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  1. Golestan Hashemi FS, Rafii MY, Razi Ismail M, Mohamed MT, Rahim HA, Latif MA, et al.
    Plant Biol (Stuttg), 2015 Sep;17(5):953-61.
    PMID: 25865409 DOI: 10.1111/plb.12335
    Developing fragrant rice through marker-assisted/aided selection (MAS) is an economical and profitable approach worldwide for the enrichment of an elite genetic background with a pleasant aroma. The PCR-based DNA markers that distinguish the alleles of major fragrance genes in rice have been synthesised to develop rice scent biofortification through MAS. Thus, the present study examined the aroma biofortification potential of these co-dominant markers in a germplasm panel of 189 F2 progeny developed from crosses between a non-aromatic variety (MR84) and a highly aromatic but low-yielding variety (MRQ74) to determine the most influential diagnostic markers for fragrance biofortification. The SSRs and functional DNA markers RM5633 (on chromosome 4), RM515, RM223, L06, NKSbad2, FMbadh2-E7, BADEX7-5, Aro7 and SCU015RM (on chromosome 8) were highly associated with the 2AP (2-acetyl-1-pyrroline) content across the population. The alleles traced via these markers were also in high linkage disequilibrium (R(2) > 0.70) and explained approximately 12.1, 27.05, 27.05, 27.05, 25.42, 25.42, 20.53, 20.43 and 20.18% of the total phenotypic variation observed for these biomarkers, respectively. F2 plants harbouring the favourable alleles of these effective markers produced higher levels of fragrance. Hence, these rice plants can be used as donor parents to increase the development of fragrance-biofortified tropical rice varieties adapted to growing conditions and consumer preferences, thus contributing to the global rice market.
  2. Amirul Alam M, Juraimi AS, Rafii MY, Hamid AA, Aslani F, Alam MZ
    Food Chem, 2015 Feb 15;169:439-47.
    PMID: 25236249 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.08.019
    Dry matter (DM), total phenolics, flavonoids, carotenoid contents, and antioxidant activity of 12 purslane accessions were investigated against five levels of salinity (0, 8, 16, 24 and 32dSm(-1)). In untreated plants, the DM contents ranged between 8.0-23.4g/pot; total phenolics contents (TPC) between 0.96-9.12mgGAEg(-1)DW; total flavonoid contents (TFC) between 0.15-1.44mgREg(-1)DW; and total carotenoid contents (TCC) between 0.52BCEg(-1)DW. While FRAP activity ranged from 8.64-104.21mgTEg(-1)DW (about 12-fold) and DPPH activity between 2.50-3.30mgmL(-1) IC50 value. Different levels of salinity treatment resulted in 8-35% increases in TPC; about 35% increase in TFC; and 18-35% increases in FRAP activity. Purslane accessions Ac4, Ac5, Ac6 and Ac8 possessed potentials for salinity-induced augmented production of bioactive compounds which in turn can be harnessed for possible human health benefits.
  3. Hakim MA, Juraimi AS, Hanafi MM, Ismail MR, Rafii MY, Aslani F, et al.
    J Environ Biol, 2014 Sep;35(5):855-64.
    PMID: 25204059
    Six weed species (Leptochola chinensis, Echinochloa crus-galli, Echinochloa colona, Jussiaea linifolia, Oryza sativa (weedy rice) and Cyperus iria) were tested for their salt tolerant traits in terms of chlorophyll, proline and mineral nutrients accumulation against different salinity levels (0, 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, and 40 dS m(-1)). Chlorophyll a, b and total chlorophyll content, proline and mineral nutrients accumulation were determined. Salt stress showed prominent effect on all the parameters investigated and there were significant variations between the all weed species. Chlorophyll content, K+, Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) ions in both shoots and roots significantly decreased; while proline and Na+ accumulation significantly increased with increasing salinity up to 40 dS m(-1). In terms of overall performance, Cyperus iria and E. crus-galliwere relatively more tolerant; E. colona and J. linifolia were tolerant; L. chinensis and O. sativa L were salt sensitive, respectively.
  4. Aslani F, Bagheri S, Muhd Julkapli N, Juraimi AS, Hashemi FS, Baghdadi A
    ScientificWorldJournal, 2014;2014:641759.
