Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology]]> vol. 57 num. 6 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Bioremediation of PCP by Trichoderma and Cunninghamella Strains Isolated from Sawdust]]> Four fungal isolates, SD12, SD14, SD19 and SD20 isolated from the aged sawdust grew on agar plates supplemented with PCP up to a concentration of 100 mg L-1. At high PCP concentration, isolate SD12 showed the highest radial growth rate of 10 mm day-1, followed by SD14 and SD19 both with 4.5 mm day-1 and SD20 with 4.2 mm day-1. Ultrastructural study on the effect of PCP on the PCP tolerant fungi using scanning electron microscope showed that high concentration of PCP caused the collapse of both fungal hyphae and spores. Among the four PCP tolerant fungi examined, isolate SD12 showed the least structural damage at high PCP concentration of 100 mg L-1. This fungal isolate was further characterized and identified as Cunninghamella sp. UMAS SD12. Preliminary PCP biodegradation trial performed in liquid minimal medium supplemented with 20 mg L-1 of PCP using Cunninghamella sp. UMAS SD12 showed that the degradation up to 51.7% of PCP in 15 days under static growth condition. <![CDATA[Characterisation of Cassava Bagasse and Composites Prepared by Blending with Low-Density Polyethylene]]> The main objective of this study was to characterise the cassava bagasse and to evaluate its addition in composites. Two cassava bagasse samples were characterised using physicochemical, thermal and microscopic techniques, and by obtaining their spectra in the mid-infrared region and analysing them by using x-ray diffraction. Utilising sorption isotherms, it was possible to establish the acceptable conditions of temperature and relative humidity for the storage of the cassava bagasse. The incorporation of cassava bagasse in a low-density polyethylene (LDP) matrix was positive, increasing the elasticity modulus values from 131.90 for LDP to 186.2 for 70% LDP with 30% SP bagasse. These results were encouraging because cassava bagasse could serve as a structural reinforcement, as well as having environmental advantages for its application in packaging, construction and automotive parts. <![CDATA[Commercial Biological Control Agents Targeted Against Plant-Parasitic Root-knot Nematodes]]> Root-knot nematodes are microscopic round worms, which cause severe agricultural losses. Their attacks affect the productivity by reducing the amount and the caliber of the fruits. Chemical control is widely used, but biological control appears to be a better solution, mainly using microorganisms to reduce the quantity of pests infecting crops. Biological control is developing gradually, and with time, more products are being marketed worldwide. They can be formulated with bacteria, viruses or with filamentous fungi, which can destroy and feed on phytoparasitic nematodes. To be used by the farmers, biopesticides must be legalized by the states, which has led to the establishment of a legal framework for their use, devised by various governmental organizations. <![CDATA[Immobilization of Beauveria bassiana Lipase on Silica Gel by Physical Adsorption]]> Extracellular lipase from Beauveria bassiana strain CG481 was immobilized by using thirteen different immobilization protocols. Silica gel was chosen as the most suitable adsorbent with 94.8% of activity yield. The adsorption on silica gel did not change the optimum pH (8.5) and temperature (45ºC) values of the free lipase (FL) for lipolytic activity, and it showed higher activities in extreme conditions (pH 9.0 to 10.5, 60ºC). The lipase immobilized on silica gel (ILS) showed enhanced stability at pH 7.0 after 120 h incubation (69.0%) when compared to FL (33.3%). The thermal stability was also enhanced by immobilization at 60ºC in aqueous (64.6%) and organic medium (95.1%), while FL showed only 40.6% of residual activity in aqueous medium and exhibited no activity for esterification reaction in n-heptane. The treatment of ILS with 0.8 M NaCl prevented lipase desorption while Triton X-100 (0.1%) resulted the enzyme leakage. The ILS was reused for four times for esterification reaction with 80.8% of initial activity. <![CDATA[Induction and Morpho-Ultrastructural Analysis of Organogenic Calli of a Wild Passionfruit]]> This work studied a new protocol for organogenic calli induction and characterization of the morphology and ultrastructure of callogenesis in leaf explants of Passiflora gibertii N. E. Brown, a native passion fruit species from Brazil. Calli induction was performed in different growth conditions (light and dark), different MS medium salt concentrations (MS and MS half strength) and the presence or absence of coconut water. The leaf explants maintained in the dark were more responsive to bud formation. In order to reduce spending on in vitro culture, the most suitable induction medium for P. gibertii organogenesis could, therefore be the MS half strength salt concentration medium maintained in the dark. The