Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 40418

Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Isolation and Characterisation of a Bacterial Strain Producing Biotechnologically Important Enzymes, from Hotspring
An isolate of a Gram-stain-positive, rod-shaped, endosporeforming bacterium was isolated from a hotspring from Bingol city (Turkey). Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence of bacterium indicated that the strain was most closely related to Bacillus paralicheniformis (97 % similarity), which has been recently described and proposed. In phenotypic characterization, the novel strain was found to grow at 25–60 °C. The strain was found to produce biotechnologically important enzymes such as proteases, amylase and β-galactosidase, which has been evaluated for its use for industrial applications.
Biosynthesis of Extracellular Silver Nanoparticles by Acinetobacter Sp.
Biosynthesis of nanoparticles is the major division in the field of applicable Nanoscience and nanotechnology. Most biosynthesis processes described so far are associated with high energy consumption or involvement of toxic chemicals. Thus the use of microorganisms in the synthesis of nanoparticles emerges as an eco-friendly approach which is an economical, efficient and simple process. Moreover, biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles either intra- or extracellularly fabricated by microorganisms could have biomedical and various applications, as catalysts in chemical reactions, biolabelling, antimicrobial agent, electrical batteries and optical receptors. The probable mechanism for the formation of silver nanoparticles involves the enzyme nitrate reductase. The aim of this study was to assess the ability of a bacterial strain, namely Acinetobacter sp. (designated as ST5) to biosynthesize silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) by using the live biomass of bacteria in the basal liquid media containing AgNO3 solution. The experiments showed that the nanoparticles were also biosynthesized extracellularly as the biosynthesis was observed in the culture supernatant after discarding cells by centrifugation. The changing of color into dark brown in the medium denotes the nanoparticles synthesis. The AgNO3 exposed culture supernatant was then mounted on glass slides, air dried (22–28 °C) and used for atomic force microscopy (AFM) in order to determine the intensity and the sizes of the fabricated silver nanoparticles, as well as the possible interactions with DNA. The results from AFM micrographs showed that 4 major nanoparticle sizes (0.7, 1.5, 2.5 and 3.3 nm) were determined. The most dominant nanoparticle appeared in negative control was the small size of 0.7 nm, while the nanoparticle size of 3.3 nm was seen only in the ST5 supernatant at a high number. The percentages of other two sizes (1.5 and 2.5 nm) assessed in the ST5 supernatant were much higher than those in the control. The micrographs also showed that the interaction between the nanoparticles and DNA was not observed using small DNA fragments incubated in the presence of nanoparticles. Antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles on solid LB medium was also determined by the disc-diffusion method. The extracellular synthesis of nanoparticles by microorganisms would make the process easier for downstream processing.
The Effects of Temperature and Salinity on the Growth and Carotenogenesis of Three Dunaliella Species (Dunaliella Sp. Lake Isolate, Dunaliella salina CCAP, and Dunaliella bardawil LB 2538) Cultivated under Laboratory Conditions
In this study 3 species of Dunaliella (Dunaliella sp. Salt Lake isolate (Tuz Gölü), Dunaliella salina CCAP19/18, and Dunaliella bardawil LB 2538) and their optical density, dry matter, chlorophyll a, total carotenoids, and β-carotene production were investigated in a batch system. The aim of this research was to compare the pigments content and the growth between those 3 species. Therefore 2 stress factors were used: 2 different temperatures (20°C and 30°C) and 2 different salinities (30‰, and 35‰) were tested over a 17-day study. The highest growth and chlorophyll a was reported for Dunaliella sp. under 20°C/30‰ and 20°C/60‰ conditions respectively followed by Dunaliella bardawil and Dunaliella salina. Significant differences were noticed (p< 0.05) for the other 3 species. The growth decreased as temperature and salinity increased since the lowest growth was noticed for the 30°C/60‰ group. The chlorophyll a content also decreased as temperature increased however when the NaCl concentration increased an augmentation of the content was noticed. The growth and chlorophyll a content were inversely proportional to the total carotenoids and β carotene contents. In the 17th day of the experiment the highest carotenoids concentration was reported for Dunaliella bardawil 20°C/30‰ (65,639±0,400 μg.mL−1) and the most important β carotene concentration was for Dunaliella salina 20°C/60‰ (8,98E-07±0,013 mol/L).
Deciphering Suitability of Rhamnolipids as Emulsifying Agent for Hydrophobic Pollutants
Biosurfactants are amphiphilic surface active compounds obtained from natural resources such as plants and microorganisms. Because of their diverse physicochemical characteristics biosurfactant are replacing synthetic compounds in various commercial applications. In present study, a strain of P. aeruginosa was isolated from crude oil contaminated soil as efficient biosurfactant producers. The biosurfactant production was analyzed as a function of surface tension reduction, oil spreading capacity, emulsification index and hemolysis assay. This bacterial strain showed excellent emulsion activity of EI24 85%, surface tension reduction up to 28.6 mNm-1 and 7.0 mm oil displacement zone. Physicochemical and biological properties of extracted rhamnolipid were also investigated in current study. The chemical composition of product from strain PSS was analyzed by FTIR spectroscopy. The results revealed that extracted biosurfactant was rhamnolipid type in nature having RL-1 and RL-2 homologues. The surface behavior of rhamnolipid in aqueous phase was investigated varying extreme pH, temperature, salt conditions and with various hydrocarbons. The results indicated that biosurfactant produced by strain PSS Which showed stability during high temperature up to 121 C, salt concentrations up to 20% and pH range between (4—14). The emulsification activity with different hydrocarbons was also remarkable. It was concluded that rhamnolipid biosurfactant produced by strain PSS has excellent potential as emulsifying/remediation agent for broad range of hydrophobic pollutants.