    PMID: 25202734 DOI: 10.1155/2014/641759
    Rapid development and wide applications of nanotechnology brought about a significant increment on the number of engineered nanomaterials (ENs) inevitably entering our living system. Plants comprise of a very important living component of the terrestrial ecosystem. Studies on the influence of engineered nanomaterials (carbon and metal/metal oxides based) on plant growth indicated that in the excess content, engineered nanomaterials influences seed germination. It assessed the shoot-to-root ratio and the growth of the seedlings. From the toxicological studies to date, certain types of engineered nanomaterials can be toxic once they are not bound to a substrate or if they are freely circulating in living systems. It is assumed that the different types of engineered nanomaterials affect the different routes, behavior, and the capability of the plants. Furthermore, different, or even opposing conclusions, have been drawn from most studies on the interactions between engineered nanomaterials with plants. Therefore, this paper comprehensively reviews the studies on the different types of engineered nanomaterials and their interactions with different plant species, including the phytotoxicity, uptakes, and translocation of engineered nanomaterials by the plant at the whole plant and cellular level.
  5. Alam MA, Juraimi AS, Rafii MY, Hamid AA, Aslani F
    ScientificWorldJournal, 2014;2014:627916.
    PMID: 25003141 DOI: 10.1155/2014/627916
    Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) is an herbaceous leafy vegetable crop, comparatively more salt-tolerant than any other vegetables with high antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Salt-tolerant crop variety development is of importance due to inadequate cultivable land and escalating salinity together with population pressure. In this view a total of 25 purslane accessions were initially selected from 45 collected purslane accessions based on better growth performance and subjected to 5 different salinity levels, that is, 0.0, 10.0, 20.0, 30.0, and 40.0 dS m(-1) NaCl. Plant height, number of leaves, number of flowers, and dry matter contents in salt treated purslane accessions were significantly reduced (P ≤ 0.05) and the enormity of reduction increased with increasing salinity stress. Based on dry matter yield reduction, among all 25 purslane accessions 2 accessions were graded as tolerant (Ac7 and Ac9), 6 accessions were moderately tolerant (Ac3, Ac5, Ac6, Ac10, Ac11, and Ac12), 5 accessions were moderately susceptible (Ac1, Ac2, Ac4, Ac8, and Ac13), and the remaining 12 accessions were susceptible to salinity stress and discarded from further study. The selected 13 purslane accessions could assist in the identification of superior genes for salt tolerance in purslane for improving its productivity and sustainable agricultural production.
  6. Alam MA, Juraimi AS, Rafii MY, Hamid AA, Aslani F, Hakim MA
    Biol. Res., 2016 Apr 18;49:24.
    PMID: 27090643 DOI: 10.1186/s40659-016-0084-5
    This study was undertaken to determine the effects of varied salinity regimes on the morphological traits (plant height, number of leaves, number of flowers, fresh and dry weight) and major mineral composition of 13 selected purslane accessions. Most of the morphological traits measured were reduced at varied salinity levels (0.0, 8, 16, 24 and 32 dS m(-1)), but plant height was found to increase in Ac1 at 16 dS m(-1) salinity, and Ac13 was the most affected accession. The highest reductions in the number of leaves and number of flowers were recorded in Ac13 at 32 dS m(-1) salinity compared to the control. The highest fresh and dry weight reductions were noted in Ac8 and Ac6, respectively, at 32 dS m(-1) salinity, whereas the highest increase in both fresh and dry weight was recorded in Ac9 at 24 dS m(-1) salinity compared to the control. In contrast, at lower salinity levels, all of the measured mineral levels were found to increase and later decrease with increasing salinity, but the performance of different accessions was different depending on the salinity level. A dendrogram was also constructed by UPGMA based on the morphological traits and mineral compositions, in which the 13 accessions were grouped into 5 clusters, indicating greater diversity among them. A three-dimensional principal component analysis also confirmed the output of grouping from cluster analysis.
  7. Golestan Hashemi FS, Rafii MY, Ismail MR, Mohamed MT, Rahim HA, Latif MA, et al.
    Gene, 2015 Jan 25;555(2):101-7.
    PMID: 25445269 DOI: 10.1016/j.gene.2014.10.048
    MRQ74, a popular aromatic Malaysian landrace, allows for charging considerably higher prices than non-aromatic landraces. Thus, breeding this profitable trait has become a priority for Malaysian rice breeding. Despite many studies on aroma genetics, ambiguities considering its genetic basis remain. It has been observed that identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs) based on anchor markers, particularly candidate genes controlling a trait of interest, can increase the power of QTL detection. Hence, this study aimed to locate QTLs that influence natural variations in rice scent using microsatellites and candidate gene-based sequence polymorphisms. For this purpose, an F2 mapping population including 189 individual plants was developed by MRQ74 crosses with 'MR84', a non-scented Malaysian accession. Additionally, qualitative and quantitative approaches were applied to obtain a phenotype data framework. Consequently, we identified two QTLs on chromosomes 4 and 8. These QTLs explained from 3.2% to 39.3% of the total fragrance phenotypic variance. In addition, we could resolve linkage group 8 by adding six gene-based primers in the interval harboring the most robust QTL. Hence, we could locate a putative fgr allele in the QTL found on chromosome 8 in the interval RM223-SCU015RM (1.63cM). The identified QTLs represent an important step toward recognition of the rice flavor genetic control mechanism. In addition, this identification will likely accelerate the progress of the use of molecular markers for gene isolation, gene-based cloning, and marker-assisted selection breeding programs aimed at improving rice cultivars.
