Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1680

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Bioengineering and Life Sciences]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

1680 High-Risk Gene Variant Profiling Models Ethnic Disparities in Diabetes Vulnerability

Authors: Jianhua Zhang, Weiping Chen, Guanjie Chen, Jason Flannick, Emma Fikse, Glenda Smerin, Yanqin Yang, Yulong Li, John A. Hanover, William F. Simonds

Abstract:

Ethnic disparities in many diseases are well recognized and reflect the consequences of genetic, behavior, and environmental factors. However, direct scientific evidence connecting the ethnic genetic variations and the disease disparities has been elusive, which may have led to the ethnic inequalities in large scale genetic studies. Through the genome-wide analysis of data representing 185,934 subjects, including 14,955 from our own studies of the African America Diabetes Mellitus, we discovered sets of genetic variants either unique to or conserved in all ethnicities. We further developed a quantitative gene function-based high-risk variant index (hrVI) of 20,428 genes to establish profiles that strongly correlate with the subjects' self-identified ethnicities. With respect to the ability to detect human essential and pathogenic genes, the hrVI analysis method is both comparable with and complementary to the well-known genetic analysis methods, pLI and VIRlof. Application of the ethnicity-specific hrVI analysis to the type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) national repository, containing 20,791 cases and 24,440 controls, identified 114 candidate T2DM-associated genes, 8.8-fold greater than that of ethnicity-blind analysis. All the genes identified are defined as either pathogenic or likely-pathogenic in ClinVar database, with 33.3% diabetes-associated and 54.4% obesity-associated genes. These results demonstrate the utility of hrVI analysis and provide the first genetic evidence by clustering patterns of how genetic variations among ethnicities may impede the discovery of diabetes and foreseeably other disease-associated genes.

Keywords: T2DM, HRVI, diabetes-associated genes, ethnic health disparities, high-risk variant index

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1679 Germline Mutations of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases Pathway Signaling Pathway Genes in Children

Authors: Nouha Bouayed Abdelmoula, Rim Louati, Nawel Abdellaoui, Balkiss Abdelmoula, Oldez Kaabi, Walid Smaoui, Samir Aloulou

Abstract:

Background and Aims: Cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome (CFC) is an autosomal dominant disorder with the vast majority of cases arising by a new mutation of BRAF, MEK1, MEK2, or rarely, KRAS genes. Here, we report a rare Tunisian case of CFC syndrome for whom we identify SOS1 mutation. Methods: Genomic DNA was obtained from peripheral blood collected in an EDTA tube and extracted from leukocytes using the phenol/chloroform method according to standard protocols. High resolution melting (HRM) analysis for screening of mutations in the entire coding sequence of PTPN11 was conducted first. Then, HRM assays to look for hot spot mutations coding regions of the other genes of the RAS-MAPK pathway (RAt Sarcoma viral oncogene homolog Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases Pathway): SOS1, SHOC2, KRAS, RAF1, KRAS, NRAS, CBL, BRAF, MEK1, MEK2, HRAS, and RIT1, were applied. Results: Heterozygous SOS1 point mutation clustered in exon 10, which encodes for the PH domain of SOS1, was identified: c.1655 G > A. The patient was a 9-year-old female born from a consanguineous couple. She exhibited pulmonic valvular stenosis as congenital heart disease. She had facial features and other malformations of Noonan syndrome, including macrocephaly, hypertelorism, ptosis, downslanting palpebral fissures, sparse eyebrows, a short and broad nose with upturned tip, low-set ears, high forehead commonly associated with bitemporal narrowing and prominent supraorbital ridges, short and/or webbed neck and short stature. However, the phenotype is also suggestive of CFC syndrome with the presence of more severe ectodermal abnormalities, including curly hair, keloid scars, hyperkeratotic skin, deep plantar creases, and delayed permanent dentition with agenesis of the right maxillary first molar. Moreover, the familial history of the patient revealed recurrent brain malignancies in the paternal family and epileptic disease in the maternal family. Conclusions: This case report of an overlapping RASopathy associated with SOS1 mutation and familial history of brain tumorigenesis is exceptional. The evidence suggests that RASopathies are truly cancer-prone syndromes, but the magnitude of the cancer risk and the types of cancer partially overlap.

Keywords: brain cancer, cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, CFC, SOS1, germline mutation

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1678 Settings of Conditions Leading to Reproducible and Robust Biofilm Formation in vitro in Evaluation of Drug Activity against Staphylococcal Biofilms

Authors: Adela Diepoltova, Klara Konecna, Ondrej Jandourek, Petr Nachtigal

Abstract:

A loss of control over antibiotic-resistant pathogens has become a global issue due to severe and often untreatable infections. This state is reflected in complicated treatment, health costs, and higher mortality. All these factors emphasize the urgent need for the discovery and development of new anti-infectives. One of the most common pathogens mentioned in the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance are bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus. These bacterial agents have developed several mechanisms against the effect of antibiotics. One of them is biofilm formation. In staphylococci, biofilms are associated with infections such as endocarditis, osteomyelitis, catheter-related bloodstream infections, etc. To author's best knowledge, no validated and standardized methodology evaluating candidate compound activity against staphylococcal biofilms exists. However, a variety of protocols for in vitro drug activity testing has been suggested, yet there are often fundamental differences. Based on our experience, a key methodological step that leads to credible results is to form a robust biofilm with appropriate attributes such as firm adherence to the substrate, a complex arrangement in layers, and the presence of extracellular polysaccharide matrix. At first, for the purpose of drug antibiofilm activity evaluation, the focus was put on various conditions (supplementation of cultivation media by human plasma/fetal bovine serum, shaking mode, the density of initial inoculum) that should lead to reproducible and robust in vitro staphylococcal biofilm formation in microtiter plate model. Three model staphylococcal reference strains were included in the study: Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 29213), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 43300), and Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC 35983). The total biofilm biomass was quantified using the Christensen method with crystal violet, and results obtained from at least three independent experiments were statistically processed. Attention was also paid to the viability of the biofilm-forming staphylococcal cells and the presence of extracellular polysaccharide matrix. The conditions that led to robust biofilm biomass formation with attributes for biofilms mentioned above were then applied by introducing an alternative method analogous to the commercially available test system, the Calgary Biofilm Device. In this test system, biofilms are formed on pegs that are incorporated into the lid of the microtiter plate. This system provides several advantages (in situ detection and quantification of biofilm microbial cells that have retained their viability after drug exposure). Based on our preliminary studies, it was found that the attention to the peg surface and substrate on which the bacterial biofilms are formed should also be paid to. Therefore, further steps leading to the optimization were introduced. The surface of pegs was coated by human plasma, fetal bovine serum, and L-polylysine. Subsequently, the willingness of bacteria to adhere and form biofilm was monitored. In conclusion, suitable conditions were revealed, leading to the formation of reproducible, robust staphylococcal biofilms in vitro for the microtiter model and the system analogous to the Calgary biofilm device, as well. The robustness and typical slime texture could be detected visually. Likewise, an analysis by confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed a complex three-dimensional arrangement of biofilm forming organisms surrounded by an extracellular polysaccharide matrix.