Inulinase Immobilization on Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles Prepared with Soy Protein Isolate Conjugated Bovine Serum Albumin for High Fructose Syrup Production
Inulinase from Aspergillus niger was covalently immobilized on magnetic nanoparticles (Fe₃O₄) covered with soy protein isolate (Fe₃O₄/SPI) funtionalized by bovine serum albumin nanoparticles. Magnetic Nanoparticles (MNPs) are promising enzyme carriers because they separate easily under external magnetic fields and have enhanced immobilized enzyme reusability. As MNPs aggregate simply, surface coating strategy was employed. Soy protein isolate (SPI) functionalized by bovine serum albumin (BSA) was a suitable candidate for nanomagnetite coating due to its superior biocompatibility and hydrophilicity. Fe₃O₄@SPI-BSA nanoparticles were synthesized as a novel carrier with narrow particle size distribution. Step by step fabrication monitoring of Fe₃O₄@SPI-BSA nanoparticles was performed using field emission scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The results illustrated that nanomagnetite with the spherical morphology were well monodispersed with the diameter of about 35 nm. The average size of the SPI-BSA nanoparticles was 80 to 90 nm, and their zeta potential was around −34 mV. Finally, the mean diameter of fabricated Fe₃O₄@SPI-BSA NPs was less than 120 nm. Inulinase enzyme from Aspergillus niger was covalently immobilized through glutaraldehyde on Fe₃O₄@SPI-BSA nanoparticles successfully. Fourier transform infrared spectra and field emission scanning electron microscopy images provided sufficient proof for the enzyme immobilization on the nanoparticles with 80% enzyme loading.
A Critical Review on Temperature Affecting the Morpho-Physiological, Hormonal and Genetic Control of Branching in Chrysanthemum
The assorted architectural plasticity of a plant is majorly specified by stooling, a phenomenon tackled by a combination of developmental, environmental and hormonal accelerators of lateral buds. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium) are one of the most economically important ornamental plants worldwide on the account of having plentiful architectural patterns, diverse shapes and attractive colors. Side branching is the major determinant guaranteeing the consistent demand of cut chrysanthemum in flower industry. Presence of immense number of axillary branches devalues the economic importance of this imperative plant and is a major challenge for mum growers to hold a stake in the cut flower market. Restricting branches to a minimum level, or no branches at all, is the dire need of the day in order to introducing novelty in cut chrysanthemums. Temperature is a potent factor which affects largely the escalation, development of chrysanthemum, and also the genetic expression of various vegetative traits like branching. It affects differently the developmental characteristics and phenotypic expressions of inherent qualities, thereby playing a significant role in differentiating the developmental responses in different cultivars of chrysanthemum. A detailed study pertaining to the affect of temperature on branching in chrysanthemum is a clear lacking throughout the literature on mums. Therefore, searching with temperature as an effective means of reducing side branching to a desired level could be an influencing extension of struggles about how to nullify stooling. This requires plenty of research in order to reveal the extended penetration of temperature in manipulating the genetic control of various important traits like branching, which is a burning issue now a days in producing cut flowers in chrysanthemum. The present review will highlight the impact of temperature on branching control mechanism in chrysanthemum at morpho-physiological, hormonal and molecular levels.
DAPHNE: A Novel E-Health System for the Diagnosis and the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Since a standard objective tool for PD diagnosis does not exist and the monitoring approaches are still suboptimal for PD management, various studies are investigating the use of technological solutions and e-health systems to support the clinicians. This paper proposes DAPHNE system, which aims to implement innovative and sustainable services for the early diagnosis, for the therapy and for the management of PD by using wearable devices, information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile Health (mHealth) apps and Internet of things (IoT) protocols, as well as by promoting home monitoring, engagement and self-management of patients and caregivers in the care path. The wearable devices are used to automatically acquire data on the motor performances of patients, subsequently such data are sent to a cloud-based platform aimed to analyse and therefore objectively assess patients’ level of disease on clinical scales (MDS-UPDRS III). Such innovative system supports the clinicians in early and differential diagnosis and, importantly, promotes a precision medicine approach by enabling an at-home monitoring service optimised according the patient’s needs. The expected impact in clinical practice is one of the major breakthrough DAPHNE upholds inasmuch this system defines a novel and objective PD diagnosis protocol and also establishes a new management methodology, enhancing the relationship between patients and clinicians and the engagement of the patients in the PD treatment. Furthermore, the system significantly reduces healthcare costs in terms of diagnostic examinations, of hospitalisation and of assistance provided to patients in the most severe stages of the disease. Not less importantly, DAPHNE permits PD to be diagnosed up to 7 years earlier than current methods so as to maximise drug therapy efficacy.
