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1.  Characterisation of weak magnetic field effects in an aqueous glutamic acid solution by nonlinear dielectric spectroscopy and voltammetry 
Previous reports indicate altered metabolism and enzyme kinetics for various organisms, as well as changes of neuronal functions and behaviour of higher animals, when they were exposed to specific combinations of weak static and alternating low frequency electromagnetic fields. Field strengths and frequencies, as well as properties of involved ions were related by a linear equation, known as the formula of ion cyclotron resonance (ICR, abbreviation mentioned first by Liboff). Under certain conditions already a aqueous solution of the amino acid and neurotransmitter glutamate shows this effect.
An aqueous solution of glutamate was exposed to a combination of a static magnetic field of 40 μT and a sinusoidal electromagnetic magnetic field (EMF) with variable frequency (2–7 Hz) and an amplitude of 50 nT. The electric conductivity and dielectric properties of the solution were investigated by voltammetric techniques in combination with non linear dielectric spectroscopy (NLDS), which allow the examination of the dielectric properties of macromolecules and molecular aggregates in water. The experiments target to elucidate the biological relevance of the observed EMF effect on molecular level.
An ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) effect of glutamate previously reported by the Fesenko laboratory 1998 could be confirmed. Frequency resolution of the sample currents was possible by NLDS techniques. The spectrum peaks when the conditions for ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) of glutamate are matched. Furthermore, the NLDS spectra are different under ICR- and non-ICR conditions: NLDS measurements with rising control voltages from 100–1100 mV show different courses of the intensities of the low order harmonics, which could possibly indicate "intensity windows". Furthermore, the observed magnetic field effects are pH dependent with a narrow optimum around pH 2.85.
Data will be discussed in the context with recent published models for the interaction of weak EMF with biological matter including ICR. A medical and health relevant aspect of such sensitive effects might be given insofar, because electromagnetic conditions for it occur at many occasions in our electromagnetic all day environment, concerning ion involvement of different biochemical pathways.
PMCID: PMC538269  PMID: 15571630
2.  Transient effect of weak electromagnetic fields on calcium ion concentration in Arabidopsis thaliana 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:47.
Weak magnetic and electromagnetic fields can influence physiological processes in animals, plants and microorganisms, but the underlying way of perception is poorly understood. The ion cyclotron resonance is one of the discussed mechanisms, predicting biological effects for definite frequencies and intensities of electromagnetic fields possibly by affecting the physiological availability of small ions. Above all an influence on Calcium, which is crucial for many life processes, is in the focus of interest. We show that in Arabidopsis thaliana, changes in Ca2+-concentrations can be induced by combinations of magnetic and electromagnetic fields that match Ca2+-ion cyclotron resonance conditions.
An aequorin expressing Arabidopsis thaliana mutant (Col0-1 Aeq Cy+) was subjected to a magnetic field around 65 microtesla (0.65 Gauss) and an electromagnetic field with the corresponding Ca2+ cyclotron frequency of 50 Hz. The resulting changes in free Ca2+ were monitored by aequorin bioluminescence, using a high sensitive photomultiplier unit. The experiments were referenced by the additional use of wild type plants. Transient increases of cytosolic Ca2+ were observed both after switching the electromagnetic field on and off, with the latter effect decreasing with increasing duration of the electromagnetic impact. Compared with this the uninfluenced long-term loss of bioluminescence activity without any exogenic impact was negligible. The magnetic field effect rapidly decreased if ion cyclotron resonance conditions were mismatched by varying the magnetic fieldstrength, also a dependence on the amplitude of the electromagnetic component was seen.
Considering the various functions of Ca2+ as a second messenger in plants, this mechanism may be relevant for perception of these combined fields. The applicability of recently hypothesized mechanisms for the ion cyclotron resonance effect in biological systems is discussed considering it's operating at magnetic field strengths weak enough, to occur occasionally in our all day environment.
PMCID: PMC2681476  PMID: 19405943
3.  Influence of constant, alternating and cyclotron low-intensity electromagnetic fields on fibroblast proliferative activity in vitro 
Available data allow assuming the presence of stimulation of reparative processes under influence of low-intensity electromagnetic field, commensurable with a magnetic field of the Earth. Research of effects of low-intensity electromagnetic fields on fibroblast proliferative activity in human lungs in cell culture was performed.
The influence of a constant electromagnetic field, an alternating electromagnetic field by frequency of 50 Hz and cyclotron electromagnetic field with identical intensity for all kinds of fields – 80 mcTl – on value of cellular mass and a correlation of live and dead cells in culture is investigated in three series of experiments. We used the universal electromagnetic radiator generating all three kinds of fields and supplied by a magnetometer which allows measuring the intensity of accurate within 0.1 mcTl including taking into account the Earth’s magnetic field intensity.
