Environmental Health Risk Assessment of Hospital Wastewater in Enugu Urban, Nigeria
An important hydrogeologic problem in areas of high faults formations is high environmental health hazard occasioned by microbial and heavy metals contamination of ground waters. Consequently, we examined the microbial load and heavy metals concentration of hospital wastewater discharged into the environment at Park Lane General Hospital Enugu Urban, Nigeria. The microbial counts, characteristics and frequency of occurrences of the isolated microorganisms were determined by cultural, morphological and biochemical characteristics using established procedure while the varying concentrations of the identified heavy metals were determined using the spectrophotometric method. The microbiological analyses showed a mean total aerobic bacteria counts from 13.7 ± 0.65 × 107 to 22.8 ± 1.14 ×1010 CFU/ml, mean total anaerobic bacteria counts from 6.0 ± 1.6 × 103 to 1.7 ± 0.41 ×104 CFU/ml and mean total fungal counts from 0 ± 0 to 2.3 ± 0.16 × 105 CFU/ml. The isolated micro-organisms which included both pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms were Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Bacillus subtilis, Proteus vulgaris, Klesbsiella pneumonia and bacteriodes sp. The only fungal isolate was Candida albican. The heavy metals identified in the leachate were Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury and Chromium and their concentrations ranged from 0.003 ± 0.00082 to 0.14 ± 0.0082 mg/l. These values were above WHO permissible limits while others fall within the limits. Therefore, hospital waste water can pose the environmental health risk when not properly treated before discharge, especially in geologic formations with high fault formations.
Effect of High Pressure Treatment on the Microbial Contamination and on Some Chemical and Physical Properties of Minced Chicken
Composite samples of minced chicken were vacuum-packaged and pressure treated at 300, 400, 450 and 500 MPa in a Stansted 'FOOD-LAB' model S-FL-850-9-W high hydrostatic pressure research apparatus (Stansted Fluid Power Ltd., Stansted, UK). Treated and untreated samples were then stored at 3°C, and microbial content as well as some chemical and physical properties monitored. The microbial load of the untreated samples reached the spoilage level of 107 cfu/g in about one week, resulting in bad smell and dark brown color. The pressure treatments reduced total bacterial counts by about 1.8 to 3.2 log10 cycles and reduced counts of Enterobacteriaceae and Salmonella to non-detectable levels. The color of meat was slightly affected, but pH, moisture content and the oxidation products of lipids were not substantially changed. The treatment killed mainly gram negative bacteria but also caused sub-lethal injury to part of the population resulting in prolonged lag phase. The population not killed by the 350 to 450 MPa treatments grew relatively slowly during storage, and its loads reached spoilage level in 4 to 6 weeks, while the load of the population treated at 500 MPa did not reach this level till the end of a storage period of 9 weeks.
Microbial Quality of Raw Camel Milk Produced in South of Morocco
Thirty one samples of raw camel milk obtained from the region of Laâyoune (South of Morocco) were examined for their microbial quality and presence of some pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella sp.). pH of the samples ranged from 6.31 to 6.64 and their titratable acidity had a mean value of 18.56 °Dornic. Data obtained showed a strong microbial contamination with an average total aerobic flora of 1.76 108 ufc ml-1 and a very high fecal counts: 1.82 107 ; 3.25 106 and 3.75 106 ufc.ml-1 in average for total coliforms, fecal coliforms and enterococci respectively. Yeasts and moulds were also found at average respective levels of 3.13 106 and 1.60 105 ufc.ml-1. Salmonella sp. and S. aureus was detected respectively in 13% and 30% of the milk samples. These results indicate clearly the lack of hygienic conditions of camel milk production and storage in this region. Lactic acid bacteria were found at the following average numbers: 4.25 107 ; 4.45 107 and 3.55 107 ufc.ml-1 for Lactococci, Leuconostocs and Lactobacilli respectively.
Application of Chitosan as a Natural Antimicrobial Compound in Stirred Yoghurt
The main objective of this research was to increase shelf life of stirred yoghurt by adding chitosan as a naturally antimicrobial compound. Chitosan were added at different concentrations (0.1, 0.3 and 0.6%) to the stirred yoghurt. Samples were stored at refrigerator and room temperature for 3 weeks and tested with respect of microbial properties (counts of starter bacteria, mold and yeast, coliforms and E. coli). Starter bacteria and yeast counts in samples containing chitosan was significantly (p< 0.05) lower than those in control samples and its antibacterial and anti-yeast effects increased with increasing concentration of chitosan. The lowest counts of starter bacteria and yeast were observed at samples whit 0.6% of chitosan. The Results showed Chitosan had a positive effect on increasing shelf life and controlling of yeasts and therefore can be used as a natural preservative in stirred yogurt.
Pilot Scale Investigation on the Removal of Pollutants from Secondary Effluent to Meet Botswana Irrigation Standards Using Roughing and Slow Sand Filters
Botswana is an arid country that needs to start reusing wastewater as part of its water security plan. Pilot scale slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter was investigated for the treatment of effluent from Botswana International University of Science and Technology to meet Botswana irrigation standards. The system was operated at hydraulic loading rates of 0.04 m/hr and 0.12 m/hr. The results show that the system was able to reduce turbidity from 262 Nephelometric Turbidity Units to a range between 18 and 0 Nephelometric Turbidity Units which was below 30 Nephelometric Turbidity Units threshold limit. The overall efficacy ranged between 61% and 100%. Suspended solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, and Chemical Oxygen Demand removal efficiency averaged 42.6%, 45.5%, and 77% respectively and all within irrigation standards. Other physio-chemical parameters were within irrigation standards except for bicarbonate ion which averaged 297.7±44 mg L-1 in the influent and 196.22±50 mg L-1 in the effluent which was above the limit of 92 mg L-1, therefore averaging a reduction of 34.1% by the system. Total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli in the effluent were initially averaging 1.1 log counts, 0.5 log counts, and 1.3 log counts respectively compared to corresponding influent log counts of 3.4, 2.7 and 4.1, respectively. As time passed, it was observed that only roughing filter was able to reach reductions of 97.5%, 86% and 100% respectively for faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, and total coliforms. These organism numbers were observed to have increased in slow sand filter effluent suggesting multiplication in the tank. Water quality index value of 22.79 for the physio-chemical parameters suggests that the effluent is of excellent quality and can be used for irrigation purposes. However, the water quality index value for the microbial parameters (1820) renders the quality unsuitable for irrigation. It is concluded that slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter is a viable option for the treatment of secondary effluent for reuse purposes. However, further studies should be conducted especially for the removal of microbial parameters using the system.
LIFirr with an Indicator of Microbial Activity in Paraffinic Oil
Paraffinic oils were submitted to microbial action. The microorganisms consisted of bacteria of the genera Pseudomonas sp and Bacillus lincheniforms. The alterations in interfacial tension were determined using a tensometer and applying the hanging drop technique at room temperature (299 K ±275 K). The alteration in the constitution of the paraffins was evaluated by means of gas chromatography. The microbial activity was observed to reduce interfacial tension by 54 to 78%, as well as consuming the paraffins C19 to C29 and producing paraffins C36 to C44. The LIFirr technique made it possible to determine the microbial action quickly.
Efficacy of Carvacrol as an Antimicrobial Wash Treatment for Reducing Both Campylobacter jejuni and Aerobic Bacterial Counts on Chicken Skin
Campylobacter, one of the major cause of foodborne illness worldwide, is commonly present in the intestinal tract of poultry. Many strategies are currently being investigated to reduce Campylobacter counts on commercial poultry during processing with limited success. This study investigated the efficacy of the generally recognized as safe compound, carvacrol (CR), a component of wild oregano oil as a wash treatment for reducing C. jejuni and aerobic bacteria on chicken skin. A total of two trials were conducted, and in each trial, a total of 75 skin samples (4cm × 4cm each) were randomly allocated into 5 treatment groups (0%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1% and 2% CR). Skin samples were inoculated with a cocktail of four wild strains of C. jejuni (~ 8 log10 CFU/skin). After 30 min of attachment, inoculated skin samples were dipped in the respective treatment solution for 1 min, allowed to drip dry for 2 min and processed at 0, 8, 24 h post treatment for enumeration of C. jejuni and aerobic bacterial counts (n=5/treatment/time point). The data were analyzed by ANOVA using PROC GLM procedure of SAS 9.3. All the tested doses of CR suspension consistently reduced C. jejuni counts across all time points. The 2% CR wash was the most effective treatment and reduced C. jejuni counts by ~4 log₁₀ CFU/sample (P < 0.05). Aerobic counts were reduced for the 0.5% CR dose at 0 and 24h in Trial 1 and at 0, 8 and 24h in Trial 2. The 1 and 2% CR doses consistently reduced aerobic counts in both trials up to 2 log₁₀ CFU/skin.
Interaction of Dietary Protein and Vitamin E Supplementation on Gastrointestinal Nematode (Gnt) Parasitism of Naturally Infected Lambs
Gastrointestinal nematode (GNT) infection significantly hinder sustainable and profitable sheep production on rangelands. While vitamin E and protein supplementation have individually proven to improve host immunity to parasitism in lambs, to our knowledge, there is no information on the interaction of dietary vitamin E and protein supplementation on lamb growth and GIN faecal egg counts in naturally infected lambs. Therefore, the current study investigated the interaction of dietary protein and vitamin E supplementation on faecal egg counts (FEC) and growth performance of lambs. Twenty four Dohne Merino lambs aged 12 months were allocated equally to each of four treatment combinations, with six lambs in each treatment group for a period of eight weeks. Treatment one lambs received dietary protein and vitamin E (PE), treatment two lambs received dietary protein and no vitamin E (PNE), treatment three received dietary vitamin E and no protein (NPE), and treatment four received no dietary protein and vitamin E supplementation (NPNE). The lambs were allowed to graze on Pennisetum clandestinum contaminated with a heavy load of nematodes. Dietary protein supplementation increased (P < 0.01) average daily gain (ADG) and body condition scores (BCS). Dietary vitamin E supplementation had no effect (P > 0.05) on ADG and BCS. There was no interaction (P > 0.05) between dietary protein and vitamin E supplementation on ADG and BCS. Combined supplementation of dietary protein and vitamin E supplementation significantly reduced (P < 0.01) faecal egg counts and larval counts, respectively. Also, dietary protein and vitamin E supplementation reduced GNT faecal egg counts over the exposure period. The current findings support the hypothesis that the interaction of dietary protein and vitamin E supplementation reduced faecal egg counts and larval counts in lambs. This necessitates future findings on the interaction of dietary protein and vitamin E supplementation on blood associated profiles.
Baseline CD4 Positive T Lymphocytes Counts among HIV Sero-Positive Patients Attending Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, Nigeria
Aims and Objectives: To determine the baseline CD4 positive T lymphocytes count of HIV/AIDS treatment naïve adults clients presenting for the first time treatment in Benue State University Teaching Hospital. Subjects and Methods: A total of 700 subjects age between 18 years to 70 years, were recruited for the study, comprising 600 HIV sero-positive patients and 100 healthy controls in Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi from 2013 to 2014. The CD4 counts of the subjects were evaluated using a Partec flow cytometer. Results: CD4 count of 200-299 cells/μl peaked with 25% (n=150/600)[control; 0%( n= 0/100)]. The study also showed that 44% (266/600) of HIV subjects had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome as defined by low CD4 counts below 200 cells/μl. Seventy-five per cent (n=451/600)of our patients would require to be placed on antiretroviral therapy with CD4 count of less than 350 cells/μl. At CD4 350 baseline criterion, age group 20-29 years had the highest demand 35%(160/451) for ARV followed by age groups 30-39 and 40-49 years with 28%(128/451) and 22%(98/451) respectively. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome as defined by CD4 counts below 200 cells/μl, among the young active productive age group. The strict adopting of the ART WHO 2010 scale- up criteria doubles the number of the HIV clients that would qualify for ART with its attendant health benefits on the long run.
Microbial Contamination of Haemolymph of Honeybee (Apis mellifera intermissa) Parasitized by Varroa Destructor
The negative effect of the Varroa bee colony is very important. They cause morphological and physiological changes, causing a decrease in performance of individuals and long-term death of the colony. Indirectly, they weaken the bees become much more sensitive to the different pathogenic organisms naturally present in the colony. This work aims to research secondary infections of microbial origin occurred in the worker bee nurse due to parasitism by Varroa destructor. The feeding behaviour of Varroa may causes damaging host integument. The results show that the microbial contamination enable to be transmitted into honeybee heamocoel are Bacillus sp, Pseudomonas sp, Enterobacter, Aspergillus.
Electronic Nose Based on Metal Oxide Semiconductor Sensors as an Alternative Technique for the Spoilage Classification of Oat Milk
The aim of the present study was to develop a rapid method for electronic nose for online quality control of oat milk. Analysis by electronic nose and bacteriological measurements were performed to analyse spoilage kinetics of oat milk samples stored at room temperature and refrigerated conditions for up to 15 days. Principal component analysis (PCA), discriminant factorial analysis (DFA) and soft independent modelling by class analogy (SIMCA) classification techniques were used to differentiate the samples of oat milk at different days. The total plate count (bacteriological method) was selected as the reference method to consistently train the electronic nose system. The e-nose was able to differentiate between the oat milk samples of varying microbial load. The results obtained by the bacteria total viable counts showed that the shelf-life of oat milk stored at room temperature and refrigerated conditions were 20 hours and 13 days, respectively. The models built classified oat milk samples based on the total microbial population into “unspoiled” and “spoiled”.
Bacteriological Quality of Commercially Prepared Fermented Ogi (AKAMU) Sold in Some Parts of South Eastern Nigeria
Food poisoning and infection by bacteria are of public health significance to both developing and developed countries. Samples of ogi (akamu) prepared from white and yellow variety of maize sold in Uturu and Okigwe were analyzed together with the laboratory prepared ogi for microbial quality using the standard microbiological methods. The analyses showed that both white and yellow variety had total bacterial counts (cfu/g) of 4.0 ×107 and 3.9 x 107 for the laboratory prepared ogi while the commercial ogi had 5.2 x 107 and 4.9 x107, 4.9 x107 and 4.5 x107, 5.4 x107 and 5.0 x107 for Eke-Okigwe, Up-gate and Nkwo-Achara market respectively. The Staphylococcal counts ranged from 2.0 x 102 to 5.0 x102 and 1.0 x 102 to 4.0 x102 for the white and yellow variety from the different markets while Staphylococcal growth was not recorded on the laboratory prepared ogi. The laboratory prepared ogi had no Coliform growth while the commercially prepared ogi had counts of 0.5 x103 to 1.6 x 103 for white variety and 0.3 x 103 to 1.1 x103 for yellow variety respectively. The Lactic acid bacterial count of 3.5x106 and 3.0x106 was recorded for the laboratory ogi while the commercially prepared ogi ranged from 3.2x106 to 4.2x106 (white variety) and 3.0 x106 to 3.9 x106 (yellow). The presence of bacteria isolates from the commercial and laboratory fermented ogi showed that Lactobacillus sp, Leuconostoc sp and Citrobacter sp were present in all the samples, Micrococcus sp and Klebsiella sp were isolated from Eke-Okigwe and ABSU-up-gate markets varieties respectively, E. coli and Staphylococcus sp were present in Eke-Okigwe and Nkwo-Achara markets while Salmonella sp were isolated from the three markets. Hence, there are chances of contracting food borne diseases from commercially prepared ogi. Therefore, there is the need for sanitary measures in the production of fermented cereals so as to minimize the rate of food borne pathogens during processing and storage.
Contributions of Microbial Activities to Tomato Growth and Yield under an Organic Production System
Optimizing microbiological activities in an organic crop production system is crucial to the realization of optimum growth and development of the crops. Field and pot experiments were conducted to assess soil microbial activities, growth and yield of tomato varieties in response to 4 rates of composted plant and animal residues. The compost rates were 0, 5, 10 and 20 t ha-1, and improved Ibadan and Ibadan local constituted the varieties. Fungi population, microbial biomass nitrogen, cellulase and proteinase activities were significantly higher (P≤ 0.05) at the rhizosphere of the local variety than that of improved variety. This led to a significantly higher number of branches, plant height, leaf area, number of fruits and less days to maturity in the local variety. Furthermore, compost-amended soil had significantly higher microbial populations, microbial biomass N, P and C, enzyme activities, soil N, P and organic carbon than control, but amendment of 20 t ha-1 gave significantly higher values than other compost rates. Consequently, growth parameters and tissue N significantly increased in all compost treatments while dry matter yield and weight of fruits were significantly higher in soil amended with 20 t ha-1. Correlation analysis showed that microbial activities at 6 weeks after transplanting (6 WAT) were more consistently and highly correlated with growth and yield parameters. It was concluded that microbial activities could be optimized to improve the yield of the two tomato varieties in an organic production system, through the application of compost, particularly at 20 t ha-1.
Process Optimization and Microbial Quality of Provitamin A-Biofortified Amahewu, a Non-Alcoholic Maize Based Beverage
Provitamin A-biofortified maize has been developed to alleviate Vitamin A deficiency; a major public health problem in developing countries. Amahewu, a non-alcoholic fermented maize based beverage is produced using white maize, which is deficient in Vitamin A. In this study, the suitable processing conditions for the production of amahewu using provitamin A-biofortified maize and the microbial quality of the processed products were evaluated. Provitamin A-biofortified amahewu was produced with reference to traditional processing method. Processing variables were Inoculum types (Malted provitamin A maize, Wheat bran, and lactobacillus mixed starter culture with either malted provitamin A or wheat bran) and concentration (0.5 %, 1 % and 2 %). A total of four provitamin A-biofortified amahewu products after fermentation were subjected to different storage conditions: 4ᴼC, 25ᴼC and 37ᴼC. pH and TTA were monitored throughout the storage period. Sample of provitamin A-biofortified amahewu were plated and observed every day for 5 days to assess the presence of Aerobic and Anaerobic spore formers, E.coli, Lactobacillus and Mould. The addition of starter culture substantially reduced the fermentation time (6 hour, pH 3.3) compared to those with no addition of starter culture (24 hour pH 3.5). It was observed that Lactobacillus were present from day 0 for all the storage temperatures. The presence of aerobic spore former and mould were observed on day 3. E.coli and Anaerobic spore formers were not present throughout the storage period. These microbial growth were minimal at 4ᴼC while 25ᴼC had higher counts of growth with 37ᴼC having the highest colony count. Throughout the storage period, pH of provitamin A-biofortified amahewu was stable. Provitamin A-biofortified amahewu stored under refrigerated condition (4ᴼC) had better storability compared to 25ᴼC and 37ᴼC. The production and microbial quality of provitamin A-biofortified amahewu might be important in combating Vitamin A Deficiency.
An Assessment of the Effects of Microbial Products on the Specific Oxygen Uptake in Submerged Membrane Bioreactor
Sustaining a desired rate of oxygen transfer for microbial activity is a matter of major concern for Biological Wastewater Treatment (MBR). The study reported in the paper was aimed at assessing the effects of microbial products on the Specific Oxygen Uptake Rate (SOUR) in a Conventional Membrane Bioreactor (CMBR) and that in a Sponge Submerged MBR (SSMBR). The production and progressive accumulation of Soluble Microbial Products (SMP) and Bound-Extracellular Polymeric Substances (BEPS) were found affecting the SOUR of the microorganisms which varied at different stages of operation of the MBR systems depending on the variable concentrations of the SMP/bEPS. The effect of bEPS on the SOUR was stronger in the SSMBR compared to that of the SMP, while relative high concentrations of SMP had adverse effects on the SOUR of the CMBR system. Of the different mathematical correlations analyzed in the study, logarithmic mathematical correlations could be established between SOUR and bEPS in SSMBR, and similar correlations could also be found between SOUR and SMP concentrations in the CMBR.
Applying Big Data to Understand Urban Design Quality: The Correlation between Social Activities and Automated Pedestrian Counts in Dilworth Park, Philadelphia
Presence of people and intensity of activities have been widely accepted as an indicator for successful public spaces in urban design literature. This study attempts to predict the qualitative indicators, presence of people and intensity of activities, with the quantitative measurements of pedestrian counting. We conducted participant observation in Dilworth Park, Philadelphia to collect the total number of people and activities in the park. Then, the participant observation data is compared with detailed pedestrian counts at 10 exit locations to estimate the number of park users. The study found that there is a clear correlation between the intensity of social activities and automated pedestrian counts.
Microbial Activity and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in Recovery Process in a Grassland of China
The nitrogen (N) is an important limiting factor of various ecosystems, and the N deposition rate is increasing unprecedentedly due to anthropogenic activities. The N deposition altered the microbial growth and activity, and microbial mediated N cycling through changing soil pH, the availability of N and carbon (C). The CO2, CH4 and N2O are important greenhouse gas which threaten the sustainability and function of the ecosystem. With the prolonged and increasing N enrichment, the soil acidification and C limitation will be aggravated, and the microbial biomass will be further declined. The soil acidification and lack of C induced by N addition are argued as two important factors regulating the microbial activity and growth, and the studies combined soil acidification with lack of C on microbial community are scarce. In order to restore the ecosystem affected by chronic N loading, we determined the responses of microbial activity and GHG emssions to lime and glucose (control, 1‰ lime, 2‰ lime, glucose, 1‰ lime×glucose and 2‰ lime×glucose) addition which was used to alleviate the soil acidification and supply C resource into soils with N addition rates 0-50 g N m–2yr–1. The results showed no significant responses of soil respiration and microbial biomass (MBC and MBN) to lime addition, however, the glucose substantially improved the soil respiration and microbial biomass (MBC and MBN); the cumulative CO2 emission and microbial biomass of lime×glucose treatments were not significantly higher than those of only glucose treatment. The glucose and lime×glucose treatments reduced the net mineralization and nitrification rate, due to inspired microbial growth via C supply incorporating more inorganic N to the biomass, and mineralization of organic N was relatively reduced. The glucose addition also increased the CH4 and N2O emissions, CH4 emissions was regulated mainly by C resource as a substrate for methanogen. However, the N2O emissions were regulated by both C resources and soil pH, the C was important energy and the increased soil pH could benefit the nitrifiers and denitrifiers which were primary producers of N2O. The soil respiration and N2O emissions increased with increasing N addition rates in all glucose treatments, as the external C resource improved microbial N utilization. Compared with alleviated soil acidification, the improved availability of C substantially increased microbial activity, therefore, the C should be the main limiting factor in long-term N loading soils. The most important, when we use the organic C fertilization to improve the production of the ecosystems, the GHG emissions and consequent warming potentials should be carefully considered.
Study on the Treatment of Waste Water Containing Nitrogen Heterocyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons by Phenol-Induced Microbial Communities
This project has treated the waste-water that contains the nitrogen heterocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, by using the phenol-induced microbial communities. The treatment of nitrogen heterocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is a difficult problem for coking waste-water treatment. Pyridine, quinoline and indole are three kinds of most common nitrogen heterocyclic compounds in the f, and treating these refractory organics biologically has always been a research focus. The phenol-degrading bacteria can be used in the enhanced biological treatment effectively, and has a good treatment effect. Therefore, using the phenol-induced microbial communities to treat the coking waste-water can remove multiple pollutants concurrently, and improve the treating efficiency of coking waste-water. Experiments have proved that the phenol-induced microbial communities can degrade the nitrogen heterocyclic ring aromatic hydrocarbon efficiently.
Study on Microbial Pretreatment for Enhancing Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corncob
The complex structure of lignocellulose leads to great difficulties in converting it to fermentable sugars for the ethanol production. The major hydrolysis impediments are the crystallinity of cellulose and the lignin content. To improve the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis, microbial pretreatment of corncob was investigated using two bacterial strains of Bacillus subtilis A 002 and Cellulomonas sp. TISTR 784 (expected to break open the crystalline part of cellulose) and lignin-degrading fungus, Phanerochaete sordida SK7 (expected to remove lignin from lignocellulose). The microbial pretreatment was carried out with each strain under its optimum conditions. The pretreated corncob samples were further hydrolyzed to produce reducing glucose with low amounts of commercial cellulase (25 U•g-1 corncob) from Aspergillus niger. The corncob samples were determined for composition change by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscope (SEM). According to the results, the microbial pretreatment with fungus, P. sordida SK7 was the most effective for enhancing enzymatic hydrolysis, approximately, 40% improvement.
Effects of Feed Forms on Growth Pattern, Behavioural Responses and Fecal Microbial Load of Pigs Fed Diets Supplemented with Saccaromyces cereviseae Probiotics
In forty nine (49) days, twenty four (24) growing pigs (Landrace x Large white) with an average weight of 17 ±2.1kg were allocated to four experimental treatments T1 (dry mash without probiotics), T2 (wet feed without probiotics), T3 (dry mash + Saccaromyces cereviseae probiotics) and T4 (wet feed + Saccaromyces cereviseae probiotics) which were replicated three times with two pigs per replicate in a completely randomised design. The basal feed (dry feed) was formulated to meet the nutritional requirement of the animal with crude protein of 18.00% and metabolisable energy of 2784.00kcal/kgME. Growth pattern, faecal microbial load and behavioural activities (eating, drinking, physical pen interaction and frequency of visiting the drinking troughs) were accessed. Pigs fed dry mash without probiotics (T1) had the highest daily feed intake among the experimental animals (1.10kg) while pigs on supplemented diets (T3 and T4) had an average daily feed intake of 0.95kg. However, the feed conversion ratio was significantly (p < 0.05) affected with pigs on T3 having least value of 6.26 compared those on T4 (wet feed + Saccaromyces cereviseae) with means of 7.41. Total organism counts varied significantly (p < 0.05) with pigs on T1, T2, T3 and T4 with mean values of 179.50 x106cfu; 132.00 x 106cfu; 32.00 x 106cfu and 64.50 x 106cfu respectively. Coliform count was also significantly (p < 0.05) different among the treatments with corresponding values of 117.50 x 106cfu; 49.00 x 106cfu, 8.00 x 106cfu for pigs in T1, T2 and T4 respectively. The faecal Saccaromyces cereviseae was significantly lower in pigs fed supplemented diets compared to their counterparts on unsupplemented diets. This could be due to the inability of yeast organisms to be voided easily through feaces. The pigs in T1 spent the most time eating (7.88%) while their counterparts on T3 spent the least time eating. The corresponding physical pen interaction times expressed in percentage of a day for pigs in T1, T2, T3 and T4 are 6.22%, 5.92%, 4.04% and 4.80% respectively. These behavioural responses exhibited by these pigs (T3) showed that little amount of dry feed supplemented with probiotics is needed for better performance. The water intake increases as a result of the dryness of the feed with consequent decrease in pen interaction and more time was spent resting than engaging in other possible vice-habit like fighting or tail biting. Pigs fed dry feed (T3) which was supplemented with Saccaromyces cereviseae probiotics had a better overall performance, least faecal microbial load than wet fed pigs either supplemented with Saccaromyces cereviseae or non-supplemented.
Microbial Quality of Beef and Mutton in Bauchi Metropolis
The microbial quality of beef and mutton sold in four major markets of Bauchi metropolis was assessed in order to assist in ascertaining safety. Shops were selected from 'Muda Lawal', 'Yelwa', 'Wunti', and 'Gwallameji' markets. The total bacterial count was used as index of quality. A total of thirty two (32) samples were collected in two successive visits. The samples were packed and labelled in a sterile polythene bags for transportation to the laboratory. Microbial analysis was carried out immediately upon arrival under a septic condition, where aerobic plate was used in determining the microbial load. Result showed that beef and mutton from Gwallameji had the highest bacterial count of 9.065 X 105 cfu/ml and 8.325 X 105 cfu/ml for beef and mutton respectively followed by Wunti market (6.95 X 105 beef and 4.838 X 105 motton) and Muda Lawal (4.86 X 105 cfu/ml beef and 5.998 X 105 cfu/ml mutton). Yelwa had 5.175 X 105 and 5.30 X 105 for beef and mutton respectively. Bacterial species isolated from the samples were Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp, Streptococcus species and Staphylococcus species. However, results obtained from all markets showed that there was no significant differences between beef and mutton in terms of microbial quality.
Analysis of a Lignocellulose Degrading Microbial Consortium to Enhance the Anaerobic Digestion of Rice Straws
Rice straw is lignocellulosic biomass which can be utilized as substrate for the biogas production. However, due to the property and composition of rice straw, it is difficult to be degraded by hydrolysis enzymes. One of the pretreatment method that modifies such properties of lignocellulosic biomass is the application of lignocellulose-degrading microbial consortia. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of microbial consortia to enhance biogas production. To select the high efficient consortium, cellulase enzymes were extracted and their activities were analyzed. The results suggested that microbial consortium culture obtained from cattle manure is the best candidate compared to decomposed wood and horse manure. A microbial consortium isolated from cattle manure was then mixed with anaerobic sludge and used as inoculum for biogas production. The optimal conditions for biogas production were investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The tested parameters were the ratio of amount of microbial consortium isolated and amount of anaerobic sludge (MI:AS), substrate to inoculum ratio (S:I) and temperature. Here, the value of the regression coefficient R2 = 0.7661 could be explained by the model which is high to advocate the significance of the model. The highest cumulative biogas yield was 104.6 ml/g-rice straw at optimum ratio of MI:AS, ratio of S:I, and temperature of 2.5:1, 15:1 and 44°C respectively.
Microbial Fuel Cells in Waste Water Treatment and Electricity Generation
Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is the advancement of science that aims at utilizing the oxidizing potential of bacteria for wastewater treatment and production of bio-hydrogen and bio-electricity. Salt-bridge is the economic alternative to highly priced proton-exchange membrane in the construction of a microbial fuel cell. This paper studies the electricity generating capacity of E.coli and Clostridium sporogenes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Unlike most of MFC research, this targets the long term goals of renewable energy production and wastewater treatment. In present study the feasibility and potential of bioelectricity production from different wastewater was observed. Different wastewater was primarily treated which were confirmed by the COD tests which showed reduction of COD. We observe that the electricity production of MFCs decreases almost linearly after 120 hrs. The sewage wastewater containing Clostridium sporogenes showed bioelectricity production up to 188mV with COD removal of 60.52%. Sewage wastewater efficiently produces bioelectricity and this also helpful to reduce wastewater pollution load.
Bacteriological Characterization of Drinking Water Distribution Network Biofilms by Gene Sequencing Using Different Pipe Materials
Very little is concerned about the bacterial contamination in drinking water biofilm which provide a potential source for bacteria to grow and increase rapidly. So as to understand the microbial density in DWDs, a three-month study was carried out. The aim of this study was to examine biofilm in three different pipe materials including PVC, PPR and GI. A set of all these pipe materials was installed in DWDs at nine different locations and assessed on monthly basis. Drinking water quality was evaluated by different parameters and characterization of biofilm. Among various parameters are Temperature, pH, turbidity, TDS, electrical conductivity, BOD, COD, total phosphates, total nitrates, total organic carbon (TOC) free chlorine and total chlorine, coliforms and spread plate counts (SPC) according to standard methods. Predominant species were Bacillus thuringiensis, Pseudomonas fluorescens , Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Bacillus safensis and significant increase in bacterial population was observed in PVC pipes while least in cement pipes. The quantity of DWDs bacteria was directly depended on biofilm bacteria and its increase was correlated with growth and detachment of bacteria from biofilms. Pipe material also affected the microbial community in drinking water distribution network biofilm while Similarity in bacterial species was observed between systems due to same disinfectant dose, time period and plumbing pipes.
Sensory Evaluation and Microbiological Properties of Gouda Cheese Affected by Bunium persicum (Boiss.) Essential Oil
Research on natural antimicrobial agents, especially of plant origin, highly noticed in recent years and evaluation of antimicrobial effects of native plants such as Bunium persicum Boiss. is especially important. In the present study, sensory characteristics and microbiological properties of Gouda cheese affected by different concentrations of Bunium persicum Boiss. essential oil were investigated. Extraction of the essential oil was performed by hydro distillation. The oil was analyzed by GC using flame ionization (FID) and GC/ MS for detection. The antimicrobial effects were determined against various microbial groups (aerobic mesophilic bacteria, enterococci, mesophilic lactobacilli, enterobacteriaceae, lactococcus and yeasts). Microbial groups were counted during ripening period using plate count on specific culture media. Organoleptic evaluation including teture, flavor, odor, color and total acceptability were determined at the end of aging. According to results, the essential oil yield was 4/1 % ( W/ W). Twenty- six compounds were identified in the oil that concluded 99.7 % of the total oil. The major components of Bunium persicum Boiss. essential oil were γ- terpinene- 7- al (26.9 %) and cuminaldehyde (23.3 %). Generally, the increase of Black Cumin essential oil concentration led to reduction in microbial counts in different groups. The maximum antimicrobial effect was seen in yeast that reduced by 2 log compared to the control group at EO concentration of 4µl/ ml at day 90.The minimum reduction was observed in enterobacteriaceae that showed only 0.75 log decreese compared to the control at the same concentration of EO. Addition of EO improved organoleptic properties of Gouda cheese especially in the case of flavor and odor characteristic. However, no significant differences were observed in texture and color between treatment and control groups. Bunium persicum Boiss. essential oil could be used as preservative material and flavoring agent in some kinds of food such as cheese and also could be provided consumers health.
Study on Preparation and Storage of Jam Incorporating Carrots (Dacus Carrota), Banana (Musa Acuminata) and Lime (Citrus Aurantifola)
The production and consumption of preserved foods have gained much importance due to globalization, and they provide a health benefit apart from the basic nutritional functions. Therefore, a study was conducted to develop a jam incorporating carrot, banana, and lime. Considering the findings of several preliminary studies, five formulations of the jam were prepared by blending different percentages of carrot and banana including control (where the only carrot was added). The freshly prepared formulations were subjected to physicochemical and sensory analysis.Physico-Chemical parameters such as pH, TSS, titrable acidity, ascorbic acid content, total sugar and non-reducing sugar and organoleptic qualities such as colour, aroma, taste, spread ability and overall acceptability and microbial analysis (total plate count) were analyzed after formulations. Physico-Chemical Analysis of the freshly prepared Carrot –Banana Blend jam showed increasing trend in titrable acidity (from 0.8 to 0.96, as % of citric acid), TSS (from 70.05 to 67.5 0Brix), ascorbic acid content (from 0.83 to 11.465 mg/100ml), reducing sugar (from 15.64 to 20.553%) with increase in carrot pulp from 50 to 100%. pH, total sugar, and non-reducing sugar were also reduced when carrot concentration is increased. Five points hedonic scale was used to evaluate the organoleptic characters. According to Duncan's Multiple Range Test, the mean scores for all the assessed sensory characters varied significantly (p< 0.05) in the freshly made carrot-banana blend jam formulations. Based on the physicochemical and sensory analysis, the most preferred carrot: banana combinations of 50:50, 100:0 and 80:20 (T1, T2, and T5) were selected for storage studies.The formulations were stored at 300 °C room temperature and 70-75% of RH for 12 weeks. The physicochemical characteristics were measured at two weeks interval during storage. The decreasing trends in pH and ascorbic acid and an increasing trend in TSS, titrable acidity, total sugar, reducing sugar and non-reducing sugar were noted with advancement of storage periods of 12 weeks. The results of the chemical analysis showed that there were significance differences (p< 0.05) between the tested formulations. Sensory evaluation was done for carrot –banana blends jam after a period of 12 weeks through a panel of 16 semi-trained panelists. The sensory analysis showed that there were significant differences (p< 0.05) for organoleptic characters between carrot-banana blend jam formulations. The highest overall acceptability was observed in formulation with 80% carrot and 20% banana pulp. Microbiological Analysis was carried out on the day of preparation, 1 month, 2 months and 3 months after preparation. No bacterial growth was observed in the freshly made carrot -banana blend jam. There were no counts of yeast and moulds and coliforms in all treatments after the heat treatments and during the storage period. Only the bacterial counts (Total Plate Counts) were observed after three months of storage below the critical level, and all formulations were microbiologically safe for consumption. Based on the results of physio-chemical characteristics, sensory attributes, and microbial test, the carrot –banana blend jam with 80% carrot and 20% banana (T2) was selected as best formulation and could be stored up to 12 weeks without any significant changes in the quality characteristics.
