Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 44

Search results for: preferentially foraged

44 Palynological Investigation and Quality Determination of Honeys from Some Apiaries in Northern Nigeria

Authors: Alebiosu Olugbenga Shadrak, Victor Victoria


Honey bees exhibit preferences in their foraging behaviour on pollen and nectar for food and honey production, respectively. Melissopalynology is the study of pollen in honey and other honey products. Several work have been conducted on the palynological studies of honeys from the southern parts of Nigeria but with relatively scant records from the Northern region of the country. This present study aimed at revealing the favourably visited plants by honey bees, Apis melifera var. adansonii, at some apiaries in Northern Nigeria, as well as determining the quality of honeys produced. Honeys were harvested and collected from four apiaries of the region, namely: Sarkin Dawa missionary bee farm, Taraba State; Eleeshuwa Bee Farm, Keffi, Nassarawa State, Bulus Beekeeper Apiaries, Kagarko, Kaduna State and Mai Gwava Bee Farm, Kano State. These honeys were acetolysed for palynological microscopic analysis and subjected to standard treatment methods for the determination of their proximate composition and sugar profiling. Fresh anthers of two dominantly represented plants in the honeys were then collected for the quantification of their pollen protein contents, using the micro-kjeldhal procedure. A total of 30 pollen types were identified in the four honeys, and some of them were common to the honeys. A classification method for expressing pollen frequency class was employed: Senna cf. siamea, Terminalia cf. catappa, Mangifera indica, Parinari curatelifolia, Vitellaria paradoxa, Elaeis guineensis, Parkia biglobosa, Phyllantus muellerianus and Berlina Grandiflora, as “Frequent” (16-45%); while the others are either Rare (3-15%) or Sporadic (less than 3 %). Pollen protein levels of the two abundantly represented plants, Senna siamea (15.90mg/ml) and Terminalia catappa (17.33mg/ml) were found to be considerably lower. The biochemical analyses revealed varying amounts of proximate composition, non-reducing sugar and total sugar levels in the honeys. The results of this study indicate that pollen and nectar of the “Frequent” plants were preferentially foraged by honeybees in the apiaries. The estimated pollen protein contents of Senna same and Terminalia catappa were considerably lower and not likely to have influenced their favourable visitation by honeybees. However, a relatively higher representation of Senna cf. siamea in the pollen spectrum might have resulted from its characteristic brightly coloured and well scented flowers, aiding greater entomophily. Terminalia catappa, Mangifera indica, Elaeis guineensis, Vitellaria paradoxa, and Parkia biglobosa are typical food crops; hence they probably attracted the honeybees owing to the rich nutritional values of their fruits and seeds. Another possible reason for a greater entomophily of the favourably visited plants are certain nutritional constituents of their pollen and nectar, which were not investigated in this study. The nutritional composition of the honeys was observed to fall within the safe limits of international norms, as prescribed by Codex Alimentarius Commission, thus they are good honeys for human consumption. It is therefore imperative to adopt strategic conservation steps in ensuring that these favourably visited plants are protected from indiscriminate anthropogenic activities and also encourage apiarists in the country to establish their bee farms more proximally to the plants for optimal honey yield.

Keywords: honeybees, melissopalynology, preferentially foraged, nutritional, bee farms, proximally

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43 The Use of Bleomycin and Analogues to Probe the Chromatin Structure of Human Genes

Authors: Vincent Murray


The chromatin structure at the transcription start sites (TSSs) of genes is very important in the control of gene expression. In order for gene expression to occur, the chromatin structure at the TSS has to be altered so that the transcriptional machinery can be assembled and RNA transcripts can be produced. In particular, the nucleosome structure and positioning around the TSS has to be changed. Bleomycin is utilized as an anti-tumor agent to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and testicular cancer. Bleomycin produces DNA damage in human cells and DNA strand breaks, especially double-strand breaks, are thought to be responsible for the cancer chemotherapeutic activity of bleomycin. Bleomycin is a large glycopeptide with molecular weight of approximately 1500 Daltons and hence its DNA strand cleavage activity can be utilized as a probe of chromatin structure. In this project, Illumina next-generation DNA sequencing technology was used to determine the position of DNA double-strand breaks at the TSSs of genes in intact cells. In this genome-wide study, it was found that bleomycin cleavage preferentially occurred at the TSSs of actively transcribed human genes in comparison with non-transcribed genes. There was a correlation between the level of enhanced bleomycin cleavage at TSSs and the degree of transcriptional activity. In addition, bleomycin was able to determine the position of nucleosomes at the TSSs of human genes. Bleomycin analogues were also utilized as probes of chromatin structure at the TSSs of human genes. In a similar manner to bleomycin, the bleomycin analogues 6′-deoxy-BLM Z and zorbamycin preferentially cleaved at the TSSs of human genes. Interestingly this degree of enhanced TSS cleavage inversely correlated with the cytotoxicity (IC50 values) of BLM analogues. This indicated that the degree of cleavage by bleomycin analogues at the TSSs of human genes was very important in the cytotoxicity of bleomycin and analogues. It also provided a deeper insight into the mechanism of action of this cancer chemotherapeutic agent since actively transcribed genes were preferentially targeted.

Keywords: anti-cancer activity, chromatin structure, cytotoxicity, gene expression, next-generation DNA sequencing

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42 Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated Photoaging Pathways of Ultrafine Plastic Particles under UV Irradiation

Authors: Jiajun Duan, Yang Li, Jianan Gao, Runzi Cao, Enxiang Shang, Wen Zhang


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is considered as an important photoaging mechanism of microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs). To elucidate the ROS-induced MP/NP aging processes in water under UV365 irradiation, we examined the effects of surface coatings, polymer types, and grain sizes on ROS generation and photoaging intermediates. Bare polystyrene (PS) NPs generated hydroxyl radicals (•OH) and singlet oxygen (¹O₂), while coated PS NPs (carboxyl-modified PS (PS-COOH), amino-modified PS (PS-NH₂)) and PS MPs generated fewer ROS due to coating scavenging or size effects. Polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, and polycarbonate MPs only generated •OH. For aromatic polymers, •OH addition preferentially occurred at benzene rings to form monohydroxy polymers. Excess •OH resulted in H abstraction, C-C scission, and phenyl ring opening to generate aliphatic ketones, esters, aldehydes, and aromatic ketones. For coated PS NPs, •OH preferentially attacked the surface coatings to result in decarboxylation and deamination reactions. For aliphatic polymers, •OH attack resulted in the formation of carbonyl groups from peracid, aldehyde, or ketone via H abstraction and C-C scission. Moreover, ¹O₂ might participate in phenyl ring opening for PS NPs and coating degradation for coated PS NPs. This study facilitates understanding the ROS-induced weathering process of NPs/MPs in water under UV irradiation.