The peak value for stimulation cellular proliferation in the present experiences was two-hour influence by any of the specified kinds of electromagnetic fields. The irradiation by cyclotron electromagnetic field conducts positive dynamics in growth of live cells (up to 206±22%) and decreases the number of dead cells (down to 31±6%). Application of cyclotron magnetic fields promoted creation of optimum conditions for proliferation. As a result of researches we observed the reliable 30% increase of nitro-tetrazolium index (in nitro-tetrazolium blue test) after irradiation by cyclotron electromagnetic field in experience that testifies to strengthening of the cell breathing of living cells.
In our opinion, it is necessary to pay attention not only to a pure gain of cells, but also to reduction of number dead cells that can be criterion of creation of optimum conditions for their specific development and valuable functioning.
PMCID: PMC2831248  PMID: 20204088
electromagnetic field; human lung fibroblasts; cell culture; stimulation of growth; decrease of number of dead cells
4.  Reduction of Axial Kinetic Energy Induced Perturbations on Observed Cyclotron Frequency 
With Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry one determines the mass-to-charge ratio of an ion by measuring its cyclotron frequency. However, the need to confine ions to the trapping region of the ICR cell with electric fields induces deviations from the unperturbed cyclotron frequency. Additional perturbations to the observed cyclotron frequency are often attributed to changes in space charge conditions. This study presents a detailed investigation of the observed ion cyclotron frequency as a function of ion z-axis kinetic energy. In a perfect three-dimensional quadrupolar field, cyclotron frequency is independent of position within the trap. However, in most ICR cell designs, this ideality is approximated only near the trap center and deviations arise from this ideal quadrupolar field as the ion moves both radially and axially from the center of the trap. To allow differentiation between deviations in observed cyclotron frequency caused from changes in space charge conditions or differences in oscillation amplitude, ions with identical molecular weights but different axial kinetic energy, and therefore, amplitude of z-axis motion, were simultaneously trapped within the ICR cell. This allows one to attribute deviations in observed cyclotron frequency to differences in the average force from the radial electric field experienced by ions of different axial amplitude. Experimentally derived magnetron frequency is compared with the magnetron frequency calculated using SIMION 7.0 for ions of different axial amplitude. Electron Promoted Ion Coherence, or EPIC, is used to reduce the differences in radial electric fields at different axial positions. Thus with the application of EPIC, the differences in observed cyclotron frequencies are minimized for ions of different axial oscillation amplitudes.
PMCID: PMC2387069  PMID: 18262433
5.  Investigating the Icr Effect in a Zhadin’s Cell 
Investigations into the ion cyclotronic resonance (ICR) in living matter confront the so called Zhadin effect (12), whose explanation is not fully achieved. Several attempts have been done to explain this phenomenon, the most interesting of which is based on Quantum Electrodynamics (18): the molecules of water, the ions and the biomolecules form extended mesoscopic regions, called Coherence Domains (CD), where they oscillate in unison between two selected levels of their spectra in tune with a self-produced coherent E.M. field having a well defined frequency, dynamically trapped within the CD. Moreover, it is possible, to induce, by an external applied field (either hydrodynamical or EM) or also by a chemical stimulation, coherent excitations of CD’s that give rise to electric currents circulating without friction within the CD’s: as a consequence magnetic fields are produced. A resonating magnetic field thus is able to extract the ions from the orbit and push them in the flowing current. Electrochemical investigation of the system suggested that the observed phenomenon involves the transitory activation of the anode due to ICR, followed by anode passivation due to the adsorption of amino acid and its oxidation products (18). This hypothesis induced us to investigate an alternate configuration of the experiment, removing the electrolytic cell and submitting a flask containing the solution into a condenser to be exposed to the proper ICR. Temperature and variable parameters involved in the effect have been investigated in order to overcome the randomness of the effect.
PMCID: PMC3614765  PMID: 23675133
iono-cyclotronic resonance (ICR); BLZ; Zhadin’s cell
6.  The electromagnetic bio-field: clinical experiments and interferences 
Journal of Medicine and Life  2012;5(2):139-144.
Introduction: One of the most important factors is the technical and scientifically rapid development that is continually modifying the world we live in and polluting it with electromagnetic radiations. A functional and structural influence of magnetic and electromagnetic field on living organisms is presented in the literature by many performed experiments.
Material and methods: The notion of bio-field represents the electromagnetic field generated by the bio-structures, not only in their normal physiological activities but also in their pathological states. There is a tight interdependency between the bio-field and the bio-structure, which respects the primary notion of an electromagnetic field given by the Maxwell-Faraday laws, in which, the electromagnetic phenomena are simplified to the field variations. These variations can be expressed in a coherent differential equation system that bounds the field vectors to different space points at different time moments.
