Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: Dragana Šoronja Simović

24 Edible Oil Industry Wastewater Treatment by Microfiltration with Ceramic Membrane

Authors: Zita Šereš, Dragana Šoronja Simović, Ljubica Dokić, Lidietta Giorno, Biljana Pajin, Cecilia Hodur, Nikola Maravić


Membrane technology is convenient for separation of suspended solids, colloids and high molecular weight materials that are present. The idea is that the waste stream from edible oil industry, after the separation of oil by using skimmers is subjected to microfiltration and the obtained permeate can be used again in the production process. The wastewater from edible oil industry was used for the microfiltration. For the microfiltration of this effluent a tubular membrane was used with a pore size of 200 nm at transmembrane pressure in range up to 3 bar and in range of flow rate up to 300 L/h. Box–Behnken design was selected for the experimental work and the responses considered were permeate flux and chemical oxygen demand (COD) reduction. The reduction of the permeate COD was in the range 40-60% according to the feed. The highest permeate flux achieved during the process of microfiltration was 160 L/m2h.

Keywords: ceramic membrane, edible oil, microfiltration, wastewater

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23 Microfiltration of the Sugar Refinery Wastewater Using Ceramic Membrane with Kenics Static Mixer

Authors: Zita Šereš, Ljubica Dokić, Nikola Maravić, Dragana Šoronja Simović, Cecilia Hodur, Ivana Nikolić, Biljana Pajin


New environmental regulations and the increasing market preference for companies that respect the ecosystem had encouraged the industry to look after new treatments for its effluents. The sugar industry, one of the largest emitter of environmental pollutants, follows this tendency. Membrane technology is convenient for separation of suspended solids, colloids and high molecular weight materials that are present in a wastewater from the sugar industry. The idea is to microfilter the wastewater, where the permeate passes through the membrane and becomes available for recycle and re-use in the sugar manufacturing process. For microfiltration of this effluent a tubular ceramic membrane was used with a pore size of 200 nm at transmembrane pressure in range of 1 – 3 bars and in range of flow rate of 50 – 150 l/h. Kenics static mixer was used for permeate flux enhancement. Turbidity and suspended solids were removed and the permeate flux was continuously monitored during the microfiltration process. The flux achieved after 90 minutes of microfiltration was in a range of 50-70 L/m2h. The obtained turbidity decrease was in the range of 50-99% and the total amount of suspended solids was removed.

Keywords: ceramic membrane, microfiltration, permeate flux, sugar industry, wastewater

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22 Response Surface Methodology Approach to Defining Ultrafiltration of Steepwater from Corn Starch Industry

Authors: Zita I. Šereš, Ljubica P. Dokić, Dragana M. Šoronja Simović, Cecilia Hodur, Zsuzsanna Laszlo, Ivana Nikolić, Nikola Maravić


In this work the concentration of steep-water from corn starch industry is monitored using ultrafiltration membrane. The aim was to examine the conditions of ultrafiltration of steep-water by applying the membrane of 2.5nm. The parameters that vary during the course of ultrafiltration, were the transmembrane pressure, flow rate, while the permeate flux and the dry matter content of permeate and retentive were the dependent parameter constantly monitored during the process. Experiments of ultrafiltration are conducted on the samples of steep-water, which were obtained from the starch wet milling plant Jabuka, Pancevo. The procedure of ultrafiltration on a single-channel 250mm length, with inner diameter of 6.8mm and outer diameter of 10mm membrane were carried on. The membrane is made of a-Al2O3 with TiO2 layer obtained from GEA (Germany). The experiments are carried out at a flow rate ranging from 100 to 200lh-1 and transmembrane pressure of 1-3 bars. During the experiments of steep-water ultrafiltration, the change of permeate flux, dry matter content of permeate and retentive, as well as the absorbance changes of the permeate and retentive were monitored. The experimental results showed that the maximum flux reaches about 40lm-2h-1. For responses obtained after experiments, a polynomial model of the second degree is established to evaluate and quantify the influence of the variables. The quadratic equitation fits with the experimental values, where the coefficient of determination for flux is 0.96. The dry matter content of the retentive is increased for about 6%, while the dry matter content of permeate was reduced for about 35-40%, respectively. During steep-water ultrafiltration in permeate stays 40% less dry matter compared to the feed.