Keywords: Surface Coating, anti-biofilm drug activity screening, in vitro biofilm formation, microtiter plate model, the Calgary biofilm device, staphylococcal infections, substrate modification

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1677 Impedance Based Biosensor for Agricultural Pathogen Detection

Authors: Rhea Patel, Madhuri Vinchurkar, Rajul Patkar, Gopal Pranjale, Maryam Shojaei Baghini

Abstract:

One of the major limitations on food resources worldwide is the deterioration of plant products due to pathogenic infections. Early screening of plants for pathogenic infections can serve as a boon in the Agricultural sector. The standard microbiology techniques has not kept pace with the rapid enumeration and automated methods for bacteria detection. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) serves as a label free bio sensing technique to monitor pathogens in real time. The changes in the electrical impedance of a growing bacterial culture can be monitored to detect activity of microorganisms. In this study, we demonstrate development of a gold interdigitated electrode (gold IDE) based impedance biosensor to detect bacterial cells in real on-field crop samples. To calibrate our impedance measurement system, nutrient broth suspended Escherichia coli cells were used. We extended this calibrated protocol to identify the agricultural pathogens in real potato tuber samples. Distinct difference was seen in the impedance recorded for the healthy and infected potato samples. Our results support the potential application of this Impedance based biosensor in Agricultural pathogen detection.

Keywords: Agriculture, Biosensor, Pathogen Detection, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, microelectrode

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1676 Transfer Learning for Protein Structure Classification at Low Resolution

Authors: Alexander Hudson, Shaogang Gong

Abstract:

Structure determination is key to understanding protein function at a molecular level. Whilst significant advances have been made in predicting structure and function from amino acid sequence, researchers must still rely on expensive, time-consuming analytical methods to visualise detailed protein conformation. In this study, we demonstrate that it is possible to make accurate (≥80%) predictions of protein class and architecture from structures determined at low (>3A) resolution, using a deep convolutional neural network trained on high-resolution (≤3A) structures represented as 2D matrices. Thus, we provide proof of concept for high-speed, low-cost protein structure classification at low resolution, and a basis for extension to prediction of function. We investigate the impact of the input representation on classification performance, showing that side-chain information may not be necessary for fine-grained structure predictions. Finally, we confirm that high resolution, low-resolution and NMR-determined structures inhabit a common feature space, and thus provide a theoretical foundation for boosting with single-image super-resolution.

Keywords: Neural Networks, Transfer Learning, protein distance maps, protein structure classification

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1675 RNA-Seq Analysis of Coronaviridae Family and SARS-Cov-2 Prediction Using Proposed ANN

Authors: Busra Mutlu Ipek, Merve Mutlu, Ahmet Mutlu

Abstract:

Novel coronavirus COVID-19, which has recently influenced the world, poses a great threat to humanity. In order to overcome this challenging situation, scientists are working on developing effective vaccine against coronavirus. Many experts and researchers have also produced articles and done studies on this highly important subject. In this direction, this special topic was chosen for article to make a contribution to this area. The purpose of this article is to perform RNA sequence analysis of selected virus forms in the Coronaviridae family and predict/classify SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) from other selected complete genomes in coronaviridae family using proposed Artificial Neural Network(ANN) algorithm.

Keywords: Neural Network, RNA Sequencing, ANN, COVID-19, Coronaviridae family

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1674 Pathogenic Escherichia Coli Strains and Their Antibiotic Susceptibility Profiles in Cases of Child Diarrhea at Addis Ababa University, College of Health Sciences, Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Authors: Benyam Zenebe, Tesfaye Sisay, Gurja Belay, Workabeba Abebe

Abstract:

Background: The prevalence and antibiogram of pathogenic E. coli strains, which cause diarrhea vary from region to region, and even within countries in the same geographical area. In Ethiopia, diagnostic approaches to E. coli induced diarrhea in children less than five years of age are not standardized. The aim of this study was to determine the involvement of pathogenic E. coli strains in child diarrhea and determine the antibiograms of the isolates in children less than 5 years of age with diarrhea at Addis Ababa University College of Health Sciences TikurAnbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Methods: A purposive study that included 98 diarrheic children less than five years of age was conducted at Addis Ababa University College of Health Sciences, TikurAnbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to detect pathogenic E. coli biotypes. Stool culture was used to identify presumptive E. coliisolates. Presumptive isolates were confirmed by biochemical tests, and antimicrobial susceptibility tests were performed on confirmed E. coli isolates by the disk diffusion method. DNA was extracted from confirmed isolates by a heating method and subjected to Polymerase Chain Reaction or the presence of virulence genes. Amplified PCR products were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis. Data were collected on child demographics and clinical conditions using administered questionnaires. The prevalence of E. coli strains from the total diarrheic children, and the prevalence of pathogenic strains from total E. coli isolates along with their susceptibility profiles; the distribution of pathogenic E.coli biotypes among different age groups and between the sexes were determined by using descriptive statistics. Result: Out of 98 stool specimens collected from diarrheic children less than 5 years of age, 75 presumptive E. coli isolates were identified by culture; further confirmation by biochemical tests showed that only 56 of the isolates were E. coli; 29 of the isolates were found in male children and 27 of them in female children. Out of the 58 isolates of E. coli, 25 pathotypes belonging to different classes of pathogenic strains: STEC, EPEC, EHEC, EAEC were detected by using the PCR technique. Pathogenic E. coli exhibited high rates of antibiotic resistance to many of the antibiotics tested. Moreover, they exhibited multiple drug resistance. Conclusion: This study found that the isolation rate of E. coli and the involvement of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic E. coli in diarrheic children is prominent, and hence focus should be given on the diagnosis and antimicrobial sensitivity testing of pathogenic E. coli at Addis Ababa University College of Health Sciences TikurAnbessa Specialized Hospital. Among antibiotics tested, Cefotitan could be a drug of choice to treat E. coli.

Keywords: Children, Pathogenic, Diarrhea, E. coli, antibiotic susceptibility profile

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1673 Analysis of Expression Data Using Unsupervised Techniques

Authors: M. A. I Perera, C. R. Wijesinghe, A. R. Weerasinghe

Abstract:

his study was conducted to review and identify the unsupervised techniques that can be employed to analyze gene expression data in order to identify better subtypes of tumors. Identifying subtypes of cancer help in improving the efficacy and reducing the toxicity of the treatments by identifying clues to find target therapeutics. Process of gene expression data analysis described under three steps as preprocessing, clustering, and cluster validation. Feature selection is important since the genomic data are high dimensional with a large number of features compared to samples. Hierarchical clustering and K Means are often used in the analysis of gene expression data. There are several cluster validation techniques used in validating the clusters. Heatmaps are an effective external validation method that allows comparing the identified classes with clinical variables and visual analysis of the classes.

