Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis), a potential raw material for bioethanol production due to its high cellulose content, was used as a novel feedstock for enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol production using biological pretreatment. To improve ethanol production, rubberwood was pretreated with white rot fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora to increase fermentation efficiency. The effects of particle size of rubberwood (1 mm, 0.5 mm, and 0.25 mm) and pretreatment time on the biological pretreatment were first determined by chemical analysis and X-ray diffraction and their best condition obtained with 1 mm particle size and 90 days pretreatment. Further morphological study on rubberwood with 1 mm particle size pretreated by fungus was performed by FT-IR spectra analysis and SEM observation and the result indicated the ability of this fungus for pretreatment. A study on enzymatic hydrolysis resulted in an increased sugar yield of 27.67% as compared with untreated rubberwood (2.88%). The maximum ethanol concentration and yield were 17.9 g/L and 53% yield, respectively, after 120 hours. The results obtained demonstrate that rubberwood pretreated by C. subvermispora can be used as an alternative material for the enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol production.
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.
How tropical trees flower synchronously near the equator in the absence of significant day length variation or other meteorological cues has long been a puzzle. The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is used as a model to investigate this phenomenon. The annual cycle of solar radiation intensity is shown to correspond closely with the flowering of the rubber tree planted near the equator and in the subtropics. Unlike in temperate regions, where incoming solar radiation (insolation) is dependent on both day length and radiation intensity, insolation at the equator is due entirely to the latter. Insolation at the upper atmosphere peaks twice a year during the spring and autumn equinoxes, but the actual solar radiation that reaches the ground is attenuated to varying extents in different localities. The rubber tree shows one or two flowering seasons a year (with major and minor seasons in the latter) in accordance with the solar radiation intensity received. High solar radiation intensity, and in particular bright sunshine (as distinct from prolonged diffuse radiation), induces synchronous anthesis and blooming in Hevea around the time of the equinoxes. The same mechanism may be operational in other tropical tree species.
Hev b 4 is an allergenic natural rubber latex (NRL) protein complex that is reactive in skin prick tests and in vitro immunoassays. On SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), Hev b 4 is discerned predominantly at 53-55 kDa together with a 57 kDa minor component previously identified as a cyanogenic glucosidase. Of the 13 NRL allergens recognized by the International Union of Immunological Societies, the 53-55 kDa Hev b 4 major protein is the only candidate that lacks complete cDNA and protein sequence information.
We sought to clone the transcript encoding the Hev b 4 major protein, and characterize the native protein and its recombinant form in relation to IgE binding.
The 5'/3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends method was employed to obtain the complete cDNA of the Hev b 4 major protein. A recombinant form of the protein was over-expressed in Escherichia coli. The native Hev b 4 major protein was deglycosylated by trifluoromethane sulphonic acid. Western immunoblots of the native, deglycosylated and recombinant proteins were performed using both polyclonal antibodies and sera from latex-allergic patients.
The cDNA encoding the Hev b 4 major protein was cloned. Its open reading frame matched lecithinases in the conserved domain database and contained 10 predicted glycosylation sites. Detection of glycans on the Hev b 4 lecithinase homologue confirmed it to be a glycoprotein. The deglycosylated lecithinase homologue was discerned at 40 kDa on SDS-PAGE, this being comparable to the 38.53 kDa mass predicted by its cDNA. Deglycosylation of the lecithinase homologue resulted in the loss of IgE recognition, although reactivity to polyclonal rabbit anti-Hev b 4 was retained. IgE from latex-allergic patients also failed to recognize the non-glycosylated E. coli recombinant lecithinase homologue.
The IgE epitopes of the Hev b 4 lecithinase homologue reside mainly in its carbohydrate moiety, which also account for the discrepancy between the observed molecular weight of the protein and the value calculated from its cDNA.
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 remains the primary crop commercially exploited to obtain latex, which is produced from the articulated secondary laticifer. Here, we described the transcriptional events related to jasmonic acid (JA)- and linolenic acid (LA)-induced secondary laticifer differentiation (SLD) in H. brasiliensis clone RRIM 600 based on RNA-seq approach. Histochemical approach proved that JA- and LA-treated samples resulted in SLD in H. brasiliensis when compared to ethephon and untreated control. RNA-seq data resulted in 86,614 unigenes, of which 2,664 genes were differentially expressed in JA and LA-induced secondary laticifer harvested from H. brasiliensis bark samples. Among these, 450 genes were unique to JA and LA as they were not differentially expressed in ethephon-treated samples compared with the untreated samples. Most transcription factors from the JA- and LA-specific dataset were classified under MYB, APETALA2/ethylene response factor (AP2/ERF), and basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) gene families that were involved in tissue developmental pathways, and we proposed that Bel5-GA2 oxidase 1-KNOTTED-like homeobox complex are likely involved in JA- and LA-induced SLD in H. brasiliensis. We also discovered alternative spliced transcripts, putative novel transcripts, and cis-natural antisense transcript pairs related to SLD event. This study has advanced understanding on the transcriptional regulatory network of SLD in H. brasiliensis.
Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) was successfully cultivated at 27±1 °C and pH 7.0±1 during the treatment of rubber wastewater using a sequential batch reactor system mode with complete cycle time of 3 h. Results showed aerobic granular sludge had an excellent settling ability and exhibited exceptional performance in the organics and nutrients removal from rubber wastewater. Regular, dense and fast settling granule (average diameter, 1.5 mm; settling velocity, 33 m h(-1); and sludge volume index, 22.3 mL g(-1)) were developed in a single reactor. In addition, 96.5% COD removal efficiency was observed in the system at the end of the granulation period, while its ammonia and total nitrogen removal efficiencies were up to 94.7% and 89.4%, respectively. The study demonstrated the capabilities of AGS development in a single, high and slender column type-bioreactor for the treatment of rubber wastewater.
