Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 34 in total

  1. Ma NL, Rahmat Z, Lam SS
    Int J Mol Sci, 2013;14(4):7515-41.
    PMID: 23567269 DOI: 10.3390/ijms14047515
    Physiological and ecological constraints that cause the slow growth and depleted production of crops have raised a major concern in the agriculture industry as they represent a possible threat of short food supply in the future. The key feature that regulates the stress signaling pathway is always related to the reactive oxygen species (ROS). The accumulation of ROS in plant cells would leave traces of biomarkers at the genome, proteome, and metabolome levels, which could be identified with the recent technological breakthrough coupled with improved performance of bioinformatics. This review highlights the recent breakthrough in molecular strategies (comprising transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) in identifying oxidative stress biomarkers and the arising opportunities and obstacles observed in research on biomarkers in rice. The major issue in incorporating bioinformatics to validate the biomarkers from different omic platforms for the use of rice-breeding programs is also discussed. The development of powerful techniques for identification of oxidative stress-related biomarkers and the integration of data from different disciplines shed light on the oxidative response pathways in plants.
  2. Lam SS, Ma NL, Peng W, Sonne C
    Science, 2020 May 29;368(6494):958.
    PMID: 32467384 DOI: 10.1126/science.abc2202
  3. Ma NL, Teh KY, Lam SS, Kaben AM, Cha TS
    Bioresour Technol, 2015 Aug;190:536-42.
    PMID: 25812996 DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2015.03.036
    This study demonstrates the use of NMR techniques coupled with chemometric analysis as a high throughput data mining method to identify and examine the efficiency of different disruption techniques tested on microalgae (Chlorella variabilis, Scenedesmus regularis and Ankistrodesmus gracilis). The yield and chemical diversity from the disruptions together with the effects of pre-oven and pre-freeze drying prior to disruption techniques were discussed. HCl extraction showed the highest recovery of oil compounds from the disrupted microalgae (up to 90%). In contrast, NMR analysis showed the highest intensity of bioactive metabolites obtained for homogenized extracts pre-treated with freeze-drying, indicating that homogenizing is a more favorable approach to recover bioactive substances from the disrupted microalgae. The results show the potential of NMR as a useful metabolic fingerprinting tool for assessing compound diversity in complex microalgae extracts.
  4. Ma NL, Aziz A, Teh KY, Lam SS, Cha TS
    Sci Rep, 2018 06 27;8(1):9746.
    PMID: 29950688 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-27894-0
    Nitrate is required to maintain the growth and metabolism of plant and animals. Nevertheless, in excess amount such as polluted water, its concentration can be harmful to living organisms such as microalgae. Recently, studies on microalgae response towards nutrient fluctuation are usually limited to lipid accumulation for the production of biofuels, disregarding the other potential of microalgae to be used in wastewater treatments and as source of important metabolites. Our study therefore captures the need to investigate overall metabolite changes via NMR spectroscopy approach coupled with multivariate data to understand the complex molecular process under high (4X) and low (1/4X) concentrations of nitrate ([Formula: see text]). NMR spectra with the aid of chemometric analysis revealed contrasting metabolites makeup under abundance and limited nitrate treatment. By using NMR technique, 43 types of metabolites and 8 types of fatty acid chains were detected. Nevertheless, only 20 key changes were observed and 16 were down regulated in limited nitrate condition. This paper has demonstrated the feasibility of NMR-based metabolomics approach to study the physiological impact of changing environment such as pollution to the implications for growth and productivity of microalgae population.
  5. Zamhuri A, Lim GP, Ma NL, Tee KS, Soon CF
    Biomed Eng Online, 2021 Apr 01;20(1):33.