Results: The living organisms cannot contain electrostatic and magneto-static fields due to the intense activity of the bio-structures. The biochemical reactions that have high rhythms and speeds always impose the electrodynamics character of the biologic field that also corresponds to the stability of the protein molecule that can be explained only through a dynamic way.
The existent energy is not considered an exciting agent, and it does not lead to any effects.
Conclusions: The parameters of these elementary bio-fields cannot yet be fully known due to technical reasons. The biological structures are very complex ones and undergo continuous dynamical activity. That is why the calculus model should be related to the constant dynamics, nowadays being very difficult to express.
PMCID: PMC3391880  PMID: 22802878
bio-structures; magnetic field; living organisms; animals
7.  Biological effects of exposure to magnetic resonance imaging: an overview 
The literature on biological effects of magnetic and electromagnetic fields commonly utilized in magnetic resonance imaging systems is surveyed here. After an introduction on the basic principles of magnetic resonance imaging and the electric and magnetic properties of biological tissues, the basic phenomena to understand the bio-effects are described in classical terms. Values of field strengths and frequencies commonly utilized in these diagnostic systems are reported in order to allow the integration of the specific literature on the bio-effects produced by magnetic resonance systems with the vast literature concerning the bio-effects produced by electromagnetic fields. This work gives an overview of the findings about the safety concerns of exposure to static magnetic fields, radio-frequency fields, and time varying magnetic field gradients, focusing primarily on the physics of the interactions between these electromagnetic fields and biological matter. The scientific literature is summarized, integrated, and critically analyzed with the help of authoritative reviews by recognized experts, international safety guidelines are also cited.
PMCID: PMC419710  PMID: 15104797
8.  Effect of magnetic fields on cryptochrome-dependent responses in Arabidopsis thaliana 
The scientific literature describing the effects of weak magnetic fields on living systems contains a plethora of contradictory reports, few successful independent replication studies and a dearth of plausible biophysical interaction mechanisms. Most such investigations have been unsystematic, devoid of testable theoretical predictions and, ultimately, unconvincing. A recent study, of magnetic responses in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, however, stands out; it has a clear hypothesis—that seedling growth is magnetically sensitive as a result of photoinduced radical-pair reactions in cryptochrome photoreceptors—tested by measuring several cryptochrome-dependent responses, all of which proved to be enhanced in a magnetic field of intensity 500 μT. The potential importance of this study in the debate on putative effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields on human health prompted us to subject it to the ‘gold standard’ of independent replication. With experimental conditions chosen to match those of the original study, we have measured hypocotyl lengths and anthocyanin accumulation for Arabidopsis seedlings grown in a 500 μT magnetic field, with simultaneous control experiments at 50 μT. Additionally, we have determined hypocotyl lengths of plants grown in 50 μT, 1 mT and approximately 100 mT magnetic fields (with zero-field controls), measured gene (CHS, HY5 and GST) expression levels, investigated blue-light intensity effects and explored the influence of sucrose in the growth medium. In no case were consistent, statistically significant magnetic field responses detected.
PMCID: PMC2817153  PMID: 19324677
Arabidopsis; cryptochrome; extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields; hypocotyl growth; magnetoreception; radical-pair mechanism
9.  Laser-Induced Acoustic Desorption Coupled with a Linear Quadrupole Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer 
Analytical chemistry  2010;82(2):608-614.
In recent years, laser-induced acoustic desorption (LIAD) coupled with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer has been demonstrated to provide a valuable technique for the analysis of a wide variety of nonvolatile, thermally labile compounds, including analytes that could not previously be analyzed by mass spectrometry. Although FT-ICR instruments are very powerful, they are also large and expensive, and hence mainly used as research instruments. In contrast, linear quadrupole ion trap (LQIT) mass spectrometers are common due to several qualities that make these instruments attractive for both academic and industrial settings, such as high sensitivity, large dynamic range, and experimental versatility. Further, the relatively small size of the instruments, comparatively low cost and the lack of a magnetic field provide some distinct advantages over FT-ICR instruments. Hence, we have coupled the LIAD technique with a commercial LQIT, the Finnigan LTQ mass spectrometer. The LQIT was modified for a LIAD probe by outfitting the removable back plate of the instrument with a 6” ConFlat flange (CFF) port, gate valve and sample lock. Reagent ions were created using the LQIT's atmospheric pressure ionization source and trapped in the mass analyzer for up to 10 s to allow chemical ionization reactions with the neutral molecules desorbed via LIAD. These initial experiments focused on demonstrating the feasibility of performing LIAD in the LQIT. Hence, the results are compared to those obtained using an FT-ICR mass spectrometer. Despite the lower efficiency in the transfer of desorbed neutral molecules into the ion trap, and the smaller maximum number of available laser pulses, the higher intrinsic sensitivity of the LQIT resulted in a net higher sensitivity relative to the FT-ICR.