Keywords: ultrafiltration, steep-water, starch industry, ceramic membrane

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21 Rheological Properties of Dough and Sensory Quality of Crackers with Dietary Fibers

Authors: Ljubica Dokić, Ivana Nikolić, Dragana Šoronja–Simović, Zita Šereš, Biljana Pajin, Nils Juul, Nikola Maravić


The possibility of application the dietary fibers in production of crackers was observed in this work, as well as their influence on rheological and textural properties on the dough for crackers and influence on sensory properties of obtained crackers. Three different dietary fibers, oat, potato and pea fibers, replaced 10% of wheat flour. Long fermentation process and baking test method were used for crackers production. The changes of dough for crackers were observed by rheological methods of determination the viscoelastic dough properties and by textural measurements. Sensory quality of obtained crackers was described using quantity descriptive method (QDA) by trained members of descriptive panel. Additional analysis of crackers surface was performed by videometer. Based on rheological determination, viscoelastic properties of dough for crackers were reduced by application of dietary fibers. Manipulation of dough with 10% of potato fiber was disabled, thus the recipe modification included increase in water content at 35%. Dough compliance to constant stress for samples with dietary fibers decreased, due to more rigid and stiffer dough consistency compared to control sample. Also, hardness of dough for these samples increased and dough extensibility decreased. Sensory properties of final products, crackers, were reduced compared to control sample. Application of dietary fibers affected mostly hardness, structure and crispness of the crackers. Observed crackers were low marked for flavor and taste, due to influence of fibers specific aroma. The sample with 10% of potato fibers and increased water content was the most adaptable to applied stresses and to production process. Also this sample was close to control sample without dietary fibers by evaluation of sensory properties and by results of videometer method.

Keywords: crackers, dietary fibers, rheology, sensory properties

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20 Effect of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria on the Germination and Early Growth of Onion (Allium cepa)

Authors: Dragana R. Stamenov, Simonida S. Djuric, Timea Hajnal Jafari


Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are a heterogeneous group of bacteria that can be found in the rhizosphere, at root surfaces and in association with roots, enhancing the growth of the plant either directly and/or indirectly. Increased crop productivity associated with the presence of PGPR has been observed in a broad range of plant species, such as raspberry, chickpeas, legumes, cucumber, eggplant, pea, pepper, radish, tobacco, tomato, lettuce, carrot, corn, cotton, millet, bean, cocoa, etc. However, until now there has not been much research about influences of the PGPR on the growth and yield of onion. Onion (Allium cepa L.), of the Liliaceae family, is a species of great economic importance, widely cultivated all over the world. The aim of this research was to examine the influence of plant growth promoting bacteria Pseudomonas sp. Dragana, Pseudomonas sp. Kiš, Bacillus subtillis and Azotobacter sp. on the seed germination and early growth of onion (Allium cepa). PGPR Azotobacter sp., Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas sp. Dragana, Pseudomonas sp. Kiš, from the collection of the Faculty of Agriculture, Novi Sad, Serbia, were used as inoculants. The number of cells in 1 ml of the inoculum was 10⁸ CFU/ml. The control variant was not inoculated. The effect of PGPR on seed germination and hypocotyls length of Allium cepa was evaluated in controlled conditions, on filter paper in the dark at 22°C, while effect on the plant length and mass in semicontrol conditions, in 10 l volume vegetative pots. Seed treated with fungicide and untreated seed were used. After seven days the percentage of germination was determined. After seven and fourteen days hypocotil length was measured. Fourteen days after germination, length and mass of plants were measured. Application of Pseudomonas sp. Dragana and Kiš and Bacillus subtillis had a negative effect on onion seed germination, while the use of Azotobacter sp. gave positive results. On average, application of all investigated inoculants had a positive effect on the measured parameters of plant growth. Azotobacter sp. had the greatest effect on the hypocotyls length, length and mass of the plant. In average, better results were achieved with untreated seeds in compare with treated. Results of this study have shown that PGPR can be used in the production of onion.

Keywords: germination, length, mass, microorganisms, onion

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19 Fiscal Stability Indicators and Public Debt Trajectory in Croatia

Authors: Hrvoje Simovic


Paper analyses the key problems of fiscal sustainability in Croatia. To point out key challenges of fiscal sustainability, the public debt sustainability is analyzed using standard indicators of fiscal stability, accompanied with the identification of regime changes approach in the public debt trajectory using switching regression approach. The analysis is conducted for the period from 2001 to 2016. Results show huge vulnerability in recession period (2009-14), so key challenges in current fiscal policy and public debt management are recognized in maturity prolongation, interest rates trends, and credit rating expectations.

Keywords: fiscal sustainability, public debt, Croatia, budget deficit

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18 Standard Languages for Creating a Database to Display Financial Statements on a Web Application

Authors: Vladimir Simovic, Matija Varga, Predrag Oreski


XHTML and XBRL are the standard languages for creating a database for the purpose of displaying financial statements on web applications. Today, XBRL is one of the most popular languages for business reporting. A large number of countries in the world recognize the role of XBRL language for financial reporting and the benefits that the reporting format provides in the collection, analysis, preparation, publication and the exchange of data (information) which is the positive side of this language. Here we present all advantages and opportunities that a company may have by using the XBRL format for business reporting. Also, this paper presents XBRL and other languages that are used for creating the database, such XML, XHTML, etc. The role of the AJAX complex model and technology will be explained in detail, and during the exchange of financial data between the web client and web server. Here will be mentioned basic layers of the network for data exchange via the web.