Feasibility of Lipid Production Using Waste Sludge Hydrolysate by Oleaginous Yeast
Five different sources of waste sludges were collected and pretreated using alkaline hydrolysis method. After investigating and establishing optimum alkaline hydrolysis condition, 2 kinds of sludge hydrolysates were chosen and used as substrates for further microbial lipid accumulation using oleaginous yeast Rhodotorula mucilaginosa LP-2. Besides, optimum microbial lipid extraction condition was determined and parameters influencing microbial lipid accumulation were also carefully investigated. Sludge pretreatment results indicated that waste sludges from soybean oil production plant and water resource center were the ideal sludge sources because of the highest sCOD and reducing sugar release. The optimum pretreatment condition was to apply 1.0 N NaOH to adjust sludge slurry pH to 13 and hydrolyzed at 121°C for 20 minutes. The optimal biomass weight for lipid extraction was 30 mg. The optimal ultrasonication duration for lipid extraction was 30 min. The optimum temperature and initial pH for maximum lipid productivity using strain R. mucilaginosa LP-2 were 33°C and 5, respectively. Yeast extract was the most suitable nitrogen source. The most suitable carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N ratio) was 65 and C/N ratio caused a significant impact on the fatty acid desaturation. When using sludge hydrolysate as substrate for microbial lipid accumulation, soybean oil production plant sludge hydrolysate was superior to waste resource center sludge hydrolysate. The main fatty acid in both accumulated lipids was C18:1. In order to increase C/N ratio to improve lipid accumulation, waste molasses was added into sludge hydrolysate. Adding molasses could improve total lipid concentration. However, total lipid still could not compete with total lipid using artificial media as substrate. To improve lipid accumulation using sludge hydrolysate, more experiments must be performed to realize the key factor.
Biofuel Production via Thermal Cracking of Castor Methyl Ester
Diminishing oil reserves, deteriorating health standards because of greenhouse gas emissions and associated environmental impacts have emerged biofuel production. Vegetable oils are proved to be valuable feedstock in these growing industries as they are renewable and potentially inexhaustible sources. Thermal Cracking of vegetable oils (triglycerides) leads to production of biofuels which are similar to fossil fuels in terms of composition but their combustion and physical properties have limits. Acrolein (very poisonous gas) and water production during cracking of triglycerides occurs because of presence of glycerin in their molecular structure. Transesterification of vegetable oil is a method to extract glycerol from triglycerides structure and produce methyl ester. In this study, castor methyl ester was used for thermal cracking in order to survey the efficiency of this method to produce bio-gasoline and bio-diesel. Thus, several experiments were designed by means of central composite method. Statistical studies showed that two reaction parameters, namely cracking temperature and feed flowrate, affect products yield significantly. At the optimized conditions (480 °C and 29 g/h) for maximum bio-gasoline production, 88.6% bio-oil was achieved which was distilled and separated as bio-gasoline (28%) and bio-diesel (48.2%). Bio-gasoline exposed a high octane number and combustion heat. Distillation curve and Reid vapor pressure of bio-gasoline fell in the criteria of standard gasoline (class AA) by ASTM D4814. Bio-diesel was compatible with standard diesel by ASTM D975. Water production was negligible and no evidence of acrolein production was distinguished. Therefore, thermal cracking of castor methyl ester could be used as a method to produce valuable biofuels.
Biodiesel Fuel Properties of Mixed Culture Microalgae under Different CO₂ Concentration from Coal Fired Flue Gas
Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum-derived fuel mainly composed of fatty acid from oleaginous microalgae feedstock. Microalgae produced fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) as they can store high levels of lipids without competing for food productivity. After lipid extraction and esterification, fatty acid profile from algae feedstock possessed the abundance of fatty acids with carbon chain length specifically C16 and C18. The qualitative analysis of FAME was done by cultivating mix microalgae consortia under three different CO₂ concentrations (1%, 3%, and 5.5%) from a coal fired flue gas. FAME content (280.3 µg/mL) and productivity (18.69 µg/mL/D) was higher under 1% CO₂ (flue gas) as compare to other treatments. Whereas, Mixed C. (F) supplemented with 5.5% CO₂ (50% flue gas) had higher SFA (36.28%) and UFA (63.72%) which improve the oxidative stability of biodiesel. Subsequently, low Iodine value (136.3 gI₂/100g) and higher Cetane number (52) of Mixed C.+P (F) were found to be in accordance with European (EN 14214) standard under 5.5% CO₂ along with 50mM phosphate buffer. Experimental results revealed that sufficient phosphate reduced FAME productivity but significantly enhance biodiesel quality. This research aimed to develop an integrated approach of utilizing flue gas (as CO₂ source) for significant improvement in biodiesel quality under surplus phosphorus. CO₂ sequestration from industrial flue gas not only reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions but also ensure sustainability and eco-friendliness of the biodiesel production process through microalgae.
