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Aflatoxin production on agricultural products
Published March 11, 2014

Aflatoxins due to their toxicity pose significant economic and human health threat; therefore, it is important to avoid this type of contamination in agricultural products. Until now significant aflatoxin contamination occurred mainly in foods of tropical and subtropical origin because the optimal growth of the producer Aspergillus species is b...etween 32–38 ºC. Nowadays the aflatoxin contamination is becoming higher threat in Hungary, due to the imported products, the rising average temperature and the climatic changes. There is a significant knowledge on the genetic and environmental effectors of the aflatoxin production; however, it is remained a great problem to control mold contamination and toxin production in farming and stock-raising. Here we attempted to summarize the knowledge on aflatoxin production and attempts of the elimination.

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Management of phytopathogens by application of green nanobiotechnology: Emerging trends and challenges
Published June 2, 2015

Nanotechnology is highly interdisciplinary and important research area in modern science. The use of nanomaterials offer major advantages due to their unique size, shape and significantly improved physical, chemical, biological and antimicrobial properties. Physicochemical and antimicrobial properties of metal nanoparticles have received much a...ttention of researchers. There are different methods i.e. chemical, physical and biological for synthesis of nanoparticles. Chemical and physical methods have some limitations, and therefore, biological methods are needed to develop environment-friendly synthesis of nanoparticles. Moreover, biological method for the production of nanoparticles is simpler than chemical method as biological agents secrete large amount of enzymes, which reduce metals and can be responsible for the synthesis and capping on nanoparticles.

Biological systems for nanoparticle synthesis include plants, fungi, bacteria, yeasts, and actinomycetes. Many plant species including Opuntia ficus-indica, Azardirachta indica, Lawsonia inermis, Triticum aestivum, Hydrilla verticillata, Citrus medica, Catharanthus roseus, Avena sativa, etc., bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis, Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Lactobacillus sp., Klebsiella aerogenes, Torulopsis sp., and fungi, like Fusarium spp. Aspergillus spp., Verticillium spp., Saccharomyces cerevisae MKY3, Phoma spp. etc. have been exploited for the synthesis of different nanoparticles. Among all biological systems, fungi have been found to be more efficient system for synthesis of metal nanoparticles as they are easy to grow, produce more biomass and secret many enzymes. We proposed the term myconanotechnology (myco = fungi, nanotechnology = the creation and exploitation of materials in the size range of 1–100 nm). Myconanotechnology is the interface between mycology and nanotechnology, and is an exciting new applied interdisciplinary science that may have considerable potential, partly due to the wide range and diversity of fungi.

Nanotechnology is the promising tool to improve agricultural productivity though delivery of genes and drug molecules to target sites at cellular levels, genetic improvement, and nano-array based gene-technologies for gene expressions in plants and also use of nanoparticles-based gene transfer for breeding of varieties resistant to different pathogens and pests. The nanoparticles like copper (Cu), silver (Ag), titanium (Ti) and chitosan have shown their potential as novel antimicrobials for the management of pathogenic microorganisms affecting agricultural crops. Different experiments confirmed that fungal hyphae and conidial germination of pathogenic fungi are significantly inhibited by copper nanoparticles. The nanotechnologies can be used for the disease detection and also for its management. The progress in development of nano-herbicides, nano-fungicides and nano-pesticides will open up new avenues in the field of management of plant pathogens. The use of different nanoparticles in agriculture will increase productivity of crop. It is the necessity of time to use nanotechnology in agriculture with extensive experimental trials. However, there are challenges particularly the toxicity, which is not a big issue as compared to fungicides and pesticides.

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Overview of the evolutionary history and the role in citric acid production of alternative oxidase
Published March 20, 2013

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">All organisms are exposed to countless environmental effects, which influence in a disadvantageous way their life processes. They continuously adapt to the changing conditions and respond to the stress impacts by defence mechanisms. Through different signal transduction pathways they are able to increase or decrease the expression of their genes and consequently modify their metabolic processes. My interest focuses on alternative oxidase (AOX) enzyme whose expression is often increased under biotic and abiotic stress. The so far proven and putative functions of the AOX play a role in the ability of organisms to adapt to different conditions, such as heavy metals accumulation, pathogenic infection, oxidative stress and lack of oxygen or nutrients.

AOX is a member of the di-iron carboxylate protein family. Members of the di-iron carboxylate protein family are present in all kingdoms of life. They are considered to have ancient origin. It is believed that their sulfide-resistant and oxygen-reducing ability played a role in the survival of organisms during the transition between the anaerobic and the aerobic world. It is assumed that the AOX arose in eukaryotes through a primary endosymbiotic event, and this event made possible the development of mitochondria. Afterwords, vertical inheritance, and secondary and tertiary endosimbiotic events led to its spread among eukaryotes. It is assumed that bacteria obtained AOX by horizontal gene transfer from plants.