Development and Characterization of Kefir Drinks from Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) and Winter Melon (Benincasa hispida)
This research is to study the utilization of pumpkin and winter melon as the main substrate for kefir fermentation in the production of pumpkin and winter melon-based fermented drinks. Optimized temperature and time were chosen for fermentation of pumpkin and winter melon. Physicochemical and microbiological evaluations were conducted to the end products: P (fermented pumpkin juice) and K (fermented winter melon juice). Ethanol content was detected at low concentration of 0.9% (v/wt) in P, and 1.0% (v/wt) in K. Level of glucose and fructose increased significantly (p < 0.05) in both fermented drinks when compared to unfermented pumpkin (CP) and winter melon (CK) juices. Total phenolic content in P & K was higher than CP and CK, while %DPPH inhibition of both decreased significantly. Total Lactobacilli counts in P & K were 8.9 and 7.88 log cfu/ml respectively, while acetic acid bacteria counts were 8.62 and 7.57 log cfu/ml respectively, yeast counts were 4.71 and 5 log cfu/ml, and no E.coli was detected in all samples. Sensory evaluation yield comparable properties in P & K. This concluded that pumpkin and winter melon fermented drinks inoculated by water kefir grains could be promising source of nutrients with probiotic potency.
Effect of Phenolic Compounds on Off-Odor Development and Oxidative Stability of Camel Meat during Refrigerated Storage
Impact of different natural antioxidants on lipid oxidation, microbial load and sensorial quality in ground camel meat (leg region) during 9 days of refrigerated storage were investigated. Control camel meat showed higher lipid oxidation products (Peroxide value and Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS)) during the storage period. Upon addition of different natural antioxidants PV and TBARS were retarded, especially in samples added with tannic acid (TA), catechin (CT) and gallic acid (GA) (p< 0.05). Haem iron content decreased with increasing storage period and was found to be lower in samples added with caffeic acid (CA) and gallic acid (GA) at the end of storage period (p< 0.05). Furthermore, lower mesophilic bacterial count (MBC) and psychrophilic bacterial counts (PBC) were observed in TA and CT treated samples compared to control and other samples (p< 0.05). Camel meat treated with TA and CT also received higher likeness scores for colour, odor and overall appearance compared to control samples (p< 0.05). Therefore, adding different natural antioxidants especially TA and CT showed retarding effect on lipid oxidation and microbial growth and were also effective in maintaining sensory attributes (color and odor) of ground camel meat during storage at 4°C. Hence, TA and CT could be considered as the potential natural antioxidant for preserving the quality of the camel meat displayed at refrigerated shelves.
Lipid Extraction from Microbial Cell by Electroporation Technique and Its Influence on Direct Transesterification for Biodiesel Synthesis
Traditional biodiesel feedstock like edible oils or plant oils, animal fats and cooking waste oil have been replaced by microbial oil in recent research of biodiesel synthesis. The well-known community of microbial oil producers includes microalgae, oleaginous yeast and seaweeds. Conventional transesterification of microbial oil to produce biodiesel is lethargic, energy consuming, cost-ineffective and environmentally unhealthy. This process follows several steps such as microbial biomass drying, cell disruption, oil extraction, solvent recovery, oil separation and transesterification. Therefore, direct transesterification of biodiesel synthesis has been studying for last few years. It combines all the steps in a single reactor and it eliminates the steps of biomass drying, oil extraction and separation from solvent. Apparently, it seems to be cost-effective and faster process but number of difficulties need to be solved to make it large scale applicable. The main challenges are microbial cell disruption in bulk volume and make faster the esterification reaction, because water contents of the medium sluggish the reaction rate. Several methods have been proposed but none of them is up to the level to implement in large scale. It is still a great challenge to extract maximum lipid from microbial cells (yeast, fungi, algae) investing minimum energy. Electroporation technique results a significant increase in cell conductivity and permeability caused due to the application of an external electric field. Electroporation is required to alter the size and structure of the cells to increase their porosity as well as to disrupt the microbial cell walls within few seconds to leak out the intracellular lipid to the solution. Therefore, incorporation of electroporation techniques contributed in direct transesterification of microbial lipids by increasing the efficiency of biodiesel production rate.
SPR Immunosensor for the Detection of Staphylococcus aureus
Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensors have emerged as a promising technique for bioanalysis as well as microbial detection and identification. Real time, sensitive, cost effective, and label free detection of biomolecules from complex samples is required for early and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases. Like many other types of optical techniques, SPR biosensors may also be successfully utilized for microbial detection for accurate, point of care, and rapid results. In the present study, we have utilized a commercially available automated SPR biosensor of BI company to study the microbial detection form water samples spiked with different concentration of Staphylococcus aureus bacterial cells. The gold thin film sensor surface was functionalized to react with proteins such as protein G, which was used for directed immobilization of monoclonal antibodies against Staphylococcus aureus. The results of our work reveal that this immunosensor can be used to detect very small number of bacterial cells with higher sensitivity and specificity. In our case 10^3 cells/ml of water have been successfully detected. Therefore, it may be concluded that this technique has a strong potential to be used in microbial detection and identification.
Anaerobic Digestion Batch Study of Taxonomic Variations in Microbial Communities during Adaptation of Consortium to Different Lignocellulosic Substrates Using Targeted Sequencing
Anaerobic digestion has been widely used for production of methane from different biowastes. However, the complexity of microbial communities involved in the process is poorly understood. The performance of biogas production process concerning the process productivity is closely coupled to its microbial community structure and syntrophic interactions amongst the community members. The present study aims at understanding taxonomic variations occurring in any starter inoculum when acclimatised to different lignocellulosic biomass (LBM) feedstocks relating to time of digestion. The work underlines use of high throughput Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for validating the changes in taxonomic patterns of microbial communities. Biomethane Potential (BMP) batches were set up with different pretreated and non-pretreated LBM residues using the same microbial consortium and samples were withdrawn for studying the changes in microbial community in terms of its structure and predominance with respect to changes in metabolic profile of the process. DNA of samples withdrawn at different time intervals with reference to performance changes of the digestion process, was extracted followed by its 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing analysis using Illumina Platform. Biomethane potential and substrate consumption was monitored using Gas Chromatography(GC) and reduction in COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) respectively. Taxonomic analysis by QIIME server data revealed that microbial community structure changes with different substrates as well as at different time intervals. It was observed that biomethane potential of each substrate was relatively similar but, the time required for substrate utilization and its conversion to biomethane was different for different substrates. This could be attributed to the nature of substrate and consequently the discrepancy between the dominance of microbial communities with regards to different substrate and at different phases of anaerobic digestion process. Knowledge of microbial communities involved would allow a rational substrate specific consortium design which will help to reduce consortium adaptation period and enhance the substrate utilisation resulting in improved efficacy of biogas process.
Growth Inhibition of Candida Albicans Strains Co-Cultured with Lactobacillus Strains in a Cereal Medium
Candida albicans naturally occurs in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of more than 50% of humans. Overgrowth of the fungus causes several forms of candidiasis including oral thrush. Overgrowth tends to occur in immunocompromised humans such as diabetic, cancer and HIV patients. Antifungal treatment is available, but not without shortcomings. In this study, inhibitory activity of five probiotic Lactobacillus strains was demonstrated against the growth of seven clinical strains of Candida albicans by co-culturing of the organisms in a maize gruel (MG) medium. Phenotypic tests, molecular techniques and phylogenetic analysis have enabled precise identification of the organisms used in the study. The quantitative pour plate technique was used to enumerate colonies of the yeasts and the lactobacilli and the Kruskal-Wallis test and ANOVA tests were employed to compare the distributions of the colonies of the organisms. The cereal medium, containing added carbon sources, was inoculated with a Candida and a Lactobacillus strain in combination and incubated at 37 °C for 168 h. Aliquots were regularly taken and subjected to pH determination and colony enumeration. Certain Lactobacillus strains proved to be inhibitory and also lethal to some Candida albicans strains. A low pH due to Lactobacillus acid production resulted in significant low Candida colony counts. Higher Lactobacillus colony counts did not necessarily result in lower Candida counts suggesting that inhibitory factors besides low pH and competitive growth by lactobacilli contributed to the reduction in Candida counts. Such anti-Candida efficacy however needs to be confirmed by in vivo studies.
Isolation and Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria from Libyan Traditional Fermented Milk "Laban"
Laban is a Libyan traditional fermented milk product. This lactic fermentation has been known in many cities of Libya long time ago as stable, nutritious, refreshing drink especially during the summer. 16 naturally fermented milk samples were collected from different cities located in North West of Libya. The average pH, titratable acidity, fat and total solids were 4.16, 0.73%, 1.54% and 8.12 % respectively. Coliform, yeast and mold counts were 21×10⁴, 39×10⁴ and 41 ×10³ cfu/ ml. respectively. The average Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Mesophilic Lactobacillus / Leuconostoc and Thermophilic Lactobacillus counts were 99 ×10⁷, 96 ×10⁷, 93 ×10⁷ and 15 ×10⁷ cfu / ml. respectively. A total of one hundred forty two lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolates were identified to the genus level as Lactobacillus (48.59%), Lactococcus (43.66%), Streptococcus (4.93%) and Leuconostoc (2.82%). Sugar fermentation tests have revealed that the most frequently Lactobacillus species was found to be Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. lactis (62.32%) followed by Lactobacillus plantarum (31.88%). Furthermore, other selected LAB isolates were identified by API 50 CH test as Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactics, Lactobacillus pentosus, Lactobacillus brevis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp. cremoris.
Biological Treatment of a Mixture of Iodine-Containing Aromatic Compounds from Industrial Wastewaster
Iodinated Compounds (IC) are widely detected contaminants in most aquatic environments including sewage treatment plant, surface water, ground water and even drinking water, up to the µg.L-1 range. As IC contribute in the adsorbable organic halides (AOX) level, their removal or dehalogenation is expected. We report here on the biodegradability of a mixture of IC from an industrial effluent using a microbial consortium adapted to grow on IC as well as the native microorganisms. Both aerobic and anaerobic treatments were studied during batch experiments in 500-mL flasks. The degree of mineralization and recovery of iodide were monitored by HPLC-UV, TOC analysis and potentiometric titration. Providing ethanol as an electron acceptor was found to stimulate anaerobic reductive deiodination of IC while sodium chloride even at high concentration (22 g.l-1) had no influence on the degradation rates nor on the microbial viability. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S RNA gene sequence (MicroSeq®) was applied to provide a better understanding of the degradative microbial community.
Efficiency of Background Chlorine Residuals against Accidental Microbial Episode in Proto-Type Distribution Network (Rig) Using Central Composite Design (CCD)
A quadratic model (p ˂ 0.0001) was developed by using central composite design of 50 experimental runs (42 non-center + 8 center points) to assess efficiency of background chlorine residuals in combating accidental microbial episode in a prototype distribution network (DN) (rig). A known amount of background chlorine residuals were maintained in DN and a required number of bacteria, Escherichia coli K-12 strain were introduced by an injection port in the pipe loop system. Samples were taken at various time intervals at different pipe lengths. Spread plate count was performed to count bacterial number. The model developed was significant. With microbial concentration and time (p ˂ 0.0001), pipe length (p ˂ 0.022), background chlorine residuals (p ˂ 0.07) and time^2 (p ˂ 0.09) as significant factors. The ramp function of variables shows that at the microbial count of 10^6, at 0.76 L/min, and pipe length of 133 meters, a background residual chlorine 0.16 mg/L was enough for complete inactivation of microbial episode in approximately 18 minutes.
The Dependency of the Solar Based Disinfection on the Microbial Quality of the Source Water
Solar disinfection (SODIS) is a viable method for household water treatment and is recommended by the World Health Organization as cost effective approach that can be used without special skills. The efficiency of both SODIS and solar collector disinfection (SOCODIS) system was evaluated using four different sources of water including stored rainwater, storm water, ground water and treated sewage. Samples with naturally occurring microorganisms were exposed to sunlight for about 8-9 hours in 2-L polyethylene terephthalate bottles under similar experimental conditions. Total coliform (TC), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) were used as microbial water quality indicators for evaluating the disinfection efficiency at different sunlight intensities categorized as weak, mild and strong weathers. Heterotrophic bacteria showed lower inactivation rates compared to E. coli and TC in both SODIS and SOCODIS system. The SOCODIS system at strong weather was the strongest disinfection system in this study and the complete inactivation of HPC was observed after 8-9 hours of exposure with SODIS being ineffective for HPC. At moderate weathers, however, the SOCODIS system did not show complete inactivation of HPC due to very high concentrations (up to 5x10^7 CFU/ml) in both storm water and treated sewage. SODIS even remained ineffective for the complete inactivation of E. coli due to its high concentrations of about 2.5x10^5 in treated sewage compared with other waters even after 8-9 hours of exposure. At weak weather, SODIS was not effective at all while SOCODIS system, though incomplete, showed good disinfection efficiency except for HPC and to some extent for high E. coli concentrations in storm water. Largest reduction of >5 log occurred for TC when used stored rainwater even after 6 hours of exposure in the case of SOCODIS system at strong weather. The lowest E. coli and HPC reduction of ~2 log was observed in SODIS system at weak weather. Further tests with varying pH and turbidity are required to understand the effects of reaction parameters that could be a step forward towards maximizing the disinfection efficiency of such systems for the complete inactivation of naturally occurring E. coli or HPC at moderate or even at weak weathers.
Influence of Different Ripening Agents on the Shelf-Life and Microbial Load of Organic and Inorganic Musaceae, during the Ripening Process, and the Health Implication for Food Security
Local farmers and fruit processors in developing countries of West Africa use different ripening agents to accelerate the ripening process of plantain and banana. This study reports on the influence of different ripening agents on the shelf-life and microbial load of organic and inorganic plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and banana (Musa sapientum) during ripening process and the health implication for food security in Nigeria. The experiment consisted of four treatments, namely: Calcium carbide, Irvingia gabonensis fruits, Newbouldia laevis leaves and a control, where no ripening agent was applied to the fingers of plantain and banana. The unripe and ripened plantain and banana were subjected to microbial analysis by isolating their micro flora (Bacteria, Yeast and Mould) using pour plate method. Microbes present in the samples were enumerated, characterized and classified to genera and species. The result indicated that the microbial load of inorganic plantain from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife increased from 8.00 for unripe to 12.11 cfu/g for ripened; and the microbial load of organic plantain from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching and Research Farm (OAUTRF) increased from 6.00 for unripe to 11.60 cfu/g for ripened. Also, the microbial load of inorganic banana from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife increased from 8.00 for unripe to 11.50 cfu/g for ripened; while the microbial load of organic banana from OAUTRF increased from 6.50 for unripe to 9.40 cfu/g for ripened. The microbial effects of the ripening agents increased from 10.00 for control to 16.00 cfu/g for treated (ripened) organic and inorganic plantain; while that of organic and inorganic banana increased from 7.50 for control to 14.50 cfu/g for ripened. Visual observation for the presence of fungal colonies and deterioration rates were monitored till seven days after the plantain and banana fingers have fully ripened. Inorganic plantain and banana from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife are more contaminated than organic plantain and banana fingers from OAUTRF. The ripening accelerators reduced the shelf life, increased senescence, and microbial load of plantain and banana. This study concluded that organic Agriculture is better and microbial friendlier than inorganic farming.
Bio Energy from Metabolic Activity of Bacteria in Plant and Soil Using Novel Microbial Fuel Cells
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are an emerging and promising method for achieving sustainable energy since they can remove contaminated organic matter and simultaneously generate electricity. Our approach was driven in three different ways like Bacterial fuel cell, Soil Microbial fuel cell (Soil MFC) and Plant Microbial fuel cell (Plant MFC). Bacterial MFC: Sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) were isolated and identified as the efficient electricigens which is able to produce ±2.5V (689mW/m2) and it has sustainable activity for 120 days. Experimental data with different MFC revealed that high electricity production harvested continuously for 90 days 1.45V (381mW/m2), 1.98V (456mW/m2) respectively. Biofilm formation was confirmed on the surface of the anode by high content screening (HCS) and scanning electron Microscopic analysis (SEM). Soil MFC: Soil MFC was constructed with low cost and standard Mudwatt soil MFC was purchased from keegotech (USA). Vermicompost soil (V1) produce high energy (± 3.5V for ± 400 days) compared to Agricultural soil (A1) (± 2V for ± 150 days). Biofilm formation was confirmed by HCS and SEM analysis. This finding provides a method for extracting energy from organic matter, but also suggests a strategy for promoting the bioremediation of organic contaminants in subsurface environments. Our Soil MFC were able to run successfully a 3.5V fan and three LED continuously for 150 days. Plant MFC: Amaranthus candatus (P1) and Triticum aestivium (P2) were used in Plant MFC to confirm the electricity production from plant associated microbes, four uniform size of Plant MFC were constructed and checked for energy production. P2 produce high energy (± 3.2V for 40 days) with harvesting interval of two times and P1 produces moderate energy without harvesting interval (±1.5V for 24 days). P2 is able run 3.5V fan continuously for 10days whereas P1 needs optimization of growth conditions to produce high energy.
Synchrotron X-Ray Based Investigation of Fe Environment in Porous Anode of Shewanella oneidensis Microbial Fuel Cell
The iron environment in Fe-doped Vycor Anode was investigated with EXAFS using Brookhaven Synchrotron Light Source. The iron-reducing Shewanella oneidensis culture was grown in a microbial fuel cell under anaerobic respiration. The Fe bond length was found to decrease and correlate with the amount of biofilm growth on the Fe-doped Vycor Anode. The data suggests that Fe-doped Vycor Anode would be a good substrate to study the Shewanella oneidensis nanowire structure using EXAFS.
Quality Analysis of Lake Malawi's Diplotaxodon Fish Species Processed in Solar Tent Dryer versus Open Sun Drying
Improved solar tent dryers for processing small fish species were designed to reduce post-harvest fish losses and improve supply of quality fish products in the southern part of Lake Malawi under CultiAF project. A comparative analysis of the quality of Diplotaxodon (Ndunduma) from Lake Malawi processed in solar tent dryer and open sun drying was conducted using proximate analysis, microbial analysis and sensory evaluation. Proximates for solar tent dried fish and open sun dried fish in terms of proteins, fats, moisture and ash were 63.3±0.15% and 63.3±0.34%, 19.6±0.09% and 19.9±0.25%, 8.3±0.12% and 17.0±0.01%, and 15.6±0.61% and 21.9±0.91% respectively. Crude protein and crude fat showed non-significant differences (p = 0.05), while moisture and ash content were significantly different (p = 001). Open sun dried fish had significantly higher numbers of viable bacteria counts (5.2×10⁶ CFU) than solar tent dried fish (3.9×10² CFU). Most isolated bacteria from solar tent dried and open sun dried fish were 1.0×10¹ and 7.2×10³ for Total coliform, 0 and 4.5 × 10³ for Escherishia coli, 0 and 7.5 × 10³ for Salmonella, 0 and 5.7×10² for shigella, 4.0×10¹ and 6.1×10³ for Staphylococcus, 1.0×10¹ and 7.0×10² for vibrio. Qualitative evaluation of sensory properties showed higher acceptability of 3.8 for solar tent dried fish than 1.7 for open sun dried fish. It is concluded that promotion of solar tent drying in processing small fish species in Malawi would support small-scale fish processors to produce quality fish in terms of nutritive value, reduced microbial contamination, sensory acceptability and reduced moisture content.
Pre-Treatment of Anodic Inoculum with Nitroethane to Improve Performance of a Microbial Fuel Cell
Methanogenic substrate loss is reported to be a major bottleneck in microbial fuel cell which significantly reduces the power production capacity and coulombic efficiency (CE) of microbial fuel cell (MFC). Nitroethane is found to be a potent inhibitor of hydrogenotrophic methanogens in rumen fermentation process. Influence of nitroethane pre-treated sewage sludge inoculum on suppressing the methanogenic activity and enhancing the electrogenesis in MFC was evaluated. MFC inoculated with nitroethane pre-treated anodic inoculum demonstrated a maximum operating voltage of 541 mV, with coulombic efficiency and sustainable volumetric power density of 39.85 % and 14.63 W/m3 respectively. Linear sweep voltammetry indicated a higher electron discharge on the anode surface due to enhancement of electrogenic activity while suppressing methanogenic activity. A 63 % reduction in specific methanogenic activity was observed in anaerobic sludge pre-treated with nitroethane; emphasizing significance of this pretreatment for suppressing methanogenesis and its utility for enhancing electricity generation in MFC.
Landfill Leachate: A Promising Substrate for Microbial Fuel Cells
Landfill leachate emerges as a promising feedstock for microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In the present investigation, direct air-breathing cathode-based MFCs are fabricated to investigate the potential of landfill leachate. Three MFCs that have different cathode areas are fabricated and investigated for 17 days under open circuit conditions. The maximum open circuit voltage (OCV) is observed to be as high as 1.29 V. The maximum cathode area specific power density achieved in the reactor is 1513 mW m-2. Further studies are under progress to understand the origin of high OCV obtained from landfill leachate-based MFCs.
In vitro Evaluation of Prebiotic Potential of Wheat Germ
Wheat germ is a by-product of wheat flour refining. Despite this by-product being a source of proteins, lipids, fibres and complex carbohydrates, and consequently a valuable ingredient to be used in Food Industry, only few applications have been studied. The main goal of this study was to assess the potential prebiotic effect of natural wheat germ. The prebiotic potential was evaluated by in vitro assays with individual microbial strains (Lactobacillus paracasei L26 and Lactobacillus casei L431). A simulated model of the gastrointestinal digestion was also used including the conditions present in the mouth (artificial saliva), oesophagus–stomach (artificial gastric juice), duodenum (artificial intestinal juice) and ileum. The effect of natural wheat germ and wheat germ after digestion on the growth of lactic acid bacteria was studied by growing those microorganisms in de Man, Rogosa and Sharpe (MRS) broth (with 2% wheat germ and 1% wheat germ after digestion) and incubating at 37 ºC for 48 h with stirring. A negative control consisting of MRS broth without glucose was used and the substrate was also compared to a commercial prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Samples were taken at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24 and 48 h for bacterial cell counts (CFU/mL) and pH measurement. Results obtained showed that wheat germ has a stimulatory effect on the bacteria tested, presenting similar (or even higher) results to FOS, when comparing to the culture medium without glucose. This was demonstrated by the viable cell counts and also by the decrease on the medium pH. Both L. paracasei L26 and L. casei L431 could use these compounds as a substitute for glucose with an enhancement of growth. In conclusion, we have shown that wheat germ stimulate the growth of probiotic lactic acid bacteria. In order to understand if the composition of gut bacteria is altered and if wheat germ could be used as potential prebiotic, further studies including faecal fermentations should be carried out. Nevertheless, wheat germ seems to have potential to be a valuable compound to be used in Food Industry, mainly in the Bakery Industry.
Microbial Dark Matter Analysis Using 16S rRNA Gene Metagenomics Sequences
Microorganisms are the most diverse and abundant life forms on Earth and account for a large portion of the Earth’s biomass and biodiversity. To date though, our knowledge regarding microbial life is lacking, as it is based mainly on information from cultivated organisms. Indeed, microbiologists have borrowed from astrophysics and termed the ‘uncultured microbial majority’ as ‘microbial dark matter’. The realization of how diverse and unexplored microorganisms are, actually stems from recent advances in molecular biology, and in particular from novel methods for sequencing microbial small subunit ribosomal RNA genes directly from environmental samples termed next-generation sequencing (NGS). This has led us to use NGS that generates several gigabases of sequencing data in a single experimental run, to identify and classify environmental samples of microorganisms. In metagenomics sequencing analysis (both 16S and shotgun), sequences are compared to reference databases that contain only small part of the existing microorganisms and therefore their taxonomy assignment may reveal groups of unknown microorganisms or origins. These unknowns, or the ‘microbial sequences dark matter’, are usually ignored in spite of their great importance. The goal of this work was to develop an improved bioinformatics method that enables more complete analyses of the microbial communities in numerous environments. Therefore, NGS was used to identify previously unknown microorganisms from three different environments (industrials wastewater, Negev Desert’s rocks and water wells at the Arava valley). 16S rRNA gene metagenome analysis of the microorganisms from those three environments produce about ~4 million reads for 75 samples. Between 0.1-12% of the sequences in each sample were tagged as ‘Unassigned’. Employing relatively simple methodology for resequencing of original gDNA samples through Sanger or MiSeq Illumina with specific primers, this study demonstrates that the mysterious ‘Unassigned’ group apparently contains sequences of candidate phyla. Those unknown sequences can be located on a phylogenetic tree and thus provide a better understanding of the ‘sequences dark matter’ and its role in the research of microbial communities and diversity. Studying this ‘dark matter’ will extend the existing databases and could reveal the hidden potential of the ‘microbial dark matter’.
The Ability of Consortium Wastewater Protozoan and Bacterial Species to Remove Chemical Oxygen Demand in the Presence of Nanomaterials under Varying pH Conditions
The aim of this study was to ascertain the survival limit and capability of commonly found wastewater protozoan (Aspidisca sp, Trachelophyllum sp, and Peranema sp) and bacterial (Bacillus licheniformis, Brevibacillus laterosporus, and Pseudomonas putida) species to remove COD while exposed to commercial nanomaterials under varying pH conditions. The experimental study was carried out in modified mixed liquor media adjusted to various pH levels (pH 2, 7 and 10), and a comparative study was performed to determine the difference between the cytotoxicity effects of commercial zinc oxide (nZnO) and silver (nAg) nanomaterials (NMs) on the target wastewater microbial communities using standard methods. The selected microbial communities were exposed to lethal concentrations ranging from 0.015 g/L to 40 g/L for nZnO and from 0.015 g/L to 2 g/L for nAg for a period of 5 days of incubation at 30°C (100 r/min). Compared with the absence of NMs in wastewater mixed liquor, the relevant environmental concentration ranging between 10 µg/L and 100 µg/L, for both nZnO and nAg caused no adverse effects, but the presence of 20 g of nZnO/L and 0.65 g of nAg/L significantly inhibited microbial growth. Statistical evidence showed that nAg was significantly more toxic compared to nZnO, but there was an insignificant difference in toxicity between microbial communities and pH variations. A significant decrease in the removal of COD by microbial populations was observed in the presence of NMs with a moderate correlation of r = 0.3 to r = 0.7 at all pH levels. It was evident that there was a physical interaction between commercial NMs and target wastewater microbial communities; although not quantitatively assessed, cell morphology and cell death were observed. Such phenomena suggest the high resilience of the microbial community, but it is the accumulation of NMs that will have adverse effects on the performance in terms of COD removal.
The Effect of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Live Yeast Culture on Microbial Nitrogen Supply to Small Intestine in Male Kivircik Yearlings Fed with Different Ratio of Forage and Concentrate
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (SC) live yeast culture on microbial protein supply to the small intestine in Kivircik male yearlings when fed with different ratio of forage and concentrate diets. Four Kivircik male yearlings with permanent rumen canula were used in the experiment. . The treatments were allocated to a 4x4 Latin square design. Diet I consisted of 70% alfalfa hay and 30% concentrate, Diet II consisted of 30% alfalfa hay and 70% concentrate, Diet I and II were supplemented with a SC. Daily urine was collected and stored at -20°C until analysis. Calorimetric methods were used for the determination of urinary allantoin and creatinin levels. The estimated microbial N supply to small intestine for Diets I, I+SC, II and II+SC were 2.51, 2.64, 2.95 and 3.43 g N/d respectively. Supplementation of Diets I and II with SC significantly affected the allantoin levels in µmol/W0. 75 (p< 0.05). Mean creatinine values in µmol/W0. 75 and allantoin:creatinin ratios were not significantly different among diets. In conclusion, supplementation with SC live yeast culture had a significant effect on urinary allantoin excretion and microbial protein supply to small intestine in Kivircik yearlings fed with high concentrate Diet II (P< 0.05). Hence urinary allantoin excretion may be used as a tool for estimating microbial protein supply in Kivircık yearlings. However, further studies are necessary to understand the metabolism of Saccharomyces cerevisiae live yeast culture with different forage: concentrate ratio in Kıvırcık Yearlings.
Performance of Osmotic Microbial Fuel Cell in Wastewater Treatment and Electricity Generation: A Critical Review
Clean water and electricity are vital services needed in all communities. Bio-degradation of wastewater contaminants and desalination technologies are the best possible alternatives for the global shortage of fresh water supply. Osmotic microbial fuel cell (OMFC) is a versatile technology that uses microorganism (used for biodegradation of organic waste) and membrane technology (used for water purification) for wastewater treatment and energy generation simultaneously. This technology is the combination of microbial fuel cell (MFC) and forward osmosis (FO) processes. OMFC can give more electricity and clean water than the MFC which has a regular proton exchange membrane. FO gives many improvements such as high contamination removal, lower operating energy, raising high proton flux than other pressure-driven membrane technology. Lower concentration polarization lowers the membrane fouling by giving osmotic water recovery without extra cost. In this review paper, we have discussed the principle, mechanism, limitation, and application of OMFC technology reported to date. Also, we have interpreted the experimental data from various literature on the water recovery and electricity generation assessed by a different component of OMFC. The area of producing electricity using OMFC has further scope for research and seems like a promising route to wastewater treatment.
Effects of Gamma Irradiation on Chemical and Antioxidant Properties of Iranian Native Fresh Barberry Fruit
Gamma irradiation greatly reduces the potential microbiological risk of fresh fruits, resulting in improved microbial safety as well as extending their shelf life. The effects of 0.5-2 kGy gamma doses on some physicochemical, microbial and sensory properties of fresh barberry fruits (Berberis vulgaris) during refrigerated storage for 40 days were evaluated. The total anthocyanin and total phenolic contents of barberry fruits decreased in a dose-dependent manner immediately after irradiation and after subsequent storage. In general, it is recommended that, according to the effect of gamma radiation on physicochemical, microbial and sensorial characteristics, doses of 1.25-2 kGy could be used.
Single Species vs Mixed Microbial Culture Degradation of Pesticide in a Membrane Bioreactor
In the current work, the comparison of degradation of malathion by single species, Pseudomonas Stutzeri, and Activated Sludge/Mixed Microbial Culture is studied in a Membrane Bioreactor. Various parameters were considered to study the effect of single species degradation compared to degradation by activated sludge. The experimental results revealed 85-90% reduction in the COD of the Malathion containing synthetic wastewater. Complete reduction of malathion was observed within 24 hours in both the cases. The critical flux was 10 LMH for both the systems. Fouling propensity, Cake and Membrane resistances were calculated thus giving an insight regarding the working of Membrane Bioreactor-based on single species and activated sludge.
Evaluation of Different Fertilization Practices and Their Impacts on Soil Chemical and Microbial Properties in Two Agroecological Zones of Ghana
Renewed interest in soil management aimed at improving the productive capacity of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) soils has called for the need to analyse the long term effect of different fertilization systems on soil. This study was conducted in two agroecological zones (i.e., Guinea Savannah (GS) and Deciduous forest (DF)) of Ghana to evaluate the impacts of long term (> 5 years) fertilization schemes on soil chemical and microbial properties. Soil samples under four different fertilization schemes (inorganic, inorganic and organic, organic, and no fertilization) were collected from 20 farmers` field in both agroecological zones. Soil analyses were conducted using standard procedures. All average soil quality parameters except extractable C, potential mineralizable nitrogen and CEC were significantly higher in DF sites compared to GS. Inorganic fertilization proved superior in soil chemical and microbial biomass especially in GS zone. In GS, soil deterioration index (DI) revealed that soil quality deteriorated significantly (−26%) under only organic fertilization system whereas soil improvement was observed under inorganic and no fertilization sites. In DF, either inorganic or organic and inorganic fertilization showed significant positive effects on soil quality. The high soil chemical composition and enhanced microbial biomass in DF were associated with the high rate of inorganic fertilization.
Biosurfactant-Mediated Nanoparticle Synthesis by Bacillus subtilis
Silver nanoparticles have a broad range of antimicrobial and antifungal properties ranging from soaps, pastes to sterilization and drug delivery systems. These can be synthesized by physical, chemical and biological methods; biological methods being the most popular owing to their non-toxic nature and reduced energy requirements. Microbial surfactants, produced on the microbial cell surface or excreted extracellularly are an alternative to synthetic surfactants for the production of silver nanoparticles. Hence, they are also called as green molecules. Microbial lipopeptide surfactants (biosurfactant) exhibit anti-tumor and anti-microbial properties and can be used as drug delivery agents. In this study, biosurfactant was synthesized by using a strain of acillus subtilis. The biosurfactant thus produced was analysed by emulsification assay, oil spilling test, and haemolytic test. Biosurfactant-mediated silver nanoparticles were synthesised by microwave irradiation of the culture supernatant and further characterized by UV–vis spectroscopy for a range of 400-600 nm. The UV–vis spectra showed a surface plasmon resonance vibration band at 410 nm corresponding to the peak of silver nanoparticles.
Electricity Production from Vermicompost Liquid Using Microbial Fuel Cell
Electricity production from vermicompost liquid was investigated in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The aim of this study was to determine the performance of vermicompost liquid as a biocatalyst for electricity production by MFCs. Chemical and physical parameters of vermicompost liquid as total nitrogen, ammonia-nitrogen, nitrate, nitrite, total phosphorus, potassium, organic matter, C:N ratio, pH, and electrical conductivity in MFCs were studied. The performance of MFCs was operated in open circuit mode for 7 days. The maximum open circuit voltage (OCV) was 0.45 V. The maximum power density of 5.29 ± 0.75 W/m² corresponding to a current density of 0.024 2 ± 0.0017 A/m² was achieved by the 1000 Ω on day 2. Vermicompost liquid has efficiency to generate electricity from organic waste.
Short-Term Impact of a Return to Conventional Tillage on Soil Microbial Attributes
Agricultural practices affect the soil physical and chemical properties, which in turn influence the soil microorganisms as a function of the soil biological environment. On the return to conventional tillage (CT) from continuing no-till (NT) cropping system, a very little information is available from the impact caused by the intermittent tillage on the soil biochemical properties from a short-term (2-year) study period. Therefore, the contribution made by different microorganisms (fungal, bacteria) was also investigated in order to find out the effective changes in the soil microbial activity under a South Australian dryland faring system. This study was conducted to understand the impact of microbial dynamics on the soil organic carbon (SOC) under NT and CT systems when treated with different levels of mulching (0, 2.5 and 5 t/ha). Our results demonstrated that from the incubation experiment the cumulative CO2 emitted from CT system was 34.5% higher than NT system. Relatively, the respiration from surface layer (0-10 cm) was significantly (P< 0.05) higher by 8.5% and 15.8 from CT; 8% and 18.9% from NT system w.r.t 10-20 and 20-30 cm respectively. Further, the dehydrogenase enzyme activity (DHA) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) were both significantly lower (P< 0.05) under CT, i.e., 7.4%, 7.2%, 6.0% (DHA) and 19.7%, 15.7%, 4% (MBC) across the different mulching levels (0, 2.5, 5 t/ha) respectively. In general, it was found that from both the tillage system the enzyme activity and MBC decreased with the increase in depth (0-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm) and with the increase in mulching rate (0, 2.5 and 5 t/ha). From the perspective of microbial stress, there was 28.6% higher stress under CT system compared to NT system. Whereas, the microbial activity of different microorganisms like fungal and bacterial activities were determined by substrate-induced inhibition respiration using antibiotics like cycloheximide (16 mg/gm of soil) and streptomycin sulphate (14 mg/gm of soil), by trapping the CO2 using an alkali (0.5 M NaOH) solution. The microbial activities were confirmed through platting technique, where it was that found bacterial activities were 46.2% and 38.9% higher than fungal activity under CT and NT system. In conclusion, it was expected that changes in the relative abundance and activity of different microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) under different tillage systems could significantly affect the C cycling and storage due to its unique structures and differential interactions with the soil physical properties.