addition of coconut water to the culture medium was essential for both calli induction and bud formation. The morphological and ultrastructural features of the organogenic calli were isodiametric cells, characterized by an organized cellular system, nucleus with prominent nucleoli, presence of starch grains and dense cytoplasm rich in endoplasmic reticulum. The scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that buds were present on these calli. <![CDATA[In vitro Callus Induction and Plant Regeneration of Celosia argentea- An Important Medicinal Plant]]> Celosia argentea (Var.) cristata (Amaranthaceae) is a widely cultivated ornamental plant, which has antibacterial, astringent, haemostatic, hypertensive, ophthalmic, and parasitic significance. This study describes a protocol for in vitro callus induction and plant regeneration from leaf and stem explants of C. argentea using Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. Callus culture was initiated and established from seedling, leaf, and stem explants. Explants were cultured on MS medium supplemented with auxin alone (0.5 mg/L Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), 2, 4-Dicholorophenoxyacetic acid (2, 4-D). Green and red compact callus (98%) were induced using MS medium supplemented with 0.5 mg/L NAA and 1.0 mg/L Benzyladenine (BA). Two different concentrations (1.0 mg/L BA + 0.5 mg/L NAA and 1.0 mg/L BA + 1.0 mg/L NAA) successfully induced plant regeneration with multiple shoots (1.5 and 0.9 shoots per explants, respectively). Successful shoots were transferred to rooting medium supplemented with 1.0 mg/L Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) (80%) at 35th day. Acclimatization was done, which resulted in 90% of the plantlets surviving in garden soil. This protocol could be used to micropropagate C. argentea for conservation, commercial natural product production. The high frequency of callus indicated potential of C. argentea for secondary metabolite production (celosin) in pharmaceutical industry. <![CDATA[Anatomical Characters of Leave and Stem of Calea serrata Less., Asteraceae]]> The genus Calea belongs to the tribe Heliantheae and presents about 125 species. Calea serrata, popularly known as erva-de-cobra, chá-amargo and quebra-tudo, is an endemic species found in southern Brazil and is used in traditional medicine to treat ulcers and livers problems. The present work aimed to study the pharmacobotanical characters of leaves and stems of C. serrata for quality control purposes. The plant material was processed according to standard methods of light and scanning electron microscopy. Glandular capitate-stalked and capitate-sessile, uniseriate multicellular non-glandular trichome with tapered apical cell, conical non-glandular trichome, isobilateral mesophyll, secretory ducts near the endoderm and circular shape with six ribs in the stem were important characters, which contributed to the identification of the species. <![CDATA[Fabrication and Characterization of Gliclazide Loaded Microcapsules]]> This study aimed to formulate, characterize and evaluate the Gliclazide (GLZ) microcapsules prepared with sodium alginate, guar gum and pectin in different ratios by ionotropic-gelation method. The microcapsules were evaluated against different parameters such as particle size and shape, Carr's index, Hausner's ratio, rheological studies and drug release kinetics. Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetric (DSC) studies demonstrated the absence of any drug - polymers interaction. Promising characteristics were observed in rheological behavior and release kinetics. The size of microcapsules and percentage yield was in the range of 676 to 727 µm and 69 to 77%, respectively. Scanning electron micrographs revealed that microcapsules were discrete, spherical and free flowing. Entrapment efficiency and uniform drug release kinetics were some of the probable characteristics depicting the novel formulation design of Gliclazide microcapsules. <![CDATA[Ovopel and Carp Pituitary Extract as Spawning Inducers in Males of the Amazon Catfish Leiarius marmoratus (Gill, 1970)]]> The objective of this study was to evaluate Ovopel and carp pituitary extract as spawning inducers in the males of the Amazon catfish L. marmoratus. The following treatments, applied in a single dose, were studied: 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 Ovopel pellet/kg live weight, and 2.5 mg carp pituitary extract/kg live weight. Each treatment was repeated four times. No significant difference in sperm volume, motility and vigor, time of motility, sperm count, or percentage of normal and abnormal spermatozoa was observed between the treatments. There was also no significant difference in terms of primary or secondary sperm defects, except for the secondary defect of loose heads, which was less frequent in the treatments using 0.4 and 0.6 Ovopel pellet/kg live weight. It was concluded that Ovopel could replace carp pituitary extract for induction