Association of Leptin Gene T3469C Polymorphism on Reproductive Performance of Purebred Sows
The study was conducted to associate genetic polymorphism of the leptin gene T3469C with reproductive performance in purebred sows. DNA were isolated from hair follicles of 29 Landrace and 24 Large White sows. Amplification of the leptin gene was done followed by Hinf1digestion to determine the base at the T3469C site. Electrophoresis of the digestion products revealed that there were 25 Landrace and 15 Large White sows with the TT genotype while there were 3 Landrace and 6 Large White TC. There was 1 CC for Landrace and 3 for Large White. Significant genotype associations were observed for total litter size born and total born alive. Significant breed differences, on the other hand, was observed for gestation length and average birth weight. Significant breed by genotype interaction was observed in litter size total born and litter size born alive.
Lignin Valorization: Techno-Economic Analysis of Three Lignin Conversion Routes
Effective utilization of lignin is an important mean for developing economically profitable biorefineries. Current literature suggests that large amounts of lignin will become available in second generation biorefineries. New conversion technologies will, therefore, be needed to carry lignin transformation well beyond combustion to produce energy, but towards high-value products such as chemicals and transportation fuels. In recent years, significant progress on catalysis has been made to improve transformation of lignin, and new catalytic processes are emerging. In this work, a techno-economic assessment of two of these novel conversion routes and comparison with more established lignin pyrolysis route were made. The aim is to provide insights into the potential performance and potential hotspots in order to guide the experimental research and ease the commercialization by early identifying cost drivers, strengths, and challenges. The lignin conversion routes selected for detailed assessment were: (non-catalytic) lignin pyrolysis as the benchmark, direct hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of lignin and hydrothermal lignin depolymerisation. Products generated were mixed oxygenated aromatic monomers (MOAMON), light organics, heavy organics, and char. For the technical assessment, a basis design followed by process modelling in Aspen was done using experimental yields. A design capacity of 200 kt/year lignin feed was chosen that is equivalent to a 1 Mt/y scale lignocellulosic biorefinery. The downstream equipment was modelled to achieve the separation of the product streams defined. For determining external utility requirement, heat integration was considered and when possible gasses were combusted to cover heating demand. The models made were used in generating necessary data on material and energy flows. Next, an economic assessment was carried out by estimating operating and capital costs. Return on investment (ROI) and payback period (PBP) were used as indicators. The results of the process modelling indicate that series of separation steps are required. The downstream processing was found especially demanding in the hydrothermal upgrading process due to the presence of significant amount of unconverted lignin (34%) and water. Also, external utility requirements were found to be high. Due to the complex separations, hydrothermal upgrading process showed the highest capital cost (50 M€ more than benchmark). Whereas operating costs were found the highest for the direct HDO process (20 M€/year more than benchmark) due to the use of hydrogen. Because of high yields to valuable heavy organics (32%) and MOAMON (24%), direct HDO process showed the highest ROI (12%) and the shortest PBP (5 years). This process is found feasible with a positive net present value. However, it is very sensitive to the prices used in the calculation. The assessments at this stage are associated with large uncertainties. Nevertheless, they are useful for comparing alternatives and identifying whether a certain process should be given further consideration. Among the three processes investigated here, the direct HDO process was seen to be the most promising.
Double Functionalization of Magnetic Colloids with Electroactive Molecules and Antibody for Platelet Detection and Separation
Neonatal thrombopenia occurs when the mother generates antibodies against her baby’s platelet antigens. It is particularly critical for newborns because it can cause coagulation troubles leading to intracranial hemorrhage. In this case, diagnosis must be done quickly to make platelets transfusion immediately after birth. Before transfusion, platelet antigens must be tested carefully to avoid rejection. The majority of thrombopenia (95 %) are caused by antibodies directed against Human Platelet Antigen 1a (HPA-1a) or 5b (HPA-5b). The common method for antigen platelets detection is polymerase chain reaction allowing for identification of gene sequence. However, it is expensive, time-consuming and requires significant blood volume which is not suitable for newborns. We propose to develop a point-of-care device based on double functionalized magnetic colloids with 1) antibodies specific to antigen platelets and 2) highly sensitive electroactive molecules in order to be detected by an electrochemical microsensor. These magnetic colloids will be used first to isolate platelets from other blood components, then to capture specifically platelets bearing HPA-1a and HPA-5b antigens and finally to attract them close to sensor working electrode for improved electrochemical signal. The expected advantages are an assay time lower than 20 min starting from blood volume smaller than 100 µL. Our functionalization procedure based on amine dendrimers and NHS-ester modification of initial carboxyl colloids will be presented. Functionalization efficiency was evaluated by colorimetric titration of surface chemical groups, zeta potential measurements, infrared spectroscopy, fluorescence scanning and cyclic voltammetry. Our results showed that electroactive molecules and antibodies can be immobilized successfully onto magnetic colloids. Application of a magnetic field onto working electrode increased the detected electrochemical signal. Magnetic colloids were able to capture specific purified antigens extracted from platelets.
