The study investigates the ability of methanolic extract of Andrographis paniculata (MAP) to supplement polyvalent anti-snake venom (ASV) in inhibiting neurotoxic enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and 'spreading factor' hyaluronidase from Naja naja (N.N) venom. AChE and hyaluronidase activity were measured in 100 or 200 µg of crude venom, respectively, and designated as 'control'. In Test Group I, enzyme assays were performed immediately after the addition of ASV/MAP/ASV + MAP to the venom. Inhibition of AChE by ASV (100-367 µg) was 12-17%, and of hyaluronidase (22-660 µg) was 33-41%. Under the same conditions, MAP (100-400 µg) inhibited AChE and hyaluronidase to the extent of 17-33% and 17-52%, respectively. When ASV (220 µg) and MAP (100-200 µg) were added together, AChE and hyaluronidase were inhibited to a greater extent from 39-63 to 36-44%, than when either of them was used alone. In Test Group 2, the venom was incubated with ASV/MAP/ASV + MAP for 10-30 min at 37 °C prior to the assay which enhanced AChE inhibition by 6%, 82% and 18% respectively, when compared to Test Group I. Though there was no change in inhibition of hyaluronidase in the presence of ASV, MAP could further increase the extent of inhibition by 27% and ASV + MAP upto 4%. In Test Group III, venom and substrate were incubated for 90 min and hyaluronidase activity was measured after the addition of inhibitors. Here, ASV + MAP caused increased inhibition by 69% compared to ASV alone. The study confirms the ability of phytochemicals in MAP to contribute to a multipronged strategy by supplementing, thereby augmenting the efficacy of ASV.
The ability of gellan gum-immobilised cells of the heavy metal-tolerant bacterium Alcaligenes sp. AQ05-001 to utilise both heavy metal-free and heavy metal-polluted feathers (HMPFs) as substrates to produce keratinase enzyme was studied. Optimisation of the media pH, incubation temperature and immobilisation parameters (bead size, bead number, gellan gum concentration) was determined for the best possible production of keratinase using the one-factor-at-a-time technique. The results showed that the immobilised cells could tolerate a broader range of heavy metal concentrations and produced higher keratinase activity at a gellan gum concentration of 0.8% (w/v), a bead size of 3 mm, bead number of 250, pH of 8 and temperature of 30 °C. The entrapped bacterium was used repeatedly for ten cycles to produce keratinase using feathers polluted with 25 ppm of Co, Cu and Ag as substrates without the need for desorption. However, its inability to tolerate/utilise feathers polluted with Hg, Pb, and Zn above 5 ppm, and Ag and Cd above 10 ppm resulted in a considerable decrease in keratinase production. Furthermore, the immobilised cells could retain approximately 95% of their keratinase production capacity when 5 ppm of Co, Cu, and Ag, and 10 ppm of As and Cd were used to pollute feathers. When the feathers containing a mixture of Ag, Co, and Cu at 25 ppm each and Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn at 5 ppm each were used as substrates, the immobilised cells maintained their operational stability and biological activity (keratinase production) at the end of 3rd and 4th cycles, respectively. The study indicates that HMPF can be effectively utilised as a substrate by the immobilised-cell system of Alcaligenes sp. AQ05-001 for the semi-continuous production of keratinase enzyme.
In this study, Gelidium elegans is investigated for ethanol production. A combination of factors including different temperatures, acid concentration and incubation time was evaluated to determine the suitable saccharification conditions. The combination of 2.5% (w/v) H2SO4 at 120 °C for 40 min was selected for hydrolysis of the seaweed biomass, followed by purification, and fermentation to yield ethanol. The galactose and glucose were dominant reducing sugars in the G. elegans hydrolysate and under optimum condition of dilute acid hydrolysis, 39.42% of reducing sugars was produced and fermentation resulted in ethanol concentration of 13.27 ± 0.47 g/L. A modified method was evaluated for sample preparation for gas chromatography (GC) analysis of the ethanol content. A solvent mixture of acetonitrile and iso-butanol precipitated dissolved organic residues and reduced water content in GC samples at least by 90%. Results showed that this method could be successfully used for bioethanol production from seaweed.