spawning in the males of the Amazon catfish L. marmoratus. <![CDATA[Pharmacodynamic and Pharmacokinetic Studies of β-Cyclodextrin:Dexamethasone Acetate Complexes in Mice]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vivo activity of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of a suspension of the complex composed of dexamethasone acetate (DMA) with β-cyclodextrin in comparison to a suspension of the pure DMA. Solid complexes prepared by different methods were evaluated in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics studies. The pharmacodynamic effect was investigated although the capacity of the inhibited the inflammation. Models of abdominal constriction, carrageenan-induced paw oedema and formalin induced licking were used. The study of the pharmacodynamic comparison of free DMA and products of β-CD:DMA demonstrated no significant difference in the majority of the tests performed. Plasma concentrations of DMA and DMA:β-CD were assayed by HPLC. A significant (p &gt; 0.05) decrease in the relative bioavailability was obtained with the suspension containing the DMA:β-CD complex as measured by DMA plasma levels. The area under the curve (AUC) of the suspension of DMA was higher than that obtained with the suspension of the complexes. The pharmacokinetic evaluation of dexamethasone carried out on mice in the present study showed that complexed DMA with β-cyclodextrin modifieds some parameters related to the phases of absorption and elimination of this drug. <![CDATA[Protein Expression and Codon 72 Polymorphism of TP53 Gene in Triple Negative Breast Cancer]]> A subgroup of tumor that has received attention is triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which presents phenotype of negative estrogen receptor, negative progesterone receptor and has no overexpression of HER2. TP53 acts as a tumor suppressor limiting the proliferation of damaged cells. A polymorphic site (rs1042522) of TP53 encodes either an arginine or a proline amino acid, but its biological significance remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate this variant and its expression in search for a possible involvement in TNBC susceptibility and clinical outcome. Genetic polymorphism was evaluated in 50 patients and 115 controls by PCR based methodology and immunohistochemistry was done with monoclonal antibody. Case-control study showed no positive or negative association (OR= 0.95; CI95%= 0.48-1.89). Comparison of genotypes and clinical outcome showed no significant results. Despite most of patients presented p53 positive staining by immunohistochemistry, there was no significant association in relation to prognostic parameters. Results demonstrated a lack of association between codon 72 polymorphism, susceptibility and prognosis of TNBC. Immunohistochemistry analysis should be done more carefully, since most of the patients had the somatic mutation of p53, which could be an indicator of prognostic value in TNBC. <![CDATA[Testicular Histomorphometric Evaluation of Zebu Bull Breeds]]> The objective of this study was to evaluate the quantitative histology and testicular biometrics in zebu bulls of different breeds. Testicular fragments of Nelore (n=10), Polled Nelore (n=6), Gir (n=5), Guzerat (n=5) and Tabapuã bulls (n=5) were used. The fragments were perfusion-fixed in Karnovsky solution, embedded in glycol methacrylate and stained with toluidine blue-1% sodium borate. The Nelore animals had a higher tubular volumetric proportion (85.2%) and greater height of the seminiferous epithelium (73.2 µm) than the Gir, Guzerat and Tabapuã breeds. The Nelore animals also had a higher volumetric proportion of Leydig cells (5.2%) than the Guzerat and Tabapuã breeds. There was no significant difference for any of these parameters between the Nelore and Polled Nelore breeds. The gonadosomatic index, seminiferous tubule diameter, cross-sectional area of the seminiferous tubule and tubule length (total length and length per gram of testicular parenchyma) did not vary among the breeds studied. The morphometric parameters evaluated suggested that the genetic selection applied to the Nelore and Polled Nelore breeds improved the efficiency of spermatogenesis in these breeders. <![CDATA[Experimental Design Applied to the Optimization and Partial Characterization of Pectin Liase from a Newly Isolated Penicillium brasilianum]]> Penicillium brasilianum was previously isolated from tea and identified by molecular biology technique. A Plackett-Burman design, followed by a complete second order design was used for the screening of most important factors and to maximize the pectin liase (PMGL) activity, respectively. The maximum PMGL activity by P. brasilianum achieved was 9.0 U/mL after 48 h of cultivation in a medium containing pectin (33.0 g/L), yeast extract (30.0 g/L) and potassium phosphate (2.0 g/L) at 30ºC, with a stirring rate of 180 rpm, initial pH 5.5 and 5x106 spores/mL inoculum size. The kinetic evaluation in terms of substrate