PMCID: PMC2806935  PMID: 20000769
10.  Non Ionising Radiation as a Non Chemical Strategy in Regenerative Medicine: Ca2+-ICR “In Vitro” Effect on Neuronal Differentiation and Tumorigenicity Modulation in NT2 Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61535.
In regenerative medicine finding a new method for cell differentiation without pharmacological treatment or gene modification and minimal cell manipulation is a challenging goal. In this work we reported a neuronal induced differentiation and consequent reduction of tumorigenicity in NT2 human pluripotent embryonal carcinoma cells exposed to an extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF), matching the cyclotron frequency corresponding to the charge/mass ratio of calcium ion (Ca2+-ICR). These cells, capable of differentiating into post-mitotic neurons following treatment with Retinoic Acid (RA), were placed in a solenoid and exposed for 5 weeks to Ca2+-ICR. The solenoid was installed in a μ-metal shielded room to avoid the effect of the geomagnetic field and obtained totally controlled and reproducible conditions. Contrast microscopy analysis reveled, in the NT2 exposed cells, an important change in shape and morphology with the outgrowth of neuritic-like structures together with a lower proliferation rate and metabolic activity alike those found in the RA treated cells. A significant up-regulation of early and late neuronal differentiation markers and a significant down-regulation of the transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) and the fibroblast growth factor-4 (FGF-4) were also observed in the exposed cells. The decreased protein expression of the transforming gene Cripto-1 and the reduced capability of the exposed NT2 cells to form colonies in soft agar supported these last results. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the Ca2+-ICR frequency is able to induce differentiation and reduction of tumorigenicity in NT2 exposed cells suggesting a new potential therapeutic use in regenerative medicine.
PMCID: PMC3621667  PMID: 23585910
11.  A Tuning Method for Electrically Compensated Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer Traps 
We describe a method for tuning electrically compensated ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) traps by tracking the observed cyclotron frequency of an ion cloud at different oscillation mode amplitudes. Although we have used this method to tune the compensation voltages of a custom-built electrically compensated trap, the approach is applicable to other designs that incorporate electrical compensation. To evaluate the effectiveness of tuning, we examined the frequency shift as a function of cyclotron orbit size at different z-mode oscillation amplitudes. The cyclotron frequencies varied by ~ 12 ppm for ions with low z-mode oscillation amplitudes compared to those with high z-mode amplitudes. This frequency difference decreased to ~1 ppm by one iteration of trap tuning.
PMCID: PMC3001160  PMID: 20060743
12.  52Fe Translocation in Barley as Monitored by a Positron-Emitting Tracer Imaging System (PETIS): Evidence for the Direct Translocation of Fe from Roots to Young Leaves via Phloem 
Plant and Cell Physiology  2008;50(1):48-57.
The real-time translocation of iron (Fe) in barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Ehimehadaka no. 1) was visualized using the positron-emitting tracer 52Fe and a positron-emitting tracer imaging system (PETIS). PETIS allowed us to monitor Fe translocation in barley non-destructively under various conditions. In all cases, 52Fe first accumulated at the basal part of the shoot, suggesting that this region may play an important role in Fe distribution in graminaceous plants. Fe-deficient barley showed greater translocation of 52Fe from roots to shoots than did Fe-sufficient barley, demonstrating that Fe deficiency causes enhanced 52Fe uptake and translocation to shoots. In the dark, translocation of 52Fe to the youngest leaf was equivalent to or higher than that under the light condition, while the translocation of 52Fe to the older leaves was decreased, in both Fe-deficient and Fe-sufficient barley. This suggests the possibility that the mechanism and/or pathway of Fe translocation to the youngest leaf may be different from that to the older leaves. When phloem transport in the leaf was blocked by steam treatment, 52Fe translocation from the roots to older leaves was not affected, while 52Fe translocation to the youngest leaf was reduced, indicating that Fe is translocated to the youngest leaf via phloem in addition to xylem. We propose a novel model in which root-absorbed Fe is translocated from the basal part of the shoots and/or roots to the youngest leaf via phloem in graminaceous plants.
PMCID: PMC2638711  PMID: 19073647
Barley; Fe translocation; Phloem; Positron-emitting tracer; Real-time imaging; Xylem
13.  Evolution of root plasticity responses to variation in soil nutrient distribution and concentration 
Evolutionary Applications  2012;5(8):850-857.
