Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology]]> vol. 63 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Study of Expression of Indigenous Bt cry2AX1 Gene in T<sub>3</sub> Progeny of Cotton and its Efficacy Against Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner)]]> Abstract Development of transgenic Bt crops with stable and high level of Bt protein expression over generations under different environmental conditions is critical for successful deployment at field level. In the present study, progenies of transgenic cotton Coker310 event, CH12 expressing novel cry2AX1 gene were evaluated in T3 generation for stable integration, expression and resistance against cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera. The cry2AX1 gene showed stable inheritance and integration in the T3 progeny plants as revealed by PCR and Southern blot hybridization. The expression of Cry2AX1 protein on 90 days after sowing (DAS) was in the range of 1.055 to 1.5 µg/g of fresh leaf tissue except one plant which showed 0.806 µg/g of fresh leaf tissue and after 30 days (i.e., on 120 DAS) three plants recorded in between 0.69 to 0.82 µg/g and other plants are in range of 0.918 to 1.058 µg/g of fresh leaf tissue. Detached leaf bit bioassay in T3 progeny on 110 DAS recorded mortality of 73.33 to 93.33 per cent against H. armigera and severe growth retardation in surviving larvae. These results indicate that the expression of chimeric cry2AX1 is stable and exhibits insecticidal activity against H. armigera in T3 progeny of CH12 event of transgenic cotton. <![CDATA[Possible Metsulfuron Herbicide Detoxification by a Oryza sativa L. Glutathione S-transferase Enzyme.]]> Abstract Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most important crops in the world, and it is considered the primary source of nutritional layout in developing countries in Asia. The glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) superfamily confers to rice protection against biotic and abiotic stress, and herbicide resistance. However, the three-dimensional structure of a GST Tau class, is unsolved. The objectives of this work were to develop a reliable comparative model for the s-transferase glutathione class Tau 4 from rice, and simulate docking interactions, against herbicides bentazon and metsulfuron. Results showed that the predicted model is reliable and has structural quality. Ramachandran plot set 91.9% of the residues in the most favored regions. All complexes showed negative binding energies values; and metsulfuron docked to the glutathione tripeptide, and it represents a possible insilico evidence of glutathione conjugation with this herbicide. <![CDATA[Leaf and Stem Anatomy of Cherry Tomato Under Calcium and Magnesium Deficiencies]]> Abstract Studies evaluating the influence of nutrients on plant anatomy are very important because nutritional deficiencies can alter the thickness and shape of certain tissues, compromising their functionality what can explain the reduction of productivity. The aim of this study was to characterize the anatomical changes in cherry tomato plants subjected to calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) deficiencies. The experiment was conducted in nutrient solution and the plants subjected to three treatments: complete solution (Control), Ca restriction (1 mmol L-1 of Ca) and Mg omission (without Mg). The experimental design was completely randomized, with three repetitions. Sixty days after seedling transplanting leaves and stem were collected and submitted to anatomical evaluations. Ca or Mg deficiency promotes most evident anatomical changes in chlorophyllous and vascular tissues of the leaves, rather than in the stems. Leaves of ‘Sindy’ tomato plants with a concentration of 1.7 g kg-1 of Mg and visual symptoms of Mg deficiency present hyperplasia of both tissues, phloem and xylem. This deficiency also promotes increases in the thickness of mesophyll, spongy parenchyma and palisade parenchyma, and consequently of leaf thickness. The midrib of the leaves with a concentration of 10 g kg-1 of Ca, without visual symptoms of deficiency presented phloem hypertrophy and hyperplasia. <![CDATA[Amino Acid Supplementation Improves the Production of Extracellular Peptidases by Aspergillus Section Flavi and their Ionic Immobilization]]> Abstract Bioprocess studies have been highlighted due to the importance of physiological processes and industrial applications of enzymes. The potential of peptidase production from Aspergillus section Flavi using different amino acids as a supplemental nitrogen source was investigated. A production profile revealed that amino acids had positive effects on peptidase production when compared to the control without amino acids. Optimal production (100 U/mL) was obtained with Arginine amino acid in 96 h of fermentation. Extracellular peptidase from Aspergillus section Flavi was identified in submerged bioprocesses by in situ activity. Biochemical studies revealed that the maximum activities of the enzyme extract were obtained at pH 6.5 and a temperature of 55°C. The inhibition by EDTA and PMSF suggests the presence of more than one peptidase while the Ni2+ and Cu2+ had a negative influence on the enzyme activity. When the crude extract was reversibly immobilized on ionic supports, DEAE-Agarose and MANAE-Agarose the derivative showed different profiles of thermal and pH stabilities. Hence, this study revealed the basic properties and biochemical characteristics that allowed the production improvement of this class of enzyme. Moreover, with known properties stabilization and immobilization process is required to further explore its biotechnological capacities. <![CDATA[Comparison of Lactic Acid Production by L. casei in Batch, Fed-batch and Continuous Cultivation, Testing the use of Feather Hydrolysate as a Complex Nitrogen Source]]> Abstract A comprehensive comparison of the main fermentation parameters, productivity, yield and final L-lactic acid concentration, obtained through batch, fed-batch and continuous cultivations using Lactobacillus casei CCDM 198 and a model cultivation medium was carried out. Using this data, a pulse-feed fed-batch process was established for testing chicken feather hydrolysate as a replacement for all complex nitrogen sources (yeast and beef extracts and peptone) in the medium. As comparably high values of productivity (about 4.0 g/L/h) and yield (about 98 %) were reached under all cultivation conditions, the maximum final L-lactic acid concentration (116.5 g/L), as achieved through pulse-feed fed-batch fermentation, was chosen as the most important criterion for process selection. Fed-batch cultivation with chicken feather hydrolysate as both a complex nitrogen source and a neutralizing agent for maintaining constant culture pH yielded half the concentration of L-lactic acid compared to the model medium. We demonstrate here that chicken feather hydrolysate has potential for use in the production of L-lactic acid but its utilization requires further optimization <![CDATA[Enhance of Cellulase Production and Biomass Degradation by Transformation of the Trichoderma reesei RUT-C30∆zface1 Strain]]> Abstract The second-generation bioethanol employs lignocellulosic materials degraded by microbial cellulases in their production. The fungus Trichoderma reesei is one of the main microorganisms producing cellulases, and its genetic modification can lead to the optimization in obtaining hydrolytic enzymes. This work carried out the deletion of the sequence that encodes the zinc finger motif of the transcription factor ACE1 (cellulase expression repressor I) of the fungus T. reesei RUT-C30. The transformation of the RUT-C30 lineage was confirmed by amplification of the 989 bp fragment relative to the selection marker, and by the absence of the zinc finger region amplification in mutants, named T. reesei RUT-C30Δzface1. The production of cellulases by mutants was compared to RUT-C30 and measured with substrates carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel®) and Whatman filter paper (PF). The results demonstrated that RUT-C30Δzface1 has cellulolytic activity increased 3.2-fold in Avicel and 2.1-fold in CMC and PF. The mutants presented 1.4-fold higher sugar released in the hydrolysis of the biomass assays. These results suggest that the partial deletion of ace1 gene is an important strategy