Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 124

Search results for: biosynthesis

124 Biosynthesis and Metabolism of Anthraquinone Derivatives

Authors: Dmitry Yu. Korulkin, Raissa A. Muzychkina

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In review the generalized data about biosynthetic routs formation anthraquinone molecules in natural cells. The basic possibilities of various ways of biosynthesis of different quinoid substances are shown.

Keywords: anthraquinones, biochemical evolution, biosynthesis, metabolism

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123 Plant Cell Culture to Produce Valuable Natural Products

Authors: Jehad Dumireih, Malak Dmirieh, Michael Wink

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The present work is aimed to use plant cell suspension cultures of Crataegus monogyna for biosynthesis of valuable natural products by using quercetin as an inexpensive precursor. Suspension cell cultures of C. monogyna were established by using Murashige and Skoog medium (MS) supplemented with 1 mg/L 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 1 mg/L kinetin. Cells were harvested from the cultures and extracted by using methanol and ethyl acetate; then the extracts were used for the identification of isoquercetin by HPLC and by mass spectrometry. The incubation of the cells with 0.24 mM quercetin for one week resulted in an 16 fold increase of isoquercetin biosynthesis; the growth rate of the cells increased by 20%. Moreover, the biosynthesis of isoquercetin was enhanced by 40% when we divided the added quercetin into three portions each one with concentration 0.12 mM supplied at 3 days intervals. In addition, we didn’t find any positive effects of adding different concentrations the precursors phenylalanine (0.2 mM) and galactose to the cell cultures. In conclusion, the efficiency of the biotransformation of quercetin into isoquercetin depended on the concentration quercetin, its incubation time and the way of its administration. The results of the present work suggest that the biotechnological methods such as cell suspension cultures could be successfully used to obtain highly valuable natural product starting from inexpensive compound.

Keywords: biosynthesis, biotransformation, Crataegus, isoquercetin

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122 Sesamol Decreases Melanin Biosynthesis via Melanogenesis-Related Gene Expressions in Melan-a Cells

Authors: Seung-Hwa Baek, In-Jung Nam, Sang-Han Lee

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The development of anti-melanogenic agents is important for the prevention of serious esthetic problem like a melasma, freckle, age spots, and chloasma. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-melanogenic effect of sesamol, an active lignan isolated from sesame seed, by mushroom and cellular tyrosinase assay, melanin content and the analysis of melanogensis-related mRNA expressions in melana cells. Sesamol showed strong inhibitory activity against the mushroom tyrosinase in a dose-dependent manner. Intracellular tyrosinase inhibition activity was also confirmed by zymography. At a concentration of 50 μM, sesamol inhibited melanin production in melan-a cells with no cytoxicity while those of phenylthiourea (PTU) as a positive control were the same condition. Sesamol significantly inhibited the expression of melanogensis-related genes, such as tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1), dopachrome tautomerase (Dct), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R). These findings indicate that sesamol could reduce melanin biosynthesis via the downregulation of tyrosinase activity and melanin production via subsequent gene expression of melanogenesis-related proteins. Together, these results suggest that the sesamol have strong potential in inhibiting melanin biosynthesis, in that the substance may be used as a new skin-whitening agent of cosmetic materials.

Keywords: sesamol, sesame seed, melanin biosynthesis, melanogenesis-related gene, skin-whitening agent

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121 Combining Transcriptomics, Bioinformatics, Biosynthesis Networks and Chromatographic Analyses for Cotton Gossypium hirsutum L. Defense Volatiles Study

Authors: Ronald Villamar-Torres, Michael Staudt, Christopher Viot

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Cotton Gossypium hirsutum L. is one of the most important industrial crops, producing the world leading natural textile fiber, but is very prone to arthropod attacks that reduce crop yield and quality. Cotton cultivation, therefore, makes an outstanding use of chemical pesticides. In reaction to herbivorous arthropods, cotton plants nevertheless show natural defense reactions, in particular through volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions. These natural defense mechanisms are nowadays underutilized but have a very high potential for cotton cultivation, and elucidating their genetic bases will help to improve their use. Simulating herbivory attacks by mechanical wounding of cotton plants in greenhouse, we studied by qPCR the changes in gene expression for genes of the terpenoids biosynthesis pathway. Differentially expressed genes corresponded to higher levels of the terpenoids biosynthesis pathway and not to enzymes synthesizing particular terpenoids. The genes were mapped on the G. hirsutum L. reference genome; their global relationships inside the general metabolic pathways and the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites were visualized with iPath2. The chromatographic profiles of VOCs emissions indicated first monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes emissions, dominantly four molecules known to be involved in plant reactions to arthropod attacks. As a result, the study permitted to identify potential key genes for the emission of volatile terpenoids by cotton plants in reaction to an arthropod attack, opening possibilities for molecular-assisted cotton breeding in benefit of smallholder cotton growers.

Keywords: biosynthesis pathways, cotton, mechanisms of plant defense, terpenoids, volatile organic compounds

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120 Transcriptomic Analysis of Fragrant Rice Reveals the Involvement of Post-transcriptional Regulation in Response to Zn Foliar Application

Authors: Muhammad Imran, Sarfraz Shafiq, Xiangru Tang

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Alternative splicing (AS) is an important post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism to generate transcripts variability and proteome diversity in plants. Fragrant rice (Oryza sativa L.) has a high economic and nutritional value, and the application of micronutrients regulate 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2-AP) production, which is responsible for aroma in fragrant rice. However, no systematic investigation of AS events in response to micronutrients (Zn) has been performed in fragrant rice. Furthermore, the post-transcriptional regulation of genes involved in 2-AP biosynthesis is also not known. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of AS events under two gradients of Zn treatment in two different fragrant rice cultivars (Meixiangzhan-2 and Xiangyaxiangzhan) was performed. A total of 386 and 598 significant AS events were found in Meixiangzhan-2 treated with low and high doses of Zn, respectively. In Xiangyaxiangzhan, a total of 449 and 598 significant AS events were found in low and high doses of Zn, respectively. Go analysis indicated that these genes were highly enriched in physiological processes, metabolism, and cellular process in both cultivars. However, genotype and dose-dependent AS events were also detected in both cultivars. By comparing differential AS (DAS) events with differentially expressed genes (DEGs), we found a weak overlap among DAS and DEGs in both fragrant rice cultivars, indicating that only a few genes are post-transcriptionally regulated in response to Zn treatment. We further report that Zn differentially regulates the expression of 2-AP biosynthesis-related genes in both cultivars, and Zn treatment altered the editing frequency of SNPs in the genes involved in 2-AP biosynthesis. Finally, we showed that epigenetic modifications associated with active gene transcription are generally enriched over 2-AP biosynthesis-related genes. Taken together, our results provide evidence of the post-transcriptional gene regulation in fragrant rice in response to Zn treatment and highlight that the 2-AP biosynthesis pathway may also be post-transcriptionally regulated through epigenetic modifications. These findings will serve as a cornerstone for further investigation to understand the molecular mechanisms of 2-AP biosynthesis in fragrant rice.