Root plasticity, a trait that can respond to selective pressure, may help plants forage for nutrients in heterogeneous soils. Agricultural breeding programs have artificially selected for increased yield under comparatively homogeneous soil conditions, potentially decreasing the capacity for plasticity in crop plants like barley (Hordeum vulgare). However, the effects of domestication on the evolution of root plasticity are essentially unknown. Using a split container approach, we examined the differences in root plasticity among three domestication levels of barley germplasm (wild, landrace, and cultivar) grown under different concentrations and distribution patterns of soil nutrients. Domestication level, nutrient concentration, and nutrient distribution interactively affected average root diameter; differential root allocation (within-plant plasticity) was greatest in wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum), especially under low nutrient levels. Correlations of within-plant root plasticity and plant size were most pronounced in modern cultivars under low-nutrient conditions. Barley plants invested more resources to root systems when grown in low-nutrient soils and allocated more roots to higher-nutrient locations. Root plasticity in barley is scale dependent and varies with domestication level. Although wild barley harbors a greater capacity for within-plant root plasticity than domesticated barley, cultivars exhibited the greatest capacity to translate within-plant plasticity into increased plant size.
PMCID: PMC3552402  PMID: 23346229
artificial selection; barley; evolution of plasticity; Hordeum spontaneum; Hordeum vulgare; plant domestication
14.  An Electrically Compensated Trap Designed to 8th Order for FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry 
We present the design, guided by theory to eighth order, and the first evaluation of a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) compensated trap. The purpose of the new trap is to reduce effects of the non-linear components of the trapping electric field; those non-liner components introduce variations in the cyclotron frequency of an ion based on its spatial position (its cyclotron and trapping mode amplitudes). This frequency spread leads to decreased mass resolving power and signal-to-noise. The reduction of the spread of cyclotron frequencies, as explicitly modeled in theory, serves as the basis for our design. The compensated trap shows improved signal-to-noise and at least a three-fold increase in mass resolving power compared to the uncompensated trap at the same trapping voltage. Resolving powers (FWHH) as high as 1.7 × 107 for the [M + H]+ of vasopressin at m/z 1084.5 in a 7.0-Tesla induction can be obtained when using trap compensation.
PMCID: PMC2597068  PMID: 18599306
15.  Tissue Metabolic Responses to Salt Stress in Wild and Cultivated Barley 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55431.
A thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying barley salt tolerance and exploitation of elite genetic resource are essential for utilizing wild barley germplasm in developing barley varieties with salt tolerance. In order to reveal the physiological and molecular difference in salt tolerance between Tibetan wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum) and cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare), profiles of 82 key metabolites were studies in wild and cultivated barley in response to salinity. According to shoot dry biomass under salt stress, XZ16 is a fast growing and salt tolerant wild barley. The results of metabolite profiling analysis suggested osmotic adjustment was a basic mechanism, and polyols played important roles in developing salt tolerance only in roots, and high level of sugars and energy in roots and active photosynthesis in leaves were important for barley to develop salt tolerance. The metabolites involved in tolerance enhancement differed between roots and shoots, and also between genotypes. Tibetan wild barley, XZ16 had higher chlorophyll content and higher contents of compatible solutes than CM72, while the cultivated barley, CM72 probably enhanced its salt tolerance mainly through increasing glycolysis and energy consumption, when the plants were exposed to high salinity. The current research extends our understanding of the mechanisms involved in barley salt tolerance and provides possible utilization of Tibetan wild barley in developing barley cultivars with salt tolerance.
PMCID: PMC3561194  PMID: 23383190
16.  From Supercomputer Modeling to Highest Mass Resolution in FT-ICR 
Mass Spectrometry  2013;2(Spec Iss):S0010.
Understanding of behavior of ion ensembles inside FT-ICR cell based on the computer simulation of ion motion gives rise to the new ideas of cell designs. The recently introduced novel FT-ICR cell based on a Penning ion trap with specially shaped excitation and detection electrodes prevents distortion of ion cyclotron motion phases (normally caused by non-ideal electric trapping fields) by averaging the trapping DC electric field during the ion motion in the ICR cell. Detection times of 5 min resulting in resolving power close to 40,000,000 have been reached for reserpine at m/z 609 at a magnetic field of only 7 Tesla. Fine structures of resolved 13Cn isotopic cluster groups could be measured for molecular masses up to 5.7 kDa (insulin) with resolving power of 4,000,000 at 7 Tesla. Based on resolved fine structure patterns atomic compositions can be directly determined using a new developed algorithm for fine structure processing. Mass spectra of proteins and multimers of proteins reaching masses up to 186 kDa (enolase tetramer) could be measured with isotopic resolution. For instance, at 7 Tesla resolving power of 800,000 was achieved for enolase dimer (96 kDa) and 500,000 for molecular masses above 100 kDa. Experimental data indicate that there is practically no limit for the resolving power of this ICR cell except by collisional damping in the ultrahigh vacuum chamber.