in achieving bioethanol production on an industrial scale at a competitive price in the fuel market. <![CDATA[Growth Kinetics of Nanofrustulum Shiloi Under Different Mixing Conditions in Flat-plate Photobioreactor]]> Abstract Diatoms are the major group of microalgae which have been utilized by the potential applications as food industries, aquatic feeds, cosmetics, biofuels, and pharmaceuticals. In this study, current approaches were made in order to determine growth rate, biomass productivity, protein, carbohydrate, lipid and fatty acid composition for Nanofrustulum shiloi cultures using both aeration and mixing conditions in flat-plate photobioreactor (PBR). Physical (the intensity of aeration, mixing, light intensity etc.) and chemical (nutritional materials) factors are affecting the growth and bioproduct contents of a diatom. Biomass and lipid productivities of N. shiloi were measured as 31.29 and 36.9622±0.0598 mg L-1 day-1 in flat-plate PBR having the combination of aeration and stirring system, respectively. A slightly higher amount of saturated fatty acids was detected in PBR having only bubbling system while the increase of mono- and poly- unsaturated fatty acids were found in PBR having the combination of aeration and stirring system. Flat-plate PBR design was also investigated for improving not only biomass but also the lipid productivity of N. shiloi. <![CDATA[Amylase from Bacillus sp. Produced by Solid State Fermentation Using Cassava Bagasse as Starch Source.]]> Abstract Amylases are enzymes involved in starch hydrolysis, generating the most diverse products, such as maltose, glucose and dextrins. This work aimed the study of the production of amylolytic enzymes via solid-state fermentation (SSF) using “crueira”, an essentially starchy cassava residue, as substrate-support and Bacillus sp. as microorganism. For the implementation of the experimental part, a Central Composite Design (CCD) with three variables (initial moisture, pH and temperature) was made. Each test was examined at 24, 48 and 72 hours by the method of starch dextrinizing activity. The optimum production conditions were 60% initial moisture, pH 6 and 37 °C. The maximum yield was 437.76 U/g in 72 hours of fermentation. The optimum temperature of enzyme performance was 65 °C. The pH optimum range was 4 to 6. The Co2 +, Ca2 + and K+ ions positively influenced the activity of enzymes and the Fe2+ ion had no effect on enzymatic activity. On the other hand, the ions Hg2+, Zn2+, Cu2+, Mn2+ and Mg2+ adversely influenced enzymatic activity. Therefore, producing amylases from Bacillus sp. and using crueira as a substrate is possible. <![CDATA[Arthrographis curvata and Rhodosporidium babjevae as New Potential Fungal Lipase Producers for Biotechnological Applications]]> Abstract Fungi have always attracted a lot of attention as they are able to produce a vast repertoire of enzymes that find a broad spectrum of uses in biotechnological and industrial fields. Undoubtedly, one of the most promising biocatalysts is the lipase, which has been widely used for the biotransformation of a number of commercial products due to its high stability, high catalytic efficiency, versatility and selectivity, making it one of the most attractive and best-studied enzymes. In this study we report the isolation and molecular identification of new lipase-producing fungi from different environmental samples from Morocco. The production and activity of extracellular lipases, at different parameters, was evaluated using the Rhodamine B agar, submerged fermentation and biochemical methods. Two fungal strains Arthrographis curvata and Rhodosporidium babjevae, were isolated and found to produce large amounts of lipases. The optimal activity of the extracellular lipase was detected at 40°C and pH 9.0 for A. curvata and at 40 °C and pH 8.0 for R. babjevae. This study add new information at the growing list of fungal species producing lipases with improved physicochemical proprieties which could constitute a new line of research for further studies and to be exploited for industrial or bioremediation purposes. <![CDATA[Biotechnological Assessment of Culture Conditions on the Stress-Induced Carotenoid Production of Dunaliella salina and Growth Kinetics of Chlorophyceae Microalgae Strains]]> Abstract Microalgae are potential sources of a wide range of bioproducts. It is essential to choose the proper microalgae strain and culture condition to achieve an efficient production. The production yield of carotenoids by Dunaliella salina under the stress-induced culture conditions of nitrogen deprivation and excessive light intensity was evaluated. Also, a survey at laboratorial scale of the growth kinetics under different culture conditions of photoperiod, aeration, and agitation was performed for the seven species of green microalgae Ankistrodesmus fusiformis, Chlamydocapsa bacillus, Desmodesmus brasiliensis, Kirchneriella lunaris, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, and Scenedesmus obliquus. As a result, aeration of atmospheric air is enough to improve the growth kinetics of the seven species studied. Production of carotenoids was enhanced under stress by excessive light intensity. Although D. salina does not grow effectively under nitrogen deprivation, this stress condition may be used to quickly stimulate carotenoid production once the culture reaches a high cellular population. <![CDATA[Practices During Preparturition and Normal Delivery Care in a Maternity Hospital in Southern Brazil]]> Abstract This study aimed to evaluate the practices of hospital care during pré parturition and normal delivery in a maternity hospital in Southern Brazil. A cross-sectional and quantitative study performed with 82 postpartum women. Results were evaluated for the total number of postpartum women and in two groups according to hospital delivery time (≤ 8 and &gt; 8 hours). Chi-square and Fisher Exact tests were used. with a significance level of 5%. Percentages of useful practices were: oral diet (23.2%), freedom of position and movement (90.2%), non-pharmacological methods to alleviate pain (64.6%), companion in prepartum (62.1%) and parturition (42.5%) and partogram (62.2%). Harmful practices: enema (3.7%), trichotomy (3.7%), lithotomy position (92.7%) and Kristeller maneuver (20.7%). Practices used inappropriately: amniotomy (4.9%), oxytocin (41.5%), analgesia (1.2%) and episiotomy (36.6%). The hospital labor time above 8 hours was associated with offering oral diet (p &lt; 0.001), use of non-pharmacological methods for pain relief (p &lt; 0.01), oxytocin infusion (p = 0.01) and episiotomy (p &lt; 0.01). The delivery care with minimum intervention compatible with the recommendations is still a challenge. <![CDATA[Effects of β1-adrenoceptors in the Basolateral Amygdala on Spatial Memory, Passive Avoidance, Long-term Potentiation and Neuronal Arborization in the Hippocampal CA1 Region in Response to Unavoidable Stress]]> Abstract Norepinephrine in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) plays a pivotal role in mediating the effects of stress on memory functions in the hippocampus, however, the functional contribution of β1-adrenergic receptors on the BLA inputs to the CA1 region of hippocampus and memory function are not well understood. In the present study the role of β1-adrenoreceptor in the BLA on memory, neuronal arborization and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of hippocampus was examined by infusion the β1-adrenoreceptor agonist (Dobutamine; 0.5µl/side) or antagonist (Atenolol; 0.25µL/side) bilaterally into the BLA before foot-shock stress. Passive avoidance test results showed that Step-through latency time was significantly decreased in the stress group rats one, four and seven days after the stress, which intra-BLA injection of Atenolol or Dobutamine before stress couldn’t attenuate this reduction. Barnes-maze results revealed that infusion of Dobutamine and Atenolol significantly reduced spatial memory indicators such as increased latency time, the number of errors and the distance traveling to achieve the target hole in the stress group. These learning impairments in stress rats correlated with a reduction of LTP in hippocampal CA1 synapses in-vivo, which infusion of Dobutamine and Atenolol couldn’t attenuate the population spike amplitude and mean-field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) slope