Fructooligosaccharide Prebiotics: Optimization of Different Cultivation Parameters on Their Microbial Production
Recently, a great attention has been paid to the use of dietary carbohydrates as prebiotic functional foods. Among the new commercially available products, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are microbial produced from sucrose, have attracted special interest due to their valuable properties and, thus, have a great economic potential for the sugar industrial branch. They are non-cariogenic sweeteners of low caloric value, as they are not hydrolyzed by the gastro-intestinal enzymes, promoting selectively the growth of the bifidobacteria in the colon, helping to eliminate the harmful microbial species to human and animal health and preventing colon cancer. FOS has been also found to reduce cholesterol, phospholipids and triglyceride levels in blood. FOS has been mainly produced by microbial fructosyltransferase (FTase) enzymes. The present work outlines bioprocess optimization for different cultivation parameters affecting the production of FTase by Penicillium aurantiogriseum AUMC 5605. The optimization involves both traditional as well as fractional factorial design approaches. Additionally, the production process will be compared under batch and fed-batch conditions. Finally, the optimized process conditions will be applied to 5-L stirred tank bioreactor cultivations.
Impact of Climatic Parameters on Soil's Nutritional and Enzymatic Properties
Soil is incoherent matter on Earth’s surface having organic and mineral content. The spatial variation of 4 soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass were assessed for two seasons’ viz. monsoon and winter along the latitudinal gradient in North-central India as the area of this study is fettered with respect to national status. The study was facilitated to encompass the effect of climate change, enzyme activity and biomass on nutrient cycling. Top soils were sampled from 4 sites in North-India. There were significant correlations found between organic C, N & P wrt to latitude gradient in two seasons. This distribution of enzyme activities and microbial biomass was consequence of alterations in temperature and moisture of soil because of which soil properties change along the latitude transect.
Evaluation of Bacterial Composition of the Aerosol of Selected Abattoirs in Akure, South Western Nigeria
This study was carried out to reveal the bacterial composition of aerosol in the studied abattoirs. Bacteria isolated were characterized according to microbiological standards. Factors such as temperature and distance were considered as variable in this study. The isolation was carried out at different temperatures such as 27oC, 31oC and 29oC and at various distances of 100meters and 200meters away from the slaughter sites. Result obtained showed that strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus alimentarius and Micrococcus sp. were identified. The total viable counts showed that more microorganisms were present in the morning while the least viable count of 388 cfu was recorded in the evening period of this study. This study also showed that more microbial loads were recorded the further the distance is to the slaughter site. Conclusively, the array of bacteria isolated suggests that abattoir sites may be a potential source of pathogenic organisms to commuters if located within residential environment.
Antibiotic Resistance of Enterococci Isolated from Raw Cow Milk
The aim of the study was to test the milk samples in terms of enterococci presence and their counts. Tested samples were as follows: raw cow milk, raw cow milk stored at 10°C for 16 hours and milk pasteurised at 72°C for 15 seconds. The typical colonies were isolated randomly and identified by classical biochemical test - EN-COCCUS test (Lachema, CR) and by PCR. Isolated strains were tested in terms of antibiotic resistance by well diffusion method. Examined antibiotics were: vancomycin (30 μg/disc), gentamicin (120 μg/disc), erythromycin (15 μg/disc), teicoplanine (30 μg/disc), ampicillin (10 μg/disc) and tetracycline (30 μg/disc). Average value of enterococci counts in raw milk cistern samples (n=30) was 8.25 ± 1.37 ×103 CFU/cm3. Storage tank milk samples (n=30) showed an increase (P > 0.05) and average value was 9.16 ± 1.49 × 103 CFU/cm3. Occurrence of enterococci in pasteurized milk (n=30) was sporadic and their counts were mostly below 10 CFU/cm3. Overall, 96 enterococci strains were isolated. In samples of raw cow milk and stored raw cow milk, Enterococcus faecalis was a dominant species (58.1% and 71.7%, respectively), followed by E. faecium (16.3% and 0%, respectively). Enterococcus mundtii, E. casseliflavus, E. durans and E. gallinarum were isolated, too. Resistances to ampicillin, erythromycin, gentamicin, tetracycline and vancomycin were found in 7.29%, 3.13%, 4.00%, 13.54% and 10.42% of isolated enterococci strains, respectively. Resistance to teicoplanine was not found in any isolated strain. All Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) belonged to E. faecalis. Obtained results confirmed that raw milk is a potential risk of enterococci resistant to antibiotics transmission into the food chain.
Estimation of Microbial-N Supply to Small Intestine in Angora Goats Fed by Different Roughage Sources
The aim of the study was to estimate the microbial-N flow to small intestine based on daily urinary purine derivatives(PD) mainly xanthine, hypoxanthine, uric acid and allantoin excretion in Angora goats fed by grass hay and concentrate (Period I); barley straw and concentrate (Period II). Daily urine samples were collected during last 3 days of each period from 10 individually penned Angora bucks( LW 30-35 Kg, 2-3 years old) receiving ad libitum grass hay or barley straw and 300 g/d concentrate. Fresh water was always available. 4N H2SO4 was added to collected daily urine .samples to keep pH under 3 to avoid of uric acid precipitation. Diluted urine samples were stored at -20°C until analysis. Urine samples were analyzed for xanthine, hypoxanthine, uric acid, allantoin and creatinine by High-Performance Liquid Chromatographic Method (HPLC). Urine was diluted 1:15 in ratio with water and duplicate samples were prepared for HPLC analysis. Calculated mean levels (n=60) for urinary xanthine, hypoxanthine, uric acid, allantoin, total PD and creatinine excretion were 0.39±0.02 , 0.26±0.03, 0.59±0.06, 5.91±0.50, 7.15±0.57 and 3.75±0.40 mmol/L for Period I respectively; 0.35±0.03, 0.21±0.02, 0.55±0.05, 5.60±0.47, 6.71±0.46 and 3.73±0.41 mmol/L for Period II respectively.Mean values of Period I and II were significantly different (P< 0.05) except creatinine excretion. Estimated mean microbial-N supply to the small intestine for Period I and II in Angora goats were 5.72±0.46 and 5.41±0.61 g N/d respectively. The effects of grass hay and barley straw feeding on microbial-N supply to small intestine were found significantly different (P< 0.05). In conclusion, grass hay showed a better effect on the ruminal microbial protein synthesis compared to barley straw, therefore; grass hay is suggested as roughage source in Angora goat feeding.
Microbial Fuel Cells and Their Applications in Electricity Generating and Wastewater Treatment
This research is an experimental research which was done about microbial fuel cells in order to study them for electricity generating and wastewater treatment. These days, it is very important to find new, clean and sustainable ways for energy supplying. Because of this reason there are many researchers around the world who are studying about new and sustainable energies. There are different ways to produce these kind of energies like: solar cells, wind turbines, geothermal energy, fuel cells and many other ways. Fuel cells have different types one of these types is microbial fuel cell. In this research, an MFC was built in order to study how it can be used for electricity generating and wastewater treatment. The microbial fuel cell which was used in this research is a reactor that has two tanks with a catalyst solution. The chemical reaction in microbial fuel cells is a redox reaction. The microbial fuel cell in this research is a two chamber MFC. Anode chamber is an anaerobic one (ABR reactor) and the other chamber is a cathode chamber. Anode chamber consists of stabilized sludge which is the source of microorganisms that do redox reaction. The main microorganisms here are: Propionibacterium and Clostridium. The electrodes of anode chamber are graphite pages. Cathode chamber consists of graphite page electrodes and catalysts like: O2, KMnO4 and C6N6FeK4. The membrane which separates the chambers is Nafion117. The reason of choosing this membrane is explained in the complete paper. The main goal of this research is to generate electricity and treating wastewater. It was found that when you use electron receptor compounds like: O2, MnO4, C6N6FeK4 the velocity of electron receiving speeds up and in a less time more current will be achieved. It was found that the best compounds for this purpose are compounds which have iron in their chemical formula. It is also important to pay attention to the amount of nutrients which enters to bacteria chamber. By adding extra nutrients in some cases the result will be reverse. By using ABR the amount of chemical oxidation demand reduces per day till it arrives to a stable amount.
Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure: A Large-Scale Research Infrastructure for Microbiological Services
Microbiological resources and their derivatives are the essential raw material for the advancement of human health, agro-food, food security, biotechnology, research and development in all life sciences. Microbial resources, and their genetic and metabolic products, are utilised in many areas such as production of healthy and functional food, identification of new antimicrobials against emerging and resistant pathogens, fighting agricultural disease, identifying novel energy sources on the basis of microbial biomass and screening for new active molecules for the bio-industries. The complexity of public collections, distribution and use of living biological material (not only living but also DNA, services, training, consultation, etc.) and service offer, demands the coordination and sharing of policies, processes and procedures. The Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI) is an initiative within the European Strategy Forum Infrastructures (ESFRI), bring together 16 partners including 13 European public microbial culture collections and biological resource centres (BRCs), supported by several European and non-European associated partners. The objective of MIRRI is to support innovation in microbiology by provision of a one-stop shop for well-characterized microbial resources and high quality services on a not-for-profit basis for biotechnology in support of microbiological research. In addition, MIRRI contributes to the structuring of microbial resources capacity both at the national and European levels. This will facilitate access to microorganisms for biotechnology for the enhancement of the bio-economy in Europe. MIRRI will overcome the fragmentation of access to current resources and services, develop harmonised strategies for delivery of associated information, ensure bio-security and other regulatory conditions to bring access and promote the uptake of these resources into European research. Data mining of the landscape of current information is needed to discover potential and drive innovation, to ensure the uptake of high quality microbial resources into research. MIRRI is in its Preparatory Phase focusing on governance and structure including technical, legal governance and financial issues. MIRRI will help the Biological Resources Centres to work more closely with policy makers, stakeholders, funders and researchers, to deliver resources and services needed for innovation.
Diversity of Microbial Ground Improvements
Low cost, sustainable, and environmentally friendly microbial cements, grouts, polysaccharides and bioplastics are useful in construction and geotechnical engineering. Construction-related biotechnologies are based on activity of different microorganisms: urease-producing, acidogenic, halophilic, alkaliphilic, denitrifying, iron- and sulphate-reducing bacteria, cyanobacteria, algae, microscopic fungi. The bio-related materials and processes can be used for the bioaggregation, soil biogrouting and bioclogging, biocementation, biodesaturation of water-satured soil, bioencapsulation of soft clay, biocoating, and biorepair of the concrete surface. Altogether with the most popular calcium- and urea based biocementation, there are possible and often are more effective such methods of ground improvement as calcium- and magnesium based biocementation, calcium phosphate strengthening of soil, calcium bicarbonate biocementation, and iron- or polysaccharide based bioclogging. The construction-related microbial biotechnologies have a lot of advantages over conventional construction materials and processes.
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats Interference (CRISPRi): An Approach to Inhibit Microbial Biofilm
Biofilm is a sessile bacterial accretion in which bacteria adapts different physiological and morphological behavior from planktonic form. It is the root cause of about 80% microbial infections in human. Among them, E. coli biofilms are most prevalent in medical devices associated nosocomial infections. The objective of this study was to inhibit biofilm formation by targeting LuxS gene, involved in quorum sensing using CRISPRi. luxS is a synthase, involved in the synthesis of Autoinducer-2(AI-2), which in turn guides the initial stage of biofilm formation. To implement CRISPRi system, we have synthesized complementary sgRNA to target gene sequence and co-expressed with dCas9. Suppression of luxS was confirmed through qRT-PCR. The effect of luxS gene on biofilm inhibition was studied through crystal violet assay, XTT reduction assay and scanning electron microscopy. We conclude that CRISPRi system could be a potential strategy to inhibit bacterial biofilm through mechanism base approach.
Use of Microbial Fuel Cell for Metal Recovery from Wastewater
Metal containing wastewater is generated in large quintiles due to rapid industrialization. Generally, the metal present in wastewater is not biodegradable and can be accumulated in living animals, humans and plant tissue, causing disorder and diseases. The conventional metal recovery methods include chemical, physical and biological methods, but these are chemical and energy intensive. The recent development in microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology provides a new approach for metal recovery; this technology offers a flexible platform for both reduction and oxidation reaction oriented process. The use of MFCs will be a new platform for more efficient and low energy approach for metal recovery from the wastewater. So far metal recover was extensively studied using chemical, physical and biological methods. The MFCs present a new and efficient approach for removing and recovering metals from different wastewater, suggesting the use of different electrode for metal recovery can be a new efficient and effective approach.
Population Size Estimation Based on the GPD
The purpose of the study is to estimate the elusive target population size under a truncated count model that accounts for heterogeneity. The purposed estimator is based on the generalized Poisson distribution (GPD), which extends the Poisson distribution by adding a dispersion parameter. Thus, it becomes an useful model for capture-recapture data where concurrent events are not homogeneous. In addition, it can account for over-dispersion and under-dispersion. The ratios of neighboring frequency counts are used as a tool for investigating the validity of whether generalized Poisson or Poisson distribution. Since capture-recapture approaches do not provide the zero counts, the estimated parameters can be achieved by modifying the EM-algorithm technique for the zero-truncated generalized Poisson distribution. The properties and the comparative performance of proposed estimator were investigated through simulation studies. Furthermore, some empirical examples are represented insights on the behavior of the estimators.
Platelet Indices among the Cases of Vivax Malaria
Objective: To ascertain the prevalence of thrombocytopenia and study changes in MPV and PDW among cases of vivax malaria. Design: Descriptive analytic study. Place and duration of study: Department of pediatrics, Fazle Omar Hospital, from January to December 2012. Methodology: All patients from birth to 16 years age, who presented in Fazle- Omar hospital, Rabwah from January to December 2012 were included in this study. Hundred patients with other febrile illnesses were taken as control. Full blood counts were checked by Madonic CA 620 analyzer. Name, age, sex, weight, platelet counts. MPV, PDW, any evidence of bleeding, outcome of cases included in this study and taken as control were recorded on data sheets. Results: One hundred and forty-two patients were included in this study. There was no incidence of death or active bleeding. Median platelet count was 109000/mm3. Thrombocytopenia was present in 108 (76.1%) patients. Severe thrombocytopenia was present in 10(7%) patients. Minimum count was 27000/mm3 and maximum was 341000/mm3. Platelet counts of control group was significantly more as compared with study group.(p
Microbial Bioproduction with Design of Metabolism and Enzyme Engineering
Technologies of metabolic engineering or synthetic biology are essential for effective microbial bioproduction. It is especially important to develop an in silico tool for designing a metabolic pathway producing an unnatural and valuable chemical such as fossil materials of fuel or plastics. We here demonstrated two in silico tools for designing novel metabolic pathways: BioProV and HyMeP. Furthermore, we succeeded in creating an artificial metabolic pathway by enzyme engineering.
Microbial Degradation of Lignin for Production of Valuable Chemicals
Lignin, a heterogeneous three-dimensional biopolymer, is one of the building blocks of lignocellulosic biomass. Due to its limited chemical reactivity, lignin is currently processed as a low-value by-product in pulp and paper mills. Among various industrial lignins, Kraft lignin represents a major source of by-products generated during the widely employed pulping process across the pulp and paper industry. Therefore, valorization of Kraft lignin holds great potential as this would provide a readily available source of aromatic compounds for various industrial applications. Microbial degradation is well known for using both highly specific ligninolytic enzymes secreted by microorganisms and mild operating conditions compared with conventional chemical approaches. In this study, the degradation of Indulin AT lignin was assessed by comparing the effects of Basidiomycetous fungi (Coriolus versicolour and Trametes gallica) and Actinobacteria (Mycobacterium sp. and Streptomyces sp.) to two commercial laccases, T. versicolour ( ≥ 10 U/mg) and C. versicolour ( ≥ 0.3 U/mg). After 54 days of cultivation, the extent of microbial degradation was significantly higher than that of commercial laccases, reaching a maximum of 38 wt% degradation for C. versicolour treated samples. Lignin degradation was further confirmed by thermal carbon analysis with a five-step temperature protocol. Compared with commercial laccases, a significant decrease in char formation at 850ºC was observed among all microbial-degraded lignins with a corresponding carbon percentage increase from 200ºC to 500ºC. To complement the carbon analysis result, chemical characterization of the degraded products at different stages of the delignification by microorganisms and commercial laccases was performed by Pyrolysis-GC-MS.
The Effects of Seasonal Variation on the Microbial-N Flow to the Small Intestine and Prediction of Feed Intake in Grazing Karayaka Sheep
The objectives of the present study were to estimate the microbial-N flow to the small intestine and to predict the digestible organic matter intake (DOMI) in grazing Karayaka sheep based on urinary excretion of purine derivatives (xanthine, hypoxanthine, uric acid, and allantoin) by the use of spot urine sampling under field conditions. In the trial, 10 Karayaka sheep from 2 to 3 years of age were used. The animals were grazed in a pasture for ten months and fed with concentrate and vetch plus oat hay for the other two months (January and February) indoors. Highly significant linear and cubic relationships (P< 0.001) were found among months for purine derivatives index, purine derivatives excretion, purine derivatives absorption, microbial-N and DOMI. Through urine sampling and the determination of levels of excreted urinary PD and Purine Derivatives / Creatinine ratio (PDC index), microbial-N values were estimated and they indicated that the protein nutrition of the sheep was insufficient. In conclusion, the prediction of protein nutrition of sheep under the field conditions may be possible with the use of spot urine sampling, urinary excreted PD and PDC index. The mean purine derivative levels in spot urine samples from sheep were highest in June, July and October. Protein nutrition of pastured sheep may be affected by weather changes, including rainfall. Spot urine sampling may useful in modeling the feed consumption of pasturing sheep. However, further studies are required under different field conditions with different breeds of sheep to develop spot urine sampling as a model.
[Keynote Talk]: Surveillance of Food Safety Compliance of Hong Kong Street Food
This study is a pilot surveillance of hygiene compliance and food microbial safety of both licensed and mobile vendors selling Chinese ready–to-eat snack foods in Hong Kong. The study reflects similar situations in running mobile food vending business on trucks. Hong Kong is about to launch the Food Truck Pilot Scheme by the end of 2016 or early 2017. Technically, selling food on the vehicle is no different from hawking food on the street or vending food on the street. Each type of business bears similar food safety issues and cast the same impact on public health. Present findings demonstrate exemplarily situations that also apply to food trucks. 9 types of Cantonese style snacks of 32 samples in total were selected for microbial screening. A total of 16 vending sites including supermarkets, street markets, and snack stores were visited. The study finally focused on a traditional snack, the steamed rice cake with red beans called Put Chai Ko (PCK). PCK is a type of classical Cantonese pastry sold on push carts on the street. It used to be sold at room temperature and served with bamboo sticks in the old days. Some shops would have them sold steam fresh. Microbial examinations on aerobic counts, yeast, and mould, coliform, salmonella as well as Staphylococcus aureus detections were carried out. Salmonella was not detected in all samples. Since PCK does not contain ingredients of beef, poultry, eggs or dairy products, the risk of the presence of Salmonella in PCK was relatively lower although other source of contamination might be possible. Coagulase positive Staphylococcus aureus was found in 6 of the 14 samples sold at room temperature. Among these 6 samples, 3 were PCK. One of the samples was in an unacceptable range of total colony forming units higher than 105. The rest were only satisfactory. Observational evaluations were made with checklists on personal hygiene, premises hygiene, food safety control, food storage, cleaning and sanitization as well as waste disposals. The maximum score was 25 if total compliance were obtained. The highest score among vendors was 20. Three stores were below average, and two of these stores were selling PCK. Most of the non-compliances were on food processing facilities, sanitization conditions and waste disposal. In conclusion, although no food poisoning outbreaks happened during the time of the investigation, the risk of food hazard existed in these stores, especially among street vendors. Attention is needed in the traditional practice of food selling, and that food handlers might not have sufficient knowledge to properly handle food products. Variations in food qualities existed among supply chains or franchise eateries or shops. It was commonly observed that packaging and storage conditions are not properly enforced in the retails. The same situation could be reflected across the food business. It did indicate need of food safety training in the industry and loopholes in quality control among business.
Use of High Hydrostatic Pressure as an Alternative Preservation Method for Fresh Dates, Rutab
The effects of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) treatments on microbial contamination, chemical and physical properties of fresh dates (Rutab stage) were studied. Khalas, Barhi and Hilali cultivars were treated at 200, 250, 300 and 350 MPa using HHP research apparatus. The objective of such treatments was to preserve fresh dates without adversely affecting its properties. Treating fresh dates at 300 MPa for 5 minutes at 40°C reduced microbial contamination in about 2.5 log cycles. Applying 250 MPa was enough to control Rutab contamination with molds, yeasts, and coliforms. Both treatments were enough to reduce Rutab microbial contamination to acceptable levels. HHP caused no significant effect on Rutab chemical properties (moisture, sugars, protein, pectin and acidity). However, a slight decrease in moisture contents due to HHP was observed. Rutab lightness (L*) significantly decreased due to the application of HHP. Only Rutab treated at 300 MPs gave lower redness (a*) values compared with an untreated sample. The effect of 300 MPa on increasing yellowness (b*) was observed for Barhi and Hilali but decreasing for Khalas. The hardness of all Rutab cultivars significantly decreased as a result of HHP application. In fact, the pressure applied at 300 MPa had an adverse effect on texture, which may limit its suitability for use in Rutab preservation.
Microbial Quality of Traditional Qatari Foods Sold by Women Street Vendors in Doha, Qatar
During the past few years the traditional market of Qatar has become an attraction to many customers who eat from the numerous women street vendors selling Qatari traditional dishes. To gain an understanding on the safety of these street vended foods, we designed the study to test microbiological quality of 14 different Qatari foods sold in Souk Wagif, the main traditional market in Qatar. This study was conducted to mainly identify presence or absence of microbial pathogens. A total of 56 samples were purchased from 10 different street vendors and the samples were collected randomly on different days. The samples were tested for microbial contaminants at Central Food Laboratories, Doha, Qatar. The qualitative study was conducted using Real Time-PCR to screen for; Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and E. coli 0157:H7. Out of the 56 samples, only two samples “Biryani” and “Khabess” contained E. coli. However, both samples tested negative for E. coli O157:H7. The microbial contamination of the Qatari traditional street vended foods was 3%. This result may be attributed to the food safety training requirement set by the regulatory authorities before issuing any license to food handlers in Qatar as well as the food inspection conducted by the food health inspectors on a regular basis.
Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis Method to Assess Rumen Microbial Diversity of Ruminant
Rumen degradation characteristic of feedstuff is one of the prominent factors affecting microbial population in rumen of animal. High rumen degradation rate of faba bean protein may lead to inconstant rumen conditions that could have a prominent impact on rumen microbial diversity. Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA) is utilized to monitor diversity of rumen microbes on sheep fed low quality forage supplemented by faba beans. Four mature merino sheep with existing rumen cannula were used in this study according to 4 x 4 Latin square design. The results of study indicated that there were 37 different ARDRA types identified out of 136 clones examined. Among those clones, five main clone types existed across the treatments with different percentages. In conclusion, the ARDRA method is potential to be used as a routine tool to assess the temporary changes in the rumen community as a result of different feeding strategies.
Identification of Microbial Community in an Anaerobic Reactor Treating Brewery Wastewater
The study of microbial ecology and their function in anaerobic digestion processes are essential to control the biological processes. This is to know the symbiotic relationship between the microorganisms that are involved in the conversion of complex organic matter in the industrial wastewater to simple molecules. In this study, diversity and quantity of bacterial community in the granular sludge taken from the different compartments of a full-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating brewery wastewater was investigated using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The phylogenetic analysis showed three major eubacteria phyla that belong to Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Chloroflexi in the full-scale UASB reactor, with different groups populating different compartment. The result of qPCR assay showed high amount of eubacteria with increase in concentration along the reactor’s compartment. This study extends our understanding on the diverse, topological distribution and shifts in concentration of microbial communities in the different compartments of a full-scale UASB reactor treating brewery wastewater. The colonization and the trophic interactions among these microbial populations in reducing and transforming complex organic matter within the UASB reactors were established.
Dynamics of Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Contents and Stocks along a Salinity Gradient
To investigate the effects of salinity on dynamics of soil carbon and nitrogen contents and stocks, soil samples were collected at a depth of 30 cm at four sampling sites (Sites B, T, S and P) along a salinity gradient in a drained coastal wetland, the Yellow River Delta, China. The salinity of these four sites ranked in the order: B (8.68±4.25 ms/cm) > T (5.89±3.17 ms/cm) > S (3.19±1.01 ms/cm) > P (2.26±0.39 ms/cm). Soil total carbon (TC), soil organic carbon (SOC), soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soil total nitrogen (TC) and soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) were measured. Based on these data, soil organic carbon density (SOCD), soil microbial biomass carbon density (MBCD), soil nitrogen density (TCD) and soil microbial biomass nitrogen density (MBND) were calculated at four sites. The results showed that the mean concentrations of TC, SOC, MBC, TN and MBN showed a general deceasing tendency with increasing salinities in the top 30 cm of soils. The values of SOCD, MBCD, TND and MBND exhibited similar tendency along the salinity gradient. As for profile distribution pattern, The C/N ratios ranged from 8.28 to 56. 51. Higher C/N ratios were found in samples with high salinity. Correlation analysis showed that the concentrations of TC, SOC and MBC at four sampling sites were significantly negatively correlated with salinity (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05), indicating that salinity could inhibit soil carbon accumulation. However, no significant relationship was observed between TN, MBN and salinity (P > 0.05).
Combined Use of Microbial Consortia for the Enhanced Degradation of Type-IIx Pyrethroids
The unrestrained usage of pesticides to meet the burgeoning demand of enhanced crop productivity has led to the serious contamination of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem. The remediation of mixture of pesticides is a challenging affair regarding inadvertent mixture of pesticides from agricultural lands treated with various compounds. Global concerns about the excessive use of pesticides have driven the need to develop more effective and safer alternatives for their remediation. We focused our work on the microbial degradation of a mixture of three Type II-pyrethroids, namely Cypermethrin, Cyhalothrin and Deltamethrin commonly applied for both agricultural and domestic purposes. The fungal strains (Fusarium strain 8-11P and Fusarium sp. zzz1124) had previously been isolated from agricultural soils and their ability to biotransform this amalgam was studied. In brief, the experiment was conducted in two growth systems (added carbon and carbon-free) enriched with variable concentrations of pyrethroids between 100 to 300 mgL⁻¹. Parameter optimization (pH, temperature, concentration and time) was done using a central composite design matrix of Response Surface Methodology (RSM). At concentrations below 200 mgL⁻¹, complete removal was observed; however, degradation of 95.6%/97.4 and 92.27%/95.65% (in carbon-free/added carbon) was observed for 250 and 300 mgL⁻¹ respectively. The consortium has been shown to degrade the pyrethroid mixture (300 mg L⁻¹) within 120 h. After 5 day incubation, the residual pyrethroids concentration in unsterilized soil were much lower than in sterilized soil, indicating that microbial degradation predominates in pyrethroids elimination with the half-life (t₁/₂) of 1.6 d and R² ranging from 0.992-0.999. Overall, these results showed that microbial consortia might be more efficient than single degrader strains. The findings will complement our current understanding of the bioremediation of mixture of Type II pyrethroids with microbial consortia and potentially heighten the importance for considering bioremediation as an effective alternative for the remediation of such pollutants.
The Determination of Total Microbial Count and Prevalence of Salmonella in the Shrimp Supply in Khuzestan Province
Salmonella is one of the major causes of foodborne diseases throughout the world. Shrimp are an important commodity in world fishery trade. The microbiological quality of shrimp must be evaluated for assurance of shrimp. The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality and to determine the prevalence of Salmonella in shrimp sold in Khuzestan province. In this study, a total of 245 samples of shrimp sold in Khuzestan province were tested for Salmonella prevalence and total microbial population. The mean aerobic bacterial count in 50.2% of samples was 2200, in 29.8% of samples was 13,600, in 20% of samples was 36,700, and the mean aerobic bacterial count in the total samples was 20,000. (20,000 cfu/cc). Of the total samples, 33 samples were positive for Salmonella and the prevalence of Salmonella was determined 13.4%. These results indicate the possibility that shrimp contribute to foodborne infections. The improvement of shrimp quality is an important issue, and shrimp before consuming should be washed with water containing chlorine, with the aim of increasing safety. In addition, it should be avoided to eat shrimp as raw or not cooked properly.
Microbial Assessment of Fenugreek Paste during Storage and Antimicrobial Effect of Greek Clover, Trigonella foenum-graecum
In this study, antimicrobial effect of Greek clover was determined with usage of MIC (minimum inhibition concentration) and agar diffusion method. Moreover, pH, water activity and microbial change were determined during storage of fenugreek paste. At first part of our study, microbial load of spices was evaluated. Two different fenugreek pastes were produced with mixing of Greek clover, spices, garlic and water. Fenugreek pastes were stored at 4 °C. At the second part, antimicrobial effect of Greek clover was determined on Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Debaryomyces hansenii, Aspergillus parasiticus, Candida rugosa, Mucor spp., when the concentrations of Greek clover were 8%, 12% and 16%. According to the results obtained, mould growth was determined at 15th and 30th days of storage in first and second fenugreek samples, respectively. Greek clover showed only antifungal effect on Aspergillus parasiticus at previously mentioned concentrations.
Control System Design for a Simulated Microbial Electrolysis Cell
Hydrogen is considered as the most important energy carrier and fuel of the future because of its high energy density and zero emission properties. Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) is a new and promising approach for hydrogen production from organic matter, including wastewater and other renewable resources. By utilizing anode microorganism activity, MEC can produce hydrogen gas with smaller voltages (as low as 0.2 V) than those required for electrolytic hydrogen production ( ≥ 1.23 V). The hydrogen production processes of the MEC reactor are very nonlinear and highly complex because of the presence of microbial interactions and highly complex phenomena in the system. Increasing the hydrogen production rate and lowering the energy input are two important challenges of MEC technology. The mathematical model of the MEC is based on material balance with the integration of bioelectrochemical reactions. The main objective of the research is to produce biohydrogen by selecting the optimum current and controlling applied voltage to the MEC. Precise control is required for the MEC reactor, so that the amount of current required to produce hydrogen gas can be controlled according to the composition of the substrate in the reactor. Various simulation tests involving multiple set-point changes disturbance and noise rejection were performed to evaluate the performance using PID controller tuned with Ziegler Nichols settings. Simulation results shows that other good controller can provide better control effect on the MEC system, so that higher hydrogen production can be obtained.
Metagenomic Identification of Cave Microorganisms in Lascaux and Other Périgord Caves
The Lascaux Cave in South-Est France is an archeological landmark renowned for its Paleolithic paintings dating back c.18.000 years. Extensive touristic frequenting and repeated chemical treatments have resulted in the development of microbial stains on cave walls, which is a major issue in terms of art conservation. Therefore, it is of prime importance to better understand the microbiology specific to the Lascaux Cave, in comparison to regional situations. To this end, we compared the microbial community (i.e. both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial populations) of Lascaux Cave with three other anthropized Périgord caves as well as three pristine caves from the same area. We used state-of-the-art metagenomic analyses of cave wall samples to obtain a global view of the composition of the microbial community colonizing cave walls. We measured the relative abundance and diversity of four DNA markers targeting different fractions of the ribosomal genes of bacteria (i.e. eubacteria), archaea (i.e. archeobacteria), fungi and other micro-eukaryotes. All groups were highly abundant and diverse in all Périgord caves, as several hundred genera of microorganisms were identified in each. However, Lascaux Cave displayed a specify microbial community, which differed from those of both pristine and anthropized caves. Comparison of stains versus non-stained samples from the Passage area of the Lascaux Cave indicated that a few taxa (e.g. the Sordiaromycetes amongst fungi) were more prevalent within than outside stains, yet the main difference was in the relative proportion of the different microbial taxonomic groups and genera, which supposedly supports the biological origin of the stains. Overall, metagenomic sequencing of cave wall samples was effective to evidence the large colonization of caves by a diversified range of microorganisms. It also showed that Lascaux Cave represented a very particular situation in comparison with neighboring caves, probably in relation to the extent of disturbance it had undergone. Our results provide key baseline information to guide conservation efforts in anthropized caves such as Lascaux and pave the way to modern monitoring of ornamented caves.
CoFe₂O₄ as Anode for Enhanced Energy Recovery in Microbial Fuel Cell
Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) are an alternative sustainable approach that utilize bacteria present in waste water as a bio-catalyst for the production of energy. It is a promising growing technology with minimal requirement for chemical supplements. Here electrode material plays a vital role in its performance. The present study represents CoFe2O4 spinel as a novel anode material in the MFC. It not only improve the bacterial metabolics but also enhance the power output. Generally, biocompatible conductive carbon paper/cloth, graphite and stainless steel are utilised as anode in MFCs. However, these materials lack electrochemical activity for anodic microbial reaction. Therefore, we developed CoFe2O4 on graphite sheet which enhanced the anodic charge transfer process. Redox pair in CoFe2O4 helped in improvement of extracellular electron transfer, thereby enhancing the performance. The physical characterizations (FT-IR, XRD, Raman) and electrochemical measurements demonstrate the strong interaction with E.coli bacteria and thus providing an excellent power density i.e. 1850 mW/m2 .The maximum anode half -cell potential is measured to be 0.65V. Therefore, use of noble metal free anodic material further decrease the cost and the long term cell stability makes it an effective material for practical applications.
Food Waste Utilization: A Contemporary Prospect of Meeting Energy Crisis Using Microbial Fuel Cell
Increased production of food waste (FW) is a global issue that is receiving more attention due to its environmental and economic impacts. The generation of electricity from food waste, known as energy recovery, is one of the effective solutions in food waste management. Food waste has high energy content which seems ideal to achieve dual benefits in terms of energy recovery and waste stabilization. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a promising technology for treating food waste and generate electricity. In this work, we will review energy utilization from different kind of food waste using MFC and factors which affected the process. We have studied the key technology of energy generated from food waste using MFC to enhance the food waste management. The power density and electricity production by each kind of food waste and challenges were identified. This work explored the conversion of FW into energy from different type of food waste, which aim to provide a theoretical analysis for energy utilization of food waste.
Financial Benefits after the Implementation of Antimicrobial Copper in Intensive Care Units (ICUs)
Aim: Aim of this study was to evaluate the reduction on Intensive Care Unit (ICU) microbial flora after the antimicrobial copper alloy (Cu+) implementation as well as the effect on financial-epidemiological operation parameters. Methods: Medical, epidemiological and financial data in two time periods, before and after the implementation of copper (Cu 63% - Zn 37%, low lead) were recorded and analyzed in a general ICU. The evaluated parameters were: the importance of patients' admission (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation - APACHE II and Simplified Acute Physiology Score - SAPS), microbial flora's record in the ICU before and after the implementation of Cu+ as well as the impact on epidemiological and ICU's operation financial parameters. Results: During December 2010 and March 2011 and respectively during December 2011 and March 2012 comparative results showed statistically significant reduction on the microbial flora (CFU/ml) by 95% and the use of antimicrobial medicine (per day per patient) by 30% (p = 0,014) as well as patients hospitalization time and cost. Conclusions: The innovative implementation of antimicrobial copper in ICUs contributed to their microbial flora significant reduction and antimicrobial drugs use reduction with the apparent positive effect (decrease) in both patient’s hospitalization time and cost. Under the present circumstances of economic crisis, survey results are of highest importance and value.
