Application of isothermal calorimetry for the study of physiology and biochemistry of living organisms

Plants produce heat during their metabolic processes and measurements of this metabolic heat could can help understand the plant physiology. Calorimetric measurements have proved to be useful in monitoring various biological processes such as seed germination, seedlings growth or plant tissue vitality. In the conducted research, we used the isothermal calorimetry method to monitor the germination of corn seeds. Ampoules used in the experiments allowed for unlimited access of oxygen to the tested sample.
The isothermal calorimetry method can also be used to assess the microbiological contamination (bacteria and fungi) of maize seed intended for industrial purposes and stored in plastic silo bags. These impurities result in the loss of a part of the raw material or deterioration of its properties, and thus financial losses. At JLBEC, studies were carried out on the relationship between the number of microorganisms colonizing maize seeds as well as changes in heat flow (heat flow and the value of total metabolic heat emission - total heat).
The use of the isothermal calorimeter is not limited only to plant samples but also is useful for other living organisms, e.g. for Drosophila melanogaster. The aim of the undertaken experiments carried out in the Laboratory was to investigate the relationship between temperature, genetic background (the origin of the D. melanogaster) and the rate of metabolism over the course of life.

Publications on the topic:

  1. M. Mołoń, J. Dampc, M. Kula-Maximenko, J. Zebrowski, A. Mołoń, R. Dobler, R. Durak, A. ”Effects of temperature on lifespan of from different genetic backgrounds: links between metabolic rate and longevity”, 11(8) (2020) 470 DOI:

  2. A. Skoczowski, S.W. Przemieniecki, J. Oliwa, M. Kula-Maximenko, M. Rys, I. , S. Karpiński, “Estimation of microbiological contamination of maize seeds using isothermal calorimetry”, 10.1007/s10973-020-10011-7

  3. I. Stawoska, A.M. Staszak, I. Ciereszko, J. Oliwa, A. Skoczowski, ”Using isothermal calorimetry and FT-Raman spectroscopy for step-by-step monitoring of maize seed germination: case study”, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 142 (2020) 749-754 DOI: 10.1007/s10973-020-09525-x

  4. M. Molon, M. Szajwaj, M. Tchorzewski, A. Skoczowski, E. Niewiadomska, R. Zadrag-Tecza, ”The rate of metabolism as a factor determining longevity of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast”, Age, 38 (2016) 11-15 DOI: 10.1007/s11357-015-9868-8

  5. A. Skoczowski, M. Troć, “Isothermal calorimetry and Raman spectroscopy to study response of plants to abiotic and biotic stress” (2013) pp. 263-288. In: R.G. Ranjan and D.A. Bandhu, eds. Molecular Stress Physiology of Plants. Springer, ISBN 978-81-322-0806-8