AOX-catalyzed alternative respiration plays an important role in the operation of energy-producing and biosynthesizing system of microorganisms. In these cases, the regeneration of reduced cofactors is an essential condition, and therefore may be rate-limiting for biotechnological processes, including the citric acid production.

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The factors affecting the proliferation of mould fungi and mycotoxin production during the storage of wheat and the identification methods of the appearing branches
Published July 31, 2012

Nowadays, it is often suggested that, we should eat products made with whole grain cereals, despite of the fact that it raises the risk of consuming wheat products infected by mold and their toxins originated from the plough-lands and the stocks.
Two third of the cultivated fields in Hungary are planted with cereals. The most alarming proble...m for food and feed security is caused by the Fusarium species. The greatest problem of all is caused by the mycotoxins. When they get into the food chain they can be a serious threat to public health. In addition, we have to face up to the problem of the effects of global warming that influence the growth of microbial infections in different ways.
In this article we tried to summarize the effect of climate change on molds, the factors which have effect on growing and mycotoxin producing of molds and the identification methods of molds.

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SNP analysis of ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 rDNA loci in modern and ancient melons (Cucumis melo)
Published November 15, 2007

ITS (internal tanscribed spacer) profiles of the aDNA (ancient DNA) of seed remains extracted from an extinct sample recovered from the 15th century (Budapest, Hungary) were compared to 31 modern melon cultivars and landraces. An aseptic incubation followed by ITS analysis was used to exclude the exogenously and endogenously contaminated (Asper...gillus) medieval seeds and to detect SNPs in ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of rDNA (ribosomal DNA). SNPs were observed at the 94–95 bp (GC to either RC, RS or AG) of ITS1; and at 414 bp (A-to-T substitution), 470 bp (T to Y or C), 610 bp (A to R or G) of ITS2. The results facilitate the final aim of molecular and morphological reconstructions of ancient melon tpyes.

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The effect of different herbicide on the number and activity of living microorganisms in soil
Published May 23, 2006

Sustainable plant growth, considering the difficulties of weed elimination, cannot be effective without the application of herbicides. However, these chemicals have enormous ecological implications, including effects on the microbiological communities of soils. It is advisable to use herbicides that have minimal secondary effects on the environ...ment and soil-living microorganisms. In contrast, herbicides with prolonged growth stimulating or inhibiting effects are not suitable, because both types have strong influences on the number and activity of bacteria, thus causing changes in the ecological equilibrium.
Preceding small plot experiments, laboratory tests were carried out to study the effect of herbicides used in maize cultures on the number of bacteria and growth of microscopic fungi.
Substances that were observed to have stronger influences were applied in small plot experiments set up in the experimental garden of the Department of Plant Protection of the University of Debrecen. We studied the effects of four herbicides (Acenit A88EC, Frontier 900 EC, Merlin SC and Wing EC) on the microbiological properties of the soil. These herbicides were used in different concentrations in maize culture, and we investigated the effects in different soil layers.
In the laboratory experiments, we determined the total number of bacteria and microscopic fungi and examined the growth of Aspergillus niger, Trichoderma sp. and Fusarium oxysporum on peptone-glucose agar containing herbicides.
During the small plot experiments, soil samples were collected 3 times a year from 2-20 cm depth. The total numbers of bacteria and microscopic fungi were determined by plate dilution method, while the method of most probable number (Pochon method) was used to determine the numbers of nitrifying bacteria and cellulose decomposing bacteria. To evaluate the microbiological activity of the soil samples we measured carbon-dioxide release (after 10 days incubation), nitrate production (after 14 days incubation) and the concentration of C and N in the biomass.
We can summarize our results as follows:
• In laboratory experiments, herbicides caused a decrease in the number of bacteria and inhibited the growth of microscopic fungi.
• Frontier 900 EC and Acenit A 880 EC had the strongest inhibiting effect on microorganisms.
• In small plot experiments, herbicide treatment decreased the total number of bacteria and microscopic fungi.
• Herbicides caused a significant increase in the number of nitrifying and cellulose decomposing bacteria.
• Different herbicides containing the same active compound had similar influences on soil microoorganisms.
• A significant increase was observed in the physiological processes of tolerant microorganisms surviving the effects of herbicides

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Studies of Expression of Peptaibol Synthetase of Trichoderma reesei
Published December 6, 2005

Because of the potential importance of peptaibols in the biological control of plant diseases, a transgenic, a T. reesei strain carrying a tex1-promoter: goxA fusion plasmid was constructed for furthur studies. The peptaibol synthetase gene (which is highly similar to T. virens tex1) was identified in the genome sequence of T. reesei. A 900 bp ...5’ upstream noncoding fragment, presumed to include the promoter region of tex1, was cloned into the pSJ3 plasmid (which contains the Aspergillus niger goxA gene encoding glucose oxidase). Finally, we transformed T. reesei with the tex1-promoter: goxA fusion containing pSJ3 plasmid.

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