Pretreatment of the high free fatty acid rubber seed oil (RSO) via esterification reaction has been investigated by using a pilot scale hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) reactor. Four newly designed orifice plate geometries are studied. Cavities are induced by assisted double diaphragm pump in the range of 1-3.5 bar inlet pressure. An optimised plate with 21 holes of 1mm diameter and inlet pressure of 3 bar resulted in RSO acid value reduction from 72.36 to 2.64 mg KOH/g within 30 min of reaction time. Reaction parameters have been optimised by using response surface methodology and found as methanol to oil ratio of 6:1, catalyst concentration of 8 wt%, reaction time of 30 min and reaction temperature of 55°C. The reaction time and esterified efficiency of HC was three fold shorter and four fold higher than mechanical stirring. This makes the HC process more environmental friendly.
Chemical interesterification of rubber seed oil has been investigated for four different designed orifice devices in a pilot scale hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) system. Upstream pressure within 1-3.5bar induced cavities to intensify the process. An optimal orifice plate geometry was considered as plate with 1mm dia hole having 21 holes at 3bar inlet pressure. The optimisation results of interesterification were revealed by response surface methodology; methyl acetate to oil molar ratio of 14:1, catalyst amount of 0.75wt.% and reaction time of 20min at 50°C. HC is compared to mechanical stirring (MS) at optimised values. The reaction rate constant and the frequency factor of HC were 3.4-fold shorter and 3.2-fold higher than MS. The interesterified product was characterised by following EN 14214 and ASTM D 6751 international standards.
Natural rubber (polyisoprene) from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis is synthesized by specialized cells called laticifers. It is not clear how rubber particles arise, although one hypothesis is that they derive from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. Here we cloned the genes encoding four key proteins found in association with rubber particles and studied their intracellular localization by transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. We show that, while the cis-prenyltransferase (CPT), responsible for the synthesis of long polyisoprene chains, is a soluble, cytosolic protein, other rubber particle proteins such as rubber elongation factor (REF), small rubber particle protein (SRPP) and Hevea rubber transferase 1-REF bridging protein (HRBP) are associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We also show that SRPP can recruit CPT to the ER and that interaction of CPT with HRBP leads to both proteins relocating to the plasma membrane. We discuss these results in the context of the biogenesis of rubber particles.
One of the concerns of assembling de novo transcriptomes is determining the amount of read sequences required to ensure a comprehensive coverage of genes expressed in a particular sample. In this report, we describe the use of Illumina paired-end RNA-Seq (PE RNA-Seq) reads from Hevea brasiliensis (rubber tree) bark to devise a transcript mapping approach for the estimation of the read amount needed for deep transcriptome coverage.
The cytosolic mevalonate (MVA) pathway in Hevea brasiliensis latex is the conventionally accepted pathway which provides isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) for cis-polyisoprene (rubber) biosynthesis. However, the plastidic 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway may be an alternative source of IPP since its more recent discovery in plants. Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) expression profiles of genes from both pathways in latex showed that subcellular compartmentalization of IPP for cis-polyisoprene synthesis is related to the degree of plastidic carotenoid synthesis. From this, the occurrence of two schemes of IPP partitioning and utilization within one species is proposed whereby the supply of IPP for cis-polyisoprene from the MEP pathway is related to carotenoid production in latex. Subsequently, a set of latex unique gene transcripts was sequenced and assembled and they were then mapped to IPP-requiring pathways. Up to eight such pathways, including cis-polyisoprene biosynthesis, were identified. Our findings on pre- and post-IPP metabolic routes form an important aspect of a pathway knowledge-driven approach to enhancing cis-polyisoprene biosynthesis in transgenic rubber trees.
