Basal stem rot (BSR) of oil palm roots is due to the invasion of fungal mycelia of Ganoderma species which spreads to the bole of the stem. In addition to root contact, BSR can also spread by airborne basidiospores. These fungi are able to break down cell wall components including lignin. BSR not only decreases oil yield, it also causes the stands to collapse thus causing severe economic loss to the oil palm industry. The transmission and mode of action of Ganoderma, its interactions with oil palm as a hemibiotroph, and the molecular defence responses of oil palm to the infection of Ganoderma boninense in BSR are reviewed, based on the transcript profiles of infected oil palms. The knowledge gaps that need to be filled in oil palm-Ganoderma molecular interactions i.e. the associations of hypersensitive reaction (HR)-induced cell death and reactive oxygen species (ROS) kinetics to the susceptibility of oil palm to Ganoderma spp., the interactions of phytohormones (salicylate, jasmonate and ethylene) at early and late stages of BSR, and cell wall strengthening through increased production of guaiacyl (G)-type lignin, are also discussed.
Basal stem rot is one of the major diseases of oil palm (Elaies guineensis Jacq.) caused by pathogenic Ganoderma species. Trichoderma and mycorrhizae were proposed to be able to reduce the disease severity. However, their roles in improving oil palm defence system by possibly inducing defence-related genes in the host are not well characterized. To better understand that, transcript profiles of eleven putative defence-related cDNAs in the roots of oil palm inoculated with Trichoderma harzianum T32 and mycorrhizae at different time points were studied. Transcripts encoding putative Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor (EgBBI2) and defensin (EgDFS) increased more than 2 fold in mycorrhizae-treated roots at 6 weeks post inoculation (wpi) compared to those in controls. Transcripts encoding putative dehydrin (EgDHN), glycine-rich RNA binding protein (EgGRRBP), isoflavone reductase (EgIFR), type 2 ribosome inactivating protein (EgT2RIP), and EgDFS increased in the oil palm roots treated with T. harzianum at 6 and/or 12 wpi compared to those in the controls. Some of these genes were also expressed in oil palm roots treated with Ganoderma boninense. This study provides an insight of some defence-related genes induced by Trichoderma and mycorrhizae, and their roles as potential agents to boost the plant defence system.
Metastasis of an atrial myxoma to the brain is extremely rare. Thus far there are only 17 cases reported, including our present case. Most of the brain metastases manifest only in 3 to 6 decades, after an average time frame of one to two years after surgical removal of parental tumour. We present a case of brain metastases of atrial myxoma in a teenager of the youngest age among all reported cases, unusually as early as 15 years old. The progress of the metastatic process had been insidious for three years after heart surgery, The imaging demonstrated a rather sizeable tumour by the time when the patient is symptomatic. The location of the metastatic tumour is anyhow superficial to the cortical surface, enabling complete surgical excision of the tumour easily achievable with favourable outcome.
Basal stem rot (BSR) is a major disease of oil palm caused by a pathogenic fungus, Ganoderma boninense. However, the interaction between the host plant and its pathogen is not well characterized. To better understand the response of oil palm to G. boninense, transcript profiles of eleven putative defence-related genes from oil palm were measured by quantitative reverse-transcription (qRT)-PCR in the roots of oil palms treated with G. boninense from 3 to 12 weeks post infection (wpi). These transcripts encode putative Bowman-Birk serine protease inhibitors (EgBBI1 and 2), defensin (EgDFS), dehydrin (EgDHN), early methionine-labeled polypeptides (EgEMLP1 and 2), glycine-rich RNA binding protein (EgGRRBP), isoflavone reductase (EgIFR), metallothionein-like protein (EgMT), pathogenesis-related-1 protein (EgPRP), and type 2 ribosome-inactivating protein (EgT2RIP). The transcript abundance of EgBBI2 increased in G. boninense-treated roots at 3 and 6wpi compared to those of controls; while the transcript abundance of EgBBI1, EgDFS, EgEMLP1, EgMT, and EgT2RIP increased in G. boninense-treated roots at 6 or 12wpi. Meanwhile, the gene expression of EgDHN was up-regulated at all three time points in G. boninense-treated roots. The expression profiles of the eleven transcripts were also studied in leaf samples upon inoculation of G. boninense and Trichoderma harzianum to identify potential biomarkers for early detection of BSR. Two candidate genes (EgEMLP1 and EgMT) that have different profiles in G. boninense-treated leaves compared to those infected by T. harzianum may have the potential to be developed as biomarkers for early detection of G. boninense infection.
Primary central nervous system atypical rhabdoid/teratoid tumour (ATRT) is a rare and highly malignant tumour that tends to occur in infancy and early childhood. The majority of tumours (approximately two-third) arise in the posterior fossa. The optimal treatment for ATRT remains unclear. Options of treatment include surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Each of their role is still not clearly defined until now. The prognosis of the disease is generally unfavourable. This is a case report of ATRT in an atypical site in a 9-year-old girl.