consumption demonstrated that the maximum production of PMGL was at 72 h, and 40% of the total organic carbon, 25% of the nitrogen, 88% of the magnesium, 13% of the potassium and 66% of the iron were consumed. The pH remained almost stable during the whole period of production (5.33 to 4.9). The partial characterization of the crude PMGL enzyme extract showed optimal pH and temperature of 5.5 and 37°C, respectively. <![CDATA[Genetic Diversity of Some Capparis L. Species Growing in Syria]]> This work investigated the genetic diversity and relationships among Capparis species growing in Syria using IRAP and ISSR techniques. Forty-seven samples of three Capparis species genotypes were collected from 21 different locations in Syria. The genotypes were morphologically identified based on the descriptions available in the literature. When IRAP technique was used, an average of 71.5% of the amplified fragments were polymorphic compared to 82.04% in ISSR. Morphological characterization along with the cluster and PCoA analyses of the data divided the studied genotypes into three groups. The groups included genotypes identified as Capparis spinosa L, C. sicula Duh., and C. aegyptia Lam. Based on the morphological description, molecular studies and statistical analyses of this study, C. aegyptia could be suggested as a separate species and not a varietal rank of C. spinosa (C. spinosa var. aegyptia (Lam.). Two samples (Alep1 and Idl) were not placed in any of the three distinctive groups, despite their closeness morphologically to C. spinosa. In PCoA analysis, sample Alep1 came between C. sicula and C. spinosa and Idl was placed between C. sicula and C. aegyptia. Although hybridization between Capparis species could occur, it was not clear from the present study if these two genotypes were hybrids. <![CDATA[Isolation and Identification of Cellulolytic Bacteria from the Gut of Three Phytophagus Insect Species]]> The cellulolytic bacteria from the gut of three different phytophagous insects were studied to isolate novel cellulolytic organism for biofuel industry. Among the threse, gut of P. quatuordecimpunctata larvae contained both highest no of total bacterial count (6.8x107 CFU/gut) and cellulolytic bacteria (5.42x103 CFU/gut). Fifteen different isolates were obtained from the gut of O. velox, A. miliaris and P. quatuordecimpunctata. All the isolates produced clear zone in CMC medium staining with Congo red. The isolates included Gram positive Enterococcus, Microbacterium and Gram negative Aeromonas, Erwinia, Serretia, Flavobacterium, Acenitobacter, Klebsiella, Yersinia, Xenorhabdus, Psedomonas and Photorhabdus. Out of the fifteen isolated and identified bacterial species, twelve bacterial species were novel being reported for first time as having cellulase activity. <![CDATA[Role of Light and Dark Cycle and Different Temperatures in the Regulation of Growth and Protein Expression in Oscillatoria agardhii Strain]]> The cyanobacterium Oscillatoria agardhii was isolated from the fresh water Mawatha lake, Jaipur and was grown in Zarrouk's medium at 25 ± 2°C, illuminated with white fluorescent light at the intensity of 2 500 lux with 12:12 h light and dark photoperiod. The effects of photoperiod and temperature on the growth and protein expression by Oscillatoria agardhii were studied under different controlled culture conditions (ALR, ALC, CLR, CLC, and NDL), measuring optical density, cell count and dry weight. Protein content was measured quantitatively by Bradford assay and qualitatively by SDS-PAGE. The densitometric analysis was also carried out for the measurement of the expression level of different proteins/peptides under different culture conditions. Maximum growth and protein content were observed in ALR condition while minimum was in the CLC. Alternate light and dark periods proved efficient as contrasting banding patterns were observed with many new unique polypeptides such as 32, 36.3, 47.9, 60.8, and 67.0 kDa, whereas, expressions of three polypeptides of 57.2, 110.1, and 117.3 kDa were inhibited in constant light cultures. <![CDATA[Size-associated Variation and Factors Affecting the Morphology of Brown Bodies in Glycera tridactyla (Polychaeta:Glyceridae)]]> Size-associated variations in brown body morphology (size and shape) were studied from the individuals of Glycera tridactyla. Variables related to size, length (BL) and width (BW) of the brown bodies were measured. On the basis of these measurements, other variables such as the surface area (SA), volume (V), surface area/volume ratio (SA/V) and elongation degree (ED) were calculated. Brown body shape was quantified by the elongation degree. The immature brown bodies were significantly smaller than the mature bodies, and therefore the smaller bodies had a higher SA/V. Results obtained from the regression analysis showed that there was a significant relationship between all the variables with the exception of SA/V:BW for the immature bodies and ED: BL for both groups of the bodies. The