Hevea brasiliensis is the most widely cultivated species for commercial production of natural rubber (cis-polyisoprene). In this study, 10,040 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated from the latex of the rubber tree, which represents the cytoplasmic content of a single cell type, in order to analyse the latex transcription profile with emphasis on rubber biosynthesis-related genes. A total of 3,441 unique transcripts (UTs) were obtained after quality editing and assembly of EST sequences. Functional classification of UTs according to the Gene Ontology convention showed that 73.8% were related to genes of unknown function. Among highly expressed ESTs, a significant proportion encoded proteins related to rubber biosynthesis and stress or defence responses. Sequences encoding rubber particle membrane proteins (RPMPs) belonging to three protein families accounted for 12% of the ESTs. Characterization of these ESTs revealed nine RPMP variants (7.9-27 kDa) including the 14 kDa REF (rubber elongation factor) and 22 kDa SRPP (small rubber particle protein). The expression of multiple RPMP isoforms in latex was shown using antibodies against REF and SRPP. Both EST and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (QRT-PCR) analyses demonstrated REF and SRPP to be the most abundant transcripts in latex. Besides rubber biosynthesis, comparative sequence analysis showed that the RPMPs are highly similar to sequences in the plant kingdom having stress-related functions. Implications of the RPMP function in cis-polyisoprene biosynthesis in the context of transcript abundance and differential gene expression are discussed.
Hevea brasiliensis extracts could potentially be employed as a relatively low cost resource for various anti-fungal activities due to the simplicity of the extract preparation and its abundance especially in the tropical region. Latex B-serum was reported to have anti-cancer property and its specificity in anti-fungal property has not been elucidated. The present study was conducted to determine the anti-fungal activity of Hevea latex B-serum against Candida (C.) albicans (a rounded cell fungus) and Aspergillus (A.) niger (a filamentous fungus).
Corynespora cassiicola is an important plant pathogenic Ascomycete causing the damaging Corynespora Leaf Fall (CLF) disease in rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). A small secreted glycoprotein named cassiicolin was previously described as an important effector of C. cassiicola. In this study, the diversity of the cassiicolin-encoding gene was analysed in C. cassiicola isolates sampled from various hosts and geographical origins. A cassiicolin gene was detected in 47 % of the isolates, encoding up to six distinct protein isoforms. In three isolates, two gene variants encoding cassiicolin isoforms Cas2 and Cas6 were found in the same isolate. A phylogenetic tree based on four combined loci and elucidating the diversity of the whole collection was strongly structured by the toxin class, as defined by the cassiicolin isoform. The isolates carrying the Cas1 gene (toxin class Cas1), all grouped in the same highly supported clade, were found the most aggressive on two rubber tree cultivars. Some isolates in which no Cas gene was detected could nevertheless generate moderate symptoms, suggesting the existence of other yet uncharacterized effectors. This study provides a useful base for future studies of C. cassiicola population biology and epidemiological surveys in various host plants.
The natural rubber latex extracted from the bark of Hevea brasiliensis plays various important roles in today's modern society. Following ultracentrifugation, the latex can be separated into 3 layers: C-serum, lutoids, and rubber particles. Previous studies have shown that a large number of proteins are present in these 3 layers. However, a complete proteome for this important plant is still unavailable. Protein sequences have been recently translated from the completed draft genome database of H. brasiliensis, leading to the creation of annotated protein databases of the following H. brasiliensis biosynthetic pathways: photosynthesis, latex allergens, rubberwood formation, latex biosynthesis, and disease resistance. This research was conducted to identify the proteins contained within the latex by way of de novo sequencing from mass spectral data obtained from the 3 layers of the latex. Peptides from these proteins were fragmented using collision-induced dissociation, higher-energy collisional dissociation, and electron-transfer dissociation activation methods. A large percentage of proteins from the biosynthetic pathways (63% to 100%) were successfully identified. In addition, a total of 1839 unique proteins were identified from the whole translated draft genome database (AnnHBM).