PMCID: PMC3810098  PMID: 24349929
FT-ICR MS; simulation; dynamic harmonization; cyclotron motion; Penning trap; super high resolution
17.  Non-reciprocal interactions between K+ and Na+ ions in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2008;59(10):2793-2801.
The interaction of sodium and potassium ions in the context of the primary entry of Na+ into plant cells, and the subsequent development of sodium toxicity, has been the subject of much recent attention. In the present study, the technique of compartmental analysis with the radiotracers 42K+ and 24Na+ was applied in intact seedlings of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) to test the hypothesis that elevated levels of K+ in the growth medium will reduce both rapid, futile Na+ cycling at the plasma membrane, and Na+ build-up in the cytosol of root cells, under saline conditions (100 mM NaCl). We reject this hypothesis, showing that, over a wide (400-fold) range of K+ supply, K+ neither reduces the primary fluxes of Na+ at the root plasma membrane nor suppresses Na+ accumulation in the cytosol. By contrast, 100 mM NaCl suppressed the cytosolic K+ pool by 47–73%, and also substantially decreased low-affinity K+ transport across the plasma membrane. We confirm that the cytosolic [K+]:[Na+] ratio is a poor predictor of growth performance under saline conditions, while a good correlation is seen between growth and the tissue ratios of the two ions. The data provide insight into the mechanisms that mediate the toxic influx of sodium across the root plasma membrane under salinity stress, demonstrating that, in the glycophyte barley, K+ and Na+ are unlikely to share a common low-affinity pathway for entry into the plant cell.
PMCID: PMC2486474  PMID: 18562445
Barley; compartmental analysis; cytosol; influx; efflux; potassium; radiotracers; salinity; salt stress; sodium
18.  First Signal on the Cryogenic Fourier-Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer 
The construction and achievement of the first signal on a cryogenic Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR-MS) are reported here, demonstrating proof-of-concept of this new instrument design. Building the FTICR cell into the cold bore of a superconducting magnet provided advantages over conventional warm bore design. At 4.2 K, the vacuum system cryopumps itself, thus removing the requirement for a large bore to achieve the desired pumping speed for maintaining base pressure. Furthermore, because the bore diameter has been reduced, the amount of magnet wire needed to achieve high field and homogeneity was also reduced, greatly decreasing the cost/Tesla of the magnet. The current instrument implements an actively shielded 14-Tesla magnet of vertical design with an external matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) source. The first signal was obtained by detecting the laser desorbed/ionized (LDI) C60+• ions, with the magnet at 7 Tesla, unshimmed, and the preamplifier mounted outside of the vacuum chamber at room temperature. A subsequent experiment done with the magnet at 14 Tesla and properly shimmed produced a C60 spectrum showing ∼350,000 resolving power at m/z ∼720. Increased magnetic field strength improves many FTMS performance parameters simultaneously, particularly mass resolving power and accuracy.
PMCID: PMC2872035  PMID: 17931882
19.  Nitrogen use efficiencies of spring barley grown under varying nitrogen conditions in the field and growth chamber 
Annals of Botany  2010;105(7):1171-1182.
Background and Aims
Nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) of cereals needs to be improved by nitrogen (N) management, traditional plant breeding methods and/or biotechnology, while maintaining or, optimally, increasing crop yields. The aims of this study were to compare spring-barley genotypes grown on different nitrogen levels in field and growth-chamber conditions to determine the effects on N uptake (NUpE) and N utilization efficiency (NUtE) and ultimately, NUE.
Morphological characteristics, seed yield and metabolite levels of 12 spring barley (Hordeum vulgare) genotypes were compared when grown at high and low nitrogen levels in field conditions during the 2007 and 2008 Canadian growing seasons, and in potted and hydroponic growth-chamber conditions. Genotypic NUpE, NUtE and NUE were calculated and compared between field and growth-chamber environments.
Key Results
Growth chamber and field tests generally showed consistent NUE characteristics. In the field, Vivar, Excel and Ponoka, showed high NUE phenotypes across years and N levels. Vivar also had high NUE in growth-chamber trials, showing NUE across complex to simplistic growth environments. With the high NUE genotypes grown at low N in the field, NUtE predominates over NUpE. N metabolism-associated amino acid levels were different between roots (elevated glutamine) and shoots (elevated glutamate and alanine) of hydroponically grown genotypes. In field trials, metabolite levels were different between Kasota grown at high N (elevated glutamine) and Kasota at low N plus Vivar at either N condition.