Assessment of Mammary Gland Immunity and Therapeutic Potential of Topical Herbal Gel against Bovine Subclinical Mastitis
In-vivo immunotherapeutic potential on cytokines production and antibacterial activity of a topical herbal gel was evaluated in two breeds of cattle in bovine subclinical mastitis. The response to treatment was evaluated by enumerating somatic cell count (SCC), determining total bacterial count and studying the expression of different cytokines like (interleukin 6, 8, 12, GMCSF, interferon–γ and TNF‑α). The pre‑ and post‑treatment SCC in mastitic quarters did not differ statistically-significantly. However, total bacterial count declined significantly from day 0 onwards in both the breeds. Significant differences (P < 0.01) were observed in all types of cytokines production on day 0, 5, and 21 post last treatments in both the breeds. The comparison of cytokine expression profiles between crossbred and Gir cattle affirmed a significant difference in expression of IL-6 and TNF-α. The topical herbal gel showed immunomodulatory and antimicrobial activities in subclinical mastitis, and therefore the work supports its use as substitute herbal therapy against subclinical mastitis in bovines.
High Frequency Nanomechanical Oscillators Based on Synthetic Nanowires
We demonstrate nanomechanical resonators constructed with synthetic nanowires (NWs) and study their electro-mechanical properties at millikelvin temperatures. Nanomechanical resonators are fabricated using single-crystalline Au NWs and InAs NWs. The mechanical resonance signals are acquired by either magnetomotive or capacitive detection methods. The Au NWs are synthesized by chemical vapor transport method at 1100 °C, and they exhibit clean surface and single-crystallinity with little defects. Due to pristine surface quality, these Au NW mechanical resonators could provide an ideal model system for studying surface-related effects on the mechanical systems. The InAs NWs are synthesized by molecular beam epitaxy or metal organic chemical vapor deposition method. The InAs NWs show electronic conductance modulation resembling Coulomb blockade, which also manifests in the mechanical resonance signals in the form of damping and resonance frequency shift. Our result provides an evidence of strong electro-mechanical coupling in synthetic NW nanomechanical resonators.
Improving of Antibacterial Activity for Ceftazidime by Partially Purified Tannase from Penicillium expansum
Tannase has wide applications in food, beverage, brewing, cosmetics and chemical industries and one of the major application of tannase is the production of gallic acid. Gallic acid is used for manufacturing of trimethoprim. In the present study, a local fungal strain of Penicillium expansum A4 isolated from spoilt apples samples gave the highest production level of tannase. Tannase was partially purified with a recovery yield of 92.52% and 6.32 fold of purification by precipitation using ammonium sulfate at 50% saturation. Tannase led to increase antimicrobial activity of ceftazidime against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and S. aureus and had synergism effect at low concentrations of ceftazidime and thus tannase may be useful adjuvant agent for the treatment of many bacterial infections in combination with ceftazidime.
Genome Sequencing of the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strain 202-3
In this work the sequencing and genome characterization of a natural isolate of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast (strain 202-3), identified with potential for the production of second generation ethanol from sugarcane bagasse hydrolysates is presented. This strain was selected because its capability to consume xylose during the fermentation of sugarcane bagasse hydrolysates, taking into account that many strains of S. cerevisiae are incapable of processing this sugar. This advantage and other prominent positive aspects during fermentation profiles evaluated in bagasse hydrolysates made the strain 202-3 a candidate strain to improve the production of second-generation ethanol, which was proposed as a first step to study the strain at the genomic level. The molecular characterization was carried out by genome sequencing with the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform paired end; the assembly was performed with different programs, finally choosing the assembler ABYSS with kmer 89. Gene prediction was developed with the approach of hidden Markov models with Augustus. The genes identified were scored based on similarity with public databases of nucleotide and protein. Records were organized from ontological functions at different hierarchical levels, which identified central metabolic functions and roles of the S. cerevisiae strain 202-3, highlighting the presence of four possible new proteins, two of them probably associated with the positive consumption of xylose.
Evaluation of the Effect of Lactose Derived Monosaccharide on Galactooligosaccharides Production by β-Galactosidase
Numerous benefits of galactooligosaccharides (GOS) as prebiotics have motivated the study of enzymatic processes for their production. These processes have special complexities due to several factors that make difficult high productivity, such as enzyme type, reaction medium pH, substrate concentrations and presence of inhibitors, among others. In the present work the production of galactooligosaccharides (with different degrees of polymerization: two, three and four) from lactose was studied. The study considers the formulation of a mathematical model that predicts the production of GOS from lactose using the enzyme β-galactosidase. The effect of pH in the reaction was studied. For that, phosphate buffer was used and with this was evaluated three pH values ( and 7.0). Thus it was observed that at pH 6.0 the enzymatic activity insignificant. On the other hand, at pH 7.0 the enzymatic activity was approximately 27 times greater than at 6.5. The last result differs from previously reported results. Therefore, pH 7.0 was chosen as working pH. Additionally, the enzyme concentration was analyzed, which allowed observing that the effect of the concentration depends on the pH and the concentration was set for the following studies in 0.272 mM. Afterwards, experiments were performed varying the lactose concentration to evaluate its effects on the process and to generate the data for the adjustment of the mathematical model parameters. The mathematical model considers the reactions of lactose hydrolysis and transgalactosylation for the production of disaccharides and trisaccharides, with their inverse reactions. The production of tetrasaccharides was negligible and, because of that, it was not included in the model. The reaction was monitored by HPLC and for the quantitative analysis of the experimental data the Matlab programming language was used, including solvers for differential equations systems integration (ode15s) and nonlinear problems optimization (fminunc). The results confirm that the transgalactosylation and hydrolysis reactions are reversible, additionally inhibition by glucose and galactose is observed on the production of GOS. In relation to the production process of galactooligosaccharides, the results show that it is necessary to have high initial concentrations of lactose considering that favors the transgalactosylation reaction, while low concentrations favor hydrolysis reactions.
