Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology]]> vol. 60 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Effect of nutrients on total lipid content and fatty acids profile of <strong><em>Scenedesmus obliquus</em></strong>]]> ABSTRACT The effect of nutrients on the total lipid content and fatty acid profile of Scenedesmus obliquus isolated from the south coast of the Caspian Sea was evaluated. The nutritional compositions of the media impacted the growth rate and biomass of S. obliquus that ranged from 0.175 day-1 to 0.209 day-1and 0.92 gr·l-1 to 1.79 gr·l-1, respectively. The alga grew better in the medium which was characterized by higher levels of sodium and trace elements such as Fe, Mn, Mo, and Co and poor in N and P as compared with the other media. The highest level of the total lipid (32%) and the highest values of saturated fatty acids, in particular palmitic acid also were positively correlated with these nutrients. Peaks in polyunsaturated fatty acids (43.7 %), especially α-linolenic acid (28.4%) were related to N and P, but its correlation with K and Mg was more evident. The most important factors correlated with high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids were also N and P, followed by K and Mg to a lesser extent. This study demonstrated that the same algal strain may be a source of different amount of fatty acids, depending on the composition of the culture medium. <![CDATA[Functional Genes of Microorganisms, Comprehending the Dynamics of Agricultural Ecosystems]]> ABSTRACT The microbial composition of different types,in ecosystems (including agro-ecosystems), has been investigated in a rapidly growing number of studies in the past few years. The importance of microorganisms, regarding the maintenance and stability of nutrients in agroecosystems, is a key to maintain the sustainability of a crop. Molecular tools to study microbial communities are possible through many methods such as RISA, DGGE, TGGE, clone libraries, T-RFLP, RAPD, SSCP and more recently NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing). DGGE is widely employed to characterize the diversity and the community dynamics of microorganisms in the environment, making possible to find out specific groups through functional genes, allowing access to data that cannot be obtained by cultural methods. The aim of this paper is to review the functional groups related to agroecosystems and to indicate the critical choice of DNA primers pairs and targeted DNA regions that may be used in PCR-based methods such as the DGGE technique in order to evaluate the microbial communities in a variety of environments. <![CDATA[Seasonal abundance of <em>Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata</em> (Fab.) on <em>Solanum melongena</em> L. and natural occurrence of its two hymenopteran parasitoids]]> ABSTRACT The 28-spotted hadda beetle Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata Fab. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is a poly-phagous pest, commonly infesting solanacious crops including brinjal, Solanum melongena L. Upon its severe infestation on brinjal, it causes considerable damage to the foliage and also to the calyx of fruits. The studies were made to record the seasonal abundance of hadda beetle and identification of its natural enemies present in the region for two consecutive years. The pooled data for two years showed that the maximum number of H. vigintioctopunctata egg clusters on brinjal were recorded in the 27th (0.40 egg cluster/ plant), followed by grub population in 35th (3.78 grubs/ plant), pupae in 33rd and 39th (0.83 pupae/ plant) and adult beetles in 36th (5.48 adults/ plant) standard meteorological weeks, respectively. It was observed that the key meteorological factors had 35.9%, 87.3%, 66.8% and 81.9% effect on the abundance of egg clusters, grubs, pupae and adults respectively in summer planted brinjal crop. Two natural enemies of hadda beetle viz. Tetrastichus sp. (egg parasitoid) and Pediobius foveolatus (pupal parasitoid) were recorded. The maximum parasitisation by Tetrastichus sp. and P. foveolatus on the egg clusters and pupae was recorded 22.64% and 6.62% respectively, during the month of August (34th and 35th standard meteorological week respectively). Further, the morphometric parameters of these two adult parasitoids were recorded and greater morphometric variability was observed in P. foveolatus in comparison to Tetrastichus sp. <![CDATA[Expression analysis of three immune genes Interferon-gamma, Mx and Interferon regulatory factor-1 of Japanese flounder ( <strong><em>Paralichthys olivaceus</em></strong> )]]> ABSTRACT IFN-γ (Interferon-gamma), Mx and IRF-1 (Interferon regulatory factor-1) are main immune-related genes and they play important roles in the innate immune system of vertebrates. In this study, the expression level of the three immune-related genes in twelve tissues of normal adult Japanese flounder was detected using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Thirteen time points (3h, 6h, 9h, 12h, 24h, 36h, 48h, 60h, 72h, 84h, 96h, 108h, 120h) were selected to analyze the expression of IFN-γ, Mx and IRF-1 in spleen, head kidney, liver of Japanese flounder infected with Lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The Japanese flounder IFN-γ, Mx and IRF-1 genes were differently expressed in these tissues and had high expression levels in classical fish immune organs like spleen and head kidney. It was found that the highest expression levels of the Japanese flounder IFN-γ were detected at 24h in spleen, 36h in head kidney and 48h in liver after challenge with LPS. Interestingly, the highest expression levels of Mx in spleen and head kidney were both at 36h and IRF-1 in spleen and liver were both at 24h. The highest expression level of Mx in liver was at 48h and IRF-1 in head kidney was at 12h. The study provides a basis for further research on immune mechanism of IFN-γ, Mx, IRF-1 and the production of recombinant IFN-γ, Mx or IRF-1 used in Japanese flounder cultivation in future. <![CDATA[<strong><em>In Vitro</em></strong> Assessment of Antileishmanial Activity of Natamycin and Nystatin]]> ABSTRACT The present study was aimed to evaluate the in vitro antileishmanial activity of four different concentrations of natamycin and nystatin by using MTT 3-(4.5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2.5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide reduction assay. In vitro antileishmanial activity revealed that the IC50 of natamycin (80.49 μg/ml) and nystatin (105.7 μg/ml) was less than that of sodium stibogluconate (127.9 μg/ml), and more than amphotericin B (18.91 μg/ml). <![CDATA[Hepatoprotective Effect of Quercetin Pretreatment Against Paracetamol-Induced Liver Damage and Partial Hepatectomy in Rats]]> ABSTRACT Quercetin has potent antioxidant action and a hepatoprotective role. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hepatoprotective action of quercetin pretreatment in paracetamol-induced liver damage (PILD) and structural injury resulting from partial hepatectomy (PH). In the first model, Wistar rats received oral quercetin (50mg/kg/day) during 8 days. On the 8th day, 3g/kg paracetamol were added. In the second model, the same quercetin dose was given during 7 days and rats were submitted to PH on the 8th day. Blood samples were obtained for determination of enzyme levels. Liver, heart, kidney and lung tissue were also collected for assessment of quercetin biodistribution and/or histological analyses. The results obtained after PILD were more pronounced at 24 hours, as reflected by the reduction of serum ALT levels and by the lower concentration of quercetin in liver at this time point. Quercetin also had a protective effect in groups submitted to PH, as shown by decreased ALT levels after 18 hours, and of AST levels after 18 and 36h. The reduction in serum AST and ALT levels suggest that treatment with quercetin is useful as a preoperative pharmacologic measure and for prevention of liver damage caused by drugs. <![CDATA[Application of Next-generation Sequencing in Clinical Molecular Diagnostics]]> ABSTRACT Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is the catch all terms that used to explain several different modern sequencing technologies which let us to sequence nucleic acids much more rapidly and cheaply than the formerly used Sanger sequencing, and as such have revolutionized the study of molecular biology and genomics with excellent resolution and accuracy. Over the past years, many academic companies and institutions have continued technological advances to expand NGS applications from research to the clinic. In this review, the performance and technical features of current NGS platforms were described. Furthermore, advances in the applying of NGS technologies towards the progress of clinical molecular diagnostics were emphasized. General advantages and disadvantages of each sequencing system are summarized and compared to guide the selection of NGS platforms for specific research aims. <![CDATA[Epidemiology Study on <em>P53</em> (Rs1614984) C>T Mutation in Cigarette Smokers]]> ABSTRACT Epidemiology data have established that smoking is a prime threat for the cancers, largely lung cancer. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs),P53 SNPs have been found to be associated with the predisposition of different cancers. Their decreased expression is reported in breast and lung cancer patients. p53 (rs1614984) had been reported to be linked with the SNPs found associated with breast cancer. The primary aim of this study to determine the association of p53 variant rs1614984 with the cigarette smokers and smoking related cancers in smokers. Among the smokers, 38% were found with CC genotype, 55% were heterozygous CT and 7% were TT, respectively. The homozygous TT genotype was seen in lower percentage of smokers (7%) when compared to non-smokers (8%) whereas; Significant difference was not observed when encompassed by CC, CT and TT genotypes (χ2 = 4.892, p=0.087). However, CC vs CT genotype showed a significant difference between smokers and non-smokers (p=0.031, OR 1.447 (1.035-2.025) and the dominant model CC vs CT+TT was also significantly different among smoker and non-smokers (p=0.047, OR 1.39 (1.004-1.924). Furthermore, smokers are at the risk of developing variety of diseases including lung cancer. Our finding suggests a higher percentage of heterozygous CT genotype in smokers when compared to non-smokers. Therefore, this finding gives a clue that the transition mutation of C&gt;T (rs1614984) may leads to the lung diseases including cancer in smokers. However, there will be a need of more extensive and elaborated study to set down the aspect of p53(rs1614984) C&gt;T in lung cancer among smokers. <![CDATA[Anti-CD3 Antibody Ameliorates Transfusion-Associated Graft-Versus-Host Disease in a Chemotherapy-Based Mouse Model With Busulfan and Fludarabine]]> ABSTRACT To establish a transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease (TA-GVHD) mouse model with busulfan and fludarabine for effective treatment evaluation. BALB/c (H-2d) mice were injected with busulfan (15 mg/kg) and fludarabine (30 mg/kg) twice a day for 4 days. The mice were transfused with 106 T cell-depleted bone marrow (TCD-BM )and cells in different groups 3 days after chemotherapy: syngeneic BALB/c, MHC minor mismatch DBA/2 (H-2d), or MHC major mismatch C57BL/6(H2-b). Recipient BALB/c mice were injected with either blood only or blood+splenocyte. TA-GVHD was monitored in terms of body weight loss, clinical scores, and survival. Dexamethasone (50 mg/kg), cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg), cyclosporine A (30 mg/kg), and anti-CD3 (1 mg/kg) were injected to each group to examine the treatments. Blood transfusion alone is insufficient to induce TA-GVHD in a chemotherapy-based mouse model. A MHC-mismatched TA-GVHD model can be induced by splenocyte and blood transfusion. This MHC-mismatched TA-GVHD model was resistant to dexamethasone treatment. Treatment based on anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody slightly ameliorated TA-GVHD. Treatment effectiveness was associated with T-cell