    PMID: 33794899 DOI: 10.1186/s12938-021-00873-9
    MXene is a recently emerged multifaceted two-dimensional (2D) material that is made up of surface-modified carbide, providing its flexibility and variable composition. They consist of layers of early transition metals (M), interleaved with n layers of carbon or nitrogen (denoted as X) and terminated with surface functional groups (denoted as Tx/Tz) with a general formula of Mn+1XnTx, where n = 1-3. In general, MXenes possess an exclusive combination of properties, which include, high electrical conductivity, good mechanical stability, and excellent optical properties. MXenes also exhibit good biological properties, with high surface area for drug loading/delivery, good hydrophilicity for biocompatibility, and other electronic-related properties for computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Due to the attractive physicochemical and biocompatibility properties, the novel 2D materials have enticed an uprising research interest for application in biomedicine and biotechnology. Although some potential applications of MXenes in biomedicine have been explored recently, the types of MXene applied in the perspective of biomedical engineering and biomedicine are limited to a few, titanium carbide and tantalum carbide families of MXenes. This review paper aims to provide an overview of the structural organization of MXenes, different top-down and bottom-up approaches for synthesis of MXenes, whether they are fluorine-based or fluorine-free etching methods to produce biocompatible MXenes. MXenes can be further modified to enhance the biodegradability and reduce the cytotoxicity of the material for biosensing, cancer theranostics, drug delivery and bio-imaging applications. The antimicrobial activity of MXene and the mechanism of MXenes in damaging the cell membrane were also discussed. Some challenges for in vivo applications, pitfalls, and future outlooks for the deployment of MXene in biomedical devices were demystified. Overall, this review puts into perspective the current advancements and prospects of MXenes in realizing this 2D nanomaterial as a versatile biological tool.
  6. Kong Y, Ma NL, Yang X, Lai Y, Feng Z, Shao X, et al.
    Environ Pollut, 2020 Oct;265(Pt A):114951.
    PMID: 32554093 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114951
    Greenhouse gases (GHGs) carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), contribute significantly to global warming, and they have increased substantially over the years. Reforestation is considered as an important forestry application for carbon sequestration and GHGs emission reduction, however, it remains unknown whether reforestation may instead produce too much CO2 and N2O contibuting to GHGs pollution. This study was performed to characterize and examine the CO2 and N2O emissions and their controlling factors in different species and types of pure and mixture forest used for reforestation. Five soil layers from pure forest Platycladus orientalis (PO), Robinia pseudoacacia (RP), and their mixed forest P-R in the Taihang mountains of central China were sampled and incubated aerobically for 11 days. The P-R soil showed lower CO2 and N2O production potentials than those of the PO soils (P 
  7. Ma NL, Lam SD, Che Lah WA, Ahmad A, Rinklebe J, Sonne C, et al.
    Environ Pollut, 2021 Oct 01;286:117214.
    PMID: 33971466 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117214
    Salinisation of soil is associated with urban pollution, industrial development and rising sea level. Understanding how high salinity is managed at the plant cellular level is vital to increase sustainable farming output. Previous studies focus on plant stress responses under salinity tolerance. Yet, there is limited knowledge about the mechanisms involved from stress state until the recovery state; our research aims to close this gap. By using the most tolerance genotype (SS1-14) and the most susceptible genotype (SS2-18), comparative physiological, metabolome and post-harvest assessments were performed to identify the underlying mechanisms for salinity stress recovery in plant cells. The up-regulation of glutamine, asparagine and malonic acid were found in recovered-tolerant genotype, suggesting a role in the regulation of panicle branching and spikelet formation for survival. Rice could survive up to 150 mM NaCl (∼15 ds/m) with declined of production rate 5-20% ranged from tolerance to susceptible genotype. This show that rice farming may still be viable on the high saline affected area with the right selection of salt-tolerant species, including glycophytes. The salt recovery biomarkers identified in this study and the adaption underlined could be empowered to address salinity problem in rice field.
  8. Khoo SC, Peng WX, Yang Y, Ge SB, Soon CF, Ma NL, et al.
    J Hazard Mater, 2020 12 05;400:123296.