Keywords: microplastics, nanoplastics, photoaging, reactive oxygen species, surface coating

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41 The Cleavage of DNA by the Anti-Tumor Drug Bleomycin at the Transcription Start Sites of Human Genes Using Genome-Wide Techniques

Authors: Vincent Murray


The glycopeptide bleomycin is used in the treatment of testicular cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Bleomycin damages and cleaves DNA in human cells, and this is considered to be the main mode of action for bleomycin's anti-tumor activity. In particular, double-strand breaks are thought to be the main mechanism for the cellular toxicity of bleomycin. Using Illumina next-generation DNA sequencing techniques, the genome-wide sequence specificity of bleomycin-induced double-strand breaks was determined in human cells. The degree of bleomycin cleavage was also assessed at the transcription start sites (TSSs) of actively transcribed genes and compared with non-transcribed genes. It was observed that bleomycin preferentially cleaved at the TSSs of actively transcribed human genes. There was a correlation between the degree of this enhanced cleavage at TSSs and the level of transcriptional activity. Bleomycin cleavage is also affected by chromatin structure and at TSSs, the peaks of bleomycin cleavage were approximately 200 bp apart. This indicated that bleomycin was able to detect phased nucleosomes at the TSSs of actively transcribed human genes. The genome-wide cleavage pattern of the bleomycin analogues 6′-deoxy-BLM Z and zorbamycin was also investigated in human cells. As found for bleomycin, these bleomycin analogues also preferentially cleaved at the TSSs of actively transcribed human genes. The cytotoxicity (IC₅₀ values) of these bleomycin analogues was determined. It was found that the degree of enhanced cleavage at TSSs was inversely correlated with the IC₅₀ values of the bleomycin analogues. This suggested that the level of cleavage at the TSSs of actively transcribed human genes was important for the cytotoxicity of bleomycin and analogues. Hence this study provided a deeper understanding of the cellular processes involved in the cancer chemotherapeutic activity of bleomycin.

Keywords: anti-tumour activity, bleomycin analogues, chromatin structure, genome-wide study, Illumina DNA sequencing

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40 Comparative Growth Kinetic Studies of Two Strains Saccharomyces cerevisiae Isolated from Dates and a Commercial Strain

Authors: Nizar Chaira


Dates, main products of the oases, due to their therapeutic interests, are considered highly nutritious fruit. Several studies on the valuation biotechnology and technology of dates are made, and several products are already prepared. Isolation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, naturally presents in a scrap of date, optimization of growth in the medium based on date syrup and production biomass can potentially expand the range of secondary products of dates. To this end, this paper tries to study the suitability for processing dates technology and biotechnology to use the date pulp as a carbon source for biological transformation. Two strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolated from date syrup (S1, S2) and a commercial strain have used for this study. After optimization of culture conditions, production in a fermenter on two different media (date syrup and beet molasses) was performed. This is followed by studying the kinetics of growth, protein production and consumption of sugars in crops strain 1, 2 and the commercial strain and on both media. The results obtained showed that a concentration of 2% sugar, 2.5 g/l yeast extract, pH 4.5 and a temperature between 25 and 35°C are the optimal conditions for cultivation in a bioreactor. The exponential phase of the specific growth rate of a strain on both media showed that it is about 0.3625 h-1 for the production of a medium based on date syrup and 0.3521 h-1 on beet molasses with a generation time equal to 1.912 h and on the medium based on date syrup, yeast consumes preferentially the reducing sugars. For the production of protein, we showed that this latter presents an exponential phase when the medium starts to run out of reducing sugars. For strain 2, the specific growth rate is about 0.261h-1 for the production on a medium based on date syrup and 0207 h-1 on beet molasses and the base medium syrup date of the yeast consumes preferentially reducing sugars. For the invertase and other metabolits, these increases rapidly after exhaustion of reducing sugars. The comparison of productivity between the three strains on the medium based on date syrup showed that the maximum value is obtained with the second strain: p = 1072 g/l/h as it is about of 0923 g/l/h for strain 1 and 0644 g/l/h for the commercial strain. Thus, isolates of date syrup are more competitive than the commercial strain and can give the same performance in a shorter time with energy gain.

Keywords: date palm, fermentation, molasses, Saccharomyces, syrup

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39 Environmental /Occupational Factors and Seasonality of Birth- Male Infertility

Authors: C. Lalitha, R. Sayee, D. Apoorva


Reproductive failure or infertility may be due to several factors that are not limited to one sex. It remains a common problem causing significant psychological distress to those affected individuals and who are increasingly seeking medical advice. Male infertility means inability to induce conception in normal woman within a year. The etiological factors associated with male infertility are anatomical, developmental, seminal, hormonal, immunological and environmental factors. The paper was aimed to highlight the environmental factors and its association to male infertility and seasonality of birth and its influence. The data was collected from the 75 male patients referred with infertility for karyotyping and counseling. Their age ranged from 21 to 45 years. It is opined that certain occupations are preferentially associated with male infertility.

