|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 6|
Total mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and Hg-Se ratios were analyzed in the white muscle, liver and gonads of swordfish, in order to compare concentration between the different tissues and sex, and also the effect of size (fork length). The results show significant difference between tissue types, with the liver having the highest concentration of both Hg and Se. Positive significant correlations between moles of Hg and Se were obtained in the liver and white muscle, but no relationship was obtained in the gonads. No difference in the concentration of Hg and Se was obtained between the sexes in the tissue types, except for Hg in the gonads, which were found to be higher in males. Significant negative relationships were obtained when the Hg-Se ratio was plotted against fork length in all three tissue types.
The biosynthesis of nanoparticles by microorganisms, on the contrary to chemical synthesis, is an environmentally-friendly process which has low energy requirements. In this investigation, we used the microorganism Geobacillus wiegelii, strain GWE1, an aerobic thermophile belonging to genus Geobacillus, isolated from a drying oven. This microorganism has the ability to reduce selenite evidenced by the change of color from colorless to red in the culture. Elemental analysis and composition of the particles were verified using transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The nanoparticles have a defined spherical shape and a selenium elemental state. Previous experiments showed that the presence of the whole microorganism for the reduction of selenite was not necessary. The results strongly suggested that an intracellular NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase mediates selenium nanoparticles synthesis under aerobic conditions. The enzyme was purified and identified by mass spectroscopy MALDI-TOF TOF technique. The enzyme is a 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase. Histograms of nanoparticles sizes were obtained. Size distribution ranged from 40-160 nm, where 70% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. Spectroscopic analysis showed that the nanoparticles are composed of elemental selenium. To analyse the effect of pH in size and morphology of nanoparticles, the synthesis of them was carried out at different pHs (4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0). For thermostability studies samples were incubated at different temperatures (60, 80 and 100 ºC) for 1 h and 3 h. The size of all nanoparticles was less than 100 nm at pH 4.0; over 50% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm at pH 5.0; at pH 6.0 and 8.0 over 90% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. At neutral pH (7.0) nanoparticles reach a size around 120 nm and only 20% of them were less than 100 nm. When looking at temperature effect, nanoparticles did not show a significant difference in size when they were incubated between 0 and 3 h at 60 ºC. Meanwhile at 80 °C the nanoparticles suspension lost its homogeneity. A change in size was observed from 0 h of incubation at 80ºC, observing a size range between 40-160 nm, with 20% of them over 100 nm. Meanwhile after 3 h of incubation at size range changed to 60-180 nm with 50% of them over 100 nm. At 100 °C the nanoparticles aggregate forming nanorod structures. In conclusion, these results indicate that is possible to modulate size and shape of biologically synthesized nanoparticles by modulating pH and temperature.
During 2011 and 2012 seasons, Zaghloul date palms received four sprays of silicon (Si) at 0.05 to 0.1% and selenium (Se) at 0.01 to 0.02%. Growth, nutritional status, yield as well as physical and chemical characteristics of the fruits in response to application of silicon and selenium were investigated. Single and combined applications of silicon at 0.05 to 0.1% and selenium at 0.01 to 0.02% was very effective in enhancing the leaf area, total chlorophylls, percentages of N, P and K in the leaves, yield, bunch weight as well as physical and chemical characteristics of the fruits in relative to the check treatment. Silicon was superior to selenium in this respect. Combined application was favorable than using each alone in this connection. Treating Zaghloul date palms four times with a mixture of silicon at 0.05% + selenium at 0.01% resulted in an economical yield and producing better fruit quality.