Keywords: fragrant rice, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, gene expression, zinc, alternative splicing, SNPs

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119 Effect of Media Osmolarity on Vi Biosynthesis on Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi Strain C6524 Cultured on Batch System

Authors: Dwi Arisandi Wijaya, Ernawati Arifin Giri-Rachman, Neni Nurainy

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Typhoid fever disease can be prevented by using a polysaccharide-based vaccine Vi which is a virulence factor of S.typhi. To produce high yield Vi polysaccharide from bacteria, it is important to know the biosynthesis of Vi polysaccharide and the regulators involved. In the In vivo condition, S. typhi faces different osmolarity, and the bacterial two-component system OmpR-EnvZ, regulate by up and down Capsular Vi polysaccharide biosynthesis. A high yielded Vi Polysaccharide strain, S. typhi strain C6524 used to study the effect of media osmolarity on Vi polysaccharide biosynthesis and the osmoregulation pattern of S. typhi strain C6524. The methods were performed by grown S. typhi strain C6524 grown on medium with 50 mM, 100 mM, and 150 mM osmolarity with the batch system. Vi polysaccharide concentration was measured by ELISA method. For further investigation of the osmoregulation pattern of strain C6524, the osmoregulator gene, OmpR, has been isolated and sequenced using the specific primer of the OmpR gene. Nucleotide sequence analysis is done with BLAST and Lallign. Amino Acid sequence analysis is done with Prosite and Multiple Sequence Alignment. The results of cultivation showed the average content of polysaccharide Vi for 50 mM, 100 mM, and 150 mM osmolarities 11.49 μg/mL, 12.06 μg/mL, and 14.53 μg/mL respectively. Analysis using Anova stated that the osmolarity treatment of 150 mM significantly affects Vi content. Analysis of nucleotide sequences shows 100% identity between S. typhi strain C6524 and Ty2. Analysis of amino acid sequences shows that the OmpR response regulator protein of the C6524 strain also has a α4-β5-α5 motif which is important for the regulatory activation system when phosphorylation occurs by domain kinase. This indicates that the regulator osmolarity response of S. typhi strain C6524 has no difference with the response regulator owned by S. typhi strain Ty2. A high Vi response rate in the 150 mM osmolarity treatment requires further research for RcsB-RcsC, another two-component system involved in Vi Biosynthesis.

Keywords: osmoregulator, OmpR, Salmonella, Vi polysaccharide

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118 Identification of the Key Enzyme of Roseoflavin Biosynthesis

Authors: V. Konjik, J. Schwartz, R. Sandhoff, M. Mack

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The rising number of multi-resistant pathogens demands the development of new antibiotics in order to reduce the lethal risk of infections. Here, we investigate roseoflavin, a vitamin B2 analogue which is produced by Streptomyces davawensis and Streptomyces cinnabarinus. We consider roseoflavin to be a 'Trojan horse' compound. Its chemical structure is very similar to riboflavin but in fact it is a toxin. Furthermore, it is a clever strategy with regard to the delivery of an antibiotic to its site of action but also with regard to the production of this chemical: The producer cell has only to convert a vitamin (which is already present in the cytoplasm) into a vitamin analog. Roseoflavin inhibits the activity of Flavin depending proteins, which makes up to 3.5 % of predicted proteins in organisms sequenced so far. We sequentially knocked out gene clusters and later on single genes in order to find the ones which are involved in the roseoflavin biosynthesis. Consequently, we identified the gene rosB, coding for the protein carrying out the first step of roseoflavin biosynthesis, starting form Flavin mononucleotide. Here we show, that the protein RosB has so far unknown features. It is per se an oxidoreductase, a decarboxylase and an aminotransferase, all rolled into one enzyme. A screen of cofactors revealed needs of oxygen, NAD+, thiamine and glutamic acid to carry out its function. Surprisingly, thiamine is not only needed for the decaboxylation step, but also for the oxidation of 8-demethyl-8-formyl Flavin mononucleotide. We had managed to isolate three different Flavin intermediates with different oxidation states, which gave us a mechanistic insight of RosB functionality. Our work points to a so far new function of thiamine in Streptomyces davawensis. Additionally, RosB could be extremely useful for chemical synthesis. Careful engineering of RosB may allow the site-specific replacement of methyl groups by amino groups in polyaromatic compounds of commercial interest. Finally, the complete clarification of the roseoflavin biosynthesis opens the possibility of engineering cost-effective roseoflavin producing strains.

Keywords: antibiotic, flavin analogue, roseoflavin biosynthesis, vitamin B2

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117 Biosynthesis of Natural and Halogenated Plant Alkaloids in Yeast

Authors: Beata J. Lehka, Samuel A. Bradley, Frederik G. Hansson, Khem B. Adhikari, Daniela Rago, Paulina Rubaszka, Ahmad K. Haidar, Ling Chen, Lea G. Hansen, Olga Gudich, Konstantina Giannakou, Yoko Nakamura, Thomas Dugé de Bernonville, Konstantinos Koudounas, Sarah E. O’Connor, Vincent Courdavault, Jay D. Keasling, Jie Zhang, Michael K. Jensen

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Monoterpenoid indole alkaloids (MIAs) represent a large class of natural plant products with marketed pharmaceutical activities against a wide range of applications, including cancer and mental disorders. Halogenated MIAs have shown improved pharmaceutical properties; however, characterisation and synthesis of new-to-nature halogenated MIAs remain a challenge in slow-growing plants with limited genetic tractability. Here, we demonstrate a platform for de novo biosynthesis of two bioactive MIAs, serpentine and alstonine, in baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, reaching titers of 8.85 mg/L and 4.48 mg/L, respectively, when cultivated in fed-batch micro bioreactors. Using this MIA biosynthesis platform, we undertake a systematic exploration of the derivative space surrounding these compounds and produce halogenated MIAs. The aim of the current study is to develop a fermentation process for halogenated MIAs.