Keywords: environmental, occupational, seasonal, male infertility

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38 High Temperature in Caustic Pretreatment of Gold Locked in the Residue after Filtration from Gold Cyanidation Leaching

Authors: K. L. Kabemba, R. F. Sandenberg


The usual way to desorb gold is by elution with a hot concentrated alkaline solution of sodium cyanide. The high temperature is necessary because the dielectric constant of water decreases with increasing temperature hence the electrostatic forces between charcoal and the gold cyanide complex decreases. High alkalinity and a high concentration of cyanide are necessary for gold desorption because both OH- and CN- ions are preferentially adsorbed. The rate of elution increases with increasing anion concentration but decreases with increasing cation concentration that means the rate of elution passes through a maximum as the concentration of the eluting salt (NaCN, for example) is increased. The anion that gives the best results, the cyanide ion, decomposes fairly rapidly at elevated temperatures (40% in 6 hours, 90% in 24 hours at 95°C).

Keywords: caustic, cyanide, gold, temperature

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37 Corrosion Investigation of Superalloys, Molybdenum and TZM in Chloride Molten Salts

Authors: Craig Jantzen, Tim Abram, Dirk Engelberg, Hugues Lambert, Daniel Cooper


Molten salts are of high interest for use as coolants in nuclear reactors due to favourable high temperature and thermodynamic properties. The corrosive behaviour of molten salts however pose a materials integrity challenge. Three Ni / Ni-Fe based and two Mo based alloys have been exposed to molten eutectics (LiCl-KCl at 59.5:40.5 mol% and KCl-MgCl2 at 68:32 mol%) at 600°C and 800°C for durations up to 500hrs. Corrosion was observed to preferentially attack alloy constituents in order of their reactivity, with chromium the most vulnerable and depleted element. Alloy weight-loss per unit area was calculated to give linear corrosion rates, discounting any initial rapid corrosion of impurities. Further analysis was carried out using ICP-MS, SEM and EDX techniques to give a more detailed view of the corrosion mechanisms.

Keywords: molten salt, salt, corrosion, high temperature, licl, KCL, MgCl, molybdenum, nickel, superalloys

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36 Evaluation of the Behavior of Micronutrients in Salty Soils of Low Cheliff

Authors: N. Degui, Y. Daoud


The study investigates the assessment of micronutrient bioavailability and behavior in saline soils based on the determination of three cations and one anion on three soil profiles affected by secondary salinization in Lower Cheliff. The chemical fractionation method was used for the speciation study (different forms) of micronutrients in these soils. The results show that total form quantities of cations are height than norms in agricultural soils, thus the quantities of anion are lows. At the other hand, the quantities of available forms are lows. Statistical analysis reveals that cationic micronutrients localize preferentially in the coarse fraction of the soil in salty conditions and that sodicity causes a decrease in the iron reserve in the soil. The pH range ‘7.49 - 8.76’ represents a constraint for the complexation of micronutrients by organic matter. The study concluded that quantities of total and available forms of micronutrients in salty soils are influenced by soil properties such as: pH, electrical conductivity and exchangeable sodium.

Keywords: chemical fractionation, micronutrients, salty soils, speciation

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35 Promissing Antifungal Chitinase from Marine Strain of Bacillus

Authors: Ben Amar Cheba, Taha Ibrahim Zaghloul, Mohamad Hisham El-Massry, Ahmad Rafik El-Mahdy


Seventy two bacterial strains with ability to degrade chitin were isolated during a screening program. One of the most potent isolates (strain R2) was identified as Bacillus sp. using conventional methods as well as 16S rRNA technique and submitted in the Gen Bank sequence database as Bacillus sp. R2 with a given accession number DQ 923161. This strain was able to produce high levels of extracellular chitinase. The chitinase of Bacillus sp. R2 hydrolyzed several chitinous substrates preferentially and showed a maximum activity toward the β chitin such as Calmar pen and squid bone chitins with the folds 1.47 and 1.23 respectively. The enzyme also exhibited a substrate binding capacity of more than 70% for squid chitin, shrimp shell colloidal chitin, chitosan and prawn shell chitin. The chitinase showed a moderate antifungal activity against many phytopathogenic fungi such as Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, Penicillium degitatum and Fusarium calmorum.This strain could be a suitable candidate for chitinase production on an industrial scale for using as promising antifungal biopestecide.

Keywords: antifungal activity, Bacillus sp. R2, chitinase, substrate specificity

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34 Solanum tuberosum Ammonium Transporter Gene: Some Bioinformatics Insights

Authors: A. T. Adetunji, F. B. Lewu, R. Mundembe


Plants require nitrogen (N) to support desired production levels. Nitrogen is available to plants in the form of nitrate or ammonium, which are transported into the cell with the aid of various transport proteins. Ammonium transporters (AMTs) play a role in the uptake of ammonium, the form in which nitrogen is preferentially absorbed by plants. Solanum tuberosum AMT1 (StAMT1) was characterized using molecular biology and bioinformatics methods. Nucleotide database sequences were used to design AMT1-specific primers which were used to amplify the AMT1 internal regions. Nucleotide sequencing, alignment and phylogenetic analysis assigned StAMT1 to the AMT1 family. The deduced amino acid sequences showed that StAMT1 is 92%, 83% and 76% similar to Solanum lycopersicum LeAMT1.1, Lotus japonicus LjAMT1.1 and Solanum lycopersicum LeAMT1.2 respectively. StAMT1 fragments were shown to correspond to the 5th - 10th trans-membrane domains. Residue StAMT1 D15 is predicted to be essential for ammonium transport, while mutations of StAMT1 S76A may further enhance ammonium transport.

Keywords: ammonium transporter, bioinformatics, nitrogen, primers, Solanum tuberosum

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33 U11 Functionalised Luminescent Gold Nanoclusters for Pancreatic Tumor Cells Labelling

Authors: Regina M. Chiechio, Rémi Leguevél, Helene Solhi, Marie Madeleine Gueguen, Stephanie Dutertre, Xavier, Jean-Pierre Bazureau, Olivier Mignen, Pascale Even-Hernandez, Paolo Musumeci, Maria Jose Lo Faro, Valerie Marchi


Thanks to their ultra-small size, high electron density, and low toxicity, gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) have unique photoelectrochemical and luminescence properties that make them very interesting for diagnosis bio-imaging and theranostics. These applications require control of their delivery and interaction with cells; for this reason, the surface chemistry of Au NCs is essential to determine their interaction with the targeted biological objects. Here we demonstrate their ability as markers of pancreatic tumor cells. By functionalizing the surface of the NCs with a recognition peptite (U11), the nanostructures are able to preferentially bind to pancreatic cancer cells via a receptor (uPAR) overexpressed by these cells. Furthermore, the NCs can mark even the nucleus without the need of fixing the cells. These nanostructures can therefore be used as a non-toxic, multivalent luminescent platform, capable of selectively recognizing tumor cells for bioimaging, drug delivery, and radiosensitization.

