|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 355|
Microgravity is known to be a major abiotic stress in space which affects plants depending on the duration of exposure. In this work, tomatoes seeds were exposed to long hours of simulated microgravity condition using a one-axis clinostat. The seeds were sown on a 1.5% combination of plant nutrient and agar-agar solidified medium in three Petri dishes. One of the Petri dishes was mounted on the clinostat and allowed to rotate at the speed of 20 rpm for 72 hours, while the others were subjected to the normal gravity vector. The anatomical sections of both clinorotated and normal gravity plants were made after 72 hours and observed using a Phase-contrast digital microscope. The percentage germination, as well as the growth rate of the normal gravity seeds, was higher than the clinorotated ones. The germinated clinorotated roots followed different directions unlike the normal gravity ones which grew towards the direction of gravity vector. The clinostat was able to switch off gravistimulation. Distinct cellular arrangement was observed for tomatoes under normal gravity condition, unlike those of clinorotated ones. The root epidermis and cortex of normal gravity are thicker than the clinorotated ones. This implied that under long-term microgravity influence, plants do alter their anatomical features as a way of adapting to the stress condition.
The objective of this research was focused on investigating in vitro antimicrobial activity of Phellinus linteus fruiting body extracts on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Phellinus linteus fruiting body was extracted with ethanol and ethyl acetate and was vaporized. The disc diffusion assay was used to assess antimicrobial activity against tested bacterial strains. Primary screening of chemical profile of crude extract was determined by using thin layer chromatography. The positive control and the negative control were used as erythromycin and dimethyl sulfoxide, respectively. Initial screening of Phellinus linteus crude extract with the disc diffusion assay demonstrated that only ethanol had greater antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The MIC assay showed that the lower MIC was observed with 0.5 mg/ml of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and 0.25 mg/ml. of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. TLC chemical profile of extract was represented at Rf ≈ 0.71-0.76.
The genus Azotobacter has been widely used as bio-fertilizer due to its significant effects on the stimulation and promotion of plant growth in various agricultural species of commercial interest. In order to obtain significantly viable cellular concentration, a scale-up strategy for a liquid fermentation process (SmF) with two strains of A. chroococcum (named Ac1 and Ac10) was validated and adjusted at laboratory and pilot scale. A batch fermentation process under previously defined conditions was carried out on a biorreactor Infors®, model Minifors of 3.5 L, which served as a baseline for this research. For the purpose of increasing process efficiency, the effect of the reduction of stirring speed was evaluated in combination with a fed-batch-type fermentation laboratory scale. To reproduce the efficiency parameters obtained, a scale-up strategy with geometric and fluid dynamic behavior similarities was evaluated. According to the analysis of variance, this scale-up strategy did not have significant effect on cellular concentration and in laboratory and pilot fermentations (Tukey, p > 0.05). Regarding air consumption, fermentation process at pilot scale showed a reduction of 23% versus the baseline. The percentage of reduction related to energy consumption reduction under laboratory and pilot scale conditions was 96.9% compared with baseline.
Neutralisation of acid-mine drainage (AMD) using limestone is cost effective, and good results can be obtained. However, this process has its limitations; it cannot be used for highly acidic water which consists of Fe(III). When Fe(III) reacts with CaCO3, it results in armoring. Armoring slows the reaction, and additional alkalinity can no longer be generated. Limestone is easily accessible, so this problem can be easily dealt with. Experiments were carried out to evaluate the effect of PVC pipe length on ferric and ferrous ions. It was found that the shorter the pipe length the more these dissolved metals precipitate. The effect of the pipe length on the hydrogen ions was also studied, and it was found that these two have an inverse relationship. Experimental data were further compared with the model prediction data to see if they behave in a similar fashion. The model was able to predict the behaviour of 1.5m and 2 m pipes in ferric and ferrous ion precipitation.
Event-related potential (ERP) is one of the useful tools for investigating cognitive reactions. In this study, the potential of ERP components detected after auditory and visual stimuli was examined. Subjects were asked to respond upon stimuli that were of three categories; Target, Non-Target and Standard stimuli. The ERP after stimulus was measured. In the experiment of visual evoked potentials (VEPs), the subjects were asked to gaze at a center point on the monitor screen where the stimuli were provided by the reversal pattern of the checkerboard. In consequence of the VEP experiments, we observed consistent reactions. Each peak voltage could be measured when the ensemble average was applied. Visual stimuli had smaller amplitude and a longer latency compared to that of auditory stimuli. The amplitude was the highest with Target and the smallest with Standard in both stimuli.