    PMID: 32947701 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123296
    Synthetic adhesives in the plywood industry are usually volatile compounds such as formaldehyde-based chemical which are costly and hazardous to health and the environment. This phenomenon promotes an interest in developing bio-boards without synthetic adhesives. This study proposed a novel application of natural mycelium produced during mushroom cultivation as natural bio-adhesive material that convert spent mushroom substrate (SMS) into high-performance bio-board material. Different types of spent mushroom substrates were compressed with specific designed mould with optimal temperature at 160 °C and 10 mPa for 20 min. The bio-board made from Ganoderma lucidum SMS had the highest internal bonding strength up to 2.51 mPa. This is far above the 0.4-0.8 range of China and US national standards. In addition, the material had high water and fire resistance, high bonding and densified structures despite free of any adhesive chemicals. These properties and the low cost one step procedure show the potential as a zero-waste economy chain for sustainable agricultural practice for waste and remediation.
  9. Li Y, Shaheen SM, Rinklebe J, Ma NL, Yang Y, Ashraf MA, et al.
    J Hazard Mater, 2021 08 15;416:126012.
    PMID: 34492887 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126012
    The rapid thermal cracking technology of biomass can convert biomass into bio-oil and is beneficial for industrial applications. Agricultural and forestry wastes are important parts of China's energy, and their high-grade utilization is useful to solve the problem of energy shortages and environmental pollution. To the best of our knowledge, the impact of nanocatalysts on converting biowastes for bio-oil has not been studied. Consequently, we examined the production of bio-oil by pyrolysis of Aesculus chinensis Bunge Seed (ACBS) using nanocatalysts (Fe2O3 and NiO catalysts) for the first time. The pyrolysis products of ACBS include 1-hydroxy-2-propanone (3.97%), acetic acid (5.42%), and furfural (0.66%). These chemical components can be recovered for use as chemical feedstock in the form of bio-oil, thus indicating the potential of ACBS as a feedstock to be converted by pyrolysis to produce value-added bio-oil. The Fe2O3 and NiO catalysts enhanced the pyrolysis process, which accelerated the precipitation of gaseous products. The pyrolysis rates of the samples gradually increased at DTGmax, effectively promoting the catalytic cracking of ACBS, which is beneficial to the development and utilization of ACBS to produce high valorization products. Combining ACBS and nanocatalysts can change the development direction of high valorization agricultural and forestry wastes in the future.
  10. Lim GP, Soon CF, Ma NL, Morsin M, Nayan N, Ahmad MK, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 10;201:111592.
    PMID: 34175291 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111592
    MXene based nanomaterial is an uprising two-dimensional material gaining tremendous scientific attentions due to its versatile properties for the applications in electronic devices, power generation, sensors, drug delivery, and biomedicine. However, the cytotoxic effects of MXene still remained a huge concern. Therefore, stringent analysis of biocompatibility of MXene is an essential requirement before introduction to human physiological system. Several in vitro and in vivo toxicological studies have been reported to investigate the interactions between MXenes with living organisms such as microbes, mammalian cells and animal models. The biological response and cytotoxicity reported were dependent on the physicochemical properties of MXene. The biocompatibility and cytotoxicity of MXene were dependent on size, dose, and surface coating. This review demystifies the in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility studies associated with MXene. Various methods proposed to mitigate the cytotoxicity of MXene for in vivo applications were revealed. The machine learning methods were developed to predict the cytotoxicity of experimentally synthesized MXene compounds. Finally, we also discussed the current research gaps of applying MXenes in biomedical interventions.
  11. Chu J, Li S, Chen N, Wen P, Sonne C, Ma NL
    Chemosphere, 2022 Mar;291(Pt 1):132679.
    PMID: 34718007 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.132679
    Poplar trees rapidly yield wood and are therefore suitable as a biofuel feedstock; however, the quality of poplar is modest, and the profitability of poplar cultivation depends on the efficiency of the harvesting process. This study offers a simple and sustainable technique to harvest lignocellulosic resources from poplar for bioethanol production. The proposed two-step pretreatment method increased the surface lignin content and decreased the surface polysaccharide content. The cellulose content increased to 54.9% and the xylan content decreased to 6.7% at 5% AC. The cellulose yield of poplar residues (Populus L.) reached 65.5% by this two-step acetic acid (AC) and sodium sulphite (SS) treatment method. Two-step pretreatment using 5% AC and 4% SS obtained a recovery of nearly 80% of the total available fermentable sugar. The surface characterization showed a higher porosity in treated samples, which improved their hydrolysability. This method decreased the amount of lignin in plant biomass, making it applicable for further wood resource recovery or waste recycling for biorefinery purposes at very low costs.