Keywords: gold nanoclusters, luminescence, biomarkers, pancreatic cancer, biomedical applications, bioimaging, fluorescent probes, drug delivery

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32 The Overexpression of Horsegram MURLK Improves Regulation of Cell Death and Defense Responses to Microbial Pathogens

Authors: Shikha Masand, Sudesh Kumar Yadav


Certain protein kinases have been shown to be crucial for plant cell signaling pathways associated with plant immune responses. Here we identified a horsegram [Macrotyloma uniflorum (Lam.) Verdc.] malectin-like leucine rich receptor-like protein kinase (RLK) gene MuRLK. The functional MuRLK protein preferentially binds to mannose and N-acetyl glucosamine residues. MuRLK exists in the cytoplasm and also localizes to the plasma membrane of plant cells via its N-terminus. Over-expression of MuRLK in Arabidopsis enhances the basal resistance to infection with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, Alternaria brassicicola and Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, are associated with elevated ROS bursts, MAPK activation, thus ultimately leading to hypersensitive cell death. Moreover, salicylic acid-dependent and jasmonic acid-dependent defense responses are also enhanced in the MuRLK-overexpressed plants that lead to HR-induced cell death. Together, these results suggest that MuRLK plays a key role in the regulation of plant cell death, early and late defense responses after the recognition of microbial pathogens.

Keywords: horsegram, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, MuRLK, ROS burst, cell death, plant defense

Procedia PDF Downloads 182
31 Characterization of a Hypoeutectic Al Alloy Obtained by Selective Laser Melting

Authors: Jairo A. Muñoz, Alexander Komissarov, Alexander Gromov


In this investigation, a hypoeutectic AlSi11Cu alloy was printed. This alloy was obtained in powder form with an average particle size of 40 µm. Bars 20 mm in diameter and 100 mm in length were printed with the building direction parallel to the bars' longitudinal direction. The microstructural characterization demonstrated an Al matrix surrounded by a Si network forming a coral-like pattern. The microstructure of the alloy showed a heterogeneous behavior with a mixture of columnar and equiaxed grains. Likewise, the texture indicated that the columnar grains were preferentially oriented towards the building direction, while the equiaxed followed a texture dominated by the cube component. On the other hand, the as-printed material strength showed higher values than those obtained in the same alloy using conventional processes such as casting. In addition, strength and ductility differences were found in the printed material, depending on the measurement direction. The highest values were obtained in the radial direction (565 MPa maximum strength and 4.8% elongation to failure). The lowest values corresponded to the transverse direction (508 MPa maximum strength and 3.2 elongation to failure), which corroborate the material anisotropy.

Keywords: additive manufacturing, aluminium alloy, melting pools, tensile test

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30 Cold Spray Deposition of SS316L Powders on Al5052 Substrates and Their Potential Using for Biomedical Applications

Authors: B. Dikici, I. Ozdemir, M. Topuz


The corrosion behaviour of 316L stainless steel coatings obtained by cold spray method was investigated in this study. 316L powders were deposited onto Al5052 aluminum substrates. The coatings were produced using nitrogen (N2) process gas. In order to further improve the corrosion and mechanical properties of the coatings, heat treatment was applied at 250 and 750 °C. The corrosion performances of the coatings were compared using the potentiodynamic scanning (PDS) technique under in-vitro conditions (in Ringer’s solution at 37 °C). In addition, the hardness and porosity tests were carried out on the coatings. Microstructural characterization of the coatings was carried out by using scanning electron microscopy attached with energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) technique. It was found that clean surfaces and a good adhesion were achieved for particle/substrate bonding. The heat treatment process provided both elimination of the anisotropy in the coating and resulting in healing-up of the incomplete interfaces between the deposited particles. It was found that the corrosion potential of the annealed coatings at 750 °C was higher than that of commercially 316 L stainless steel. Moreover, the microstructural investigations after the corrosion tests revealed that corrosion preferentially starts at inter-splat boundaries.

Keywords: biomaterials, cold spray, 316L, corrosion, heat treatment

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29 Basic Research on Applying Temporary Work Engineering at the Design Phase

Authors: Jin Woong Lee, Kyuman Cho, Taehoon Kim


The application of constructability is increasingly required not only in the construction phase but also in the whole project stage. In particular, the proper application of construction experience and knowledge during the design phase enables the minimization of inefficiencies such as design changes and improvements in constructability during the construction phase. In order to apply knowledge effectively, engineering technology efforts should be implemented with design progress. Among many engineering technologies, engineering for temporary works, including facilities, equipment, and other related construction methods, is important to improve constructability. Therefore, as basic research, this study investigates the applicability of temporary work engineering during the design phase in the building construction industry. As a result, application of temporary work engineering has a greater impact on construction cost reduction and constructability improvement. In contrast to the existing design-bid-build method, the turn-key and CM (construct management) procurement methods currently being implemented in Korea are expected to have a significant impact on the direction of temporary work engineering. To introduce temporary work engineering, expert/professional organization training is first required, and a lack of client awareness should be preferentially improved. The results of this study are expected to be useful as reference material for the development of more effective temporary work engineering tasks and work processes in the future.