Subtentorial subdural empyema is a rare and life threatening intracranial suppuration. It is usually an intracranial complication of otogenic infections. Early diagnosis and surgical drainage are the most important factors determining prognosis. The high mortality reported in the literature reflects the severity of subtentorial subdural empyema if proper management is delayed. Intracranial infections usually require between 4 to 6 weeks of intravenous antibiotics therapy. However, the prolonged duration of hospitalization as well as requirement for neurosurgically inserted indwelling devices may predispose these patients to new nosocomial infections.
Plant defensins are plant defence peptides that have many different biological activities, including antifungal, antimicrobial, and insecticidal activities. A cDNA (EgDFS) encoding defensin was isolated from Elaeis guineensis. The open reading frame of EgDFS contained 231 nucleotides encoding a 71-amino acid protein with a predicted molecular weight at 8.69 kDa, and a potential signal peptide. The eight highly conserved cysteine sites in plant defensins were also conserved in EgDFS. The EgDFS sequence lacking 30 amino acid residues at its N-terminus (EgDFSm) was cloned into Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) pLysS and successfully expressed as a soluble recombinant protein. The recombinant EgDFSm was found to be a thermal stable peptide which demonstrated inhibitory activity against the growth of G. boninense possibly by inhibiting starch assimilation. The role of EgDFSm in oil palm defence system against the infection of pathogen G. boninense was discussed.
Traumatic optic neuropathy (TON) is a rare devastating complication of traumatic head injury and is an ophthalmic emergency. Herein, we report a rare case of a 46-year-old gentleman who experienced severe blurring of vision, binocular diplopia, and pain over his left eye following a fall from a tree about three meters in height. Examinations revealed the visual acuity was 6/60 with a marked relative afferent pupillary defect and generalized ophthalmoplegia over his left eye. Emergency computed tomography (CT) brain and orbit showed a left frontotemporoparietal extradural hemorrhage, comminuted frontotemporoparietal and greater wing of sphenoid fracture with a bony spur impinging the lateral rectus and indirectly on the optic nerve. A diagnosis of left frontotemporoparietal bone fracture with traumatic optic neuropathy was made. An emergency left craniotomy, elevation of depressed skull fracture, and evacuation of clot was done. Postoperatively, his visual acuity showed marked improvement with visual acuity of 6/6 and all optic nerve functions were normal.
Post-traumatic seizure is a well-known and serious complication of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The incidence and risk factors vary among study populations. Very little data have been published concerning this in the Malaysian population. The aim of this study was to ascertain the risk factors for the development of early post-traumatic seizures among patients with TBI.
Symptomatic intracranial arachnoid cysts are commonly treated using neuroendoscopy. Cysts located within the posterior fossa may present a greater surgical challenge to the neurosurgeon due to the numerous vital neurovascular structures located within this confined space. Adding neuronavigation during endoscopy helps a neurosurgeon to visualize and utilize both anterior and posterior corridors safely to access and manage these lesions. We present three symptomatic posterior fossa arachnoid cysts that were treated successfully using minimally invasive neuronavigation-guided endoscopic neurosurgery utilizing the anterior transfrontal transaqueductal, anterior transfrontal transtrigonal, and posterior suboccipital infratentorial supracerebellar approaches.
Basal stem rot (BSR) is a fungal disease in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) which is caused by hemibiotrophic white rot fungi belonging to the Ganoderma genus. Molecular responses of oil palm to these pathogens are not well known although this information is crucial to strategize effective measures to eradicate BSR. In order to elucidate the molecular interactions between oil palm and G. boninense and its biocontrol fungus Trichoderma harzianum, we compared the root transcriptomes of untreated oil palm seedlings with those inoculated with G. boninense and T. harzianum, respectively.
Burkholderia cenocepacia infection often leads to fatal cepacia syndrome in cystic fibrosis patients. However, antibiotic therapy rarely results in complete eradication of the pathogen due to its intrinsic resistance to many clinically available antibiotics. Recent attention has turned to the identification of essential genes as the proteins encoded by these genes may serve as potential targets for development of novel antimicrobials. In this study, we utilized TraDIS (Transposon Directed Insertion-site Sequencing) as a genome-wide screening tool to facilitate the identification of B. cenocepacia genes essential for its growth and viability. A transposon mutant pool consisting of approximately 500,000 mutants was successfully constructed, with more than 400,000 unique transposon insertion sites identified by computational analysis of TraDIS datasets. The saturated library allowed for the identification of 383 genes that were predicted to be essential in B. cenocepacia. We extended the application of TraDIS to identify conditionally essential genes required for in vitro growth and revealed an additional repertoire of 439 genes to be crucial for B. cenocepacia growth under nutrient-depleted conditions. The library of B. cenocepacia mutants can subsequently be subjected to various biologically related conditions to facilitate the discovery of genes involved in niche adaptation as well as pathogenicity and virulence.