A Sensitive Approach on Trace Analysis of Methylparaben in Wastewater and Cosmetic Products Using Molecularly Imprinted Polymer
Parabens are the antimicrobial molecules largely used in cosmetic products as a preservative agent. Among them, the methylparaben (MP) is the most frequently used ingredient in cosmetic preparations. Nevertheless, their potential dangers led to the development of sensible and reliable methods for their determination in environmental samples. Firstly, a sensitive and selective molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) based on screen-printed gold electrode (Au-SPE), assembled on a polymeric layer of carboxylated poly (vinyl-chloride) (PVC-COOH) was developed. After the template removal, the obtained material was able to rebind MP and discriminate it among other interfering species such as glucose, sucrose, and citric acid. The behavior of molecular imprinted sensor was characterized by Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV) and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) techniques. Then, the biosensor was found to have a linear detection range from 0.1 pg.mL-1 to 1 ng.mL-1 and a low limit of detection of 0.12 fg.mL-1 and 5.18 pg.mL-1 by DPV and EIS, respectively. For applications, this biosensor was employed to determine MP content in four wastewaters in Meknes city and two cosmetic products (shower gel and shampoo). The operational reproducibility and stability of this biosensor were also studied. Secondly, another MIP biosensor based on tungsten trioxide (WO3) functionalized by gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) assembled on a polymeric layer of PVC-COOH was developed. The main goal was to increase the sensitivity of the biosensor. The developed MIP biosensor was successfully applied for the MP determination in wastewater samples and cosmetic products.
Synthesis of Highly Sensitive Molecular Imprinted Sensor for Selective Determination of Doxycycline in Honey Samples
Doxycycline (DXy) is a cycline antibiotic, most frequently prescribed to treat bacterial infections in veterinary medicine. However, its broad antimicrobial activity and low cost, lead to an intensive use, which can seriously affect human health. Therefore, its spread in the food products has to be monitored. The scope of this work was to synthetize a sensitive and very selective molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for DXy detection in honey samples. Firstly, the synthesis of this biosensor was performed by casting a layer of carboxylate polyvinyl chloride (PVC-COOH) on the working surface of a gold screen-printed electrode (Au-SPE) in order to bind covalently the analyte under mild conditions. Secondly, DXy as template molecule was bounded to the activated carboxylic groups and the formation of MIP was performed by a biocompatible polymer by the mean of polyacrylamide matrix. Then, DXy was detected by measurements of differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). A non-imprinted polymer (NIP) prepared with the same conditions and without the use of template molecule was also performed. We have noticed that the fabricated biosensor exhibits a high sensitivity and a linear behavior between the regenerated current and the logarithmic concentrations of DXy from 0.1 pg.mL−1 to 1000 pg.mL−1. This technic was successfully applied to determine DX residues in honey samples with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.1 pg.mL−1 and an excellent selectivity when compared to the results of oxytetracycline (OXy) as analogous interfering compound. The proposed method is cheap, sensitive, selective, simple, and is applied successfully to detect DXy in honey with a recoveries of 87 % and 95 %. Considering these advantages, this system provides a further perspective for food quality control in industrial fields.
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.
Metagenomic Analysis and Pharmacokinetics of Phage Therapy in the Treatment of Bovine Subclinical Mastitis
Metagenomic analysis of milk samples collected from local cattle breed, kankrej (Bos indicus), Gir (Bos indicus) and Crossbred (Bos indicus X Bos taurus) cattle harbouring subclinical mastitis was carried out by next-generation sequencing (NGS) 454 GS-FLX technology. Around 56 different species including members of Enterobacteriales, Pseudomonadales, Bacillales and Lactobacillales with varying abundance were detected in infected milk. The interesting presence of bacteriophages against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter and Yersinia species were observed, especially Enterobacteria and E. coli phages (0∙32%) in Kankrej, Enterobacteria and Staphylococcus phages (1∙05%) in Gir and Staphylococcus phages (2∙32%) in crossbred cattle. NGS findings suggest that phages may be involved in imparting natural resistance of the cattle against pathogens. Further infected milk samples were subjected for bacterial isolation. Fourteen different isolates were identified, and DNA was extracted. Genes (Tet-K, Msr-A, and Mec-A) providing antibiotic resistance to the bacteria were screened by Polymerase Chain Reaction and results were validated with traditional antibiotic assay. Total 3 bacteriophages were isolated from nearby environment of the cattle farm. The efficacy of phages was checked against multi-drug resistant bacteria, identified by PCR. In-vivo study was carried out for phage therapy in mammary glands of female rats “Wister albino”. Mammary glands were infused with MDR isolates for 3 consecutive days. Recovery was observed in infected rats after intramammary infusion of sterile phage suspension. From day 4th onwards, level of C-reactive protein was significant increases up to day 12th . However, significant reduction was observed between days 12th to 18th post treatment. Bacteriophages have significant potential as antibacterial agents and their ability to replicate exponentially within their hosts and their specificity, make them ideal candidates for more sustainable mastitis control.