reduction induced by stress. Also, the Golgi-Cox staining demonstrated that infusion of Atenolol attenuated stress decreased CA1 region dendritic and axonal arborization. These results suggest that β1-adrenergic receptors activation or block seem to exacerbate stress-induced hippocampal memory deficits and this effect is independent of CA1 LTP modulation. <![CDATA[Antibacterial Activity of Sophorolipids from Candida bombicola Against Human Pathogens]]> Abstract Sophorolipids are glycolipids that have natural antimicrobial properties and present great potential in the pharmaceutical field. The present study aimed to produce sophorolipids from Candida bombicola using a chicken fat-based medium and evaluate the antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative (Proteus mirabilis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica) and Gram-positive bacteria (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mutans). The production of sophorolipids reached 27.86 g L-1. Based on the structural characterization, 73.55% of the sophorolipids present a mixture of acidic monoacetylated C18:2 and lactonic diacetylated C16:0, and 26.45% were present in the diacetylated C18:1 lactonic form. Bacteria submitted to sophorolipid exposure showed a reduction in viability at doses of 500 μg mL-1 and 2,000 μg mL-1 against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, respectively. These results suggest that sophorolipids produced in chicken fat medium may be used as antimicrobial agents to prevent or eliminate contamination by different pathogens. <![CDATA[In Vivo Biological Effects of Marine Biosilica on a Tibial Bone Defect in Rats]]> Abstract Research on biomaterials of natural origin has gained prominence in the literature. Above all, marine sponges, due to their architecture and structural components, present a promising potential for the engineering of bone tissue. In vitro studies demonstrate that a biosilica of marine sponges has osteogenic potential. However, in vivo works are needed to elucidate the interaction of biosilica (BS) and bone tissue. The objective of the study was to evaluate the morphological and chemical characteristics of BS compared to Bioglass (BG) by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray dispersive energy (EDX) spectroscopy. In addition, to evaluate the biological effects of BS, through an experimental model of tibial bone defect using histopathological, histomorphometric, immunohistochemical (IHC) and mechanical tests. SEM and EDX demonstrated the successful extraction of BS. Histopathological analysis demonstrated that Control Group (GC) had greater formation of newly formed bone tissue compared to BG and BS, yet BG bone neoformation was greater than BS. However, BS showed material degradation and granulation tissue formation, with absence of inflammatory process and formation of fibrotic capsule. The results of histomorphometry corroborate with those of histopathology, where it is worth emphasizing the positive influence of BS in osteoblastic activity. IHQ demonstrated positive VEGF and TGF-β immunoexpression for GC, BS and BG. In the mechanical test no significant differences were found. The present results demonstrate the potential of BS in bone repair, further studies are needed other forms of presentation of BS are needed. <![CDATA[Detection of Drug Resistant Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Strains Using Kit SIRE Nitratase®: a Multicenter Study]]> Abstract (1) Background: The Commercial Kit SIRE Nitratase® PlastLabor, is a drug susceptibility test kit used to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance to first-line TB treatment drugs. The present study aimed at evaluating its performance in a multicenter study. (2) Methods: To determine its accuracy, the proportion methods in Lowenstein Jensen medium or the BACTECTMMGITTM960 system was used as a gold standard. (3) Results: The study revealed that the respective accuracies of the kit with 190 M. tuberculosis clinical isolates, using the proportion methods in Lowenstein Jensen medium or BACTECTMMGITTM960 system as a gold standard, were 93.9% and 94.6%, 96.9% and 94.6%, 98.0% and 97.8%, and 98.0% and 98.9%, for streptomycin, isoniazid, rifampicin, and ethambutol, respectively. (4) Conclusion: Thus, the kit can rapidly screen resistance to streptomycin, isoniazid, rifampicin, and ethambutol. Additionally, it does not require sophisticated equipment; hence, it can be easily used in the laboratories of low and middle income countries. <![CDATA[Low-Level Laser Therapy and Spinal Cord Injury: Effects of 3 Different Fluences in the Intermediate Period of Repair in an Experimental Model in Rats]]> Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of 3 different fluences of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in intermediate period of spinal cord repair using an experimental model in rats. Thirty two rats were randomly divided into four experimental groups: Control Group (CG); Laser treated group 500 J/cm² (L-500); Laser treated group 750 J/cm² (L-750) and Laser treated group 1000 J/cm² (L-1000). Spinal cord injury (SCI) was performed by an impactor equipment (between 9th and 10th thoracic vertebrae), with a pressure of 150 kdyn. Afterwards, the injured region was irradiated daily for 14 consecutive sessions, using an 808 nm laser, at the respective fluence of each experimental groups. Locomotor function and tactile sensitivity were performed on days 1 and 15 post-surgery. Animals were euthanized 15 days post-surgery and samples were retrieved for histological and immunohistochemistry analysis. Functional behavior and tactile sensitivity were improved after laser irradiation. Moreover, higher fluencies of LLLT reduced the volume of injury. Additionally, LLLT produced a decreased CD-68 expression. These results demonstrated that, for an intermediate period of SCI repair, LLLT at higher fluences, was effective in promoting functional recovery and modulating the inflammatory process in the spinal cord of rats after traumatic SCI. <![CDATA[Upper Zone of Growth Plate and Cartilage Matrix (UCMA) Levels in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease]]> Abstract Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an important health problem across the world affecting the adult population with an enormous social and economic burden. Calcium regulation is also affected in patients with CKD, and related to several disorders including vascular calcifications, mineral bone disorders, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Upper zone of growth plate and cartilage matrix (UCMA) is vitamin K-dependent protein (VKDP) and acts as a calcification inhibitor in the cardiovascular system. The molecular mechanism of UCMA action remains unclear in CKD. In the current study, we aimed to investigate serum total UCMA levels and its association with calcium metabolism parameters in CKD patients including hemodialysis (HD) patients. Thirty-seven patients with CKD stage 3-5, 41 HD patients, and 34 healthy individuals were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Serum UCMA and calcification related protein levels (Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), Osteocalcin (OC), and Fetuin-A) were analyzed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Calcium mineral disorder parameters (Serum Ca, P, iPTH) were quantified with routine techniques. We, for the first time, report the potential biomarker role of UCMA in CKD including HD. Serum total UCMA levels were significantly higher in patients with CKD including HD patients than the healthy controls. Also, serum UCMA levels showed negative correlations with serum calcium, and eGFR, while showed positive relationships with P, iPTH, MGP, OC. Increased total UCMA levels may have a role in the Ca metabolism disorder and related to the pathogenesis of Vascular Calcification in patients with CKD. <![CDATA[PI3K/Akt Signaling Involved with Osteoinductive Effects of Achatina fulica Mucus]]> Abstract Mesenchymal stem cells and osteoblasts play important roles in bone formation. Achatina fulica mucus presented the property of osteoinduction. This study aimed to examine the effects of A. fulica mucus on human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) and human fetal osteoblastic cell line (HFOB) differentiation. The integrated effects of A. fulica