Harmalol administration caused remarkable reduction in proliferation of HepG2 cells with GI50 of 14.2 mM, without showing much cytotoxicity in embryonic liver cell line, WRL-68. Data from circular dichroism and differential scanning calorimetric analysis of harmalol-CT DNA complex shows conformational changes with prominent CD perturbation and stabilization of CT DNA by 8 oC. Binding constant and stoichiometry was also calculated using the above biophysical techniques. Further, dose dependent apoptotic induction ability of harmalol was studied in HepG2 cells using different biochemical assays. Generation of ROS, DNA damage, changes in cellular external and ultramorphology, alteration of membrane, formation of comet tail, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and a significant increase in Sub Go/G1 population made the cancer cell, HepG2, prone to apoptosis. Up regulation of p53 and caspase 3 further indicated the apoptotic role of harmalol.
This study explored the effects of different organic solvents, temperature, and the amount of glycerol on the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)-catalysed stereoselective reduction of different ketones. These conversions were then analyzed by gas chromatography. It was found that when the amount of deep eutectic solvents (DES) increases, it can improve the stereoselectivity of the enzyme although reducing its ability to convert the substrate into the corresponding alcohol. Moreover, glycerol was found to have a strong stabilizing effect on the ADH from Ralstonia sp. (E. coli/ RasADH). In the case of organic solvents, it was observed that the best conversions into the alcohols were achieved with DMSO and hexane. It was also observed that temperature decreased the ability of the enzyme to convert the substrates into the products and also affected the selectivity. In addition to that, the recycling of DES up to three times gave good conversions and enantiomeric excess results and glycerol showed a positive effect in the stability of various ADHs. Using RasADH, a good conversion and enantiomeric excess into the S-alcohol were obtained. It was found that an enhancement of the temperature disabled the stabilizing effect of glycerol and decreased the stereoselectivity of the enzyme. However, for other ADHs a temperature increase had an opposite positive effect, especially with ADH-T from Thermoanaerobium sp. One of the objectives of this study was to see the effect of cofactors such as NAD(P) on the biocatlysis activities of ADHs.
Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.
Bendiocarb is a known toxic xenobiotic that presents acute and chronic risks for freshwater invertebrates and estuarine and marine biota; thus, the treatment of water contaminated with the insecticide is of concern. In this paper, a bacterial community with the capacity to grow in bendiocarb as its sole carbon and nitrogen source was isolated by enrichment techniques in batch culture, from samples of a composting plant located in the northeast of Mexico City. Eight cultivable bacteria were isolated from the microbial community, by PCR amplification of 16 rDNA; Pseudoxanthomonas spadix (NC_016147.2, 98%), Ochrobacterium anthropi (NC_009668.1, 97%), Staphylococcus capitis (NZ_CP007601.1, 99%), Bosea thiooxidans. (NZ_LMAR01000067.1, 99%), Pseudomonas denitrificans. (NC_020829.1, 99%), Agromyces sp. (NZ_LMKQ01000001.1, 98%), Bacillus thuringiensis. (NC_022873.1, 97%), Pseudomonas alkylphenolia (NZ_CP009048.1, 98%). NCBI accession numbers and percentage of similarity are indicated in parentheses. These bacteria were regarded as the isolated species for having the best similarity matches. The ability to degrade bendiocarb by the immobilized bacterial community in a packed bed biofilm reactor, using as support volcanic stone fragments (tezontle), was evaluated. The reactor system was operated in batch using mineral salts medium and 30 mg/L of bendiocarb as carbon and nitrogen source. With this system, an overall removal efficiency (ηbend) rounding 90%, was reached.