Keywords: monoterpenoid indole alkaloids, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, halogenated derivatives, fermentation

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116 Identification of Tissue-Specific Transcription Factors in C. roseus with Emphasis to the TIA Biosynthetic Pathway

Authors: F. M. El-Domyati, A. Atef, S. Edris, N. O. Gadalla, M. A. Al-Kordy, A. M. Ramadan, Y. M. Saad, H. S. Al-Zahrani, A. Bahieldin

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Transcriptome retrieved from SRA database of different tissues and treatments of C. roseus was assembled in order to detect tissue-specific transcription factors (TFs) and TFs possibly related to terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIA) pathway. A number of 290 TF-like transcripts along with 12 transcripts related to TIA biosynthetic pathway were divided in terms of co-expression in the different tissues, treatments and genotypes. Three transcripts encoding peroxidases 1 and 12 were downregulated in hairy root, while upregulated in mature leaf. Eight different transcripts of the TIA pathway co-expressed with TFs either functioning downstream tryptophan biosynthesis, e.g., tdc, str1 and sgd, or upstream vindoline biosynthesis, e.g., t16h, omt, nmt, d4h and dat. The results showed no differential expression of TF transcripts in hairy roots knocked down for tdc gene (TDCi) as compared to their wild type controls. There were several evidences of tissue-specific expression of TF transcripts in flower, mature leaf, root/hairy root, stem, seedling, hairy root and immature/mature leaves. Regulation included transcription factor families, e.g., bHLH, MYB and WRKY mostly induced by ABA and/or JA (or MeJA) and regulated during abiotic or biotic stress. The information of tissue-specific regulation and co-expression of TFs and genes in the TIA pathway can be utilized in manipulating alkaloid biosynthesis in C. roseus.

Keywords: SRA database, bHLH, MYB, WRKY, co-expression

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115 Biosynthesis of Silver-Phosphate Nanoparticles Using the Extracellular Polymeric Substance of Sporosarcina pasteurii

Authors: Mohammadhosein Rahimi, Mohammad Raouf Hosseini, Mehran Bakhshi, Alireza Baghbanan

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Silver ions (Ag+) and their compounds are consequentially toxic to microorganisms, showing biocidal effects on many species of bacteria. Silver-phosphate (or silver orthophosphate) is one of these compounds, which is famous for its antimicrobial effect and catalysis application. In the present study, a green method was presented to synthesis silver-phosphate nanoparticles using Sporosarcina pasteurii. The composition of the biosynthesized nanoparticles was identified as Ag3PO4 using X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). Also, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed that Ag3PO4 nanoparticles was synthesized in the presence of biosurfactants, enzymes, and proteins. In addition, UV-Vis adsorption of the produced colloidal suspension approved the results of XRD and FTIR analyses. Finally, Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) images indicated that the size of the nanoparticles was about 20 nm.

Keywords: bacteria, biosynthesis, silver-phosphate, Sporosarcina pasteurii, nanoparticle

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114 Time-Course Lipid Accumulation and Transcript Analyses of Lipid Biosynthesis Gene of Chlorella sp.3 under Nitrogen Limited Condition

Authors: Jyoti Singh, Swati Dubey, Mukta Singh, R. P. Singh

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The freshwater microalgae Chlorella sp. is alluring considerable interest as a source for biofuel production due to its fast growth rate and high lipid content. Under nitrogen limited conditions, they can accumulate significant amounts of lipids. Thus, it is important to gain insight into the molecular mechanism of their lipid metabolism. In this study under nitrogen limited conditions, regular pattern of growth characteristics lipid accumulation and gene expression analysis of key regulatory genes of lipid biosynthetic pathway were carried out in microalgae Chlorella sp 3. Our results indicated that under nitrogen limited conditions there is a significant increase in the lipid content and lipid productivity, achieving 44.21±2.64 % and 39.34±0.66 mg/l/d at the end of the cultivation, respectively. Time-course transcript patterns of lipid biosynthesis genes i.e. acetyl coA carboxylase (accD) and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (dgat) showed that during late log phase of microalgae Chlorella sp.3 both the genes were significantly up regulated as compared to early log phase. Moreover, the transcript level of the dgat gene is two-fold higher than the accD gene. The results suggested that both the genes responded sensitively to the nitrogen limited conditions during the late log stage, which proposed their close relevance to lipid biosynthesis. Further, this transcriptome data will be useful for engineering microalgae species by targeting these genes for genetic modification to improve microalgal biofuel quality and production.

Keywords: biofuel, gene, lipid, microalgae

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113 Biosynthesis of Healthy Secondary Metabolites in Olive Fruit in Response to Different Agronomic Treatments

Authors: Anna Perrone, Federico Martinelli

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Olive fruit is well-known for the high content in secondary metabolites with high interest at nutritional, nutraceutical, antioxidant, and healthy levels. The content of secondary metabolites in olive at harvest may be affected by different water regimes, with significant effects on olive oil composition and quality and, consequently, on its healthy and nutritional features. In this work, a summary of several research studies dealing with the biosynthesis of healthy and nutraceutical metabolites of the secondary metabolism in olive fruit will be reported. The phytochemical findings have been correlated with the expression of key genes involved in polyphenol, terpenoid, and carotenoid biosynthesis and metabolism in response to different development stages and water regimes. Flavonoids were highest in immature fruits, while anthocyanins increased at ripening. In epicarp tissue, this was clearly associated with an up-regulation of the UFGT gene. Olive fruits cultivated under different water regimes were analyzed by metabolomics. This method identified several hundred metabolites in the ripe mesocarp. Among them, 46 were differentially accumulated in the comparison between rain-fed and irrigated conditions. Well-known healthy metabolites were more abundant at a higher level of water regimes. Increased content of polyphenols was observed in the rain-fed fruit; particularly, anthocyanin concentration was higher at ripening. Several secondary metabolites were differentially accumulated between different irrigation conditions. These results showed that these metabolic approaches could be efficiently used to determine the effects of agronomic treatments on olive fruit physiology and, consequently, on nutritional and healthy properties of the obtained extra-virgin olive oil.

