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1.
Algebraic hyperstructures in the model theory of valued fields
Alessandro Linzi, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Ključne besede: hyperfield, valued field, algebra, model theory, quantifier elimination
Objavljeno: 27.10.2022; Ogledov: 202; Prenosov: 8
.pdf Polno besedilo (3,41 MB)
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Structure optimisation of biopigment prodigiosin from Serratia marcescens ATCC 27117 and antimicrobial and anticancer properties of novel halogenated derivatives
Jelena Lazić, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Prodigiosins (PGs) are a class of bacterial secondary metabolites with remarkable biological activities and colour. In this study, optimised fermentative production of prodigiosin (PG) using waste processed meat as a substrate has been achieved to levels of 83.1 ± 3.0 mg/L from a commercially available Serratia marcescens ATCC 27117 strain within 12 h. Methods were established for the reliable PG extraction from both the bacterial cell pellet and the culture supernatant, while gravitation column chromatography was used to obtain pure bacterial PG. The structure of the isolated PG was optimised by environmentally acceptable oxidative bromination reactions, obtaining mono- and dibrominated derivatives (PG-Br and PG-Br2). Chemical structures were confirmed by structural characterisation using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS), showing that PG-Br is a mixture of two monobrominated isomers in approximately equal ratios, while PG-Br2 was afforded as a pure derivative. PG and its brominated derivatives (Br-derivatives) showed anticancer potential with half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging from 0.62 to 17.00 μg/mL on four tested cancer cell lines (A549 lung, A375 skin, MDA-MB-231 breast, HCT116 colon) and an induction of early apoptosis, but low selectivity against healthy cell lines (MRC-5 lung fibroblasts and HaCaT skin keratinocytes). All three PG, PG-Br and PG-Br2 compounds did not affect roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans) at concentrations up to 50 μg/mL. However, an improved toxicity profile of Br-derivatives in comparison to the parent PG was observed in vivo using zebrafish (Danio rerio) model system, when 10 μg/mL applied at 6 h post fertilisation caused death rate of 100, 30 and 0% by PG, PG-Br and PG-Br2, respectively, which is a significant finding for further structural optimisations of bacterial PGs.
Ključne besede: prodigiosin, Serratia marcescens, meat waste, halogenation, novel derivatives, anticancer activity, apoptosis, zebrafish embryotoxicity
Objavljeno: 21.10.2022; Ogledov: 218; Prenosov: 8
.pdf Polno besedilo (3,39 MB)