  12. Nam WL, Phang XY, Su MH, Liew RK, Ma NL, Rosli MHNB, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2018 May 15;624:9-16.
    PMID: 29245037 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.12.108
    Microwave vacuum pyrolysis of palm kernel shell (PKS) was performed to produce biochar, which was then tested as bio-fertilizer in growing Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). The pyrolysis approach produced biochar containing a highly porous structure with a high BET surface area of up to 270m2/g and low moisture content (≤10wt%), exhibiting desirable adsorption properties to be used as bio-fertilizer since it can act as a housing that provides many sites on which living microorganisms (mycelium or plant-growth promoting bacteria) and organic nutrients can be attached or adsorbed onto. This could in turn stimulate plant growth by increasing the availability and supply of nutrients to the targeted host plant. The results from growing Oyster mushroom using the biochar recorded an impressive growth rate and a monthly production of up to about 550g of mushroom. A shorter time for mycelium growth on one whole baglog (21days) and the highest yield of Oyster mushroom (550g) were obtained from cultivation medium added with 20g of biochar. Our results demonstrate that the biochar-based bio-fertilizer produced from microwave vacuum pyrolysis of PKS shows exceptional promise as growth promoting material for mushroom cultivation.
  13. Ma NL, Che Lah WA, Abd Kadir N, Mustaqim M, Rahmat Z, Ahmad A, et al.
    PLoS One, 2018;13(2):e0192732.
    PMID: 29489838 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192732
    Salinity threat is estimated to reduce global rice production by 50%. Comprehensive analysis of the physiological and metabolite changes in rice plants from salinity stress (i.e. tolerant versus susceptible plants) is important to combat higher salinity conditions. In this study, we screened a total of 92 genotypes and selected the most salinity tolerant line (SS1-14) and most susceptible line (SS2-18) to conduct comparative physiological and metabolome inspections. We demonstrated that the tolerant line managed to maintain their water and chlorophyll content with lower incidence of sodium ion accumulation. We also examined the antioxidant activities of these lines: production of ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and catalase (CAT) were significantly higher in the sensitive line while superoxide dismutase (SOD) was higher in the tolerant line. Partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) score plots show significantly different response for both lines after the exposure to salinity stress. In the tolerant line, there was an upregulation of non-polar metabolites and production of sucrose, GABA and acetic acid, suggesting an important role in salinity adaptation. In contrast, glutamine and putrescine were noticeably high in the susceptible rice. Coordination of different strategies in tolerant and susceptible lines show that they responded differently after exposure to salt stress. These findings can assist crop development in terms of developing tolerance mechanisms for rice crops.
  14. Wan Mahari WA, Azwar E, Li Y, Wang Y, Peng W, Ma NL, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2020 Nov 10;742:140681.
    PMID: 33167298 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140681
    The deforestation and burning of the Amazon and other rainforests is having a cascade of effects on global climate, biodiversity, human health and local and regional socioeconomics. This challenging situation demands a sustainable exploitation of the region's resources in accordance with the United Nations (UNs) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to meet Good Environmental Status and reduce poverty. The management of forests sustainability spans across at least eight of the 17 UN SDGs mainly to combat desertification, halt biodiversity loss, and reverse land degradation. Significant changes are needed if we are to sustain the world's rainforests and thereby the global climate and biodiversity. These measures and mitigations are of global responsibility requiring both developed and developing nations such as the United States, EU, and China to change their policies and stand regarding their high demand for meat and hardwood. When possible, non-profit tree-planting internet browsers should be implemented by governments and institutions. So far, there is a lack of active use of the UN SDGs and the countries must therefore need to fully adopt the UN SDGs in order to help the situation. One way to enforce this could be through imposing economic penalties to governments and national institutions that do not adhere to for example publishing open access of data and other important information relevant for the mission of the UN SDGs.