depletion following activation by anti-CD3. Busulfan and fludarabine chemotherapy regimen can be used to establish a TA-GVHD mouse model. Anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody is a potential alternative to treat TA-GVHD. <![CDATA[Assessment of the Toxicity of Sub-chronic Low and High Doses of the Bio-insecticide Spinosad on the Liver, Kidney and the Cerebellum in Male Albino Mice]]> ABSTRACT Spinosad (SPD) is a highly selective insect control product. However, it was reported that SPD has toxicity toward other non-target organisms. This study was conducted to address the toxic effect of two sub-chronic low and high doses; 35 and 350 mg/kg SPD on some biochemical, histological and immunohistochemical parameters of the liver, kidney and cerebellum. Thirty-six male Swiss mice were divided into three groups of 12 mice each; first group (G1) served as a control, second group (G2) received a low sub-chronic dose of SPD that is equal to 35 mg/kg, and third group (G3) received a high sub-chronic dose of SPD that is equal to 350 mg/kg. The results showed that mice which were received 350 mg/kg SPD showed a significant decrease in the body weight and a significant increase in their relative kidney and spleen weights. They also showed a significant increase in alanine aminotransferase (ALT), triglycerides and urea levels. Histopathological examination showed cytoplasmic degeneration and cell necrosis in the liver and kidney. Immunohistochemical examination showed that cerebellum illustrated several neurodegenerative changes and a down-regulation of synaptophysin-Syp. In conclusion, exposure to a high dose of SPD that is equal to 350 mg/kg could cause a marked toxicity on the liver, kidney and cerebellum in male albino mice. <![CDATA[Optimized Exon-Exon Junction Library and its Application on Rodents' Brain Transcriptome Analysis]]> ABSTRACT Background: Alternative splicing (AS), which plays an important role in gene expression and functional regulation, has been analyzed on genome-scale by various bioinformatic approaches based on RNA-seq data. Compared with the huge number of studies on mouse, the AS researches approaching the rat, whose genome is intermedia between mouse and human, were still limited. To enrich the knowledge on AS events in rodents' brain, we perfomed a comprehensive analysis on four transcriptome libraries (mouse cerebrum, mouse cerebellum, rat cerebrum, and rat cerebellum), recruiting high-throughput sequencing technology. An optimized exon-exon junction library approach was introduced to adapt the longer RNA-seq reads and to improve mapping efficiency. Results: In total, 7,106 mouse genes and 2,734 rat genes were differentially expressed between cerebrum and cerebellum, while 7,125 mouse genes and 1,795 rat genes exhibited varieties on transcript variant level. Only half of the differentially expressed exon-exon junctions could be reflected at gene expression level. Functional cluster analysis showed that 32 pathways in mouse and 9 pathways in rat were significantly enriched, and 6 of them were in both. Interestingly, some differentially expressed transcript variants did not show difference on gene expression level, such as PLCβ1 and Kcnma1. Conclusion: Our work provided a case study of a novel exon-exon junction strategy to analyze the expression of genes and isoforms, helping us understand which transcript contributes to the overall expression and further functional change. <![CDATA[First report of Epibiont ciliates (Ciliophora: Peritrichia) living on larvae of Leptophlebiidae (Ephemeroptera) from Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Epibiosis was understood as a commensalism relation between two or more organisms. However, some studies have shown that epibionts can cause deleterious effects to their host. Here, we reported the first report of epibiosis between protozoa Epibiont ciliates (Ciliophora: Peritrichia) living on larvae of Ephemeroptera from Brazil. <![CDATA[Production and Optimization of Killer Toxin in Debaryomyces hansenii Strains]]> ABSTRACT Postharvest diseases of fruits and vegetables result in critical losses of production in worldwide. The losses often are caused by fungi and nowadays, most fungal pathogens are controlled by several strategies such as the use of fungicides. However, most of the fungicides are chemical-based compounds and are dangerous to human health and the nature. Therefore, the discovery of healthy and reliable strategies is crucial to control of fungal pathogens. In the paper, it was aimed to evaluate and characterize yeast isolates previously isolated from dairy products for the production of killer toxin. A total of 18 yeasts have been found to produce antagonistic behavior against susceptible fungal species. All of the yeasts expressing killer character were characterized by using several molecular techniques, and isolates TEM8 and 17 identified as D. hansenii have showed the strongest antifungal activities. Improvement of killer toxin production by the yeasts also has been studied, and the highest production was found in YMB medium containing NaCl (6%) and DMSO (1000 ppm) at pH 4.0 and 20oC. The killer characters of these yeasts have indicated the potential use of the yeasts as antagonists for the control of postharvest diseases in agricultural industries. <![CDATA[Using DNA barcodes to identify forensically important species of Diptera in Espírito Santo State, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Accurate insect specimen identification is usually a crucial first step in a forensic entomological analysis. It is traditionally done by morphological classification using identification keys. However, due to sensibility limitations in the identification of animal species based only on their morphology, new methods have been developed, including species identification by DNA barcodes. The objective of this study was to identify forensically important species of Diptera in Espirito Santo state using DNA barcodes. For this, adult flies were collected in Espirito Santo, Southeast Region of Brazil. After DNA extraction, COI gene