4.
NONDESTRUCTIVE THERMAL, OPTICAL, CHEMICAL AND STRUCTURAL CHARACTERIZATION OF ADVANCED MATERIALS BY OPTOTHERMAL TECHNIQUES
Hanna Budasheva, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Advanced materials are promising ones in application in fields where it is necessary to decrease energy consumption and ensure better performance at a lower cost. They are materials, which have enhanced properties compared to conventional materials in the field of their applications.1 The huge group of them contributes significantly to every aspect of our lives. Among them, chosen for the present study, are resins for passive sampling of iron species in natural water and sediments, anticorrosive coatings, and multilayered polysaccharide aerogels for medical applications. The composition and structure of each material determine its chemical, mechanical and physical properties, consequently their performance.2 The ability to use advanced materials in areas where their impact will be significant is largely dependent on the ability to precisely determine their characteristics to identify their properties that are either unique or has a better value. Therefore, the development of new methods or improvement of already known ones will make a great contribution to the development of the fields of application of the selected materials. The present study is focused on the examination of the chosen materials by determining their optical, chemical, thermal and structural properties for applying them further in the desired applications. To provide the needed characterization, optothermal techniques such as optothermal beam deflection spectrometry (BDS) and thermal lens spectrometry (TLS) are developed and applied. This dissertation is composed of the following chapters: introduction, theoretical background, optothermal techniques, research goal, part I (gels for passive sampling of iron species in natural water and sediments), part II (anticorrosive coatings), part II (polysaccharide aerogels), references. The core of this dissertation is presented in chapters 5 to 7. Each of the chapters separately covers the information about a selected group of advanced materials, including the sections describing sample preparation, developing the required characterization method, results, and conclusion. The connection link of these chapters is the study of the diffusion process of iron into different types of binding gels in passive samplers; external composites through the anticorrosive layers; drugs into the surrounding during the drug delivery process. In Part I, the BDS method for the study was chosen, it was optimized, and a detailed protocol was developed for the determination of iron in passive sampler gels. The iron residues in the initial solutions were checked by a suitably tuned TLS method. The developed technique was applied to get the iron species distribution in the gel samples deposited in the sediments in the Vrtojbica River. The method was applied to the gels applied on ice from Antarctica in order to obtain the iron species distribution on its surface as well. The obtained results were validated using the TLS, UV-Vis and ICP-MS methods. The chapter contains the analysis of the Fe diffusion depth into the resin sampler, which is presented for the first time. The information is obtained by using the mathematical model and applying it to the obtained practical results by frequency scanning of the gels. The crucial information about the thermal properties of their layers containing Fe-ions from the fitting procedure was extracted. On the basis of these results, information about the diffusion depth of Fe inside the gels was obtained, which has not been previously described in the literature. In Part II, the porosity in the anticorrosion coatings on the basis of their thermal parameters was determined. For the first time, the opened porosity was extracted from the total one. The analysis of Si/Zr-based hybrid sol-gel coatings has shown that the addition of cerium salts into the sol-gel matrix produces changes in its physical, chemical and corrosion properties. And it was found that the sample with the biggest amount of incorporated zirconium and loaded with cerium has the lowest values of porosity and, hence, the best barrier properties of the coating. The obtained thermal parameters of the Si/Zr-based hybrid sol-gel coatings by BDS were validated by the use of the photothermal radiometry method. On the other hand, the analysis of siloxane methacrylate coating has shown that the sol-gel hybrid methodology offers an important route for modification of thermal properties by a combination of inorganic to organic contents where the former than as an integral part of the coating network affects the thermal properties without the need for introducing fillers or nanoparticles. In Part III, the multilayered structure of the samples, containing hyaluronic acid, amoxicillin and fucoidan layers deposited on stainless support has been analyzed by the use of the BDS technique. The thermal parameters of each layer were determined, as well as their thickness. The results revealed the diffusion between neighboring layers and followed changes in the properties of the whole sample, which is reflected in its thermal properties. Such data for multilayered materials, which potentially can be used for drug delivery systems, are presented for the first time. Presented results indicated the ability of the BDS system for the chemical characterisation of the solid materials, the detection of their thermal parameters; investigation of total, opened and closed porosity; determining the thickness of layers in multilayered structures. The TLS method served as the validating one for the purpose of getting comprehensive information in liquid samples about their chemical composition. In summary, this dissertation explores alternative ways to apply optothermal methods to various areas of advanced materials to characterize them in order to improve their initial properties.
Ključne besede: optothermal beam deflection spectrometry, thermal lens spectrometry, diffusive gradients in thin films, iron species, anticorrosive layers, porosity, polysaccharide aerogels, multilayered structures
Objavljeno: 29.08.2022; Ogledov: 305; Prenosov: 20
.pdf Polno besedilo (5,46 MB)