mucus and polycaprolactone (PCL) on the differentiation of hMSCs were tested. The cell viability of hMSCs treated with A. fulica mucus was investigated by the MTT assay. The cell mineralization was observed by Alizarin Red S staining, the gene expression was investigated using RT-PCR, and the PI3K activation was studied using flow cytometry. The results indicated that A. fulica mucus induced osteogenic differentiation in hMSCs and HFOBs by upregulation of the osteogenic markers; osteopontin (OPN) and osteocalcin (OCN). The results of the Alizarin Red S staining indicated that A. fulica mucus supported mineralization in both hMSCs and HFOBs. The hMSCs cultured on PCL supplemented with A. fulica mucus showed significantly increased RUNX2 and OPN expressions. A. fulica mucus was observed to increase PI3K activation in hMSCs. The findings of this study suggested that A. fulica mucus and biomaterials could be applied together for use in bone regeneration in the future. <![CDATA[Anatomical Characterization of Nine Taxa of Genus Acmella Rich. (Toothache Plant) in India]]> Abstract The present study is aimed for anatomical characterization of nine taxa of Acmella to supplement data specifically for its current sectional classification and species circumscriptions. Anatomical characterization of this genus is little explored. This study focuses on internal structure of leaves, petioles, peduncles, stems, roots and cell inclusions to determine its taxonomic importance. In stem anatomy the number of hypodermal collenchymatous layers and the arrangement of parenchymatous cortex together place an important role in the identification of Acmella. Root anatomy was similar in all the examined taxa except in the arrangement of xylem vessels. In A. tetralobata xylem vessels arranged in pentarch fashion while rest of the species possess tetrarch arrangement. Several cellular inclusions such as calcium oxalate crystals and oil bodies were observed. The petioles were crescent shaped having bifacial surfaces with both surfaces pubescent. Peduncles possess ridges and furrows in its outline. The leaves are dorsi ventral and possess single layered epidermal cells covered with cuticle having anomocytic, anisocytic and diacytic types of stomata in both adaxial and abaxial surfaces. The present study provides a tool for the microscopic identification of the genus. <![CDATA[Strategies and Challenges for the Circular Economy: a Case Study in Portugal and a Panorama for Brazil]]> Abstract: This article is about a case study based on the participation and contact with dynamized activities through action plans for the circular economy in Europe, specifically in Portugal. It aims to identify the main in-progress actions and the challenges for the diffusion of the circular economy in the Portuguese nation and draw a panorama for Brazil, transiting through different data sources, economic sectors and stakeholders. Through data triangulation, the investigative plan contemplated participatory observations in workshops, interviews with experts, documental analyses and means of communication. After going through data cross checking for validation, the content was aggregated to a strategic analysis matrix. As a result, it was possible to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges associated with the growth of the circular economy in Portugal, as well as to indicate directions and possibilities in the Brazilian context. It is possible to realize, for both countries, the importance of the international benchmarking for the recognition and promotion of circular economy actions, besides the necessity to revise laws aligned with the internal e external market rules, by increasing the offer of circular products and services. <![CDATA[A Fuzzy Approach for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 Classification]]> Abstract This paper proposes an automatic fuzzy classification system for glycemic index, which indicates the level of Diabetes Mellitus type 2. Diabetes is a chronic disease occurred when there is deficiency in insulin production or in its action, or both, causing complications. Neuro-fuzzy systems and Decision Trees are used to obtain, respectively, the numerical parameters of the membership functions and the linguistic based rules of the fuzzy classification system. The results goal to categorize the glycemic index into 4 classes: decrease a lot, decrease, stable and increase. Real database from [1] is used and the input attributes of the system are defined. In addition, the proposed automatic fuzzy classification system is compared with an “expert” fuzzy classification system, which is totally modeled using expert knowledge. From linguistic based rules obtained from fuzzy inference process, new scenarios are simulated in order to obtain a larger data set which provides a better evaluation of the classification systems. Results are promising, since they indicate the best treatment - intervention or comparative - for each patient, assisting in the decision-making process of the health care professional. <![CDATA[Antifungal and Antioxidant Activities of <em>Vernonia Chalybaea</em> Mart. ex DC. Essential Oil and their Major Constituent β-caryophyllene]]> Abstract: This article describes the chemical composition of Vernonia chalybaea essential oil, and investigates its antimicrobial, antioxidant and hemolytic activities. The evaluation of the antifungal activity was performed by the broth microdilution method using strains of yeasts and dermatophytic fungi. The checkerboard technique to find antimicrobial modulatory effects was performed using ketoconazole as standard drug. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH scavenging assay and β-carotene/linoleic-acid system. The toxicity was characterized by the brine shrimp lethality test and hemolysis bioassays. The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC-MS method, showing to be rich in the sesquiterpenes β-caryophyllene (39.06%) and bicyclogermacrene (19.69%), and also demonstrated a relevant antifungal activity against strains of Trichophyton rubrum. In the modulatory activity assay, the essential oil of V. chalybaea and β-caryophyllene demonstrated a synergistic interaction with ketoconazole, with increasing of its antifungal action. The antioxidant activity was evidenced mainly by β-carotene/linoleic acid system, with IC50 value of 35.87 ± 0.32 µg/mL. The results suggest that V. chalybaea essential oil and β-caryophyllene are valuable natural medicinal agents with antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. <![CDATA[Comparison of Different Extraction Techniques of <em>Zingiber officinale</em> Essential Oil]]> Abstract This study aims to find the best conditions for the extraction of Zingiber officinale essential oil using the supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), steam distillation (SD) and hydrodistillation (HD) techniques, regarding the maximum oil yield. For the HD technique is evaluated the best ratio between plant mass and water volume and for SFE and SD the pressure condition was investigated. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to evaluate the similarity between the composition of the essential oil in different pressures and extraction methods. The experimental extraction curve was plotted and three different mathematical models were used to fit the data for SD and SFE methods, obtaining the relevant mass transfer parameters. The essential oil compounds were identified by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), being α-zingiberene the main component with different contents (from 11.9 to 28.9%). The best condition for the SFE was 100 bar, 40 °C (0.0508 goil/gplant) with 19.34% of α-zingiberene; for the SD, 3 bar (133 °C) (0.00616 goil/gplant) with 28.9% of α-zingiberene; and HD, the volume of 750 mL (0.006988 goil/gplant) with 15.70% of α-zingiberene, all measured on a dry basis. <![CDATA[Anatomical Characterization of the Adventitious Roots of Mate (<em>Ilex paraguariensis</em> A. St.