Keywords: Clustering, cancer subtypes, gene expression data analysis, cluster validation

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1672 An Emergence of Pinus taeda Needle Defoliation and Tree Mortality in Alabama, USA

Authors: Lori G. Eckhardt, Debit Datta, Jeffrey J. Coleman, Scott A. Enebak

Abstract:

Pinus taeda, commonly known as loblolly pine, is a crucial timber species native to the southeastern USA. An emerging problem has been encountered for the past few years, which is better to be known as loblolly pine needle defoliation (LPND), which is threatening the ecological health of southeastern forests and economic vitality of the region’s timber industry. Currently, more than 1000 hectares of loblolly plantations in Alabama are affected with similar symptoms and have created concern among southeast landowners and forest managers. However, it is still uncertain whether LPND results from one or the combination of several fungal pathogens. Therefore, the objectives of the study were to identify and characterize the fungi associated with LPND in the southeastern USA and document the damage being done to loblolly pine as a result of repeated defoliation. Identification of fungi was confirmed using classical morphological methods (microscopic examination of the infected needles), conventional and species-specific priming (SSPP) PCR, and ITS sequencing. To date, 17 species of fungi, either cultured from pine needles or formed fruiting bodies on pine needles, were identified based on morphology and genetic sequence data. Among them, brown-spot pathogen Lecanostica acicola has been frequently recovered from pine needles in both spring and summer. Moreover, Ophistomatoid fungi such as Leptographium procerum, L. terebrantis are associated with pine decline have also been recovered from root samples of the infected stands. Trees have been increasingly and repeatedly chlorotic and defoliated from 2019 to 2020. Based on morphological observations and molecular data, emerging loblolly pine needle defoliation is due in larger part to the brown-spot pathogen L. acoicola followed by pine decline pathogens L. procerum and L. terebrantis. Root pathogens were suspected to emerge later, and their cumulative effects contribute to the widespread mortality of the trees. It is more likely that longer wet spring and warmer temperatures are favorable to disease development and may be important in the disease ecology of LPND. Therefore, the outbreak of the disease is assumed to be expanded over a large geographical area in a changing climatic condition.

Keywords: Emerging Disease, Defoliation, brown-spot fungi, loblolly pine

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1671 Antibacterial Activity of Trans-Cinnamaldehyde and Geraniol and Their Potential as Ingredients of Biocidal Polymers

Authors: Daria Olkiewicz, Maciej Walczak

Abstract:

In this paper, the biocidal effects of trans-cinnamaldehyde (a main component of cinnamon oil) and geraniol (a constituent of Pelargonium graveolens essential oil) are presented. The activity of the combination of trans-cinnamaldehyde and geraniol was tested against 3 bacterial strains: Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538 (Gramm+), Escherichia coli ATCC8739 (Gramm-, Lac+) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa KKP 991(Gramm-, Lac-). The biocidal activity of trans-cinnamaldehyde-geraniol mixture against bacteria mentioned above was evaluated by disk-diffusion method. The model strains were exposed on 1, 2.5, 5 and 10 mg of trans-cinnamaldehyde-geraniol mixture per disk, and all strains were susceptible to this combination of plant compounds. For all microorganisms, also Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimal Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) were estimated. For Staphylococcus aureus MIC was 0.0625 mg/ml of the trans-cinnamaldehyde and geraniol mixture, and MBC was 1.25 mg/ml; For Escherichia coli MIC=0.5 mg/ml, MBC=1 mg/ml, and finally Pseudomonas aeruginosa was inhibited in 0.5 mg/ml, and minimal biocidal concentration of tested mixture for it was 1.25 mg/ml. There are also reports about the synergistic working of trans-cinnamaldehyde and geraniol against microorganisms and the antimicrobial activity of polymers enriched with trans-cinnamaldehyde or geraniol, therefore the successful development and introduction to the today life of biocidal polymer enriched with trans-cinnamaldehyde and geraniol are possible.

Keywords: antibacterial activity, geraniol, biocidal polymers, trans-cinnamaldehyde

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1670 Micro-CT Imaging Of Hard Tissues

Authors: Amir Davood Elmi

Abstract:

From the earliest light microscope to the most innovative X-ray imaging techniques, all of them have refined and improved our knowledge about the organization and composition of living tissues. The old techniques are time consuming and ultimately destructive to the tissues under the examination. In recent few decades, thanks to the boost of technology, non-destructive visualization techniques, such as X-ray computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM), and optical projection tomography (OPT), have come to the forefront. Among these techniques, CT is excellent for mineralized tissues such as bone or dentine. In addition, CT it is faster than other aforementioned techniques and the sample remains intact. In this article, applications, advantages, and limitations of micro-CT is discussed, in addition to some information about micro-CT of soft tissue.

Keywords: Bone, Rapid prototyping, attenuation coefficient, micro-CT, hard tissue

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1669 Iron Influx, Its Root-Shoot Relations and Utilization Efficiency in Wheat

Authors: Abdul Malik Dawlatzai, Shafiqullah Rahmani

Abstract:

Plant cultivars of the same species differ in their Fe efficiency. This paper studied the Fe influx and root-shoot relations of Fe at different growth stages in wheat. The four wheat cultivars (HD 2967, PDW 233, PBW 550 and PDW 291) were grown in pots in Badam Bagh agricultural researching farm, Kabul under two Fe treatments: (i) 0 mg Fe kg⁻¹ soil (soil with 2.7 mg kg⁻¹ of DTPA-extractable Fe) and (ii) 50 mg Fe kg⁻¹ soil. Root length (RL), shoot dry matter (SDM), Fe uptake, and soil parameters were measured at tillering and anthesis. Application of Fe significantly increased RL, root surface area, SDM, and Fe uptake in all wheat cultivars. Under Fe deficiency, wheat cv. HD 2967 produced 90% of its maximum RL and 75% of its maximum SDM. However, PDW 233 produced only 69% and 60%, respectively. Wheat cultivars HD 2967, and PDW 233 exhibited the highest and lowest value of root surface area and Fe uptake, respectively. The concentration difference in soil solution Fe between bulk soil and root surface (ΔCL) was maximum in wheat cultivar HD 2967, followed by PBW 550, PDW 291, and PDW 233. More depletion at the root surface causes steeper concentration gradients, which result in a high influx and transport of Fe towards root. Fe influx in all the wheat cultivars increased with the Fe application, but the increase was maximum, i.e., 4 times in HD 2967 and minimum, i.e., 2.8 times in PDW 233. It can be concluded that wheat cultivars HD 2967 and PBW 550 efficiently utilized Fe as compared to other cultivars. Additionally, iron efficiency of wheat cultivars depends upon uptake of each root segment, i.e., the influx, which in turn depends on depletion of Fe in the rhizosphere during vegetative phase and higher utilization efficiency of acquired Fe during reproductive phase that governs the ultimate grain yield.

