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    Author(s): Adam Rajsz; Bronisław Wojtuń; Andrzej Bytnerowicz
    Date: 2017
    Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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    In environmental research (i.e., plant ecophysiology, environmental microbiology, and environmental chemistry), some assays require incubation of samples at controlled temperature and darkness. Until now, due to a lack of equipment providing such possibility in situ, researchers had to move collected samples to the laboratory for incubation. Obviously, a delayed incubation and the ex situ conditions could seriously affect the assays’ results. A good example of analysis where water bath use is needed is the nitrate reductase activity (NRA) in vivo assay where plant tissue samples are incubated in buffer solution at a predetermined temperature. We designed a transportable water bath with a temperature control which enables in situ measurements in many types of environmental studies. The presented device is small in size featuring a thermally insulated chamber and an electronically controlled thermostat system powered by a 12-V battery. Due to its modular design, it can be transported comfortably in difficult terrain. The incubation process can be carried out continuously in stable temperature and darkness. In order to examine the field usability of the presented device, we conducted measurements of plant nitrate reductase activity in difficult field conditions. The in situ assays were carried out at high altitudes in the Karkonosze mountains, SW Poland. The NRA was studied in two alpine species (Deschampsia caespitosa and Homogyne alpina). Our results showed low NR activity in H. alpina (mean 0.31 μM NO2 g−1 DW h−1) and higher NRA in D. caespitosa (mean 2.7 μM NO2 g−1 DWh−1). The obtained results were highly reproducible and had small variability (low standard error values).

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    Rajsz, Adam; Wojtuń, Bronisław; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej. 2017. In situ assay of nitrate reductase activity using portable water bath. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 189(7): 332.


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    Field analyses, Transportable water bath, Incubation, In vivo method, Nitrate reductase activity (NRA), In situ conditions.

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