Keywords: Temporary Work Engineering, Design Phase, Constructability, Building Construction

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28 PEG-b-poly(4-vinylbenzyl phosphonate) Coated Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles as Drug Carrier System: Biological and Physicochemical Characterization

Authors: Magdalena Hałupka-Bryl, Magdalena Bednarowicz, Ryszard Krzyminiewski, Yukio Nagasaki


Due to their unique physical properties, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are increasingly used in medical applications. They are very useful carriers for delivering antitumor drugs in targeted cancer treatment. Magnetic nanoparticles (PEG-PIONs/DOX) with chemotherapeutic were synthesized by coprecipitation method followed by coating with biocompatible polymer PEG-derivative (poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(4-vinylbenzylphosphonate). Complete physicochemical characterization was carried out (ESR, HRTEM, X-ray diffraction, SQUID analysis) to evaluate the magnetic properties of obtained PEG-PIONs/DOX. Nanoparticles were investigated also in terms of their stability, drug loading efficiency, drug release and antiproliferative effect on cancer cells. PEG-PIONs/DOX have been successfully used for the efficient delivery of an anticancer drug into the tumor region. Fluorescent imaging showed the internalization of PEG-PIONs/DOX in the cytoplasm. Biodistribution studies demonstrated that PEG-PIONs/DOX preferentially accumulate in tumor region via the enhanced permeability and retention effect. The present findings show that synthesized nanosystem is promising tool for potential magnetic drug delivery.

Keywords: targeted drug delivery, magnetic properties, iron oxide nanoparticles, biodistribution

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27 Characterization of Solanum tuberosum Ammonium Transporter Gene Using Bioinformatics Approach

Authors: Adewole Tomiwa Adetunji, Francis Bayo Lewu, Richard Mundembe


Plants require nitrogen (N) to support desired production levels. There is a need for better understanding of N transport mechanism in order to improve N assimilation by plant root. Nitrogen is available to plants in the form of nitrate or ammonium, which are transported into the cell with the aid of various transport proteins. Ammonium transporters (AMTs) play a role in the uptake of ammonium, the form in which N is preferentially absorbed by plants. Solanum tuberosum AMT1 (StAMT1) was amplified, sequenced and characterized using molecular biology and bioinformatics methods. Nucleotide database sequences were used to design 976 base pairs AMT1-specific primers which include forward primer 5’- GCCATCGCCGCCGCCGG-3’ and reverse primer 5’-GGGTCAGATCCATACCCGC-3’. These primers were used to amplify the Solanum tuberosum AMT1 internal regions. Nucleotide sequencing, alignment and phylogenetic analysis assigned StAMT1 to the AMT1 family due to the clade and high similarity it shared with other plant AMT1 genes. The deduced amino acid sequences showed that StAMT1 is 92%, 83% and 76% similar to Solanum lycopersicum LeAMT1.1, Lotus japonicus LjAMT1.1, and Solanum lycopersicum LeAMT1.2 respectively. StAMT1 fragments were shown to correspond to the 5th-10th trans-membrane domains. Residue StAMT1 D15 is predicted to be essential for ammonium transport, while mutations of StAMT1 S76A may further enhance ammonium transport.

Keywords: ammonium transporter, bioinformatics, nitrogen, primers, Solanum tuberosum

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26 Microstructural Characterization of Creep Damage Evolution in Welded Inconel 600 Superalloy

Authors: Lourdes Yareth Herrera-Chavez, Alberto Ruiz, Victor H. Lopez


Superalloys are used in components that operate at high temperatures such as pressure vessels and heat exchanger tubing. Design standards for these components must consider creep resistance among other criteria. Fusion welding processes are commonly used in the industry to join such components. Fusion processes commonly generate three distinctive zones, i.e. heat affected zone (HAZ), namely weld metal (WM) and base metal (BM). In nickel-based superalloy, the microstructure developed during fusion welding dictates the mechanical response of the welded component and it is very important to establish these effects in the mechanical response of the component. In this work, two plates of Inconel 600 superalloy were Gas Metal Arc Welded (GMAW). Creep samples were cut and milled to specifications and creep tested at a temperature (650 °C) using stress level of 350, 300, 275, 250 and 200 MPa. Microstructural analysis results showed a progressive creep damage evolution that depends on the stress levels with a preferential accumulation of creep damage at the heat affected zone where the creep rupture preferentially occurs owing to an austenitic matrix with grain boundary precipitated of the type Cr23C6. The fractured surfaces showed dimple patterns of cavity and voids. Results indicated that the damage mechanism is due to cavity growth by the combined effect of the power law and diffusion creep.

Keywords: austenitic microstructure, creep damage evolution, heat affected zone, vickers microhardness

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25 Decontamination of Chromium Containing Ground Water by Adsorption Using Chemically Modified Activated Carbon Fabric

Authors: J. R. Mudakavi, K. Puttanna


Chromium in the environment is considered as one of the most toxic elements probably next only to mercury and arsenic. It is acutely toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic in the environment. Chromium contamination of soil and underground water due to industrial activities is a very serious problem in several parts of India covering Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh etc. Functionally modified Activated Carbon Fabrics (ACF) offer targeted chromium removal from drinking water and industrial effluents. Activated carbon fabric is a light weight adsorbing material with high surface area and low resistance to fluid flow. We have investigated surface modification of ACF using various acids in the laboratory through batch as well as through continuous flow column experiments with a view to develop the optimum conditions for chromium removal. Among the various acids investigated, phosphoric acid modified ACF gave best results with a removal efficiency of 95% under optimum conditions. Optimum pH was around 2 – 4 with 2 hours contact time. Continuous column experiments with an effective bed contact time (EBCT) of 5 minutes indicated that breakthrough occurred after 300 bed volumes. Adsorption data followed a Freundlich isotherm pattern. Nickel adsorbs preferentially and sulphate reduces chromium adsorption by 50%. The ACF could be regenerated up to 52.3% using 3 M NaOH under optimal conditions. The process is simple, economical, energy efficient and applicable to industrial effluents and drinking water.

