• Comparison of phenolic and flavonoid content and antioxidant activity in vitro among potato varieties.

      Valcarel, Jesus; Reilly, Kim; Gaffney, Michael; Brunton, Nigel; O'Brien, Nora M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Teagasc, 2011)
      Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been associated with a lower incidence of cancer and heart disease, which may be related to the antioxidant activity of bioactive compounds present in these foods. Phenolic compounds are potent antioxidants in vitro, of which flavonoids are of particular interest for their potential positive impact on health. Potatoes are one of the most consumed vegetables in the world and therefore an important source of phenolics. In Ireland they are the third most important crop with a farm gate value of approximately 45 million euros annually. The aim of this work was to evaluate the antioxidant activity of methanolic solutions extracted from the skin and flesh of potato tubers against the stable radical DPPH and analyze its relationship to the content of total phenolics and total flavonoids.
    • Effect of Genotype and Environment on the Glycoalkaloid Content of Rare, Heritage, and Commercial Potato Varieties

      Valcarel, Jesus; Reilly, Kim; Gaffney, Michael; O'Brien, Nora M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Wiley, 02/04/2014)
      Potatoes accumulate toxic steroidal compounds that could be harmful for humans if consumed in high quantities and must be controlled. In this study, we were interested in assessing the levels and variation of glycoalkaloid content in 60 varieties of potato planted in 2 trial sites over 2 y. Total glycoalkaloid levels ranged from 4 to 957 mg/kg of dry weight in the flesh and from 150 to 8133 mg/kg in the skin, with the latter accumulating generally more α-chaconine than α-solanine. Contents in the flesh were below the safe limit for all varieties, but were generally above in the skin. Maximum values in each site and year of cultivation were found for varieties “Beauty of Hebron,” “May Queen,” and “Arran Pilot” in the skin and “Beauty of Hebron,” “International Kidney,” and “Congo” in the flesh. Year of cultivation had a significant effect on total glycoalkaloid content (P < 0.0001), with interactions between variety and site of cultivation and variety and year of cultivation also significant (P < 0.0001), implying that environmental effects seem to act differentially and could induce high levels in genetically predisposed varieties.
    • The effect of Pulsed Electric Field as a pre-treatment step in Ultrasound Assisted Extraction of phenolic compounds from fresh rosemary and thyme by-products, Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies

      Tzima, Katerina; Brunton, Nigel P.; Lyng, James G.; Frontuto, Daniele; Rai, Dilip K.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 2016038 (Elsevier, 2021-02-22)
      Emerging extraction techniques, including pulsed electric field (PEF) and ultrasound (US), are attracting considerable interest in the recovery of bioactives. Though, limited work has focused on PEF application as pre-treatment for US assisted extraction to enhance the release of phenolics from herbs. Hence, the present study investigated the use of an optimized PEF pre-treatment to enhance the recovery of phenolics from fresh rosemary and thyme by-products in a subsequent US assisted extraction step. Total phenolic content (TPC), 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) were assessed as an index of extraction efficacy. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed through liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses to evaluate the influence of the methods on individual phenolic compounds and the formation of potential derivatives. The results indicated that in a number of cases PEF pre-treatment enhanced (p < 0.05) the recovery of phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity compared to US individually.
    • Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Emissions during Disturbance and Removal of Stored Spent Mushroom Compost

      Velusami, Balasubramanian; Curran, Thomas P; Grogan, Helen; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; UCD School of Biosystems Engineering; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2013-12)
      Spent mushroom compost (SMC) is a by-product of the mushroom industry that is used as an agricultural fertilizer. In Europe, SMC storage and use are governed by EU Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC to protect waterways against pollution by nitrates. A health and safety risk was identified during the removal of stored SMC for land application, as the stored SMC released high levels of toxic H2S gas into the atmosphere when disturbed. In this study, emissions of H2S were monitored at two outdoor and two indoor locations where stored SMC was being removed for land application. A repeating peaktrough pattern of H2S emissions was detected at all sites, with peaks corresponding to periods of active disturbance of SMC. The highest H2S concentrations (10 s average) detected at the SMC face were, respectively, 680 and 2083 ppm at outdoor sites 1 and 2, and 687 and 89 ppm at indoor sites 3 and 4. Higher concentrations of H2S were released from older SMC compared to newer material. Indoor-stored SMC had lower moisture content (53% to 65%) compared to outdoor-stored material (66% to 72%), while the temperature of indoor-stored SMC was higher (33°C to 51°C) compared to outdoorstored material (24°C to 36°C). The current short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 10 ppm was exceeded at all sites except site 4, which was smaller than the other sites, indicating a significant health and safety risk associated with working in the vicinity of stored SMC when it is being actively disturbed. Results suggest that SMC stored under cover in small heaps (600 m3) emits less H2S during disturbance and removal compared to SMC stored outdoors in large heaps (>1500 m3). This should be taken into consideration in the design, construction, and management of SMC storage facilities. Health and safety protocols should be in place at SMC storage facilities to cover the risks of exposure to toxic H2S gas during disturbance of stored SMC.
    • Multiple viral infections in Agaricus bisporus - Characterisation of 18 unique RNA viruses and 8 ORFans identified by deep sequencing