Keywords: XHTML, XBRL, XML, JavaScript, AJAX technology, data exchange

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17 Database Playlists: Croatia's Popular Music in the Mirror of Collective Memory

Authors: Diana Grguric, Robert Svetlacic, Vladimir Simovic


Scientific research analytically explores database playlists by studying the memory culture through Croatian popular radio music. The research is based on the scientific analysis of databases developed on the basis of the playlist of ten Croatian radio stations. The most recent Croatian song on Statehood Day 2008-2013 is analyzed in order to gain insight into their (memory) potential in terms of storing, interpreting and presenting a national identity. The research starts with the general assumption that popular music is an efficient identifier, transmitter, and promoter of national identity. The aim of the scientific research of the database was to analytically reveal specific titles of Croatian popular songs that participate in marking memories and analyzing their symbolic capital to gain insight into the popular music experience of the past and to develop a new method of scientifically based analysis of specific databases.

Keywords: specific databases, popular radio music, collective memory, national identity

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16 [Keynote Talk]: Animation of Objects on the Website by Application of CSS3 Language

Authors: Vladimir Simovic, Matija Varga, Robert Svetlacic


Scientific work analytically explores and demonstrates techniques that can animate objects and geometric characters using CSS3 language by applying proper formatting and positioning of elements. This paper presents examples of optimum application of the CSS3 descriptive language when generating general web animations (e.g., billiards and movement of geometric characters, etc.). The paper presents analytically, the optimal development and animation design with the frames within which the animated objects are. The originally developed content is based on the upgrading of existing CSS3 descriptive language animations with more complex syntax and project-oriented work. The purpose of the developed animations is to provide an overview of the interactive features of CSS3 descriptive language design for computer games and the animation of important analytical data based on the web view. It has been analytically demonstrated that CSS3 as a descriptive language allows inserting of various multimedia elements into websites for public and internal sites.

Keywords: web animation recording, KML GML HTML5 forms, Cascading Style Sheets 3, Google Earth Professional

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15 Pallet Tracking and Cost Optimization of the Flow of Goods in Logistics Operations by Serial Shipping Container Code

Authors: Dominika Crnjac Milic, Martina Martinovic, Vladimir Simovic


The case study method in this paper shows the implementation of Information Technology (IT) and the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) in a Croatian company that deals with logistics operations and provides logistics services in the cold chain segment. This company is aware of the sensitivity of the goods entrusted to them by the user of the service, as well as of the importance of speed and accuracy in providing logistics services. To that end, it has implemented and used the latest IT to ensure the highest standard of high-quality logistics services to its customers. Looking for efficiency and optimization of supply chain management, while maintaining a high level of quality of the products that are sold, today's users of outsourced logistics services are open to the implementation of new IT products that ultimately deliver savings. By analysing the positive results and the difficulties that arise when using this technology, we aim to provide an insight into the potential of this approach of the logistics service provider.

Keywords: logistics operations, serial shipping container code, information technology, cost optimization

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14 Seedling Emergence and Initial Growth of Different Plants after Trichoderma sp. Inoculation

Authors: Simonida S. Djuric, Timea I. Hajnal Jafari, Dragana R. Stamenov


The use of plant growth promoting fungi (PGPF) has significantly increased in the last decade mostly due to their multi-level properties, and their expected success as biofertilizers in agriculture. Beneficial fungi with broad-host range undergo long-term interactions with a large variety of plants thereby playing a significant role in managed ecosystems and in the adaptation of crops to global climate changes. Trichoderma spp. are promising fungi toward the development of sustainable agriculture. The aim of our experiment was to investigate the effect of seed inoculation of sunflower, maize, soybean, paprika, melon, and watermelon seeds with Trichoderma sp. on early seed germination energy and initial growth of the plant. The seed inoculation with Trichoderma sp. increased the seedling emergence from 7, 85% in melon to 156,70% in watermelon. The inoculation had the best effect on initial growth of maize shoot (+23,80%) and soybean root (+106,30%). The different response of seed and young plants on Trichoderma sp. inoculation implicate the need for future investigations of successful inoculation systems and modes of their integration in sustainable agriculture production systems.

Keywords: initial growth, inoculation, seedling, Trichoderma sp.