Initially, a new moderate halophilic strain was locally isolated from seawater. The partial 16S rRNA sequence analysis positioned the organism in Marinobacter genus and was named 'Marinobacter litoralis SW-45'. This study further demonstrates successful utilization of the halophilic M. litoralis SW-45 lipase (MLL) for butyl ester synthesis from crude palm fruit oil (CPO) and kernel oil (CPKO) in heptane and solvent-free system, respectively, using hydroesterification. Hydrolysis and esterification of enzymatic [Thermomyces lanuginosus lipase (TLL)] hydrolysis of CPO and CPKO to free fatty acids (FFA) followed by MLL-catalytic esterification of the concentrated FFAs with butanol (acyl acceptor) to synthesize butyl esters were performed. A one-factor-at-a-time technique (OFAT) was used to study the influence of physicochemical factors on the esterification reaction. Under optimal esterification conditions of 40 and 45 °C, 150 and 230 rpm, 50% (v/v) biocatalyst concentration, 1:1 and 5:1 butanol:FFA, 9% and 15% (w/v) NaCl, 60 and 15 min reaction time for CPO- and CPKO-derived FFA esterification system, maximum ester conversion of 62.2% and 69.1%, respectively, was attained. Gas chromatography (GC) analysis confirmed the products formed as butyl esters. These results showed halophilic lipase has promising potential to be used for biosynthesis of butyl esters in oleochemical industry.
This investigation demonstrates an efficient method of propagation, short-term conservation, and germplasm exchange for Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng. encapsulated propagules. In vitro-derived shoot apices (shoot tips and nodal segments) which showed 100% survival on MS medium supplemented with 0.4 mg/L 6-benzylaminopurine were selected for encapsulation studies. Shoot apices measuring about 3-5 mm in size showed the ability to break the beads and exhibited 100% survival and regrowth. The combination of 3% (w/v) sodium alginate and 100 mM CaCl2 was found to be ideal for forming uniformally spherical beads, and successive preservation of encapsulated shoot apices into plantlets. The encapsulated shoot tips were relatively more effective than the nodal segments in terms of shoot growth and multiplication. Encapsulated shoot tips retained the ability to regrow (63.3%) for up to 40 days when maintained at 4 °C. Encapsulated shoot tips effectively converted into plantlets on agar medium (78%) and peat moss (58%) under in vitro conditions. Encapsulated shoot tips on agar medium showed a higher shoot regeneration (9.91 ± 0.15 shoots per explant) ability than the peat moss (5.71 ± 0.34 shoots per explant), while the highest rooting (12.16 ± 0.23 roots per explant) was observed on peat moss. Thus, calcium alginate encapsulation holds latent qualities that could be explored to develop a future alternative method of propagation, short-term storage and germplasm distribution for elite genotypes of Plectranthus sp.
An ecologically important tropical freshwater microalga, Scenedesmus quadricauda, was exposed to Ni toxicity under two temperature regimes, 25 and 35 °C to investigate the interactive effects of warming and different Ni concentrations (0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 ppm). The stress responses were assessed from the growth, photosynthesis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and metabolomics aspects to understand the effects at both the physiological and biochemical levels. The results showed that the cell densities of the cultures were higher at 35 °C compared to 25 °C, but decreased with increasing Ni concentrations at 35 °C. In terms of photosynthetic efficiency, the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) of S. quadricauda remained consistent across different conditions. Nickel concentration at 10.0 ppm affected the maximum rate of relative electron transport (rETRm) and saturation irradiance for electron transport (Ek) in photosynthesis. At 25 °C, the increase of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) values in cells exposed to 10.0 ppm Ni might indicate the onset of thermal dissipation process as a self-protection mechanism against Ni toxicity. The combination of warming and Ni toxicity induced a strong oxidative stress response in the cells. The ROS level increased significantly by 40% after exposure to 10.0 ppm of Ni at 35 °C. The amount of Ni accumulated in the biomass was higher at 25 °C compared to 35 °C. Based on the metabolic profile, temperature contributed the most significant differentiation among the samples compared to Ni treatment and the interaction between the two factors. Amino acids, sugars and organic acids were significantly regulated by the combined factors to restore homeostasis. The most affected pathways include sulphur, amino acids, and nitrogen metabolisms. Overall, the results suggest that the inhibitory effect of Ni was lower at 35 °C compared to 25 °C probably due to lower metal uptake and primary metabolism restructuring. The ability of S. quadricauda to accumulate substantial amount of Ni and thrive at 35 °C suggests the potential use of this strain for phycoremediation and outdoor wastewater treatment.