-Hil.) Mini-cuttings]]> Abstract Leaves of mate is one of the main non-timber forest products marketed in South America, which makes establishment of new plantations of great interest. However, vegetative propagation of mate plantlets presents difficulties, which may be associated with the complexity of adventitious root formation. The aims of this study were to anatomically characterize the adventitious roots of mate-clone mini-cuttings and investigate the relationship of phenols and starch with adventitious rooting competence in mini-cuttings treated or not with indole-butyric acid (IBA). The mini-cuttings of four clones were collected at 0, 30, and 60 days of cultivation, fixed in a solution containing 1% glutaraldehyde and 4% formaldehyde, pre-infiltrated and infiltrated in (2-hydroxyethyl) methacrylate, and sectioned in a microtome. Ferric chloride and toluidine blue were used to detect phenolic compounds and lugol to identify starch. Adventitious roots formed in mini-cuttings treated with IBA presented disorganized xylem and phloem and poles irregularly but exhibited sclerenchyma vessel elements and tracheid cells indicating functionality. Differences in the rhizogenic ability of mate clones mini-cuttings were not due to the presence of anatomical barriers or the accumulation of phenolic compounds but be associated with the presence and distribution of starch grains in vegetative propagules. <![CDATA[Morphological and Morphometric Characterization of Eodinium posterovesiculatum (Ciliophora, Ophryoscolecidae) in Brazilian Cattle]]> Abstract The morphological variability of Eodinium posterovesiculatum (Ciliophora, Trichostomatia) has been interpreted in different ways: four distinct species or four morphotypes of the same species. The present study aims to perform morphological and morphometric comparative analysis of the four morphotypes found in cattle from the southeastern region of Brazil. Ruminal content samples were obtained from four Holstein x Gir cattle and fixed at 18.5% formalin for morphological analysis. Morphometry was performed based on individuals stained with Lugol's solution [1]. The infraciliary bands were stained using silver carbonate impregnation technique [2]. Morphological and morphometric characterizations, supported by literature, suggest that the four morphotypes of E. posterovesiculatum are actually a single polymorphic species due to small morphometric differences and mostly identical morphological characters, with the format of the caudal processes being the only morphological characteristic that sets them apart. <![CDATA[Essential Oil from Psidium cattleianum Sabine (Myrtaceae) Fresh Leaves: Chemical Characterization and in vitro Antibacterial Activity Against Endodontic Pathogens]]> Abstract Endodontic infections result from oral pathogenic bacteria which reach and infect dental pulp, as well as surrounding tissues, through cracks, unrepaired caries and failed caries restorations. This study aims to determine the chemical composition of essential oil from Psidium cattleianum leaves (PC-EO) and to assess its antibacterial activity against endodontic bacteria. Antibacterial activity of PC-EO was evaluated in terms of its minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values by the broth microdilution method on 96-well microplates. Bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis (MIC = 20 µg/mL), Prevotella nigrescens (MIC = 62.5 µg/mL), Fusobacterium nucleatum (MIC = 12.5 µg/mL), Actinomyces naeslundii (MIC = 50 µg/mL), Bacteroides fragilis (MIC = 12.5 µg/mL), Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (MIC = 6.25 µg/mL) and Peptostreptococcus anaerobius (MIC = 62.5 µg/mL) were evaluated and compared to chlorhexidine dihydrochloride (CDH), the positive control. PC-EO was obtained by hydrodistillation with the use of a Clevenger-type apparatus whereas its chemical composition was analyzed by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Viridiflorol (17.9%), β-caryophyllene (11.8%), 1,8-cineole (10.8%) and β-selinene (8.6%) were the major constituents found in PC-EO, which exhibited high antibacterial activity against all endodontic pathogens under investigation. Therefore, PC-EO, a promising source of bioactive compounds, may provide therapeutic solutions for the field of endodontics. <![CDATA[Assessment of Experimental Models for Obtaining Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells]]> Abstract Creating experimental models for obtaining stem cells from adipose tissue is necessary to elucidate their peculiar features. Objective: This study proposed a reliable reproducible and consistent experimental model for obtaining mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue. Material and Method: Lines of New Zealand rabbits, Wistar rats and CaviaPorcellus guinea pigs (4 animals per species) were used. Fatty tissue mesenchymal stem cells were removed from dorsal, epididymal and inguinal regions. Percentage viable cells and percentage cells expanded and submitted to chondrogenic differentiation were compared by animal species and collection site. Results: Chondrogenic differentiation occurred in a similar manner across all samples, independently of animal species or collection site. Among samples assessed, the inguinal region of rats yielded the highest percentage of viable and expanded cells. Conclusion: A reliable, reproducible and consistent model for obtaining mesenchymal stem cells was produced. Of the several variables analysed, the best results were obtained from the inguinal region of the rat. <![CDATA[Evaluation of Quality of Chia (Salvia hispanica), Sesame (Sesamum indicum), and Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) Oils]]> Abstract Each year, the consumption of vegetable oils increases gradually. Some oils, such as chia, sesame, and quinoa, are consumed due to the nutritional properties and health promoters that have been recognized in their components. Based on this premise, the present study aimed to characterize chia (Salvia hispanica), sesame (Sesamum inducum), and quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) oils, in order to enable their applications in the development of new food products. Chia oil presented higher degradation, as it stood out with higher amounts of free fatty acids (4.46%) and peroxide value (18.35 meq/kg). It is an oil that is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (75.47%), and, consequently, with high refractive index (1,475) and iodine value (192.86 g/100 g). Quinoa oil stood out for its higher oxidative stability (17.55 h) and higher amount of phenolic compounds (190.84 mg/100 g). Sesame and quinoa oils showed no significant difference for carotenoids, but sesame oil had higher content of total tocopherols (656.50 mg/kg). Thus, the oils can be used in technological processes and/ or in the formulation of new food products, in order to their increase the nutritional value. <![CDATA[Brazilian Green Propolis: Chemical Composition of Essential Oil and Their In Vitro Antioxidant, Antibacterial and Antiproliferative Activities]]> Abstract Propolis is a resinous substance collected and processed by Apis mellifera from parts of plants, buds and exudates. In Minas Gerais (MG) state, Brazil, green propolis is produced from the collection of resinous substance found in shoot apices of Baccharis dracunculifolia. This paper aims to investigate the chemical composition and in vitro antioxidant, anti-Helicobacter pylori, antimycobacterial and antiproliferative activities of essential oil (EO) from Brazilian green propolis (BGP-EO). The oil showed high antibacterial activity against H. pylori (MIC = 6.25 µg/mL), Mycobacterium avium (MIC = 62.5 µg/mL) and M. tuberculosis (MIC = 64 µg/mL). Its antioxidant activity was evaluated in vitro by both DPPH (IC50 = 23.48 µg/mL) and ABTS (IC50 = 32.18 µg/mL) methods. The antiproliferative activity in normal (GM07492A, lung fibroblasts) and tumor cell lines (MCF-7, HeLa and M059J) was analyzed by the XTT assay. BGP-EO showed inhibition of normal cell growth at 68.93 ± 2.56 µg/mL. Antiproliferative activity was observed against human tumor cell lines, whose IC50 values were 56.17, 66.43 and -65.83 µg/mL for MCF-7, HeLa and M059J cells, respectively. Its major constituents, which were determined by GC-FID and GC-MS, were carvacrol (20.7 %), acetophenone (13.5 %), spathulenol (11.0 %), (E)-nerolidol (9.7 %) and β-caryophyllene (6.2 %). These results showed the effectiveness of BGP-EO as a natural product which has promising biological activities. <![CDATA[Neuroprotective Effect of Isobenzofuranones on Hydrogen Peroxide-Mediated Redox Imbalance in Primary Cultures of Hippocampal Neurons]]> Abstract In live organisms, there is a balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their