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13 Designing Information Systems in Education as Prerequisite for Successful Management Results

Authors: Vladimir Simovic, Matija Varga, Tonco Marusic


This research paper shows matrix technology models and examples of information systems in education (in the Republic of Croatia and in the Germany) in support of business, education (when learning and teaching) and e-learning. Here we researched and described the aims and objectives of the main process in education and technology, with main matrix classes of data. In this paper, we have example of matrix technology with detailed description of processes related to specific data classes in the processes of education and an example module that is support for the process: ‘Filling in the directory and the diary of work’ and ‘evaluation’. Also, on the lower level of the processes, we researched and described all activities which take place within the lower process in education. We researched and described the characteristics and functioning of modules: ‘Fill the directory and the diary of work’ and ‘evaluation’. For the analysis of the affinity between the aforementioned processes and/or sub-process we used our application model created in Visual Basic, which was based on the algorithm for analyzing the affinity between the observed processes and/or sub-processes.

Keywords: designing, education management, information systems, matrix technology, process affinity

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12 Ethics Can Enable Open Source Data Research

Authors: Dragana Calic


The openness, availability and the sheer volume of big data have provided, what some regard as, an invaluable and rich dataset. Researchers, businesses, advertising agencies, medical institutions, to name only a few, collect, share, and analyze this data to enable their processes and decision making. However, there are important ethical considerations associated with the use of big data. The rapidly evolving nature of online technologies has overtaken the many legislative, privacy, and ethical frameworks and principles that exist. For example, should we obtain consent to use people’s online data, and under what circumstances can privacy considerations be overridden? Current guidance on how to appropriately and ethically handle big data is inconsistent. Consequently, this paper focuses on two quite distinct but related ethical considerations that are at the core of the use of big data for research purposes. They include empowering the producers of data and empowering researchers who want to study big data. The first consideration focuses on informed consent which is at the core of empowering producers of data. In this paper, we discuss some of the complexities associated with informed consent and consider studies of producers’ perceptions to inform research ethics guidelines and practice. The second consideration focuses on the researcher. Similarly, we explore studies that focus on researchers’ perceptions and experiences.

Keywords: big data, ethics, producers’ perceptions, researchers’ perceptions

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11 Other-Generated Disclosure: A Challenge to Privacy on Social Network Sites

Authors: Tharntip Tawnie Chutikulrungsee, Oliver Kisalay Burmeister, Maumita Bhattacharya, Dragana Calic


Sharing on social network sites (SNSs) has rapidly emerged as a new social norm and has become a global phenomenon. Billions of users reveal not only their own information (self disclosure) but also information about others (other-generated disclosure), resulting in a risk and a serious threat to either personal or informational privacy. Self-disclosure (SD) has been extensively researched in the literature, particularly regarding control of individual and existing privacy management. However, far too little attention has been paid to other-generated disclosure (OGD), especially by insiders. OGD has a strong influence on self-presentation, self-image, and electronic word of mouth (eWOM). Moreover, OGD is more credible and less likely manipulated than SD, but lacks privacy control and legal protection to some extent. This article examines OGD in depth, ranging from motivation to both online and offline impacts, based upon lived experiences from both ‘the disclosed’ and ‘the discloser’. Using purposive sampling, this phenomenological study involves an online survey and in-depth interviews. The findings report the influence of peer disclosure as well as users’ strategies to mitigate privacy issues. This article also calls attention to the challenge of OGD privacy and inadequacies in the law related to privacy protection in the digital domain.

Keywords: facebook, online privacy, other-generated disclosure, social networks sites (SNSs)

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10 Transforaminal Ligaments of the Lumbar Foramina: An Anatomic Study

Authors: Dušica L. Marić, Mirela Erić, Dušan M. Maić, Nebojša T. Milošević, Dragana Radošević, Nikola Vučinić


The anatomical existence of transforaminal ligaments has been studied widely. The crucial anatomic study of these structures describes the transforaminal ligaments as an anomalous structure. The ligaments associated with the intervertebral foramen were classified in the external, intraforaminal and internal foraminal ligaments. The external ligaments are the most frequently reported type of transforaminal ligaments in adult spine. The purpose of this study was to examine the appearance of the ligaments within the external space of the intervertebral foramen in adult cadavers. External transforaminal ligaments branch out forward from the root of the transverse process toward the vertebral body with superior, transverse and inferior directions. The ligament detected in the study was different from the other reported descriptions of L1 foraminal ligaments. This ligament extends from the root of the pedicle to the inferior border of the vertebral body below the level of the disc and forms the compartment through which pass the ventral root of the spinal nerve and a small branch of the spinal artery. The results of this study show that the external ligaments can be clearly macroscopic visualized, and it is very important to have prior knowledge of the cadaveric specimens, to identify these structures. The presence of these ligaments is clinically important. These ligaments could be the cause of nerve root compression and the low back syndrome.