Keywords: Rhizosphere, Fe efficiency, Fe influx, Fe uptake

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1668 Application of Acoustic Emissions Related to Drought Can Elicit Antioxidant Responses and Capsaicinoids Content in Chili Pepper Plants

Authors: Laura Helena Caicedo Lopez, Luis Miguel Contreras Medina, Ramon Gerardo Guevara Gonzales, Juan E. Andrade

Abstract:

In this study, we evaluated the effect of three different hydric stress conditions: Low (LHS), medium (MHS), and high (HHS) on capsaicinoid content and enzyme regulation of C. annuum plants. Five main peaks were detected using a 2 Hz resolution vibrometer laser (Polytec-B&K). These peaks or “characteristic frequencies” were used as acoustic emissions (AEs) treatment, transforming these signals into audible sound with the frequency (Hz) content of each hydric stress. Capsaicinoids (CAPs) are the main, secondary metabolites of chili pepper plants and are known to increase during hydric stress conditions or short drought-periods. The AEs treatments were applied in two plant stages: the first one was in the pre-anthesis stage to evaluate the genes that encode the transcription of enzymes responsible for diverse metabolic activities of C. annuum plants. For example, the antioxidant responses such as peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD). Also, phenyl-alanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) involved in the biosynthesis of the phenylpropanoid compounds. The chalcone synthase (CHS) related to the natural defense mechanisms and species-specific aquaporin (CAPIP-1) that regulate the flow of water into and out of cells. The second stage was at 40 days after flowering (DAF) to evaluate the biochemical effect of AEs related to hydric stress on capsaicinoids production. These two experiments were conducted to identify the molecular responses of C. annuum plants to AE. Moreover, to define AEs could elicit any increase in the capsaicinoids content after a one-week exposition to AEs treatments. The results show that all AEs treatment signals (LHS, MHS, and HHS) were significantly different compared to the non-acoustic emission control (NAE). Also, the AEs induced the up-regulation of POD (~2.8, 2.9, and 3.6, respectively). The gene expression of another antioxidant response was particularly treatment-dependent. The HHS induced and overexpression of Mn-SOD (~0.23) and PAL (~0.33). As well, the MHS only induced an up-regulation of the CHs gene (~0.63). On the other hand, CAPIP-1 gene gas down-regulated by all AEs treatments LHS, MHS, and HHS ~ (-2.4, -0.43 and -6.4, respectively). Likewise, the down-regulation showed particularities depending on the treatment. LHS and MHS induced downregulation of the SOD gene ~ (-1.26 and -1.20 respectively) and PAL (-4.36 and 2.05, respectively). Correspondingly, the LHS and HHS showed the same tendency in the CHs gene, respectively ~ (-1.12 and -1.02, respectively). Regarding the elicitation effect of AE on the capsaicinoids content, additional treatment controls were included. A white noise treatment (WN) to prove the frequency-selectiveness of signals and a hydric stressed group (HS) to compare the CAPs content. Our findings suggest that WN and NAE did not present differences statically. Conversely, HS and all AEs treatments induced a significant increase of capsaicin (Cap) and dihydrocapsaicin (Dcap) after one-week of a treatment. Specifically, the HS plants showed an increase of 8.33 times compared to the NAE and WN treatments and 1.4 times higher than the MHS, which was the AEs treatment with a larger induction of Capsaicinoids among treatments (5.88) and compared to the controls.

Keywords: acoustic emission, elicitors, Capsaicinoids, hydric stress, plant signaling

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1667 Semi-Natural Meadows of Natura 2000 Habitats – Conservation and Renewable Energy Source

Authors: Mateusz Meserszmit, Mariusz Chrabąszcz, Adriana Trojanowska-Olichwer, Zygmunt Kącki

Abstract:

Semi-natural meadows are valuable communities from the point of view of biodiversity, but their survival is strongly related to human activity. Unfortunately, the current status of preservation of extensively used meadows in Europe is frequently assessed as “unfavorable”. This is due to agricultural activity, in particular the lack of appropriate conservation procedures such as the cutting of meadows or livestock grazing. However, for more effective protective measures, the preservation of the biological diversity of meadows requires an interdisciplinary approach from both scientists and practitioners from many fields. Our research aimed to present the possibility of conservation of semi-natural meadows using cut biomass for the production of bioenergy – biogas, taking into consideration the botanical characteristics of the studied habitat and the chemical properties of biomass. A field study was conducted in Poland, within an area covered by the European Union's nature conservation programme. The samples were collected on four dates (May 24th, July 1st, July 23rd, and September 1st) from a study site established within a Molinion meadow. The biomass collected at the earliest date mostly consisted of plants with flowers in bud or fully open flowers. At the later harvest dates, most plants were at the fruiting or seed shed stage. An earlier stage of plant growth contributed to a lower biomass yield, which also resulted in a lower methane yield per hectare. The methane yield per hectare was at the end of May 482 m3 CH4 ha-1, at the beginning of July 867 m3 CH4 ha-1, at the end of July 759 m3 CH4 ha-1 and at the beginning of September 730 m3 CH4 ha-1. The biomass harvested in May demonstrated a significantly higher content of the elements: N, P, and K, but a lower Ca content compared to later harvested biomass, which may affect the biogas production process. The use of hay as a source of renewable energy can become an important element of conservation adapted for this type of habitat.

Keywords: biomass, Bioenergy, Nature Conservation, grassland

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1666 The Role of Two Macrophyte Species in Mineral Nutrient Cycling in Human-Impacted Water Reservoirs

Authors: Ludmila Polechonska, Agnieszka Klink

Abstract:

The biogeochemical studies of macrophytes shed light on elements bioavailability, transfer through the food webs and their possible effects on the biota, and provide a basis for their practical application in aquatic monitoring and remediation. Measuring the accumulation of elements in plants can provide time-integrated information about the presence of chemicals in aquatic ecosystems. The aim of the study was to determine and compare the contents of micro- and macroelements in two cosmopolitan macrophytes, submerged Ceratophyllum demersum (hornworth) and free-floating Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (European frog-bit), in order to assess their bioaccumulation potential, elements stock accumulated in each plant and their role in nutrients cycling in small water reservoirs. Sampling sites were designated in 25 oxbow lakes in urban areas in Lower Silesia (SW Poland). In each sampling site, fresh whole plants of C. demersum and H. morsus-ranae were collected from squares of 1x1 meters each where the species coexisted. European frog-bit was separated into leaves, stems and roots. For biomass measurement all plants growing on 1 square meter were collected, dried and weighed. At the same time, water samples were collected from each reservoir and their pH and EC were determined. Water samples were filtered and acidified and plant samples were digested in concentrated nitric acid. Next, the content of Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni and Zn was determined using atomic absorption method (AAS). Statistical analysis showed that C. demersum and organs of H. morsus-ranae differed significantly in respect of metals content (Kruskal-Wallis Anova, p<0.05). Contents of Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn were higher in hornwort, while European frog-bit contained more Ca, Fe, K, Mg. Bioaccumulation Factors (BCF=content in plant/concentration in water) showed similar pattern of metal bioaccumulation – microelements were more intensively accumulated by hornwort and macroelements by frog-bit. Based on BCF values both species may be positively evaluated as good accumulators of Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni and Zn. However, the distribution of metals in H. morsus-ranae was uneven – the majority of studied elements were retained in roots, which may indicate to existence of physiological barriers developed for dealing with toxicity. Some percent of Ca and K was actively transported to stems, but to leaves Mg only. Although the biomass of C. demersum was two times greater than biomass of H. morsus-ranae, the element off-take was greater only for Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn. Nevertheless, it can be stated that despite a relatively small biomass, compared to other macrophytes, both species may have an influence on the removal of trace elements from aquatic ecosystems and, as they serve as food for some animals, also on the incorporation of toxic elements into food chains. There was a significant positive correlation between content of Mn and Fe in water and roots of H. morus-ranae (R=0.51 and R=0.60, respectively) as well as between Cu concentration in water and in C. demersum (R=0.41) (Spearman rank correlation, p<0.05). High bioaccumulation rates and correlation between plants and water elements concentrations point to their possible use as passive biomonitors of aquatic pollution.