Keywords: activated carbon fabric, hexavalent chromium, adsorption, drinking water

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24 Analysis of Urban Rail Transit Station's Accessibility Reliability: A Case Study of Hangzhou Metro, China

Authors: Jin-Qu Chen, Jie Liu, Yong Yin, Zi-Qi Ju, Yu-Yao Wu


Increase in travel fare and station’s failure will have huge impact on passengers’ travel. The Urban Rail Transit (URT) station’s accessibility reliability under increasing travel fare and station failure are analyzed in this paper. Firstly, the passenger’s travel path is resumed based on stochastic user equilibrium and Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) data. Secondly, calculating station’s importance by combining LeaderRank algorithm and Ratio of Station Affected Passenger Volume (RSAPV), and then the station’s accessibility evaluation indicators are proposed based on the analysis of passenger’s travel characteristic. Thirdly, station’s accessibility under different scenarios are measured and rate of accessibility change is proposed as station’s accessibility reliability indicator. Finally, the accessibility of Hangzhou metro stations is analyzed by the formulated models. The result shows that Jinjiang station and Liangzhu station are the most important and convenient station in the Hangzhou metro, respectively. Station failure and increase in travel fare and station failure have huge impact on station’s accessibility, except for increase in travel fare. Stations in Hangzhou metro Line 1 have relatively worse accessibility reliability and Fengqi Road station’s accessibility reliability is weakest. For Hangzhou metro operational department, constructing new metro line around Line 1 and protecting Line 1’s station preferentially can effective improve the accessibility reliability of Hangzhou metro.

Keywords: automatic fare collection data, AFC, station’s accessibility reliability, stochastic user equilibrium, urban rail transit, URT

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23 The Effect of Additive Acid on the Phytoremediation Efficiency

Authors: G. Hosseini, A. Sadighzadeh, M. Rahimnejad, N. Hosseini, Z. Jamalzadeh


Metal pollutants, especially heavy metals from anthropogenic sources such as metallurgical industries’ waste including mining, smelting, casting or production of nuclear fuel, including mining, concentrate production and uranium processing ends in the environment contamination (water and soil) and risk to human health around the facilities of this type of industrial activity. There are different methods that can be used to remove these contaminants from water and soil. These are very expensive and time-consuming. In this case, the people have been forced to leave the area and the decontamination is not done. For example, in the case of Chernobyl accident, an area of 30 km around the plant was emptied of human life. A very efficient and cost-effective method for decontamination of the soil and the water is phytoremediation. In this method, the plants preferentially native plants which are more adaptive to the regional climate are well used. In this study, three types of plants including Alfalfa, Sunflower and wheat were used to Barium decontamination. Alfalfa and Sunflower were not grown good enough in Saghand mine’s soil sample. This can be due to non-native origin of these plants. But, Wheat rise in Saghand Uranium Mine soil sample was satisfactory. In this study, we have investigated the effect of 4 types of acids inclusive nitric acid, oxalic acid, acetic acid and citric acid on the removal efficiency of Barium by Wheat. Our results indicate the increase of Barium absorption in the presence of citric acid in the soil. In this paper, we will present our research and laboratory results.

Keywords: phytoremediation, heavy metal, wheat, soil

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22 Anti-Prostate Cancer Effect of GV-1001, a Novel Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor Ligand

Authors: Ji Won Kim, Moo Yeol Lee, Keon Wook Kang


GV-1001, 16 amino acid fragment of human telomerase reverse transcriptase catalytic subunit (hTERT), has been developed as an injectable cancer vaccine for many types of solid tumors showing high-level of telomerase activity. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-cancer effect of GV-1001 on androgen-receptor-positive prostate cancer. Two signaling pathways, Gs-adenylate cyclase-cAMP and Gq-IP3-Ca2+ pathways play a central role in GnRH receptor (GnRHR)-mediated activities. We found that leuprolide acetate (LA) mainly acted on Gq-mediated Ca2+ signaling, while GV-1001 preferentially acted on cAMP signaling; and both the effects were counteracted by cetrorelix, a GnRHR antagonist. We further tested whether GV-1001 affects tumor growth of human prostate cancer cells in vivo. Prostate tumor xenografts were established using LNCap, androgen receptor-positive prostate cancer cells, and the nude mice bearing tumors were subcutaneously injected with GV-1001 (0.01, 0.1, 1, 10 microg/kg/day) and LA (0.01 microg/kg/day) for 2 weeks. GV-1001 (1 and 10 microg/kg/day) significantly inhibited tumor growth of LNCap xenografts. Interestingly, mRNA expression of MMP2 and MMP9 was significantly suppressed by GV-1001 injection, but not by LA administration. Boyden chamber assay revealed that GV-1001 potently inhibited cell migration of LNCap. Our finding suggests that GV-1001 as a novel GnRHR ligand, has anti-proliferative and anti-migratory effects on androgen receptor-positive prostate cancer cells.

Keywords: GV-1001, GnRH, hTERT, prostate cancer

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21 Effect of Substrate Temperature on Some Physical Properties of Doubly doped Tin Oxide Thin Films

Authors: Ahmet Battal, Demet Tatar, Bahattin Düzgün


Various transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) are mostly used much applications due to many properties such as cheap, high transmittance/electrical conductivity etc. One of the clearest among TCOs, indium tin oxide (ITO), is the most widely used in many areas. However, as ITO is expensive and very low regarding reserve, other materials with suitable properties (especially SnO2 thin films) are be using instead of it. In this report, tin oxide thin films doubly doped with antimony and fluorine (AFTO) were deposited by spray at different substrate temperatures on glass substrate. It was investigated their structural, optical, electrical and luminescence properties. The substrate temperature was varied from 320 to 480 ˚C at the interval of 40 (±5) ºC. X-ray results were shown that the films are polycrystalline with tetragonal structure and oriented preferentially along (101), (200) and (210) directions. It was observed that the preferential orientations of crystal growth are not dependent on substrate temperature, but the intensity of preferential orientation was increased with increasing substrate temperature until 400 ºC. After this substrate temperature, they decreased. So, substrate temperature impact structure of these thin films. It was known from SEM analysis, the thin films have rough and homogenous and the surface of the films was affected by the substrate temperature i.e. grain size are increasing with increasing substrate temperature until 400 ºC. Also, SEM and AFM studies revealed the surface of AFTO thin films to be made of nanocrystalline particles. The average transmittance of the films in the visible range is 70-85%. Eg values of the films were investigated using the absorption spectra and found to be in the range 3,20-3,93 eV. The electrical resistivity decreases with increasing substrate temperature, then the electrical resistivity increases. PL spectra were found as a function of substrate temperature. With increasing substrate temperature, emission spectra shift a little bit to a UV region. Finally, tin oxide thin films were successfully prepared by this method and a spectroscopic characterization of the obtained films was performed. It was found that the films have very good physical properties. It was concluded that substrate temperature impacts thin film structure.