Keywords: anatomy, ligaments, lumbar spine, spinal nerve roots

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9 Post-Yugoslav Identity Negotiations in Diaspora Settings: Biographical Narration among Academics of Serbian Origin in Baden-Württemberg

Authors: Dragana Bubulj


The Former Republic of Yugoslavia was a sort of protective umbrella, a unique concept of gathering different ethnical, cultural, and religious identities, as well as diverse intersections of those. After 43-months long civil war and states disintegration in 1995, which resulted in 5 post-Yugoslav countries, Yugoslav Diaspora experienced radical changes. In Germany, one of the countries with the highest percentage of Yugoslav emigration, segregation on ethno-national grounds was empowered by the outbreak of the conflict: firstly on a socio-cultural level, and followed by changes on the level of institutional organizing. Psycho-emotional and financial involvement of Diaspora into the war is also not to be neglected. People of Serbian origin have been additionally overstrained with the designation of Serbs as war criminals in German media and the public sphere. In this way, the path from 'being a Yugoslav' toward 'becoming a Serb', outside nowadays Serbia, has been qualitatively different in comparison to potential identity shiftings experienced by other members of Former Yugoslav population. This paper is part of an ongoing PhD research and tackles biographical narratives of academics of Serbian origin in one German region. Paper addresses processes of post-Yugoslav identity negotiations in Diaspora settings, nationalistic tendentious among second generation youth, and discusses - based on NS-references founded in collected data - question of historicity of biographies.

Keywords: biography, diaspora, ethnography, former republic of Yugoslavia, identity

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8 Relations among Coping with Stress, Anxiety and the Achievement Motive of Athletes and Non-Athletes

Authors: Dragana Tomic


This research deals with relations among strategies and styles of coping with stress, social interaction anxiety and the achievement motive of young athletes and non-athletes. The research was conducted on the sample of 402 examinees (197 female and 205 male participants) of the average age of 20.76, divided into three groups: athletes, recreationists, and non-athletes. The COPE-S questionnaire, the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS) and the Achievement Motivation Questionnaire (MOP 2002) were used for conducting this research and they had satisfactory reliability. The results of the research indicate that athletes, recreationists and non-athletes are not different when it comes to strategies and styles of coping with stress. Non- athletes have more noticeable social interaction anxiety when compared to athletes (U=5281.5, p=.000) and also when compared to recreationists (U=7573, p=.000). There was a difference among these three groups in the achievement motive (χ2(2)=23,544, p=.000) and the three components of this motive (Competing with others, χ2(2)=31,718, p=.000, Perseverance, χ2(2)=9,415, p=.009 and Planning orientation, χ2(2)=8,171, p=.017). The research also indicates a significant difference in the relation between social interaction anxiety and the achievement motive of examinee subgroups, where the most significant difference is between athletes and non- athletes (q=-.45). Moreover, women more frequently use emotion-focused coping (U=16718, p=.003), while men more frequently use avoidance (U=14895.5, p=.000). Women have a lead when it comes to expressing social anxiety (U=17750.5, p=.036) and the achievement motive (U=17395.5, p=.020). The discussion of the results includes findings of similar previous research and theoretical concepts of the variables which were examined. Future research should be oriented towards examining the background of the differences which were (not) gained as well as towards the influence of personality dimensions on the variables which were examined in order to apply the results in practice in the best way.

Keywords: achievement motivation, athletes, coping with stress, non-athletes, recreationists, social interaction anxiety

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7 A Collaborative, Arts-Informed Action Research Investigation of Child-Led Assessment

Authors: Dragana Gnjatovic


Assessment is a burning topic in education policy and practice due to measurement-driven neoliberal agendas of quality and standardisation of assessment practice through high stakes standardised testing systems that are now influencing early childhood education. This paper presents a collaborative, arts-informed action research project which places children at the centre of their learning, with assessment as an integral part of play-based learning processes. It aims to challenge traditional approaches to assessment that are often teacher-led and decontextualised from the processes of learning through exploring approaches where children's voices are central, and their creative arts expressions are used to assess learning and development. The theoretical framework draws on Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and Freire's critical pedagogy, which indicate the importance of socially constructed reality where knowledge is the result of collaboration between children and adults. This reality perceives children as competent agents of their own learning processes. An interpretive-constructivist and critical-transformative paradigm underpin collaborative action research in a three to five-year-old setting, where creative methods like storytelling, play, drama, drawing are used to assess children's learning. As data collection and analysis are still in process, this paper will present the methodology and some data vignettes, with the aim of stimulating discussion about innovation in assessment and contribution of the collaborative enquiry in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Keywords: assessment for learning, creative methodologies, collaborative action research, early childhood education and care

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6 Plant Growth and Yield Enhancement of Soybean by Inoculation with Symbiotic and Nonsymbiotic Bacteria

