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Open access

Izabela Tałałaj, Beata Ostrowiecka, Ewa Włostowska, Agnieszka Rutkowska and Emilia Brzosko


The breeding system in Orchidaceae generates many questions about the selfing potential of its representatives. We investigated the ability of spontaneous autogamy of four orchid species: Cephalanthera rubra and Neottia ovata of the Neottieae tribe and Gymnadenia conopsea and Platanthera bifolia of the Orchideae tribe. These species represent diverse specializations of the gynostemium architecture. The self-compatibility and properties of autogamous seeds were determined in a bagging experiment and seed development analysis. After induced autogamy, a high level of fruiting (80-100%) was noted in all of the four study species. C. rubra, N. ovata, and G. conopsea are completely self-compatible, and P. bifolia is suggested to be partially self-compatible. If autogamy occurred, inbreeding depression and resource limitation on seed development appeared only in the two Orchideae species. Independent of flower specialization, both Neottieae species and P. bifolia were completely allogamous, whereas G. conopsea could be facultatively autogamous.

Open access

Bożena Łozowicka, Ewa Rutkowska, Magdalena Jankowska, Piotr Kaczyński and Izabela Hrynko


The first aim of this paper was to evaluate pesticide residue levels of berry fruit samples. The second aim was to analyze health risks associated with pesticide levels. The monitoring was conducted on samples from producers in north-eastern Poland, during the time period 2005-2010. In total, 241 samples of berry fruit were analyzed using validated and accredited multi residue methods. The studies included 7 commodities (125 strawberry, 59 black currant, 25 raspberry, 23 chokeberry, 7 red currant samples and one sample of elderberry and wild strawberry), and the analysis of 128 pesticides. Residues, mainly insecticides, were found in 47.7% of samples while 40.7% of samples contained pesticide residues below MRLs and 7% above MRLs. The pesticides were found most often in red currant (100%) and black currant (63%) samples. The most frequently detected pesticides were fenazaquin and fenitrothion. Pesticide residues at levels exceeding legally binding MRLs occurred mostly in black currant samples (12 samples). Violations of the maximum residue limits (MRLs) (15 notifications) and use of a forbidden plant protection product (8 notifications) were found in twenty-three berry samples during the six-year study. For these cases, the RASFF system (rapid alert system for food and feed) procedures were initiated. The highest number of notifications was recorded in 2008 (11 notifications). Only one of the notifications was prepared for berry fruit from an integrated production system − black currant, the remaining were for conventional fruit. Among the RASFF notifications, 17 (74%) were for black currant samples.

The estimated exposure to pesticide residues detected in the analyzed berry fruit samples was shown to be very low for the general population (adults) and for the critical population of small children. Acute and chronic exposure based on residue levels did not adversely affect consumer health.

Open access

Bożena Łozowicka, Izabela Hrynko, Piotr Kaczyński, Ewa Rutkowska, Magdalena Jankowska and Patrycja Mojsak


Extensive use of pesticides in agriculture can lead to contamination of fruit harvests and an increased risk of toxic effects on humans. A total of 123 fruit samples harvested in 2012 in the north-eastern region of Poland were analysed for pesticide residues as part of the national monitoring programme, and as part of research commissioned by private customers. Pesticide residues were found in 64.2% of the samples. There were pesticide residues below the maximum residue level (MRL) in 63 (51.2%) of the samples, while 16 (13%) exceeded MRLs set by Regulation (EC) 396/2005. The gooseberry, currant, and strawberry samples showed the most contamination. The most frequently detected pesticides were dithiocarbamates (54) followed by difenoconazole (22), boscalid (17), and alpha-cypermethrin (15). More than half of analysed samples had multiple residues (up to 8 residues), with multiple residues most common in gooseberry and currant samples. This study shows cases of non-authorised pesticide use by farmers who are trying to protect certain fruit.