Keywords: thin films, spray pyrolysis, SnO2, doubly doped

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20 Studying the Evolution of Soot and Precursors in Turbulent Flames Using Laser Diagnostics

Authors: Muhammad A. Ashraf, Scott Steinmetz, Matthew J. Dunn, Assaad R. Masri


This study focuses on the evolution of soot and soot precursors in three different piloted diffusion turbulent flames. The fuel composition is as follow flame A (ethylene/nitrogen, 2:3 by volume), flame B (ethylene/air, 2:3 by volume), and flame C (pure methane). These flames are stabilized using a 4mm diameter jet surrounded by a pilot annulus with an outer diameter of 15 mm. The pilot issues combustion products from stoichiometric premixed flames of hydrogen, acetylene, and air. In all cases, the jet Reynolds number is 10,000, and air flows in the coflow stream at a velocity of 5 m/s. Time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) is collected at two wavelength bands in the visible (445 nm) and UV regions (266 nm) along with laser-induced incandescence (LII). The combined results are employed to study concentration, size, and growth of soot and precursors. A set of four fast photo-multiplier tubes are used to record emission data in temporal domain. A 266nm laser pulse preferentially excites smaller nanoparticles which emit a fluorescence spectrum which is analysed to track the presence, evolution, and destruction of nanoparticles. A 1064nm laser pulse excites sufficiently large soot particles, and the resulting incandescence is collected at 1064nm. At downstream and outer radial locations, intermittency becomes a relevant factor. Therefore, data collected in turbulent flames is conditioned to account for intermittency so that the resulting mean profiles for scattering, fluorescence, and incandescence are shown for the events that contain traces of soot. It is found that in the upstream regions of the ethylene-air and ethylene-nitrogen flames, the presence of soot precursors is rather similar. However, further downstream, soot concentration grows larger in the ethylene-air flames.

Keywords: laser induced incandescence, laser induced fluorescence, soot, nanoparticles

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19 In vitro Modulation of Cytokine Expression by an Aqueous Licorice Extract in Canine

Authors: A. Watson, G. Telford, D. I. Pritchard


Objective: We investigated the immunomodulatory ability of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Such activities could have value for the management of common immunological diseases in dogs, such as environmental allergy. This study investigated the potential of a Licorice root extract (LRE) to influence the relative expression of Th-1, Th-2, and Th-17 cytokines in canine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Methods: A LRE was prepared using an alcoholic-aqueous-based solvent method. The extract was tested in three in vitro assays using canine leukocytes to determine its toxicity and immunoregulatory profile. Extract toxicity was assessed using the human T-lymphocyte cell line, Jurkat E6.1. The impact of the extract on the proliferation of concanavalin-activated canine PBMC was also determined. Finally, the extract was assessed for its ability to influence cytokine release in activated PBMC, measuring culture medium concentrations of interleukin-17, interferon gamma, and interleukin-4. One-way ANOVA followed by Dunnett’s post-test was used for statistics using concanavalin positive control as reference (p ≤ 0.05). Results: There was evidence that the LRE had specific immunomodulatory properties, causing significant inhibition of IL4 expression over a non-toxic/non-cytostatic concentration range (p < 0.001). In the same cell incubations, there was no significant impact on IL17 nor IFNg over the same non-toxic/non-cytostatic concentration range. Conclusion: The study provides in vitro evidence that LRE preferentially reduces the expression of a Th-2-type cytokine, IL4. The dog population, as with humans, is prone to conditions associated with a Th-2 bias of the immune system, such as environmental allergy. Based on these results, licorice merits further evaluation as a useful immune modulator for such allergic diseases.

Keywords: cytokine, Glycyrrhiza glabra, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, T-cell activation

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18 Optimization of Acid Treatments by Assessing Diversion Strategies in Carbonate and Sandstone Formations

Authors: Ragi Poyyara, Vijaya Patnana, Mohammed Alam


When acid is pumped into damaged reservoirs for damage removal/stimulation, distorted inflow of acid into the formation occurs caused by acid preferentially traveling into highly permeable regions over low permeable regions, or (in general) into the path of least resistance. This can lead to poor zonal coverage and hence warrants diversion to carry out an effective placement of acid. Diversion is desirably a reversible technique of temporarily reducing the permeability of high perm zones, thereby forcing the acid into lower perm zones. The uniqueness of each reservoir can pose several challenges to engineers attempting to devise optimum and effective diversion strategies. Diversion techniques include mechanical placement and/or chemical diversion of treatment fluids, further sub-classified into ball sealers, bridge plugs, packers, particulate diverters, viscous gels, crosslinked gels, relative permeability modifiers (RPMs), foams, and/or the use of placement techniques, such as coiled tubing (CT) and the maximum pressure difference and injection rate (MAPDIR) methodology. It is not always realized that the effectiveness of diverters greatly depends on reservoir properties, such as formation type, temperature, reservoir permeability, heterogeneity, and physical well characteristics (e.g., completion type, well deviation, length of treatment interval, multiple intervals, etc.). This paper reviews the mechanisms by which each variety of diverter functions and discusses the effect of various reservoir properties on the efficiency of diversion techniques. Guidelines are recommended to help enhance productivity from zones of interest by choosing the best methods of diversion while pumping an optimized amount of treatment fluid. The success of an overall acid treatment often depends on the effectiveness of the diverting agents.