Empty fruit bunch (EFB) and palm oil mill effluent (POME) are the major wastes generated by the oil palm industry in Malaysia. The practice of EFB and POME digester sludge co-composting has shown positive results, both in mitigating otherwise environmentally damaging waste streams and producing a useful product (compost) from these streams. In this study, the bacterial ecosystems of 12-week-old EFB-POME co-compost and POME biogas sludge from Felda Maokil, Johor were analysed using 16S metagenome sequencing. Over ten phyla were detected, with Chloroflexi being the predominant phylum, representing approximately 53% of compost and 23% of the POME microbiome reads. The main bacterial lineage found in the compost and POME was Anaerolinaceae (Chloroflexi) with 30% and 18% of the total gene fragments, respectively. The significant differences between compost and POME communities were abundances of Syntrophobacter, Sulfuricurvum and Coprococcus. No methanogens were identified due to the bias in general 16S primers to eubacteria. The preponderance of anaerobic species in the compost and high abundance of secondary metabolite fermenting bacteria is due to an extended composting time, with anaerobic collapse of the pile due to the tropical heat. Predictive functional profiles of the metagenomes using 16S rRNA marker genes suggest that the presence of enzymes involved in degradation of polysaccharides such as glucoamylase, endoglucanase and arabinofuranosidase, all of which were strongly active in POME. Eubacterial species associated with cellulytic methanogenesis were present in both samples.
Isolation of high-quality RNA from Dendrobium flowers is challenging because of the high levels of pigment, polysaccharides, and polyphenols. In the present study, an efficient CTAB method for RNA extraction from the pigment-rich flowers of Dendrobium was optimised. The optimised method yielded high quantities of RNA (10.1-12.9 µg/g). Spectrophotometric values of A260/280 in the range of 2.2 to 2.4 and A260/230 values of 2.0 suggested that the isolated RNA was free of polyphenols, polysaccharides, and protein contaminants. RNA integrity numbers determined by microfluidics were in the range of 7.9-8.9 indicative of intact RNA. In the improved method, the addition of 3 M NaCl and 3% PVP-10 in the extraction buffer, followed by an incubation period of 45 min at 65 °C, eliminated most of the polysaccharides, polyphenolic compounds, and denatured protein. Extraction with phenol:chloroform:isoamyl alcohol (125:24:1) effectively removed pigments from the aqueous phase, while the precipitation of RNA with lithium chloride minimised the co-precipitation of protein, DNA, and polysaccharide and resulted in the extraction of high quality of RNA. The suitability of the RNA for downstream processing was confirmed via RT-PCR amplification of Chalcone synthase gene from cDNA prepared from RNA isolated from different developmental stages of the flower of a Dendrobium hybrid. The present method will be highly useful for the isolation of RNA from pigment, polyphenol, and polysaccharide-rich plant tissues.
Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) are multipotent stem cells which are ideal candidates for use in regenerative medicine. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the hepatoprotective effect of BM-MSC and its combination treatment with silymarin in carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver cirrhosis animal model and to investigate whether tail vein or portal vein infusion was the ideal route for BM-MSC transplantation. 36 female Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups (n = 6): Group 1 (normal control), Group 2 (received only CCl4, disease model), Group 3 (CCl4 + BM-MSCs through tail vein), Group 4 (CCl4 + BM-MSCs through portal vein), Group 5 (CCl4 + silymarin), Group 6 (CCl4 + BM-MSCs + silymarin). On the 21st day after treatment, blood samples were collected for biochemical estimations. After the experiment, the rats were sacrificed. Liver was dissected out and processed for histopathology and scanning electron microscopy studies. Liver enzyme and marker analysis, histopathological studies indicated that the combination of BM-MSCs and silymarin was effective in treating liver cirrhosis. Transplanted BM-MSCs in combination with silymarin ameliorated the liver tissue damage through their immunoregulatory activities. Among the two routes, the intravenous administration of cells through the tail vein was found to be more effective and safe.
This study was undertaken to evaluate growth-promoting effects of Pluronic F-68 (PF-68) on recalcitrant MR 219 rice callus. Our study shows that calli grown on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 0.04% PF-68 significantly increased callus proliferation by 58.80% (fresh weight) and 23.98% (dry weight) while root formation from callus was enhanced by 28.57%. Enhanced callus proliferation was supported by biochemical analysis, whereby highest amount of soluble sugar (1.77 mg/mL) and protein (0.17 mg/mL) contents were recorded in calli grown on 0.04% PF-68. Furthermore, enhanced expression of sucrose synthase (2.65-folds) and NADH-dependent glutamate synthase (1.86-folds) genes in calli grown on 0.04% PF-68 also correlates with enhanced callus proliferation. In contrast, high concentration of PF-68 (0.10%) recorded highest amount of phenolic (0.74 mg/mL), flavonoid (0.08 mg/mL), and hydrogen peroxide content (0.06 mg/mL) as compared to other treatment groups indicates activation of plant defence mechanism towards stress. Similarly, high expression of 4-coumarate:CoA ligase 3 (1.28-folds), chalcone-flavonone isomerase (1.65-folds) and ascorbate peroxidase (1.61-folds) genes were observed in calli grown on 0.10% PF-68 further supports increasing stress caused by the high concentration of PF-68. Taken together, our study revealed that optimum concentration of PF-68 could improve recalcitrant rice callus proliferation via enhanced sugar metabolism and amino acid biosynthesis which are crucial towards plant growth and development. However, at high concentration, PF-68 induces stress in plant which enhance the production of secondary metabolite to maintain cellular homeostasis.
In this study, we analyzed the Rc and Rd genes that are responsible for the coloration of rice pericarps from six upland rice varieties. We also examined the association of pericarp coloration to the single nucleotide polymorphism in 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase 2 (NCED2), a key gene involved in abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis. Our findings demonstrated that all the upland rice varieties analyzed have a Rd gene which encodes a complete dihydroflavonol-4-reductase without early translational termination codon irrespective of their pericarp colors. However, the upland rice varieties with white pericarps were found to have a defective Rc gene with a 14-base deletion at exon 7 which could disrupt the function of a positive regulator of proanthocyanidin biosynthesis. In addition, the NCED2 genes from the upland rice varieties with white pericarps in this study have a C-allele while the NCED2 genes from Pandasan Red, Tomou and Taragang varieties that bear red pericarps were found to have a T-allele which was reported to be associated with a higher ABA level in upland rice. A better understanding of the gene sequences of upland rice varieties with red pericarp may provide important information for rice breeding programs.
Tree species in the Aquilarieae tribe of the Thymelaeaceae family produce agarwood, a natural product highly valued for its fragrance, but the species are under threat due to indiscriminate harvesting. For conservation of these species, molecular techniques such as DNA profiling have been used. In this study, we assessed cross-amplification of microsatellite markers, initially developed for three Aquilaria species (A.crassna, A.malaccensis, and A.sinensis), on ten other agarwood-producing species, including members of Aquilaria (A.beccariana, A.hirta, A.microcarpa, A.rostrata, A.rugosa, A.subintegra, and A.yunnanensis) and Gyrinops (G.caudata, G.versteegii, and G.walla), both from the Aquilarieae tribe. Primers for 18 out of the 30 microsatellite markers successfully amplified bands of expected sizes in 1 sample each of at least 10 species. These were further used to genotype 74 individuals representing all the 13 studied species, yielding 13 cross-amplifiable markers, of which only 1 being polymorphic across all species. At each locus, the number of alleles ranged from 7 to 23, indicating a rather high variability. Four markers had relatively high species discrimination power. Our results demonstrated that genetic fingerprinting can be an effective tool in helping to manage agarwood genetic resources by potentially supporting the chain-of-custody of agarwood and its products in the market.