Keywords: Phytoremediation, Biomonitoring, Trace Metals, Aquatic Plants, bioaccumulation, macroelements

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1665 Effect of SCN5A Gene Mutation in Endocardial Cell

Authors: Helan Satish, M. Ramasubba Reddy

Abstract:

The simulation of an endocardial cell for gene mutation in the cardiac sodium ion channel NaV1.5, encoded by SCN5A gene, is discussed. The characterization of Brugada Syndrome by loss of function effect on SCN5A mutation due to L812Q mutant present in the DII-S4 transmembrane region of the NaV1.5 channel protein and its effect in an endocardial cell is studied. Ten Tusscher model of human ventricular action potential is modified to incorporate the changes contributed by L812Q mutant in the endocardial cells. Results show that BrS-associated SCN5A mutation causes reduction in the inward sodium current by modifications in the channel gating dynamics such as delayed activation, enhanced inactivation, and slowed recovery from inactivation in the endocardial cell. A decrease in the inward sodium current was also observed, which affects depolarization phase (Phase 0) that leads to reduction in the spike amplitude of the cardiac action potential.

Keywords: action potential, cardiac arrhythmia, SCN5A gene mutation, sodium channel, Brugada syndrome

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1664 Assessment of in vitro Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Potentials of Methanol Extract of Chrysophyllum albidum Cotyledon

Authors: Christianah Adebimpe Dare, Nelson Oghenebrorhie Elvis

Abstract:

This study was aimed at analysing the phytochemicals in Chrysophyllum albidum cotyledon extract and their in vitro antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The star apple fruit was bought at Igbona market Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. The seed from the fruit was removed and defatted. The residue was exhaustively extracted with methanol. The Chrysophyllum albidum cotyledon methanol extract (CCME) was phytochemically screened, flavonoids and phenol contents, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory assays were carried out on the extract using standard procedures. Phytochemicals analysis revealed the presence of steroids, tannins, flavonoid, saponin, triterpenes, and xanthoproteins. The phenolic concentration, total flavonoids concentration, and total sugar concentration were found to be 26.72 ± 0.048 µgTAE/mg, 23.12 ± 1.92µg of Rutin equivalent (RTE)/mg (10.49 ± 1.12µg of Quercetin equivalent (QE/mg) and 778.38 ± 12.82 µg of glucose/ml, respectively. The extract demonstrated significant inhibitory effect compared with the standards as potent antioxidant with percentage inhibition of DPPH as 38.10 %-39.51 %, lipid peroxidation as 45.85 %-65.85 %; ferric reducing power showed linear correlation to the standard and the anti-inflammatory potential with 22.06 %-26.37 % protection of the human red blood membrane and the percentage inhibition of denaturation of albumin 3.42 %-7.32 %. The study showed that C. albidum cotyledon methanol extract is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent to combat oxidative stress and pathological diseases caused by reactive species.

Keywords: Lipid Peroxidation, Free Radicals, albumin denaturation, reactive species

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1663 Mobulid Ray Fishery Characteristics and Trends in East Java to Inform Management Decisions

Authors: Irianes C. Gozali, Selvia Oktaviyani, Sila K. Sari, Betty J.L. Laglbauer, Muhammad G. Salim, Isabel Ender, Fahmi, Didik Rudianto

Abstract:

Muncar, East Java, is one of the largest artisanal fisheries in Indonesia. Sharks and rays are caught as both target and bycatch, for local meat consumption and with some derived products exported. Of the seven mobulid ray species occurring in Indonesia, five have been recorded as retained bycatch at Muncar fishing port: the spinetail devil ray (Mobula mobular), the bentfin devil ray (Mobula thurstoni), the sicklefin devil ray (Mobula tarapacana), the oceanic manta ray (Mobula birostris) and the reef manta ray (Mobula alfredi). Both manta ray species are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and are protected in Indonesia despite still being captured as bycatch, while all the three devil ray species mentioned here are listed as Endangered and do not currently benefit from any protection in Indonesian waters. Mobulid landings in East Java are caused primarily by small-scale drift gillnets but they also occasionally occur on longlines and in purse-seines operating off the coast of East Java and occasionally in fishing grounds located as far as the Makassar and Sumba Straits. Landing trends from 2015-2019 (non-continuous surveys) revealed that the highest abundance of mobulid rays at Muncar fishing port occurs during the upwelling season from June-October. During El-Nino or above-average temperature years, this may extend until November (such as in 2015 and 2019). The strong seasonal upwelling along the East Java coast is linked to higher zooplankton abundance (inferred from chlorophyll-a sea-surface concentrations), on which mobulids forage, along with teleost fishes constituting the primary target of gillnet fisheries in the Bali Strait. Mobulid ray landings in Muncar were dominated by Mobula mobular, followed by M. thurstoni, M. tarapacana, M. birostris and M. alfredi, however, the catch varied across years and seasons. A majority of immature individuals were recorded in M. mobular and M. thurstoni, and slight decreases in landings, despite no known changes in fishing effort, were observed across the upwelling seasons of 2015-2018 for M. mobular. While all mobulids are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which regulates international trade in gill plates sought after in the Chinese Medicine Trade, local and national-level management measures are required to sustain mobulid populations. The findings presented here provide important baseline data, from which potential management approaches can be identified.