Dunaliella salina has great potential as a system for generating commercially valuable products, including beta-carotene, pharmaceuticals, and biofuels. Our goal is to improve this potential by enhancing growth rate and other properties of D. salina under optimal growth conditions. We used ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) to generate random mutants in D. salina KU11, a strain classified in Thailand. In a preliminary experiment, we first treated D. salina cells with 0%, 0.8%, 1.0%, 1.2%, 1.44% and 1.66% EMS to generate a killing curve. After that, we randomly picked 30 candidates from approximately 300 isolated survivor colonies from the 1.44% EMS treatment (which permitted 30% survival) as an initial test of the mutant screen. Among the 30 survivor lines, we found that 2 strains (mutant #17 and #24) had significantly improved growth rates and cell number accumulation at stationary phase approximately up to 1.8 and 1.45 fold, respectively, 2 strains (mutant #6 and #23) had significantly decreased growth rates and cell number accumulation at stationary phase approximately down to 1.4 and 1.35 fold, respectively, while 26 of 30 lines had similar growth rates compared with the wild type control. We also analyzed cell size for each strain and found there was no significant difference comparing all mutants with the wild type. In addition, mutant #24 had shown an increase of biomass accumulation approximately 1.65 fold compared with the wild type strain on day 5 that was entering early stationary phase. From these preliminary results, it could be feasible to identify D. salina mutants with significant improved growth rate, cell accumulation and biomass production compared to the wild type for the further study; this makes it possible to improve this microorganism as a platform for biotechnology application.
As genetic diversity is most important for existing, breeding and production of any fish; this study was undertaken for investigating genetic diversity of freshwater mud eel, Monopterus cuchia at population level where three ecological populations such as flooded area of Sylhet (P1), open water of Moulvibazar (P2) and open water of Sunamganj (P3) districts of Bangladesh were considered. Four arbitrary RAPD primers (OPB-12, C0-4, B-03 and OPB-08) were screened and RAPD banding patterns were analyzed among the populations considering 15 individuals of each population. In total 174, 138 and 149 bands were detected in the populations of P1, P2 and P3 respectively; however, each primer revealed less number of bands in each population. 100% polymorphic loci were recorded in P2 and P3 whereas only one monomorphic locus was observed in P1, recorded 97.5% polymorphism. Different genetic parameters such as inter-individual pairwise similarity, genetic distance, Nei genetic similarity, linkage distances, cluster analysis and allelic information, etc. were considered for measuring genetic diversity. The average inter-individual pairwise similarity was recorded 2.98, 1.47 and 1.35 in P1, P2 and P3 respectively. Considering genetic distance analysis, the highest distance 1 was recorded in P2 and P3 and the lowest genetic distance 0.444 was found in P2. The average Nei genetic similarity was observed 0.19, 0.16 and 0.13 in P1, P2 and P3, respectively; however, the average linkage distance was recorded 24.92, 17.14 and 15.28 in P1, P3 and P2 respectively. Based on linkage distance, genetic clusters were generated in three populations where 6 clades and 7 clusters were found in P1, 3 clades and 5 clusters were observed in P2 and 4 clades and 7 clusters were detected in P3. In addition, allelic information was observed where the frequency of p and q alleles were observed 0.093 and 0.907 in P1, 0.076 and 0.924 in P2, 0.074 and 0.926 in P3 respectively. The average gene diversity was observed highest in P2 (0.132) followed by P3 (0.131) and P1 (0.121) respectively.
Essential oils of Heracleum persicum (Apiaceae) have been widely used from many years ago, but the difference of its properties among different populations have not been identified up to now. Hydrodistilation Clevenger type was used to obtaining the fruit essential oils of four populations of H. persicum from different localities in Iran, then they were characterized by GC-FID and GC-MS analyses. Some ecological factors were also measured. The oils of four populations were compared to determine the similarities and differences and the relationships between these factors and ecological factors. Based on the result, 18-32 different components were identified in four populations, while the percentage of the main components was higher in population with lower number of components. According to the statistical analyses of chemical components and ecological factors, it can be concluded that some ecological factors such as altitude, less humidity, high difference between day and night temperature and salty soil would lead to lower number of components in essential oil, whereas they consist the higher percentage.