Chitinase is an enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of chitin, commonly induced upon the attack of pathogens and other stresses. A cDNA (MsChi1) was isolated from Metroxylon sagu and expressed predominantly in the inflorescence tissue of M. sagu, suggesting its role in developmental processes. The chitinase cDNA was detected and isolated via differential display and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Primers specific to M. saguchitinase were used as probes to amplify the 3'-end and 5'-end regions of chitinase cDNA. Transcript analysis showed that chitinase is expressed in inflorescence and meristem tissues but was not detected in the leaf tissue. Sequence analysis of amplified cDNA fragments of 3'-end and 5'-end regions indicated that the chitinase cDNA was successfully amplified. The M. saguchitinase cDNA isolated was approximately 1,143 bp long and corresponds to 312 predicted amino acids. Alignments of nucleotide and amino acid have grouped this chitinase to family 19 class I chitinase.
This work evaluates the fungicidal effect of essential oil from Coleus aromaticus (C. aromaticus) by solvent-free microwave-assisted extraction with a yield of 0.54%. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy was utilised to identify the functional groups, which were O-H, C-O, C-H, and C=C. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis was performed to determine the primary essential oil components, namely, thymol (92.62%), thymoquinone (2.64%), creosol (1.77%), linalool (1.68%), p-Cymene-2,5-diol (0.73%), and p-Cymene (0.56%). The inhibitory effect of essential oil extracted from C. aromaticus against the isolated fungi, Aspergillus niger from mango, was investigated. The mycelial growth inhibition of the extracted essential oil by the poisoned food test and disc diffusion assay showed the reduction at 79.63 ± 1.7 and 70.45 ± 6.54%, respectively. In vivo experiment was conducted with artificially wounded and unwounded mangoes, applying the extracted essential oil to the wounded mangoes inoculated with A. niger that could decrease the disease incidence from 100 to 58.33 ± 14.43%. Meanwhile, the treatment of the extracted essential oil did not affect the quality of the mango and it also shows improvement in weight loss reduction of the mango in comparison to the chemical fungicide and untreated mango. Hence, essential oil from C. aromaticus by solvent-free microwave-assisted extraction could be used as an effective control for the fruit spoilage and potential source of fruit preservative.
The present study is aimed to evaluate the effects of sub-acute toxicity testing of copper sulphate (CuSO4), on behavioural, histological and biochemical changes of the Oreochromis mossambicus (black tilapia) blood tissues. The effects were assessed according to the previous results on sub-acute toxicity test after exposing fish to several concentrations (0.0, 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 mg/L). The observations of scanning electron microscope, and transmission electron microscope studies revealed severe histopathological changes on the surface and the cellular changes in blood tissues, respectively. The morphological alterations in blood involved irregular structure of red blood cell and blood clot formation. CuSO4 affected the biochemical alteration of the blood cholinesterase also known as serum cholinesterase (ChE). Blood ChE inhibited up to 80% of activity when exposed to 10.0 mg/L CuSO4. The findings from this study can further improve the quality standards of aquaculture industry and the fundamental basis in selecting suitable strains among freshwater fish species to be used as bioindicator.