was amplified and sequenced. All sequences were matched to BOLD platform and alternatively to GenBank MegaBLAST. As result, 281 adult flies were collected and identified morphologically. From these, 36% of samples were classified as Calliphoridae, 34% of Muscidae and 30% of Sarcophagidae. Approximately 10% of all collected samples were analyzes by DNA. It was possible to identify only 35.7% of tested samples, probably due to lack of samples deposited in databases. Therefore, more efforts should be made to deposit a greater variety of dipterous in databases to allow the use of this technique in forensic routine, especially in BOLD. <![CDATA[Gonadosomatic index and some hematological parameters in African catfish <strong> <em>Clarias gariepinus</em></strong> (Burchell, 1822) as affected by feed type and temperature level]]> ABSTRACT The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of different feeds/nutrients and temperature on the gonadal development of Clarias gariepinus. The gonadosomatic index (GSI) and blood parameters including red blood cell count (RBCs), white blood cell count (WBCs), hemoglobin (Hgb) level, hematocrit (HCT), platelets (PLT) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) were investigated. Four types of fish feed of 36% protein content [D1(fish meal), D2 (soybean meal), D3 (peameal) and D4 (commercial tilapia feed)] and 3 different levels of temperature (T1(24℃), T2(28℃) and T3(32℃) were tried in this study for a duration of 4 months. The mean values were as follows: female GSI (14.68 ± 4.86), male GSI (0.70 ± 0.32), RBCs x 106(2.45± 0.64), WBCs x 103(9.28 ± 2.34), Hgb (12.42± 2.21g/dl), HCT (29.06 ± 3.54%), PLT (90.75 ± 9.18/mm3), and MCV (118.08 ± 10.3 g/l). Fish meal diet revealed the most significant (p&lt;0.05) increase in weight gain, female GSI, and also exerted significant increases on most of the blood parameters. This study revealed that animal-based protein diet and temperature around 28℃ were the critical requirements for the physiological performance and relative gonadal weight of C. gariepinus. GSI and blood parameters were useful indicators of stress exerted by nutrition and temperature on fish, and their study is critical for fish health and mass production of viable seeds for aquaculture enterprise. <![CDATA[Statistical Modelling and Optimization of Fermentation Medium for Lincomycin Production by <strong> <em>Streptomyces lincolnensis</em></strong> Immobilized Cells]]> ABSTRACT Response surface methodology was used to optimize lincomycin production by Streptomyces lincolnensis NRRL ISP-5355 in submerged fermentation. Screening of fermentation medium components to find their relative effect on lincomycin production was done using Plackett-Burman design. Malt extract, dextrin, soluble starch and (NH4)2SO4 were the most significant nutrient influenced on lincomycin production. Central composite design was applied to determine optimal concentrations of these factors and the effect of their mutual interactions. The interaction between soluble starch and (NH4)2SO4 was found to enhance the production, whereas malt extract and dextrin exhibited an influence independent from the other two factors. Using this statistical optimization method, maximum lincomycin concentration of 1345 μg/ml was obtained which represented a 40.5 % increase in titer than that acquired from the non-optimized medium. This statistically optimized medium was employed for lincomycin production through immobilization of Streptomyces lincolnensis by adsorption on synthetic cotton fibers. Immobilization technique improved the concentration to 1350 μg/ml higher than that produced from free cells cultures and could be maintained for longer than 17 days in a repeated batch system. <![CDATA[Characterization of Alkaliphilic Bacteria Isolated from Bauxite Residue in the Southern Region of Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize bacterial strains from bauxite residue in the southern region of Minas Gerais, Brazil, by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and biochemical assays. Bacillus cohnii, Bacillus pseudofirmus, and Bacillus clarkii were identified among the isolates. The isolates were able to use a wide range of carbon sources and to grow at NaCl concentrations of up to 10%, temperatures from 10 to 40 °C, and pH from 7 to 10.5, producing a wide variety of organic acids. This is the first report on microbial composition of bauxite residue in Brazil. <![CDATA[Coexpression of rumen fungal xylanase and bifunctional cellulase genes in <em>Escherichia coli</em>]]> ABSTRACT Rumen fungi inhabit the gastro-intestinal tract of ruminants and the most non-ruminant herbivores. Rumen fungi produce highly active plant cell wall degrading enzymes, therefore they have gained scientific interest. In this study, genes encoding xylanase (xynA-7) and cellulase (celA-5) were amplified from Neocallimastix sp. GMLF7 and Orpinomyces sp. GMLF5, respectively, and expressed in Escherichia coli. XynA-7 was found to be active only on xylan, however CelA-5 had activity both on carboxymethyl cellulose and lichenan. Lichenase activity of CelA-5 was found to be higher than carboxymethyl cellulase activity. The optimal conditions were at pH 6.0 and 40 °C for CelA-5 and at pH 6.5 and 50 °C for XynA-7. A coexpression vector was constructed to coproduce the XynA-7 and CelA-5 and then transformed into E. coli. The ability of the transformed E. coli strain to produce CMCase, xylanase and lichenase was evaluated. The transformed E. coli strain acquired the capacity to degrade CMC, xylan and lichenan. <![CDATA[Degradation of monoaromatics by <em>Bacillus pumilus</em> MVSV3]]> ABSTRACT Monoaromatics, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX), are simple aromatic compound that are highly toxic due to their high solubility nature. Many chemical and physical methods for their degradation and breakup into nontoxic products are available, but still use of microorganism is preferred over these processes. In this present study Bacillus pumilus MVSV3 (Accession number JN089707), a less explored bacteria in the field of BTEX