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Abstract

The ripening process of two grape varieties in the vineyard located in the Sandomierz region was examined. In 2015, the ‘Regent’ and the ‘Sibera’ varieties reached physiological ripeness on 30th September and 3rd October, respectively. On both harvest dates, in addition to soluble solids content, titratable acidity, and pH, the macronutrient content was also determined. In the phase of physiological ripeness, the ‘Sibera’ variety showed higher acidity (1.02 g · 100 mL−1) compared with the ‘Regent’ (0.87 g · 100 mL−1). A higher soluble solids content was found in the ‘Regent’ (20.4°Brix), and slightly lower in the ‘Sibera’ (18.1°Brix). The must of the ‘Regent’ had a higher pH (3.5). This variety also had higher macronutrient contents (K, Ca and Mg). Grapes harvested after 3 weeks (late harvest) showed higher values of sugars, pH, K, and P for both varieties. However, their titratable acidity content, and Ca and Mg contents decreased. Microscopic examination showed differences in mycelial growth of Botrytis cinerea on grape bunches for both of the varieties left for the late harvest. The mycelial growth promoted faster dehydration of the ‘Sibera’ berries. Spot chemical analyses of ‘Sibera’ berry peel performed using EDS (energy dispersive spectroscopy) showed the occurrence of elevated contents of potassium, phosphorus, sulphur, magnesium and silicon. Around skin cracks, sugar crystals as well as hard-to-identify microcrystals were formed containing potassium. On the surface of the ‘Regent’ berries, potassium, and traces of phosphorus, silicon, magnesium, sulphur and calcium were found.

Abstract

No-tillage (UT) and tillage (TL) influence melon (Cucumis melo L.) production. However, the mechanism of improving the soil quality under UT in melon production is still unavailable. In this study, we attempted to explore the effects of UT and TL treatments on soil fertility and the microbial abundance and diversity in planting melon under greenhouse condition. Soil properties were determined and the bacterial v4-v5 16S rRNA and the fungal internal transcribed spacer gene were pyrosequenced by extracting greenhouse soil DNA. Results showed that the two treatments had different effects on nutrient uptake in melon plants under facility conditions. Additional nitrogen (N) was absorbed in the leaves and fruit in UT treatment. However, the N content in the UT treatment was kept as similar to that of the TL treatment. The phosphorus (P) contents in melon plant leaves and fruits in the UT treatment were higher than those in the TL treatment. High potassium (K) contents were observed in fruits and melon stem under the UT and TL treatments, respectively. Soil pH, organic matter and the available N influenced the bacterial and fungal distributions. The total N, total P and total K in melon plants were correlated with the bacterial and fungal groups in facility soils. The UT treatment had a substantial effect on the microbial diversity in soils planted with melon. Our study provided insights into the response of soil fertility and microbial structures to UT and TL treatments under greenhouse soils, which may aid in managing greenhouse soil quality.

Abstract

Auricularia cornea, jelly mushroom, is a popular ingredient of traditional Chinese cuisine. This study aimed at evaluating the growth, yield, biological efficiency, total phenolic and flavonoid contents, the antioxidant activity, elemental composition, and molecular structure of the wild and domesticated strain Ac24 and the commercially cultivated edible mushroom A. cornea strains Ac1, Ac3 and Ac15. Based on the weight of the fresh fruiting bodies of A. cornea strains, the maximum yield was obtained from commercial strain Ac1 (237.10 g), followed by Ac3 (224.47 g), Ac15 (158 g) and Ac24 (132.37 g), while the biological efficiency range of A. cornea strains was 52.94–94.84%, with significant differences among the A. cornea strains. Our results revealed that Ac24 contained the highest phenolic content (20.10 mg GAE · g−1), while the highest flavonoid content was found in Ac1 (35.13 mg CE · g−1). The maximum mineral contents and the strains were as follows: copper (7.2 mg · kg−1) and zinc (310 mg · kg−1) in Ac1, manganese (788 mg · kg−1) in Ac3 and iron (310 mg · kg−1) in Ac24. DPPH assay found maximum antioxidant activity in Ac24 (IC50 0.233 mg TX · mL−1), FRAP (591 mg TX · g−1) in Ac15, and erythrocyte haemolysis in Ac24. SEM-EDX and FTIR analyses verified the differences among A. cornea strains. The results revealed that wild, domesticated A. cornea strain Ac24 is a promising dietary source of natural antioxidants and is of high nutritional value, compared to commercially cultivated strains.

