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Open access

Agnieszka Rosińska, Hanna Dorna, Dorota Szopińska, Lidia Irzykowska and Katarzyna Seidler-Łożykowska


Introduction: : Milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) is an important medicinal plant. Achenes of milk thistle contain sylimarin, protecting liver cells against toxic compounds.

Objective: The aim of the research was to find an optimum method of evaluation of milk thistle seed germination.

Methods: Ten seed samples were tested. The seeds were germinated: on top of blotter paper, on top of blotter paper after seed disinfection, between pleated blotter paper, in rolled blotter paper and in sand. Germination at the first and final counts, the percentages of abnormal seedlings and dead seeds were determined. The correlation coefficients between seed germination, evaluated with various methods, and seedling emergence were calculated. Moreover, fungi associated with seeds and diseased seedlings were identified.

Results: The lowest percentage of normal seedlings was observed after germination on the top of blotter. Highly significant positive correlations were noted between seedling emergence and seed germination at the final count evaluated in rolled paper, between pleated paper and in sand. The fungi from genera: Alternaria, Fusarium, Penicillium, Trichoderma, Ulocladium and Verticillium were frequently identified on seeds and seedlings.

Conclusions: Infestation with fungi significantly affected milk thistle seed germination and plant emergence. Germination in rolled blotter paper may be recommended for evaluation of milk thistle seed germination, as the most practical and significantly correlated with seedling emergence.

Open access

Michał Ziarko, Agnieszka Rosińska and Michał Sieński


Background - Early adulthood is the developmental stage during which, for the first time, an individual can independently choose their own lifestyle. For the future health of a young adult, it is important that they incorporate healthy behaviors from different health dimensions (somatic, mental, social) into their lifestyle. Analyzing the foregoing issue gives rise to a fundamental question: did intensive social changes experienced after Poland’s accession to the European Union lead to changes in different aspects of a healthy lifestyle? Method - The presented study involved 504 people. The research data was collected in two separate measurements in 2003 (n = 284) and 2013 (n = 220). Subjects were asked to complete sets of questionnaires which measured: health behaviors, health beliefs, social influence, intention. Results - Statistical comparison of means tests and regression equations were conducted. Results demonstrate that young adults were similarly engaged in pro-health activities in both 2003 and 2013. A detailed analysis of health lifestyle factors shows that young adults from the 2013 group care more about their diet, physical activity, and more frequently undergo preventive medical health examinations. Moreover, significant changes in healthy lifestyle factors were reported. The most important observation concerned the changes in health beliefs. Beliefs derived from a holistic-functional model of health played a major role in the 2003 group, whereas in the 2013 group beliefs close to the biomedical model of health were more important. Conclusions - Analyses demonstrate changes in detailed healthy lifestyle factors. At the same time, no significant differences in global measures of concern for one’s health were observed. Importantly, results show modifications in healthy lifestyle factors. It is suggested that the observed differences stem from the social change of the last decade.

Open access

Agnieszka Rosińska, Magdalena Jarosz, Dorota Szopińska, Hanna Dorna and Krystyna Tylkowska


Milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) is one of the most important medicinal plants. The fungi infesting its seeds may negatively influence their germination and health-promoting properties. However, there is no standard method for S. marianum seed health testing. The aim of this study was to find a suitable method for the detection and identification of fungi in/on milk thistle seeds. The following tests were used: deep-freeze blotter test, blotter test with an addition of mannitol, blotter test with an addition of polyethylene glycol, agar test on potato-dextrose agar (PDA), agar test on PDA after seed disinfection, agar test on reduced PDA and an agar test on reduced PDA after seed disinfection. Seeds were incubated for 10 and 14 days. The most prevalent fungi were: Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea, Cladosporium spp., Fusarium spp., Penicillium spp., Rhizopus nigricans and Verticillium spp. A deep-freeze blotter test followed by a blotter test with an addition of mannitol and a blotter test with an addition of polyethylene glycol performed for 14 days could be recommended for the further study of milk thistle seed health testing, as they favoured the growth of the most important fungi.

Open access

Agnieszka Rosińska, Hanna Dorna, Dorota Szopińska and Katarzyna Seidler-Łożykowska


Introduction: Milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) is a medicinal plant belonging to Asteraceae family. Extract from milk thistle achenes (termed in practice as seeds) contains sylimarin, which protects liver cells against inorganic and organic toxic compounds. Objective: The aim of the research was to evaluate the effect of colour grading on the quality of milk thistle seeds. Methods: Seeds were graded manually by colour according to the Royal Horticultural Society Colour Chart, issued in Great Britain. In three samples two fractions of seeds were separated: beige and brown, whereas seeds of the fourth sample were graded into three fractions: yellow, beige and brown. The 1000-seed weight and germination of graded and non-graded seeds were evaluated. Infestation of graded seeds with fungi was assessed. Results: Brown seeds had a higher 1000-seed weight than beige or yellow ones. Germination at the final count of beige seeds did not differ as compared to that of brown seeds or was even better. Milk thistle seeds were infested with numerous fungi, however Alternaria alternata and Ulocladium consortiale predominated. Conclusions: Less mature beige seeds can be used as sowing material because their germination at the final count did not differ as compared to that of fully mature brown seeds or was even better. Infestation of these seeds with some of the fungi was lower than brown seeds.