degradation, isolated from petroleum contaminated soil is utilized for BTEX degradation. At optimized conditions the isolate degraded 150 mg/L of BTEX completely within 48 h. GC-MS analysis revealed that the microorganism produces catechol and muconic acid during degradation indicating an ortho pathway of degradation. Enzyme assays were carried out to identify and characterize catechol 1, 2- dioxygenase (C12D). The optimal temperature and pH for the enzyme activity was identified as 35 (C and 7.5, respectively. SDS-PAGE revealed the molecular weight of the enzyme to be approximately 35,000 Da. Zymography analysis indicated the presence of three isoforms of the enzyme. Hence Bacillus pumilus MVSV3 and the isolated C12D, proved to be efficient in degrading the toxic aromatic compounds. <![CDATA[Reviewing Microbial Behaviors in Ecosystems Leading to a Natural Quorum Quenching Occurrence]]> ABSTRACT Quorum sensing is considered one of the most important discoveries in cell-to-cell communication. Although revealed in Bacteria, it has been identified as well as a mechanism present in the other two domains, Eukaryota and Archaea. This phenomenon consists mainly of an exchange and sensing of "words" produced by each cell: chemical signals known as autoinducers. The process takes places at high cell densities and confined environments, triggering the expression of specific genes that manifest in a determined phenotype. Quorum sensing has a fundamental importance in the organisms' fitness in natural ecosystems since it activates many of the traits needed by cells to survive under specific conditions, and thus a wide variety of chemical signals, which are detailed throughout the review, have evolved in response to the needs of an organism in the ecosystem it inhabits. As a counterpart, derived from the natural occurrence of quorum sensing, comes it's antagonistic process named quorum quenching. Acting in the exact opposite way, quorum quenching interferes or degrades the autoinducers confusing and stopping communication, hence affecting transcriptional regulation and expression of a specific phenotype. The main reasons for stopping this mechanism go from fading their own signals when perceiving scarce nutrients conditions, to degrading competitors' signals to take advantage in the ecosystem. Some of the most studied purposes and means known up to date to be used by cells for making quorum quenching in their ecosystems is what will be discussed along this review, offering information for future works on quorum quencher molecules bioprospection. <![CDATA[Molecular And 3D-Structural Characterization Of Fructose-1,6-Bisphosphate Aldolase Derived From <em>Metroxylon Sagu</em>]]> ABSTRACT Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (FBAld) is an enzyme that catalyzes the cleavage of D-fructose-1,6-phosphate (FBP) to D-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P) and dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP), and plays vital role in glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. However, molecular characterization and functional roles of FBAld remain unknown in sago palm. Here we report a modified CTAB-RNA extraction method was developed for the isolation of good quality RNA (RIN&gt;8) from sago leaves and the isolation of FBAld cDNA from sago palm. The isolated sago FBAld (msFBAld) cDNA has total length of 1288 bp with an open reading frame of 1020 bp and a predicted to encode for a protein of 340 amino acid resides. The predicted protein shared a high degree of homology with Class-I FBAld from other plants. Meanwhile, the msFBAld gene spanned 2322 bp and consisted of five exons. Conserved domain search identified fifteen catalytically important amino acids at the active site and phylogenetic tree revealed localization of msFBAld in the chloroplast. A molecular 3D-structure of msFBAld was generated by homology modeling and a Ramachandran plot with 86.7% of the residues in the core region, 13.4% in the allowed region with no residues in the disallowed region. The modeled structure is a homotetramer containing an (/(-TIM-barrel at the center. Superimposition of the model with Class-I aldolases identified a catalytic dyad, Lys209-Glu167, which could be involved in the Schiff's base formation and aldol condensation. Apart from that, overproduction of the recombinant msFBAld in Escherichia coli resulted in increased tolerance towards salinity. <![CDATA[Molecular Characterization of a MYB Protein from <em>Oryza sativa</em> for its Role in Abiotic Stress Tolerance]]> ABSTRACT The MYB family represents one of the most abundant classes of transcriptional regulators that perform pivotal role under different developmental processes and abiotic stresses. In present study, a MYB gene from Oryza sativa was selected for functional characterization. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that OsMYB1 cDNA encodes R2-R3 type DNA binding domain consisting of 413 amino acids having size of 44 kDa and pI of 6.24. DNA binding domain containing region was cloned and over-expressed in E. coli. Then, the survival of pGEX-OsMYB1 transformed E. coli cells was compared with control plasmid under different concentrations of NaCl, mannitol, high and low temperature. pGEX-OsMYB1 enhanced the survival of cells at high temperature and salinity. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) have shown that recombinant OsMYB1 protein was able to bind with DIG labeled probe containing MYB binding site. RT-qPCR analysis revealed high MYB1 expression under wounding, salt, drought and heat stresses in rice. Expression was 23 fold higher in response to wounding demonstrating the worth of OsMYB1 up-regulation in wounding. Intrinsic disorder profile predicted that OsMYB1 exhibits 60% degree of intrinsic disorder proposing that these regions might be involved in DNA binding specificity and protein-protein interaction. The positive response of OsMYB1 suggests that its over-expression in crop plants may help in providing protection to plants to grow under abiotic stresses. <![CDATA[<em>In Vitro</em> Mid-Term Conservation of <em>Acorus calamus</em> L. <em>via</em> Cold Storage of Encapsulated Microrhizome]]> ABSTRACT In vitro rhizome production, encapsulation and cold storage of Acorus calamus were attempted for its propagation and ‘true-to-type’ conservation. Shoot cultures were initiated using underground rhizome buds, on 6-benzyladenine (BA) containing Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. Maximum microrhizome production was observed in presence of 33.3 µM BA, on modified MS medium containing 6% sucrose, 100 mg/L citric acid and 1 g/L polyvinyl pyrrolidone-40. Synthetic seeds were produced from regenerated microtubers by encapsulation in calcium alginate beads. These synthetic seeds were stored in complete darkness at 100C temperature for different durations for mid-term conservation. After cold storage, synthetic seeds were re-cultured in vitro, 100% survival was recorded after the storage of 1, 3 or 6 months; and 80% survival was observed after the storage of 12 months. The microrhizomes were produced roots in 4.9 µM indole-3-butyric acid containing half strength MS medium. All the regenerated plantlets were successfully transferred to field after acclimatization. It is the first report on successful one year in vitro cold storage of A. calamus. <![CDATA[Production of Antimicrobial Metabolites by <em>Streptomyces lavendulocolor</em> VHB-9 Isolated from Granite Mines]]> ABSTRACT The actinobacterial strain Streptomyces lavendulocolor VHB-9 was isolated from granite mine soil samples of Khammam district, Telangana state, India. The strain was identified based on detailed microorphological, cultural and phylogenetic analysis. Bioactive guided isolation of the secondary metabolites of the strain was carried out by growing the strain in optimized medium (0.5% lactose, 0.5% peptone, 0.05% K2HPO4, 0.2% CaCO3 with pH adjusted to 7.0). Separation and purification of the active fractions from the crude ethyl acetate extract was carried out by silica gel column chromatography and resulted in the isolation of two active fractions. Structural elucidation of the two (B2 and B3) active compounds was carried out by FT-IR, Mass and NMR spectroscopy and were identified as Bis (7-methyloctyl) phthalate and (Z)-3-aminoacrylic acid. The antimicrobial activity of the bioactive compounds produced by S. lavendulocolor VHB-9 was expressed in terms of minimum inhibitory concentration against opportunistic pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Both fractions exhibited good antimicrobial potential against the bacteria and fungi tested. <![CDATA[Access and Intensity of Mechanization: Empirical Evidence of Rice Farmers in Southern Ghana]]> ABSTRACT The medium term development plan of Ghana proposed modernization of agriculture to lead the way in transforming the economy. Providing irrigation infrastructure and enhancing farmer access to farm machinery were major interventions proposed. In line with this, the government has been investing in irrigation infrastructure as well as importing farm machinery under various programmes in recent years. This study analyzed access and intensity of mechanization by rice farmers in southern Ghana. The Shai-Osudoku and Ketu North Districts were purposively selected and a total of 360 farmers were randomly sampled from 16 rice growing communities. In general, the results of the descriptive statistics revealed that about 74 % of farmers were still cultivating rice with considerably low level of mechanization. The double hurdle model was employed to estimate the determinants of access to mechanization and the intensity of mechanization. The empirical results of tier one of the double huddle model revealed that size of land, access to credit, availability of farm machinery, expenditure on labour, agrochemical expenditure, the square of age, and gender positively influenced access to mechanization. Seed expenditure, age and district locations negatively influenced access to mechanization. The empirical results of the tier two of the double hurdle model revealed that distance from farm to nearest mechanization centre, rice income, non-farm income and experience were significant variables that positively influenced intensity of mechanization. Land ownership and household size negatively influenced intensity of mechanization. These results have implications for capacity building and government support for rice farmers in southern Ghana. <![CDATA[<strong><em>Escherichia Coli</em></strong>: Characteristics of Carbapenem Resistance and Virulence Factors]]> ABSTRACT In this study, fifty Escherichia coli strains were analyzed by multiplex polymerase chain reaction for the genes expressed carbapenemase and virulence factors in order to determine the presence of carbapenemase and nine virulence factors and investigate the association between these two characteristics. When carbapenemase susceptibility was taken into consideration, OXA-48 type carbapenemase was determined for 22% of the total strains. Also, the frequency of virulence gene regions in E.coli infections and virulence gene profiles of these isolates were examined and the frequency of pap, afa, sfa, fimA, iroN, aer, iutA, hly and cnf-1 genes were 24, 38, 20, 84, 28, 90, 92, 10 and 34% respectively. A significant correlation was found between the presence of fimA and afa gene regions and carbapenem susceptibility (P&lt; 0.05). Based on the combination of carbapenemase and virulence factor genes, 24 different gene profiles were determined for all strains. The results of the study appear to indicate that fimA and afa genes correlate with carbapenem susceptibility, the relations of fimA with urinary tract infections and pap with complicated urinary tract infections. It also indicates that sfa and afa genes correlate with other infections except urinary tract infections. <![CDATA[Performance of Soybean Seedlings Upon Nutrient Application by Seed Coating]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different seed coatings consisting of various combinations of three nutrients (calcium, magnesium and silicon) on two soybean cultivars (BRS 243 RR and CD 233 