Keywords: olea europea, anthocyanins, polyphenols, water regimes

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112 In-Vitro Dextran Synthesis and Characterization of an Intracellular Glucosyltransferase from Leuconostoc Mesenteroides AA1

Authors: Afsheen Aman, Shah Ali Ul Qader

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Dextransucrase [EC 2.4.1.5] is a glucosyltransferase that catalysis the biosynthesis of a natural biopolymer called dextran. It can catalyze the transfer of D-glucopyranosyl residues from sucrose to the main chain of dextran. This unique biopolymer has multiple applications in several industries and the key utilization of dextran lies on its molecular weight and the type of branching. Extracellular dextransucrase from Leuconostoc mesenteroides is most extensively studied and characterized. Limited data is available regarding cell-bound or intracellular dextransucrase and on the characterization of dextran produced by in-vitro reaction of intracellular dextransucrase. L. mesenteroides AA1 is reported to produce extracellular dextransucrase that catalyzes biosynthesis of a high molecular weight dextran with only α-(1→6) linkage. Current study deals with the characterization of an intracellular dextransucrase and in vitro biosynthesis of low molecular weight dextran from L. mesenteroides AA1. Intracellular dextransucrase was extracted from cytoplasm and purified to homogeneity for characterization. Kinetic constants, molecular weight and N-terminal sequence analysis of intracellular dextransucrase reveal unique variation with previously reported extracellular dextransucrase from the same strain. In vitro synthesized biopolymer was characterized using NMR spectroscopic techniques. Intracellular dextransucrase exhibited Vmax and Km values of 130.8 DSU ml-1 hr-1 and 221.3 mM, respectively. Optimum catalytic activity was detected at 35°C in 0.15 M citrate phosphate buffer (pH-5.5) in 05 minutes. Molecular mass of purified intracellular dextransucrase is approximately 220.0 kDa on SDS-PAGE. N-terminal sequence of the intracellular enzyme is: GLPGYFGVN that showed no homology with previously reported sequence for the extracellular dextransucrase. This intracellular dextransucrase is capable of in vitro synthesis of dextran under specific conditions. This intracellular dextransucrase is capable of in vitro synthesis of dextran under specific conditions and this biopolymer can be hydrolyzed into different molecular weight fractions for various applications.

Keywords: characterization, dextran, dextransucrase, leuconostoc mesenteroides

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111 Identification and Characterization of Polysaccharide Biosynthesis Protein (CAPD) of Enterococcus faecium

Authors: Liaqat Ali, Hubert E. Blum, Türkân Sakinc

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Enterococcus faecium is an emerging multidrug-resistant nosocomial pathogen increased dramatically worldwide and causing bacteremia, endocarditis, urinary tract and surgical site infections in immunocomprised patients. The capsular polysaccharides that contribute to pathogenesis through evasion of the host innate immune system are also involved in hindering leukocyte killing of enterococci. The gene cluster (enterococcal polysaccharide antigen) of E. faecalis encoding homologues of many genes involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis. We identified two putative loci with 22 kb and 19 kb which contained 11 genes encoding for glycosyltransferases (GTFs); this was confirmed by using genome comparison of already sequenced strains that has no homology to known capsule genes and the epa-locus. The polysaccharide-conjugate vaccines have rapidly emerged as a suitable strategy to combat different pathogenic bacteria, therefore, we investigated a polysaccharide biosynthesis CapD protein in E. faecium contains 336 amino acids and had putative function for N-linked glycosylation. The deletion/knock-out capD mutant was constructed and complemented by homologues recombination method and confirmed by using PCR and sequencing. For further characterization and functional analysis, in-vitro cell culture and in-vivo a mouse infection models were used. Our ΔcapD mutant shows a strong hydrophobicity and all strains exhibited biofilm production. Subsequently, the opsonic activity was tested in an opsonophagocytic assay which shows increased in mutant compared complemented and wild type strains but more than two fold decreased in colonization and adherence was seen on surface of uroepithelial cells. However, a significant higher bacterial colonialization was observed in capD mutant during animal bacteremia infection. Unlike other polysaccharides biosynthesis proteins, CapD does not seems to be a major virulence factor in enterococci but further experiments and attention is needed to clarify its function, exact mechanism and involvement in pathogenesis of enteroccocal nosocomial infections eventually to develop a vaccine/ or targeted therapy.

Keywords: E. faecium, pathogenesis, polysaccharides, biofilm formation

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110 Biosynthesis of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles and Their Antibacterial Property

Authors: Prachi Singh

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This paper presents a low-cost, eco-friendly and reproducible microbe mediated biosynthesis of TiO2 nanoparticles. TiO2 nanoparticles synthesized using the bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, from titanium as a precursor, were confirmed by TEM analysis. The morphological characteristics state spherical shape, with the size of individual or aggregate nanoparticles, around 30-40 nm. Microbial resistance represents a challenge for the scientific community to develop new bioactive compounds. Here, the antibacterial effect of TiO2 nanoparticles on Escherichia coli was investigated, which was confirmed by CFU (Colony-forming unit). Further, growth curve study of E. coli Hb101 in the presence and absence of TiO2 nanoparticles was done. Optical density decrease was observed with the increase in the concentration of TiO2. It could be attributed to the inactivation of cellular enzymes and DNA by binding to electron-donating groups such as carboxylates, amides, indoles, hydroxyls, thiols, etc. which cause little pores in bacterial cell walls, leading to increased permeability and cell death. This justifies that TiO2 nanoparticles have efficient antibacterial effect and have potential to be used as an antibacterial agent for different purposes.

Keywords: antibacterial effect, CFU, Escherichia coli Hb101, growth curve, TEM, TiO2 nanoparticle, Toxicity, UV-Vis

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109 Rapid Biosynthesis of Silver-Montmorillonite Nanocomposite Using Water Extract of Satureja hortensis L. and Evaluation of the Antibacterial Capacities

Authors: Sajjad Sedaghat

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In this work, facile and green biosynthesis and characterization of silver–montmorillonite (MMT) nanocomposite is reported at room temperature. Silver nanoparticles (Ag–NPs) were synthesized into the interlamellar space of (MMT) by using water extract of Satureja hortensis L as reducing agent. The MMT was suspended in the aqueous AgNO₃ solution, and after the absorption of silver ions, Ag⁺ was reduced using water extract of Satureja hortensis L to Ag°. Evaluation of the antibacterial properties are also reported. The nanocomposite was characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV–Vis), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM study showed the formation of nanocomposite using water extract of Satureja hortensis L in the 4.88 – 26.70 nm range and average particles size were 15.79 nm also the XRD study showed that the particles have a face-centered cubic (fcc) structure. The nanocomposite showed the antibacterial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

Keywords: antibacterial effects, montmorillonite, Satureja hortensis l, transmission electron microscopy, nanocomposite

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108 Oxidosqualene Cyclase: A Novel Inhibitor