  15. Luang-In V, Katisart T, Konsue A, Nudmamud-Thanoi S, Narbad A, Saengha W, et al.
    Food Sci Anim Resour, 2020 Nov;40(6):1014-1032.
    PMID: 33305285 DOI: 10.5851/kosfa.2020.e72
    This work aimed to investigate the psychobiotic effects of six bacterial strains on the mind and behavior of male Wistar rats. The probiotic (PRO) group (n=7) were rats pre-treated with antibiotics for 7 days followed by 14-day probiotic administration, antibiotics (ANT) group (n=7) were rats treated with antibiotics for 21 days without probiotics. The control (CON) group (n=7) were rats that received sham treatment for 21 days. The six bacterial strains with probiotic properties were mostly isolated from Thai fermented foods; Pedicoccus pentosaceus WS11, Lactobacillus plantarum SK321, L. fermentum SK324, L. brevis TRBC 3003, Bifidobacterium adolescentis TBRC 7154 and Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis TBRC 375. The probiotics were freeze-dried into powder (6×109 CFU/5 g) and administered to the PRO group via oral gavage. Behavioral tests were performed. The PRO group displayed significantly reduced anxiety level and increased locomotor function using a marble burying test and open field test, respectively and significantly improved short-term memory performance using a novel object recognition test. Antibiotics significantly reduced microbial counts in rat feces in the ANT group by 100 fold compared to the PRO group. Probiotics significantly enhanced antioxidant enzymatic and non-enzymatic defenses in rat brains as assessed using catalase activity and ferric reducing antioxidant power assay, respectively. Probiotics also showed neuroprotective effects with less pyknotic cells and lower frequency of vacuolization in cerebral cortex. This multi-strain probiotic formulation from Thai fermented foods may offer a potential to develop psychobiotic-rich functional foods to modulate human mind and behaviors.
  16. Yue X, Ma NL, Sonne C, Guan R, Lam SS, Van Le Q, et al.
    J Hazard Mater, 2021 03 05;405:124138.
    PMID: 33092884 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124138
    Indoor air pollution with toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a threat to human health, causing cancer, leukemia, fetal malformation, and abortion. Therefore, the development of technologies to mitigate indoor air pollution is important to avoid adverse effects. Adsorption and photocatalytic oxidation are the current approaches for the removal of VOCs and PM2.5 with high efficiency. In this review we focus on the recent development of indoor air pollution mitigation materials based on adsorption and photocatalytic decomposition. First, we review on the primary indoor air pollutants including formaldehyde, benzene compounds, PM2.5, flame retardants, and plasticizer: Next, the recent advances in the use of adsorption materials including traditional biochar and MOF (metal-organic frameworks) as the new emerging porous materials for VOCs absorption is reviewed. We review the mechanism for mitigation of VOCs using biochar (noncarbonized organic matter partition and adsorption) and MOF together with parameters that affect indoor air pollution removal efficiency based on current mitigation approaches including the mitigation of VOCs using photocatalytic oxidation. Finally, we bring forward perspectives and directions for the development of indoor air mitigation technologies.
  17. Foong SY, Ma NL, Lam SS, Peng W, Low F, Lee BHK, et al.
    J Hazard Mater, 2020 Dec 05;400:123006.