Construction of Microbial Fuel Cells from Local Benthic Zones
Electricity is said to serve as the backbone of modern technology. Considering this, electricity consumption has dynamically grown due to the continuous demand. An alternative producer of energy concerning electricity must therefore be given focus. Microbial fuel cell wholly characterizes a new method of renewable energy recovery: the direct conversion of organic matter to electricity using bacteria. Electricity is produced as fuel or new food is given to the bacteria. The study concentrated in determining the feasibility of electricity production from local benthic zones. Microbial fuel cells were constructed to harvest the possible electricity and to test the presence of electricity producing microorganisms. Soil samples were gathered from Calumpang River, Palawan Mangrove Forest, Rosario River and Batangas Port. Eleven modules were constructed for the different trials of the soil samples. These modules were made of cathode and anode chambers connected by a salt bridge. For 85 days, the harvested voltage was measured daily. No parameter is added for the first 24 days. For the next 61 days, acetic acid was included in the first and second trials of the modules. Each of the trials of the soil samples gave a positive result in electricity production.There were electricity producing microbes in local benthic zones. It is observed that the higher the organic content of the soil sample, the higher the electricity harvested from it. It is recommended to identify the specific species of the electricity-producing microorganism present in the local benthic zone. Complement experiments are encouraged like determining the kind of soil particles to test its effect on the amount electricity that can be harvested. To pursue the development of microbial fuel cells by building a closed circuit in it is also suggested.
Impact of Calcium Carbide Waste Dumpsites on Soil Chemical and Microbial Characteristics
Disposal of industrial solid wastes in the environment is a major environmental challenge. This study investigated the effects of calcium carbide waste dumpsites on soil quality. Soil samples were collected with hand auger from three different dumpsites at varying depths and made into composite samples. Samples were subjected to standard analytical procedures. pH varied from 10.38 to 8.28, nitrate from 5.6mg/kg to 9.3mg/kg, phosphate from 8.8mg/kg to 12.3mg/kg, calcium carbide reduced from 10% to to 3%. Calcium carbide was absent in control soil samples. Bacterial counts from dumpsites ranged from 1.8 x 105cfu/g - 2.5 x 105cfu/g while fungal ranged from 0.8 x 103cfu/g - 1.4 x 103cfu/g. Bacterial isolates included Pseudomonas spp, Flavobacterium spp, and Achromobacter spp, while fungal isolates include Penicillium notatum, Aspergillus niger, and Rhizopus stolonifer. No organism was isolated from the dumpsites at soil depth of 0-15 cm, while there were isolates from other soil depths. Toxicity might be due to alkaline condition of the dumpsite. Calcium carbide might be bactericidal and fungicidal leading to cellular physiology, growth retardation, death, general loss of biodiversity and reduction of ecosystem processes. Detoxification of calcium carbide waste before disposal on soil might be the best option in management.
Tests for Zero Inflation in Count Data with Measurement Error in Covariates
In quality of life, health service utilization is an important determinant of medical resource expenditures on Colorectal cancer (CRC) care, a better understanding of the increased utilization of health services is essential for optimizing the allocation of healthcare resources to services and thus for enhancing the service quality, especially for high expenditure on CRC care like Hong Kong region. In assessing the association between the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and health service utilization in patients with colorectal neoplasm, count data models can be used, which account for over dispersion or extra zero counts. In our data, the HRQOL evaluation is a self-reported measure obtained from a questionnaire completed by the patients, misreports and variations in the data are inevitable. Besides, there are more zero counts from the observed number of clinical consultations (observed frequency of zero counts = 206) than those from a Poisson distribution with mean equal to 1.33 (expected frequency of zero counts = 156). This suggests that excess of zero counts may exist. Therefore, we study tests for detecting zero-inflation in models with measurement error in covariates. Method: Under classical measurement error model, the approximate likelihood function for zero-inflation Poisson regression model can be obtained, then Approximate Maximum Likelihood Estimation(AMLE) can be derived accordingly, which is consistent and asymptotically normally distributed. By calculating score function and Fisher information based on AMLE, a score test is proposed to detect zero-inflation effect in ZIP model with measurement error. The proposed test follows asymptotically standard normal distribution under H0, and it is consistent with the test proposed for zero-inflation effect when there is no measurement error. Results: Simulation results show that empirical power of our proposed test is the highest among existing tests for zero-inflation in ZIP model with measurement error. In real data analysis, with or without considering measurement error in covariates, existing tests, and our proposed test all imply H0 should be rejected with P-value less than 0.001, i.e., zero-inflation effect is very significant, ZIP model is superior to Poisson model for analyzing this data. However, if measurement error in covariates is not considered, only one covariate is significant; if measurement error in covariates is considered, only another covariate is significant. Moreover, the direction of coefficient estimations for these two covariates is different in ZIP regression model with or without considering measurement error. Conclusion: In our study, compared to Poisson model, ZIP model should be chosen when assessing the association between condition-specific HRQOL and health service utilization in patients with colorectal neoplasm. and models taking measurement error into account will result in statistically more reliable and precise information.
Bioremediation of PAHs-Contaminated Soil Using Land Treatment Processes
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are present in crude oil and its derivatives contaminate soil and also increase carcinogen and mutagen contamination, which is a concern for researchers. Land farming is one of the methods that remove pollutants from the soil by native microorganisms. It seems that this technology is cost-effective, environmentally friendly and causes less debris problem to be disposed. This study aimed to refine the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from oil-contaminated soil using the land farming method. In addition to examine the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by GC-FID, some characteristics such as soil microbial respiration and dehydrogenase, peroxidase, urease, acid and alkaline phosphatase enzyme concentration were also measured. The results showed that after land farming process the concentrations of some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons dropped to 50 percent. The results showed that the enzyme concentration is reduced by reducing the concentration of hydrocarbons and microbial respiration. These results emphasize the process of land farming for removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from soil by indigenous microorganisms.
Unraveling Biostimulation of Decolorized Mediators for Microbial Fuel Cell-Aided Textile Dye Decontamination
This first-attempt study revealed that decolorized intermediates of azo dyes could act as redox mediators to assist wastewater (WW) decolorization due to enhancement of electron-transport phenomena. Electrochemical impedance spectra indicated that hydroxyl and amino-substituent(s) were functional group(s) as redox-mediator(s). As azo dyes are usually multiple benzene rings structured, their derived decolorized intermediates are likely to play roles of electron shuttles due to lower barrier of energy gap for electron shuttling. According to cyclic voltammetric profiles, redox-mediating characteristics of decolorized intermediates of azo dyes (e.g., RBu171, RR198, RR141, and RBk5) were clearly disclosed. With supplementation of biodecolorized metabolites of RR141 and 198, decolorization performance of could be evidently augmented. This study also suggested the optimal modes of microbial fuel cell (MFC)-assisted WW decolorization would be plug-flow or batch mode of operation with no mix. Single chamber-MFCs would be more favourable than double chamber MFCs due to non-mixing contacting reactor scheme for operation.
Listeria and Spoilage Inhibition Using Neutralized and Sodium Free Vinegar Powder
The trend for sodium reduction in food products is clear. Following the World Health Organization (WHO) publication on sodium usage and intake, several countries have introduced initiatives to reduce food-related sodium intake. As salt is a common food preservative, this trend motivates the formulation of a suitable additive with comparable benefits of shelf life extension and microbial safety. Organic acid derivatives like acetates are known as generic microbial growth inhibitors and are commonly applied as additives to meet food safety demands. However, modern consumers have negative perceptions towards -synthetic-derived additives and increasingly prefer natural alternatives. Vinegar, for example, is a well-known natural fermentation product used in food preservation. However, the high acidity of vinegar often makes it impractical for direct use in meat products and a neutralized form would be desirable. This research demonstrates the efficacy of powdered vinegar (Provian DV) in inhibiting Listeria and spoilage organisms (LAB) to increase safety and shelf life of meat products. For this, the efficacy of Provian DV was compared to the efficacy of Provian K, a commonly used sodium free acetate-based preservative, which is known for its inhibition against Listeria. Materials & methods— Cured pork hams: Ingredients: Pork ham muscle, water, salt, dextrose, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate, and starch. Targets: 73-74% moisture, 1.75+0.1% salt, and pH 6.4+0.1. Treatments: Control (no antimicrobials), Provian®K 0.5% and 0.75%, Provian®DV 0.5%, 0.65%, 0.8% and 1.0%. Meat formulations in casings were cooked reaching an internal temperature of 73.9oC, cooled overnight and stored for 4 days at 4oC until inoculation. Inoculation: Sliced products were inoculated with approximately 3-log per gram of a cocktail of L. monocytogenes (including serotypes 4b, 1/2a and 1/2b) or LAB-cocktail (C. divergens and L. mesenteroides). Inoculated slices were vacuum packaged and stored at 4oC and 7°C. Samples were incubated 28 days (LAB) or 12 weeks (L. monocytogenes) Microbial analysis: Microbial populations were enumerated in rinsate obtained after adding 100ml of sterile Butterfield’s phosphate buffer to each package and massaging the contents externally by hand. L. monocytogenes populations were determined on triplicate samples by surface plating on Modified Oxford agar whereas LAB plate counts were determined on triplicate samples by surface plating on All Purpose Tween agar with 0.4% bromocresol purple. Proximate analysis: Triplicate non-inoculated ground samples were analyzed for the moisture content, pH, aw, salt, and residual nitrite. Results—The results confirmed the no growth of Listeria on cured ham with 0.5% Provian K stored at 4°C and 7°C for 12 weeks, whereas the no-antimicrobial control showed a 1-log increase within two weeks. 0.5% Provian DV demonstrated similar efficacy towards Listeria inhibition at 4°C while 0.65% Provian DV was required to match the Listeria control at 7°C. 0.75% Provian K and 1% Provian DV were needed to show inhibition of the LAB for 4 weeks at both temperatures. Conclusions—This research demonstrated that it is possible to increase safety and shelf life of cured ready-to-eat ham using preservatives that meet current food trends, like sodium reduction and natural origin.
Microbial Inoculants to Increase the Biomass and Nutrient Uptake of Tithonia Cultivated as Hedgerow Plants to Control Erosion in Ultisols
Ultisols require greater amounts of fertilizer application compared to other soils and susceptible to erosion. Unfortunately, the price of synthetic fertilizers has increased over time during the years, making them unaffordable for most Indonesian farmers. While terrace technique to control erosion very costly.Over the last century, efforts to reduce reliance on synthetic agro-chemicals fertilizers and erosion control have recently focused on Tithonia diversifolia as a fertilizer alternative, and as hedgerow plant to control erosion. Generally known by its common name of tree marigold or Mexican sunflower, this plant has attracted considerable attention for its prolific production of green biomass, rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK). In pot experiments has founded some microbial such as Mycorrhizal, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, phosphate solubilizing bacterial (PSB) and fungi (PSF) are expected to play an important role in biomass production and high nutrient uptake of this plant. This issue of importance was pursued further in the following investigation in field condition. The aim of this study was to determine the type of microbial combination suitable for Tithonia cultivation as hedgerow plants in Ultisols which have higher biomass production and nutrient content, and decline soil erosion. The field experiment was conducted with 6 treatments in a randomized block design (RBD) using 3 replications. The treatments were: Tithonia rhizosphere without microbial inoculated (A); Inokulanted by Mycorrhizal + Azotobacter + Azospirillium (B); Mycorrhizal + PSF (C); Mycorrhizal + PSB(D); Mycorrhizal + PSB + PSF(E);and without hedgerow Tithonia (F).The microbial substrates were inoculated into the Tithonia rhizosphere in the nursery. The young Tithonia plants were then planted as hedgerow on Ultisols in the experimental field for 8 months, and pruned once every 2 months. Soil erosion were collected every rainy time. The differences between treatments were statistically significant by HSD test at the 95% level of probability. The result showed that treatment C (mycorrhizal + PSB) was the most effective, and followed by treatment D (mycorrhizal + PSF) in producing higher Tithonia biomass about 8 t dry matter 2000 m-2 ha-1 y-1 and declined soil erosion 71-75%.
Study of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Biodegradation by Bacterial Isolated from Contaminated Soils
The PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) represent a persistent source of pollution
for oil field soils. Their degradation, essentially dominated by the aerobic bacterial and fungal
flora, exhibits certain aspects for remediation of these soils microbial oxygenases have, as their substrates, a large range of PAH. The variety and the performance of these enzymes allow the initiation of the biodegradation of any PAH through many different metabolic pathways.
These pathways are very important for the recycling of the PAH in the biosphere, where
substances supposed indigestible by living organisms are rapidly transformed into simples
compounds, directly assimilated by the intermediate metabolism of other microorganisms.
Screening Maize for Compatibility with F. Oxysporum to Enhance Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze Resistance
Striga asiatica is among the leading abiotic constraints to maize production under small-holder farming communities in southern African. However, confirmed sources of resistance to the parasitic weed are still limited. Conventional breeding programmes have been progressing slowly due to the complex nature of the inheritance of Striga resistance, hence there is a need for more innovative approaches. This study aimed to achieve partial resistance as well as to breed for compatibility with Fusarium oxysporum fsp strigae, a soil fungus that is highly specific in its pathogenicity. The agar gel and paper roll assays in conjunction with a glass house pot trial were done to select genotypes based on their potential to stimulate germination of Striga and to test the efficacy of Fusarium oxysporum as a biocontrol agent. Results from agar gel assays showed a moderate to high potential in the release of Strigalactones among the 33 OPVs. Maximum Striga germination distances from the host root of 1.38 cm and up to 46% germination were observed in most of the populations. Considerable resistance was observed in a landrace ‘8lines’ which had the least Striga germination percentage (19%) with a maximum distance of 0.93 cm compared to the resistant check Z-DPLO-DTC1 that had 23% germination at a distance of 1.4cm. The number of fusarium colony forming units significantly deferred (P < 0.05) amongst the genotypes growing between germination papers. The number of crown roots, length of primary root and fresh weight of shoot and roots were highly correlated with concentration of fusarium macrospore counts. Pot trials showed significant differences between the fusarium coated and the uncoated treatments in terms of plant height, leaf counts, anthesis-silks intervals, Striga counts, Striga damage rating and Striga vigour. Striga emergence counts and Striga flowers were low in fusarium treated pots. Plants in fusarium treated pots had non-significant differences in height with the control treatment. This suggests that foxy 2 reduces the impact of Striga damage severity. Variability within fusarium treated genotypes with respect to traits under evaluation indicates the varying degree of compatibility with the biocontrol.
Microbial and Meiofaunal Dynamics in the Intertidal Sediments of the Northern Red Sea
The meiofaunal population fluctuation, microbial dynamic and the composition of the sedimentary organic matter were investigated seasonally in the Egyptian shores along the northern part of Red Sea. Total meiofaunal population densities were extremely low with an annual average of 109 ±26 ind./10 cm2 and largely dominated by nematodes (on annual average from 52% to 94% of total meiofaunal density). The benthic microbial population densities ranged from 0.26±0.02 x 108 to 102.67±18.62 x 108/g dry sediment. Total sedimentary organic matter concentrations varied between 5.8 and 11.6 mg/g and the organic carbon, which was measured as summation of the carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, accounted for only a small fraction of being 32 % of the total organic matter. Chlorophyll a attained very low values and fluctuated between 2 and 11 µg/g. The very low chlorophyll a concentration in the Egyptian coasts along the Red Sea can suggest that the sedimentary organic matter along the Egyptian coasts is dominated by organic detrital and heterotrophic bacteria on one hand, and do not promote carbon transfer towards the higher trophic level on the other hand. However, the present study indicates that the existing of well diversified meiofaunal group, with a total of ten meiofaunal taxa, can serve as food for higher trophic levels in the Red Sea marine ecosystem.
Effect of Fertilization and Combined Inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense and Pseudomonas fluorescens on Rhizosphere Microbial Communities of Avena sativa (Oats) and Secale Cereale (Rye) Grown as Cover Crops
Cover crops are an agri-technological alternative to improve all properties of soils. Cover crops such as oats and rye could be used to reduce erosion and favor system sustainability when they are grown in the same agricultural cycle of the soybean crop. This crop is very profitable but its low contribution of easily decomposable residues, due to its low C/N ratio, leaves the soil exposed to erosive action and raises the need to reduce its monoculture. Furthermore, inoculation with the plant growth promoting rhizobacteria contributes to the implementation, development and production of several cereal crops. However, there is little information on its effects on forage crops which are often used as cover crops to improve soil quality. In order to evaluate the effect of combined inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense and Pseudomonas fluorescens on rhizosphere microbial communities, field experiments were conducted in the west of Buenos Aires province, Argentina, with a split-split plot randomized complete block factorial design with three replicates. The factors were: type of cover crop, inoculation and fertilization. In the main plot two levels of fertilization 0 and 7 40-0-5 (NPKS) were established at sowing. Rye (Secale cereale cultivar Quehué) and oats (Avena sativa var Aurora.) were sown in the subplots. In the sub-subplots two inoculation treatments are applied without and with application of a combined inoculant with A. brasilense and P. fluorescens. Due to the growth of cover crops has to be stopped usually with the herbicide glyphosate, rhizosphere soil of 0-20 and 20-40 cm layers was sampled at three sampling times which were: before glyphosate application (BG), a month after glyphosate application (AG) and at soybean harvest (SH). Community level of physiological profiles (CLPP) and Shannon index of microbial diversity (H) were obtained by multivariate analysis of Principal Components. Also, the most probable number (MPN) of nitrifiers and cellulolytics were determined using selective liquid media for each functional group. The CLPP of rhizosphere microbial communities showed significant differences between sampling times. There was not interaction between sampling times and both, types of cover crops and inoculation. Rhizosphere microbial communities of samples obtained BG had different CLPP with respect to the samples obtained in the sampling times AG and SH. Fertilizer and depth of sampling also caused changes in the CLPP. The H diversity index of rhizosphere microbial communities of rye in the sampling time BG were higher than those associated with oats. The MPN of both microbial functional types was lower in the deeper layer since these microorganisms are mostly aerobic. The MPN of nitrifiers decreased in rhizosphere of both cover crops only AG. At the sampling time BG, the NMP of both microbial types were larger than those obtained for AG and SH. This may mean that the glyphosate application could cause fairly permanent changes in these microbial communities which can be considered bio-indicators of soil quality. Inoculation and fertilizer inputs could be included to improve management of these cover crops because they can have a significant positive effect on the sustainability of the agro-ecosystem.
Toxicological Standardization of Heavy Metals and Microbial Contamination Haematinic Herbal Formulations Marketed in India
Backgound: In India, drugs of herbal origin have been used in traditional systems of medicines such as Unani and Ayurveda since ancient times. WHO limit for Escherichia coli is 101/gm cfu, for Staphylococus aureus 105/gm cfu, and for Pseudomonas aeruginosa 103/gm cfu and for Salmonella species nil cfu. WHO mentions maximum permissible limits in raw materials only for arsenic, cadmium, and lead, which amount to 1.0, 0.3, and 10 ppm, respectively. Aim: The main purpose of the investigation was to document evidence for the users, and practitioners of marketed haematinic herbal formulations. In the present study haematinic herbal formulations marketed in Yavatmal India were determined for the presence of microbial and heavy metal content. Method: The investigations were performed by using specific medias and atomic absorption spectrometry. Result: The present work indicates the presence of heavy metal contents in herbal formulations selected for study. It was found that arsenic content in formulations was below the permissible limit in all formulations. The cadmium and lead content in six formulations were above the permissible limits. Such formulations are injurious to health of patient if consumed regularly. The specific medias were used to determining the presence of Escherichia coli 4 samples, Staphylococcus aureus 3 samples, and P. aeruginosa 4 samples. The data indicated suggest that there is requirement of in process improvement to provide better quality for consumer health in order to be competitive in international markets. Summary/Conclusion: The presence of microbial and heavy metal content above WHO limits indicates that the GMP was not followed during manufacturing of herbal formulations marketed in India.
Correction Factor to Enhance the Non-Standard Hammer Effect Used in Standard Penetration Test
The weight of the SPT hammer is standard (0.623kN). The locally manufacturer drilling rigs use hammers, sometimes deviating off the standard weight. This affects the field measured blow counts (Nf) consequentially, affecting most of correlations previously obtained, as they were obtained based on standard hammer weight. The literature presents energy corrections factor (η2) to be applied to the SPT total input energy. This research investigates the effect of the hammer weight variation, as a single parameter, on the field measured blow counts (Nf). The outcome is a correction factor (ηk), equation, and correction chart. They are recommended to adjust back the measured misleading (Nf) to the standard one as if the standard hammer is used. This correction is very important to be done in such cases where a non-standard hammer is being used because the bore logs in any geotechnical report should contain true and representative values (Nf), let alone the long records of correlations, already in hand. The study here-in is achieved by using laboratory physical model to simulate the SPT dripping hammer mechanism. It is designed to allow different hammer weights to be used. Also, it is manufactured to avoid and eliminate the energy loss sources. This produces a transmitted efficiency up to 100%.
Expression Regulation of Membrane Protein by Codon Variation of Amino Acid at N-Terminal Region
Microbial rhodopsins are well-known seven-transmembrane proteins that have been extensively studied. These retinal-binding proteins have divided into two types. The type I is microbial rhodopsin, and type II (visual pigment) is expressed mostly in mammalian eyes. For type I rhodopsin, there are two main functions that are ion pumping activity and sensory transduction. Anabaena sensory rhodopsin (ASR) is one of the microbial rhodopsin with main function as photo-sensory transduction. Although ASR is expressed fairly well in Escherichia coli, the expression level is relatively less compare to Proteorhodopsin. In this study, full length of ASR was used to test for the expression influence by codon usage in E. coli. Eight amino acids of codon at N-terminal part of ASR were changed randomly with designed primers, which allow 8,192 nucleotide different cases. The codon changes were screened for the preferable codons of each residue, which have given higher expression yield. Among those 57 selected mutations, there are 24 color-enhanced E. coli colonies that contain ASR proteins, and it showed better expression level than the wild type ASR codon usage. This strongly suggests that high codon usage of only partial N-terminal of protein can increase the expression level of whole protein.
Preparation and Characterization of Nanostructured FeN Electrocatalyst for Air Cathode Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC)
The present work represents a preparation of non-precious iron-based electrocatalyst (FeN) for ORR in air-cathode microbial fuel cell by pyrolysis treatment. Iron oxalate which recovered from the industrial wastewater and Phenanthroline (Phen) were used as the iron and nitrogen precursors, respectively in preparing FeN catalyst. The performance of as prepared catalyst (FeN) was investigated in a single chambered air cathode MFC in which anaerobic sludge was used as inoculum and palm oil mill effluent as substrate. The maximum open circuit potential (OCV) and the highest power density recorded were 0.543 V and 4.9 mW/m2, respectively. Physical characterization of FeN was elucidated by using Brunauner Emmett Teller (BET), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) while the electrochemical properties were characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) analysis. The presence of biofilm on anode surface was examined using FESEM and confirmed using Infrared Spectroscopy and Thermogravimetric Analysis. The findings of this study demonstrated that FeN is electrochemically active and further modification is needed to increase the ORR catalytic activity.
Probiotics as an Alternative to Antibiotic Use in Pig Production
The indiscriminate usage of antibiotics in swine production have consequential outcomes; such as development of bacterial resistance to prophylactic antibiotics and possibility of antibiotic residues in animal products. The use of probiotics appears to be the most effective procedure with positive metabolic nutritional implications. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus reuteri ZJ625, Lactobacillus reuteri VB4, Lactobacillus salivarius ZJ614 and Streptococcus salivarius NBRC13956) administered as direct-fed microorganisms in weaned piglets. 45 weaned piglets blocked by weight were dived into 5 treatments groups: diet with antibiotic, diet with no-antibiotic and no probiotic, and diet with probiotic and diet with combination of probiotics. Piglets performance was monitored during the trials. Faecal and Ileum samples were collected for microbial count analysis. Blood samples were collected from pigs at the end of the trial, for analysis of haematological, biochemical and IgG stimulation. The data was analysed by Split-Plot ANOVA using SAS statistically software (SAS 9.3) (2003). The difference was observed between treatments for daily weight and feed conversion ratio. No difference was observed in analysis of faecal samples in regards with bacterial counts, difference was observed in ileums samples with enteric bacteria colony forming unit being lower in P2 treatment group as compared with lactic acid and total bacteria. With exception of globulin and albumin, biochemistry blood parameters were not affected, likewise for haematology, only basophils and segmented neutrophils were differed by having higher concentration in NC treatment group as compared with other treatment groups. Moreover, in IgG stimulation analysis, difference was also observed, with P2 treatment group having high concentration of IgG in P2 treatment group as compared to other groups. The results of this study suggest that probiotics have a beneficial effect on growth performances, blood parameters and IgG stimulation of pigs, most effective when they are administered in synergy form. This means that it is most likely that these probiotics will offer a significant benefit in pig farming by reducing risk of morbidity and mortality and produce quality meat that is more affordable to poorer communities, and thereby enhance South African pig industry’s economy. In addition, these results indicate that there is still more research need to be done on probiotics in regards with, i.e. dosage, shelf life and mechanism of action.
Effects of Drought on Microbial Activity in Rhizosphere, Soil Hydrophobicity and Leaching of Mineral Nitrogen from Arable Soil Depending on Method of Fertilization
This work presents the first results from the long-term laboratory experiment dealing with impact of drought on soil properties. Three groups of the treatment (A, B and C) with different regime of irrigation were prepared. The soil water content was maintained at 70 % of soil water holding capacity in group A, at 40 % in group B. In group C, soil water regime was maintained in the range of wilting point. Each group of the experiment was divided into three variants (A1 = B1, C1; A2 = B2, C2 etc.) with three repetitions: Variants A1 (B1, C1) were controls without addition of another fertilizer. Variants A2 (B2, C2) were fertilized with mineral nitrogen fertilizer DAM 390 (0.140 Mg of N per ha) and variants A3 (B3, C3) contained 45 g of Cp per a pot. The significant differences (ANOVA, P< 0.05) in the leaching of mineral nitrogen and values of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) were found. The highest values of Ksat were found in variants (within each group) with addition of compost (A3, B3, C3). Conversely, the lowest values of Ksat were found in variants with addition of mineral nitrogen. Low values of Ksat indicate an increased level of hydrophobicity in individual groups of the experiment. Moreover, all variants with compost addition showed lower amount of mineral nitrogen leaching and high level of microbial activity than variants without. This decrease of mineral nitrogen leaching was about 200 % in comparison with the control variant and about 300 % with variant, where mineral nitrogen was added. Based on these results, we can conclude that changes of soil water content directly have impact on microbial activity, soil hydrophobicity and loss of mineral nitrogen from the soil.
The Effects of Organic or Inorganic Zinc and Microbial Phytase, Alone or in Combination, on the Performance, Biochemical Parameters and Nutrient Utilization of Broilers Fed a Diet Low in Available Phosphorus
This study examined the effects of zinc (Zn) from different sources and microbial phytase on the broiler performance, biochemical parameters and digestibility of nutrients when they were added to broiler diets containing low available phosphorus. A total of 875, 1-day-old male broilers of the Ross 308 strain were randomly separated into two control groups (positive and negative) and five treatment groups each containing 125 birds; each group was divided into 5 replicates of 25 birds. The positive control (PC) group was fed a diet containing adequate concentration (0.45%) of available phosphorus due to mineral premix (except zinc) and feeds. The negative control (NC) group was fed a basal diet including low concentration (0.30%) of available phosphorus due to mineral premix (except zinc) and feeds. The basal diet was supplemented with 0.30% phosphorus and 500 FTU phytase (PH); 0.30% phosphorus and organic zinc (OZ; 75mg/kg of Zn from Zn-proteinate); 0.30% phosphorus and inorganic zinc (IZ; 75 mg/kg of Zn from ZnSO4); 0.30% phosphorus, organic zinc and 500 FTU phytase (OZ + PH); and 0.30% phosphorus, inorganic zinc and 500 FTU phytase (IZ + PH) in the treatment groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, respectively. The lowest value for mean body weight was in the negative control group on a diet containing low available phosphorus. The use of supplementation with organic and inorganic zinc alone or in combination with microbial phytase significantly (P< 0.05) increased the digestibility of Zn in the male broilers. Supplementation of those diets with OZ + PH or IZ + PH was very effective for increasing the body weight, body weight gain and the feed conversion ratio. In conclusion, the effects on broilers of diets with low phosphorus levels may be overcome by the addition of inorganic or organic zinc compounds in combination with microbial phytase.
Anaerobic Digestion of Coffee Wastewater from a Fast Inoculum Adaptation Stage: Replacement of Complex Substrate
In this study, raw coffee wastewater (CWW) was used as a complex substrate for anaerobic digestion. The inoculum adaptation stage, microbial diversity analysis and biomethane potential (BMP) tests were performed. A fast inoculum adaptation stage was used by the replacement of vinasse to CWW in an anaerobic sequential batch reactor (AnSBR) operated at mesophilic conditions. Illumina MiSeq sequencing was used to analyze the microbial diversity. While, BMP tests using inoculum adapted to CWW were carried out at different inoculum to substrate (I/S) ratios (2:1, 3:1 and 4:1, on a VS basis). Results show that the adaptability percentage was increased gradually until it reaches the highest theoretical value in a short time of 10 d; with a methane yield of 359.10 NmL CH4/g COD-removed; Methanobacterium beijingense was the most abundant microbial (75%) and the greatest specific methane production was achieved at I/S ratio 4:1, whereas the lowest was obtained at 2:1, with BMP values of 320 NmL CH4/g VS and 151 NmL CH4/g VS, respectively. In conclusion, gradual replacement of substrate was a feasible method to adapt the inoculum in a short time even using complex raw substrates, whereas in the BMP tests, the specific methane production was proportional to the initial amount of inoculum.
Increasing Redness and Microbial Stability of Low Nitrite Chicken Sausage by Encapsulated Tomato Pomace Extract
Tomato pomace (TP) is the waste from tomato processing plants and its utilization as food ingredient may provide sustainable industry by reducing waste. TP was extracted by ethanol using microwave-assisted method at 180W for 90s. The ethanol was evaporated out, and an extract was encapsulated with maltodextrin (1:10) by spray drying to obtain an encapsulated TP extract (ETPE). The redness (a value) of ETPE powder was 6.5±0.05, and it was used as natural ingredient in the low-nitrite chicken sausage. Chicken emulsion sausage was prepared at 25 mg/kg of nitrite for being control. Effect of ETPE (1.0%) was evaluated along with the reference (150 mg/kg of nitrite without ETPE). The redness (a value) of sausage with ETPE was found at 6.8±0.03, which was higher than those of reference and control, which were at 4.8±.022 and 5.1±0.15, respectively. However, hardness, expressible moisture content and cooking yield values were reduced slightly. During storage at 10 °C in the air packed condition for 1 week, changes in color, pH, redness, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances value were not significantly different. However, total microbial count of sausage samples with ETPE was lower than control for a 1 log cycle, suggesting microbial stability. Therefore, the addition of ETPE could be an alternative strategy to utilize TP as a natural colorant and antimicrobial agent to extend the shelf life of low-nitrite chicken sausage.
High Efficient Biohydrogen Production from Cassava Starch Processing Wastewater by Two Stage Thermophilic Fermentation and Electrohydrogenesis
A two-stage thermophilic fermentation and electrohydrogenesis process was used to convert cassava starch processing wastewater into hydrogen gas. Maximum hydrogen yield from fermentation stage by Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum PSU-2 was 248 mL H2/g-COD at optimal pH of 6.5. Optimum hydrogen production rate of 820 mL/L/d and yield of 200 mL/g COD was obtained at HRT of 2 days in fermentation stage. Cassava starch processing wastewater fermentation effluent consisted of acetic acid, butyric acid and propionic acid. The effluent from fermentation stage was used as feedstock to generate hydrogen production by microbial electrolysis cell (MECs) at an applied voltage of 0.6 V in second stage with additional 657 mL H2/g-COD was produced. Energy efficiencies based on electricity needed for the MEC were 330 % with COD removals of 95 %. The overall hydrogen yield was 800-900 mL H2/g-COD. Microbial community analysis of electrohydrogenesis by DGGE shows that exoelectrogens belong to Acidiphilium sp., Geobacter sulfurreducens and Thermincola sp. were dominated at anode. These results show two-stage thermophilic fermentation, and electrohydrogenesis process improved hydrogen production performance with high hydrogen yields, high gas production rates and high COD removal efficiency.
Characterization of the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique as a Biological Cementing Agent for Sand Deposits
The population increase in Egypt is urging for horizontal land development which became a demand to allow the benefit of different natural resources and expand from the narrow Nile valley. However, this development is facing challenges preventing land development and agriculture development. Desertification and moving sand dunes in the west sector of Egypt are considered the major obstacle that is blocking the ideal land use and development. In the proposed research, the sandy soil is treated biologically using Bacillus pasteurii bacteria as these bacteria have the ability to bond the sand partials to change its state of loose sand to cemented sand, which reduces the moving ability of the sand dunes. The procedure of implementing the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique (MICP) technique is examined, and the different factors affecting on this process such as the medium of bacteria sample preparation, the optical density (OD600), the reactant concentration, injection rates and intervals are highlighted. Based on the findings of the MICP treatment for sandy soil, conclusions and future recommendations are reached.
Effect of Organic Fertilizers on the Improvement of Soil Microbiological Functioning under Saline Conditions of Arid Regions: Impact on Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization
This study was conducted on representative and contrasting soils of arid regions. It focuses on the compared influence of two organic fertilizers: poultry manure (PM) and bovine manure (BM) on improving the microbial functioning of non-saline (SS) and saline (SSS) soils, in particularly, the process of mineralization of nitrogen and carbon. The microbiological activity was estimated by respirometric test (CO2–C emissions) and the extraction of two forms of mineral nitrogen (NH4+-N and NO3--N). Thus, after 56 days of incubation under controlled conditions (28 degrees and 80 per cent of the field capacity), the two types of manures showed that the mineralization activity varies according to type of soil and the organic substrate itself. However, the highest cumulative quantities of CO2–C, NH4+–N and NO3-–N obtained at the end of incubation were recorded in non-saline (SS) soil treated with poultry manure with 1173.4, 4.26 and 8.40 mg/100 g of dry soil, respectively. The reductions in rates of release of CO2–C and of nitrification under saline conditions were 21 and 36, 78 %, respectively. The influence of organic substratum on the microbial density shows a stimulating effect on all microbial groups studied. The whole results show the usefulness of two types of manures for the improvement of the microbiological functioning of arid soils.