Authors: Devadrita Dey Sarkar

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Oxidosqualene cyclase is a membrane bound enzyme in which helps in the formation of steroid scaffold in higher organisms. In a highly selective cyclization reaction oxidosqualene cyclase forms LANOSTEROL with seven chiral centres starting from the linear substrate 2,3-oxidosqualene. In humans OSC in cholesterol biosynthesis it represents a target for the discovery of novel anticholesteraemic drugs that could complement the widely used statins. The enzyme oxidosqualene: lanosterol cyclase (OSC) represents a novel target for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. OSC catalyzes the cyclization of the linear 2,3-monoepoxysqualene to lanosterol, the initial four-ringed sterol intermediate in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. OSC also catalyzes the formation of 24(S), 25-epoxycholesterol, a ligand activator of the liver X receptor. Inhibition of OSC reduces cholesterol biosynthesis and selectively enhances 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol synthesis. Through this dual mechanism, OSC inhibition decreases plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and prevents cholesterol deposition within macrophages. The recent crystallization of OSC identifies the mechanism of action for this complex enzyme, setting the stage for the design of OSC inhibitors with improved pharmacological properties for cholesterol lowering and treatment of atherosclerosis. While studying and designing the inhibitor of oxidosqulene cyclase, I worked on the pdb id of 1w6k which was the most worked on pdb id and I used several methods, techniques and softwares to identify and validate the top most molecules which could be acting as an inhibitor for oxidosqualene cyclase. Thus, by partial blockage of this enzyme, both an inhibition of lanosterol and subsequently cholesterol formation as well as a concomitant effect on HMG-CoA reductase can be achieved. Both effects complement each other and lead to an effective control of cholesterol biosynthesis. It is therefore concluded that 2,3-oxidosqualene cyclase plays a crucial role in the regulation of intracellular cholesterol homeostasis. 2,3-Oxidosqualene cyclase inhibitors offer an attractive approach for novel lipid-lowering agents.

Keywords: anticholesteraemic, crystallization, statins, homeostasis

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107 Production of Poly-β-Hydroxybutyrate (PHB) by a Thermophilic Strain of Bacillus and Pseudomonas Species

Authors: Patience Orobosa Olajide

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Five hydrocarbon degrading bacterial strains isolated from contaminated environment were investigated with respect to polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) biosynthesis. Screening for bioplastic production was done on assay mineral salts agar medium containing 0.2% poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) as the sole carbon source. Two of the test bacteria were positive for PHB biosynthesis and were identified based on gram staining, biochemical tests, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus licheniformis which grew at 37 and up to 65 °C respectively, thus suggesting the later to be thermotolerant. In this study, the effects of different carbon and nitrogen sources on PHB production in these strains were investigated. Maximum PHB production was obtained in 48 hr for the two strains and amounted to yields of 72.86 and 62.22 percentages for Bacillus licheniformis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa respectively. In these strains, glycine was the most efficient carbon sources for the production of PHB compared with other carbon (glucose, lactose, sucrose, Arabinose) and nitrogen (L- glycine, L-cysteine, DL-Tryptophan, and Potassium Nitrate) sources. The screening of microbial strains for industrial PHB production should be based on several factors including the cell’s capability to mineralize an inexpensive substrate, rate of growth and the extent of polymer accumulation.

Keywords: bacteria, poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), hydrocarbon, thermotolerant

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106 Cadmium Filter Cake of a Hydrometallurgical Zinc Smelter as a New Source for the Biological Synthesis of CdS Quantum Dots

Authors: Mehran Bakhshi, Mohammad Raouf Hosseini, Mohammadhosein Rahimi

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The cadmium sulfide nanoparticles were synthesized from the nickel-cadmium cake of a hydrometallurgical zinc producing plant and sodium sulfide as Cd2+ and S-2 sources, respectively. Also, the synthesis process was performed by using the secretions of Bacillus licheniformis as bio-surfactant. Initially, in order to obtain a cadmium rich solution, two following steps were carried out: 1) Alkaline leaching for the removal of zinc oxide from the cake, and 2) acidic leaching to dissolve cadmium from the remained solid residue. Afterward, the obtained CdSO4 solution was used for the nanoparticle biosynthesis. Nanoparticles were characterized by the energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) to confirm the formation of CdS crystals with cubic structure. Also, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was applied to determine the particle sizes which were in 2-10 nm range. Moreover, the presence of the protein containing bio-surfactants was approved by using infrared analysis (FTIR). In addition, the absorbance below 400 nm confirms quantum particles’ size. Finally, it was shown that valuable CdS quantum dots could be obtained from the industrial waste products via environment-friendly biological approaches.

Keywords: biosynthesis, cadmium cake, cadmium sulfide, nanoparticle, zinc smelter

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105 Drought Alters the Expression of a Candidate Zea Mays P-Coumarate 3-Hydroxylase Gene and Caffeic Acid Biosynthesis

Authors: Zintle Kolo, Ndiko Ludidi

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The enzymatic activity of p-coumarate 3-hydroxylase (C3H) synthesize caffeic acid from p-coumaric acid. We recently showed that exogenously applied caffeic acid confers salinity tolerance in soybean (Glycine max) by inducing antioxidant enzymatic activity to promote enhanced scavenging or reactive oxygen species, thus limiting salinity-induced oxidative stress. Recent evidence also establishes that pre-treatment of plants with exogenously supplied caffeic acid improves plant tolerance to osmotic stress by improving plant antioxidant capacity and enhancing biosynthesis of compatible solutes. We aimed to identify a C3H in maize (Zea mays) and evaluate the effect of drought on the spatial and temporal expression of the gene encoding the candidate maize C3H (ZmC3H). Primary sequence analysis shows that ZmC3H shares 71% identity with an Arabidopsis thaliana C3H that is implicated in the control of Arabidopsis cell expansion, growth, and responses to stress. In silico ZmC3H promoter analysis reveals the presence of cis-acting elements that interact with transcription factors implicated in plant responses to drought. Spatial expression analysis by semi-quantitative RT-PCR shows that ZmC3H is expressed in both leaves and roots under normal conditions. However, drought represses the expression of ZmC3H in leaves whereas it up-regulates its expression in roots. These changes in ZmC3H expression correlate with the changes in the content of caffeic acid in maize in response to drought. We illustrate the implications of these changes in the expression of the gene in relation to maize responses to drought and discuss the potential of regulating caffeic acid biosynthesis towards genetic improvement of maize tolerance to drought stress. These findings have implications for food security because of the potential of the implications of the study for drought tolerance in maize.

