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Comparison of bioindicator eukaryotes of activated sludge biocenoses on two water-treatment plants: a case study

Abstract

Activated sludge biocenoses were compared on waste-water treatment plants in the city of Kazan, Russian Federation and the city of Teplice, Czech Republic. Based on Palia-Kovnatski index, Acanthamoeba in Kazan, Epistylis in Teplice, and Acanthamoeba and Centropyxis were dominant genera in both plants. The major subdominant generas identified were Arcella, Opercularia and Aspidisca. This indicates high nitrification ability, high water purification potential and matured activated sludge. Chemical composition of the waste-water was identified as the main factor determining the sludge biocenoses diversity. Higher sludge biodiversity (Shannon, Margalef, and Sorensen indexes) was found in Kazan corresponding to more concentrated inflow water.

Open access
Genetic diversity of Acinetobacter spp. adapted to heavy metal polluted environments

Abstract

Multiple metallotolerant bacterial strains were isolated from soil and drainage water samples collected from three industrially heavy metals polluted areas in Slovakia. Obtained bacterial isolates were identified using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and bacterial isolates that belonged to the Acinetobacter genus were subjected for the further study. A. calcoaceticus was found to be prevalent species among analyzed Acinetobacter spp. strains, followed by A. lwoffii and A. johnsonii. A. calcoaceticus strains exhibited higher minimum inhibitory concentration to Mn, Zn, and Cu cations compared to A. lwoffii and A. johnsonii. On the other hand minimum inhibitory concentration to Co and Ni were identical in all Acinetobacter spp. isolates. Genetic analyses demonstrated multiple plasmids presence in A. lwoffii and A. johnsonii but not in A. calcoaceticus. Using ERIC-PCR the presence of two different genotypes of A. calcoaceticus was detected in heavy metal polluted environments in Slovakia.

Open access
How to approach heterogeneous protein expression for biotechnological use: An overview

Abstract

Production of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli expression systems has shown many advantages, as well as disadvantages, especially for biotechnological and other down-stream applications. The choice of an appropriate vector depends on the gene, to be cloned for purification procedures and other analyses. Selection of a suitable production strain plays an important role in the preparation of recombinant proteins. The main criteria for the selection of the host organism are the properties of the recombinant produced protein, its subsequent use and the total amount desired. The most common problems in eukaryotic gene expression and recombinant proteins purification are, for instance, post-translational modifications, formation of disulphide bonds, or inclusion bodies. Obtaining a purified protein is a key step enabling further characterization of its role in the biological system. Moreover, methods of protein purification have been developed in parallel with the discovery of proteins and the need for their studies and applications. After protein purification, and also between the individual purification steps, it is necessary to test protein stability under different conditions over time. Shortly, all the essential points have been briefly discussed, which could be encountered during production and purification of a recombinant protein of interest, especially from eukaryotic source and expressed heterogeneously in prokaryotic production system.

Open access
Imaging of photoassimilates transport in plant tissues by positron emission tomography

Abstract

The current findings show that positron emission tomography (PET), primarily developed for medical diagnostic imaging, can be applied in plant studies to analyze the transport and allocation of wide range of compounds labelled with positronemitting radioisotopes. This work is focused on PET analysis of the uptake and transport of 2-deoxy-2-fluoro[18F]-D-glucose (2-[18F]FDG), as a model of photoassimilates, in tissues of giant reed (Arundo donax L. var. versicolor) as a potential energy crop. The absorption of 2-[18F]FDG and its subsequent transport in plant tissues were evaluated in both acropetal and basipetal direction as well. Visualization and quantification of the uptake and transport of 2-[18F]FDG in plants immersed with the root system into a 2-[18F]FDG solution revealed a significant accumulation of 18F radioactivity in the roots. The transport rate in plants was increased in the order of plant exposure through: stem > mechanically damaged root system > intact root system. PET analysis in basipetal direction, when the plant was immersed into the 2-[18F]FDG solution with the cut area of the leaf of whole plant, showed minimal translocation of 2-[18F]FDG into the other plant parts. The PET results were verified by measuring the accumulated radioactivity of 18F by direct gamma-spectrometry.

Open access
Perception of biotech trees by Slovak university students – a comparative survey

Abstract

Acceptance of genetically modified plants is restricted in EU by legislation, while the attitude of public is not favourable as well. Surveys show that knowledge about GM plants is getting increased. Newly developed strategies on GM safety for environment can be a crucial aspect for the (partial) acceptance in future. GM trees as non-edible plants might appear as more admissible, however, are relatively rarely discussed. We performed a comparative survey on knowledge and perception of GM forest trees among students at four Slovak universities. We also compared their responses between as well as with the outcome of similar cross-country survey in frames of the COST Action FP0905. The results point to very similar attitude of Slovak students when compared with students from other countries, no significant difference between responses of males and females, but also influence of age as well as orientation of their study (natural sciences vs. economy) on view of GM tree safety and placing on the market.