Acclimatation of Bacterial Communities for Biohydrogen Production by Co-Digestion Process in Batch and Continuous Systems
The co-digestion process of crude cheese whey (CCW) with fruit vegetable waste (FVW) for biohydrogen production was investigated in batch and continuous systems, in stirred 1.8 L bioreactors at 37°C. Five different C/N ratios (7, 17, 21, 31, and 46) were tested in batch systems. While, in continuous system eight conditions were evaluated, hydraulic retention time (from 60 to 10 h) and organic load rate (from 21.96 to 155.87 g COD/L d). Data in batch tests showed a maximum specific biohydrogen production rate of 10.68 mmol H2/Lh and a biohydrogen yield of 449.84 mL H2/g COD at a C/N ratio of 21. In continuous co-digestion system, the optimum hydraulic retention time and organic loading rate were 17.5 h and 80.02 g COD/L d, respectively. Under these conditions, the highest volumetric production hydrogen rate (VPHR) and hydrogen yield were 11.02 mmol H2/L h, 800 mL H2/COD, respectively. A pyrosequencing analysis showed that the main acclimated microbial communities for co-digestion studies consisted of Bifidobacterium, with 85.4% of predominance. Hydrogen producing bacteria such as Klebsiella (9.1%), Lactobacillus (0.97%), Citrobacter (0.21%), Enterobacter (0.27%), and Clostridium (0.18%) were less abundant at this culture period. The microbial population structure was correlated with the lactate, acetate, and butyrate profiles obtained. Results demonstrated that the co-digestion of CCW with FVW improves biohydrogen production due to a better nutrient balance and improvement of the system’s buffering capacity.
Assessment of Escherichia coli along Nakibiso Stream in Mbale Municipality, Uganda
The aim of this study was to assess the level of microbial pollution along Nakibiso stream. The study was carried out in polluted waters of Nakibiso stream, originating from Mbale municipality and running through ADRA Estates to Namatala Wetlands in Eastern Uganda. Four sites along the stream were selected basing on the activities of their vicinity. A total of 120 samples were collected in sterile bottles from the four sampling locations of the stream during the wet and dry seasons of the year 2011. The samples were taken to the National water and Sewerage Cooperation Laboratory for Analysis. Membrane filter technique was used to test for Erischerichia coli. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, pH, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, total suspended solids, turbidity and temperature were also measured. Results for Nitrogen and Phosphorus for sites; 1, 2, 3 and 4 were 1.8, 8.8, 7.7 and 13.8 NH4-N mg/L; and 1.8, 2.1, 1.8 and 2.3 PO4-P mg/L respectively. Basing on these results, it was estimated that farmers use 115 and 24 Kg/acre of Nitrogen and Phosphorus respectively per month. Taking results for Nitrogen, the same amount of Nutrients in artificial fertilizers would cost $ 88. This shows that reuse of wastewater has a potential in terms of nutrients. The results for E. coli for sites 1, 2, 3 and 4 were 1.1 X 107, 9.1 X 105, 7.4 X 105, and 3.4 X 105 respectively. E. coli hence decreased downstream with statistically significant variations between sites 1 and 4. Site 1 had the highest mean E.coli counts. The bacterial contamination was significantly higher during the dry season when more water was needed for irrigation. Although the water had the potential for reuse in farming, bacterial contamination during both seasons was higher than 103 FC/100ml recommended by WHO for unrestricted Agriculture.
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Free Radical Scavenging Activities of Essential Oils Extracted from Six Eucalyptus Species
Eucalyptus species are well reputed for their traditional use in Asia as well as in other parts of the world; therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities associated with essential oils from different Eucalyptus species. Essential oils from the leaves of six Eucalyptus species, including: Eucalyptus woodwardi, Eucalyptus stricklandii, Eucalyptus salubris, Eucalyptus sargentii, Eucalyptus torquata and Eucalyptus wandoo were separated by hydrodistillation and dried over anhydrous sodium sulphate. DPPH, ferric reducing antioxidant power, and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity assays were carried out to evaluate the antioxidant potential of the oils. The results indicate that examined oils exhibit substantial antioxidant activities relative to ascorbic acid. Previously, these oils were evaluated for their antimicrobial activities, against wide range of bacterial and fungal strains, and they were shown to possess significant antimicrobial activities. In this study, further investigation into the growth kinetics of oil-treated microbial cultures was conducted. The results clearly demonstrate that the microbial growth was markedly inhibited when treated with sub-MIC concentrations of the oils. Taken together, the results obtained indicate a high potential of the examined essential oils as bioactive oils, for nutraceutical and medical applications, possessing significant antioxidant and anti microbial activities.
Microbiological Analysis of Soil from Onu-Ebonyi Contaminated with Inorganic Fertilizer
Microbiological analysis of soil from Onu-Ebonyi Izzi local government area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria contaminated with inorganic fertilizer was carried out with a view to determine the effect of the fertilizer on the microbial flora of the soil. soil samples were analyzed for microbial burden. the result showed that the following organisms were isolated with their frequency of their occurrence as follows:pseudomonas species (33.3%) and aspergillus species (54.4%) had the highest frequncy of occurence in the whole sample of batches, while streptococcus species had 6.0% and Geotrichum species (5.3%) had the least and other predominant microorganism isolated: bacillus species,staphylococcus species and vibrio species, Escherichia species, rhzizopus species, mucor species and fusaruim species. From the result, it could be concluded that the soil was contaminated and this could affect adversely the fertility of the soil .
A Combined Activated Sludge-Filtration-Ozonation Process for Abattoir Wastewater Treatment
Current industrialized livestock agriculture is growing every year leading to an increase in the generation of wastewater that varies considerably in terms of organic content and microbial population. Therefore, suitable wastewater treatment methods are required to ensure the wastewater quality meet regulations before discharge. In the present study, a combined lab scale activated sludge-filtration-ozonation system was used to treat a pre-treated abattoir wastewater. A hydraulic retention time of 24 hours and a solid retention time of 13 days were used for the activated sludge process, followed by a filtration step (4-7 µm) and using ozone as tertiary treatment. An average reduction of 93% and 98% was achieved for Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), respectively, obtaining final values of 128 mg/L COD and 12 mg/L BOD. For the Total Suspended Solids (TSS), the average reduction increased to 99% in the same system, reducing the final value down to 3 mg/L. Additionally, 98% reduction in Phosphorus (P) and a complete inactivation of Total Coliforms (TC) was obtained after 17 min ozonation time. For Total Viable Counts (TVC), a drastic reduction was observed with 30 min ozonation time (6 log inactivation) at an ozone dose of 71 mg O3/L. Overall, the combined process was sufficient to meet discharge requirements without further treatment for the measured parameters (COD, BOD, TSS, P, TC, and TVC).
Microbial Electrochemical Remediation System: Integrating Wastewater Treatment with Simultaneous Power Generation
Pollution of estrogenic compounds has caught the attention of researchers as the slight increase of estrogens in the water bodies has a significant impact on the aquatic system. They belong to a class of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and are able to mimic hormones or interfere with the action of endogenous hormones. The microbial electrochemical remediation system (MERS) is employed here for exploiting an electrophototrophic bacterium for evaluating the capacity of biodegradation of ethinylestradiol hormone (EE2) under anaerobic conditions with power generation. MERS using electro-phototrophic bacterium offers a tailored solution of wastewater treatment in a developing country like India which has a huge solar potential. It is a clean energy generating technology as they require only sunlight, water, nutrients, and carbon dioxide to operate. Its main feature that makes it superior over other technologies is that the main fuel for this MERS is sunlight which is indefinitely present. When grown in light with organic compounds, these photosynthetic bacteria generate ATP by cyclic photophosphorylation and use carbon compounds to make cell biomass (photoheterotrophic growth). These cells showed EE2 degradation and were able to generate hydrogen as part of the process of nitrogen fixation. The two designs of MERS were studied, and a maximum of 88.45% decrease in EE2 was seen in a total period of 14 days in the better design. This research provides a better insight into microbial electricity generation and self-sustaining wastewater treatment facilities. Such new models of waste treatment aiming waste to energy generation needs to be followed and implemented for building a resource efficient and sustainable economy.
Bacterial Decontamination of Nurses' White Coats by Application of Antimicrobial Finish
New pathogenic strains of microbes are continually emerging and resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is growing. Hospitals in India have a high burden of infections in their intensive care units and general wards. Rising incidence of hospital infections is a matter of great concern in India. This growth is often attributed to the absence of effective infection control strategies in healthcare facilities. Government, therefore, is looking for cost effective strategies that are effective against HAIs. One possible method is by application of an antimicrobial finish on the uniform. But there are limited studies to show the effect of antimicrobial activity of antimicrobial finish treated nurses’ uniforms in a real hospital set up. This paper proposes a prospective non-destructive sampling technique, based on the use of a detachable fabric patch, to assess the effectiveness of silver based antimicrobial agent across five wards in a tertiary care government hospital in Delhi, India. Fabrics like polyester and polyester cotton blend fabric which are more prevalent for making coats were selected for the study. Polyester and polyester cotton blend fabric was treated with silver based antimicrobial (AM) finish. At the beginning of shift, a composite patch of untreated and treated fabric respectively was stitched on the abdominal region on the left and right side of the washed white coat of participating nurse. At the end of the shift, the patch was removed and taken for bacterial sampling on Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) plates. Microbial contamination on polyester and blend fabrics after 6 hours shift was compared in Brain Heart Infusion broth (BHI). All patches treated with silver based antimicrobial agent showed decreased bacterial counts. Percent reduction in the bacterial colonies after the antimicrobial treatment in both fabrics was 81.0 %. Antimicrobial finish was equally effective in reducing microbial adhesion on both fabric types. White coats of nurses become progressively contaminated during clinical care. Type of fabric used to make the coat can affect the extent of contamination which is higher on polyester cotton blend as compared to 100% polyester. The study highlights the importance of silver based antimicrobial finish in the area of uniform hygiene. Bacterial load can be reduced by using antimicrobial finish on hospital uniforms. Hospital staff uniforms endowed with antimicrobial properties may be of great help in reducing the occurrence and spread of infections.
Acrylic Microspheres-Based Microbial Bio-Optode for Nitrite Ion Detection
Nitrite (NO2-) ion is used prevalently as a preservative in processed meat. Elevated levels of nitrite also found in edible bird’s nests (EBNs). Consumption of NO2- ion at levels above the health-based risk may cause cancer in humans. Spectrophotometric Griess test is the simplest established standard method for NO2- ion detection, however, it requires careful control of pH of each reaction step and susceptible to strong oxidants and dyeing interferences. Other traditional methods rely on the use of laboratory-scale instruments such as GC-MS, HPLC and ion chromatography, which cannot give real-time response. Therefore, it is of signiﬁcant need for devices capable of measuring nitrite concentration in-situ, rapidly and without reagents, sample pretreatment or extraction step. Herein, we constructed a microspheres-based microbial optode for visual quantitation of NO2- ion. Raoutella planticola, the bacterium expressing NAD(P)H nitrite reductase (NiR) enzyme has been successfully extracted by microbial technique from EBN collected from local birdhouse. The whole cells and the lipophilic Nile Blue chromoionophore were physically absorbed on the photocurable poly(n-butyl acrylate-N-acryloxysuccinimide) [poly (nBA-NAS)] microspheres, whilst the reduced coenzyme NAD(P)H was covalently immobilized on the succinimide-functionalized acrylic microspheres to produce a reagentless biosensing system. Upon the NiR enzyme catalyzes the oxidation of NAD(P)H to NAD(P)+, NO2- ion is reduced to ammonium hydroxide, and that a colour change from blue to pink of the immobilized Nile Blue chromoionophore is perceived as a result of deprotonation reaction increasing the local pH in the microspheres membrane. The microspheres-based optosensor was optimized with a reflectance spectrophotometer at 639 nm and pH 8. The resulting microbial bio-optode membrane could quantify NO2- ion at 0.1 ppm and had a linear response up to 400 ppm. Due to the large surface area to mass ratio of the acrylic microspheres, it allows efficient solid state diffusional mass transfer of the substrate to the bio-recognition phase, and achieve the steady state response as fast as 5 min. The proposed optical microbial biosensor requires no sample pre-treatment step and possesses high stability as the whole cell biocatalyst provides protection to the enzymes from interfering substances, hence it is suitable for measurements in contaminated samples.
Phosphorus Recovery Optimization in Microbial Fuel Cell
Understanding the impact of key operational variables on concurrent energy generation and phosphorus recovery in microbial fuel cell is required to improve the process and reduce the operational cost. In this study, full factorial design (FFD) and central composite designs (CCD) were employed to identify the effect of influent COD concentration and cathode aeration flow rate on energy generation and phosphorus (P) recovery and to optimise MFC power density and P recovery. Results showed that influent chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration and cathode aeration flow rate had a significant effect on power density, coulombic efficiency, phosphorus precipitation efficiency and phosphorus precipitation rate at the cathode. P precipitation was negatively affected by the generated current during the batch duration. The generated energy was reduced due to struvite being precipitated on the cathode surface, which might obstruct the mass transfer of ions and oxygen. Response surface mathematical model was used to predict the optimum operating conditions that resulted in a maximum power density and phosphorus precipitation efficiency of 184 mW/m² and 84%, and this corresponds to COD= 1700 mg/L and aeration flow rate=210 mL/min. The findings highlight the importance of the operational conditions of energy generation and phosphorus recovery.
Nano-MFC (Nano Microbial Fuel Cell): Utilization of Carbon Nano Tube to Increase Efficiency of Microbial Fuel Cell Power as an Effective, Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Alternative Energy Sources
Electricity is the primary requirement today's world, including Indonesia. This is because electricity is a source of electrical energy that is flexible to use. Fossil energy sources are the major energy source that is used as a source of energy power plants. Unfortunately, this conversion process impacts on the depletion of fossil fuel reserves and causes an increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, disrupting health, ozone depletion, and the greenhouse effect. Solutions have been applied are solar cells, ocean wave power, the wind, water, and so forth. However, low efficiency and complicated treatment led to most people and industry in Indonesia still using fossil fuels. Referring to this Fuel Cell was developed. Fuel Cells are electrochemical technology that continuously converts chemical energy into electrical energy for the fuel and oxidizer are the efficiency is considerably higher than the previous natural source of electrical energy, which is 40-60%. However, Fuel Cells still have some weaknesses in terms of the use of an expensive platinum catalyst which is limited and not environmentally friendly. Because of it, required the simultaneous source of electrical energy and environmentally friendly. On the other hand, Indonesia is a rich country in marine sediments and organic content that is never exhausted. Stacking the organic component can be an alternative energy source continued development of fuel cell is A Microbial Fuel Cell. Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) is a tool that uses bacteria to generate electricity from organic and non-organic compounds. MFC same tools as usual fuel cell composed of an anode, cathode and electrolyte. Its main advantage is the catalyst in the microbial fuel cell is a microorganism and working conditions carried out in neutral solution, low temperatures, and environmentally friendly than previous fuel cells (Chemistry Fuel Cell). However, when compared to Chemistry Fuel Cell, MFC only have an efficiency of 40%. Therefore, the authors provide a solution in the form of Nano-MFC (Nano Microbial Fuel Cell): Utilization of Carbon Nano Tube to Increase Efficiency of Microbial Fuel Cell Power as an Effective, Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Alternative Energy Source. Nano-MFC has the advantage of an effective, high efficiency, cheap and environmental friendly. Related stakeholders that helped are government ministers, especially Energy Minister, the Institute for Research, as well as the industry as a production executive facilitator. strategic steps undertaken to achieve that begin from conduct preliminary research, then lab scale testing, and dissemination and build cooperation with related parties (MOU), conduct last research and its applications in the field, then do the licensing and production of Nano-MFC on an industrial scale and publications to the public.
Application of Electrochemically Prepared PPy/MWCNT:MnO2 Nano-Composite Film in Microbial Fuel Cells for Sustainable Power Generation
Nano-composite of polypyrrole/multiwalled carbon nanotubes:mangenese oxide (PPy/MWCNT:MnO2) was electrochemically deposited on the surface of carbon cloth (CC). The nano-composite was structurally characterized by FTIR, SEM, TEM and UV-Vis studies. Nano-composite was also characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV), current voltage measurements (I-V) and the optical band gaps of film were evaluated from UV-Vis absorption studies. The PPy/MWCNT:MnO2 nano-composite was used as anode in microbial fuel cell (MFC) for sewage waste water treatment, power and coulombic efficiency measurement. The prepared electrode showed good electrical conductivity (0.1185 S m-1). This was also supported by band gap measurements (direct 0.8 eV, indirect 1.3 eV). The obtained maximum power density was 1125.4 mW m-2, highest chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency was 93% and the maximum coulombic efficiency was 59%. For the first time PPy/MWCNT:MnO2 nano-composite for MFC prepared from nano-composite electrode having the potential for the use in MFC with good stability and better adhesion of microbes is being reported. The SEM images confirm the growth and development of microbe’s colony.
In vivo Evaluation of LAB Probiotic Potential with the Zebrafish Animal Model
Introduction: It is known that some Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) present an interesting probiotic effect. Probiotic bacteria stimulate host resistance to microbial pathogens and thereby aid in immune response, and modulate the host's immune responses to antigens with a potential to down-regulate hypersensitivity reactions. Therefore, probiotic therapy is valuable against intestinal infections and may be beneficial in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Several in vitro tests are available to evaluate the probiotic potential of a LAB strain. However, an in vivo model is required to understand the interaction between the host immune system and the bacteria. During the last few years, zebrafish (Danio rerio) has gained interest as a promising vertebrate model in this field. This organism has been extensively used to study the interaction between the host and the microbiota, as well as the host immune response under several microbial infections. In this work, we report on the use of the zebrafish model to investigate in vivo the colonizing ability and the immunomodulatory effect of probiotic LAB. Methods: Lactobacillus strains belonging to different LAB species were fluorescently tagged and used to colonize germ-free zebrafish larvae gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Some of the strains had a well-documented probiotic effect (L. acidophilus LA5); while others presented an exopolysaccharide (EPS) producing phenotype, thus allowing evaluating the influence of EPS in the colonization and immunomodulatory effect. Bacteria colonization was monitored for 72 h by direct observation in real time using fluorescent microscopy. CFU count per larva was also evaluated at different times. The immunomodulatory effect was assessed analysing the differential expression of several innate immune system genes (MyD88, NF-κB, Tlr4, Il1β and Il10) by qRT- PCR. The anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated using a chemical enterocolitis zebrafish model. The protective effect against a pathogen was also studied. To that end, a challenge test was developed using a fluorescently tagged pathogen (Vibrio anguillarum-GFP+). The progression of the infection was monitored up to 3 days using a fluorescent stereomicroscope. Mortality rates and CFU counts were also registered. Results and conclusions: Larvae exposed to EPS-producing bacteria showed a higher fluorescence and CFU count than those colonized with no-EPS phenotype LAB. In the same way, qRT-PCR results revealed an immunomodulatory effect on the host after the administration of the strains with probiotic activity. A downregulation of proinflammatory cytoquines as well as other cellular mediators of inflammation was observed. The anti-inflammatory effect was found to be particularly marked following exposure to LA% strain, as well as EPS producing strains. Furthermore, the challenge test revealed a protective effect of probiotic administration. As a matter of fact, larvae fed with probiotics showed a decrease in the mortality rate ranging from 20 to 35%. Discussion: In this work, we developed a promising model, based on the use of gnotobiotic zebrafish coupled with a bacterial fluorescent tagging in order to evaluate the probiotic potential of different LAB strains. We have successfully used this system to monitor in real time the colonization and persistence of exogenous LAB within the gut of zebrafish larvae, to evaluate their immunomodulatory effect and for in vivo competition assays. This approach could bring further insights into the complex microbial-host interactions at intestinal level.
Mineral Nitrogen Retention, Nitrogen Availability and Plant Growth in the Soil Influenced by Addition of Organic and Mineral Fertilizers: Lysimetric Experiment
Compost can influence soil fertility and plant health. At the same time compost can play an important role in the nitrogen cycle and it can influence leaching of mineral nitrogen from soil to underground water. This paper deals with the influence of compost addition and mineral nitrogen fertilizer on leaching of mineral nitrogen, nitrogen availability in microbial biomass and plant biomass production in the lysimetric experiment. Twenty-one lysimeters were filed with topsoil and subsoil collected in the area of protection zone of underground source of drinking water - Březová nad Svitavou. The highest leaching of mineral nitrogen was detected in the variant fertilized only mineral nitrogen fertilizer (624.58 mg m-2), the lowest leaching was recorded in the variant with high addition of compost (315.51 mg m-2). On the other hand, losses of mineral nitrogen are not in connection with the losses of available form of nitrogen in microbial biomass. Because loss of mineral nitrogen was detected in variant with the least change in the availability of N in microbial biomass. The leaching of mineral nitrogen, yields as well as the results concerning nitrogen availability from the first year of long term experiment suggest that compost can positive influence the leaching of nitrogen into underground water.
Microbial Pathogens Associated with Banded Sugar Ants (Camponotus consobrinus) in Calabar, Nigeria
Objectives and Goals: The study was aimed at determining pathogenic microbial carriage on the external body parts of Camponotus consobrinus which is also known as the banded sugar ant because of its liking for sugar and sweet food. The level of pathogenic microbial carriage of Camponotus consobrinus in association to the environment in which they have been collected is not known. Methods: The ants were purposively collected from four locations including the kitchens, bedroom of various homes, food shops, and bakeries. The sample collection took place within the hours of 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm. The ants were trapped in transparent plastic containers of which sugar, pineapple peels, sugar cane and soft drinks were used as bait. The ants were removed with a sterile spatula and put in 10mls of peptone water in sterile universal bottles. The containers were vigorously shaken to wash the external surface of the ant. It was left overnight and transported to the Microbiology Laboratory, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital for analysis. The overnight peptone broths were inoculated on Chocolate agar, Blood agar, Cystine Lactose Electrolyte-Deficient agar (CLED) and Sabouraud dextrose agar. Incubation was done aerobically and in a carbon dioxide jar for 24 to 48 hours at 37°C. Isolates were identified based on colonial characteristics, Gram staining, and biochemical tests. Results: Out of the 250 Camponotus consobrinus caught for the study, 90(36.0%) were caught in the kitchen, 75(30.0%) in the bedrooms 40(16.0%) in the bakery while 45(18.0%) were caught in the shops. A total of 82.0% prevalence of different microbial isolates was associated with the ants. The kitchen had the highest number of isolates 75(36.6%) followed by the bedroom 55(26.8%) while the bakery recorded the lowest number of isolates 35(17.1%). The profile of micro-organisms associated with Camponotus consobrinus was Escherichia coli 73(30.0%), Morganella morganii 45(18.0%), Candida species 25(10.0%), Serratia marcescens 10(4.0%) and Citrobacter freundii 10(4.0%). Conclusion: Most of the Camponotus consobrinus examined in the four locations harboured potential pathogens. The presence of ants in homes and shops can facilitate the propagation and spread of pathogenic microorganisms. Therefore, the development of basic preventive measures and the control of ants must be taken seriously.
Harnessing of Electricity from Distillery Effluent and Simultaneous Effluent Treatment by Microbial Fuel Cell
The advancement in the science and technology has made it possible to convert electrical energy into any desired form. It has given electrical energy a place of pride in the modern world. The survival of industrial undertakings and our social structure depends primarily upon low cost and uninterrupted supply of electrical energy. Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a promising and emerging technique for sustainable bioelectricity generation and wastewater treatment. MFCs are devices which are capable of converting organic matter to electricity/hydrogen with help of microorganisms. Different kinds of wastewater could be used in this technique, distillery effluent is one of the most troublesome and complex and strong organic effluent with high chemical oxygen demand of 1,53,846 mg/L. A single cell MFC unit was designed and fabricated for the distillery effluent treatment and to generate electricity. Due to the high COD value of the distillery effluent helped in the production of energy for 74 days. The highest voltage got from the fuel cell is 206 mV on the 30th day. A maximum power density obtained from the MFC was 9.8 mW, treatment efficiency was evaluated in terms of COD removal and other parameters. COD removal efficiencies were around 68.5 % and other parameters such as Total Hardness (81.5%), turbidity (70 %), chloride (66%), phosphate (79.5%), Nitrate (77%) and sulphate (71%). MFC using distillery effluent is a promising new unexplored substrate for the power generation and sustainable treatment technique through harnessing of bioelectricity.
Formaldehyde Degradation from Indoor Air by Encapsulated Microbial Cells
Formaldehyde is one of the most representative volatile organic compounds present in the indoor air of residential units and workplaces. Increased attention has been given to this toxic compound because of its carcinogenic effect in health. Biological or enzymatic transformation is being explored to degrade this pollutant. Pseudomonas putida is a bacteria able to synthesize formaldehyde dehydrogenase, an enzyme known to use formaldehyde as a substrate and transform it into less toxic compounds. The immobilization of bacterial cells in the surface of different supports through spraying or dip-coating is herein proposed. The determination of the enzymatic activity on the coated surfaces was performed as well as the study of its effect on formaldehyde degradation in an isolated chamber. Results show that the incorporation of microbial cells able to synthesize depolluting enzymes can be an innovative, low-cost, effective and environmentally friendly solution for indoor air depollution.
Aloe vera Prevents Injuries Induced by Whole Body X-ray Irradiation in Rodents
Purpose: The present study was designed to evaluate the radioprotective efficacy of Aloe vera from whole body X-ray exposure in rodents. Materials and Methods: For this purpose, after on week’s acclimatization, male balb/c mice procured from Central Animal House, Panjab University, Chandigarh (India), were divided into four groups: Group I mice served as control. Group II mice were orally administrated Aloe vera pulp extract (50 mg/ kg body weight) on alternate days for 30 days. Group III mice were subjected to whole body X-ray irradiation to cumulative dose of 2Gy (0.258Gy twice a day for four days in the last week). Group IV animals were pretreated with Aloe vera pulp extract on alternate days as in Group II and in the last week of the study, they were exposed to X-ray as in Group III. Results: Spleen of X-ray irradiated mice showed histopathological alterations accompanied with enhanced activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in serum. Elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation (LPO), enhanced activities in Glutathione based enzymes such as Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), Glutathione reductase (GR), Catalase (CAT), Superoxide dismutase (SOD) associated with depletion in reduced Glutathione (GSH) concentration were observed after X-ray exposure in blood plasma and spleen.. Pro-inflammatory cytokines like tumor necrosis factors (TNF-α) and Inteleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were also found to be enhanced in serum of irradiated mice. Irradiation-induced significant elevation in Total leucocyte counts (TLC), neutrophil counts and decline in platelet counts, associated with unaltered levels of red blood cell counts (RBC’s) and haemoglobin (Hb) in various treatment groups. Clastogenic damage and apoptosis was also found to be increase in splenic tissue of X-ray exposed mice as assessed by micronucleus and TUNEL assay. However, X-ray irradiated animals administered with Aloe vera revealed significant improvement in levels of ROS/ LPO, LDH activity, and antioxidant mechanism. Aloe vera pretreated animals exhibited less severe damage, and early recovery in micronucleated cells, hematological parameters, apoptotic cells and inflammatory markers as compared to X-ray exposed mice. Conclusion: These results indicate that the radioprotective potential of Aloe vera against X-ray induced damage. This may be due to its free radical scavenging, antioxidant, anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Effect of Different Microbial Strains on Biological Pretreatment of Sugarcane Bagasse for Enzymatic Hydrolysis
Among agricultural residues, sugarcane bagasse is one of the most convincing raw materials for the production of bioethanol due to its availability, and low cost through enzymatic hydrolysis and yeast fermentation. A pretreatment step is needed to enhance the enzymatic step. In this study, sugarcane bagasse (SCB), one of the most abundant agricultural residues in Thailand, was pretreated biologically with various microorganisms of white-rot fungus—Phanerochaete sordid (SK 7), Cellulomonas sp. (TISTR 784), and strain A 002 (Bacillus subtilis isolated from Thai higher termites). All samples with various microbial pretreatments were further hydrolyzed enzymatically by a commercial enzyme obtained from Aspergillus niger. The results showed that the pretreatment with the white-rot fungus gave the highest glucose concentration around two-fold higher when compared with the others.
Power Generation and Treatment potential of Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) from Landfill Leachate
Modern day municipal solid waste landfills are operated and controlled to protect the environment from contaminants during the biological stabilization and degradation of the solid waste. They are equipped with liners, caps, gas and leachate collection systems. Landfill gas is passively or actively collected and can be used as bio fuel after necessary purification, but leachate treatment is the more difficult challenge. Leachate, if not recirculated in a bioreactor landfill system, is typically transported to a local wastewater treatment plant for treatment. These plants are designed for sewage treatment, and often charge additional fees for higher strength wastewaters such as leachate if they accept them at all. Different biological, chemical, physical and integrated techniques can be used to treat the leachate. Treating that leachate with simultaneous power production using microbial fuel cells (MFC) technology has been a recent innovation, reported its application in its earliest starting phase. High chemical oxygen demand (COD), ionic strength and salt concentration are some of the characteristics which make leachate an excellent substrate for power production in MFCs. Different materials of electrodes, microbial communities, carbon co-substrates and temperature conditions are some factors that can be optimized to achieve simultaneous power production and treatment. The advantage of the MFC is its dual functionality but lower power production and high costs are the hurdles in its commercialization and more widespread application. The studies so far suggest that landfill leachate MFCs can produce 1.8 mW/m2 with 79% COD removal, while amendment with food leachate or domestic wastewater can increase performance up to 18W/m3 with 90% COD removal. The columbic efficiency is reported to vary between 2-60%. However efforts towards biofilm optimization, efficient electron transport system studies and use of genetic tools can increase the efficiency of the MFC and can determine its future potential in treating landfill leachate.
Wastewater Treatment and Bio-Electricity Generation via Microbial Fuel Cell Technology Operating with Starch Proton Exchange Membrane
Biotechnology in recent times has tried to develop a mechanism whereby sustainable electricity can be generated by the activity of microorganisms on waste and renewable biomass (often regarded as "negative value") in a device called microbial fuel cell, MFC. In this paper, we established how the biocatalytic activities of bacteria on organic matter (substrates) produced some electrons with the associated removal of some water pollution parameters; Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) to the tune of 77.2% and 88.3% respectively from a petrochemical sanitary wastewater. The electricity generation was possible by conditioning the bacteria to operate anaerobically in one chamber referred to as the anode while the electrons are transferred to the fully aerated counter chamber containing the cathode. Power densities ranging from 12.83 mW/m2 to 966.66 mW/m2 were achieved using a dual-chamber starch membrane MFC experimental set-up. The maximum power density obtained in this research shows an improvement in the use of low cost MFC set up to achieve power production. Also, the level of organic matter removal from the sanitary waste water by the operation of this device clearly demonstrates its potential benefit in achieving an improved benign environment. The beauty of the MFCs is their potential utility in areas lacking electrical infrastructures like in most developing countries.
Effect of Palm Oil Mill Effluent on Microbial Composition in Soil Samples in Isiala Mbano Lga
Background: Palm oil mill effluent is the voluminous liquid waste that comes from the sterilization and clarification sections of the oil palm milling process. The raw effluent contains 90-95% water and includes residual oil, soil particles, and suspended solids. Palm oil mill effluent is a highly polluting material and much research has been dedicated to means of alleviating its threat to the environment. Objectives: 1. To compare Physico-chemical and microbiological analysis of soil samples from POME and non-POME sites. 2. To make recommendations on how best to handle POME in the study area. Methods: Quadrant approach was adopted for sampling POME (A) and Non POME (B) locations. Qualities were determined using standard analytical procedures. Conclusions: Results of the analysis were obtained in the following range; pH (3.940 –7.435), dissolved oxygen (DO) (1.582–6.234mg/l), biological oxygen demand (BOD) (50–5463mg/l etc. For the various locations, the population of total heterotrophic bacteria (THB) ranged from 1.36x106–2.42x106 cfu/ml, the total heterotrophic fungi (THF) ranged from 1.22–3.05 x 104 cfu/ml. The frequency of occurrence revealed the microbial isolates Pseudomonas sp., Bacillus sp., Staphylococcus, as the most frequently occurring isolates. Analysis of variance showed that there were significant differences (P< 0.05) in microbial populations among locations. The discharge of industrial effluents into the soil in Nigeria invariably results in the presence of high concentrations of pollutant in the soil environment.
Impact of Different Ripening Accelerators on the Microbial Load and Proximate Composition of Plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and Banana (Musa sapientum), during the Ripening Process, and the Nutrition Implication for Food Security
This study reports on the impact of different ripening accelerators on the microbial load and proximate composition of plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and Banana (Musa sapientum) during the ripening process, and the nutrition implication for food security. The study comprised of four treatments, namely: Calcium carbide, Irvingia gabonensis fruits, Newbouldia laevis leaves and a control, where no ripening accelerator was applied to the fingers of plantain and banana. The unripe and ripened plantain and banana were subjected to microbial analysis by isolating and enumerating their micro flora using pour plate method; and also, their proximate composition was determined using standard methods. The result indicated that the bacteria count of plantain increased from 3.25 ± 0.33 for unripe to 5.31 ± 0.30 log cfu/g for (treated) ripened, and that of banana increased from 3.69 ± 0.11 for unripe to 5.26 ± 0.21 log cfu/g for ripened. Also, the fungal count of plantain increased from 3.20 ± 0.16 for unripe to 4.88 ± 0.22 log sfu/g for ripened; and that of banana increased from 3.61 ± 0.19 for unripe to 5.43 ± 0.26 for ripened. Ripened plantain fingers without any ripening accelerator (control) had significantly (p < 0.05) higher values of crude protein 3.56 ± 0.06%, crude fat 0.42 ± 0.04%, total ash 2.74 ± 0.15 and carbohydrate 31.10 ± 0.20; but with significantly lower value of moisture 62.14 ± 0.07% when compared with treated plantain. The proximate composition trend of treated and banana fingers control is similar to that of treated and plantain control, except that higher moisture content of 75.11 ± 0.07% and lesser protein, crude fat, total ash and carbohydrate were obtained from treated and ripened banana control when the treatments were compared with that of plantain. The study concluded that plantain is more nutritious (mealy) than a banana; also, the ripening accelerators increased the microbial load and reduced the nutritional status of plantain and banana.
The Potential Effect of Biochar Application on Microbial Activities and Availability of Mineral Nitrogen in Arable Soil Stressed by Drought
Application of biochar to arable soils represents a new approach to restore soil health and quality. Many studies reported the positive effect of biochar application on soil fertility and development of soil microbial community. Moreover biochar may affect the soil water retention, but this effect has not been sufficiently described yet. Therefore this study deals with the influence of biochar application on: microbial activities in soil, availability of mineral nitrogen in soil for microorganisms, mineral nitrogen retention and plant production. To demonstrate the effect of biochar addition on the above parameters, the pot experiment was realized. As a model crop, Lactuca sativa L. was used and cultivated from December 10th 2014 till March 22th 2015 in climate chamber in thoroughly homogenized arable soil with and without addition of biochar. Five variants of experiment (V1–V5) with different regime of irrigation were prepared. Variants V1–V2 were fertilized by mineral nitrogen, V3–V4 by biochar and V5 was a control. The significant differences were found only in plant production and mineral nitrogen retention. The highest content of mineral nitrogen in soil was detected in V1 and V2, about 250 % in comparison with the other variants. The positive effect of biochar application on soil fertility, mineral nitrogen availability was not found. On the other hand results of plant production indicate the possible positive effect of biochar application on soil water retention.