Keywords: caffeic acid, drought-responsive expression, maize drought tolerance, p-coumarate 3-hydroxylase

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104 Enzyme Involvement in the Biosynthesis of Selenium Nanoparticles by Geobacillus wiegelii Strain GWE1 Isolated from a Drying Oven

Authors: Daniela N. Correa-Llantén, Sebastián A. Muñoz-Ibacache, Mathilde Maire, Jenny M. Blamey

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The biosynthesis of nanoparticles by microorganisms, on the contrary to chemical synthesis, is an environmentally-friendly process which has low energy requirements. In this investigation, we used the microorganism Geobacillus wiegelii, strain GWE1, an aerobic thermophile belonging to genus Geobacillus, isolated from a drying oven. This microorganism has the ability to reduce selenite evidenced by the change of color from colorless to red in the culture. Elemental analysis and composition of the particles were verified using transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The nanoparticles have a defined spherical shape and a selenium elemental state. Previous experiments showed that the presence of the whole microorganism for the reduction of selenite was not necessary. The results strongly suggested that an intracellular NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase mediates selenium nanoparticles synthesis under aerobic conditions. The enzyme was purified and identified by mass spectroscopy MALDI-TOF TOF technique. The enzyme is a 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase. Histograms of nanoparticles sizes were obtained. Size distribution ranged from 40-160 nm, where 70% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. Spectroscopic analysis showed that the nanoparticles are composed of elemental selenium. To analyse the effect of pH in size and morphology of nanoparticles, the synthesis of them was carried out at different pHs (4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0). For thermostability studies samples were incubated at different temperatures (60, 80 and 100 ºC) for 1 h and 3 h. The size of all nanoparticles was less than 100 nm at pH 4.0; over 50% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm at pH 5.0; at pH 6.0 and 8.0 over 90% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. At neutral pH (7.0) nanoparticles reach a size around 120 nm and only 20% of them were less than 100 nm. When looking at temperature effect, nanoparticles did not show a significant difference in size when they were incubated between 0 and 3 h at 60 ºC. Meanwhile at 80 °C the nanoparticles suspension lost its homogeneity. A change in size was observed from 0 h of incubation at 80ºC, observing a size range between 40-160 nm, with 20% of them over 100 nm. Meanwhile after 3 h of incubation at size range changed to 60-180 nm with 50% of them over 100 nm. At 100 °C the nanoparticles aggregate forming nanorod structures. In conclusion, these results indicate that is possible to modulate size and shape of biologically synthesized nanoparticles by modulating pH and temperature.

Keywords: genus Geobacillus, NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase, selenium nanoparticles, biosynthesis

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103 Preparation, Characterisation, and Antibacterial Activity of Green-Biosynthesised Silver Nanoparticles Using Clinacanthus Nutans Extract

Authors: Salahaedin Waiezi, Nik Ahmad Nizam Nik Malek, Hassan Abdelmagid Elzamzami, Shahrulnizahana Mohammad Din

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A green and safe approach to the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) can be performed using plant leaf extract as the reducing agent. Hence, this paper reports the biosynthesis of AgNP using Clinacanthus nutans plant extract. C. nutans is known as belalai gajah in Malaysia and is widely used as a medicinal herb locally. The biosynthesized AgNP, using C. nutans aqueous extract at pH 10, with the reaction temperature of 70°C and 48 h reaction time, was characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), and transmission electron microscope (TEM). A peak appeared in the UV-Vis spectra at around 400 nm, while XRD confirmed the crystal structure of AgNP, with the average size between 20 to 30 nm, as shown in FESEM and TEM. The antibacterial activity of the biosynthesized AgNP, which was performed using the disc diffusion technique (DDT) indicated effective inhibition against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. In contrast, minimal antibacterial activity was detected against Enterococcus faecalis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In general, AgNP produced using C. nutans leaf extract possesses potential antibacterial activity.

Keywords: silver nanoparticles, Clinacanthus nutans, antibacterial agent, biosynthesis

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102 Influence of Hydrogen Ion Concentration on the Production of Bio-Synthesized Nano-Silver

Authors: M.F. Elkady, Sahar Zaki, Desouky Abd-El-Haleem

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Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are already widely prepared using different technologies. However, there are limited data on the effects of hydrogen ion concentration on nano-silver production. In this investigation, the impact of the pH reaction medium toward the particle size, agglomeration and the yield of the produced bio-synthesized silver were established. Quasi-spherical silver nanoparticles were synthesized through the biosynthesis green production process using the Egyptian E. coli bacterial strain 23N at different pH values. The formation of AgNPs has been confirmed with ultraviolet–visible spectra through identification of their characteristic peak at 410 nm. The quantitative production yield and the orientation planes of the produced nano-silver were examined using X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Quantitative analyses indicated that the silver production yield was promoted at elevated pH regarded to increase the reduction rate of silver precursor through both chemical and biological processes. As a result, number of the nucleus and thus the size of the silver nanoparticles were tunable through changing pH of the reaction system. Accordingly, the morphological structure and size of the produced silver and its aggregates were determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. It was considered that the increment in pH value of the reaction media progress the aggregation of silver clusters. However, the presence of stain 23N biomass decreases the possibility of silver aggregation at the pH 7.

Keywords: silver nanoparticles, biosynthesis, reaction media pH, nano-silver characterization

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101 Biotransformation of Glycerine Pitch as Renewable Carbon Resource into P(3HB-co-4HB) Biopolymer

Authors: Amirul Al-Ashraf Abdullah, Hema Ramachandran, Iszatty Ismail

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Oleochemical industry in Malaysia has been diversifying significantly due to the abundant supply of both palm and kernel oils as raw materials as well as the high demand for downstream products such as fatty acids, fatty alcohols and glycerine. However, environmental awareness is growing rapidly in Malaysia because oleochemical industry is one of the palm-oil based industries that possess risk to the environment. Glycerine pitch is one of the scheduled wastes generated from the fatty acid plants in Malaysia and its discharge may cause a serious environmental problem. Therefore, it is imperative to find alternative applications for this waste glycerine. Consequently, the aim of this research is to explore the application of glycerine pitch as direct fermentation substrate in the biosynthesis of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB-co-4HB)] copolymer, aiming to contribute toward the sustainable production of biopolymer in the world. Utilization of glycerine pitch (10 g/l) together with 1,4-butanediol (5 g/l) had resulted in the achievement of 40 mol% 4HB monomer with the highest PHA concentration of 2.91 g/l. Synthesis of yellow pigment which exhibited antimicrobial properties occurred simultaneously with the production of P(3HB-co-4HB) through the use of glycerine pitch as renewable carbon resource. Utilization of glycerine pitch in the biosynthesis of P(3HB-co-4HB) will not only contribute to reducing society’s dependence on non-renewable resources but also will promote the development of cost efficiency microbial fermentation towards biosustainability and green technology.