RR). Dolomitic limestone and aluminum silicate were chosen as the nutrient sources. Leaf area, plant height, shoots dry matter, crop growth rate, relative growth rate and net assimilation rate were the studied variables, evincing that the seed coating that comprised calcium, magnesium and silicon led to better performance in terms of growth rates 30 days after emergence. Significant differences in the response to the seed coatings were also observed between the two studied soybean genotypes. <![CDATA[The Effects of Different Media, Sucrose Concentrations and Natural Additives on Plantlet Growth of <strong><em>Phalaenopsis</em></strong> Hybrid 'Pink']]> ABSTRACT The effects of various sucrose concentrations as carbon source and natural additives in different media on plantlet growth of Phalaenopsis hybrid 'Pink' were studied. Plantlets were cultured on two media (Murashige and Skoog [MS] and Vacin and Went [VW]) supplemented with 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 g L-1 sucrose either with 0, 10 and 20% (v/v) coconut water (CW) or carrot juice (CJ) as natural additives. After four months of culture, the combination of sucrose and CW supplemented with both media affected plantlet growth where most of the plantlets showed slow growth and survival frequency (0-80%) with increasing concentrations of CW in all sucrose concentrations. However, plantlet growth on both media containing only 20 g L-1 sucrose without CW was optimal in terms of root number, root length, leaf number, leaf length, leaf width, fresh weight, dry weight and plant height. The combination of sucrose and CJ supplemented with MS medium resulted in overall good plantlet growth with 100% survival frequency. The combination of sucrose (20 g L-1) and CJ (10%) supplemented with MS medium increased root length, leaf length, leaf width and plant height. Plantlet growth was also optimal in the combination of 20 g L-1 sucrose and 10% CJ supplemented with VW medium. The results of this study indicate that Phalaenopsis hybrid 'Pink' cultured on the combination of sucrose (20 g L-1) and CJ (10%) supplemented with either MS or VW media can be used for plantlet growth of this species. <![CDATA[Tropical Fruit Pulps: Processing, Product Standardization and Main Control Parameters for Quality Assurance]]> ABSTRACT Fruit pulp is the most basic food product obtained from fresh fruit processing. Fruit pulps can be cold stored for long periods of time, but they also can be used to fabricate juices, ice creams, sweets, jellies and yogurts. The exploitation of tropical fruits has leveraged the entire Brazilian fruit pulp sector due mainly to the high acceptance of their organoleptic properties and remarkable nutritional facts. However, several works published in the last decades have pointed out unfavorable conditions regarding the consumption of tropical fruit pulps. This negative scenario has been associated with unsatisfactory physico-chemical and microbiological parameters of fruits pulps as outcomes of little knowledge and improper management within the fruit pulp industry. There are protocols for delineating specific identity and quality standards (IQSs) and standardized good manufacturing practices (GMP) for fruit pulps, which also embrace standard operating procedures (SOPs) and hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP), although this latter is not considered mandatory by the Brazilian legislation. Unfortunately, the lack of skilled labor, along with failures in complying established protocols have impaired quality of fruit pulps. It has been necessary to collect all information available with the aim to identify the most important hazards within fruit pulp processing lines. Standardizing methods and practices within the Brazilian fruit pulp industry would assurance high quality status to tropical fruit pulps and the commercial growth of this vegetal product towards international markets. <![CDATA[Enhancement of biohydrogen production from starch processing wastewater and further inside its ecosystem disclosed by 16S rDNA sequencing and FISH]]> ABSTRACT Biohydrogen production from starch processing wastewater in this study resulted the highest yield of 61.75 mL H2/g COD at initial pH 7.0, thermophilic temperature, and iron concentration 800 mg Fe/L. The yield was 2-folded higher than the operation at mesophilic temperature or without iron addition. Cell immobilization by addition of biomaterials (BM) could improve the hydrogen yield by 2-folded comparing to the non-addition. BM from plants (loofa sponge) was found producing higher yield than that from animals (silk cocoon), and optimal concentration of BM was 5% (V/V). Furthermore, it was revealed further inside its ecosystem using SEM, 16S rDNA sequencing and FISH. There was found rod-shaped microorganisms of Bacillus cereus, which reported as efficient starch-utilizing hydrogen producers, was dominant in the system with population of 47% of all specie identified. <![CDATA[Macauba ( <strong><em>Acrocomia aculeata</em></strong> ) pulp oil quality is negatively affected by drying fruits at 60 ºC]]> ABSTRACT This study aimed to determine if the quality of macauba pulp oil is affected by drying the whole fruits at 60 ºC. Mature fruits were collected at every five days on the ground under 10 palm trees. A mixed batch of 3 kg of whole fruits, with three replications each, was dried in an oven with air circulation for 0, 12, 24, 36 and 48 h at 60 ºC. After every drying time, dried fruits were pulped using an automated device, followed by oil extraction with hexane. Moisture and oil content were determined in the pulp, and the pulp oil quality was analyzed for fatty acid composition, free fatty acids content, peroxide value, molar absorptivity at 232 and 270 nm, refractive index, and total carotene content. The tested temperature was sufficient to decrease moisture to a range suitable for automated pulping, with the best combination and easier pulping being reached after 24 h of drying. In the first 12 h there was an apparent synthesis of unsaturated fatty acids and carotenes. The tested temperature was