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.
As the living cytoplasm of laticiferous cells, Hevea brasiliensis latex is a rich blend of organic substances that include a mélange of proteins. A small number of these proteins have given rise to the problem of latex allergy. The salient characteristics of H. brasiliensis latex allergens that are recognized by the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) are reviewed. These are the proteins associated with the rubber particles, the cytosolic C-serum proteins and the B-serum proteins that originate mainly from the lutoids. Procedures for the isolation and purification of latex allergens are discussed, from latex collection in the field to various preparative approaches adopted in the laboratory. As interest in recombinant latex allergens increases, there is a need to validate recombinant proteins to ascertain equivalence with their native counterparts when used in immunological studies, diagnostics, and immunotherapy.
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.
The lipid fraction of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis (kunth. Muell)) seed was extracted and analyzed for toxicological effect. The toxicological compound such as linamarin in rubber seed oil (RSO) extracted using different solvents, such as hexane (RSOh), mixture of chloroform + methanol (RSOchl+mth) and ethanol (RSOeth) were also studied. Various methods analysis such as Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and colorimetric methods were carried out to determine the present of such compounds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The natural rubber of Para rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis, is the main crop involved in industrial rubber production due to its superior quality. The Hevea bark is commercially exploited to obtain latex, which is produced from the articulated secondary laticifer. The laticifer is well defined in the aspect of morphology; however, only some genes associated with its development have been reported. We successfully induced secondary laticifer in the jasmonic acid (JA)-treated and linolenic acid (LA)-treated Hevea bark but secondary laticifer is not observed in the ethephon (ET)-treated and untreated Hevea bark. In this study, we analysed 27,195 gene models using NimbleGen microarrays based on the Hevea draft genome. 491 filtered differentially expressed (FDE) transcripts that are common to both JA- and LA-treated bark samples but not ET-treated bark samples were identified. In the Eukaryotic Orthologous Group (KOG) analysis, 491 FDE transcripts belong to different functional categories that reflect the diverse processes and pathways involved in laticifer differentiation. In the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and KOG analysis, the profile of the FDE transcripts suggest that JA- and LA-treated bark samples have a sufficient molecular basis for secondary laticifer differentiation, especially regarding secondary metabolites metabolism. FDE genes in this category are from the cytochrome (CYP) P450 family, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter family, short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) family, or cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) family. The data includes many genes involved in cell division, cell wall synthesis, and cell differentiation. The most abundant transcript in FDE list was SDR65C, reflecting its importance in laticifer differentiation. Using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) as part of annotation and functional prediction, several characterised as well as uncharacterized transcription factors and genes were found in the dataset. Hence, the further characterization of these genes is necessary to unveil their role in laticifer differentiation. This study provides a platform for the further characterization and identification of the key genes involved in secondary laticifer differentiation.
In this study, RNA sequencing of several Hevea brasiliensis clones grown in Malaysia with different annual rubber production yields and disease resistance was performed on the Illumina platform. A total of 29,862,548 reads were generated, resulting in 101,269 assembled transcripts that were used as the reference transcripts. A similarity search against the non-redundant (nr) protein databases presented 83,771 (83%) positive BLASTx hits. The transcriptome was annotated using gene ontology (GO), the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and the Pfam database. A search for putative molecular markers was performed to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Overall, 3,210,629 SNPs were detected and a total of 1314 SNPs associated with the genes involved in MVA and MEP pathways were identified. A total of 176 SNP primer pairs were designed from sequences that were related to the MVA and MEP pathways. The transcriptome of RRIM 3001 and RRIM 712 were subjected to pairwise comparison and the results revealed that there were 1262 significantly differentially expressed genes unique to RRIM 3001, 1499 significantly differentially expressed genes unique to RRIM 712 and several genes related to the MVA and MEP pathways such as AACT, HMGS, PMK, MVD, DXS and HDS were included. The results will facilitate the characterization of H. brasiliensis transcriptomes and the development of a new set of molecular markers in the form of SNPs from transcriptome assembly for the genotype identification of various rubber varieties with superior traits in Malaysia.
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 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).
A study has been carried out to characterize hydrocarbons emitted from the burning of three tropical wood species. The woods were burned to ember and smoke aerosols emitted were sampled using high volume sampler fitted with a pre-cleaned glass fibre filters. Hydrocarbons were extracted using ultrasonic agitation with dichloromethane-methanol (3:1 v/v) as solvent and the extracts obtained were then fractionated on silica-alumina column. Detection and quantification of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) compounds were carried out using GC-MS. The results indicated that the major aliphatic hydrocarbons characterized were straight chain n-alkanes in the range of C12-C35 with Cmax in the range of C27-C33. Rhizophora apiculata and Hevea brasiliensis wood smoke exhibited a weak odd to even carbon number predominance with carbon preference index (CPI) values greater than one whereas Melaleuca cajuputi wood smoke aerosols did not exhibit similar pattern with CPI obtained close to one. The results obtained also indicated that burning of these wood resulted in formation of PAHs compounds in their smoke aerosols with predominance of three to four rings PAHs over the two, five and lesser of six rings PAHs. PAH diagnostic ratios calculated except for Flan/(Flan+Py) and Indeno/(Indeno+BgP) were consistent with the ratios suggested for wood combustion source as reported in literatures. In the case of the latter, two diagnostic ratios, the values were generally lower than the range normally reported for wood combustion.