Determining which trait(s) or gene(s) to target to improve barley NUE is important and can be facilitated using simplified growth approaches to help determine the NUE phenotype of various genotypes. The genotypes studied showed similar growth and NUE characteristics across field and growth-chamber tests demonstrating that simplified, low-variable growth environments can help pinpoint genetic targets for improving spring barley NUE.
PMCID: PMC2887063  PMID: 20308048
Nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE); N uptake efficiency (NUpE); N utilization efficiency (NUtE); Hordeum vulgare; spring barley; field trials; growth-chamber trials; metabolites
20.  Trapped-ion cell with improved DC potential harmonicity for FT-ICR MS 
The trapped-ion cell is a key component critical for optimal performance in Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry (MS). In order to extend the performance of FT-ICR MS, we have developed a new cell design that is capable of generating a DC trapping potential which closely approaches that of an ideal Penning trap, i.e. a 3D axial quadrupolar potential distribution. The new cell design was built upon an open cylindrical geometry, supplemented with two pairs of cylindrical compensation segments. Electric potential calculations for trial cell geometries were aimed at minimizing spatial variations of the radial electric field divided by radius. The resulting cell proportions and compensation voltages delivered practically constant effective ion cyclotron frequency that was independent of ion radial and axial positions. Our customized 12 Tesla FT-ICR instrument was upgraded with the new cell and the performance was characterized for a range of ion excitation power and ion populations. Operating the compensated cell at increased post-excitation radii, ∼0.7 of the cell inner radius, resulted in improved mass measurement accuracy together with increased signal intensity. Under these same operating conditions the non-compensated open cell configuration exhibited peak splitting and reduced signal life time. Mass accuracy tests using 11 calibrants covering a wide m/z range reproducibly produced under 0.05 ppm RMS precision of the internal calibration for reduced ion populations and the optimal excitation radius. Conditions of increased ion population resulted in a 2-fold improvement in mass accuracy compared to the non-compensated cell, due to the larger achievable excitation radii and correspondingly lower space charge related perturbations of the calibration law.
PMCID: PMC2373281  PMID: 18296061
21.  Additive effects of Na+ and Cl– ions on barley growth under salinity stress 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;62(6):2189-2203.
Soil salinity affects large areas of the world's cultivated land, causing significant reductions in crop yield. Despite the fact that most plants accumulate both sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl–) ions in high concentrations in their shoot tissues when grown in saline soils, most research on salt tolerance in annual plants has focused on the toxic effects of Na+ accumulation. It has previously been suggested that Cl– toxicity may also be an important cause of growth reduction in barley plants. Here, the extent to which specific ion toxicities of Na+ and Cl– reduce the growth of barley grown in saline soils is shown under varying salinity treatments using four barley genotypes differing in their salt tolerance in solution and soil-based systems. High Na+, Cl–, and NaCl separately reduced the growth of barley, however, the reductions in growth and photosynthesis were greatest under NaCl stress and were mainly additive of the effects of Na+ and Cl– stress. The results demonstrated that Na+ and Cl– exclusion among barley genotypes are independent mechanisms and different genotypes expressed different combinations of the two mechanisms. High concentrations of Na+ reduced K+ and Ca2+ uptake and reduced photosynthesis mainly by reducing stomatal conductance. By comparison, high Cl– concentration reduced photosynthetic capacity due to non-stomatal effects: there was chlorophyll degradation, and a reduction in the actual quantum yield of PSII electron transport which was associated with both photochemical quenching and the efficiency of excitation energy capture. The results also showed that there are fundamental differences in salinity responses between soil and solution culture, and that the importance of the different mechanisms of salt damage varies according to the system under which the plants were grown.
PMCID: PMC3060698  PMID: 21273334
Barley; chloride; salinity; sodium; specific ion toxicity; tolerance
22.  Supply of sulphur to S-deficient young barley seedlings restores their capability to cope with iron shortage 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;61(3):799-806.
The effect of the S nutritional status on a plant's capability to cope with Fe shortage was studied in solution cultivation experiments in barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Europa). Barley is a Strategy II plant and responds to Fe deficiency by secretion of chelating compounds, phytosiderophores (PS). All PS are derived from nicotianamine whose precursor is methionine. This suggests that a long-term supply of an inadequate amount of S could reduce a plant's capability to respond to Fe deficiency by limiting the rate of PS biosynthesis. The responses of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Europa) plants grown for 12 d on Fe-free nutrient solutions (NS) containing 0 or 1.2 mM SO42−, was examined after 24 h or 48 h from transfer to NS containing 1.2 mM SO42−. After the supply of S was restored to S-deprived plants, an increase in PS release in root exudates was evident after 24 h of growth in S-sufficient NS and the increment reached values up to 4-fold higher than the control 48 h after S resupply. When S was supplied to S-deficient plants, leaf ATPS (EC and OASTL (EC activities exhibited a progressive recovery. Furthermore, root HvST1 transcript abundance remained high for 48 h following S resupply and a significant increase in the level of root HvYS1 transcripts was also found after only 24 h of S resupply. Data support the idea that the extent to which the plant is able to cope with Fe starvation is strongly associated with its S nutritional status. In particular, our results are indicative that barley plants fully recover their capability to cope with Fe shortage after the supply of S is restored to S-deficient plants.