Authors: Timea I. Hajnal-Jafari, Simonida S. Đurić, Dragana R. Stamenov


Microbial inoculants from the group of symbiotic-nitrogen-fixing rhizobia are well known and widely used in production of legumes. On the other hand, nonsymbiotic plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are not commonly used in practice. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of soybean inoculation with symbiotic and nonsymbiotic bacteria on plant growth and seed yield of soybean. Microbiological activity in rhizospheric soil was also determined. The experiment was set up using a randomized block system in filed conditions with the following treatments: control-no inoculation; treatment 1-Bradyrhizobium japonicum; treatment 2-Azotobacter sp.; treatment 3-Bacillus sp..In the flowering stage of growth (FS) the number of nodules per plant (NPP), root length (RL), plant height (PH) and weight (PW) were measured. The number of pod per plant (PPP), number of seeds per pod (SPP) and seed weight per plant (SWP) were recorded at the end of vegetation period (EV). Microbiological analyses of soil included the determination of total number of bacteria (TNB), number of fungi (FNG), actinomycetes (ACT) and azotobacters (AZB) as well as the activity of the dehydrogenase enzyme (DHA). The results showed that bacterial inoculation led to the formation of root nodules regardless of the treatments with statistically no significant difference. Strong nodulation was also present in control treatment. RL and PH were positively influenced by inoculation with Azotobacter sp. and Bacillus sp., respectively. Statistical analyses of the number of PPP, SPP, and SWP showed no significant differences among investigated treatments. High average number of microorganisms were determined in all treatments. Most abundant were TNB (log No 8,010) and ACT (log No 6,055) than FNG and AZB with log No 4,867 and log No 4,025, respectively. The highest DHA activity was measured in the FS of soybean in treatment 3. The application of nonsymbiotic bacteria in soybean production can alleviate initial plant growth and help the plant to better overcome different stress conditions caused by abiotic and biotic factors.

Keywords: bacteria, inoculation, soybean, microbial activity

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5 Quality Assurance for the Climate Data Store

Authors: Judith Klostermann, Miguel Segura, Wilma Jans, Dragana Bojovic, Isadora Christel Jimenez, Francisco Doblas-Reyees, Judit Snethlage


The Climate Data Store (CDS), developed by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Union, is intended to become a key instrument for exploring climate data. The CDS contains both raw and processed data to provide information to the users about the past, present and future climate of the earth. It allows for easy and free access to climate data and indicators, presenting an important asset for scientists and stakeholders on the path for achieving a more sustainable future. The C3S Evaluation and Quality Control (EQC) is assessing the quality of the CDS by undertaking a comprehensive user requirement assessment to measure the users’ satisfaction. Recommendations will be developed for the improvement and expansion of the CDS datasets and products. User requirements will be identified on the fitness of the datasets, the toolbox, and the overall CDS service. The EQC function of the CDS will help C3S to make the service more robust: integrated by validated data that follows high-quality standards while being user-friendly. This function will be closely developed with the users of the service. Through their feedback, suggestions, and contributions, the CDS can become more accessible and meet the requirements for a diverse range of users. Stakeholders and their active engagement are thus an important aspect of CDS development. This will be achieved with direct interactions with users such as meetings, interviews or workshops as well as different feedback mechanisms like surveys or helpdesk services at the CDS. The results provided by the users will be categorized as a function of CDS products so that their specific interests will be monitored and linked to the right product. Through this procedure, we will identify the requirements and criteria for data and products in order to build the correspondent recommendations for the improvement and expansion of the CDS datasets and products.

Keywords: climate data store, Copernicus, quality, user engagement

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4 Factors Associated with Cytomegalovirus Infection: A Prospective Single Centre Study

Authors: Marko Jankovic, Aleksandra Knezevic, Maja Cupic, Dragana Vujic, Zeljko Zecevic, Borko Gobeljic, Marija Simic, Tanja Jovanovic


The human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a notorious pathogen in the pediatric transplant setting. Although studies on factors in complicity with CMV infection abound, the role of age, gender, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) modality, and underlying disease as regards CMV infection and viral load in children are poorly explored. We examined the significance of various factors related to the risk of CMV infection and viral load in Serbian children and adolescents undergoing alloHSCT. This was a prospective single centre study of thirty two pediatric patients in receipt of alloHSCT for various malignant and non-malignant disorders. Screening for active viral infection was performed by regular weekly monitoring. The Real-Time PCR method was used for CMV DNA detection and quantitation. Statistical analysis was performed using the IBM SPSS Statistics v20 software. Chi-square test was used to evaluate categorical variables. Comparison between scalar and nominal data was done by Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test. Pearson correlation was applied for studying the association between patient age and viral load. CMV was detected in 23 (71.9%) patients. Infection occurred significantly more often (p=0.015) in patients with haploidentical donors. The opposite was noted for matched sibling grafts (p=0.006). The viral load was higher in females (p=0.041) and children in the aftermath of alloHSCT with malignant diseases (p=0.019). There was no significant relationship between the viral infection dynamics and overt medical consequences. This is the first study of risk factors for CMV infection in Serbian pediatric alloHSCT patients. Transplanted patients presented with a high incidence of CMV viremia. The HLA compatibility of donated graft is associated with the frequency of CMV positive events. Age, gender, underlying disease, and medically relevant events were not conducive to occurrences of viremia. Notably, substantial viral burdens were evidenced in females and patients with neoplastic diseases. Studies comprising larger populations are clearly needed to scrutinize current results.