Dietary Ergosan as a Supplemental Nutrient on Growth Performance, and Stress in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)
In this study, the effects of different levels of Ergosan (control group (0), 2, 4 and 6 gr Ergosan per Kg diet) as a nutritional supplement were investigated on growth indices and stress in Zebrafish for 3 months. Larvae (4-day-old after hatching) were fed with experimental diet from the beginning of feeding until adult (adolescence) (average weight: 69.3 g, length: 5.1 cm). Different levels of Ergosan had no significant effect on rate survival (P < 0.05). The results showed that diet containing 6 gr Ergosan significantly caused the best FCR in Zebrafish (P < 0.05). By increasing the Ergosan diet, specific growth rate increased. Body weight gain and condition factor had significant differences (P < 0.05) as the highest and the lowest were observed in treatment 3 gr of Ergosan and control, respectively. The results showed that fish fed with experimental diet, had the highest resistance to environmental stresses compared to control, and the test temperature, oxygen, salinity and alkalinity samples containing 6 gr/kg, was significantly more resistance compared to the other treatments (P < 0.05). Overall, to achieve high resistance to environmental stress and increase final biomass using 6 gr/kg Ergosan in diet fish Zebrafish.
Controlling Dimensions and Shape of Carbon Nanotubes Using Nanoporous Anodic Alumina under Different Conditions
In situ synthesis of carbon nanotubes featuring different diameters (10-200 nm), lengths (1 to 100 µm) and periodically nanostructured shape was performed in a custom designed chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system using nanoporous anodic alumina (NAA) under different conditions. The morphology of the resulting CNTs/NAA composites and free-standing CNTs were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results confirm that highly ordered arrays of CNTs with precise control of nanotube dimensions in the range 20-200 nm with tube length in the range < 1 µm to > 100 μm and with periodically shaped morphology can be fabricated using nanostructured NAA templates prepared by anodization. This technique allows us to obtain tubes open at one / both ends with a uniform diameter along the pore length without using any metal catalyst. Our finding suggests that this fabrication strategy for designing new CNTs membranes and structures can be significant for emerging applications as molecular separation/transport, optical biosensing, and drug delivery.
Application of Human Biomonitoring and Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modelling to Quantify Exposure to Selected Toxic Elements in Soil
Current exposure models used in contaminated land risk assessment are highly conservative. Use of these models may lead to over-estimation of actual exposures, possibly resulting in negative financial implications due to un-necessary remediation. Thus, we are carrying out a study seeking to improve our understanding of human exposure to selected toxic elements in soil: arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb) resulting from allotment land-use. The study employs biomonitoring and physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling to quantify human exposure to these elements. We recruited 37 allotment users (adults > 18 years old) in Scotland, UK, to participate in the study. Concentrations of the elements (and their bioaccessibility) were measured in allotment samples (soil and allotment produce). Amount of produce consumed by the participants and participants’ biological samples (urine and blood) were collected for up to 12 consecutive months. Ethical approval was granted by the University of Reading Research Ethics Committee. PBPK models (coded in MATLAB) were used to estimate the distribution and accumulation of the elements in key body compartments, thus indicating the internal body burden. Simulating low element intake (based on estimated ‘doses’ from produce consumption records), predictive models suggested that detection of these elements in urine and blood was possible within a given period of time following exposure. This information was used in planning biomonitoring, and is currently being used in the interpretation of test results from biological samples. Evaluation of the models is being carried out using biomonitoring data, by comparing model predicted concentrations and measured biomarker concentrations. The PBPK models will be used to generate bioavailability values, which could be incorporated in contaminated land exposure models. Thus, the findings from this study will promote a more sustainable approach to contaminated land management.