Keywords: Indonesia, devil ray, mobulid, Manta ray

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1662 Characterization of Transmembrane Proteins with Five Alpha-Helical Regions

Authors: Misty Attwood, Helgi Schioth

Abstract:

Transmembrane proteins are important components in many essential cell processes such as signal transduction, cell-cell signalling, transport of solutes, structural adhesion activities, and protein trafficking. Due to their involvement in diverse critical activities, transmembrane proteins are implicated in different disease pathways and hence are the focus of intense interest in understanding functional activities, their pathogenesis in disease, and their potential as pharmaceutical targets. Further, as the structure and function of proteins are correlated, investigating a group of proteins with the same tertiary structure, i.e., the same number of transmembrane regions, may give understanding about their functional roles and potential as therapeutic targets. In this in silico bioinformatics analysis, we identify and comprehensively characterize the previously unstudied group of proteins with five transmembrane-spanning regions (5TM). We classify nearly 60 5TM proteins in which 31 are members of ten families that contain two or more family members and all members are predicted to contain the 5TM architecture. Furthermore, nine singlet proteins that contain the 5TM architecture without paralogues detected in humans were also identifying, indicating the evolution of single unique proteins with the 5TM structure. Interestingly, more than half of these proteins function in localization activities through movement or tethering of cell components and more than one-third are involved in transport activities, particularly in the mitochondria. Surprisingly, no receptor activity was identified within this family in sharp contrast with other TM families. Three major 5TM families were identified and include the Tweety family, which are pore-forming subunits of the swelling-dependent volume regulated anion channel in astrocytes; the sidoreflexin family that acts as mitochondrial amino acid transporters; and the Yip1 domain family engaged in vesicle budding and intra-Golgi transport. About 30% of the proteins have enhanced expression in the brain, liver, or testis. Importantly, 60% of these proteins are identified as cancer prognostic markers, where they are associated with clinical outcomes of various tumour types, indicating further investigation into the function and expression of these proteins is important. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of proteins with 5TM regions and provides details of the unique characteristics and application in pharmaceutical development.

Keywords: Drug Targets, cancer prognostic marker, transmembrane protein

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1661 Mathematical Modeling of Avascular Tumor Growth and Invasion

Authors: Ben Nadler, Mohsen Akbari, Meitham Amereh

Abstract:

Cancer has been recognized as one of the most challenging problems in biology and medicine. Aggressive tumors are a lethal type of cancers characterized by high genomic instability, rapid progression, invasiveness, and therapeutic resistance. Their behavior involves complicated molecular biology and consequential dynamics. Although tremendous effort has been devoted to developing therapeutic approaches, there is still a huge need for new insights into the dark aspects of tumors. As one of the key requirements in better understanding the complex behavior of tumors, mathematical modeling and continuum physics, in particular, play a pivotal role. Mathematical modeling can provide a quantitative prediction on biological processes and help interpret complicated physiological interactions in tumors microenvironment. The pathophysiology of aggressive tumors is strongly affected by the extracellular cues such as stresses produced by mechanical forces between the tumor and the host tissue. During the tumor progression, the growing mass displaces the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM), and due to the level of tissue stiffness, stress accumulates inside the tumor. The produced stress can influence the tumor by breaking adherent junctions. During this process, the tumor stops the rapid proliferation and begins to remodel its shape to preserve the homeostatic equilibrium state. To reach this, the tumor, in turn, upregulates epithelial to mesenchymal transit-inducing transcription factors (EMT-TFs). These EMT-TFs are involved in various signaling cascades, which are often associated with tumor invasiveness and malignancy. In this work, we modeled the tumor as a growing hyperplastic mass and investigated the effects of mechanical stress from surrounding ECM on tumor invasion. The invasion is modeled as volume-preserving inelastic evolution. In this framework, principal balance laws are considered for tumor mass, linear momentum, and diffusion of nutrients. Also, mechanical interactions between the tumor and ECM is modeled using Ciarlet constitutive strain energy function, and dissipation inequality is utilized to model the volumetric growth rate. System parameters, such as rate of nutrient uptake and cell proliferation, are obtained experimentally. To validate the model, human Glioblastoma multiforme (hGBM) tumor spheroids were incorporated inside Matrigel/Alginate composite hydrogel and was injected into a microfluidic chip to mimic the tumor’s natural microenvironment. The invasion structure was analyzed by imaging the spheroid over time. Also, the expression of transcriptional factors involved in invasion was measured by immune-staining the tumor. The volumetric growth, stress distribution, and inelastic evolution of tumors were predicted by the model. Results showed that the level of invasion is in direct correlation with the level of predicted stress within the tumor. Moreover, the invasion length measured by fluorescent imaging was shown to be related to the inelastic evolution of tumors obtained by the model.

Keywords: Cancer, Mathematical Modeling, microfluidic chip, invasion, tumor spheroids

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1660 Peptide Aptasensor for Electrochemical Detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Authors: Shah Abbas

Abstract:

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic, inflammatory autoimmune disease, affecting an overall 1% of the global population. Despite being tremendous efforts by scientists, early diagnosis of RA still has not been achieved. In the current study, a Graphene oxide (GO) based electrochemical sensor has been developed for early diagnosis of RA through Cyclic voltammetry. Chitosan (CHI), a CPnatural polymer has also been incorporated along with GO in order to enhance the biocompatibility and functionalization potential of the biosensor. CCPs are known antigens for Anti Citrullinated Peptide Antibodies (ACPAs) which can be detected in serum even 14 years before the appearance of symptoms, thus they are believed to be an ideal target for the early diagnosis of RA. This study has yielded some promising results regarding the binding and detection of ACPAs through changes in the electrochemical properties of biosensing material. The cyclic voltammogram of this biosensor reflects the binding of ACPAs to the biosensor surface, due to its shifts observed in the current flow (cathodic current) as compared to the when no ACPAs bind as it is absent in RA negative patients.

Keywords: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cyclic Voltammetry, Graphene Oxide, peptide sensor, anti citrullinated peptide antibodies

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1659 Biotechnology Approach: A Tool of Enhancement of Sticky Mucilage of Pulicaria Incisa (Medicinal Plant) for Wounds Treatment

Authors: Djamila Chabane, Asma Rouane, Karim Arab

Abstract:

Depending of the chemical substances responsible for the pharmacological effects, a future therapeutic drug might be produced by extraction from whole plants or by callus initiated from some parts. The optimized callus culture protocols now offer the possibility to use cell culture techniques for vegetative propagation and open minds for further studies on secondary metabolites and drug establishment. In Algerian traditional medicine, Pulicaria incisa (Asteraceae) is used in the treatment of daily troubles (stomachache, headhache., cold, sore throat and rheumatic arthralgia). Field findings revealed that many healers use some fresh parts (leaves, flowers) of this plant to treat skin wounds. This study aims to evaluate the healing efficiency of artisanal cream prepared from sticky mucilage isolated from calluses on dermal wounds of animal models. Callus cultures were initiated from reproductive explants (young inflorescences) excised from adult plants and transferred to a MS basal medium supplemented with growth regulators and maintained under dark for for months. Many calluses types were obtained with various color and aspect (friable, compact). Several subcultures of calli were performed to enhance the mucilage accumulation. After extraction, the mucilage extracts were tested on animal models as follows. The wound healing potential was studied by causing dermal wounds (1 cm diameter) at the dorsolumbar part of Rattus norvegicus; different samples of the cream were applied after hair removal on three rats each, including two controls (one treated by Vaseline and one without any treatment), two experimental groups (experimental group 1, treated with a reference ointment "Madecassol® and experimental group 2 treated by callus mucilage cream for a period of seventeen days. The evolution of the healing activity was estimated by calculating the percentage reduction of the area wounds treated by all compounds tested compared to the controls by using AutoCAD software. The percentage of healing effect of the cream prepared from callus mucilage was (99.79%) compared to that of Madecassol® (99.76%). For the treatment time, the significant healing activity was observed after 17 days compared to that of the reference pharmaceutical products without any wound infection. The healing effect of Madecassol® is more effective because it stimulates and regulates the production of collagen, a fibrous matrix essential for wound healing. Mucilage extracts also showed a high capacity to heal the skin without any infection. According to this pharmacological activity, we suggest to use calluses produced by in vitro culture to producing new compounds for the skin care and treatment.