      Deakin, Gregory; Dobbs, Edward; Bennett, Julie M.; Jones, Ian M.; Grogan, Helen; Burton, Kerry S.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; European Commission; 201043; 286836 (Nature Publishing Group, 26/05/2017)
      Thirty unique non-host RNAs were sequenced in the cultivated fungus, Agaricus bisporus, comprising 18 viruses each encoding an RdRp domain with an additional 8 ORFans (non-host RNAs with no similarity to known sequences). Two viruses were multipartite with component RNAs showing correlative abundances and common 3′ motifs. The viruses, all positive sense single-stranded, were classified into diverse orders/families. Multiple infections of Agaricus may represent a diverse, dynamic and interactive viral ecosystem with sequence variability ranging over 2 orders of magnitude and evidence of recombination, horizontal gene transfer and variable fragment numbers. Large numbers of viral RNAs were detected in multiple Agaricus samples; up to 24 in samples symptomatic for disease and 8–17 in asymptomatic samples, suggesting adaptive strategies for co-existence. The viral composition of growing cultures was dynamic, with evidence of gains and losses depending on the environment and included new hypothetical viruses when compared with the current transcriptome and EST databases. As the non-cellular transmission of mycoviruses is rare, the founding infections may be ancient, preserved in wild Agaricus populations, which act as reservoirs for subsequent cell-to-cell infection when host populations are expanded massively through fungiculture.
    • Proteomic investigation of interhyphal interactions between strains of Agaricus bisporus

      O’Connor, Eoin; Owens, Rebecca A.; Doyle, Sean; Amini, Aniça; Grogan, Helen; Fitzpatrick, David; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Science Foundation Ireland; 10564231; SFI 12/RI/2346(3) (Elsevier BV, 2020-06)
      Hyphae of filamentous fungi undergo polar extension, bifurcation and hyphal fusion to form reticulating networks of mycelia. Hyphal fusion or anastomosis, a ubiquitous process among filamentous fungi, is a vital strategy for how fungi expand over their substrate and interact with or recognise self- and non-self hyphae of neighbouring mycelia in their environment. Morphological and genetic characterisation of anastomosis has been studied in many model fungal species, but little is known of the direct proteomic response of two interacting fungal isolates. Agaricus bisporus, the most widely cultivated edible mushroom crop worldwide, was used as an in vitro model to profile the proteomes of interacting cultures. The globally cultivated strain (A15) was paired with two distinct strains; a commercial hybrid strain and a wild isolate strain. Each co-culture presented a different interaction ranging from complete vegetative compatibility (self), lack of interactions, and antagonistic interactions. These incompatible strains are the focus of research into disease-resistance in commercial crops as the spread of intracellular pathogens, namely mycoviruses, is limited by the lack of interhyphal anastomosis. Unique proteomic responses were detected between all co-cultures. An array of cell wall modifying enzymes, plus fungal growth and morphogenesis proteins were found in significantly (P < 0.05) altered abundances. Nitrogen metabolism dominated in the intracellular proteome, with evidence of nitrogen starvation between competing, non-compatible cultures. Changes in key enzymes of A. bisporus morphogenesis were observed, particularly via increased abundance of glucanosyltransferase in competing interactions and certain chitinases in vegetative compatible interactions only. Carbohydrate-active enzyme arsenals are expanded in antagonistic interactions in A. bisporus. Pathways involved in carbohydrate metabolism and genetic information processing were higher in interacting cultures, most notably during self-recognition. New insights into the differential response of interacting strains of A. bisporus will enhance our understanding of potential barriers to viral transmission through vegetative incompatibility. Our results suggest that a differential proteomic response occurs between A. bisporus at strain-level and findings from this work may guide future proteomic investigation of fungal anastomosis.