FTIR analysis of molecular composition changes in hazel pollen from unpolluted and urbanized areas

J. Depciuch, I. Kasprzyk, O. Sadik, M. Parlińska-Wojtan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Abstract: In this study, the effect of urbanization and environmental pollution on qualitative (structural) and quantitative changes of the Corylus avellana (hazel) pollen was investigated using scanning electron microscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and curve-fitting analysis of amide I profile. The obtained spectroscopic results show significant variations in the fraction of proteins in the hazel pollen, which probably depend on various degrees of anthropopression. Our results suggest that alterations in the chemical composition of pollen, induced by urbanization and air pollutants, may intensify the allergenic potential and may cause the increase in the incidence of allergies in people. Mutations in nucleic acids are accompanied by a number of molecular changes leading to the formation of allergenic proteins. It seems that the type of habitat, where the pollen grew, affects the individual differentiation. Indeed, it was found that in the site exhibiting low pollution, the hazel pollen contain a lower amount of proteins than to the ones from a site with high anthropopression. Hence, FTIR spectroscopy and curve-fitting analysis of amide I profile can be successfully applied as tools for identifying quantitative and qualitative changes of proteins in hazel pollen. Graphical Abstract: Anthropogenic factors such as air pollution and urbanization lead to changes in structure and chemical composition of hazel pollen. Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Gaussian analysis showed structural changes in hazel pollen collected from sites with different absorbance values of individual chemical functional groups and changes in the secondary structure of proteins of the pollen.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Plant Science


  • Air pollution
  • Allergy
  • FTIR
  • Hazel
  • Pollen
  • SEM


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