Recently, it is suggested to use POLE (palm oil leaf extract) as a nutraceutical health product in food industry due to its newly discovered content of polyphenols and antioxidant vitamins. In the experiment, the antioxidant and anti-lipid-peroxidation activities of the extract were confirmed using; DPPH (1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazil) radical scavenging activity, ferric ion induced lipid peroxidation inhibition, reducing power and hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity assays. The cardio-protective activity was studied in vivo using a model of metabolic syndrome induced by high fat diet. Lipid profile, obesity indices, renal tubular handling of water and electrolytes, blood pressure and arterial stiffness were measured at the end of the treatment period. Sprague Dawley rats weighing 150-200 g were divided into six groups, viz; group C; was treated as a negative control and fed with standard rodents chow, group H; was treated as a positive control and fed with an experimental diet enriched with saturated free fatty acids for 8 weeks, groups HP0.5, HP1 and HP2 which were fed with 0.5,1 and 2 g/kg (body weight) /day of POLE orally during the last 24 days of the high fat diet feeding period and group P; fed with highest dose of POLE. Results revealed that POLE possesses a cardio-protective effect which is ascribed to its content of polyphenols.
Oxidative stress and suppressed H2S production lead to increased renal vascular resistance, disturbed glomerular hemodynamics, and abnormal renal sodium and water handling, contribute to the pathogenesis and maintenance of essential hypertension in man and the spontaneously hypertensive rat. This study investigated the impact of H2S and tempol alone and in combination on blood pressure and renal hemodynamics and excretory functions in the SHR. Groups of WKY rats or SHR (n=6) were treated for 4 weeks either as controls or received NaHS (SHR+NaHS), tempol (SHR+Tempol), or NaHS plus tempol (SHR+NaHS +Tempol). Metabolic studies were performed on days 0, 14, and 28, thereafter animals were anaesthetized to measure renal hemodynamics and plasma oxidative and antioxidant markers. SHR control rats had higher mean arterial blood pressure (140.0 ± 2 vs. 100.0 ± 3 mmHg), lower plasma and urinary H2S, creatinine clearance, urine flow rate and urinary sodium excretion, and oxidative stress compared to WKY (all p<0.05). Treatment either with NaHS or with tempol alone decreased blood pressure and oxidative stress and improved renal hemodynamic and excretory function compared to untreated SHR. Combined NaHS and tempol therapy in SHRs caused larger decreases in blood pressure (∼20-22% vs. ∼11-15% and ∼10-14%), increases in creatinine clearance, urinary sodium excretion and fractional sodium excretion and up-regulated the antioxidant status compared to each agent alone (all p<0.05). These findings demonstrated that H2S and tempol together resulted in greater reductions in blood pressure and normalization of kidney function compared with either compound alone.
Ochroconis constricta is a soilborne dematiaceous fungus that has never been reported to be associated with human infection. Here we report the first draft genome sequence of strain UM 578, isolated from human skin scraping. The genomic information revealed will contribute to a better understanding of this species.
Pasteurella multocida causes pneumonic pasteurellosis and hemorrhagic septicemia (HS) in large ruminants. In this study, we determined the complete genome sequence of P. multocida strain PMTB2.1 capsular serotype A isolated from buffaloes that died of septicemia.
Although more than 100 genome sequences of Pasteurella multocida are available, comprehensive and complete genome sequence analysis is limited. This study describes the analysis of complete genome sequence and pathogenomics of P. multocida strain PMTB2.1. The genome of PMTB2.1 has 2176 genes with more than 40 coding sequences associated with iron regulation and 140 virulence genes including the complete tad locus. The tad locus includes several previously uncharacterized genes such as flp2, rcpC and tadV genes. A transposable phage resembling to Mu phages was identified in P. multocida that has not been identified in any other serotype yet. The multi-locus sequence typing analysis assigned the PMTB2.1 genome sequence as type ST101, while the comparative genome analysis showed that PMTB2.1 is closely related to other P. multocida strains with the genomic distance of less than 0.13. The expression profiling of iron regulating-genes of PMTB2.1 was characterized under iron-limited environment. Results showed significant changes in the expression profiles of iron-regulating genes (p < 0.05) whereas the highest expression of fecE gene (281 fold) at 30 min suggests utilization of the outer-membrane proteins system in iron acquisition at an early stage of growth. This study showed the phylogenomic relatedness of P. multocida and improved annotation of important genes and functional characterization of iron-regulating genes of importance to the bacterial growth.