neutralization. The increased level of these species leads to a condition called redox imbalance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective action of isobenzofuranones in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons subjected to redox imbalance. To accomplish this, MTT and LIVE/DEAD assays were initially performed. In the cultures pretreated with isobenzofuranones 1 and 2, there was a higher number of live cells when compared to that in the untreated ones. Regarding redox imbalance, there was a significant increase in the intracellular levels of ROS. The cultures pretreated with isobenzofuranones showed a reduction in ROS levels. Lipid peroxidation caused by oxidative damage was significantly reduced in the cultures pretreated with isobenzofuranones 1 and 2. Taken together, these data show the ability of isobenzofuranones 1 and 2 to significantly minimize cytotoxicity, cell death, intracellular levels of ROS and lipid peroxidation induced by redox imbalance. These results suggest that isobenzofuranones 1 and 2 represent a possible alternative therapy for the neurodegenerative disturbances that are triggered by ROS production increases. <![CDATA[Spray Drying of Coloring Extracts Produced by Fungi Isolated from Brazilian Caves]]> Abstract Pigments produced by submerged fermentation of three filamentous fungi isolated from Brazilian caves, namely Aspergillus keveii, Penicillium flavigenum, and Epicoccum nigrum, were submitted to spray drying in presence of the adjuvants maltodextrin, modified starch or gum arabic. Yellow fine powders with low moisture content and water activity, and high color retention (&gt; 70%) were successfully generated with a high product recovery ratio (&gt; 50%), independently of the adjuvant used. The dried products have enhanced stability and potential to might be used as a natural colorant in food and pharmaceutical applications. <![CDATA[Phytochemical Screening of Callus and Cell Suspensions Cultures of Thevetia peruviana]]> Abstract Thevetia peruviana is an ornamental shrub grown-up in many tropical region of the world. This plant produces secondary metabolites with biological properties of interest for the pharmaceutical industry. The objective was to determine the secondary metabolites profile of callus and cell suspension cultures of T. peruviana and compare them with those from explant (fruit pulp). Extracts in 50% aqueous ethanol and ethyl acetate were prepared. The phytochemical analysis was performed using standard chemical tests and thin layer chromatography. In addition, total phenolic and flavonoids compounds (TPC and TFC), total cardiac glycosides (TCG) and total antioxidant activity (TAA) was determined during the cell suspension growth. Phenolic chemical profile was also analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Common metabolites (alkaloids, amino acids, antioxidants, cardiac glycosides, leucoanthocyanidins, flavonoids, phenols, sugars and triterpenes) were detected in all samples. The maximum production of extracellular TCG, TPC, TFC and TAA in cells suspensions were at 6-12 days; in contrast, intracellular content was relatively constant during the exponential grown phase (0 to 12-days). HPLC analysis detected one compound with retention time at 11.6 min; this compound was tentatively identified as dihydroquercetin, a flavonoid with anti-cancer properties. These results provide evidence on the utility of the in vitro cell cultures of T. peruviana for valuable pharmaceutical compounds production. <![CDATA[First Report of Agrobacterium rhizogenes-induced Hairy Root Formation in Selaginella bryopteris: a Pteridophyte Recalcitrant to Genetic Transformation]]> Abstract we report A. rhizogenes-induced hairy root formation in S. bryopteris, a medicinally and commercially important plant. A. rhizogenes strain LBA1334 co-cultivated with explants (root, rhizophore, stem portion near the root, and stem with intact fronds) for 24 and 48 h after transformation for induction of hairy roots. The induction of hairy root was observed after 6 days of infection in case of 48 h co-cultivation only. PCR with rolA and virC gene specific primers confirmed the induced hairy roots were due to Ri T-DNA integration and not due to contaminating A. rhizogenes. The root network as explants showed the maximum transformation efficiency. We tested different media like MS, SHFR (Stage Hog Fern Root) and KNOP’s during transformation for hairy root induction. The SHFR based media showed good response in transformation as well as propagation. Further, transformation efficiency was enhanced by addition of TDZ (2 mg/L) and Bevistin (0.1%) in SHFR media. The present work would be helpful in hairy roots-based in vitro production of secondary metabolites and on aspect of functional genomics of S. bryopteris. <![CDATA[Anatomy and Histochemistry of Leaf and Stem of Brazilian Endemic Species Mollinedia clavigera Tul.]]> Abstract This study aimed to investigate the anatomy and histochemistry of Mollinedia clavigera leaves and stems through photonic microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Noteworthy features of leaves were: presence of paracytic stomata on both surfaces; simple as well as bifurcate non-glandular trichomes; prismatic calcium oxalate crystals; flat-convex midrib with a central and two dorsal bundles; concave-convex petiole with a single vascular bundle in open archh. Stems were cylindrical and showed prismatic and styloid crystals in the pith. Histochemical analysis detected lipophilic and phenolic compounds, starch grains and lignified elements such as brachysclereids and fibers. These features may assist in future identifications and quality control of M. clavigera, avoid misidentification between other genus members, once species and genus studies are scarce. <![CDATA[Synthesis and Characterization of Acetylated Cassava Starch with Different Degrees of Substitution]]> Abstract Acetylated cassava starch with low and medium degrees of substitution (DS) were synthesized. Also, the effect of DS on swelling power, solubility, morphological properties, gelatinization temperature, paste clarity and moisture sorption were studied. Swelling power and solubility in water between 50ºC and 90°C were determined. Acetylated cassava starches with low DS showed an increased in both parameters, while at higher DS values a reduction of them was observed. Maximum swelling power values were measured in acetylated starch with DS of 0.2 and maximum solubility was registered at DS of 0.72. Equilibrium moisture content values from sorption isotherms presented a good fit using the GAB model (R2&gt;0.96). SEM micrographs showed that as acetyl groups are incorporated the granules suffer surface changes and eventually lose their structure at DS of 1.5. Clarity of acetylated starch pastes with low DS was lighter than native starch paste. In addition, the increase in DS produced a reduction in gelatinization temperature. <![CDATA[Effect of Artificial Ageing Using Different Wood Chips on Physico-chemical, Sensory and Antimicrobial Properties of Apple Tea Wine]]> Abstract: Freshly prepared apple tea wine (a combination of tea extract and apple juice) is having yeasty and dull flavour, which needs to be improved to increase the acceptability of this product. Therefore, an attempt has been made for artificial ageing of apple tea wine using different wood chips to improve its physico-chemical, sensory and antimicrobial attributes. Different types of wood chips (Quercus spp., Bombax spp. and Acacia spp.) were added respectively (2.5 g/L to the freshly prepared apple tea wine) and allowed for ageing in carboys for the six months at the room temperature. The influence of each wood species on physico-chemical, sensory and antimicrobial attributes was tested upto 6 months of storage. Storage intervals significantly affected all the physico-chemical attributes (except total sugars, volatile acidity, and antioxidant activity), whereas, the addition of wood chips affected titratable acidity, ethanol, higher alcohols, total phenols, and amino acid. Cluster analysis of the physico-chemical attributes data revealed the same and showed that storage intervals exerted more effect on the physico-chemical and antimicrobial properties of the apple tea wine rather than the wood chips. The antimicrobial activity of 6 months aged