The Feasibility of Anaerobic Digestion at 45⁰C
Anaerobic digestion at mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures have been widely studied and evaluated by numerous researchers. Limited extensive research has been conducted on anaerobic digestion in the intermediate zone of 45°C, mainly due to the notion that limited microbial activity occurs within this zone. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the performance and the capability of anaerobic digestion at 45°C in producing class A biosolids, in comparison to a mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion system operated at 35°C and 55°C, respectively. In addition to that, the investigation on the possible inhibition factors affecting the performance of the digestion system at this temperature will be conducted as well. The 45°C anaerobic digestion systems were not able to achieve comparable methane yield and high-quality effluent compared to the mesophilic system, even though the systems produced biogas with about 62-67% methane. The 45°C digesters suffered from high acetate accumulation, but sufficient buffering capacity was observed as the pH, alkalinity and volatile fatty acids (VFA)-to-alkalinity ratio were within recommended values. The accumulation of acetate observed in 45°C systems were presumably due to the high temperature which contributed to high hydrolysis rate. Consequently, it produced a large amount of toxic salts that combined with the substrate making them not readily available to be consumed by methanogens. Acetate accumulation, even though contributed to 52 to 71% reduction in acetate degradation process, could not be considered as completely inhibitory. Additionally, at 45°C, no ammonia inhibition was observed and the digesters were able to achieve volatile solids (VS) reduction of 47.94±4.17%. The pathogen counts were less than 1,000 MPN/g total solids, thus, producing Class A biosolids.
Unzipping the Stress Response Genes in Moringa oleifera Lam. through Transcriptomics
Moringa oleifera Lam. is known mainly for its high nutritional value and medicinal properties contributing to its popular reputation as a 'miracle plant' in the tropical climates where it usually grows. The main objective of this study is to discover the genes and gene products involved in abiotic stress-induced activity that may impact the M. oleifera Lam. mature seeds as well as their corresponding functions. In this study, RNA-sequencing and de novo transcriptome assembly were performed using two assemblers, Trinity and Oases, which produced 177,417 and 120,818 contigs respectively. These transcripts were then subjected to various bioinformatics tools such as Blast2GO, UniProt, KEGG, and COG for gene annotation and the analysis of relevant metabolic pathways. Furthermore, FPKM analysis was performed to identify gene expression levels. The sequences were filtered according to the 'response to stress' GO term since this study dealt with stress response. Clustered Orthologous Groups (COG) showed that the highest frequencies of stress response gene functions were those of cytoskeleton which make up approximately 14% and 23% of stress-related sequences under Trinity and Oases respectively, recombination, repair and replication at 11% and 14% respectively, carbohydrate transport and metabolism at 23% and 9% respectively and defense mechanisms 16% and 12% respectively. KEGG pathway analysis determined the most abundant stress-response genes in the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis at counts of 187 and 166 pathways for Oases and Trinity respectively, purine metabolism at 123 and 230 pathways, and biosynthesis of antibiotics at 105 and 102. Unique and cumulative GO term counts revealed that majority of the stress response genes belonged to the category of cellular response to stress at cumulative counts of 1,487 to 2,187 for Oases and Trinity respectively, defense response at 754 and 1,255, and response to heat at 213 and 208, response to water deprivation at 229 and 228, and oxidative stress at 508 and 488. Lastly, FPKM was used to determine the levels of expression of each stress response gene. The most upregulated gene encodes for thiamine thiazole synthase chloroplastic-like enzyme which plays a significant role in DNA damage tolerance. Data analysis implies that M. oleifera stress response genes are directed towards the effects of climate change more than other stresses indicating the potential of M. oleifera for cultivation in harsh environments because it is resistant to climate change, pathogens, and foreign invaders.
Microbial Fuel Cells: Performance and Applications
This paper aims to show some applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), an energy harvesting technique, as clean power source to supply low power device for application like wireless sensor network (WSN) for environmental monitoring. Furthermore, MFC can be used directly as biosensor to analyse parameters like pH and temperature or arranged in form of cluster devices in order to use as small power plant. An MFC is a bioreactor that converts energy stored in chemical bonds of organic matter into electrical energy, through a series of reactions catalysed by microorganisms. We have developed a lab-scale terrestrial microbial fuel cell (TMFC), based on soil that acts as source of bacteria and flow of nutrient and a lab-scale waste water microbial fuel cell (WWMFC), where waste water acts as flow of nutrient and bacteria. We performed large series of tests to exploit the capability as biosensor. The pH value has strong influence on the open circuit voltage (OCV) delivered from TMFCs. We analyzed three condition: test A and B were filled with same soil but changing pH from 6 to 6.63, test C was prepared using a different soil with a pH value of 6.3. Experimental results clearly show how with higher pH value a higher OCV was produced; indeed reactors are influenced by different values of pH which increases the voltage in case of a higher pH value until the best pH value of 7 is achieved. The influence of pH on OCV of lab-scales WWMFC was analyzed at pH value of 6.5, 7, 7.2, 7.5 and 8. WWMFCs are influenced from temperature more than TMFCs. We tested the power performance of WWMFCs considering four imposed values of ambient temperature. Results show how power performance increase proportionally with higher temperature values, doubling the output power from 20° to 40°. The best value of power produced from our lab-scale TMFC was equal to 310 μW using peaty soil, at 1KΩ, corresponding to a current of 0.5 mA. A TMFC can supply proper energy to low power devices of a WSN by means of the design of three stages scheme of an energy management system, which adapts voltage level of TMFC to those required by a WSN node, as 3.3V. Using a commercial DC/DC boost converter, that needs an input voltage of 700 mV, the current source of 0.5 mA, charges a capacitor of 6.8 mF until it will have accumulated an amount of charge equal to 700 mV in a time of 10 s. The output stage includes an output switch that close the circuit after a time of 10s + 1.5ms because the converter can boost the voltage from 0.7V to 3.3V in 1.5 ms. Furthermore, we tested in form of clusters connected in series up to 20 WWMFCs, we have obtained a high voltage value as output, around 10V, but low current value. MFC can be considered a suitable clean energy source to be used to supply low power devices as a WSN node or to be used directly as biosensor.
Shelf Life and Overall Quality of Pretreated and Modified Atmosphere Packaged ‘Ready-To-Eat’ Pomegranate arils cv. Bhagwa Stored at 1⁰C
The effect of different pretreatments and modified atmosphere packaging on the quality of minimally processed pomegranate arils of Bhagwa cultivar was evaluated during storage at 1⁰C for 16 days. Hand extracted pomegranate arils were pretreated with different antioxidants and surfactants viz., 100ppm sodium hypochlorite plus 0.5 percent ascorbic acid plus 0.5 percent citric acid, 10 and 20 percent honey solution, 0.1 percent nanosilver stipulated food grade hydrogen peroxide alone and in combination with 10 percent honey solution and control. The disinfected, rinsed and air-dried pomegranate arils were packed in polypropylene punnets (135g each) with different modified atmospheres and stored up to 16 days at 1⁰C. Changes in colour, pH, total soluble solids, sugars, anthocyanins, phenols, acidity, antioxidant activity, microbial and yeast and mold count over initial values were recorded in all the treatments under study but highest on those without antioxidant and surfactant treatments. Pretreated arils stored at 1⁰C recorded decrease in L*, b* value, pH, levels of non-reducing and total sugars, polyphenols, antioxidant activity and acceptability of arils and increase in total soluble solids, a* value, anthocyanins and microbial count. Increase in anthocyanin content was observed in modified atmosphere packaged pretreated arils stored at 1⁰C. Modified atmosphere packaging with 100 percent nitrogen recorded minimum changes in physicochemical and sensorial parameters with minimum microbial growth. Untreated arils in perforated punnets and with air (control) gave shelf life up to 6 days only. The pretreatment of arils with 10 percent honey plus 0.1 percent nanosilver stipulated food grade hydrogen peroxide and packaging in 100 percent nitrogen recorded minimum changes in physicochemical parameters. The treatment also restricted microbial growth and maintained colour, anthocyanin pigmentation, antioxidant activity and overall fresh like quality of arils. The same dipping treatment along with modified atmosphere packaging extended the shelf life of fresh ready to eat arils up to 14 to 16 days with enhanced acceptability when stored at 1⁰C.
Neutral Sugar Contents of Laurel-leaved and Cryptomeria japonica Forests
Soil neutral sugar contents in Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest (Nara, Japan) were examined using the Waksman’s approximation analysis to clarify relations with the neutral sugar constituted the soil organic matter and the microbial biomass. Samples were selected from the soil surrounding laurel-leaved (BB-1) and Carpinus japonica (BB-2) trees for analysis. The water and HCl soluble neutral sugars increased microbial biomass of the laurel-leaved forest soil. Arabinose, xylose, and galactose of the HCl soluble fraction were used immediately in comparison with other neutral sugars. Rhamnose, glucose, and fructose of the HCl soluble fraction were re-composed by the microbes.
Isolation, Characterization and Application of Bacteriophages on the Biocontrol of Listeria monocytogenes in Soft Cheese
Bacteriophages are one of the most abundant replicating entities on Earth and can be found everywhere in which their hosts live and there are reports regarding isolation from different niches such as soil and foods. Since studies are moving forward with regard to biotechnology area, different research projects are being performed focusing on the phage technology and its use by the food industry. This study aimed to evaluate a cocktail (LP501) of phages isolated in Brazil for its lytic potential against Listeria monocytogenes. Three bacteriophages (LP05, LP12 and LP20) were isolated from soil samples and all of them showed 100% lysis against a panel of 10 L. monocytogenes strains representing different serotypes of this pathogen. A mix of L. monocytogenes 1/2a and 4b were inoculated in soft cheeses (approximately 105 cfu/cm2) with the phage cocktail added thereafter (1 x 109 PFU/cm2). Samples were analyzed immediately and then stored at 10°C for ten days. At 30 min post-infection, the cocktail reduced L. monocytogenes counts approximately 1.5 logs, compared to controls without bacteriophage. The treatment produced a statistically significant decrease in the counts of viable cells (p < 0.05) and in all assays performed we observed a decrease of up to 4 logs of L. monocytogenes. This study will make available to the international community behavioral and molecular data regarding bacteriophages present in soil samples in Brazil. Furthermore, there is the possibility to apply this new cocktail of phages in different food products to combat L. monocytogenes.
FTIR Spectroscopy for in vitro Screening in Microbial Biotechnology
Globally there is a dramatic increase in the demand for food, energy, materials and clean water since natural resources are limited. As a result, industries are looking for ways to reduce rest materials and to improve resource efficiency. Microorganisms have a high potential to be used as bio factories for the production of primary and secondary metabolites that represent high-value bio-products (enzymes, polyunsaturated fatty acids, bio-plastics, glucans, etc.). In order to find good microbial producers, to design suitable substrates from food rest materials and to optimize fermentation conditions, rapid analytical techniques for quantifying target bio products in microbial cells are needed. In the EU project FUST (R4SME, Fp7), we have developed a fully automated high-throughput FUST system based on micro-cultivation and FTIR spectroscopy that facilitates the screening of microorganisms, substrates and fermentation conditions for the optimization of the production of different high-value metabolites (single cell oils, bio plastics). The automated system allows the preparation of 100 samples per hour. Currently, The FUST system is in use for screening of filamentous fungi in order to find oleaginous strains with the ability to produce polyunsaturated fatty acids, and the optimization of cheap substrates, derived from food rest materials, and the optimization of fermentation conditions for the high yield of single cell oil.
Producing Sustained Renewable Energy and Removing Organic Pollutants from Distillery Wastewater using Consortium of Sludge Microbes
Distillery wastewater in the form of spent wash is a complex and strong industrial effluent, with high load of organic pollutants that may deplete dissolved oxygen on being discharged into aquatic systems and contaminate groundwater by leaching of pollutants, while untreated spent wash disposed on land acidifies the soil. Stringent legislative measures have therefore been framed in different countries for discharge standards of distillery effluent. Utilising the organic pollutants present in various types of wastes as food by mixed microbial populations is emerging as an eco-friendly approach in the recent years, in which complex organic matter is converted into simpler forms, and simultaneously useful gases are produced as renewable and clean energy sources. In the present study, wastewater from a rice bran based distillery has been used as the substrate in a dark fermenter, and native microbial consortium from the digester sludge has been used as the inoculum to treat the wastewater and produce hydrogen. After optimising the operational conditions in batch reactors, sequential batch mode and continuous flow stirred tank reactors were used to study the best operational conditions for enhanced and sustained hydrogen production and removal of pollutants. Since the rate of hydrogen production by the microbial consortium during dark fermentation is influenced by concentration of organic matter, pH and temperature, these operational conditions were optimised in batch mode studies. Maximum hydrogen production rate (347.87ml/L/d) was attained in 32h dark fermentation while a good proportion of COD also got removed from the wastewater. Slightly acidic initial pH seemed to favor biohydrogen production. In continuous stirred tank reactor, high H2 production from distillery wastewater was obtained from a relatively shorter substrate retention time (SRT) of 48h and a moderate organic loading rate (OLR) of 172 g/l/d COD.
Use of Locally Effective Microorganisms in Conjunction with Biochar to Remediate Mine-Impacted Soils
The Oronogo-Duenweg mining belt –approximately 20 square miles around the Joplin, Missouri area– is a designated United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site due to lead-contaminated soil and groundwater by former mining and smelting operations. Over almost a century of mining (from 1848 to the late 1960’s), an estimated ten million tons of cadmium, lead, and zinc containing material have been deposited on approximately 9,000 acres. Sites that have undergone remediation, in which the O, A, and B horizons have been removed along with the lead contamination, the exposed C horizon remains incalcitrant to revegetation efforts. These sites also suffer from poor soil microbial activity, as measured by soil extracellular enzymatic assays, though 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) indicates that microbial diversity is equal to sites that have avoided mine-related contamination. Soil analysis reveals low soil organic carbon, along with high levels of bio-available zinc, that reflect the poor soil fertility conditions and low microbial activity. Our study looked at the use of several materials to restore and remediate these sites, with the goal of improving soil health. The following materials, and their purposes for incorporation into the study, were as follows: manure-based biochar for the binding of zinc and other heavy metals responsible for phytotoxicity, locally sourced biosolids and compost to incorporate organic carbon into the depleted soils, effective microorganisms harvested from nearby pristine sites to provide a stable community for nutrient cycling in the newly composited 'soil material'. Our results indicate that all four materials used in conjunction result in the greatest benefit to these mine-impacted soils, based on above ground biomass, microbial biomass, and soil enzymatic activities.
Assessment of Reproductive Toxicity of Diazinon Pesticide in Male Wistar Rats
Organophosphates are among the most widely used synthetic insect pesticides. The widespread use of organophosphates has stimulated research into the possible existence of effects related with their reproductive toxic activity. The present study aimed to assess the effects of diazinon (DIZ) on male reproductive system. DIZ at the dose levels of 1.5, 3.0 and 9.0 mg/kg b. wt./day was administered orally to male rats of Wistar strain for 30 days to evaluate the toxic alterations in testicular histology, biochemistry, sperm dynamics, and testosterone levels. The body weight of animals did not show any significant changes, however, a significant reduction was observed in testes weight. DIZ also brought about marked reduction in epididymal and testicular sperm counts in exposed males and a decrease in serum testosterone concentration. Histopathological examination of testes showed mild to severe degenerative changes in seminiferous tubules at various dose levels. Fertility test showed 79% negative results. All these toxic effects are moderate at low doses and become severe at higher dose levels. From the results of the present study it is concluded that DIZ induces severe testicular damage and results in reduction in sperm count and thus affect fertility. Small changes in sperm counts are known to have adverse affects on human fertility. Therefore, application of such insecticide should be limited to a designed programme.
Evaluation of Reproductive Toxicity of Diazinon Pesticide in Male Wistar Rats
Organophosphates are among the most widely used synthetic insect pesticides. The widespread use of organophosphates has stimulated research into the possible existence of effects related with their reproductive toxic activity. The present study aimed to assess the effects of diazinon (DIZ) on male reproductive system. DIZ at the dose levels of 1.5, 3.0 and 9.0 mg/kg b. wt./day was administered orally to male rats of Wistar strain for 30 days to evaluate the toxic alterations in testicular histology, biochemistry, sperm dynamics and testosterone levels. The body weight of animals did not show any significant changes; however, a significant reduction was observed in testes weight. DIZ also brought about a marked reduction in epididymal and testicular sperm counts in exposed males and a decrease in serum testosterone concentration. Histopathological examination of testes showed mild to severe degenerative changes in seminiferous tubules at various dose levels. Fertility test showed 79% negative results. All these toxic effects are moderate at low doses and become severe at higher dose levels. From the results of the present study, it is concluded that DIZ induces severe testicular damage and results in a reduction in sperm count and thus affect fertility. Small changes in sperm counts are known to have adverse effects on human fertility. Therefore, application of such insecticide should be limited to a designed programme.
Effect of Sulphur Concentration on Microbial Population and Performance of a Methane Biofilter
Methane (CH4) is reputed as the second largest contributor to greenhouse effect with a global warming potential (GWP) of 34 related to carbon dioxide (CO2) over the 100-year horizon, so there is a growing interest in reducing the emissions of this gas. Methane biofiltration (MBF) is a cost effective technology for reducing low volume point source emissions of methane. In this technique, microbial oxidation of methane is carried out by methane-oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) which use methane as carbon and energy source. MBF uses a granular medium, such as soil or compost, to support the growth of methanotrophic bacteria responsible for converting methane to carbon dioxide (CO₂) and water (H₂O). Even though the biofiltration technique has been shown to be an efficient, practical and viable technology, the design and operational parameters, as well as the relevant microbial processes have not been investigated in depth. In particular, limited research has been done on the effects of sulphur on methane bio-oxidation. Since bacteria require a variety of nutrients for growth, to improve the performance of methane biofiltration, it is important to establish the input quantities of nutrients to be provided to the biofilter to ensure that nutrients are available to sustain the process. The study described in this paper was conducted with the aim of determining the influence of sulphur on methane elimination in a biofilter. In this study, a set of experimental measurements has been carried out to explore how the conversion of elemental sulphur could affect methane oxidation in terms of methanotrophs growth and system pH. Batch experiments with different concentrations of sulphur were performed while keeping the other parameters i.e. moisture content, methane concentration, oxygen level and also compost at their optimum level. The study revealed the tolerable limit of sulphur without any interference to the methane oxidation as well as the particular sulphur concentration leading to the greatest methane elimination capacity. Due to the sulphur oxidation, pH varies in a transient way which affects the microbial growth behavior. All methanotrophs are incapable of growth at pH values below 5.0 and thus apparently are unable to oxidize methane. Herein, the certain pH for the optimal growth of methanotrophic bacteria is obtained. Finally, monitoring methane concentration over time in the presence of sulphur is also presented for laboratory scale biofilters.
Tumour-Associated Tissue Eosinophilia as a Prognosticator in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Background: The infiltration of tumour stroma by eosinophils, Tumor-Associated Tissue Eosinophilia (TATE), is known to modulate the progression of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC). Eosinophils have direct tumoricidal activity by release of cytotoxic proteins and indirectly they enhance permeability into tumor cells enabling penetration of tumoricidal cytokines. Also, eosinophils may promote tumor angiogenesis by production of several angiogenic factors. Identification of eosinophils in the inflammatory stroma has been proven to be an important prognosticator in cancers of mouth, oesophagus, larynx, pharynx, breast, lung, and intestine. Therefore, the study aimed to correlate TATE with clinical and histopathological variables, and blood eosinophil count to assess the role of TATE as a prognosticator in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC). Methods: Seventy two biopsy-proven cases of OSCC formed the study cohort. Blood eosinophil counts and TNM stage were obtained from the medical records. Tissue sections (5µm thick) were stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin. The eosinophils were quantified at invasive tumour front (ITF) in 10HPF (40x magnification) with an ocular grid. Bryne’s grading of ITF was also performed. A subset of thirty cases was also assessed for association of TATE with recurrence, involvement of lymph nodes and surgical margins. Results: 1) No statistically significant correlation was found between TATE and TNM stage, blood eosinophil counts and most parameters of Bryne’s grading system. 2) Statistically significant relation of intense degree of TATE was associated with the absence of distant metastasis, increased lympho-plasmacytic response and increased survival (diseasefree and overall) of OSCC patients. 3) In the subset of 30 cases, tissue eosinophil counts were higher in cases with lymph node involvement, decreased survival, without margin involvement and in cases that did not recur. Conclusion: While the role of eosinophils in mediating immune responses seems ambiguous as eosinophils support cell-mediated tumour immunity in early stages while inhibiting the same in advanced stages, TATE may be used as a surrogate marker for determination of prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
A Review on Electrical Behavior of Different Substrates, Electrodes and Membranes in Microbial Fuel Cell
The devices, which convert the energy in the form of electricity from organic matters, are called microbial fuel cell (MFC). Recently, MFCs have been given a lot of attention due to their mild operating conditions, and various types of biodegradable substrates have been used in the form of fuel. Traditional MFCs were included in anode and cathode chambers, but there are single chamber MFCs. Microorganisms actively catabolize substrate, and bioelectricities are produced. In the field of power generation from non-conventional sources, apart from the benefits of this technique, it is still facing practical constraints such as low potential and power. In this study, most suitable, natural, low cost MFCs components are electrodes (anode and cathode), organic substrates, membranes and its design is selected on the basis of maximum potential (voltage) as an electrical parameter, which indicates a vital role of affecting factor in MFC for sustainable power production.
Role of Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) to Assess the Need of Platelet Transfusion in Dengue
Background: In India, platelet transfusions are given to large no. of patients suffering from dengue due to the fear of bleeding especially when the platelet counts are low. Though many patients do not bleed when the platelet count falls to less than 20,000, certain patients bleed even if the platelet counts are more than 20,000 without any comorbid condition (like gastrointestinal ulcer) in the past. This fear has led to huge amounts of unnecessary platelet transfusions which cause significant economic burden to low and middle-income countries like India and also sometimes these transfusions end with transfusion-related adverse reactions. Objective: To identify the role of Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) in comparison with thrombocytoenia as an indicator to assess the real need of platelet transfusions. Method: A prospective study was conducted at a hospital in South India which included 176 admitted cases of dengue confirmed by immunochromatography. APTT was performed in all these patients along with platelet count. Cut off values of > 60 seconds for APTT and < 20,000 for platelet count were considered to assess the bleeding manifestations. Results: Among the total 176 patients, 56 patients had bleeding manifestations like malena, hematuria, bleeding gums etc. APTT > 60 seconds had a sensitivity and specificity of 93% and 90% respectively in identifying bleeding manifestations where as platelet count of < 20,000 had a sensitivity and specificity of 64% and 73% respectively. Conclusion: Elevated APTT levels can be considered as an indicator to assess the need of platelet transfusion in dengue. As there is a significant variation among patients who bleed with respect to platelet count, APTT can be considered to avoid unnecessary transfusions.
Culturable Microbial Diversity of Agave Artisanal Fermentations from Central Mexico
Agave atrovirens is the main source of agave sap, the raw material for the production of pulque, an artisanal fermented beverage, traditional since prehispanic times in the highlands of central Mexico. Agave sap is rich in glucose, sucrose and fructooligosaccharides, and strongly differs from agave syrup from A. tequilana, which is mostly a high molecular weight fructan. Agave sap is converted into pulque by a highly diverse microbial community which includes bacteria, yeast and even filamentous fungi. The bacterial diversity has been recently studied. But the composition of consortia derived from directed enrichments differs sharply from the whole fermentative consortium. Using classical microbiology methods, and selective liquid and solid media formulations, either bacterial or fungal consortia were developed and analyzed. Bacterial consortia able to catabolize specific prebiotic saccharides were selected and preserved for future developments. Different media formulations, selective for bacterial genera such as Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Lactococcus and Enterococcus were also used. For yeast, specific media, osmotic pressure and unique carbon sources were used as selective agents. Results show that most groups are represented in the enrichment cultures; although very few are recoverable from the whole consortium in artisanal pulque. Diversity and abundance vary among consortia. Potential bacterial probiotics obtained from agave sap and agave juices show tolerance to hydrochloric acid, as well as strong antimicrobial activity.
Three Year Pedometer Based Physical Activity Intervention of the Adult Population in Qatar
Background: Increased physical activity is associated with improvements in health conditions. Walking is recognized as an easy form of physical activity and a strategy used in health promotion. Step into Health (SIH), a national community program, was established in Qatar to support physical activity promotion through the monitoring of step counts. This study aims to assess the physical activity levels of the adult population in Qatar through a pedometer-based community program over a three-year-period. Methodology: This cross-sectional longitudinal study was conducted between from January 2013 and December 2015 based on daily step counts. A total of 15,947 adults (8,551 males and 7,396 females), from different nationalities enrolled in the program and aged 18 to 64, are included. The program involves free distribution of pedometers to members who voluntarily choose to register. It is also supported by a self-monitoring online account and linked to a web-database. All members are informed about the 10,000 steps/day target and automated emails as well as text messages are sent as reminders to upload data. Daily step counts were measured through the Omron HJ-324U pedometer (Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd., Japan). Analyses are done on the data extracted from the web-database. Results: Daily average step count for the overall community increased from 4,830 steps/day (2013) to 6,124 steps /day (2015). This increase was also observed within the three age categories (18–30), (31-45) and (>45) years. Average steps per day were found to be more among males compared with females in each of the aforementioned age groups. Moreover, males and females in the age group (>45 years) show the highest average step count with 7,010 steps/day and 5,564 steps/day respectively. The 21% increase in overall step count throughout the study period is associated with well-resourced program and ongoing impact in smaller communities such as workplaces and universities, a step in the right direction. However, the average step count of 6,124 steps/day in the third year is still classified as the low active category. Although the program showed an increase step count we found, 33% of the study population are low active, 35 % are sedentary with only 32% being active. Conclusion: This study indicates that the pedometer-based intervention was effective in increasing the daily physical activity of participants. However, alternative approaches need to be incorporated within the program to educate and encourage the community to meet the physical activity recommendations in relation to step count.
The Effect of Street Dust on Urban Environment
Street dust has been knoweldged as an important source of air pollution. It does not remain deposited in a place for long, as it is easily resuspended back into the atmosphere. Street dust is a complex mixture derived from different sources: Deposited dust, traffic, tire, and brake wear, construction and demolition processes. The present study aims to evaluate the elementals ”iron, calcium, lead, cadmium, nickel, silicon, and selenium” and microbial “bacteria and fungi” contents associated street dust at the holy mosque areas. The street dust was collected by sweeping an arera~1m2 along the both sides of the road. The particles with diameter ≤ 1.7 µm constitued the highest percentages of the total particulate ≤45 µm. Moreover, The crustal species: iron and calcium were found in the highest concentrations, and proof that demolition and constricution were the main source of street dust. Also, the low biodiversity of microorganisms is attributed to severe weather conditions and characteristics of the arid environment.
Effects of Nitrogen Addition on Litter Decomposition and Nutrient Release in a Temperate Grassland in Northern China
Anthropogenic activities have increased nitrogen (N) inputs to grassland ecosystems. Knowledge of the impact of N addition on litter decomposition is critical to understand ecosystem carbon cycling and their responses to global climate change. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of N addition and litter types on litter decomposition of a semi-arid temperate grassland during growing and non-growing seasons in Inner Mongolia, northern China, and to identify the relation between litter decomposition and C: N: P stoichiometry in the litter-soil continuum. Six levels of N addition were conducted: CK, N1 (0 g Nm−2 yr−1), N2 (2 g Nm−2 yr−1), N3 (5 g Nm−2 yr−1), N4 (10 g Nm−2 yr−1) and N5 (25 g Nm−2 yr−1). Litter decomposition rates and nutrient release differed greatly among N addition gradients and litter types. N addition promoted litter decomposition of S. grandis, but exhibited no significant influence on L. chinensis litter, indicating that the S. grandis litter decomposition was more sensitive to N addition than L. chinensis. The critical threshold for N addition to promote mixed litter decomposition was 10 -25g Nm−2 yr−1. N addition altered the balance of C: N: P stoichiometry between litter, soil and microbial biomass. During decomposition progress, the L. chinensis litter N: P was higher in N2-N4 plots compared to CK, while the S. grandis litter C: N was lower in N3 and N4 plots, indicating that litter N or P content doesn’t satisfy microbial decomposers with the increasing of N addition. As a result, S. grandis litter exhibited net N immobilization, while L. chinensis litter net P immobilization. Mixed litter C: N: P stoichiometry satisfied the demand of microbial decomposers, showed net mineralization during the decomposition process. With the increasing N deposition in the future, mixed litter would potentially promote C and nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystem by increasing litter decomposition and nutrient release.
Isolation and Characterization of a Narrow-Host Range Aeromonas hydrophila Lytic Bacteriophage
Since their discovery, indiscriminate use of antibiotics in human, veterinary and aquaculture systems has resulted in global emergence/spread of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens. Thus, the need for alternative approaches to control bacterial infections has become utmost important. High selectivity/specificity of bacteriophages (phages) permits the targeting of specific bacteria without affecting the desirable flora. In this study, a lytic phage (Ahp1) specific to Aeromonas hydrophila subsp. hydrophila was isolated from finfish aquaculture pond. The host range of Ahp1 range was tested against 10 isolates of A. hydrophila, 7 isolates of A. veronii, 25 Vibrio cholerae isolates, 4 V. parahaemolyticus isolates and one isolate each of V. harveyi and Salmonella enterica collected previously. Except the host A. hydrophila subsp. hydrophila strain, no lytic activity against any other bacterial was detected. During the adsorption rate and one-step growth curve analysis, 69.7% of phage particles were able to get adsorbed on host cell followed by the release of 93 ± 6 phage progenies per host cell after a latent period of ~30 min. Phage nucleic acid was extracted by column purification methods. After determining the nature of phage nucleic acid as dsDNA, phage genome was subjected to next-generation sequencing by generating paired-end (PE, 2 x 300bp) reads on Illumina MiSeq system. De novo assembly of sequencing reads generated circular phage genome of 42,439 bp with G+C content of 58.95%. During open read frame (ORF) prediction and annotation, 22 ORFs (out of 49 total predicted ORFs) were functionally annotated and rest encoded for hypothetical proteins. Proteins involved in major functions such as phage structure formation and packaging, DNA replication and repair, DNA transcription and host cell lysis were encoded by the phage genome. The complete genome sequence of Ahp1 along with gene annotation was submitted to NCBI GenBank (accession number MF683623). Stability of Ahp1 preparations at storage temperatures of 4 °C, 30 °C, and 40 °C was studied over a period of 9 months. At 40 °C storage, phage counts declined by 4 log units within one month; with a total loss of viability after 2 months. At 30 °C temperature, phage preparation was stable for < 5 months. On the other hand, phage counts decreased by only 2 log units over a period of 9 during storage at 4 °C. As some of the phages have also been reported as glycerol sensitive, the stability of Ahp1 preparations in (0%, 15%, 30% and 45%) glycerol stocks were also studied during storage at -80 °C over a period of 9 months. The phage counts decreased only by 2 log units during storage, and no significant difference in phage counts was observed at different concentrations of glycerol. The Ahp1 phage discovered in our study had a very narrow host range and it may be useful for phage typing applications. Moreover, the endolysin and holin genes in Ahp1 genome could be ideal candidates for recombinant cloning and expression of antimicrobial proteins.
Bacterio-Algal Microbial Fuel Cells for Sustainable Power Production, Wastewater Treatment, and Desalination
The Microbial fuel Cell (MFC) is a successful integrated technology for power production and wastewater treatment. MFCs are recognized for their dual function, but research in this field is still ongoing to increase efficiency and power output. One such effort is successful integration of phototrophic and autotrophic microorganisms to create bacterio-algal MFCs for sustainable electricity production along with wastewater treatment and algal biomass production. An MFC is typically configured with an anaerobic anodic chamber containing exoelectrogenic microorganisms separated by a cation exchange membrane from an adjacent aerobic cathodic chamber. The two electrodes are connected by an external circuit. This conventional MFC can be converted into a phototrophic MFC by introducing photosynthetic microorganisms into the cathode chamber. This study examines adding a third desalination chamber to a two-chamber bacterio-algal MFC. Successful results have been observed from these three-chamber MFCs demonstrating wastewater treatment in the anodic chamber, phototrophic algal growth in the cathodic chamber, and desalination in the middle chamber. The present article will summarize successful results of the bacterio-algal fuel cells and offer insights about the mechanisms involved. Tables summarizing the input substrate along with optimized operational conditions and output performance in terms of power production and efficiencies of water and wastewater treatment will be presented. The negative impacts and challenges will be discussed, along with possible future research directions. Results suggest that the three chamber bacterio-algal desalination cell has potential as a feasible technology for power production, wastewater treatment and desalination, but it needs further investigation under optimized conditions.
Control of Staphylococcus aureus in Meat System by in situ and ex situ Bacteriocins from Lactobacillus sakei and Pediococcus spp.
The present study consisted of an applied test in meat system to assess the effectiveness of three bio agents bacteriocinproducing strains: Lm24: Lactobacillus sakei, Lm14and Lm25: Pediococcus spp. Two tests were carried out: The ex-situ test was intended for three batches added with crude bacteriocin solutions at 12.48 AU/ml for Lm25 and 8.4 AU/ml for Lm14 and Lm24. However, the in situ one consisted of four batches; three of them inoculated with one bacteriocinogenic Lm25, Lm14, Lm24, respectively. The fourth one was used in mixture: Lm14+m24 at approximately of 107 CFU/ml. The two used tests were done in the presence of the pathogen St. aureus ATCC 6538, as a test strain at 103 CFU/ml. Another batch served as a positive or a negative control was used too. The incubation was performed at 7°C. Total viable counts, staphylococci and lactic acid bacteria, at the beginning and at selected times with interval of three days were enumerated. Physicochemical determinations (except for in situ test): pH, dry mater, sugars, fat and total protein, at the beginning and at end of the experiment, were done, according to the international norms. Our results confirmed the ex situ effectiveness. Furthermore, the batches affected negatively the total microbial load over the incubation days, and showed a significant regression in staphylococcal load at day seven, for Lm14, Lm24, and Lm25 of 0.73, 2.11, and 2.4 log units. It should be noticed that, at the last day of culture, staphylococcal load was nil for the three batches. In the in situ test, the cultures displayed less inhibitory attitude and recorded a decrease in staphylococcal load, for Lm14, Lm24, Lm25, Lm14+m24 of 0.73, 0.20, 0.86, 0.032 log units. Therefore, physicochemical analysis for Lm14, Lm24, Lm25, Lm14+m24 showed an increase in pH from 5.50 to 5.77, 6.18, 5.96, 7.22, a decrease in dry mater from 7.30% to 7.05%, 6.87%, 6.32%, 6.00%.This result reflects the decrease in fat ranging from 1.53% to 1.49%, 1.07%, 0.99%, 0.87%; and total protein from 6.18% to 5.25%, 5.56%, 5.37%, 5.5%. This study suggests that the use of selected strains as Lm25 could lead to the best results and would help in preserving and extending the shelf life of lamb meat.
Impact of Long Term Application of Municipal Solid Waste on Physicochemical and Microbial Parameters and Heavy Metal Distribution in Soils in Accordance to Its Agricultural Uses
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.
Preparations of Fruit Nectars from Fresh Fruit Juices-Analyses before and after Storage
The consumption of beverages continues to grow worldwide due to increasing demography, but pure fruit juices and high-quality nectars can induce protective effects on human health because of their natural bioactive components. In contrast, sodas and gaseous drinks containing synthetic food additives are considered as responsible for consumers of several pathologies such as obesity, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The nutritional and therapeutic virtues of fruit juices are generally a remarkable antioxidant power, anti-cancer activity linked to their richness of indigestible and indigestible sugars, vitamins, mineral salts, carotenoids and phenolic compounds. The main reasons, which led us to produce these fruit derivatives, are the non-availability of the fresh fruits mentioned above all along the year and also the existence of variations in the chemical composition of these different fruits as well as for the major or minor components. We tested, therefore, the physicochemical characteristics of each fruit juice and pulp apart and afterward those of the cocktails formulated. The fresh juices used during our experiments were obtained from the following fruits from north-central Algeria: prickly pear, pomegranate, melon, red oranges. The formulations of these fruit juices were tested after several trials comprising sensorial analysis, physicochemical factors (pH, titratable acidity, Brix degree, formal index, water content, total ash, total and reducing sugars, vitamin C, carotenoids, phenolic compounds) and microbial analysis after a storage period. To the pure juices proportions, citric acid E330, sucrose, and water were added followed by pasteurisation. These products were analysed from the physicochemical, microbial and sensorial viewpoints after a storage period of one month according to national legislation to evaluate their stability. The results of the physicochemical parameters of the prepared beverages had shown good physicochemical results, acceptable sensorial characteristics and microbial stability and safety before and after a storage period. We measured appreciable amounts of minor compounds with health properties.