Keywords: biopolymer, glycerine pitch, natural pigment, P(3HB-co-4HB)

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100 Beneficial Effect of Micropropagation Coupled with Mycorrhization on Enhancement of Growth Performance of Medicinal Plants

Authors: D. H. Tejavathi

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Medicinal plants are globally valuable sources of herbal products. Wild populations of many medicinal plants are facing threat of extinction because of their narrow distribution, endemicity, and degradation of specific habitats. Micropropagation is an established in vitro technique by which large number of clones can be obtained from a small bit of explants in a short span of time within a limited space. Mycorrhization can minimize the transient transplantation shock, experienced by the micropropagated plants when they are transferred from lab to land. AM fungal association improves the physiological status of the host plants through better uptake of water and nutrients, particularly phosphorus. Consequently, the growth performance and biosynthesis of active principles are significantly enhanced in AM fungal treated plants. Bacopa monnieri, Andrographis paniculata, Agave vera-curz, Drymaria cordata and Majorana hortensis, important medicinal plants used in various indigenous systems of medicines, are selected for the present study. They form the main constituents of many herbal formulations. Standard in vitro techniques were followed to obtain the micropropagated plants. Shoot tips and nodal segments were used as explants. Explants were cultured on Murashige and Skoog, and Phillips and Collins media supplemented with various combinations of growth regulators. Multiple shoots were obtained on a media containing both auxins and cytokinins at various concentrations and combinations. Multiple shoots were then transferred to rooting media containing auxins for root induction. Thus, obtained in vitro regenerated plants were subjected to brief acclimatization before transferring them to land. One-month-old in vitro plants were treated with AM fungi, and the symbiotic effect on the overall growth parameters was analyzed. It was found that micropropagation coupled with mycorrhization has significant effect on the enhancement of biomass and biosynthesis of active principles in these selected medicinal plants. In vitro techniques coupled with mycorrhization have opened a possibility of obtaining better clones in respect of enhancement of biomass and biosynthesis of active principles. Beneficial effects of AM fungal association with medicinal plants are discussed.

Keywords: cultivation, medicinal plants, micropropagation, mycorrhization

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99 Design and Identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Glutamate Racemase (MurI) Inhibitors

Authors: Prasanthi Malapati, R. Reshma, Vijay Soni, Perumal Yogeeswari, Dharmarajan Sriram

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In the present study, we attempted to develop Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) inhibitors by exploring the pharmaceutically underexploited enzyme targets which are majorly involved in cell wall biosynthesis of mycobacteria. For this purpose, glutamate racemase (coded by MurI gene) was selected. This enzyme racemize L-glutamate to D-glutamate required for the construction of peptidoglycan in the bacterial cell wall synthesis process. Furthermore this enzyme is neither expressed nor its product, D-glutamate is normally found in mammals, and hence designing inhibitors against this enzyme will not affect the host system as well act as potential antitubercular drugs. A library of BITS in house compounds were screened against Mtb MurI enzyme. Based on docking score, interactions and synthetic feasibility one hit lead was identified. Further optimization of lead was attempted and its derivatives were synthesized. Forty eight derivatives of 2-phenylbenzo[d]oxazole and 2-phenylbenzo[d]thiazole were synthesized and evaluated for Mtb MurI inhibition study, in vitro activities against Mtb, cytotoxicity against RAW 264.7 cell line. Chemical derivatization of the lead resulted in compounds NR-1213 AND NR-1124 as the potent M. tuberculosis glutamate racemase inhibitors with IC50 of 4-5µM which are remarkable and were found to be non-cytotoxic. Molecular dynamics, dormant models and cardiotoxicity studies of the most active molecules are in process.

Keywords: cell wall biosynthesis, dormancy, glutamate racemase, tuberculosis

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98 The Molecular Mechanism of Vacuolar Function in Yeast Cell Homeostasis

Authors: Chang-Hui Shen, Paulina Konarzewska

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Cell homeostasis is regulated by vacuolar activity and it has been shown that lipid composition of the vacuole plays an important role in vacuolar function. The major phosphoinositide species present in the vacuolar membrane include phosphatidylinositol 3,5-biphosphate (PI(3,5)P₂) which is generated from PI(3)P controlled by Fab1p. Deletion of FAB1 gene reduce the synthesis of PI(3,5)P₂ and thus result in enlarged or fragmented vacuoles, with neutral vacuolar pH due to reduced vacuolar H⁺-ATPase activity. These mutants also exhibited poor growth at high extracellular pH and in the presence of CaCl₂. Conversely, VPS34 regulates the synthesis of PI(3)P from phosphatidylinositol (PI), and the lack of Vps34p results in the reduction of vacuolar activity. Although the cellular observations are clear, it is still unknown about the molecular mechanism between the phospholipid biosynthesis pathway and vacuolar activity. Since both VPS34 and FAB1 are important in vacuolar activity, we hypothesize that the molecular mechanism of vacuolar function might be regulated by the transcriptional regulators of phospholipid biosynthesis. In this study, we study the role of the major phospholipid biosynthesis transcription factor, INO2, in the regulation of vacuolar activity. We first performed qRT-PCR to examine the effect of Ino2p on the expression of VPS34 and FAB1. Our results showed that VPS34 was upregulated in the presence of inositol for both WT and ino2Δ cells. However, FAB1 was only upregulated significantly in ino2Δ cells. This indicated that Ino2p might be the negative regulator for FAB1 expression. Next, growth sensitivity experiment showed that WT, vma3Δ, and ino2Δ grew well in growth medium buffered to pH 5.5 containing 10 mM CaCl₂. As cells were switched to growth medium buffered to pH 7 containing CaCl₂ WT, ino2Δ and opi1Δ showed growth reduction, whereas vma3Δ was completely nonviable. As the concentration of CaCl₂ was increased to 60 mM, ino2Δ cells showed moderate growth reduction compared to WT. This result suggests that ino2Δ cells have better vacuolar activity. Microscopic analysis and vacuolar acidification were employed to further elucidate the importance of INO2 in vacuolar homeostasis. Analysis of vacuolar morphology indicated that WT and vma3Δ cells displayed vacuoles that occupied a small area of the cell when grown in media buffered to pH 5.5. Whereas, ino2Δ displayed fragmented vacuoles. On the other hand, all strains grown in media buffered to pH 7, exhibited enlarged vacuoles that occupied most of the cell’s surface. This indicated that the presence of INO2 may play negative effect in vacuolar morphology when cells are grown in media buffered to pH 5.5. Furthermore, vacuolar acidification assay showed that only vma3Δ cells displayed notably less acidic vacuoles as cells were grown in media buffered to pH 5.5 and pH 7. Whereas, ino2Δ cells displayed more acidic pH compared to WT at pH7. Taken together, our results demonstrated the molecular mechanism of the vacuolar activity regulated by the phospholipid biosynthesis transcription factors Ino2p. Ino2p negatively regulates vacuolar activity through the expression of FAB1.