wine was low as compared to the fresh wine. Among all the wood chips, apple tea wine aged with Quercus spp. possesses a significantly higher score (according to desirability) than the wine aged with other wood chips and control. In nutshell, apple tea wine matured with Quercus spp. wood chips for 6 months were the best with improved physico-chemical and sensory attributes. <![CDATA[Castor Bean Cake Protein-based Biodegradable Films: Gallic Acid Effect]]> Abstract: The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of gallic acid (GA) concentration on some physical properties and biodegradability of films produced with proteins extracted from the castor bean cake. The films, prepared by the casting technique, showed homogeneous and brownish appearance. As the GA concentration increased (from 0 to 10 g/100 g protein), the films gradually became darker and more opaque; while the gloss had few significant differences. Solubility, tensile strength and elasticity modulus values of films varied due to changing concentrations of gallic acid. Elongation at break and water vapor permeability values did not have significant changes. A 60% mineralization value of the film containing GA was obtained at 21 days, evidencing its biodegradability. These dark and opaque films could be used in agriculture, specifically in seedling bags as the dark color decrease the incidence of light, preventing root weakening, and the seedlings can be transplanted directly without removal of the film. <![CDATA[Characterization of Roasted Coffea arabica Species by the Relationship Between Caffeine and Diterpenes Contents]]> Abstract Commercial roasted and ground coffees are usually blends of Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora. Considering the differences in price and sensory characteristics between these two species, the identification of the presence of each species in commercial blends is of great interest. The aim of this study was to describe typical profiles of caffeine and diterpenes (kahweol and cafestol) contents and the ratios among these compounds to support the characterization of Coffea species in roasted coffees. 32 good cup quality Brazilian C. arabica coffees (from coffee quality contests) produced using different postharvest treatments were studied. All analysis were performed by HPLC. Higher ranges were observed in diterpene contents - kahweol varied from 1.75 to 10.68 g/kg (coefficient of variation of 510%) and cafestol from 1.76 to 9.66 g/kg (449%) - than caffeine, that varied from 5.1 to 16.2 g/kg (coefficient of variation of 218%). Wide ranges of the kahweol/cafestol ratio (0.63 to 2.77) and the caffeine/kahweol ratio (0.84 to 5.15) were also observed. Hence it was proposed the additional use of a new parameter, the ratio of caffeine/sum of diterpenes (kahweol + cafestol) that presents values from 0.54 to 2.39. The results indicated that the combined use of these parameters could be a potential tool for discriminating Coffea species in blends of roasted and ground coffee. It was proposed as potentially indicative of C. arabica: values of kahweol/cafestol ratio above 0.50, associated with caffeine/kahweol ratio lower than 5.50 and caffeine/sum of diterpenes ratio lower than 2.50. <![CDATA[Phytosterols Content in Vegetable Oils of Brazil: Coconut, Safflower, Linseed and Evening Primrose]]> Abstract In the last years phytosterols, natural components of plants, have received more attention due to association of their consumption with reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. There are several scientific studies about phytosterols in vegetable oils, but they are scarce in unconventional oils. The objective of this research was evaluating the content of phytosterols (β-sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol) in vegetable oils sold in São Paulo city, in Brazil. The analysis included cold alkaline saponification, derivatization with hexamethyldisilazane and trimethylchlorosilane reagents, and quantification by gas chromatography using flame ionization detection and internal standardization. The quality control parameters indicated that the method was suitable for analysis. Total sterols were between 272.3 mg kg-1 (coconut oil) to 6169.7 mg kg-1 (evening primrose oil). β-sitosterol was the component found in higher concentrations and evening primrose oil was the most representative in quantity of phytosterols. <![CDATA[Degradation of Caffeine by Heterogeneous Photocatalysis Using ZnO with Fe and Ag]]> Abstract The organic compound caffeine when detected in environmental matrices such as surface waters and groundwater is considered as an emerging contaminant, in which its effects are still unknown. Therefore, in the present research, zinc oxide-based catalysts impregnated with iron and silver were prepared for the reaction of caffeine degradation by heterogeneous photocatalysis. The wet impregnation method with excess solvent was applied to the preparation of the materials, later they were characterized by adsorption of N2, X-ray diffraction and photoacoustic spectroscopy. Then, the photodegradation, photolysis and adsorption tests were carried out, in which it was observed that only the presence of the radiation or photocatalysts could not sufficiently degrade the caffeine, however when combined radiation with all the catalysts studied here presented degradation above 70% at the end of 300 minutes of the reaction, and the best catalyst studied was that containing 8% Ag in non-calcined ZnO. Thus, these results point out that the methodology employed in this research, both for the preparation of the catalysts and in the process of the photocatalysis reaction, was efficient in the degradation of the emerging contaminant, caffeine, which could later be used for a mixture of other contaminants. <![CDATA[Synthesis of Renewable Poly(limonene): A Kinetic Modeling Study to Improve the Polymerization]]> Abstract Despite its potential in the production of polymers from renewable sources, D-limonene faces difficulties in its polymerization, resulting in low monomer conversion and molar mass. In order to investigate the non-ideality inherent kinetics, this work explores different modeling strategies for D-limonene radical polymerization, using benzoyl peroxide as initiator. The starting model considered the classical approach for conventional radical polymerization. This model was then corrected by including reaction orders different from the unit. After an analysis and choice of the best model, computer simulations were compared with experimental results from literature, validating the chosen approach. It was found that the process is drastically influenced by chain transfer reactions, presenting a non-ideal behavior. Finally, an analysis of distinct reaction conditions provided information on monomer conversion, molar mass and polymer dispersity, which could guide future research in the synthesis optimization. Higher molar mass poly(limonene) were obtained by simultaneously reducing the monomer and initiator concentrations. <![CDATA[Leaching of Pervious Concrete Produced Using Mixed Recycled Aggregates]]> Abstract Waste produced by the construction sector is a problem that has grown over the last few years. Construction and demolition waste makes up about 50% by mass of the total solid waste produced in Brazil. One alternative by which to reduce this volume is recycling this material in the form of aggregates. However, it is necessary to analyze the environmental risk that the use of recycled aggregates can entail for adjacent soil and the water table. The purpose of this work was to evaluate pervious concrete samples that contained recycled aggregates and to subject them to leaching tests. The results were compared with the limits established by the Italian methodology. Aggregates with 10, 25, 50, and 100% ceramic were used, as well as a recycled concrete aggregate and a natural aggregate. With the exception of the 25% ceramic trial, all the treatments introduced chromium to the water in which they were immersed, with accumulated concentrations varying from 0.009 to 0.099 mg L-1. Cadmium was found in higher quantities, with cumulated concentrations between 0.104 and 0.417 mg L-1. Sulfate concentrations were higher after 24 h of immersion, with a maximum release of 71.7 mg L-1. The concrete made with 100% ceramic aggregate leached more chromium and sulfate