Keywords: diversion, reservoir, zonal coverage, carbonate, sandstone

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17 Species Selection for Phytoremediation of Barium Polluted Flooded Soils

Authors: Fabio R. Pires, Paulo R. C. C. Ribeiro, Douglas G. Viana, Robson Bonomo, Fernando B. Egreja Filho, Alberto Cargnelutti Filho, Luiz F. Martins, Leila B. S. Cruz, Mauro C. P. Nascimento


The use of barite (BaSO₄) as a weighting agent in drilling fluids for oil and gas activities makes barium a potential contaminant in the case of spills onto flooded soils, where barium sulfate solubility is increased due to low redox conditions. In order to select plants able to remove barium in such scenarios, seven plant species were evaluated on barium phytoextraction capacity: Brachiaria arrecta; Cyperus cf. papyrus; Eleocharis acutangula; Eleocharis interstincta; Nephrolepsis cf. rivularis; Paspalum conspersum and Typha domingensis. Plants were grown in pots with 13 kg of soil each, and exposed to six barium concentrations (established with BaCl₂): 0; 2.5; 5.0; 10.0; 30.0; 65.0 mg kg-1. To simulate flooding conditions, every pot was manteined with a thin irrigation water depth over soil surface (~1.0 cm). Treatments were carried out in triplicate, and pots were distributed randomly inside the greenhouse. Biometric and chemical analyses were performed throughout the experiment, including Ba²⁺ accumulation in shoots and roots. The highest amount of barium was observed in T. domingensis biomass, followed by C. cf. papyrus. However, the latter exported most of the barium to shoot, especially in higher BaCl₂ doses, while the former accumulated barium preferentially in roots. Thus, barium removal with C. cf. papyrus could be achieved by simply harvesting aerial biomass. The amount of barium in C. cf. papyrus was a consequence of high biomass production rather than barium concentration in plant tissues, whereas T. domingensis showed high barium concentration in plant tissues and high biomass production as well. These results make T. domingensis and C. cf. papyrus potential candidates to be applied in phytoremediation schemes to remove barium from flooded soils.

Keywords: barium sulfate, cyperus, drilling fluids, phytoextraction, Typha

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16 Histological and Microbiological Study about the Pneumonic Lungs of Calves Slaughtered in the Slaughterhouse of Batna

Authors: Hamza Hadj Abdallah, Brahim Belabdi


Respiratory disease is a dominant pathology in cattle. It causes mortality and especially morbidity and irreversible damage. Although the dairy herd is affected, it is essentially the lactating herd and especially young cattle either nursing or fattening that undergo the greatest economic impact. The objective of this study is to establish a microbiological diagnosis of bovine respiratory inffections from lung presented with gross lesions at the slaughter of Batna. A total of 124 samples (pharyngeal and nasal swabs and lung fragments) from 31 seven months old calves, with lung lesions was collected to determine possible correlations between etiologic agents and lesion types. The hépatisation injury (or consolidation) was the major lesion (45.17%) preferentially localized in the right apical lobe. A diverse microbial flora (15 genera and 291 strains was isolated. The bacteria most frequently isolated are the Enterobacteriaceae (49.45%), Staphylococci (25.1%) followed by non Enterobacteriaceae bacilli represented by Pseudomonas (5.83%) and finally, Streptococcus (13.38 %). The pneumotropic bacteria (Pasteurellaaerogenes and Pasteurellapneumotropica) were isolated at a rate of 0.68%. The study of the sensitivity of some germs to antibiotics showed a sensitivity of 100% for ceftazidime. A very high sensitivity was also observed for kanamycin, Ciprofloxacin, Imepinem, Cefepime, Tobramycin and Gentamycin (between 90% and 97%). Strains of E. coli showed a sensitivity of 100% for Imepinem, while only 55.9% of the strains were sensitive to Ampicillin. The isolated Pasteurella exhibited excellent sensitivity (100%) for the antimicrobials used with the exception of Colistin and Ticarcillin-Clavulanic acid association which showed a sensitivity of 50%.This survey has demonstrated the strong spread of atypical pneumonia in cattle population (bulls) at the slaughterhouse of Batna justifying stunting and losses in cattle farms in the region.Thus, it was considered urgent to establish a profile of sensitivity of different germs to antibiotics isolated to limit this increasingly dreadful infection.

Keywords: Pasteurella, enterobacteria, bacteriology, pneumonia

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15 Cotton Fiber Quality Improvement by Introducing Sucrose Synthase (SuS) Gene into Gossypium hirsutum L.

Authors: Ahmad Ali Shahid, Mukhtar Ahmed


The demand for long staple fiber having better strength and length is increasing with the introduction of modern spinning and weaving industry in Pakistan. Work on gene discovery from developing cotton fibers has helped to identify dozens of genes that take part in cotton fiber development and several genes have been characterized for their role in fiber development. Sucrose synthase (SuS) is a key enzyme in the metabolism of sucrose in a plant cell, in cotton fiber it catalyzes a reversible reaction, but preferentially converts sucrose and UDP into fructose and UDP-glucose. UDP-glucose (UDPG) is a nucleotide sugar act as a donor for glucose residue in many glycosylation reactions and is essential for the cytosolic formation of sucrose and involved in the synthesis of cell wall cellulose. The study was focused on successful Agrobacterium-mediated stable transformation of SuS gene in pCAMBIA 1301 into cotton under a CaMV35S promoter. Integration and expression of the gene were confirmed by PCR, GUS assay, and real-time PCR. Young leaves of SuS overexpressing lines showed increased total soluble sugars and plant biomass as compared to non-transgenic control plants. Cellulose contents from fiber were significantly increased. SEM analysis revealed that fibers from transgenic cotton were highly spiral and fiber twist number increased per unit length when compared with control. Morphological data from field plants showed that transgenic plants performed better in field conditions. Incorporation of genes related to cotton fiber length and quality can provide new avenues for fiber improvement. The utilization of this technology would provide an efficient import substitution and sustained production of long-staple fiber in Pakistan to fulfill the industrial requirements.

Keywords: agrobacterium-mediated transformation, cotton fiber, sucrose synthase gene, staple length

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