The natural rubber latex extracted from the bark of Hevea brasiliensis plays various important roles in modern society. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of the latex proteins are important for the stability and functionality of the proteins. In this study, latex proteins were acquired from the C-serum, lutoids, and rubber particle layers of latex without using prior enrichment steps; they were fragmented using collision-induced dissociation (CID), higher-energy collisional dissociation (HCD), and electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) activation methods. PEAKS 7 were used to search for unspecified PTMs, followed by analysis through PTM prediction tools to crosscheck both results. There were 73 peptides in 47 proteins from H. brasiliensis protein sequences derived from UniProtKB were identified and predicted to be post-translationally modified. The peptides with PTMs identified include phosphorylation, lysine acetylation, N-terminal acetylation, hydroxylation, and ubiquitination. Most of the PTMs discovered have yet to be reported in UniProt, which would provide great assistance in the research of the functional properties of H. brasiliensis latex proteins, as well as being useful biomarkers. The data are available via the MassIVE repository with identifier MSV000082419.
The flame retardancy of medium density fiberboard (MDF) made from mixture of rubberwood fibers and recycled old corrugated containers was studied. Aluminum trihydroxide (ATH) was used as a fire retardant additive and mixed with the fibers to manufacture experimental MDF panels using wet process. Phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin in liquid, 2% based on oven dry weight of fibers, was used along with 0%, 10%, 15% and 20% of ATH. The flame retardant test was done using the limiting oxygen index (LOI) test. The other properties investigated include internal bond strength, thickness swelling and water absorption. The results showed that ATH loading increased as the LOI of MDF increased. This demonstrated that ATH could improved the fire retardant property of MDF at sufficient loading. An increase in concentration of ATH showed an increase in the IB values of MDF made without resin. MDF panels made without resin showed a progressive increase in internal bond as the composition of recycled old corrugated containers fiber increased. Addition of resin improved internal bond strength and reduced thickness swelling, and water absorption. Thickness swelling of panel increased as the composition of recycled old corrugated containers fiber increased. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) showed that there is indication of ATH and resin filling the void space in between fibers.
Ammonium-enriched skim latex serum - used for absorption of contaminating ammonia gas - when composted with other rubber tree wastes, is promising as a good compost. The objective of this research was to utilize ammonium-enriched skim latex serum (S) as a raw composting ingredient after being combined with para sawdust (W1) and para rubber leaves (W2). Several ratios of S, W1 and W2 were experimented in a 15L composting vessel to determine the most effective compost. The best ratio was found to be 3:1:3 by weight at 12-day retention. The modified 30 L composting reactor employed with the derived optimum mixing conditions yielded N, P and K of 2.40, 1.51 and 14.84 %w/w. The growth of Brassica alboglabra after application of this compost combined with a chemical fertilizer generated the highest fresh weight (4.48 g/plant). Thus, compost from these wastes could be used as a fertilizer and logically should contribute to cost saving of waste disposal.
Dielectric properties of natural rubber Hevea brasiliensis latex were measured at frequencies 0.2 to 20 GHz, at temperatures of 2, 15, 25, 35, and 50oC and around 30-98% moisture content. Measurements were done using open-ended coaxial line sensor and automated network analyzer. As expected, results showed that dielectric constant increased with increasing moisture. From 0.2 to 2.6 GHz, the losses were governed by conductive losses but for frequencies greater than 2.6 GHz, these were mainly due to dipolar losses. The former is due to conducting phases in hevea latex, while the latter is mainly governed by the orientation of water molecules. The results were analyzed at 2.6, 10, and 18 GHz, respectively. These were then compared with the values predicted by the dielectric mixture equations recommended by Weiner, Bruggeman and Kraszewski. All the measured values were found to be within the Weiner’s boundaries and close to the upper limit of Weiner’s model. It is also close to the predicted values of Bruggeman’s model with a/b = 0.1. All the models including Kraszewski are suitable for predicting the dielectric properties of hevea latex for frequencies 2.6 to 18 GHz, moisture content 30 to 98% and temperatures 2 to 50oC.
Rubber leaf powder (an agricultural waste) was treated with potassium permanganate followed by sodium carbonate and its performance in the removal of Pb(II) ions from aqueous solution was evaluated. The interactions between Pb(II) ions and functional groups on the adsorbent surface were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDX). The effects of several important parameters which can affect adsorption capacity such as pH, adsorbent dosage, initial lead concentration and contact time were studied. The optimum pH range for lead adsorption was 4-5. Even at very low adsorbent dosage of 0.02 g, almost 100% of Pb(II) ions (23 mg/L) could be removed. The adsorption capacity was also dependent on lead concentration and contact time, and relatively a short period of time (60-90 min) was required to reach equilibrium. The equilibrium data were analyzed with Langmuir, Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherms. Based on Langmuir model, the maximum adsorption capacity of lead was 95.3 mg/g. Three kinetic models including pseudo first-order, pseudo second-order and Boyd were used to analyze the lead adsorption process, and the results showed that the pseudo second-order fitted well with correlation coefficients greater than 0.99.