    PMID: 32947729 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123006
    Pollution with pesticides is a widespread global problem and biomonitoring of the environment and human populations is necessary to assess potential harmful biological effects. One of the pesticides that are showing up in vegetables and fruit is chlorpyrifos (CPS). CPS is a nerve-poisoning organophosphorus insecticide, which is in up to 1/3 of all conventionally produced citrus fruits. Our review shows that CPS is a hazardous material that poses risks to human health and also pollutes the environment. There is numerous risk assessment of CPS reported, however, the assessment is easily affected by factors such as climate change, exposure period and CPS concentration. Therefore, rigorous update of the hazardous level of CPS is needed to determine the threshold level safe for humans and animals. There is a need for remediation using for example photoreactive nanoparticle methods and microbial degeneration possessing high degradation efficiency (73-97%). In addition, stringent biomonitoring of food, environment and human exposure should occur to avoid exposure to chemicals via citrus fruits and vegetables. This is necessary to assess health risks and socioeconomic impacts which also require collaboration between private and public sectors to facilitate the growth, sale and manufacturing of biopesticides.
  18. Lam SS, Wan Mahari WA, Ma NL, Azwar E, Kwon EE, Peng W, et al.
    Chemosphere, 2019 Sep;230:294-302.
    PMID: 31108440 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.05.054
    Used baby diaper consists of a combination of decomposable cellulose, non-biodegradable plastic materials (e.g. polyolefins) and super-absorbent polymer materials, thus making it difficult to be sorted and separated for recycling. Microwave pyrolysis was examined for its potential as an approach to transform used baby diapers into value-added products. Influence of the key operating parameters comprising process temperature and microwave power were investigated. The pyrolysis showed a rapid heating process (up to 43 °C/min of heating rate) and quick reaction time (20-40 min) in valorizing the used diapers to generate pyrolysis products comprising up to 43 wt% production of liquid oil, 29 wt% gases and 28 wt% char product. Microwave power and operating temperature were observed to have impacts on the heating rate, process time, production and characteristics of the liquid oil and solid char. The liquid oil contained alkanes, alkenes and esters that can potentially be used as chemical additives, cosmetic products and fuel. The solid char contained high carbon, low nitrogen and free of sulphur, thus showing potential for use as adsorbents and soil additives. These observations demonstrate that microwave pyrolysis has great prospect in transforming used baby diaper into liquid oil and char products that can be utilised in several applications.
  19. Gou Z, Ma NL, Zhang W, Lei Z, Su Y, Sun C, et al.
    Environ Res, 2020 09;188:109829.
    PMID: 32798948 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109829
    Intensive studies have been performed on the improvement of bioethanol production by transformation of lignocellulose biomass. In this study, the digestibility of corn stover was dramatically improved by using laccase immobilized on Cu2+ modified recyclable magnetite nanoparticles, Fe3O4-NH2. After digestion, the laccase was efficiently separated from slurry. The degradation rate of lignin reached 40.76%, and the subsequent cellulose conversion rate 38.37% for 72 h at 35 °C with cellulase at 50 U g-1 of corn stover. Compared to those of free and inactivated mode, the immobilized laccase pre-treatment increased subsequent cellulose conversion rates by 23.98% and 23.34%, respectively. Moreover, the reusability of immobilized laccase activity remained 50% after 6 cycles. The storage and thermal stability of the fixed laccase enhanced by 70% and 24.1% compared to those of free laccase at 65 °C, pH 4.5, respectively. At pH 10.5, it exhibited 16.3% more activities than its free mode at 35 °C. Our study provides a new avenue for improving the production of bioethanol with immobilized laccase for delignification using corn stover as the starting material.
  20. Ma NL, Peng W, Soon CF, Noor Hassim MF, Misbah S, Rahmat Z, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 Feb;193:110405.
    PMID: 33130165 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110405
    The recently emerged coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has been characterised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is impacting all parts of human society including agriculture, manufacturing, and tertiary sectors involving all service provision industries. This paper aims to give an overview of potential host reservoirs that could cause pandemic outbreak caused by zoonotic transmission. Amongst all, continues surveillance in slaughterhouse for possible pathogens transmission is needed to prevent next pandemic outbreak. This paper also summarizes the potential threats of pandemic to agriculture and aquaculture sector that control almost the total food supply chain and market. The history lesson from the past, emerging and reemerging infectious disease including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002, Influenza A H1N1 (swine flu) in 2009, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012 and the recent COVID-19 should give us some clue to improve especially the governance to be more ready for next coming pandemic.
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