5.
Synthesis and application of transition metal phosphide nanomaterials as electrocatalysts for water splitting and chemical transformations
Takwa Chouki, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Opis: In this thesis, we will focus on the solvothermal synthesis of iron phosphides (FeP, Fe2P) using triphenylphosphine (TPP) as an inexpensive and stable phosphorus source. The obtained iron phosphides were applied as electrocatalysts in hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), oxygen evolution reaction (OER), Rhodamine B (RhB) degradation, Escherichia coli (E. coli) inactivation, nitrates reduction reaction (NO3RR) to ammonia (NH3), and as counter electrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Detailed characterizations of catalysts were carried out to investigate the correlations between the material structure and catalytic activity. The first part of the thesis gives an introduction to the topic which cover overview of literature about the use of transition metal phosphide as efficient electrocatalysts in water splitting studies, NO3RR to NH3 and DSSCs. The second part is a description of the experimental methods. The third part discusses the solvothermal synthesis of FeP and Fe2P catalysts using TPP precursor. The phase conversion of iron phosphides at elevated temperatures under reductive atmosphere was reported. Structural characterizations of the obtained materials were achieved using multiple techniques. The electrocatalytic activities of heat-treated iron phosphide films for HER were studied in acidic environment. The fourth part discusses the use of Fe2P nanoparticles (NPs) for OER. The fifth part outlines the use of Fe2P precatalyst in water treatment studies. Using a thin film of Fe2P precatalyst, RhB degradation and E. coli inactivation in the presence of in-situ generated reactive chlorine species were reported. Characterization of Fe2P electrocatalysts before and after the test was carried out using different techniques. The sixth part shows for the first time the use of FeP and Fe2P as a noble metal-free electrocatalysts for NO3RR to NH3. In this chapter we will emphasize the nitrate reaction pathways, which are highly complex and poorly understood. The seventh part demonstrates the use of FeP and Fe2P catalysts as robust and efficient counter electrodes in DSSCs.
Ključne besede: solvothermal synthesis, iron phosphides, electrocatalysis, HER, OER, RhB degradation, E. coli inactivation, NO3RR to NH3, DSSCs, dissertations
Objavljeno: 29.08.2022; Ogledov: 313; Prenosov: 22
.pdf Polno besedilo (6,35 MB)
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6.
Exploration of yeast biodiversity potential for development of alternative biofungicides in viticulture
Rowland Adesida, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Botrytis cinerea Pers., the fungal plant pathogen and the causal agent of gray mould diseases in grapevine, is vastly responsible for substantial economic losses in table and wine grapes production worldwide by negatively affecting plant growth and causing the reduction of grape and wine quality. The conventional approach for pathogen control has been up to date based on synthetic fungicides with good effectiveness against pathogens but a negative impact on the environment. The growing level of harmful residues in the environment and some also detected in wines have led the European Union and many winemakers to limit the application of synthetic fungicides to earlier season. However, with a high risk of disease also late in the season, the need for other solutions is clear. Consequently, more and more research is focused on finding potential alternatives in the form of effective biological control agents. Although there are several reports of yeast’s biocontrol activity, they are up to date still poorly commercialized for such purposes. As the yeasts represent an important part of the grape microflora, competing with other microorganisms (including pathogens) for nutrients and space, we decided to examine the potential of autochthonous yeasts as "green" alternatives in fighting against phytopathogens such as B. cinerea in viticulture. With this aim, we tested the biocontrol activity of 119 different indigenous yeasts belonging to 30 different species of 17 genera against filamentous fungus B. cinerea, the causal agent of grey mould or botrytis bunch rot in grape. The yeasts were screened for putative multidimensional modes of action such as antifungal volatiles (VOC), in vitro inhibition of fungal mycelial growth, competition for nutrients, hydrolytic enzyme activities, and yeast tolerance to fungicides like copper, iprodione and cyprodinil/fludioxonil combination. With a qualitative detection of the hydrolysis activity by using screening methods based on solid medium with chitin or βD-glucosides as substrates, we found that many tested yeasts were capable of producing lytic enzymes with the ability to degrade the cell wall of phytopathogenic fungi and are potentially also able to produce VOCs via hydrolysis of grape glycosides as a result of β-glucosidase presence. Furthermore, we observed the capability of tested yeast to inhibit fungal mycelia growth on plate and assimilation of a wide variety of carbon sources; however, no siderophore producers were detected. In general, the yeasts under observation were tolerant to the tested fungicides. Their fungicide resistance can indeed be regarded as a beneficial trait for potential biofungicide agent (PBA) candidates due to open possibilities of applications and combinations within low input pest management strategies in the vineyard. Finally, a field experiment in Pinot noir and Pinot gris vineyards was designed to study different combinations of optimized canopy microclimate manipulation (CMM) techniques and potential biocontrol agent (PBA) application. In experimental conditions, the ability of PBA’s to maintain appropriate population density for disease prevention was observed. In addition, the grape and wine quality parameters were analysed to observe the possible impact of implemented biocontrol yeast on final products. The biocontrol yeast Pichia guilliermondii ZIM 624 was selected and applied in experimental vineyards based on yeast testing results. We were able to detect and confirm PBA yeast’s suitable density on grapes until harvest. In the case of early defoliation for both varieties lower grape compactness was observed together with lower yield/ plant, regardless of PBA yeast/ no yeast application. Among grape basic quality parameters, the optimized techniques showed a positive effect on sugar content. Still, unexpectedly, in the treatments with biocontrol yeasts some trends toward higher acidity were noticed in Pinot gris.
Ključne besede: sustainable viticulture, Botrytis cinerea, gray mould, yeasts, biocontrol, canopy microclimate manipulation, grapevine metabolite, dissertations
Objavljeno: 07.07.2022; Ogledov: 386; Prenosov: 54
.pdf Polno besedilo (4,17 MB)
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7.
CO2 dynamics and dissolutional processes in the karst vadose zone
Lovel Kukuljan, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Opis: The dynamics and distribution of carbon dioxide (CO2) in karst systems are crucial for understanding fundamental karst processes, namely precipitation and dissolution, which drive karst development both at the surface and underground. The study of CO2 transport provides valuable insights into the role of karst systems in the global carbon cycle and the impact on present climate, but also into the growth of speleothems, which are one of the most reliable terrestrial archives for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Due to the complexity of karst systems, long-term monitoring and high-resolution analyses of cave air and water geochemistry are essential to better understand the controlling factors that affect these processes and their outcomes. In the framework of this dissertation, cave climate and water hydrochemistry monitoring was established in a side-passages of the renowned Postojna Cave in Slovenia during 2017–2021. In the Pisani Passage, high CO2 concentrations, large temporal variations and a heterogeneous distribution of CO2, as well as extreme dissolution features, have already been detected in previous studies. The aim of the present study was to investigate these observations in depth and to find the reasons for their occurrence. This led to creating of a conceptual model for CO2 transport in karst systems that would be valid not only in this case but in karst areas worldwide. The first focus of the study is dedicated to understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in the Pisani Passage, which is mainly transported by advection (i.e., cave ventilation). Continuous measurements of airflow velocity, air temperature and pCO2 showed (1) that airflow through the karst massif is driven by both the action of the chimney effect and external winds, and (2) that the relationship between the direction of airflow, the configuration of airflow pathways and the connection to the outside explains the observed variations in pCO2. Due to the particular configuration of the airflow pathways, the terminal chamber of Pisani Passage accumulates high levels of CO2 (>10,000 ppm) and forms high vertical gradients of up to 1000 ppm/m. The pCO2 is low and uniform during updraft when outside air flows into the cave chamber through open, unobstructed passages (i.e., high-flow, low-pCO2 pathways). When the airflow reverses direction to downdraft, the chamber is fed by low-flow, high-pCO2 pathways that enter the cave passage through a CO2-rich fracture network embedded in a vadose zone. The spatial distribution of inlets and outlets results in minimal mixing between the low and high pCO2 pathways, leading to high and persistent pCO2 gradients. In addition to the chimney effect driving the seasonal ventilation of the cave, the specific signs of a secondary wind-driven effect were also found; which is the second focus of this study. Wind flow over irregular topography leads to near-surface air pressure variations, and thus, pressure differences between cave entrances at different locations. Pressure differences depend on wind speed and direction and their relationship to surface topography and the location of cave entrances. Winds can act in the same or opposite direction as the chimney effect, either enhancing, diminishing or even reversing the direction of density-driven airflows. In the case of Postojna Cave, north and northeast winds enhance the downdraft and limit updraft, while the opposite is true for south winds, which enhance the updraft and limit downdraft. To investigate the importance of wind-driven flow, a computational fluid dynamics model was used to calculate the wind pressure field over Postojna Cave and the pressure differences between selected points for different configurations of wind speed and direction. These values were compared with those obtained from airflow measurements in the cave and from simple theoretical considerations. Despite the simplicity of the approach and the complexity of the ca
Ključne besede: cave climate, cave ventilation, carbon dioxide, dripwater geochemistry, speleothem corrosion, Postojna Cave, Slovenia
Objavljeno: 22.06.2022; Ogledov: 494; Prenosov: 24
.pdf Polno besedilo (8,45 MB)