Red Blood Cells (RBCs) or erythrocytes tend to form chain-like aggregates under low shear rate called rouleaux. This is a reversible process and rouleaux disaggregate in high shear rates. Therefore, RBCs aggregation occurs in the microcirculation where low shear rates are present but does not occur under normal physiological conditions in large arteries. Numerical modeling of RBCs interactions is fundamental in analytical models of a blood flow in microcirculation. Population Balance Modeling (PBM) is particularly useful for studying problems where particles agglomerate and break in a two phase flow systems to find flow characteristics. In this method, the elementary particles lose their individual identity due to continuous destructions and recreations by break-up and agglomeration. The aim of this study is to find RBCs aggregation in a dynamic situation. Simplified PBM was used previously to find the aggregation rate on a static observation of the RBCs aggregation in a drop of blood under the microscope. To find aggregation rate in a dynamic situation we propose an experimental set up testing RBCs sedimentation. In this test, RBCs interact and aggregate to form rouleaux. In this configuration, disaggregation can be neglected due to low shear stress. A high-speed camera is used to acquire video-microscopic pictures of the process. The sizes of the aggregates and velocity of sedimentation are extracted using an image processing techniques. Based on the data collection from 5 healthy human blood samples, the aggregation rate was estimated as 2.7x103(±0.3 x103) 1/s.
Pseudomonas putida is a potential strain in biological treatment to remove mercury contained in the effluent of petrochemical industry due to its mercury reductase enzyme that able to reduce ionic mercury to elementary mercury. Freeze-dried P. putida allows easy, inexpensive shipping, handling and high stability of the product. This study was aimed to freeze dry P. putida cells with addition of lyoprotectant. Lyoprotectant was added into the cells suspension prior to freezing. Dried P. putida obtained was then mixed with synthetic mercury. Viability of recovery P. putida after freeze dry was significantly influenced by the type of lyoprotectant. Among the lyoprotectants, tween 80/ sucrose was found to be the best lyoprotectant. Sucrose able to recover more than 78% (6.2E+09 CFU/ml) of the original cells (7.90E+09CFU/ml) after freeze dry and able to retain 5.40E+05 viable cells after 4 weeks storage in 4oC without vacuum. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) pre-treated freeze dry cells and broth pre-treated freeze dry cells after freeze-dry recovered more than 64% (5.0 E+09CFU/ml) and >0.1% (5.60E+07CFU/ml). Freeze-dried P. putida cells in PEG and broth cannot survive after 4 weeks storage. Freeze dry also does not really change the pattern of growth P. putida but extension of lag time was found 1 hour after 3 weeks of storage. Additional time was required for freeze-dried P. putida cells to recover before introduce freeze-dried cells to more complicated condition such as mercury solution. The maximum mercury reduction of PEG pre-treated freeze-dried cells after freeze dry and after storage 3 weeks was 56.78% and 17.91%. The maximum of mercury reduction of tween 80/sucrose pre-treated freeze-dried cells after freeze dry and after storage 3 weeks were 26.35% and 25.03%. Freeze dried P. putida was found to have lower mercury reduction compare to the fresh P. putida that has been growth in agar. Result from this study may be beneficial and useful as initial reference before commercialize freeze-dried P. putida.
The technology of mobile telephony has positively enhanced human life and reports on the bio safety of the radiation from their antennae have been contradictory, leading to serious litigations and violent protests by residents in several parts of the world. The crave for more information, as requested by WHO in order to resolve this issue, formed the basis for this study on the effect of the radiation from 900 MHz GSM antenna on the DNA of Hibiscus sabdariffa. Seeds of H. sabdariffa were raised in pots placed in three replicates at 100, 200, 300 and 400 metres from the GSM antennae in three selected test locations and a control where there was no GSM signal. Temperature (˚C) and the relative humidity (%) of study sites were measured for the period of study (24 weeks). Fresh young leaves were harvested from each plant at two, eight and twenty-four weeks after sowing and the DNA extracts were subjected to RAPD-PCR analyses. There were no significant differences between the weather conditions (temperature and relative humidity) in all the study locations. However, significant differences were observed in the intensities of radiations between the control (less than 0.02 V/m) and the test (0.40-1.01 V/m) locations. Data obtained showed that DNA of samples exposed to rays from GSM antenna had various levels of distortions, estimated at 91.67%. Distortions occurred in 58.33% of the samples between 2-8 weeks of exposure while 33.33% of the samples were distorted between 8-24 weeks exposure. Approximately 8.33% of the samples did not show distortions in DNA while 33.33% of the samples had their DNA damaged twice, both at 8 and at 24 weeks of exposure. The study showed that radiation from the 900 MHz GSM antenna is potent enough to cause distortions to DNA of H. sabdariffa even within 2-8 weeks of exposure. DNA damage was also independent of the distance from the antenna. These observations would qualify emissions from GSM mast as environmental hazard to the existence of plant biodiversities and all life forms in general. These results will trigger efforts to prevent further erosion of plant genetic resources which have been threatening food security and also the risks posed to living organisms, thereby making our environment very safe for our existence while we still continue to enjoy the benefits of the GSM technology.
