

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