Keywords: vacuole, phospholipid, homeostasis, Ino2p, FAB1

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97 Transcriptomic Analysis for Differential Expression of Genes Involved in Secondary Metabolite Production in Narcissus Bulb and in vitro Callus

Authors: Aleya Ferdausi, Meriel Jones, Anthony Halls

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The Amaryllidaceae genus Narcissus contains secondary metabolites, which are important sources of bioactive compounds such as pharmaceuticals indicating that their biological activity extends from the native plant to humans. Transcriptome analysis (RNA-seq) is an effective platform for the identification and functional characterization of candidate genes as well as to identify genes encoding uncharacterized enzymes. The biotechnological production of secondary metabolites in plant cell or organ cultures has become a tempting alternative to the extraction of whole plant material. The biochemical pathways for the production of secondary metabolites require primary metabolites to undergo a series of modifications catalyzed by enzymes such as cytochrome P450s, methyltransferases, glycosyltransferases, and acyltransferases. Differential gene expression analysis of Narcissus was obtained from two conditions, i.e. field and in vitro callus. Callus was obtained from modified MS (Murashige and Skoog) media supplemented with growth regulators and twin-scale explants from Narcissus cv. Carlton bulb. A total of 2153 differentially expressed transcripts were detected in Narcissus bulb and in vitro callus, and 78.95% of those were annotated. It showed the expression of genes involved in the biosynthesis of alkaloids were present in both conditions i.e. cytochrome P450s, O-methyltransferase (OMTs), NADP/NADPH dehydrogenases or reductases, SAM-synthetases or decarboxylases, 3-ketoacyl-CoA, acyl-CoA, cinnamoyl-CoA, cinnamate 4-hydroxylase, alcohol dehydrogenase, caffeic acid, N-methyltransferase, and NADPH-cytochrome P450s. However, cytochrome P450s and OMTs involved in the later stage of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids biosynthesis were mainly up-regulated in field samples. Whereas, the enzymes involved in initial biosynthetic pathways i.e. fructose biphosphate adolase, aminotransferases, dehydrogenases, hydroxyl methyl glutarate and glutamate synthase leading to the biosynthesis of precursors; tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan for secondary metabolites were up-regulated in callus. The knowledge of probable genes involved in secondary metabolism and their regulation in different tissues will provide insight into the Narcissus plant biology related to alkaloid production.

Keywords: narcissus, callus, transcriptomics, secondary metabolites

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96 Analysis of Osmotin as Transcription Factor/Cell Signaling Modulator Using Bioinformatic Tools

Authors: Usha Kiran, M. Z. Abdin

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Osmotin is an abundant cationic multifunctional protein discovered in cells of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. var Wisconsin 38) adapted to an environment of low osmotic potential. It provides plants protection from pathogens, hence placed in the PRP family of proteins. The osmotin induced proline accumulation has been reported in plants including transgenic tomato and strawberry conferring tolerance against both biotic and abiotic stresses. The exact mechanism of induction of proline by osmotin is however, not known till date. These observations have led us to hypothesize that osmotin induced proline accumulation could be due to its involvement as transcription factor and/or cell signal pathway modulator in proline biosynthesis. The present investigation was therefore, undertaken to analyze the osmotin protein as transcription factor /cell signalling modulator using bioinformatics tools. The results of available online DNA binding motif search programs revealed that osmotin does not contain DNA-binding motifs. The alignment results of osmotin protein with the protein sequence from DATF showed the homology in the range of 0-20%, suggesting that it might not contain a DNA binding motif. Further to find unique DNA-binding domain, the superimposition of osmotin 3D structure on modeled Arabidopsis transcription factors using Chimera also suggested absence of the same. We, however, found evidence implicating osmotin in cell signaling. With these results, we concluded that osmotin is not a transcription factor but regulating proline biosynthesis and accumulation through cell signaling during abiotic stresses.

Keywords: osmotin, cell signaling modulator, bioinformatic tools, protein

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95 The Effect of Arbutin Powder and Arctostaphylos uvaursi Aqueous Leaf Extract on Synthesis of Melanin by Madurella mycetomatis

Authors: Amina Omer, Ikram Elsiddig

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Arctostaphylos uvaursi is a plant of the family Ericaceae, it’s used in skin care products mostly for its depigmenting action, due to the presence of hydroquinones that are well known inhibitors of tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin biosynthesis in humans. The main hydroquinone found within the A. uvaursi is arbutin, which is found with varying percentage within the plant depending on the season, and area from which the plant is harvested. An in vitro experiment has shown that the arbutin found within the bearberry leaf extract inhibited the biosynthesis of melanin in human melanoma cells and in three-dimensional human skin model. Madurella mycetomatis is filamentous fungus that causes the fungal form of mycetoma known as eumycetoma, with existing anti-fungals and surgery, only 35% of people living eumycetoma are treated, M. mycetomatis has been found to shield itself against the antifungal therapy through the production of melanin decreasing the effectiveness of the therapy, therefore there is a need for a new and more effective therapy. The aim of the study was to investigate and compare the effect of arbutin powder and aqueous extract of A. uvaursi containing arbutin on the biosynthesis of melanin by M. mycetomatis. The experiment was carried out by culturing M. mycetomatis on minimal media composed of 2% agar, 15 mM glucose, 10 mM MgSO4, 29.4 mM KH2PO4, 13 mM glycin and 80mg/l gentamicin, the media was supplied with different concentration of arbutin solution (5, 25 50,and 75mg) and aqueous extract of A. uvaursi to contain arbutin with concentrations (5, 25 50,and 75mg), the plates were incubated for two month and the result was observed by the naked eye. The results revealed that the arbutin powder had an inhibitory effect on melanin synthesis by M. mycetomatis that correlated with its established inhibitory effect on melanin synthesis in humans. The inhibitory effect of arbutin on melanin synthesis by M. mycetomatis was found to be dose dependent. A. uvaursi aqueous leaf extract containing arbutin was also found to decrease melanin production by M. mycetomatis, however plates containing high concentrations of aqueous extract couldn’t be assessed for its melanin inhibitory effect due to the high content of carbohydrates in the extract that promoted the growth of fungi Asperigullus niger rendering the plates unsuitable for visual inspection. In conclusion inhibition of melanin synthesis was observed on the arbutin powder as well as the aqueous extract containing arbutin. A. uvaursi is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity, which can aid in wound healing that is beneficial in the chronic inflammation caused by M. mycetomatis.

Keywords: arbutin, arctostaphylos, Madurella, melanin

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