The stabilization mechanism of natural rubber (NR) latex from Hevea brasiliensis was studied to investigate the components involved in base-catalyzed ester hydrolysis, namely, hydrolyzable lipids, ammonia, and the products responsible for the desired phenomenon observed in ammonia-preserved NR latex. Latex stability is generally thought to come from a rubber particle (RP) dispersion in the serum, which is encouraged by negatively charged species distributed on the RP surface. The mechanical stability time (MST) and zeta potential were measured to monitor field latices preserved in high (FNR-HA) and low ammonia (FNR-LA) contents as well as that with the ester-containing components removed (saponified NR) at different storage times. Amounts of carboxylates of free fatty acids (FFAs), which were released by the transformation and also hypothesized to be responsible for the like-charge repulsion of RPs, were measured as the higher fatty acid (HFA) number and corroborated by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) both qualitatively and quantitatively. The lipids and their FFA products interact differently with Nile red, which is a lipid-selective and polarity-sensitive fluorophore, and consequently re-emit characteristically. The results were confirmed by conventional ester content determination utilizing different solvent extraction systems to reveal that the lipids hydrolyzed to provide negatively charged fatty acid species were mainly the polar lipids (glycolipids and phospholipids) at the RP membrane but not those directly linked to the rubber molecule and, to a certain extent, those suspended in the serum. From new findings disclosed herein together with those already reported, a new model for the Hevea rubber particle in the latex form is proposed.
Latex from Hevea brasiliensis (natural rubber tree primarily cultivated for its rubber particles) has no known primary metabolic function, although its biological role is as a plant defence system. The present study has evaluated specific anti-proliferative effects of latex whole C-serum and its subfractions, on human cancer cell lines.
Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg, a member of the family Euphorbiaceae, is the sole natural resource exploited for commercial production of high-quality natural rubber. The properties of natural rubber latex are almost irreplaceable by synthetic counterparts for many industrial applications. A paucity of knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of rubber biosynthesis in high yield traits still persists. Here we report the comprehensive genome-wide analysis of the widely planted H. brasiliensis clone, RRIM 600. The genome was assembled based on ~155-fold combined coverage with Illumina and PacBio sequence data and has a total length of 1.55 Gb with 72.5% comprising repetitive DNA sequences. A total of 84,440 high-confidence protein-coding genes were predicted. Comparative genomic analysis revealed strong synteny between H. brasiliensis and other Euphorbiaceae genomes. Our data suggest that H. brasiliensis's capacity to produce high levels of latex can be attributed to the expansion of rubber biosynthesis-related genes in its genome and the high expression of these genes in latex. Using cap analysis gene expression data, we illustrate the tissue-specific transcription profiles of rubber biosynthesis-related genes, revealing alternative means of transcriptional regulation. Our study adds to the understanding of H. brasiliensis biology and provides valuable genomic resources for future agronomic-related improvement of the rubber tree.
The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) extracts are becoming increasingly visible in pharmaceutical and therapeutical research. The present study is aimed at examining the specific anti-proliferation property of H. brasiliensis latex B-serum sub-fractions against human breast cancer epithelial cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB231. The results showed that the latex whole B-serum and DBP sub-fraction exerted a specific anti-proliferation activity against cancer-origin cells MDA-MB231 but had little effect on non-cancer-origin cells. On the other hand, the anti-proliferative activity was diminished in the pre-heated B-serum fractions. With the low toxicity that the B-serum demonstrated previously in Brine Shrimp Lethality Test (BSLT), the present results suggest the potential use of the B-serum sub-fractions in cancer treatment.