Keywords: Wounds, calluses, Pulicaria incisa, mucilage

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1658 Plasma-Induced Modification of Biomolecules: A Tool for Analysis of Protein Structures

Authors: Yuting Wu, Faraz Choudhury, Daniel Benjamin, James Whalin, Joshua Blatz, Leon Shohet, Michael Sussman, Mark Richards

Abstract:

Plasma-Induced Modification of Biomolecules (PLIMB) has been developed as a technology, which, together with mass spectrometry, measures three-dimensional structural characteristics of proteins. This technique uses hydroxyl radicals generated by atmospheric-pressure plasma discharge to react with the solvent-accessible side chains of protein in an aqueous solution. In this work, we investigate the three-dimensional structure of hemoglobin and myoglobin using PLIMB. Additional modifications to these proteins, such as oxidation, fragmentations, and conformational changes caused by PLIMB are also explored. These results show that PLIMB, coupled with mass spectrometry, is an effective way to determine solvent access to hemoproteins. Furthermore, we show that many factors, including pH and the electrical parameters used to generate the plasma, have a significant influence on solvent accessibility.

Keywords: plasma, hemoglobin, myoglobin, solvent access

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1657 Investigation of the Excitotoxicity Pathways in Neuroblastoma Cells

Authors: Merve Colak, Gizem Donmez Yalcin

Abstract:

Glutamate has many neurological functions in the central nervous system and is found at high concentrations in the brain. Increased levels of glutamate in the neuronal space are toxic, causing neuron damage and death. This is called glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity is among the causes of many neurological diseases such as trauma, cerebral ischemia, epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease. Since neuroblastoma cells are known to be excitotoxic, we propose that excitotoxicity can be studied in neuroblastoma cells. Excitotoxicity can be induced using kainic acid in neuroblastoma cells. Measuring the secretion of glutamate, excitotoxicity can be analyzed in neuroblastoma cells.

Keywords: glutamate, excitotoxicity, kainic acid, Sirt4

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1656 Improving the Biocontrol of the Argentine Stem Weevil; Using the Parasitic Wasp Microctonus hyperodae

Authors: John G. Skelly, Peter K. Dearden, Thomas W. R. Harrop, Sarah N. Inwood, Joseph Guhlin

Abstract:

The Argentine stem weevil (ASW; L. bonariensis) is an economically important pasture pest in New Zealand, which causes about $200 million of damage per annum. Microctonus hyperodae (Mh), a parasite of the ASW in its natural range in South America, was introduced into New Zealand to curb the pasture damage caused by the ASW. Mh is an endoparasitic wasp that lays its eggs in the ASW halting its reproduction. Mh was initially successful at preventing ASW proliferation and reducing pasture damage. The effectiveness of Mh has since declined due to decreased parasitism rates and has resulted in increased pasture damage. Although the mechanism through which ASW has developed resistance to Mh has not been discovered, it has been proposed to be due to the different reproductive modes used by Mh and the ASW in New Zealand. The ASW reproduces sexually, whereas Mh reproduces asexually, which has been hypothesised to have allowed the ASW to ‘out evolve’ Mh. Other species within the Microctonus genus reproduce both sexually and asexually. Strains of Microctonus aethiopoides (Ma), a species closely related to Mh, reproduce either by sexual or asexual reproduction. Comparing the genomes of sexual and asexual Microctonus may allow for the identification of the mechanism of asexual reproduction and other characteristics that may improve Mh as a biocontrol agent. The genomes of Mh and three strains of Ma, two of which reproduce sexually and one reproduces asexually, have been sequenced and annotated. The French (MaFR) and Moroccan (MaMO) reproduce sexually, whereas the Irish strain (MaIR) reproduces asexually. Like Mh, The Ma strains are also used as biocontrol agents, but for different weevil species. The genomes of Mh and MaIR were subsequently upgraded using Hi-C, resulting in a set of high quality, highly contiguous genomes. A subset of the genes involved in mitosis and meiosis, which have been identified though the use of Hidden Markov Models generated from genes involved in these processes in other Hymenoptera, have been catalogued in Mh and the strains of Ma. Meiosis and mitosis genes were broadly conserved in both sexual and asexual Microctonus species. This implies that either the asexual species have retained a subset of the molecular components required for sexual reproduction or that the molecular mechanisms of mitosis and meiosis are different or differently regulated in Microctonus to other insect species in which these mechanisms are more broadly characterised. Bioinformatic analysis of the chemoreceptor compliment in Microctonus has revealed some variation in the number of olfactory receptors, which may be related to host preference. Phylogenetic analysis of olfactory receptors highlights variation, which may be able to explain different host range preferences in the Microctonus. Hi-C clustering implies that Mh has 12 chromosomes, and MaIR has 8. Hence there may be variation in gene regulation between species. Genome alignment of Mh and MaIR implies that there may be large scale genome structural variation. Greater insight into the genetics of these agriculturally important group of parasitic wasps may be beneficial in restoring or maintaining their biocontrol efficacy.

Keywords: Genomics, argentine stem weevil, asexual, Microctonus hyperodae

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1655 The Order Russulales of Basidiomycota: Systematics, Ecology and Chemotaxonomy

Authors: Marco Clericuzio, Alfredo Vizzini

Abstract:

The secondary metabolites of Russulales (one of the main orders of phylum Basidiomycota), have been studied. They are mainly terpenoids, with sesquiterpenes being the most common ones, but also triterpenoids and prenylated phenols have been isolated. We found that classes of specific compounds seem to be often allied to systematic groupings, so that they may have chemotaxonomic significance. Moreover, the ecological implications of such metabolites, as well as their biological activities, are discussed. Lately, we have focused our attention on the anti-arthropod activity of Russula metabolites, in particular on the toxicity against mites and other crop pests.

