Sago palm (Metroxylon sagu) is a perennial plant native to Southeast Asia and exploited mainly for the starch content in its trunk. Genetic improvement of sago palm is extremely slow when compared to other annual starch crops. Urgent attention is needed to improve the sago palm planting material and can be achieved through nonconventional methods. We have previously developed a tissue culture method for sago palm, which is used to provide the planting materials and to develop a genetic transformation procedure. Here, we report the genetic transformation of sago embryonic callus derived from suspension culture using Agrobacterium tumefaciens and gene gun systems. The transformed embryoids cells were selected against Basta (concentration 10 to 30 mg/L). Evidence of foreign genes integration and function of the bar and gus genes were verified via gene specific PCR amplification, gus staining, and dot blot analysis. This study showed that the embryogenic callus was the most suitable material for transformation as compared to the fine callus, embryoid stage, and initiated shoots. The gene gun transformation showed higher transformation efficiency than the ones transformed using Agrobacterium when targets were bombarded once or twice using 280 psi of helium pressure at 6 to 8 cm distance.
Present study aims to optimize the production of starch and total carbohydrates from Arthrospira platensis. Growing concerns toward unprecedented environmental issues associated with plastic pollution has created a tremendous impetus to develop new biomaterials for the production of bioplastic. Starch-based biopolymers from algae serve as sustainable feedstock for thermoplastic starch production due to their abundant availability and low cost. A. platensis was cultivated in Zarrouk's medium at 32 ± 1°C and exposed to red light with a photoperiod of 12:12 hr light/dark. Growth kinetics studies showed that the maximum specific growth rate (μmax ) obtained was 0.059 day-1 with the doubling time (td ) of 11.748 days. Subsequently, Zarrouk's medium with different concentrations of sulfur, phosphorus and nitrogen was prepared to establish the nutrient-limiting conditions to enhance the accumulation of starch and total carbohydrates. In this study, the highest starch accumulated was 6.406 ± 0.622 mg L-1 under optimized phosphorus limitation (0.025 g L-1 ) conditions. Nitrogen limitation (0.250 g L-1 ) results demonstrated significant influenced (p starch accumulation in A. platensis was significantly affected (p starch accumulation. The results obtained indicated that, the starch (11.426 ± 0.314 mg L-1 ) and carbohydrates (43.053 ± 2.986 mg L-1 ) concentration obtained was significantly high (p starch and total carbohydrates in A. platensis.
The effect of two different CO(2) concentrations (400 and 800 μmol mol(-1)) on the photosynthesis rate, primary and secondary metabolite syntheses and the antioxidant activities of the leaves, stems and rhizomes of two Zingiber officinale varieties (Halia Bentong and Halia Bara) were assessed in an effort to compare and validate the medicinal potential of the subterranean part of the young ginger. High photosynthesis rate (10.05 μmol CO(2) m(-2)s(-1) in Halia Bara) and plant biomass (83.4 g in Halia Bentong) were observed at 800 μmol mol(-1) CO(2). Stomatal conductance decreased and water use efficiency increased with elevated CO(2) concentration. Total flavonoids (TF), total phenolics (TP), total soluble carbohydrates (TSC), starch and plant biomass increased significantly (P ≤ 0.05) in all parts of the ginger varieties under elevated CO(2) (800 μmol mol(-1)). The order of the TF and TP increment in the parts of the plant was rhizomes > stems > leaves. More specifically, Halia Bara had a greater increase of TF (2.05 mg/g dry weight) and TP (14.31 mg/g dry weight) compared to Halia Bentong (TF: 1.42 mg/g dry weight; TP: 9.11 mg/g dry weight) in average over the whole plant. Furthermore, plants with the highest rate of photosynthesis had the highest TSC and phenolics content. Significant differences between treatments and species were observed for TF and TP production. Correlation coefficient showed that TSC and TP content are positively correlated in both varieties. The antioxidant activity, as determined by the ferric reducing/antioxidant potential (FRAP) activity, increased in young ginger grown under elevated CO(2). The FRAP values for the leaves, rhizomes and stems extracts of both varieties grown under two different CO(2) concentrations (400 and 800 μmol mol(-1)) were significantly lower than those of vitamin C (3107.28 μmol Fe (II)/g) and α-tocopherol (953 μmol Fe (II)/g), but higher than that of BHT (74.31 μmol Fe (II)/g). These results indicate that the plant biomass, primary and secondary metabolite synthesis, and following that, antioxidant activities of Malaysian young ginger varieties can be enhanced through controlled environment (CE) and CO(2) enrichment.