8.
Reducibility in algebraic hyperstructures
Milica Kankaras, 2022, doktorska disertacija

Objavljeno: 05.05.2022; Ogledov: 468; Prenosov: 0

9.
Unravelling the molecular basis of hydroxyapatite weathering driven by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus
Christina Paparokidou, 2018, doktorska disertacija

Opis: Ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) form symbiotic partnerships with tree roots and are able to chemically weather inorganic phosphorus (Pi)-rich minerals, supplying Pi to their host in return for photosynthates. The fungal-driven nutrient cycling from mineral weathering plays a pivotal role in ecosystems and crops productivity, as well as geochemical cycles. The aim of the study presented in this thesis is to unravel the molecular mechanisms by which the EM fungus Paxillus involutus weathers the Pi-rich mineral hydroxyapatite (HAP), either non-symbiotically or in symbiosis with its host tree Pinus sylvestris. Development of an artificial system to study P. involutus responses to varying concentration of Pi led to the identification of five high-affinity Pi transporter genes, of which the expression varies in an inversely proportional manner to Pi availability. Using the same system, whole-transcriptomic data from fungal hyphae unravelled the molecular basis of the EMF ability in Pi uptake at the global gene scale, revealing that EM symbiosis can directly affect Pi-responsive fungal genes such as the Pi transporter PiPT4. A second artificial system was used to study HAP solubilisation driven by P. involutus, which was confirmed by EDX spectroscopy data showing depletion of Pi from the HAP crystals, along with secondary minerals formation. Whole-transcriptomic analysis revealed that EM symbiosis induces a different set of HAP weathering genes in P. involutus hyphae, compared to the fungus growing non-symbiotically, including the specific expression of organic acid metabolic genes, which resulted in enhanced HAP solubilisation. Metabolomic analysis led to the identification of multiple secreted metabolites enriched in the presence of HAP in P. involutus systems grown non-symbiotically or in symbiosis with P. sylvestris seedlings. The analysis also led to the identification of putative novel fungal weathering agents. Results from transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses were ultimately combined in a model of HAP weathering by P. involutus.
Ključne besede: Paxillus involutus, Pinus sylvestris, ectomycorrhizal symbiosis, hydroxyapatite, SEM-EDX, fungal mineral weathering, fungal weathering metabolites, RNA-seq, UPLC-Q-TOF-MS
Objavljeno: 03.05.2022; Ogledov: 453; Prenosov: 0
.pdf Polno besedilo (33,58 MB)

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