Keywords: allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, children, cytomegalovirus, risk factors, viral load

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3 Evaluation of Herbal Extracts for Their Potential Application as Skin Prebiotics

Authors: Anja I. Petrov, Milica B. Veljković, Marija M. Ćorović, Ana D. Milivojević, Milica B. Simović, Katarina M. Banjanac, Dejan I. Bezbradica


One of the fundamental requirements for overall human well-being is a stable and balanced microbiome. Aside from the microorganisms that reside within the body, a large number of microorganisms, especially bacteria, swarming the human skin are in homeostasis with the host and represent a skin microbiota. Even though the immune system of the skin is capable of distinguishing between commensal and potentially harmful transient bacteria, the cutaneous microbial balance can be disrupted under certain circumstances. In that case, reduction in the skin microbiota diversity, as well as changes in metabolic activity, result in dermal infections and inflammation. Probiotics and prebiotics have the potential to play a significant role in the treatment of these skin disorders. The most common resident bacteria found on the skin, Staphylococcus epidermidis, can act as a potential skin probiotic, contributing to the protection of healthy skin from pathogen colonization, such as Staphylococcus aureus, which is related to atopic dermatitis exacerbation. However, as it is difficult to meet regulations in cosmetic products, another therapy approach could be topical prebiotic supplementation of the skin microbiota. In recent research, polyphenols are attracting scientists' interest as biomolecules with possible prebiotic effects on the skin microbiota. This research aimed to determine how herbal extracts rich in different polyphenolic compounds (lemon balm, St. John's wort, coltsfoot, pine needle, and yarrow)affected the growth of S. epidermidis and S. aureus. The first part of the study involved screening plants to determine if they could be regarded as probable candidates to be skin prebiotics. The effect of each plant on bacterial growth was examined by supplementing the nutrient medium with their extracts and comparing it with control samples (without extract). The results obtained after 24 h of incubation showed that all tested extracts influenced the growth of the examined bacteria to some extent. Since lemon balm and St. John's wort extracts displayed bactericidal activity against S. epidermidis, whereas coltsfoot inhibited both bacteria equally, they were not explored further. On the other hand, pine needle and yarrow extract led to an increase in S. epidermidis/S. aureus ratio, making them prospective candidates to be used as skin prebiotics. By examining the prebiotic effect of two extracts at different concentrations, it was revealed that, in the case of yarrow, 0.1% of extract dry matter in the fermentation medium was optimal, while for the pine needle extract, aconcentration of 0.05% was preferred, since it selectively stimulated S. epidermidis growth and inhibited S. aureus proliferation. Additionally, total polyphenols and flavonoids content of two extracts were determined, revealing different concentrations and polyphenol profiles. Since yarrow and pine extracts affected the growth of skin bacteria in a dose-dependent manner, by carefully selecting the quantities of these extracts, and thus polyphenols content, it is possible to achieve desirable alterations of skin microbiota composition, which may be suitable forthe treatment of atopic dermatitis.

Keywords: herbal extracts, polyphenols, skin microbiota, skin prebiotics

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2 Selective Immobilization of Fructosyltransferase onto Glutaraldehyde Modified Support and Its Application in the Production of Fructo-oligosaccharides

Authors: Milica B. Veljković, Milica B. Simović, Marija M. Ćorović, Ana D. Milivojević, Anja I. Petrov, Katarina M. Banjanac, Dejan I. Bezbradica