Open access
Rutin in buckwheat grain meal determined by UV photoacoustic spectroscopy and HPLC

Abstract

A relatively novel approach for easy and quick determination of rutin in buckwheat grain is suggested. The rutin content of the grain in seven common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) and six Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) varieties was investigated by means of UV photoacoustic spectroscopy and HPLC as reference method. The lowest content was found in ‘Botan’ and ‘Bamby’ varieties, while the highest values were obtained in the variety ‘Emka’. Rutin content in grain of all Tartary buckwheat varieties was two orders of magnitude higher than in the other varieties. Rutin content in F. esculentum ranges between 9 and 36 mg/100 g dry weight as compared to 921 to 2 132 mg/100 g dry weight in F. tataricum. The UV photoacoustic spectroscopy data show rather good correlations of R2=0.977 and R2=0.980 with values obtained by HPLC data for all measured samples. Therefore, UV photoacoustic spectroscopy can be a cheap and quick method for determining rutin content in buckwheat grain.

Open access
Synthesis, crystal structure and magnetism of [Cu(cyclam)Ni(NCS)4(H2O)2]n

Abstract

[Cu(cyclam)Ni(NCS)4(H2O)2]n (1) (cyclam = 1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclodecane) exhibits bent 1D crystal structure in which paramagnetic Cu(II) and Ni(II) atoms are linked by bridging μ2-NCS- ligands. The Cu(II) atom exhibit tetragonally elongated hexacoordination in the 4+2 form with one tetradentate macrocyclic cyclam ligands placed in the equatorial plane while the axial positions are occupied by S atoms from bridging NCS- ligands. The Ni(II) atom in NiN4O2 donor set is deformed octahedrally coordinated by four isothiocyanato ligands among which two in trans positions are bridging in nature; additional aqua ligands occupy the remaining two positions in trans arrangement. Weak hydrogen bonding interactions of the O-H···S type links the formed chains into 3D supramolecular structure. The magnetism of 1 is dominated by a sizable single-ion anisotropy DNi/hc = +7.49 cm-1 along with a weak exchange interaction of the ferromagnetic nature.

Open access
Transient expression of green fluorescent protein in parasitic dodder as a tool for studying of cytoskeleton

Abstract

Dodder (Cuscuta) species cause severe agricultural damage in many countries throughout the world. To establish strategies for control of its growth and spreading it is important to study its life cycle and survival strategies. For these efforts genetic modification would represent a powerful tool. Here we report on Agrobacteriummediated transformation of dodder using green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to actin-binding protein as a vital marker. Since the shoot of germinating C. europaea contains a functional apical meristem and grows quickly comparing to the root-like structure, the shoot apex was used here as explant. The transgene expression was only transient, nevertheless it enabled to detect allocation of actin filaments and studying the cytoskeleton organization in dodder shoot apex. Transient expression of GFP appears to be a suitable method for studying Cuscuta development through cytoskeleton organisation that is presently largely unexplored.

Open access
Utilization of poplar wood sawdust for heavy metals removal from model solutions

Abstract

Some kinds of natural organic materials have a potential for removal of heavy metal ions from wastewater. It is well known that cellulosic waste materials or by-products can be used as cheap adsorbents in chemical treatment process. In this paper, poplar wood sawdust were used for removal of Cu(II), Zn(II) and Fe(II) ions from model solutions with using the static and dynamic adsorption experiments. Infrared spectrometry of poplar wood sawdust confirmed the presence of the functional groups which correspond with hemicelluloses, cellulose and lignin. At static adsorption was achieved approximately of 80 % efficiency for all treated model solutions. Similar efficiency of the adsorption processes was reached after 5 min at dynamic condition. The highest efficiency of Cu(II) removal (98 %) was observed after 30 min of dynamic adsorption. Changes of pH values confirmed a mechanism of ion exchange on the beginning of the adsorption process.

Open access
Zinc bioaccumulation by microbial consortium isolated from nickel smelter sludge disposal site

Abstract

Heavy metal pollution is one of the most important environmental issues of today. Bioremediation by microorganisms is one of technologies extensively used for pollution treatment. In this study, we investigated the heavy metal resistance and zinc bioaccumulation by microbial consortium isolated from nickel sludge disposal site near Sereď (Slovakia). The composition of consortium was analyzed based on MALDI-TOF MS of cultivable bacteria and we have shown that the consortium was dominated by bacteria of genus Arthrobacter. While consortium showed very good growth in the zinc presence, it was able to remove only 15 % of zinc from liquid media. Selected members of consortia have shown lower growth rates in the zinc presence but selected isolates have shown much higher bioaccumulation abilities compared to whole consortium (up to 90 % of zinc removal for NH1 strain). Bioremediation is frequently accelerated through injection of native microbiota into a contaminated area. Based on data obtained in this study, we can conclude that careful selection of native microbiota could lead to the identification of bacteria with increased bioaccumulation abilities.

Open access