Abstract

Terrestrial plants are constantly exposed to multiple environmental signals that influence their metabolism. Among these signals, nitrogen (N) nutrition and light affect importantly diverse metabolic and physiological processes. Herewith the effects of N nutrition (8.47, 12.71 and 16.94 mg · L−1 N) and shading percentages (0 and 70%) on plant morphology and chemical composition of the essential oil of marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) ‘Inca’ were assessed. Increasing N levels enhanced the number of secondary branches and the flower diameter, while shading reduced height of side branches, number of primary branches and opened flower buds. In leaves, flowers and stems, 15 different compounds were identified. In leaves, low and medium N levels and high light level increased the synthesis of ocimene, limonene and piperitone. As well, medium and high N doses, independently of the light level, stimulated the synthesis of caryophyllene and β-phellandrene in leaves. Nevertheless, increasing N doses and shading level decreased the synthesis of β-myrcene and α-pinene in leaves. In flowers, medium N level and high light intensity increased the synthesis of trans-pinene. Piperitone and verbenone were identified only in flowers of plants with high N doses and lower light intensity. In the stems, caryophyllene, piperitone and β-farnesene were more abundant with medium and high N levels. The interaction of study factors differentially affected both morphological variables and the composition of essential oil among organs studied. Therefore, N nutrition and light intensity are key factors that modify the morphology and composition of the essential oil in T. erecta.

Abstract

Progression of the vegetation period and change of year are associated with variations in general climatic parameters, such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, radiation, precipitation, wind speed and others. Only limited knowledge is available about the effects of these parameters on the characteristics of quality of fruits especially those with successive ripening such as goji berry. In our study, fruits of goji berry were characterised based on physico-chemical properties within four different harvest periods, in two consecutive years. Based on the obtained results, it was found that the pomological characteristics were superior at the beginning of the production season, while the phytochemical properties were better at the end. Fruit length, width and weight characteristics were noted to decrease from the first harvest to the last by 21%, 18% and 33%, respectively, while the total anthocyanin, phenol and antioxidant activity properties increased by 264%, 48% and 105%, respectively. There was a decrease in fruit weight, fruit length and fruit width up to 15.9%, 18.3% and 6%, respectively and were directly associated with yield due to sink competition among fruits. Providing high ripening index that ensures more acceptable fruits, with high soluble solid content (SSC) and titratable acidity (TA) seems to be a very important breeding objective to meet consumer demands thanks to superior organoleptic quality. According to correlations, the synthesis of phenolic compounds increased in parallel with SSC rise and TA, which improved pomological properties too. It is thought that the obtained results may indicate the cultural processes and evaluation methods to be used for the harvested fruits.

Abstract

Iodine (I) has a beneficial effect on plant growth, development and antioxidant activity. The study aimed to compare iodine uptake after the application of iodobenzoates (2-iodobenzoic acid (2-IBeA), 4-iodobenzoic acid (4-IBeA) and 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (2,3,5-triIBeA)) as well as potassium iodide (KI) to tomato seedlings. One of the main tasks was to evaluate how the tested compounds applied in different concentrations (5, 10, 25 and 50 μM) affect the growth and antioxidative potential of tomato seedlings. Negative effect on growth and development of tomato seedlings was noted for 4-IBeA applied in 10–50 μM I concentrations. The 2,3,5-triIBeA application affected shoot deformation. All tested iodine compounds increased iodine level in leaves and roots of tomato seedlings. Iodine after KI application was accumulated mainly in leaves, while after iodobenzoates treatment in roots of tomato seedlings, which is probably related to their weaker transport to the upper parts of the plant. Tested compounds variously modified the content of ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids in tomato leaves depending on applied concentration. KI treatment improved ascorbate peroxidase activity, but all iodobenzoates decreased APX and catalase activity in leaves. 4-IBeA (5 μM I) and 2,3,5-triIBeA (25 and 50 μM I) increased guaiacol peroxidase activity in leaves. It can be concluded that mechanisms responsible for plant oxidative metabolism were variously affected by the iodine compounds and its concentration in the nutrient solution.

