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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 Effect of Smut Gall Tumour Infection on Iron and Zinc Uptake and Distribution in Maize Seedlings
Published December 14, 2004

The amounts of Fe, and Zn were measured in maize seedlings infected by smut gall tumour (Ustilago maydis Dc. Cda.) and in healthy seedlings five days after infection. The amount of elements was also measured under different stress intensities. Due to the infection, as a biotic stress, the amount and distribution of examined elements have been c...hanged. On the bases of the differences in the Fe distribution between the symptoms less and tumorial leaf parts, we have come to the conclusion that the infection also effects the mobilisation of Fe and Zn inside the plants. The Fe uptake was much higher in the infected plants and the tumour development also had an effect on the uptake and distribution of the examined elements. The experiments of infecting maize seedlings by monosporidial strain of crown gall tumour showed no tumour development. We found that the monosporidial strain also acts as a biotic stress and has an effect of iron and zinc distribution. We observed a slight difference in the iron and zinc contents in the roots of corn seedlings infected by different monosporidial sporidium concentrations, while the iron and zinc contents in the shoots were increased by the intensity of the infection. The roots do not form tumours. There is no difference between the roots of the infected and healthy corn seedlings. Since the Fe and Zn contents of the shoots of infected plants depend on the intensity of the infection, we have come to the conclusion that there must exist a „special” communication system regulating the transportation of the examined elements.
In the experiments with infected maize seedlings, it became necessary to get the iron chlorosis before the disease reaches the lethal phase. Although most of the iron reserves are located in the embryo, to accelerate the chlorosis, the endosperm was removed, and it was observed, that the iron chlorosis appears later in maize seedlings when the endosperm is removed. The relative chlorophyll content of the first and second leaves was measured in iron efficient and iron deficient maize seedlings at different times.
The higher IAA content of tumorial plant tissues is already known. The treatment with IAA decreases the iron concentration in the shoots and in the roots of +Fe precultured plants and increases at -Fe precultured ones. The TIBA retards the shoot-to-root transport of IAA. When the seedlings were treated simultaneously with IAA and TIBA, higher iron concentrations were observed in the shoots and in the roots of corn seedlings.
We found extremely high iron concentrations in the roots of infected seedlings and, in line with this, serious damage to the roots was observed that this can be caused by the high iron content generated free radicals. The results demonstrate that IAA has a role in the shoot to root communication.

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Establishing biotic stress tolerance of maize (Zea mays L.) by measuring hydroxamic acid contents
Published June 30, 2018


Cyclic hydroxamic acids are the most considerable secondary metabolites in grasses and their main task is to protect these species from pathogens and pests. The cyclic hydroxamic acid content and common smut susceptibility were examined in our experiments. 27 maize hybrids were used for experimental plants in a climate room, wher...e the plants were grown on a nutrient solution. An infiltration method was used for the inoculation of the plants. The total quantity of cyclic hydroxamic acids was determined and the ratio of infected plants and the ratio of inhibition was determined, too. Based on our results, on the basis of all hybrids’ data, the total hydroxamic acid content of the infected plants was higher than in the control. On the level of individual hybrids, only 9 of them had higher cyclic hydroxamic acid content in the case of infection. Increase in cyclic hydroxamic content induced by the fungus in this case is a tool for the fungus to suppress other pathogens and pests. Amongst the hybrids’ cyclic hydroxamic acid contents, significant differences were detected in the control and in the infected treatment, too. The so-called “sweetcorn” hybrids showed high level of cyclic hydroxamic acid content. According to the differences amongst hybrids, homogenous groups were created which groups differed in the case of control and infected treatment, because of the difference in increase of cyclic hydroxamic acid content. The examined hybrids showed different levels of infection and different rate of growth inhibition for the effect of inoculation. According to the infection caused damage hybrids were ranked. Infection caused notable damage for hybrids Prelude, Desszert 73, DKC5276 and DK440.

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