Transcriptome Analysis of Dry and Soaked Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Seeds in Response to Fast Neutron Irradiation
Fast neutron irradiation (FNI) can cause mutations on plant genome but, in the most of cases, these irradiated plants have not shown significant characteristics phenotypically. In this study, we utilized RNA-Seq to generate a high-resolution transcriptome map of the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) genome effected by FNI. To quantify the different transcription levels in tomato irradiated by FNI, tomato seeds were irradiated by using MC-50 cyclotron (KIRAMS, Korea) for 0, 30 and 90 minutes, respectively. To investigate the effects on the pre-soaking condition, experimental groups were divided into dry and soaked seeds, which were soaked for 8 hours before irradiation. There was no noticeable difference in the percentage germination (PG) among dry seeds, while irradiated soaked seeds have about 10 % lower PG compared to the unirradiated control group. Using whole transcriptome sequencing by HiSeq 2000, we analyzed the differential gene expression in response to different time of FNI in dry and soaked seeds. More than 1.4 million base pair reads were mapped onto the tomato reference genome and the expression pattern differences between irradiated and unirradiated seeds were assessed. In 0, 30 and 90 minutes irradiation, 12,135, 28,495 and 28,675 transcripts were generated, respectively. Gene ontology analysis suggested the different enrichment of transcripts involved in response to different FNI. The present study showed that FNI effects on plant gene expression, which can become a new parameters for evaluating the responses against FNI on plants. In addition, the comparative analysis of differentially expressed genes in D and S seeds by FNI will also give us a chance to deep explore novel candidate genes for FNI, which could be a good model system to understand the mechanisms behind the adaption of plant to space biology research.
Extracellular Laccase Production by Co-culture between Galactomyces reessii IFO 10823 and Filamentous Fungal Strains Isolated from Fungus Comb Using Natural Inducer
Extracellular laccases are copper-containing microbial enzymes with many industrial biotechnological applications. This study evaluated the ability of nutrients in coconut coir to enhance the yield of extracellular laccase of Galactomyces reessii IFO 10823 and develop a co-culture between this yeast and other filamentous fungi isolated from the fungus comb of Macrotermes sp. The co-culture between G. reessii IFO 10823 and M. indicus FJ-M-5 (G3) gave the highest activity at 580.20 U/mL. When grown in fermentation media prepared from coconut coir and distilled water at 70% of initial moisture without supplement addition, G3 produced extracellular laccase of 113.99 U/mL.
Molecular Approach for the Detection of Lactic Acid Bacteria in the Kenyan Spontaneously Fermented Milk, Mursik
Many spontaneously fermented milk products are produced in Kenya, where they are integral to the human diet and play a central role in enhancing food security and income generation via small-scale enterprises. Fermentation enhances product properties such as taste, aroma, shelf-life, safety, texture, and nutritional value. Some of these products have demonstrated therapeutic and probiotic effects although recent reports have linked some to death, biotoxin infections, and esophageal cancer. These products are mostly processed from poor quality raw materials under unhygienic conditions resulting to inconsistent product quality and limited shelf-lives. Though very popular, research on their processing technologies is low, and none of the products has been produced under controlled conditions using starter cultures. To modernize the processing technologies for these products, our study aims at describing the microbiology and biochemistry of a representative Kenyan spontaneously fermented milk product, Mursik using modern biotechnology (DNA sequencing) and their chemical composition. Moreover, co-creation processes reflecting stakeholders’ experiences on traditional fermented milk production technologies and utilization, ideals and senses of value, which will allow the generation of products based on common ground for rapid progress will be discussed. Knowledge of the value of clean starting raw material will be emphasized, the need for the definition of fermentation parameters highlighted, and standard equipment employment to attain controlled fermentation discussed. This presentation will review the available information regarding traditional fermented milk (Mursik) and highlight our current research work on the application of molecular approaches (metagenomics) for the valorization of Mursik production process through starter culture/ probiotic strains isolation and identification, and quality and safety aspects of the product. The importance of the research and future research areas on the same subject will also be highlighted.
Production of Lignocellulosic Enzymes by Bacillus safensis LCX using Agro-Food Wastes in Solid State Fermentation
The increasing demand for renewable fuels and chemicals is pressuring manufacturing industry toward finding more sustainable cost-effective resources. Lignocellulose, such as agro-food wastes, is a suitable equivalent to petroleum for fine chemicals and fuels production. The complex structure of lignocellulose, however, requires a variety of enzymes in order to degrade its components into their respective building blocks that can be used further for the production of various value added products. This study aimed to isolate bacterial strain with the ability to produce a variety of lignocellulosic enzymes. One bacterial isolate was identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis as Bacillus safensis LCX found to have CMCase, xylanase, manganese peroxidase, lignin peroxidase, and laccase activities. The enzymes production was induced by growing Bacillus safensis LCX in solid state fermentation using wheat straw, wheat bran, and corn stover. The activities of enzymes were determined by specific colorimetric assays. This study presents Bacillus safensis LCX as a promising source for lignocellulosic enzymes. These findings can extend the knowledge on agro-food wastes valorization strategies toward a sustainable production of fuels and chemicals.
Aerobic Bioprocess Control Using Artificial Intelligence Techniques
This paper deals with the design of an intelligent control structure for a bioprocess of Hansenula polymorpha yeast cultivation. The objective of the process control is to produce biomass in a desired physiological state. The work demonstrates that the designed Hybrid Control Techniques (HCT) are able to recognize some bioprocess pattern evolution using especially trained neural network, to estimate the modeling parameters and to globally control the bioprocesses with hierarchically put into operation: an expert system and a fuzzy controller. The design of the control algorithm is presented as well as its tuning through realistic simulations. Taking in consideration the synergism of different paradigms like fuzzy logic, neural network, and symbolic artificial intelligence (AI), in this paper we present a real and fulfilled intelligent control architecture with application in bioprocess control.