In the vicinity of red sea about 15 fungi species were isolated from oil contaminated sites. On the basis of aptitude to degrade the crude oil and DCPIP assay, two fungal isolates were selected amongst 15 oil degrading strains. Analysis of ITS-1, ITS-2 and amplicon pyrosequencing studies of fungal diversity revealed that these strains belong to Penicillium and Aspergillus species. Two strains that proved to be the most efficient in degrading crude oil was Aspergillus niger (54%) and Penicillium commune (48%) Subsequent to two weeks of cultivation in BHS medium the degradation rate were recorded by using spectrophotometer and GC-MS. Hence, it is cleared that these fungal strains has capability of degradation and can be utilize for cleaning the Saudi Arabian environment.
Anaerobic digestion is a well-known technique for sustainable energy recovery from sewage sludge. However, sewage sludge digestion is restricted due to certain factors. Pre-treatment methods have been established in various publications as a promising technique to improve the digestibility of the sewage sludge and to enhance the biogas generated which can be used for energy recovery. In this study, continuous flow microwave (MW) pre-treatment with different intensities were compared by using 5 L semi-continuous digesters at a hydraulic retention time of 27 days. We focused on the effects of MW at different intensities on the sludge solubilization, sludge digestibility, and biogas production of the untreated and MW pre-treated sludge. The MW pre-treatment demonstrated an increase in the ratio of soluble chemical oxygen demand to total chemical oxygen demand (sCOD/tCOD) and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration. Besides that, the total volatile solid (TVS) removal efficiency and tCOD removal efficiency also increased during the digestion of the MW pre-treated sewage sludge compared to the untreated sewage sludge. Furthermore, the biogas yield also subsequently increases due to the pre-treatment effect. A higher MW power level and irradiation time generally enhanced the biogas generation which has potential for sustainable energy recovery from sewage treatment plant. However, the net energy balance tabulation shows that the MW pre-treatment leads to negative net energy production.
Anogeissus leiocarpus (Combretaceae) is well known for its medicinal uses in African traditional medicine, for treating many human diseases mainly skin diseases and infections. Mycetoma disease is a fungal and/ or bacterial skininfection, mainly cause by Madurella mycetomatis fungus. This study was carried out in vitro to investigate the antifungal activity of Anogeissus leiocarpus leaf extracts against the isolated pathogenic Madurella mycetomatis, by using the NCCLS modified method compared to Ketoconazole standard drug, and MTT assay. The bioactive fraction was subjected to chemical analysis implementing different chromatographic analytical methods (TLC, HPLC, and LC-MS/MS). The results showed significance antifungal activity of A. leiocarpus leaf extracts against the isolated pathogenic M. mycetomatis, compared to negative and positive controls. The chloroform fraction showed the highest antifungal activity. The chromatographic analysis of the chloroform fraction with the highest activity showed the presence of important bioactive compounds such as ellagic and flavellagic acids derivatives, flavonoids and stilbenoid, which are well known for their antifungal activity.
As a result of the ambiguity and complexity surrounding anaerobic digester foaming, efforts have been made by various researchers to understand the process of anaerobic digester foaming so as to proffer a solution that can be universally applied rather than site specific. All attempts ranging from experimental analysis to comparative review of other process has not fully explained the conditions and process of foaming in anaerobic digester. Studying the current available knowledge on foam formation and relating it to anaerobic digester process and operating condition, this piece of work presents a succinct and enhanced understanding of foaming in anaerobic digesters as well as introducing a simple method to identify the onset of anaerobic digester foaming based on analysis of historical data from a field scale system.