Keywords: Fungi, insecticidal activity, terpenoids, chemotaxonomy, russulales

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1654 Estimating Interdependence of Social Statuses in a Cooperative Breeding Birds through Mathematical Modelling

Authors: Santanu Ray, Sinchan Ghosh, Fahad Al Basir, Sabyasachi Bhattacharya

Abstract:

The cooperatively breeding birds have two major ranks for the sexually mature birds. The breeders mate and produce offspring while the non-breeding helpers increase the chick production rate through help in mate-finding and allo-parenting. However, the chicks also cooperate to raise their younger siblings through warming, defending and food sharing. Although, the existing literatures describes the evolution of allo-parenting in birds but do not differentiate the significance of allo-parenting in sexually immature and mature helpers separately. This study addresses the significance of both immature and mature helpers’ contribution to the total sustainable bird population in a breeding site using Blue-tailed bee-eater as a test-bed species. To serve this purpose, a mathematical model has been built considering each social status and chicks as separate but interactive compartments. Also, to observe the dynamics of each social status with changing prey abundance, a prey population has been introduced as an additional compartment. The model was analyzed for stability condition and was validated using field-data. A simulation experiment was then performed to observe the change in equilibria with a varying helping rate from both the helpers. The result from the simulation experiment suggest that the cooperative breeding population changes its population sizes significantly with a change in helping rate from the sexually immature helpers. On the other hand, the mature helpers do not contribute to the stability of the population equilibrium as much as the immature helpers.

Keywords: Behavioural Modelling, Altruism, Blue-tailed bee eater, Mathematical Ethology

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1653 Effects of Evening vs. Morning Training on Motor Skill Consolidation in Morning-Oriented Elderly

Authors: Maria Korman, Carmit Gal, Ella Gabitov, Avi Karni

Abstract:

The main question addressed in this study was whether the time-of-day wherein training is afforded is a significant factor for motor skill ('how-to', procedural knowledge) acquisition and consolidation into long term memory in the healthy elderly population. Twenty-nine older adults (60-75 years) practiced an explicitly instructed 5-element key-press sequence by repeatedly generating the sequence ‘as fast and accurately as possible’. Contribution of three parameters to acquisition, 24h post-training consolidation, and 1-week retention gains in motor sequence speed was assessed: (a) time of training (morning vs. evening group) (b) sleep quality (actigraphy) and (c) chronotype. All study participants were moderately morning type, according to the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire score. All participants had sleep patterns typical of age, with average sleep efficiency of ~ 82%, and approximately 6 hours of sleep. Speed of motor sequence performance in both groups improved to a similar extent during training session. Nevertheless, evening group expressed small but significant overnight consolidation phase gains, while morning group showed only maintenance of performance level attained at the end of training. By 1-week retention test, both groups showed similar performance levels with no significant gains or losses with respect to 24h test. Changes in the tapping patterns at 24h and 1-week post-training were assessed based on normalized Pearson correlation coefficients using the Fisher’s z-transformation in reference to the tapping pattern attained at the end of the training. Significant differences between the groups were found: the evening group showed larger changes in tapping patterns across the consolidation and retention windows. Our results show that morning-oriented older adults effectively acquired, consolidated, and maintained a new sequence of finger movements, following both morning and evening practice sessions. However, time-of-training affected the time-course of skill evolution in terms of performance speed, as well as the re-organization of tapping patterns during the consolidation period. These results are in line with the notion that motor training preceding a sleep interval may be beneficial for the long-term memory in the elderly. Evening training should be considered an appropriate time window for motor skill learning in older adults, even in individuals with morning chronotype.

Keywords: Motor Learning, Elderly, chronotype, time-of-day, memory consolidation

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1652 A Photoredox (C)sp³-(C)sp² Coupling Method Comparison Study

Authors: Ying Wang, Shasline Gedeon, Tiffany W. Ardley, Nathan J. Gesmundo, Katarina A. Sarris, Ana L. Aguirre

Abstract:

Drug discovery and delivery involve drug targeting, an approach that helps find a drug against a chosen target through high throughput screening and other methods by way of identifying the physical properties of the potential lead compound. Physical properties of potential drug candidates have been an imperative focus since the unveiling of Lipinski's Rule of 5 for oral drugs. Throughout a compound's journey from discovery, clinical phase trials, then becoming a classified drug on the market, the desirable properties are optimized while minimizing/eliminating toxicity and undesirable properties. In the pharmaceutical industry, the ability to generate molecules in parallel with maximum efficiency is a substantial factor achieved through sp²-sp² carbon coupling reactions, e.g., Suzuki Coupling reactions. These reaction types allow for the increase of aromatic fragments onto a compound. More recent literature has found benefits to decreasing aromaticity, calling for more sp³-sp² carbon coupling reactions instead. The objective of this project is to provide a comparison between various sp³-sp² carbon coupling methods and reaction conditions, collecting data on production of the desired product. There were four different coupling methods being tested amongst three cores and 4-5 installation groups per method; each method ran under three distinct reaction conditions. The tested methods include the Photoredox Decarboxylative Coupling, the Photoredox Potassium Alkyl Trifluoroborate (BF3K) Coupling, the Photoredox Cross-Electrophile (PCE) Coupling, and the Weix Cross-Electrophile (WCE) Coupling. The results concluded that the Decarboxylative method was very difficult in yielding product despite the several literature conditions chosen. The BF3K and PCE methods produced competitive results. Amongst the two Cross-Electrophile coupling methods, the Photoredox method surpassed the Weix method on numerous accounts. The results will be used to build future libraries.

Keywords: Drug discovery, high throughput chemistry, photoredox chemistry, sp³-sp² carbon coupling methods

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1651 Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activity of Limeum indicum and Euphorbia granulata

Authors: Hina Ashraf, Noshaba Dilbar

Abstract:

Medicinal plants are considered as rich source of ingredients which can be used in drug development and synthesis. Moreover, these plants play a vital role in the development of human culture of using ayurvedic medicines around the whole world. Among all plants, dessert plants are being proved as effective source of ayurvedic medicines and remedy against many diseases. Considering the fact, two plant species Limium indicum and Euphorbia granulata were taken from Cholistan dessert of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Firstly, phytochemical screening was done by making dry and fresh plant extracts in five different solvents i.e Petroleum ether, benzene, chloroform, ethanol and methanol. Standard confirmation tests for all compounds were applied for analysis. Results revealed the presence of high range of bioactive compounds such as alakaloids, terpenoids, glycosides, steroids, flavonoids, saponins, phytosterols, oxalic acid, anthocyanin and quinone in both plants. Best results were obtained by methanolic, chloroform and petroleum ether extracts and methanolic, ethanolic and benzene extracts of Limium indicum and Euphorbia granulate respectively. Considering the results, methanolic extracts of both plants were further analysed for antibacterial activity. Plants were analysed against four pathogens including Escherchia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aruginosa using disc diffusion method. Limium indicum showed highly significant activity against all pathogens while Euphorbia granulata showed significant activity against Klebsiella pneumonia and Proteus vulgaris but lesser against Escherchia coli and Pseudomonas aruginosa. MIC of extracts against each positive bacterium was calculated and recorded. Present plants can be considered for making useful drugs but further studies are needed to isolate active agents from plant extracts for drug development.

Keywords: Medicinal Plants, antibacterial activity, phytochemical screening, Euphorbia granulata, Limium indicum

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