Abstract

A good peach fruit should have properties of high quality, as these properties directly affect the shelf life. This study aims to determine the effects of different salicylic acid (SA) treatments in the pre-harvest period on the ‘Cresthaven’ peach cultivar on the fruit quality at harvest and after storage at 2°C (8 days) plus shelf life at 20°C (2 days). Fruits with SA treatments have better characteristics such as fruit weight, fruit flesh firmness, total antioxidant content, total phenol content and titratable acidity level at harvest and after storage plus shelf life. With treatments, no changes were observed in the total soluble solids both at harvest and after storage plus shelf life. SA treatments decreased loss of fruit flesh firmness and loss of acidity after shelf life, compared with the control. In fruits with 2 mM SA acid treatment, the reduction in fruit firmness and acidity loss were the least, and as a result of the study it was determined as the most effective pre-harvest SA concentration that could be used in the ‘Cresthaven’ peach variety.

Abstract

Europe, Africa and the Middle East have several original subspecies of the western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), each with distinctive characteristics. These subspecies are the product of natural selection in their native range. Nevertheless, anthropogenic impacts such as migratory beekeeping and use of non-native queens result in an admixture of these subspecies and their ecotypes. I aimed to develop a SNP-based method to detect whether queen honey bees were mated with drones from foreign subspecies. For this purpose, Caucasian and Italian queens and drones were reared. Each queen was instrumentally inseminated with mixed semen collected from Caucasian (4 μl) and Italian drones (4 μl). The spermathecae of queens were dissected out after the onset of oviposition. The DNA was extracted from each spermatheca and from the thoraces of Caucasian and Italian drones. Seven regions on mtDNA that were isolated from drones were sequenced to determine the SNPs, enabling the discrimination of Caucasian sperm from Italian in spermathecal contents. Based on one SNP (11606. bp, T/C) residing on the Cytb gene, a specific primer was designed to be used in High Resolution Melting (HRM) analysis. HRM analysis indicated that heteroduplex peak profiles were present in all spermathecal contents of instrumentally inseminated queens. The results provide proof of the concept that the presence of likely non-native mitochondrial lineages can be detected by HRM analysis based on the SNP genotyping of spermathecal contents.

Abstract

This study was aimed to assess quality, authentication parameters and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) of Algerian and imported honeys sold in Algerian markets. Results indicated that 80% Algerian samples fulfilled international standards, whereas only 21.4% imported honeys were in agreement with the current regulations. 13.3% Algerian samples and 7.1% imported honeys showed values of proline lower than 180 mg/kg, which is the recommended limit for authentic honeys. Comparing Algerian and imported honeys, electrical conductivity, degrees Brix, diastase activities and proline contents were higher in Algerian honeys, in contrast to moisture percentages, hydroxymethylfurfural contents and acid phospatase activities that were higher in imported honeys. Methanolic extracts of Algerian samples were richer both in total phenolics and flavonoids determined in alkaline medium. There were not significant differences between Algerian and imported samples concerning pH, free acid, invertase, total carotenoid, total phenolics of raw honeys and TEAC, as well as regarding total flavonoids determined in neutral medium and o-diphenols of honeys’ methanolic extracts. Principal components analysis showed a good separation between Algerian and imported samples, only one multifloral Algerian honey being misclassified. Our research showed that a legal frame for Algerian honeys is of utmost importance. Spurge-labeled honeys were grouped, showing interesting common features that should be taken into account in a future regulation, in which a protected designation of origin for spurge honeys could be considered.

Abstract

Cornelian cherry fruits are quite rich in bioactive compounds. Natural colour, rich flavonoids and anthocyanins and high antioxidant activity have made the fruits a natural drug. In the present study, antioxidant activity, total flavonoids and total phenolics of naturally growing 18 cornelian cherry genotypes with different phenotypic characteristics were determined. Size and shape parameters of the genotypes were also determined with the image-processing method; sphericity, elongation and shape index were calculated and shapes of two-dimensional fruit images were compared with elliptic Fourier analysis. Antioxidant activity, total flavonoid contents and total phenolic amounts of the genotypes were varied between 55.062 and 152.420 mmol TE · kg−1, 286.40 and 2,882.80 mg QE · kg−1, and 2,644.80 and 12,959.00 mg GAE · kg−1, respectively. Multivariate variance analysis conducted based on physical characteristics revealed that six genotypes were different from the others. Shape analysis with Elliptic Fourier method revealed that the majority of present cornelian cherry genotypes had an oval appearance and a small portion of them had a drop-like appearance. According to discriminant analysis and Hotelling's pair-wise comparison tests, there were five different shape groups for present genotypes. A single genotype was placed into one of these groups, thus it was determined that this genotype was totally different in shape from the others.