insufficient to avoid the enhancement of acidity since the beginning and throughout the drying period, nor the degradation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, it is concluded that drying of fresh fruits of macauba palm at 60 ºC is not appropriate to obtain an overall good quality pulp oil for industrial purposes. <![CDATA[Biosorption of anionic textile dyes from aqueous solution by yeast slurry from brewery]]> ABSTRACT This study investigated the biosorption of the anionic textile dyes: Reactive Red 239 (RR239), Reactive Black B (RBB) and Direct Blue 85 (DB85) according to pH, biomass dosage, contact time and dye concentration onto waste beer yeast slurry. The kinetics and isotherm of the removal of dyes were also studied. The equilibrium of biosorption reaction was reached after 30 min for the reactive dyes and after 60 min for the direct dye. Optimum decolorization was observed at pH 2 and 0.63 g/L of biomass dosage. The kinetic data of the three dyes were better described by the pseudo second-order model. The adsorption process followed the Langmuir isotherm model and the biosorption capacity being estimated to be 152.9, 162.7 and 139.2 mg/g for RR239, RBB and DB85, respectively. Our findings indicated that the waste beer yeast slurry was an attractive low-cost biosorbent for the removal of anionic textile dyes from aqueous solution. <![CDATA[Harvesting Microalgal Biomass grown in Anaerobic Sewage Treatment Effluent by the Coagulation-Flocculation Method: Effect of pH]]> ABSTRACT Harvesting is a critical step in microalgal biomass production process for many reasons. Among the existing techniques available for harvesting and dewatering microalgal biomass, recovery from aqueous medium by coagulation-flocculation has been the most economically viable process, althoughit is highly dependent on pH. This study aims to assess alternative coagulants compared to the standard coagulant aluminum sulfate for microalgal biomass recovery from anaerobic effluent of domestic sewage treatment. The effluent quality was also analyzed after biomass recovery. Coagulants represented by modified tannin, cationic starch and aluminum sulfate recovered more than 90% of algae biomass, at concentrations greater than 80 mg/L, in the pH range 7-10. Cationic starch promoted higher microalgal biomass recovery with a wider pH range. Powdered seeds of Moringa oleifera and Hibiscus esculentus(okra) gum promoted biomass removal of 50%, only in the acidic range of pH. After sedimentation of the microalgal biomass, the effluents showed a removal of &gt;80% for phosphorus and nitrogen values and &gt;50% for BOD and COD when using aluminum sulfate, cationic starch and modified tannin as coagulants. Natural organic coagulants in a wide pH range can replace aluminum sulfate, a reference coagulant in microalgal biomass recovery, without decreasing microalgal biomass harvesting efficiency and the quality of the final effluent. <![CDATA[Effects of <strong><em>Yucca schidigera</em></strong> on gas mitigation in livestock production: A review]]> ABSTRACT Yucca schidigera extract (YSE) has received much interest in the application of manure deodorization and hazardous gas mitigation in livestock rearing conditions. The main objective of this review article was to summarize the current knowledge regarding YSE towards its gas mitigation from livestock excrement. Saponins have been considered to be vital components of YSE in odor control and gas reduction in intensive farming industry due to their potentials in lowering methane for ruminants and ammonia for monogastric animals. This review article mainly covered the studies in ruminants, especially focused on in vitro environment. It also summarized possible reasons of the conflicting results among studies from the perspective of experimental design such as incubation time (in vitro) or storage time of manure, and some other factors such as feed source and dietary composition. In addition to traditional dietary inclusion of YSE alone, recent studies prone to apply YSE in new ways such as combining it with other natural compounds or using it to treat manure directly. Until now, there are still controversies in terms of the effectiveness of YSE in intensive-farming environment among researches, therefore further deeper studies on the expression of YSE bioactivity are needed, especially on the molecular level. <![CDATA[Floating Aquatic Macrophytes Decrease the Methane Concentration in the Water Column of a Tropical Coastal Lagoon: Implications for Methane Oxidation and Emission]]> ABSTRACT In wetlands, the knowledge accumulated on the role of aquatic plants in the methane cycle focused on emergent macrophytes, to the detriment of other typologies. Herein, we evaluated whether the free-floating macrophyte Salvinia auriculata Aubl. and the floating-leaved macrophyte Eichhornia azurea (Sw.) Kunth. decrease the water column methane concentrations compared to a plant-free surface. We prepared microcosms by inserting an individual of S. auriculata or of E. azurea into chambers filled with lagoon water previously bubbled with CH4. Another set of chambers was incubated only with the prepared water, representing the plant-free surface. Half of the chambers were kept in the dark and half in sunlight to simulate a diel cycle. We observed greater loss of CH4, higher O2 uptake and lower CO2 outflow in the plants treatments. The decrease in methane concentrations in the E. azurea treatments was 93.5% in the light and 77.2% in the dark. In the S. auriculata treatments, the decreases were 74.2% and 67.4% in the light and in the dark, respectively. In plant-free surface the decrease was 58.7% in the light and 36.3% in the dark. These results indicate a role of floating aquatic macrophytes in the methane cycle in the water column. Moreover, our results suggest a diel variation of methane oxidation and methane emission, according to the differences observed in O2 uptake and CO2 outflow between dark and light conditions. Thus, future predictions of global methane budget should include the role played by floating aquatic macrophytes.