PMCID: PMC2814111  PMID: 20018904
ATPS; OASTL; iron; methionine; phytosiderophores; sulphur
23.  Photosynthetic responses of sun- and shade-grown barley leaves to high light: is the lower PSII connectivity in shade leaves associated with protection against excess of light? 
Photosynthesis Research  2014;119:339-354.
In this study, we have compared photosynthetic performance of barley leaves (Hordeum vulgare L.) grown under sun and shade light regimes during their entire growth period, under field conditions. Analyses were based on measurements of both slow and fast chlorophyll (Chl) a fluorescence kinetics, gas exchange, pigment composition; and of light incident on leaves during their growth. Both the shade and the sun barley leaves had similar Chl a/b and Chl/carotenoid ratios. The fluorescence induction analyses uncovered major functional differences between the sun and the shade leaves: lower connectivity among Photosystem II (PSII), decreased number of electron carriers, and limitations in electron transport between PSII and PSI in the shade leaves; but only low differences in the size of PSII antenna. We discuss the possible protective role of low connectivity between PSII units in shade leaves in keeping the excitation pressure at a lower, physiologically more acceptable level under high light conditions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11120-014-9969-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3923118  PMID: 24445618
Barley; Chlorophyll a fluorescence; Photoinhibition; Sun and shade leaves; Electron transport; PSII excitonic connectivity
24.  Surface Plasmon-Mediated Energy Transfer in Hetero-Gap Au-Ag Nanowires 
Nano letters  2008;8(10):3446-3449.
We report the observation of energy transfer from a gold (Au) nanodisk pair to a silver (Ag) nanowire across a 120 nm gap via surface plasmon resonance (SPR) excitation. The enhanced electromagnetic (EM) fields generated by Au SPR excitation induce oscillation of the conduction electrons in the Ag segment, transferring energy to it even though the Ag segment has only weak resonant interactions with the incident electromagnetic radiation. The induced Ag SPR produces strong EM fields at the position of the Ag segment, leading to a Raman signal ~15 times greater than when the Ag segment is alone (not adjacent to the Au nanodisk pair). The Raman intensity is found to depend nonlinearly on the incident laser intensity for laser power densities of 10 kW/cm2, which is consistent with the results of electromagnetic theory calculations which are not able to account for the factor of 15 enhancement based on a linear mechanism. This suggests that energy transfer from the Au disk pair to the Ag segment involves an enhanced nonlinear polarization mechanism such as can be produced by the electronic Kerr effect or stimulated Raman scattering.
PMCID: PMC3200542  PMID: 18767888
25.  Ultra-Wideband Sensors for Improved Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cardiovascular Monitoring and Tumour Diagnostics 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2010;10(12):10778-10802.
The specific advantages of ultra-wideband electromagnetic remote sensing (UWB radar) make it a particularly attractive technique for biomedical applications. We partially review our activities in utilizing this novel approach for the benefit of high and ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other applications, e.g., for intensive care medicine and biomedical research. We could show that our approach is beneficial for applications like motion tracking for high resolution brain imaging due to the non-contact acquisition of involuntary head motions with high spatial resolution, navigation for cardiac MRI due to our interpretation of the detected physiological mechanical contraction of the heart muscle and for MR safety, since we have investigated the influence of high static magnetic fields on myocardial mechanics. From our findings we could conclude, that UWB radar can serve as a navigator technique for high and ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging and can be beneficial preserving the high resolution capability of this imaging modality. Furthermore it can potentially be used to support standard ECG analysis by complementary information where sole ECG analysis fails. Further analytical investigations have proven the feasibility of this method for intracranial displacements detection and the rendition of a tumour’s contrast agent based perfusion dynamic. Beside these analytical approaches we have carried out FDTD simulations of a complex arrangement mimicking the illumination of a human torso model incorporating the geometry of the antennas applied.
PMCID: PMC3231085  PMID: 22163498
Ultra-wideband (UWB) radar; electrocardiography (ECG); myocardial surface; high and ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); fMRI, multimodal sensing; Finite-difference time-domain method (FDTD)

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