Proteomic analysis was conducted to identify the rice root proteins induced by exogenous proline and their involvement in root growth. Proteins were extracted from the root tissues grown under two conditions, T1 (control) and T2 (10 mM proline), and profiled by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Seventeen of 30 differentially expressed proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Proline-treated rice roots showed up-regulation and down-regulation of nine and eight proteins, respectively, when compared to those in the control. Among the differentially expressed proteins, the down-regulation of glutathione reductase and peroxidase could be involved in the regulation of cellular hydrogen peroxide and reactive oxygen species levels that modulate the root cell wall structure. Differentially expressed proteins identified as pathogenesis-related proteins might be related to stress adaptive mechanisms in response to exogenous proline treatment. In addition, differentially expressed protein identified as the fructose-bisphosphate aldolases and cytochrome c oxidase might be associated with energy metabolism, which is needed during root developmental process. This is the first attempt to study the changes in rice root proteome treated with proline. The acquired information could open new avenues for further functional studies on the involvement of proline in modulating root development and its relation to stress adaptation of plants.
This study aimed to determine influence of corn inclusion on glutathion peroxidase (GPx) activity, selected minerals concentration, and gene expression in sheep-fed palm kernel cake (PKC) and urea-treated rice straw. Twenty-seven of Dorper sheep were divided into three groups and fed a basal diet of (20% rice straw and 80% concentrate) with addition of ground corn at either 0% (T1), 5% (T2), or 10% (T3), respectively. After 120 days feeding trial, all animals were slaughtered and tissue samples of kidney, liver, and muscles were taken for enzyme and mineral analyses. The results showed that Cu concentration in the liver was lower treatment T3 compared to the control and T2. The serum activity of GPx was higher in T2 than in T3 at day 120 of experiment. Serum malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations decreased at day 80 in sheep on T3, whereas MDA of liver increased linearly with increasing corn supplementation. The qRT-PCR analyses revealed significant up-regulation of ATP7A and MIa genes in T3, while hepatic Cu/Zn SOD, GPx1, and GPx4 mRNA showed a higher expression in lamb hepatocytes in T3 compared to those on T1. Present study results suggest that feeding PKC as basal diet can increase antioxidant activity, but cause liver dysfunction in sheep. Inclusion corn was found to regulate transcriptional levels of the GPx family and metallothionein genes. These genes may play a role in the antioxidant protection response and reduce incidence of toxicity associated with Cu.
MicroRNAs are endogenous small non-coding-RNAs that control gene expression and cancer development. Previous studies reported that Polyalthia longifolia treatment induced apoptotic cell death in HeLa cells by down-regulation of miR-221-5p. Hence, the current study was conducted to validate the down-regulated miR-221-5p in HeLa cells. Functional analysis of miR-221-5p was conducted through the gain-of-function, and loss-of-function approach and the miRNA expression was quantified by a real-time polymerase chain reaction. The P. longifolia treatment significantly (p
Herein, a rapid and sensitive current-volt measurement was developed for identifying the IS6110 DNA sequence to diagnose Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). An aminated capture probe was immobilized on a 1,1'-carbonyldiimidazole-functionalized interdigitated electrode (IDE) silica substrate, and the target sequence was detected by complementation. It was found that all tested concentrations displayed a higher response in current changes than the control, and the limit of detection was 10 fM. The sensitivity ranged from 1 to 10 fM. The control sequences with single-, triple-mismatch and noncomplementary sequences showed great discrimination. This rapid and easy DNA detection method helps to identify M. tuberculosis for early-stage diagnosis of TB.
In this overview, the authors have discussed the potential advantages of the association between mycorrhizae and plants, their mutual accelerated growth under favorable conditions and their role in nutrient supply. In addition, methods for isolating mycorrhizae are described and spore morphologies and their adaptation to various conditions are outlined. Further, the significant participation of controlled greenhouses and other supported physiological environments in propagating mycorrhizae is detailed. The reviewed information supports the lack of host- and niche-specificity by arbuscular mycorrhizae, indicating that these fungi are suitable for use in a wide range of ecological conditions and with propagules for direct reintroduction. Regarding their prospective uses, the extensive growth of endomycorrhizal fungi suggests it is suited for poor-quality and low-fertility soils.