  8. Alam MA, Juraimi AS, Rafii MY, Abdul Hamid A, Aslani F, Hasan MM, et al.
    Biomed Res Int, 2014;2014:296063.
    PMID: 24579078 DOI: 10.1155/2014/296063
    The methanolic extracts of 13 accessions of purslane were analyzed for their total phenol content (TPC), total flavonoid contents (TFC), and total carotenoid contents (TCC) and antioxidant activity of extracts was screened using FRAP assay and DPPH radical scavenging methods. The TPC, TFC, and TCC ranged from 0.96 ± 0.04 to 9.12 ± 0.29 mg GAE/g DW, 0.13 ± 0.04 to 1.44 ± 0.08 mg RE/g DW, and 0.52 ± 0.06 to 5.64 ± 0.09 mg (β-carotene equivalent) BCE/g DW, respectively. The DPPH scavenging (IC50) activity varied between 2.52 ± 0.03 mg/mL and 3.29 ± 0.01 mg/mL and FRAP ranged from 7.39 ± 0.08 to 104.2 ± 6.34  μmol TE/g DW. Among all the measured micro- and macrominerals K content was the highest followed by N, Na, Ca, Mg, P, Fe, Zn, and Mn. The overall findings proved that ornamental purslane was richer in antioxidant properties, whereas common purslane possesses more mineral contents than ornamental ones.
  9. Golestan Hashemi FS, Rafii MY, Ismail MR, Mohamed MT, Rahim HA, Latif MA, et al.
    PLoS One, 2015;10(6):e0129069.
    PMID: 26061689 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129069
    When a phenotype of interest is associated with an external/internal covariate, covariate inclusion in quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses can diminish residual variation and subsequently enhance the ability of QTL detection. In the in vitro synthesis of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP), the main fragrance compound in rice, the thermal processing during the Maillard-type reaction between proline and carbohydrate reduction produces a roasted, popcorn-like aroma. Hence, for the first time, we included the proline amino acid, an important precursor of 2AP, as a covariate in our QTL mapping analyses to precisely explore the genetic factors affecting natural variation for rice scent. Consequently, two QTLs were traced on chromosomes 4 and 8. They explained from 20% to 49% of the total aroma phenotypic variance. Additionally, by saturating the interval harboring the major QTL using gene-based primers, a putative allele of fgr (major genetic determinant of fragrance) was mapped in the QTL on the 8th chromosome in the interval RM223-SCU015RM (1.63 cM). These loci supported previous studies of different accessions. Such QTLs can be widely used by breeders in crop improvement programs and for further fine mapping. Moreover, no previous studies and findings were found on simultaneous assessment of the relationship among 2AP, proline and fragrance QTLs. Therefore, our findings can help further our understanding of the metabolomic and genetic basis of 2AP biosynthesis in aromatic rice.
  10. Nevame AYM, Emon RM, Malek MA, Hasan MM, Alam MA, Muharam FM, et al.
    Biomed Res Int, 2018;2018:1653721.
    PMID: 30065932 DOI: 10.1155/2018/1653721
    Occurrence of chalkiness in rice is attributed to genetic and environmental factors, especially high temperature (HT). The HT induces heat stress, which in turn compromises many grain qualities, especially transparency. Chalkiness in rice is commonly studied together with other quality traits such as amylose content, gel consistency, and protein storage. In addition to the fundamental QTLs, some other QTLs have been identified which accelerate chalkiness occurrence under HT condition. In this review, some of the relatively stable chalkiness, amylose content, and gel consistency related QTLs have been presented well. Genetically, HT effect on chalkiness is explained by the location of certain chalkiness gene in the vicinity of high-temperature-responsive genes. With regard to stable QTL distribution and availability of potential material resources, there is still feasibility to find out novel stable QTLs related to chalkiness under HT condition. A better understanding of those achievements is essential to develop new rice varieties with a reduced chalky grain percentage. Therefore, we propose the pyramiding of relatively stable and nonallelic QTLs controlling low chalkiness endosperm into adaptable rice varieties as pragmatic approach to mitigate HT effect.
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