than the other aggregates. <![CDATA[Kinetics and Equilibrium of Mercury Sorption by Three Different Types of Live Algae]]> Abstract The kinetics and equilibrium of experimental data of mercury (II) sorption using three different macrophytes E. crassipes, E. azurea and S. ariculata were analyzed. From the kinetic models used, the model 1, which considers the surface area of constant sorption, presents the coefficient of determination, R2, closer to the unit (0.97). Already, in the liquid phase, the best fit of the experimental data was obtained for model 2 (R2=0.96), which considers the variable surface area. The calculated values for the determination coefficients indicate that the Redlich-Peterson isotherm best describes the equilibrium (R2=0.79). The results show that the macrophyte S. ariculata surface area, which presented the highest adsorption potential (15.77x10-4m2.g-1), was far below those found in the best adsorbents. However, considering the large volume of adsorbent material required in an industrial plant and the low cost of the analyzed adsorbents, it is considered that the macrophytes investigated have a considerable potential for the removal of mercury from wastewater. <![CDATA[Potentiality of Epoxy-Montmorillonite Composite for Stir-Bar Sorptive Extraction for Determination of Atrazine]]> Abstract A new low-cost material is presented for the first time, aiming to study the sorption process for the stir-bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) technique. The bars were made using a composition of a commercial epoxy resin and montmorillonite, under different compositions and a final ratio of 70% (epoxy) and 30% (montmorillonite) was employed, providing the best mechanical and chemical resistance. A PTFE support was developed to hold the bars permitting the magnetic stirring, without turbulent behavior even under long times of stirring at 1000 rpm. The bars were employed to study the sorption of the herbicide atrazine (ATZ), and the best extraction conditions were: sample volume 20.0 mL, pH 6.0, extraction time of 15 min, room temperature, stirring speed of 100 rpm, and 10.0% (w v-1) NaCl. This preliminary evaluation suggests that the modified bars could be employed for ATZ sorption, affording close to 71% of ATZ removal, and presented robust characteristics to be used at least 80 times. <![CDATA[Influence of Landfill Leachate on Organic Matter Removal in Activated Sludge and Activated Sludge with Carrier Processes]]> Abstract This study assessed the performance of two pilot units, a conventional activated sludge (CAS) and an Integrated Fixed-Film Activated Sludge (IAS), in the treatment of leachate from sanitary landfill combined with domestic sewage, with the aim of removing organic substances. In order to assess the possible impacts on treatment, three experimental phases were designed using influent leachate contributions of 5%, 10%, and 20% of the total BOD load. Overall, the results showed that no significant changes in the behavior of biological processes. The IAS unit presented average BOD removal efficiencies of above 88%, 87% and 80% for the three leachate load contributions of 5%, 10% and 20% studied. The CAS unit presented lower average efficiency with a 5% leachate contribution (64%), but displayed a similar performance to the IAS unit in the other phases (82% and 80%); similar quantitative aspects were observed for both treatment processes with regards to biomass composition analysis. The kinetic coefficients related to heterotrophic metabolism did not indicate negative effects on treatment efficiency as a result of the increase in leachate addition, with values of 2.8; 2.8 and 2.7 d-1 obtained respectively for each phase with the CAS unit, and 2.0; 1.5 and 1.6 d-1 with the IAS unit, representing similar values to those found in the literature (1.5 a 5.0 d-1). The results reinforced the conclusion that the leachate load introduced did not cause inhibition or significant alterations to heterotrophic metabolism, and, therefore, to the removal of organic matter. <![CDATA[Photocatalytic Degradation of Textile dye Orange-122 Via Electrospray Mass Spectrometry]]> Abstract This work reports the study of the potential application of Zn/TiO2 catalysts, obtained by the sol-gel method, in processes of environmental decontamination through the reactions of photodegradation of textile dye, followed by electrospray mass spectrometry. The catalysts synthesis was performed according to a 2² factorial design with repetition at the central point. The characterization techniques used were: N2 adsorption measurements (BET method), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray (MEV/EDS), X-ray diffraction and point of zero charge (PZC). The photocatalytic tests were performed in batch in the presence of sunlight, and to evaluate the degradation kinetics study, a rapid direct injection electrospray mass spectrometry (DI-ESI-MS) method has been developed. By the photocatalytic tests, the calcination temperature of 400 °C has shown the best results of discoloration for the reactive Orange-122 dye (99.76%) in a reaction time of 2h. The discoloration kinetics were a pseudo-first order, and a statistical analysis was performed to investigate the effects of the variables and to optimize the conditions of discoloration to the dye. After the reactional time of 2 h, an ion of m/z 441.5 was detected by ESI-MS, indicating that the photocatalytic process was effective for the degradation of the dye to secondary compounds. <![CDATA[Influence of Polymorphism of Vitamin D Receptor (<em>Fok I</em>) on Hypertension]]> Abstract Evidence suggests that polymorphisms in the gene encoding a vitamin D receptor might affect blood pressure. The objective of this systematic review was to investigate the association between hypertension and vitamin D receptor (Fok I) gene polymorphism. A literature search was performed according to the PRISMA guidelines using the MEDLINE®/PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library CENTRAL, SciELO, and LILACS databases. The quality of case-control or cohort studies and studies based on cross-sectional methodology was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the protocol of Loney and coauthors [25], respectively. In this systematic literature search, 215 publications were identified, of which 10 were analyzed, including seven case-control studies, two cross-sectional studies, and one cohort study. The association between Fok I polymorphism and hypertension was reported in 60% of the publications and the risk for hypertension was shown to be related to FF and ff genotypes. In addition, Fok I polymorphism was shown to increase plasma renin activity, which plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. However, no association was observed between Fok I polymorphism and serum vitamin D levels. In conclusion, Fok I polymorphism plays an important role in hypertension. <![CDATA[ERRATUM: Investigation of Mode of Action of Anti Bacterial Activity of Salacia Oblonga Extract Against Drug Resistant Pathogen]]> Abstract Evidence suggests that polymorphisms in the gene encoding a vitamin D receptor might affect blood pressure. The objective of this systematic review was to investigate the association between hypertension and vitamin D receptor (Fok I) gene polymorphism. A literature search was performed according to the PRISMA guidelines using the MEDLINE®/PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library CENTRAL, SciELO, and LILACS databases. The quality of case-control or cohort studies and studies based on cross-sectional methodology was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the protocol of Loney and coauthors [25], respectively. In this systematic literature search, 215 publications were identified, of which 10 were analyzed, including seven case-control studies, two cross-sectional studies, and one cohort study. The association between Fok I polymorphism and hypertension was reported in 60% of the publications and the risk for hypertension was shown to be related to FF and ff genotypes. In addition, Fok I polymorphism was shown to increase plasma renin activity, which plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. However, no association was observed between Fok I polymorphism and serum vitamin D levels. In conclusion, Fok I polymorphism plays an important role in hypertension.