Identifying Dominant Anaerobic Microorganisms for Degradation of Benzene
An optimal recipe of amendment (nutrients and electron acceptors) was developed and dominant indigenous benzene-degrading microorganisms were characterized in this study. Lessons were learnt from the development of the optimal amendment recipe: (1) salinity and substantial initial concentration of benzene were detrimental for benzene biodegradation; (2) large dose of amendments can shorten the lag time for benzene biodegradation occurrence; (3) toluene was an essential co-substance for promoting benzene degradation activity. The stable isotope probing study identified incorporation 13C from 13C-benzene into microorganisms, which can be considered as a direct evidence of the occurrence of benzene biodegradation. The dominant mechanism for benzene removal was identified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to be nitrate reduction. Microbial analyses (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 16S ribosomal RNA) demonstrated that members of genus Dokdonella spp., Pusillimonas spp., and Advenella spp. were predominant within the microbial community and involved in the anaerobic benzene bioremediation.
Study of Microbial Diversity Associated with Tarballs and Their Exploitation in Crude Oil Degradation
Tarballs are crude oil remnants found in oceans after long term weathering process and are a global concern since several decades as potential marine pollutant. Being complicated in structure microbial remediation of tarballs in natural environment is a slow process. They are rich in high molecular weight alkanes and poly aromatic hydrocarbons which are resistant to microbial attack and other environmental factors, therefore remain in environment for long time. However, it has been found that many bacteria and fungi inhabit on tarballs for nutrients and shelter. Many of them are supposed to be oil degraders, while others are supposed to be getting benefited by byproducts formed during hydrocarbon metabolism. Thus tarballs are forming special interesting ecological niche of microbes. This work aimed to study diversity of bacteria and fungi from tarballs and to see their potential application in crude oil degradation. The samples of tarballs were collected from Betul beach of south Goa (India). Different methods were used to isolate culturable fraction of bacteria and fungi from it. Those were sequenced for 16S rRNA gene and ITS for molecular level identification. The 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed the presence of 13 bacterial genera/clades (Alcanivorax, Brevibacterium, Bacillus, Cellulomonas, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Marinobacter, Nitratireductor, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, Pseudoxanthomonas, Tistrella and Vibrio), while the ITS sequence analysis placed the fungi in 8 diverse genera/ clades (Aspergillus, Byssochlamys, Monascus, Paecilomyces, Penicillium, Scytalidium/ Xylogone, Talaromyces and Trichoderma). All bacterial isolates were screened for oil degradation capacity. Potential strains were subjected to crude oil degradation experiment for quantification. Results were analyzed by GC-MS-MS.
Active Exopolysaccharides Based Edible Coating Enriched with Red Seaweed (Gracilaria gracilis) Extract for Improved Preservation of Shrimp Quality during Refrigerated Storage
Unfortunately, shrimps are highly perishable and they start deteriorating immediately after death owing to their high water content and nutritional components. Currently, there has been an increasing interest in bioactive edible films and coatings to preserve the freshness and quality of foods. In this study, active edible coatings from microalgal exopolysaccharides (EPS) enriched with different concentrations of Red Seaweed Extract (RSE) (0.5, 1 and 1.5 % (w/v)) were developed and their effects on the quality changes of white shrimp during refrigerated storage (4 ± 1 °C) were examined over a period of 8 days. The control and the coated shrimp samples were analyzed periodically for microbiological (total viable bacteria, psychrotrophic bacteria, and enterobacteriaceae counts), chemical (pH, TVB-N, TMA-N, PV, TBARS), textural and sensory characteristics. The results indicated that the coating with a mixture of EPS and RSE could significantly decrease the total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N), trimethylamine (TMA) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) (p < 0.05). With storage, EPS coatings containing RSE at both levels (1 and 1.5 %) were more effective in inhibiting the microbial species studied, specially psychrotrophic bacteria. Also, EPS + RSE coated samples had lower polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity and lipid oxidation (p < 0.05) toward the end of storage. Textural and color properties of coated shrimp were generally more acceptable. Sensory scores indicated no significant changes in all samples during storage. The obtained results indicate that the edible EPS coating solutions enriched with RSE have noticeable effects on the quality and shelf life of shrimps when compared to control group. Finally, the present work demonstrates the effectiveness of EPS enriched coatings, offering a promising alternative to preserve more better the quality characteristics and to extend the shelf life of shrimp during the refrigerated storage
Screening of New Antimicrobial Agents from Heterocyclic Derivatives
The hospital or any other establishment of care can be considered as an ecosystem where the patient comes into contact with a frightening microbial universe and a risk to contract infection that is referred to as nosocomial or health care-associated. In these last years, the incidence of these infections has risen sharply. Several microorganisms are the cause of these nosocomial infections and the emergence of resistance of the microbial strains against antibiotics creates a danger to public health. The search for new antimicrobial agents to overcome this problem has produced interesting compounds through chemical synthesis, which plays a very important role in the research and discovery of new drugs. It is in this framework that our study was conducted at our laboratory and it involves evaluating the antibacterial activity of thirteen 2-pyridone derivatives synthesized by two methods, the diffusion disc method and the dilution method against eight Gram negative bacterial strains. The results seem interesting especially for two products that have shown the best activities against Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and Enterobacter cloacae ATCC 13047 with CMI of 512µg/ml.
Rhizoremediation of Contaminated Soils in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experimental Insights of Microbe Growth and Effects of Paspalum Spp. for Degrading Hydrocarbons in Soils
Remediation of diesel fuel, oil and grease in contaminated soils obtained from a mine site in Ghana are explored using rhizoremediation technology with different levels of nutrient amendments (i.e. N (nitrogen) in Compost (0.2, 0.5 and 0.8%), Urea (0.2, 0.5 and 0.8%) and Topsoil (0.2, 0.5 and 0.8%)) for a native species. A Ghanaian native grass species, Paspalum spp. from the Poaceae family, indicative across Sub-Saharan Africa, was selected following the development of essential and desirable growth criteria. Vegetative parts of the species were subjected to ten treatments in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in three replicates. The plant-associated microbial community was examined in Paspalum spp. An assessment of the influence of Paspalum spp on the abundance and activity of micro-organisms in the rhizosphere revealed a build-up of microbial communities over a three month period. This was assessed using the MPN method, which showed rhizospheric samples from the treatments were significantly different (P < 0.05). Multiple comparisons showed how microbial populations built-up in the rhizosphere for the different treatments. Treatments G (0.2% compost), H (0.5% compost) and I (0.8% compost) performed significantly better done other treatments, while treatments D (0.2% topsoil) and F (0.8% topsoil) were insignificant. Furthermore, treatment A (0.2% urea), B (0.5% urea), C (0.8% urea) and E (0.5% topsoil) also performed the same. Residual diesel and oil concentrations (as total petroleum hydrocarbons, TPH and oil and grease) were measured using infra-red spectroscopy and gravimetric methods, respectively. The presence of single species successfully enhanced the removal of hydrocarbons from soil. Paspalum spp. subjected to compost levels (0.5% and 0.8%) and topsoil levels (0.5% and 0.8%) showed significantly lower residual hydrocarbon concentrations compared to those treated with Urea. A strong relationship (p< 0.001) between the abundance of hydrocarbon degrading micro-organisms in the rhizosphere and hydrocarbon biodegradation was demonstrated for rhizospheric samples with treatment G (0.2% compost), H (0.5% compost) and I (0.8% compost) (P < 0.001). The same level of amendment with 0.8% compost (N-level) can improve the application effectiveness. These findings have wide-reaching implications for the environmental management of soils contaminated by hydrocarbons in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, it is necessary to further investigate the in situ rhizoremediation potential of Paspalum spp. at the field scale.
Phytopathology Prediction in Dry Soil Using Artificial Neural Networks Modeling
The rapid expansion of deserts in recent decades as a result of human actions combined with climatic changes has highlighted the necessity to understand biological processes in arid environments. Whereas physical processes and the biology of flora and fauna have been relatively well studied in marginally used arid areas, knowledge of desert soil micro-organisms remains fragmentary. The objective of this study is to conduct a diversity analysis of bacterial communities in unvegetated arid soils. Several biological phenomena in hot deserts related to microbial populations and the potential use of micro-organisms for restoring hot desert environments. Dry land ecosystems have a highly heterogeneous distribution of resources, with greater nutrient concentrations and microbial densities occurring in vegetated than in bare soils. In this work, we found it useful to use techniques of artificial intelligence in their treatment especially artificial neural networks (ANN). The use of the ANN model, demonstrate his capability for addressing the complex problems of uncertainty data.
Chemiluminescent Detection of Microorganisms in Food/Drug Product Using Reducing Agents and Gold Nanoplates
Microbial spoilage of food/drug has been a constant nuisance and an unavoidable problem throughout history that affects food/drug quality and safety in a variety of ways. A simple and rapid test of fungi and bacteria in food/drugs and environmental clinical samples is essential for proper management of contamination. A number of different techniques have been developed for detection and enumeration of foodborne microorganism including plate counting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), polymer chain reaction (PCR), nucleic acid sensor, electrical and microscopy methods. However, the significant drawbacks of these techniques are highly demand of operation skills and the time and cost involved. In this report, we introduce a rapid method for detection of bacteria and fungi in food/drug products using a specific interaction between a reducing agent (tris(2-carboxylethyl)phosphine (TCEP)) and the microbial surface proteins. The chemical reaction was transferred to a transduction system using gold nanoplates-enhanced chemiluminescence. We have optimized our nanoplates synthetic conditions, characterized the chemiluminescence parameters and optimized conditions for the microbial assay. The new detection method was applied for rapid detection of bacteria (E.coli sp. and Lactobacillus sp.) and fungi (Mucor sp.), with limit of detection as low as single digit cells per mL within 10 min using a portable luminometer. We expect our simple and rapid detection method to be a powerful alternative to the conventional plate counting and immunoassay methods for rapid screening of microorganisms in food/drug products.
The Importance of Erythrocyte Parameters in Obese Children
Increasing prevalence of childhood obesity has increased the interest in early and late indicators of gaining weight. Cell blood counts may be indicators of proinflammatory states. The aim was to evaluate associations of hematological parameters, including Hematocrit (HTC), hemoglobin, blood cell counts, and their indices with the degree of obesity in pediatric population. A total of 249; -139 morbidly obese (MO), 82 healthy Normal Weight (NW) and 28 Overweight (OW) children were included into the scope of the study. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used to form age- and sex-matched groups. Informed consent forms and the Ethics Committee approval were obtained. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Hematological parameters were determined. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p≤0.05. Significant differences (p=0.000) between waist-to-hip ratios and head-to-neck ratios (hnrs) of MO and NW children were detected. A significant difference between hnrs of OW and MO children (p=0.000) was observed. Red cell Distribution Width (RDW) was higher in OW children than NW group (p=0.030). Such finding couldn’t be detected between MO and NW groups. Increased RDW was prominent in OW children. The decrease in Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) values in MO children was sharper than the values in OW children (p=0.006 vs p=0.042) compared to those in NW group. Statistically higher HTC levels were observed between MO-NW (p=0.014), but none between OW-NW. Though the cause-effect relationship between obesity and erythrocyte indices still needs further investigation, alterations in RDW, HTC, MCHC during obesity may be of significance in the early life.
Consequences of Some Remediative Techniques Used in Sewaged Soil Bioremediation on Indigenous Microbial Activity
Remediation of cultivated sewage soils in Egypt become an important aspect in last decade for having healthy crops and saving the human health. In this respect, a greenhouse experiment was conducted where contaminated sewage soil was treated with modified forms of 2% bentonite (T1), 2% kaolinite (T2), 1% bentonite+1% kaolinite (T3), 2% probentonite (T4), 2% prokaolinite (T5), 1% bentonite + 0.5% kaolinite + 0.5% rock phosphate (RP) (T6), 2% iron oxide (T7) and 1% iron oxide + 1% RP (T8). These materials were applied as remediative materials. Untreated soil was also used as a control. All soil samples were incubated for 2 months at 25°C at field capacity throughout the whole experiment. Carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux from both treated and untreated soils as a biomass indicator was measured through the incubation time and kinetic parameters of the best fitted models used to describe the phenomena were taken to evaluate the succession of sewaged soils remediation. The obtained results indicated that according to the kinetic parameters of used models, CO2 effluxes from remediated soils was significantly decreased compared to control treatment with variation in rate values according to type of remediation material applied. In addition, analyzed microbial biomass parameter showed that Ni and Zn were the most potential toxic elements (PTEs) that influenced the decreasing order of microbial activity in untreated soil. Meanwhile, Ni was the only influenced pollutant in treated soils. Although all applied materials significantly decreased the hazards of PTEs in treated soil, modified bentonite was the best treatment compared to other used materials. This work discussed different mechanisms taking place between applied materials and PTEs founded in the studied sewage soil.
The Production of B-Group Vitamin by Lactic Acid Bacteria and Its Importance in Food Industry
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has been used commonly in the food industry. They can be used as natural preservatives because acidifying carried out in the medium can protect the last product against microbial spoilage. Besides, other metabolites produced by LAB during fermentation period have also an antimicrobial effect on pathogen and spoilage microorganisms in the food industry. LAB are responsible for the desirable and distinctive aroma and flavour which are observed in fermented food products such as pickle, kefir, yogurt, and cheese. Various LAB strains are able to produce B-group vitamins such as folate (B11), riboflavin (B2) and cobalamin (B12). Especially wild-type strains of LAB can produce B-group vitamins in high concentrations. These cultures may be used in food industry as a starter culture and also the microbial strains can be used in encapsulation technology for new and functional food product development. This review is based on the current applications of B-group vitamin producing LAB. Furthermore, the new technologies and innovative researches about B vitamin production in LAB have been demonstrated and discussed for determining their usage availability in various area in the food industry.
Screening of Minimal Salt Media for Biosurfactant Production by Bacillus spp.
Crude oil is a major source of global energy. The major problem is its widespread use and demand resulted is in increasing environmental pollution. One associated pollution problem is ‘oil spills’. Oil spills can be remediated with the use of chemical dispersants, microbial biodegradation and microbial metabolites such as biosurfactants. Four different minimal salt media for biosurfactant production by Bacillus isolated from oil contaminated sites from Oman were screened. These minimal salt media were supplemented with either glucose or sucrose as a carbon source. Among the isolates, W16 and B30 produced the most active biosurfactants. Isolate W16 produced better biosurfactant than the rest, and reduced surface tension (ST) and interfacial tension (IFT) to 25.26mN/m and 2.29mN/m respectively within 48h which are characteristics for removal of oil in contaminated sites. Biosurfactant was produced in bulk and extracted using acid precipitation method. Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) of acid precipitate biosurfactant revealed two concentrated bands. Further studies of W16 biosurfactant in bioremediation of oil spills are recommended.
Stability of a Biofilm Reactor Able to Degrade a Mixture of the Organochlorine Herbicides Atrazine, Simazine, Diuron and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid to Changes in the Composition of the Supply Medium
Among the most important herbicides, the organochlorine compounds are of considerable interest due to their recalcitrance to the chemical, biological, and photolytic degradation, their persistence in the environment, their mobility, and their bioacummulation. The most widely used herbicides in North America are primarily 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), the triazines (atrazine and simazine), and to a lesser extent diuron. The contamination of soils and water bodies frequently occurs by mixtures of these xenobiotics. For this reason, in this work, the operational stability to changes in the composition of the medium supplied to an aerobic biofilm reactor was studied. The reactor was packed with fragments of volcanic rock that retained a complex microbial film, able to degrade a mixture of organochlorine herbicides atrazine, simazine, diuron and 2,4-D, and whose members have microbial genes encoding the main catabolic enzymes atzABCD, tfdACD and puhB. To acclimate the attached microbial community, the biofilm reactor was fed continuously with a mineral minimal medium containing the herbicides (in mg•L-1): diuron, 20.4; atrazine, 14.2, simazine, 11.4, and 2,4-D, 59.7, as carbon and nitrogen sources. Throughout the bioprocess, removal efficiencies of 92-100% for herbicides, 78-90% for COD, 92-96% for TOC and 61-83% for dehalogenation were reached. In the microbial community, the genes encoding catabolic enzymes of different herbicides tfdACD, puhB and, occasionally, the genes atzA and atzC were detected. After the acclimatization, the triazine herbicides were eliminated from the mixture formulation. Volumetric loading rates of the mixture 2,4-D and diuron were continuously supplied to the reactor (1.9-21.5 mg herbicides •L-1 •h-1). Along the bioprocess, the removal efficiencies obtained were 86-100% for the mixture of herbicides, 63-94% for for COD, 90-100% for COT, and dehalogenation values of 63-100%. It was also observed that the genes encoding the enzymes in the catabolism of both herbicides, tfdACD and puhB, were consistently detected; and, occasionally, the atzA and atzC. Subsequently, the triazine herbicide atrazine and simazine were restored to the medium supply. Different volumetric charges of this mixture were continuously fed to the reactor (2.9 to 12.6 mg herbicides •L-1 •h-1). During this new treatment process, removal efficiencies of 65-95% for the mixture of herbicides, 63-92% for COD, 66-89% for TOC and 73-94% of dehalogenation were observed. In this last case, the genes tfdACD, puhB and atzABC encoding for the enzymes involved in the catabolism of the distinct herbicides were consistently detected. The atzD gene, encoding the cyanuric hydrolase enzyme, could not be detected, though it was determined that there was partial degradation of cyanuric acid. In general, the community in the biofilm reactor showed some catabolic stability, adapting to changes in loading rates and composition of the mixture of herbicides, and preserving their ability to degrade the four herbicides tested; although, there was a significant delay in the response time to recover to degradation of the herbicides.
A Randomized Control Trial Intervention to Combat Childhood Obesity in Negeri Sembilan: The Hebat! Program
This study aims to develop and evaluate an intervention to improve eating habits, active lifestyle and weight status of overweight and obese children in Negeri Sembilan. The H.E.B.A.T! Program involved children, parents, and school and focused on behaviour and environment modification to achieve its goal. The intervention consists of H.E.B.A.T! Camp, parent’s workshop and school-based activities. A total of 21 children from intervention school and 22 children from control school who had BMI for age Z-score ≥ +1SD participated in the study. Mean age of subjects was 10.8 ± 0.3 years old. Four phases were included in the development of the intervention. Evaluation of intervention was conducted through process, impact and outcome evaluation. Process evaluation found that intervention program was implemented successfully with minimal modification and without having any technical problems. Impact and outcome evaluation was assessed based on dietary intake, average step counts, BMI for age z-score, body fat percentage and waist circumference at pre-intervention (T0), post-intervention 1 (T1) and post-intervention 2 (T2). There was significant reduction in energy (14.8%) and fat (21.9%) intakes (at p < 0.05) at post-intervention 1 (T1) in intervention group. By controlling for sex as covariate, there was significant intervention effect for average step counts, BMI for age z-score and waist circumference (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the intervention made an impact on positive behavioural intentions and improves weight status of the children. It is expected that the HEBAT! Program could be adopted and implemented by the government and private sector as well as policy-makers in formulating childhood obesity intervention.
Molecular Characterization and Arsenic Mobilization Properties of a Novel Strain IIIJ3-1 Isolated from Arsenic Contaminated Aquifers of Brahmaputra River Basin, India
Microbial role in arsenic (As) mobilization in the groundwater aquifers of Brahmaputra river basin (BRB) in India, severely threatened by high concentrations of As, remains largely unknown. The present study, therefore, is a molecular and ecophysiological characterization of an indigenous bacterium strain IIIJ3-1 isolated from As contaminated groundwater of BRB and application of this strain in several microcosm set ups differing in their organic carbon (OC) source and terminal electron acceptors (TEA), to understand its role in As dissolution under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Strain IIIJ3-1 was found to be a new facultative anaerobic, gram-positive, endospore-forming strain capable of arsenite (As3+) oxidation and dissimilatory arsenate (As5+) reduction. The bacterium exhibited low genomic (G+C)% content (45 mol%). Although, its 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed a maximum similarity of 99% with Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579(T) but the DNA-DNA relatedness of their genomic DNAs was only 49.9%, which remains well below the value recommended to delimit different species. Abundance of fatty acids iC17:0, iC15:0 and menaquinone (MK) 7 though corroborates its taxonomic affiliation with B. cereus sensu-lato group, presence of hydroxy fatty acids (HFAs), C18:2, MK5 and MK6 marked its uniqueness. Besides being highly As resistant (MTC=10mM As3+, 350mM As5+), metabolically diverse, efficient aerobic As3+ oxidizer; it exhibited near complete dissimilatory reduction of As5+ (1 mM). Utilization of various carbon sources with As5+ as TEA revealed lactate to serve as the best electron donor. Aerobic biotransformation assay yielded a lower Km for As3+ oxidation than As5+ reduction. Arsenic homeostasis was found to be conferred by the presence of arr, arsB, aioB, and acr3(1) genes. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis of this bacterium revealed reduction in cell size upon exposure to As and formation of As-rich electron opaque dots following growth with As3+. Incubation of this strain with sediment (sterilised) collected from BRB aquifers under varying OC, TEA and redox conditions revealed that the strain caused highest As mobilization from solid to aqueous phase under anaerobic condition with lactate and nitrate as electron donor and acceptor, respectively. Co-release of highest concentrations of oxalic acid, a well known bioweathering agent, considerable fold increase in viable cell counts and SEM-EDX and X-ray diffraction analysis of the sediment after incubation under this condition indicated that As release is consequent to microbial bioweathering of the minerals. Co-release of other elements statistically proves decoupled release of As with Fe and Zn. Principle component analysis also revealed prominent role of nitrate under aerobic and/or anaerobic condition in As release by strain IIIJ3-1. This study, therefore, is the first to isolate, characterize and reveal As mobilization property of a strain belonging to the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group isolated from highly As contaminated aquifers of Brahmaputra River Basin.
Evaluation of the Physico-Chemical and Microbial Properties of the Compost Leachate (CL) to Assess Its Role in the Bioremediation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Background: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) pose great environmental and human health concerns for their widespread occurrence, persistence, and carcinogenic properties. PAHs releases due to anthropogenic activities to the wider environment have led to higher concentrations of these contaminants than would be expected from natural processes alone. This may result in a wide range of environmental problems that can accumulate in agricultural ecosystems, which threatened to become a negative impact on sustainable agricultural development. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the physico-chemical, and microbial properties of the compost leachate (CL) to assess its role as nutrient and microbial source (biostimulation/bioaugmentation) for developing a cost-effective bioremediation technology for PAHs contaminated sites. Material and Methods: PAHs-degrading bacteria were isolated from CL that was collected from a composting site located in central Scotland, UK. Isolation was carried out by enrichment using phenanthrene (PHR), pyrene (PYR) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) as the sole source of carbon and energy. The isolates were characterized using a variety of phenotypic and molecular properties. Six different isolates were identified based on the difference in morphological and biochemical tests. The efficiency of these isolates in PAHs utilization was assessed. Further analysis was performed to define taxonomical status and phylogenic relation between the most potent PAHs-utilizing bacterial strains and other standard strains, using molecular approach by partial 16S rDNA gene sequence analysis. Results indicated that the 16S rDNA sequence analysis confirmed the results of biochemical identification, as both of biochemical and molecular identification of the isolates assigned them to Bacillus licheniformis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Alcaligenes faecalis, Serratia marcescens, Enterobacter cloacae and Providenicia which were identiﬁed as the prominent PAHs-utilizers isolated from CL. Conclusion: This study indicates that the CL samples contain a diverse population of PAHs-degrading bacteria and the use of CL may have a potential for bioremediation of PAHs contaminated sites.
Screening of Antagonistic/Synergistic Effect between Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) and Yeast Strains Isolated from Kefir
Kefir is a traditional fermented refreshing beverage which is known for its valuable and beneficial properties for human health. Mainly yeast species, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains and fewer acetic acid bacteria strains live together in a natural matrix named "kefir grain", which is formed from various proteins and polysaccharides. Different microbial species live together in slimy kefir grain and it has been thought that synergetic effect could take place between microorganisms, which belong to different genera and species. In this research, yeast and LAB were isolated from kefir samples obtained from Uludag University Food Engineering Department. The cell morphology of isolates was screened by microscopic examination. Gram reactions of bacteria isolates were determined by Gram staining method, and as well catalase activity was examined. After observing the microscopic/morphological and physical, enzymatic properties of all isolates, they were divided into the groups as LAB and/or yeast according to their physicochemical responses to the applied examinations. As part of this research, the antagonistic/synergistic efficacy of the identified five LAB and five yeast strains to each other were determined individually by disk diffusion method. The antagonistic or synergistic effect is one of the most important properties in a co-culture system that different microorganisms are living together. The synergistic effect should be promoted, whereas the antagonistic effect is prevented to provide effective culture for fermentation of kefir. The aim of this study was to determine microbial interactions between identified yeast and LAB strains, and whether their effect is antagonistic or synergistic. Thus, if there is a strain which inhibits or retards the growth of other strains found in Kefir microflora, this circumstance shows the presence of antagonistic effect in the medium. Such negative influence should be prevented, whereas the microorganisms which have synergistic effect on each other should be promoted by combining them in kefir grain. Standardisation is the most desired property for industrial production. Each microorganism found in the microbial flora of a kefir grain should be identified individually. The members of the microbial community found in the glue-like kefir grain may be redesigned as a starter culture regarding efficacy of each microorganism to another in kefir processing. The main aim of this research was to shed light on more effective production of kefir grain and to contribute a standardisation of kefir processing in the food industry.
A Holistic View of Microbial Community Dynamics during a Toxic Harmful Algal Bloom
The relationship between microbial diversity and algal bloom has received considerable attention for decades. Microbes undoubtedly affect annual bloom events and impact the physiology of both partners, as well as shape ecosystem diversity. However, knowledge about interactions and network correlations among broader-spectrum microbes that lead to the dynamics in a complete bloom cycle are limited. In this study, pyrosequencing and network approaches simultaneously assessed the associate patterns among bacteria, archaea, and microeukaryotes in surface water and sediments in response to a natural dinoflagellate (Alexandrium sp.) bloom. In surface water, among the bacterial community, Gamma-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes dominated in the initial bloom stage, while Alpha-Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria become the most abundant taxa during the post-stage. In the archaea biosphere, it clustered predominantly with Methanogenic members in the early pre-bloom period while the majority of species identified in the later-bloom stage were ammonia-oxidizing archaea and Halobacteriales. In eukaryotes, dinoflagellate (Alexandrium sp.) was dominated in the onset stage, whereas multiply species (such as microzooplankton, diatom, green algae, and rotifera) coexistence in bloom collapse stag. In sediments, the microbial species biomass and richness are much higher than the water body. Only Flavobacteriales and Rhodobacterales showed a slight response to bloom stages. Unlike the bacteria, there are small fluctuations of archaeal and eukaryotic structure in the sediment. The network analyses among the inter-specific associations show that bacteria (Alteromonadaceae, Oceanospirillaceae, Cryomorphaceae, and Piscirickettsiaceae) and some zooplankton (Mediophyceae, Mamiellophyceae, Dictyochophyceae and Trebouxiophyceae) have a stronger impact on the structuring of phytoplankton communities than archaeal effects. The changes in population were also significantly shaped by water temperature and substrate availability (N & P resources). The results suggest that clades are specialized at different time-periods and that the pre-bloom succession was mainly a bottom-up controlled, and late-bloom period was controlled by top-down patterns.
Additionally, phytoplankton and prokaryotic communities correlated better with each other, which indicate interactions among microorganisms are critical in controlling plankton dynamics and fates. Our results supplied a wider view (temporal and spatial scales) to understand the microbial ecological responses and their network association during algal blooming. It gives us a potential multidisciplinary explanation for algal-microbe interaction and helps us beyond the traditional view linked to patterns of algal bloom initiation, development, decline, and biogeochemistry.
Bacteriocinogenic Strains of Bacillus thuringiensis Isolated from Soil at Northern of Algeria
Bacillus antimicrobial metabolites, especially those of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), are of great interest for research because of health risks generated by the excessive use of chemical additives as well as the propagation of resistant microbial strains, caused by the massive treatment with antibiotics. The objective of this study was the selection of Bt strains producing antimicrobial peptides (bacteriocins), and the partial purification of the most powerful bacteriocins, then the determination of their spectra of antimicrobial action. A collection of twenty one Bt strains isolated from soil at Boumerdès (northern Algeria) was used for screening strains having an antagonistic activity against phylogenetically closed bacteria. Spectra of antagonistic activity of two selected strains was determined against other Bt strains, Gram positive and Gram negative bacterial strains of clinical origin and others from ATCC collection as well as yeasts isolated in human dermatology. Bacteriocins of these two strains were partially purified and their effect on the kinetics of growth of the most sensitive microbial strains was studied. The bacteriocinogenic strains were biochemically characterized and their sensitivity to antibiotics was studied.
Control of Microbial Pollution Using Biodegradable Polymer
Introduction: Microbial pollution is global problem threatening the human health. It is resulted by pathogenic microorganisms such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and other pathogenic strains. They cause a dangerous effect on human health, so great efforts have been exerted to produce new and effective antimicrobial agents. Nowadays, natural polysaccharides, such as chitosan and its derivatives are used as antimicrobial agents. The aim of our work is to synthesize of a biodegradable polymer such as N-quaternized chitosan (NQC) then Characterization of NQC by using different analysis techniques such as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and using it as an antibacterial agent against different pathogenic bacteria. Methods: Synthesis of NQC using dimethylsulphate. Results: FTIR technique exhibited absorption peaks of NQC, SEM images illustrated that surface of NQC was smooth and antibacterial results showed that NQC had a high antibacterial effect. Discussion: NQC was prepared and it was proved by FTIR technique and SEM images antibacterial results exhibited that NQC was an antibacterial agent.
Nitrogen Fixation in Hare Gastrointestinal Tract
One of the main problems of nutrition of phytophagous animals is the insufficiency of protein in their forage. Usually, symbiotic microorganisms highly contribute both to carbohydrates and nitrogen compounds of the food. But it is not easy to utilize microbial biomass in the large intestine and caecum for the animals with hindgut fermentation. So that, some animals, as well hares, developed special mechanism of contribution of such biomass - obligate autocoprophagy, or reingestion. Hares have two types of feces - the hard and the soft. Hard feces are excreted at night, while hares are vigilance ("foraging period"), and the soft ones (caecotrophs) are produced and reingested in the day-time during hares "resting-period". We examine the role of microbial digestion in providing nitrogen nutrition of hare (Lepus europaeus). We determine the ability of nitrogen fixation in fornix and stomach body, small intestine, caecum and colon of hares' gastro-intestinal tract in two main period of hares activity - "resting-period" (day time) and "foraging period" (late-evening and very-early-morning). We use gas chromatography to measure levels of nitrogen fixing activity (acetylene reduction). Nitrogen fixing activity was detected in the contents of all analyzed parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Maximum values were recorded in the large intestine. Also daily dynamics of the process was detected. Thus, during hare “resting-period” (caecotrophs formation) N2-fixing activity was significantly higher than during “foraging period”, reaching 0,3 nmol C2H4/g*h. N2-fixing activity in the gastrointestinal tract can allocate to significant contribution of nitrogen fixers to microbial digestion in hare and confirms the importance of coprophagy as a nitrogen source in lagomorphs.
Powerful Bacteriocins Produced by Bacillus thuringiensis Strains Isolated from Soil at Northern of Algeria
Bacillus antimicrobial metabolites, especially those of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), are of great interest for research because of health risks generated by the excessive use of chemical additives as well as the propagation of resistant microbial strains, caused by the massive treatment with antibiotics. The objective of this study was the selection of Bt strains producing antimicrobial peptides (bacteriocins), and the partial purification of the most powerful bacteriocins, then the determination of their spectra of antimicrobial action. A collection of twenty one Bt strains isolated from soil at Boumerdès (northern of Algeria) was used for screening strains having an antagonistic activity against phylogenetically closed bacteria. Spectra of antagonistic activity of two selected strains was determined against other Bt strains, Gram positive and Gram negative bacterial strains of clinical origin and others from ATCC collection as well as yeasts isolated in human dermatology. Bacteriocins of these two strains were partially purified and their effect on the kinetics of growth of the most sensitive microbial strains was studied. The bacteriocinogenic strains were biochemically characterized and their sensitivity to antibiotics was studied.
Soil Bioremediation Monitoring Systems Powered by Microbial Fuel Cells
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) present a sustainable biotechnological solution to future energy demands.
The aim of this study was to construct soil based, single cell, membrane-less MFC systems, operated without treatment to continuously power on-site monitoring and control systems during the soil bioremediation processes. Our Pseudomonas aeruginosa 541 isolate is an ideal choice for MFCs, because it is able to produce pyocyanin which behaves as electron-shuttle molecule, furthermore, it also has a significant antimicrobial effect. We tested several materials and structural configurations to obtain long term high power output. Comparing different configurations, a proton exchange membrane-less, 0.6 m long with 0.05 m diameter MFC tubes offered the best long-term performances. The long-term electricity production were tested from starch, yeast extract (YE), carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) with humic acid (HA) as a mediator. In all cases, 3 kΩ external load have been used. The two best-operated systems were the Pseudomonas aeruginosa 541 containing MFCs with 1 % carboxymethyl cellulose and the MFCs with 1% yeast extract in the anode area and 35% hydrogel in the cathode chamber. The first had 3.3 ± 0.033 mW/m2 and the second had 4.1 ± 0.065 mW/m2 power density values. These systems have operated for 230 days without any treatment. The addition of 0.2 % HA and 1 % YE referred to the volume of the anode area resulted in 1.4 ± 0.035 mW/m2 power densities. The mixture of 1% starch with 0.2 % HA gave 1.82 ± 0.031 mW/m2. Using CMC as retard carbon source takes effect in the long-term bacterial survivor, thus enable the expression of the long term power output. The application of hydrogels in the cathode chamber significantly increased the performance of the MFC units due to their good water retention capacity.
Physicochemical and Microbiological Assessment of Source and Stored Domestic Water from Three Local Governments in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Some of the main problems man contends with are the quantity (source and amount) and quality of water in Nigeria. Scarcity leads to water being obtained from various sources and microbiological contaminations of the water may thus occur between the collection point and the point of usage. Thus, this study aims to assess the general and microbiological quality of domestic water sources and household stored water used within selected areas in Ile-Ife, South-Western part of Nigeria for microbial contaminants. Physicochemical and microbiological examination were carried out on 45 source and stored water samples collected from well and spring in three different local government areas i.e. Ife east, Ife-south, and Ife-north. Physicochemical analysis included pH value, temperature, total dissolved solid, dissolved oxygen, and biochemical oxygen demand. Microbiology involved most probable number analysis, total coliform, heterotrophic plate, faecal coliform, and streptococcus count. The result of the physicochemical analysis of samples showed anomalies compared to acceptable standards with the pH value of 7.20-8.60 for stored and 6.50-7.80 for source samples as the total dissolved solids (TDS of stored 20-70mg/L, source 352-691mg/L), dissolved oxygen (DO of stored 1.60-9.60mg/L, source 1.60-4.80mg/L), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD stored 0.80-3.60mg/L, source 0.60-5.40mg/L). General microbiological quality indicated that both stored and source samples with the exception of a sample were not within acceptable range as indicated by analysis of the MPN/100ml which ranges (stored 290-1100mg/L, source 9-1100mg/L). Apart from high counts, most samples did not meet the World Health Organization standard for drinking water with the presence of some pathogenic bacteria and fungi such as Salmonella and Aspergillus spp. To annul these constraints, standard treatment methods should be adopted to make water free from contaminants. This will help identify common and likely water related infection origin within the communities and thus help guide in terms of interventions required to prevent the general populace from such infections.
The Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Salvia officinalis Harvested in Boumerdes
The Algeria by its location, offers a rich and diverse vegetation. A large number of aromatic and medicinal plants grow spontaneously. The interest in these plants has continued to grow in recent years. Their particular properties due to the essential oil fraction can be utilized to treat microbial infections. To this end, and in the context of the valuation of the Algerian flora, we became interested in the species of the family Lamiaceae which is one of the most used as a global source of spices and extracts strong families antimicrobial potency. The plant on which we have based our choice is a species of sage "Salvia officinalis" from the Isser localized region within the province of Boumerdes. This work focuses on the study of the antimicrobial activity of essential oil extracted from the leaves of salvia officinalis. The extraction is carried out by HE hydrodistillation and reveals a yield of 1.06℅. The study of the antimicrobial activity of the essential oil by the method of at aromatogramme shown that Gram positive bacteria are most susceptible (Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis) with a strong inhibition of growth. The yeast Candida albicans fungus Aspergillus niger and have shown moderately sensitive.
Performance and Physiological Responses of Broiler Chickens to Diets Supplemented with Propolis in Breeding, to in Ovo Propolis Feeding or to Propolis Supplementation of Diets for Their Chicks
To examine the effects of an ethanol liquid extract obtained from raw bee propolis (PE) on fattening performance and physiology such as vaccine-antibody relationship, microbial profile, immune status and some blood parameters of broiler chickens were used a total of 600 broiler (Ross 308) chicks, obtained from eggs of 288, 38-weeks-old broiler breeding. There were 6 groups: CC (Parent-Control and Offspring-Control, CP (Parent-Control and Offspring-propolis extract, Cip (Parent-Control and Offspring-in-ovo propolis extract), Cis (Parent-Control and Chickens-in-ovo saline), PeC (Parent-propolis extract and Offspring-Control), PeP (Parent-Propolis extract and Offspring-Propolis extract). Each group was consisted of 10 replications with 10 broiler offspring, and the experiment was lasted for 6 weeks with ethanol-extracted propolis concentration is 400 ppm/kg diet. While the highest feed consumptions at 0-21 days and 0-42 days were found in PeC, the best feed conversion ratio at 0-42 days was found in CP group. The live weight gains were found not to be different among the groups. The highest alanine aminotransferase activities were found in CC and CP and aspartate aminotransferase activities in PeP and PeC groups. The highest triglyceride and total antioxidant levels were found highest in CC and the highest total oxidant level in Cip group. IgA level in hatched eggs and IgM value after slaughtering were highest in Cip group. The best immune response was obtained for 21st day Newcastle Disease vaccine in CC and Cis groups and for 28th day Infectious Bursal Disease vaccine in CP group. The highest total aerobic microorganism and the lowest total fungi count were found in PeP group. In conclusion, it was determined that in-ovo propolis ethanol extract (Cip) increased the maternal antibody levels, that had not consistent effects on blood biochemical parameters except for triglyceride, that led to decrease in E. coli counts and that it can provide strong immune response against Infectious Bursal Disease.
Potential of Ozonation and Phytoremediation to Reduce Hydrocarbon Levels Remaining after the Pilot Scale Microbial Based Bioremediation (Land-Farming) of a Heavily Polluted Soil
Petroleum contamination of sandy soils is a severe environmental problem in Libya, but relatively little work has been carried out to optimize the bioremediation of such heavily contaminated soil, particularly at a pilot scale. The purpose of this research was to determine the potential for the microbial-based bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil obtained from an oil refinery in Libya and to assess the potential of both ozonation and phytoremediation (both applied after initial bioremediation) to reduce residual hydrocarbon levels. Plots containing 500 kg soil (triplicates) (contaminated soil diluted with clean soil 50% volume) were set up, (designated as Land Treatment Units; LTUs) containing five different nutrient levels and mixtures (Urea + NPK (nitrogen; phosphor; potassium) mixtures) to obtain C:N:P ratios 100:10:1, and monitored for 90 days. Hydrocarbon levels, microbial numbers, and toxicity (EC50 using luminescent microbial based tests) were assessed. Hydrocarbon levels in non-diluted and diluted soil ranged from 20 733-22 366 mg/kg and from 16 000-17 000 mg/kg respectively. Although all the land treatment units revealed a significant hydrocarbon reduction over time, the highest reduction in hydrocarbon levels obtained was around 60%. For example, 63% hydrocarbon removal was observed using a mixture of urea and NPK with a C:N:P ratio of 100:10:1). Soil toxicity (as assessed using luminescence based toxicity assays) reduced in line with the reduction in total petroleum hydrocarbons observed. However, as relatively high residual TPH (total petroleum hydrocarbon) levels (ranging from 6033-14166mg/kg) were still present after initial bioremediation two ‘post-treatments’ (phytoremediation and ozonation) were attempted to remove residual hydrocarbons remaining. Five locally grown (agriculturally important) plant species were tested. The germination of all plants examined was strongly inhibited (80-100%) and seedlings failed to grow well in the contaminated soil, indicating that the previously bioremediated soils were still toxic to the plants. Subsequent ozonation followed by another bioremediation of soil was more successful than phytoremediation. But even the most promising successful treatment in this study (ozonation for 6 hours at 25ppm followed by bioremediation) still only removed approximately 31% of the residual hydrocarbons. Overall, this work showed that the bioremediation of such highly contaminated soils is difficult and that a combination of treatments would be required to achieve successful remediation. Even after initial dilution and bioremediation the soils remained toxic to plant growth and were therefore not suitable for phytoremediation.
Insights into Archaeological Human Sample Microbiome Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing
Human body is inhabited by a vast number of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiome, and there is a tremendous interest in evolutionary changes in human microbial ecology, diversity and function. The field of paleomicrobiology, study of ancient human microbiome, is powered by modern techniques of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which allows extracting microbial genomic data directly from archaeological sample of interest. One of the major techniques is 16S rRNA gene sequencing, by which certain 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions are being amplified and sequenced. However, some limitations of this method exist including the taxonomic precision and efficacy of different regions used. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phylogenetic sensitivity of different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions for microbiome studies in the archaeological samples. Towards this aim, archaeological bone samples and corresponding soil samples from each burial environment were collected in Medieval cemeteries in Latvia. The Ion 16S™ Metagenomics Kit targeting different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions was used for library construction (Ion Torrent technologies). Sequenced data were analysed by using appropriate bioinformatic techniques; alignment and taxonomic representation was done using Mothur program. Sequences of most abundant genus were further aligned to E. coli 16S rRNA gene reference sequence using MEGA7 in order to identify the hypervariable region of the segment of interest. Our results showed that different hypervariable regions had different discriminatory power depending on the groups of microbes, as well as the nature of samples. On the basis of our results, we suggest that wider range of primers used can provide more accurate recapitulation of microbial communities in archaeological samples. Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the ERAF grant Nr. 184.108.40.206/16/A/101.
Combining Bio-Molecular and Isotopic Tools to Determine the Fate of Halogenated Compounds in Polluted Groundwater
Brominated flame retardants are widespread pollutants, and are known to be toxic, carcinogenic, endocrinic disrupting as well as recalcitrant. The industrial complex Neot Hovav, in the Northern Negev, Israel, is situated above a fractured chalk aquitard, which is polluted by a wide variety of halogenated organic compounds. Two of the abundant pollutants found in the site are Dibromoneopentyl-glycol (DBNPG) and tribromoneopentyl-alcohol (TBNPA). Due to the elusive nature of the groundwater flow, it is difficult to connect between the spatial changes in contaminant concentrations to degradation. In this study, we attempt to determine whether these compounds are biodegraded in the groundwater, and to gain a better understanding concerning the bacterial community in the groundwater. This was achieved through the application of compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) of carbon (13^C/12^C) and bromine (81^Br/79^Br), and new-generation MiSeq pyrosequencing. The sampled boreholes were distributed among three main areas of the industrial complex: around the production plant of TBNPA and DBNPG; along the Hovav Wadi (small ephemeral stream) which crosses and drains the industrial complex; and downstream to the industrial area. TBNPA and DBNPG are found in all three areas, with no clear connection to the proximity of the borehole to the production plant. Initial isotopic data of TBNPA from boreholes in the area surrounding the production plant, reveal no changes in the carbon and bromine isotopic values. When observing the microbial groundwater community, the dominant phylum is Proteobacteria. Known anaerobic dehalogenating bacteria such as Dehalococcoides from the Chloroflexi phylum have also been detected. A statistical comparison of the groundwater microbial diversity using a multi-variant ordination of non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) reveals three main clusters in accordance to spatial location in the industrial complex: all the boreholes sampled adjacent to the production plant cluster together and separately from the Wadi Hovav boreholes cluster and the downstream to the industrial area borehole cluster. This work provides the basis for the development and implication of an isotopic fractionation based tool for assessing the biodegradation of brominated organic compounds in contaminated environments, and a novel attempt to characterize the spatial microbial diversity in the contaminated site.
Rapid Identification of Thermophilic Campylobacter Species from Retail Poultry Meat Using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry
In Europe, North America and Japan, campylobacteriosis is one of the leading food-borne bacterial illnesses, often related to the consumption of poultry meats and/or by-products. The aim of this study was the evaluation of Campylobacter contamination of poultry meats marketed in Sicily (Italy) using both traditional methods and Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). MALDI-TOF MS is considered a promising rapid (less than 1 hour) identification method for food borne pathogens bacteria. One hundred chicken and turkey meat preparations (no. 68 hamburgers, no. 21 raw sausages, no. 4 meatballs and no. 7 meat rolls) were taken from different butcher’s shops and large scale retailers and submitted to detection/enumeration of Campylobacter spp. according to EN ISO 10272-1:2006 and EN ISO 10272-2:2006. Campylobacter spp. was detected with general low counts in 44 samples (44%), of which 30 from large scale retailers and 14 from butcher’s shops. Chicken meats were significantly more contaminated than turkey meats. Among the preparations, Campylobacter spp. was found in 85.71% of meat rolls, 50% of meatballs, 44.12% of hamburgers and 28.57% of raw sausages. A total of 100 strains, 2-3 from each positive samples, were isolated for the identification by phenotypic, biomolecular and MALDI-TOF MS methods. C. jejuni was the predominant strains (63%), followed by C. coli (33%) and C. lari (4%). MALDI-TOF MS correctly identified 98% of the strains at the species level, only 1% of the tested strains were not identified. In the last 1%, a mixture of two different species was mixed in the same sample and MALDI-TOF MS correctly identified at least one of the strains. Considering the importance of rapid identification of pathogens in the food matrix, this method is highly recommended for the identification of suspected colonies of Campylobacteria.
The Response of Soil Biodiversity to Agriculture Practice in Rhizosphere
Soil microbial diversity is one of the important parameters to assess the soil fertility and soil health, even stability of the ecosystem. In this paper, we aim to reveal the soil microbial difference in rhizosphere and root zone, even to pick the special biomarkers influenced by the long term tillage practices, which included four treatments of no-tillage, ridge tillage, continuous cropping with corn and crop rotation with corn and soybean. Here, high-throughput sequencing was performed to investigate the difference of bacteria in rhizosphere and root zone. The results showed a very significant difference of species richness between rhizosphere and root zone soil at the same crop rotation system (p < 0.01), and also significant difference of species richness was found between continuous cropping with corn and corn-soybean rotation treatment in the rhizosphere statement, no-tillage and ridge tillage in root zone soils. Implied by further beta diversity analysis, both tillage methods and crop rotation systems influence the soil microbial diversity and community structure in varying degree. The composition and community structure of microbes in rhizosphere and root zone soils were clustered distinctly by the beta diversity (p < 0.05). Linear discriminant analysis coupled with effect size (LEfSe) analysis of total taxa in rhizosphere picked more than 100 bacterial taxa, which were significantly more abundant than that in root zone soils, whereas the number of biomarkers was lower between the continuous cropping with corn and crop rotation treatment, the same pattern was found at no-tillage and ridge tillage treatment. Bacterial communities were greatly influenced by main environmental factors in large scale, which is the result of biological adaptation and acclimation, hence it is beneficial for optimizing agricultural practices.
Resistance of Haemonchus spp. to Albendazole, Fenbendazole and Levamisole in 4 Goat Farms of Antioquia, Colombia
Reports of drug resistance have been made in every livestock host and to every anthelmintic class. In some regions of world, the extremely high prevalence of multi-drug resistance in nematodes of sheep and goats threatens the viability of small-ruminant industries. In the region of Antioquia, Colombia, no reports of nematode resistance have been documented due to a lack of veterinary diagnostic laboratories. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of albendazole, fenbendazole, and levamisole to control gastrointestinal nematodes in goat farms of Antioquia by doing fecal egg count reduction tests. A total of 139 crossbreed goats from four separate farms were sampled for feces prior to, and 14 days following anthelmintc treatments. Individual fecal egg counts were performed using the modified three chamber McMaster technique. The anthelmintics administered at day 0 were albendazole (farm 1, n=63), fenbendazole (farm 2, n=20), and levamisole (farm 3 and 4, n= 37, and 19). Larval cultures were used to identify the genus of nematodes using Baermann`s technique and the morphological keys for identification of L3 in small ruminants. There was no difference in fecal egg counts between 0 and 14, with means (±SD) of 1681,5 ± 2121,5 and 1715,12 ± 1895,4 epg (eggs per gram), respectively. The egg count reductions for each anthelmintic and farm were 25,86% for albendazole (farm 1), 0% for fenbendazole (farm 2), 0% (farm 3), and 5,5% (farm 4) for levamisole. The genus of nematodes identified was predominantly Haemonchus spp., with 70,27% and 82,81% for samples from day 0 and 14, respectively. These results provide evidence of a total state of resistance to 3 common anthelmintics. Further research is needed to design integrate management programs to control nematodes in small ruminants in Colombia.
Preparation of Novel Antimicrobial Meat Packaging Using Chitosan-Arginine
Chitosan-arginine (Ch-arg) has been proposed as an anti-microbial agent to reduce the proliferation of spoilage and pathogenic bacteria within meat products destined for human consumption. In the current experiment its use as an antimicrobial packaging material was examined. Two different concentrations of chitosan-arginine (0.05 and 0.15 % w/w) were blended into a cellulose film (Ch-arg film). When placed in contact with chicken and beef juice inoculated with a lux-marked strain of E. coli O157, the film incorporating the highest Ch-arg concentration resulted in a small reduction of E. coli O157 in chicken juice; however, there was no effect of the Ch-arg film on E. coli O157 in beef juice. The lack of observed effect in the beef juice experiment we ascribe to insufficient surface-to-surface contact between the film and the bacteria in the beef juice and the greater presence of other Ch-arg reactive components in the juice (e.g. fats, blood cells). Results suggest that, in combination with other anti microbials, Ch-arg packaging may offers some potential for limiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria in foodstuffs; however, further research is needed to enhance their anti-microbial performance.
Validation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Inactivation on Apple-Carrot Juice Treated with Manothermosonication by Kinetic Models
Several models such as Weibull, Modified Gompertz, Biphasic linear, and Log-logistic models have been proposed in order to describe non-linear inactivation kinetics and used to fit non-linear inactivation data of several microorganisms for inactivation by heat, high pressure processing or pulsed electric field. First-order kinetic parameters (D-values and z-values) have often been used in order to identify microbial inactivation by non-thermal processing methods such as ultrasound. Most ultrasonic inactivation studies employed first-order kinetic parameters (D-values and z-values) in order to describe the reduction on microbial survival count. This study was conducted to analyze the E. coli O157:H7 inactivation data by using five microbial survival models (First-order, Weibull, Modified Gompertz, Biphasic linear and Log-logistic). First-order, Weibull, Modified Gompertz, Biphasic linear and Log-logistic kinetic models were used for fitting inactivation curves of Escherichia coli O157:H7. The residual sum of squares and the total sum of squares criteria were used to evaluate the models. The statistical indices of the kinetic models were used to fit inactivation data for E. coli O157:H7 by MTS at three temperatures (40, 50, and 60 0C) and three pressures (100, 200, and 300 kPa). Based on the statistical indices and visual observations, the Weibull and Biphasic models were best fitting of the data for MTS treatment as shown by high R2 values. The non-linear kinetic models, including the Modified Gompertz, First-order, and Log-logistic models did not provide any better fit to data from MTS compared the Weibull and Biphasic models. It was observed that the data found in this study did not follow the first-order kinetics. It is possibly because of the cells which are sensitive to ultrasound treatment were inactivated first, resulting in a fast inactivation period, while those resistant to ultrasound were killed slowly. The Weibull and biphasic models were found as more flexible in order to determine the survival curves of E. coli O157:H7 treated by MTS on apple-carrot juice.
Microbial Quality Assessment of Indian White Shrimp, Penaeus Indicus from Southwest Bangladesh
The microbial quality of Indian white shrimp (Peneaus indicus) from Bagerhat, Khulna and Satkhira of southwest Bangladesh was assessed where the parameters varied with different sources and the quality was found to be poor for Satkhira shrimp samples. Shrimp samples in fresh condition were collected to perform the microbial assessment and 10 pathogenic isolates for antibiotic sensitivity test to 12 antibiotics. The results show that total bacterial count of all the samples were beyond the acceptable limit 105 cfu/g. In case of total coliform and E. coli density, no substantial difference (p< 0.5) was found between the different shrimp samples from different districts and also high quantity of TC exceeding the limit (>102 cfu/g) proves the poor quality of shrimp. The FC abundance found in shrimps of Bagerhat and Satkhira was similar and significantly higher (p< 0.5) than that of Khulna samples. No significant difference (p< 0.5) was found among the high density of Salmonella-Shigella, Vibrio spp., and Staphylococcus spp. of the shrimp samples from the source places. In case of antibiotic sensitivity patterns, all of them were resistant to ampicillin, Penicillin and sensitive to kanamycin. Most of the isolates were frequently sensitive to ciprofloxacin and streptomycin in the sensitivity test. In case of nutritional composition, no significant difference (t-test, p< 0.05) was found among protein, lipid, moisture and ash contents of shrimp samples. The findings prove that shrimp under this study was more or less contaminated and samples from Satkhira were highly privileged with food borne pathogens which confirmed the unhygienic condition of the shrimp farms as well as the presence of antibiotic resistance bacteria in shrimp fish supposed to threat food safety and deteriorate the export quality.
Production of Antimicrobial Agents against Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus through the Biocatalysis of Vegetable Oils
Structural modification of natural lipids via chemical reaction or microbial bioconversion can change their properties or even create novel functionalities. Enzymatic oxidation of lipids leading to formation of oxylipin is one of those modifications. Hydroxy fatty acids, one of those oxylipins have gained important attentions because of their structural and functional properties compared with other non-hydroxy fatty acids. Recently 7,10-dihydroxy-8(E)-octadecenoic acid (DOD) was produced with high yield from lipid-containing oleic acid by microbial conversion, and the further study confirmed that DOD contained strong antimicrobial activities against a broad range of microorganisms. In this study, we tried to modify DOD molecules by the enzymatic or physical reaction to create new functionality or to enhance the antimicrobial activity of DOD. After modification of DOD molecules by different ways, we confirmed that the antimicrobial activity of DOD was highly enhanced and presented strong antimicrobial activities against multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, suggesting that DOD and its derivatives can be used as efficient antimicrobial agents for medical and industrial applications.
The Overexpression of Horsegram MURLK Improves Regulation of Cell Death and Defense Responses to Microbial Pathogens
Certain protein kinases have been shown to be crucial for plant cell signaling pathways associated with plant immune responses. Here we identified a horsegram [Macrotyloma uniflorum (Lam.) Verdc.] malectin-like leucine rich receptor-like protein kinase (RLK) gene MuRLK. The functional MuRLK protein preferentially binds to mannose and N-acetyl glucosamine residues. MuRLK exists in the cytoplasm and also localizes to the plasma membrane of plant cells via its N-terminus. Over-expression of MuRLK in Arabidopsis enhances the basal resistance to infection with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, Alternaria brassicicola and Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, are associated with elevated ROS bursts, MAPK activation, thus ultimately leading to hypersensitive cell death. Moreover, salicylic acid-dependent and jasmonic acid-dependent defense responses are also enhanced in the MuRLK-overexpressed plants that lead to HR-induced cell death. Together, these results suggest that MuRLK plays a key role in the regulation of plant cell death, early and late defense responses after the recognition of microbial pathogens.
Combinated Effect of Cadmium and Municipal Solid Waste Compost Addition on Physicochemical and Biochemical Proprieties of Soil and Lolium Perenne Production
Monitoring the effect addition bio-amendment as compost to an agricultural soil for growing plant lolium perenne irrigated with a CdCl2 solution at 50 µM on physicochemical soils characteristics and plant production in laboratory condition. Even microbial activity indexes (acid phosphatase, β-glucosidase, urease, and dehydrogenase) was determined. Basal respiration was the most affected index, while enzymatic activities and microbial biomass showed a decrease due to the cadmium treatments. We noticed that this clay soil with higher pH showed inhibition of basal respiration. Our results provide evidence for the importance of ameliorating effect compost on plant growth even when soil was added with cadmium solution at 50 µmoml.l-1. Soil heavy metal concentrations depended on heavy metals types, increased substantially with cadmium increase and with compost addition, but the recorded values were below the toxicity limits in soils and plants except for cadmium.
Effect of Radiotherapy/Chemotherapy Protocol on the Gut Microbiome in Pediatric Cancer Patients
The gut microbiome plays important roles in the human body that includes but not limited to digestion, immunity, homeostasis and response to some drugs such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Its role has also been linked to radiotherapy and associated gastrointestinal injuries, where the microbial dysbiosis could be the driving force for dose determination or the complete suspension of the treatment protocol. Linking the gut microbiota alterations to different cancer treatment protocols is not easy especially in humans. However, enormous effort was exerted to understand this complex relationship. In the current study, we described the gut microbiota dysbiosis in pediatric sarcoma patients, in the pelvic region, with regards to radiotherapy and antibiotics. Fecal samples were collected as a source of microbial DNA for which the gene encoding for V3-V5 regions of 16S rRNA was sequenced. Two of the three patients understudy had experienced an increase in alpha diversity post exposure to 50.4 Gy. Although phylum Firmicutes overall relative abundance has generally decreased, six of its taxa increased in all patients. Our results may indicate the possibility of radiosensitivity or enrichment of the antibiotic resistance of the elevated taxa. Further studies are needed to describe the extent of radiosensitivity with regards to antibiotic resistance.
Dynamic of an Invasive Insect Gut Microbiome When Facing to Abiotic Stress
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic wood borer insect native from China, which is associated with important environmental and economic damages in North America. Beetles are known to be vectors of microbial communities related to their adaptive capacities. It is now established that environmental stress factors may induce physiological events on the host trees, such as phytochemical changes. Consequently, that may affect the establishment comportment of herbivorous insect. Considering the number of insects collected on ash trees (insects’ density) as an abiotic factor related to stress damage, the aim of our study was to explore the dynamic of EAB gut microbial community genome (microbiome) when facing that factor and to monitor its diversity. Insects were trapped using specific green Lindgren© traps. A gradient of the captured insect population along the St. Lawrence River was used to create three levels of insects’ density (low, intermediate, and high). After dissection, total DNA extracted from insect guts of each level has been sent for amplicon sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS2 region. The composition of microbial communities among sample appeared largely diversified with the Simpson index significantly different across the three levels of density for bacteria. Add to that; bacteria were represented by seven phyla and twelve classes, whereas fungi were represented by two phyla and seven known classes. Using principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) based on Bray Curtis distances of 16S rRNA sequences, we observed a significant variation between the structure of the bacterial communities depending on insects’ density. Moreover, the analysis showed significant correlations between some bacterial taxa and the three classes of insects’ density. This study is the first to present a complete overview of the bacterial and fungal communities associated with the gut of EAB base on culture-independent methods, and to correlate those communities with a potential stress factor of the host trees.
Phenolic Analysis, Antioxidant Capacity and Antimicrobial Activity of Origanum glandulosum Desf Extract from Algeria
The antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of Origanum glandulosum collected in Algeria have been studied. Extract was prepared from aerial part of endemic Algerian oregano. The produced extract has been characterized in terms of total phenols (using Folin method), total flavonoid, antioxidant activities (using the DPPH radical scavenging method and ORAC assay) and microbial activity against four bacteria: Streptococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae one yeast: Candida albicans and one fungi: Aspergillus niger. The results pointed the antioxidant activities of the extract of O. glandulosum and antimicrobial activities against all bacteria and C. Candida, but no effect on A. niger. High performance liquid chromatography combined with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (LC-NMR) were used to separate and identify the major compounds present in the oregano extract. Rosmarinic acid, globoidnan A and B, lithospermic acid B and three flavonoids were identified.
Digital Antimicrobial Thermometer for Axilliary Usage: A New Device for Measuring the Temperature of the Body for the Reduction of Cross-Infections
Aim: The aim of this prospective comparative study is to evaluate the reduction of microbial flora on the surface of an axillary digital thermometer, made of antimicrobial copper, in relation with a common digital thermometer. Material – Methods: A brand new digital electronic thermometer implemented with antimicrobial copper (Cu 70% - Nic 30%, low lead) on the two edges of the device (top and bottom: World Patent Number WO2013064847 and Register Number by the Hellenic Copper Development Institute No 11/2012) was manufactured and a comparative study with common digital electronic thermometer was conducted on 18 ICU (Intensive Care Unit) patients of three different hospitals. The thermometry was performed in accordance with the projected International Nursing Protocols for body temperature measurement. A total of 216 microbiological samples were taken from the axillary area of the patients, using both of the investigated body temperature devises. Simultaneously the “Halo” phenomenon (phenomenon “Stefanis”) was studied at the non-antimicrobial copper-implemented parts of the antimicrobial digital electronic thermometer. Results: In all samples collected from the surface of the antimicrobial electronic digital thermometer, the reduction of microbial flora (Klebsiella spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermitis, Candida spp, Pneudomonas spp) was progressively reduced to 99% in two hours after the thermometry. The above flora was found in the axillary cavity remained the same in common thermometer. The statistical analysis (SPSS 21) showed a statistically significant reduction of the microbial load (N = 216, < 0.05). Conclusions: The hospital-acquired infections are linked to the transfer of pathogens due to the multi-usage of medical devices from both health professionals and patients, such as axillary thermometers. The use of antimicrobial digital electronic thermometer minimizes microbes' transportation between patients and health professionals while having all the conditions of reliability, proper functioning, security, ease of use and reduced cost.
Homology Modelling of Beta Defensin 3 of Bos taurus and Its Docking Studies with Molecules Responsible for Formation of Biofilm
The Bos taurus Beta defensin 3 is a defensin peptide secreted by neutrophils and epithelial that exhibits anti-microbial activity. It is one of the crucial components forming an innate defense against intra mammary infections in livestock. The beta defensin 3 by virtue of its anti-microbial activity inhibits major mastitis pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa etc, which are also responsible for biofilm formation leading to antibiotic resistance phenomenon. Therefore, the defensin may prove as a non-conventional option to treat mastitis. In this study, computational analysis has been performed including sequence comparison among species and homology modeling of Bos taurus beta defensin 3 protein. The assessments of protein structure were done using the protein structure and model assessment tools integrated in Swiss Model server, which employs various local and global quality evaluation parameters. Further, molecular docking was also carried out between the defensin peptide and the components of biofilm to gain insight into various interactions and structural differences crucial for functionality of this protein.
Contribution of Soluble Microbial Products on Dissolved Organic Nitrogen in Wastewater Effluent from Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor
Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is known as one of the persistence nitrogenous pollutant being originated from secondary treated effluent of municipal sewage treatment plant. However, effect of key system operating condition on the fate and behavior of residual DON in the treated effluent is still not known. This study aims to investigate effect of organic loading rate (OLR) on the residual level of DON in the biofilm reactor effluent. Synthetic municipal wastewater was fed into moving bed biofilm reactors at OLR of 1.6x10-3 and 3.2x10-3 kg SCOD/m3-d. The results showed higher organic removal efficiency was found in the reactor operating at higher OLR. However, DON was observed at higher value in the effluent of the higher OLR reactor than that of the lower OLR reactor evidencing a clear influence of OLR on the residual DON level in the treated effluent of the biofilm reactors. It is possible that the lower DON being observed in the reactor at lower OLR is likely to be a result of providing the microbe with the additional period for utilizing the refractory DON molecules during operation at lower organic loading. All the experiments were repeated using raw wastewaters and similar trend was obtained.
Selective Fermentations of Monosaccharides by Osmotolerant Yeast Cultures
The purification processes for mixtures of isomeric monosaccharides using industrial chromatographic methods poses a serious technical challenge. Mixtures of 2 or 3 monosaccharides are difficult to separate by strictly physical or chemical techniques. Differential fermentation by microbial cultures is an increasingly interesting way of selective enrichment in a particular kind of monosaccharides when a mixture of them is present in the solution, and only one has economical value. Osmotolerant yeast cultures provide an interesting source of biocatalysts for the selective catabolism of monosaccharides in media containing high concentrations of total soluble sugars. A collection of 398 yeast strains has been obtained using endemic and unique sources of fruit juices, industrial syrups, honey, and other high sugar content substrates, either natural or man made, products and by-products from Mexico. The osmotolerance of the strains was assessed by plate assay both in glucose (20-40-60%w/w). Strains were classified according to their osmotolerance in low, medium or highly tolerant to high glucose concentrations. The purified cultures were tested by their ability to growth in a solid plate media or liquid media of Yeas Nitrogen Base (YNB), added with specific monosaccharides as sole carbon source (glucose, galactose, lactose and fructose). Selected strains were subsequently tested in fermentation experiments with mixtures of two monosaccharides (galactose/glucose and glucose/fructose). Their ability to grow and selectively catabolize one monosaccharide was evaluated. Growth, fermentation activity and products of metabolism were determined by plate counts, CO2 production, turbidity and chromatographic analysis by HPLC. Selective catabolism of one monosaccharide in liquid media containing two monosaccharides was confirmed for 8 strains. Ion Exchange chromatographic processes were used in production of high fructose or galactose syrup. Laboratory scale processes for the production of fructose or galactose enriched syrups is now feasible, with important applications in food (like high fructose syrup as edulcorant) and fermentation technology (for GOS production).
The Chewing Gum Confectionary Development for Oral Hygiene with Nine Hour Oral Antibacterial Activity
Nowadays oral health is raising concern in society. Acid producing microorganisms changes the oral pH and creates a favorable environment for microbial growth. This growth not only promotes dental decay but also bad breath. Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) listed component was incorporated in chewing gum as an antimicrobial agent. The chewing gum produced exhibited up to 9 hours of antimicrobial activity against oral microflora. The toxicity of GRAS component per RACC value of chewing gum was negligible as compared to actual toxicity level of GRAS component. The antibacterial efficiency of chewing gum was tested by using total plate count (TPC) and colony forming unit (CFU). Nine hours were required to microflora to reach TPC/CFU of before chewing gum consumption. This chewing gum not only provides mouth freshening activity but also helps in lowering dental decay, bad breath, and enamel whitening.
colony forming unit (CFU)
, chewing gum
, generally recognized as safe (GRAS)
, microbial growth
, oral health
, total plate count (TPC)
, antimicrobial agent
, enamel whitening
, oral pH
Differential Diagnosis of Malaria and Dengue Fever on the Basis of Clinical Findings and Laboratory Investigations
Dengue fever and malaria are important vector-borne diseases of public health significance affecting millions of people around the globe. Dengue fever is caused by Dengue virus while malaria is caused by plasmodium protozoan. Generally, the consequences of Malaria are less severe compared to dengue fever. This study was designed to differentiate dengue fever and malaria on the basis of clinical and laboratory findings and to compare the changes in both diseases having different causative agents transmitted by the common vector. A total of 200 patients of dengue viral infection (120 males, 80 females) were included in this prospective descriptive study. The blood samples of the individuals were first screened for malaria by blood smear examination and then the negative samples were tested by anti-dengue IgM strip. The strip positive cases were further screened by IgM capture ELISA and their complete blood count including hemoglobin estimation (Hb), total and differential leukocyte counts (TLC and DLC), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and platelet counts were performed. On the basis of the severity of signs and symptoms, dengue virus infected patients were subdivided into dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) comprising 70 and 100 confirmed patients, respectively. On the other hand, 30 patients were found infected with Malaria while overall 120 patients showed thrombocytopenia. The patients of DHF were found to have more leucopenia, raised hemoglobin level and thrombocytopenia < 50,000/µl compared to the patients belonging to DF and malaria. On the basis of the outcomes of the study, it was concluded that patients affected by DF were at a lower risk of undergoing haematological disturbance than suffering from DHF. While, the patients infected by Malaria were found to have no significant change in their blood components.
Mechanisms Involved in Biological Control of Fusarium Wilt
The objective of our present work is the description of the antagonistic capacities of one strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens and the nonpathogenic fungic isolate Fusarium oxysporum against phytopathogenic agent Fusarium oxysporum F. Sp. lycopersici. This work has been achieved in two main parts: the first is interested on the in vitro antagonistic activities; the second was interested to study the soil receptiveness of fusarium wilt tomato. The use of strain of fluorescent Pseudomonas and a non-pathogenic strain of F. oxysporum in the different antagonism tests, has allowed assuring a certain bio-protection from the plants of tomatoes opposite to F. oxysporum F. Sp. lycopersici, agent of a wilt of tomato. These antagonistic have shown a substantial in vitro antagonistic activity on the three mediums (KB, PDA, KB+PDA) against F. oxysporum F. Sp. lycopersici, by inhibiting its growth mycelium with rate of inhibition going until 80 % with non-pathogen of Fusarium oxysporum and 60 % with strain of fluorescens Pseudomonas. Soil microbial balance, between the antagonistic population and that of pathogenic, can be modulated through microbiological variations or abiotic additives influencing directly or indirectly the metabolic behavior microbial. In this experiment, addition of glucose or EDTA, could increase or decrease the resistance of soil by activation of pathogenic or antagonists, as a result of modification and modulation in their metabolic activities.
Microbial Evaluation of Geophagic and Cosmetic Clays from Southern and Western Nigeria: Potential Natural Nanomaterials
Geophagic and cosmetic clays are among potential nano-material which occur naturally and are of various forms. The use of these nano-clays is a common practice in both rural and urban areas mostly due to tradition and medicinal reasons. These naturally occurring materials can be valuable sources of nano-material by serving as nano-composites. The need to ascertain the safety of these materials is the motivation for this research. Physical Characterization based on the hue value and microbiological qualities of the nano-clays were carried out. The Microbial analysis of the clay samples showed considerable contamination with both bacteria and fungi with fungal contaminants taking the lead. This observation may not be unlikely due to the ability of fungi species to survive harsher growth conditions than bacteria. 'Atike pupa' showed no bacterial growth. The clay with the largest bacterial count was Calabash chalk (Igbanke), while that with the highest fungal count was 'Eko grey'. The most commonly isolated bacteria in this study were Clostridium spp. and Corynebacterium spp. while fungi included Aspergillus spp. These results are an indication of the need to subject these clay materials to treatments such as heating before consumption or topical usage thereby ascertaining their safety.