body size (proboscis length) of the worm and the sampling time (months) were the affecting factors on size and shape of the brown body. Brown bodies tend to be elongated as the proboscis length increased. The variation in size and/or shape of the brown bodies could refer to an adaptation to the movement along the coelomic fluid. <![CDATA[Sub-lethal Effects of Diazinon on Hematological Indices and Blood Biochemical Parameters in Indian Carp, Cirrhinus mrigala (Hamilton)]]> Indian carp (Cirrhinus mrigala) exposed to two sub-lethal concentrations (0.815 mg/L and 1.63 mg/L) of diazinon for 30 days showed a significant decrease in erythrocyte count, hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, plasma levels of total protein, albumin, globulin, activity of enzyme acetylcholinesterase and a significant increase in plasma glucose levels when compared with controlled fish (P&lt;0.05). Compared to the controlled fish, leukocyte count decreased significantly in fish exposed to both sub-lethal concentrations and the plasma activities of enzyme asparate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase increased significantly after 20 and 30 days in fish exposed to 0.815 mg/L of diazinon, while the activities of these enzymes in fish exposed to 1.63 mg/L of diazinon increased significantly at all sampling periods (P&lt;0.05). On the other hand, the plasma activity of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase decreased significantly in both diazinon treated fish groups after 10 days of exposure (P&lt;0.05) and returned to the normal value after 20 and 30 days of exposure. In conclusion, long-term exposure to diazinon at sub-lethal concentrations induces severe physiological alterations in C. mrigala that may potentially disrupt their survival in their natural habitat. <![CDATA[Decontamination of Pig Carcasses Using Water Pressure and Lactic Acid]]> The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of different water pressures and concentrations of lactic acid on microbial counts (mesophilic bacteria, enterobacteria and Salmonella) on pig carcasses without contamination and contaminated carcasses, before and after the last shower and before being cooled. The tests were carried out using 4, 3 and 2 bar water pressure, and 2, 1 and 0% lactic acid concentration. In general, both the pressure in the shower and lactic acid had a positive effect by reducing the microbial count. The interaction between the pressure and lactic acid caused the largest reduction in carcasses surface count for mesophiles. With regard to enterobacteria on contaminated carcasses, the most important variable was the lactic acid concentration and in uncontaminated carcasses, it was water pressure. The use of 8 bar pressure of the wash water without lactic acid caused a reduction in mesophilic bacteria and enterobacteria, for both the contaminated and uncontaminated carcasses, with results statistically equal to each other, and significantly lower than the initial counts. The water pressure at 8 bar reduced the percentage of carcasses with Salmonella in contaminated carcasses. <![CDATA[Growth Characteristics Modeling of Mixed Culture of Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus using Response Surface Methodology and Artificial Neural Network]]> Different culture conditions viz. additional carbon and nitrogen content, inoculum size and age, temperature and pH of the mixed culture of Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus were optimized using response surface methodology (RSM) and artificial neural network (ANN). Kinetic growth models were fitted for the cultivations using a Fractional Factorial (FF) design experiments for different variables. This novel concept of combining the optimization and modeling presented different optimal conditions for the mixture of B. bifidum and L. acidophilus growth from their one variable at-a-time (OVAT) optimization study. Through these statistical tools, the product yield (cell mass) of the mixture of B. bifidum and L. acidophilus was increased. Regression coefficients (R2) of both the statistical tools predicted that ANN was better than RSM and the regression equation was solved with the help of genetic algorithms (GA). The normalized percentage mean squared error obtained from the ANN and RSM models were 0.08 and 0.3%, respectively. The optimum conditions for the maximum biomass yield were at temperature 38°C, pH 6.5, inoculum volume 1.60 mL, inoculum age 30 h, carbon content 42.31% (w/v), and nitrogen content 14.20% (w/v). The results demonstrated a higher prediction accuracy of ANN compared to RSM. <![CDATA[Modeling the Growth of Byssochlamys fulva on Solidified Apple Juice at Different Temperatures]]> The aim of this study was to establish primary and secondary models to describe the growth kinetics of Byssochlamys fulva on solidified apple juice at different temperatures. B. fulva was inoculated on solidified apple juice at 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 °C. Linear-with-breakpoint, Baranyi and Roberts, and Huang primary models (without upper asymptote) were fitted to the data, and they showed good ability to describe the growth kinetics. B. fulva showed longer adaptation time on apple juice than on culture medium, but growth rates were similar as reported in the literature. The dependence of µmax and λ parameters on temperature was described with Square Root and Arrhenius-Davey secondary models, respectively. These models were important to establish process/storage conditions and apple juice shelf life. <![CDATA[An Innovative Vessel for Research Studies at Amazon as a Potential Support for Sustainable Development and Conservation of the Region]]> This study proposes an innovative and demonstrably necessary vessel intended for the research and logistic support of scientific or non-scientific activities in the Amazon, designed in accordance with the environmental and geographical requirements and characteristics of the region (possibly applicable to other similar hydrographic basins). The study also demonstrates the existence of a demand (actual and potential) for the infrastructure proposed. This infrastructure could subsidize the efforts devoted to the expansion of knowledge about the region, since many areas of science, institutions and business segments could benefit from its implementation. The access to knowledge could attract private investments with the perspective of developing business whose origin has been a rational and sustainable exploitation of the natural potential of the region. <![CDATA[Histopathological Alterations in Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) Gills Caused by Thiamethoxam]]> This work aimed to study the effect of new neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on the histological structure of common carp (Cyprinus carpio, L.) gills. Three experimental groups of fish were treated with 6.6, 10 and 20 mg/l thiamethoxam in laboratory conditions. Results showed different histological changes in the gill epithelium, which included lamellar lifting, edema, proliferation of the glandular cells and epithelium, covering the gill filament, fusion and degenerative alterations. The blood circulatory system showed mainly vasodilatation. All thiamethoxam concentrations activated compensatory-adaptive mechanisms, which caused pathological changes in the gills. Moreover, there was a tendency towards the enhancement of the gill histological changes, whose degree of expression was proportional to the increasing thiamethoxam concentrations. <![CDATA[Total Phenolic Contents and Antioxidant Activity in Oxidized Leaves of Mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hil)]]> Ilex paraguariensis is a native species to South America. Its economic importance is in the use of its leaves and twigs in the processing of a product popularly known as "chimarrão". The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlations between some physico-chemical process parameters in the oxidation of I. paraguariensis leaves oxidation. The leaves of Maté with age 1.0, 6.5 and 12.0 months were subjected to an oxidation process for 3 h under different relative humidity conditions (80, 90 and 99%) at 26°C. The extracts were evaluated using the experimental design techniques to maximize the oxidation conditions for the total polyphenols, antioxidant capacity, water activity and color. The condition of 90% humidity and leaf age 6.5 months resulted in lower lightness and yellow color of the product. Green color was not significantly influenced by the studied parameters. The highest levels of total phenols and antioxidant potential were found when the leaf age was one month and humidity was 90%. Thus, it could be concluded that the air humidity of the chamber and leaf age influenced the oxidation process of the leaves of Maté as well as the antioxidant capacity of the extract obtained. <![CDATA[Trends in Mean Annual Streamflows in Serra da Mantiqueira Environmental Protection Area]]> The aim of this study was to detect trends in the mean annual streamflow in watersheds of Serra da Mantiqueira Environmental Protection Area, an important Brazilian conservation area located between Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro States. Historical series of four selected streamgage stations were analyzed for the periods of 1980-1998 and 1980-2009, using the Mann-Kendall and Regional Mann-Kendall tests. The results showed that the mean annual streamflows of Serra da Mantiqueira Environmental Protection Area watersheds did not change during the complete period of 1980-2009. The tests detected statistically significant trends of reduction of mean annual streamflow during the 1980-1998 period. The confrontation of this result with the inexistence of rainfall trends during the same period suggested that the streamflow changes detected were consequences of changes in the watersheds physical characteristics, and/or increases in water abstraction for multiple uses.