In recent decades, the scientific community has recognized the growing importance of prebiotics, and therefore, numerous studies are focused on their economical production due to their low presence in natural resources. It has been confirmed that prebiotics are a source of energy for probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and enable their proliferation, consequently leading to the normal functioning of the intestinal microbiota. Also, products of their fermentation are short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which play a key role in maintaining and improving the health not only of the GIT but also of the whole organism. Among several confirmed prebiotics, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are considered interesting candidates for use in a wide range of products in the food industry. They are characterized as low-calorie and non-cariogenic substances that represent an adequate sugar substitute and can be considered suitable for use in products intended for diabetics. The subject of this research will be the production of FOS by transforming sucrose using a fructosyltransferase (FTase) present in commercial preparation Pectinex® Ultra SP-L, with special emphasis on the development of adequate FTase immobilization method that would enable selective isolation of the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of FOS from the complex enzymatic mixture. This would lead to considerable enzyme purification and allow its direct incorporation into different sucrose-based products, without the fear that action of the other hydrolytic enzymes may adversely affect the products functional characteristics. Accordingly, the possibility of selective immobilization of the enzyme using support with primary amino groups, Purolite® A109, which was previously activated and modified using glutaraldehyde (GA), was investigated. In the initial phase of the research, the effects of individual immobilization parameters such as pH, enzyme concentration, and immobilization time were investigated to optimize the process using support chemically activated with 15% and 0.5% GA to form dimers and monomers, respectively. It was determined that highly active immobilized preparations (371.8 IU/g of support - dimer and 213.8 IU/g of support – monomer) were achieved under acidic conditions (pH 4) provided that an enzyme concentration was 50 mg/g of support after 7 h and 3 h, respectively. Bearing in mind the obtained results of the expressed activity, it is noticeable that the formation of dimers showed higher reactivity compared to the form of monomers. Also, in the case of support modification using 15% GA, the value of the ratio of FTase and pectinase (as dominant enzyme mixture component) activity immobilization yields was 16.45, indicating the high feasibility of selective immobilization of FTase on modified polystyrene resin. After obtaining immobilized preparations of satisfactory features, they were tested in a reaction of FOS synthesis under determined optimal conditions. The maximum FOS yields of approximately 50% of total carbohydrates in the reaction mixture were recorded after 21 h. Finally, it can be concluded that the examined immobilization method yielded highly active, stable, and more importantly refined enzyme preparation that can be further utilized on a larger scale for development of continual processes for FOS synthesis, as well as for modification of different sucrose-based mediums.

Keywords: chemical modification, fructo-oligosaccharides, glutaraldehyde, immobilization of fructosyltransferase

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1 The Potential of Rhizospheric Bacteria for Mycotoxigenic Fungi Suppression

Authors: Vanja Vlajkov, Ivana PajčIn, Mila Grahovac, Marta Loc, Dragana Budakov, Jovana Grahovac


The rhizosphere soil refers to the plant roots' dynamic environment characterized by their inhabitants' high biological activity. Rhizospheric bacteria are recognized as effective biocontrol agents and considered cardinal in alternative strategies for securing ecological plant diseases management. The need to suppress fungal pathogens is an urgent task, not only because of the direct economic losses caused by infection but also due to their ability to produce mycotoxins with harmful effects on human health. Aspergillus and Fusarium species are well-known producers of toxigenic metabolites with a high capacity to colonize crops and enter the food chain. The bacteria belonging to the Bacillus genus has been conceded as a plant beneficial species in agricultural practice and identified as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Besides incontestable potential, the full commercialization of microbial biopesticides is in the preliminary phase. Thus, there is a constant need for estimating the suitability of novel strains to be used as a central point of viable bioprocess leading to market-ready product development. In the present study, 76 potential producing strains were isolated from the rhizosphere soil, sampled from different localities in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia. The selective isolation process of strains started by resuspending 1 g of soil samples in 9 ml of saline and incubating at 28° C for 15 minutes at 150 rpm. After homogenization, thermal treatment at 100° C for 7 minutes was performed. Dilution series (10-1-10-3) were prepared, and 500 µl of each was inoculated on nutrient agar plates and incubated at 28° C for 48 h. The pure cultures of morphologically different strains indicating belonging to the Bacillus genus were obtained by the spread-plate technique. The cultivation of the isolated strains was carried out in an Erlenmeyer flask for 96 h, at 28 °C, 170 rpm. The antagonistic activity screening included two phytopathogenic fungi as test microorganisms: Aspergillus sp. and Fusarium sp. The mycelial growth inhibition was estimated based on the antimicrobial activity testing of cultivation broth by the diffusion method. For the Aspergillus sp., the highest antifungal activity was recorded for the isolates Kro-4a and Mah-1a. In contrast, for the Fusarium sp., following 15 isolates exhibited the highest antagonistic effect Par-1, Par-2, Par-3, Par-4, Kup-4, Paš-1b, Pap-3, Kro-2, Kro-3a, Kro-3b, Kra-1a, Kra-1b, Šar-1, Šar-2b and Šar-4. One-way ANOVA was performed to determine the antagonists' effect statistical significance on inhibition zone diameter. Duncan's multiple range test was conducted to define homogenous groups of antagonists with the same level of statistical significance regarding their effect on antimicrobial activity of the tested cultivation broth against tested pathogens. The study results have pointed out the significant in vitro potential of the isolated strains to be used as biocontrol agents for the suppression of the tested mycotoxigenic fungi. Further research should include the identification and detailed characterization of the most promising isolates and mode of action of the selected strains as biocontrol agents. The following research should also involve bioprocess optimization steps to fully reach the selected strains' potential as microbial biopesticides and design cost-effective biotechnological production.

Keywords: Bacillus, biocontrol, bioprocess, mycotoxigenic fungi

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