Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Electronic Journal of Biotechnology]]> vol. 17 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<strong>Cyclodextrin glucanotransferase immobilization onto functionalized magnetic double mesoporous core-shell silica nanospheres</strong>]]> Background Cyclodextrin glucanotransferase (CGTase) from Amphibacillus sp. NPST-10 was covalently immobilized onto amino-functionalized magnetic double mesoporous core-shell silica nanospheres (mag@d-SiO2@m-SiO2-NH2), and the properties of the immobilized enzyme were investigated. The synthesis process of the nanospheres included preparing core magnetic magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles, coating the Fe3O4 with a dense silica layer, followed by further coating with functionalized or non-functionalized mesoporous silica shell. The structure of the synthesized nanospheres was characterized using TEM, XRD, and FT-IR analyses. CGTase was immobilized onto the functionalized and non-functionalized nanospheres by covalent attachment and physical adsorption. Results The results indicated that the enzyme immobilization by covalent attachment onto the activated mag@d-SiO2@m-SiO2-NH2, prepared using anionic surfactant, showed highest immobilization yield (98.1%), loading efficiency (96.2%), and loading capacity 58 µg protein [CGTase]/mg [nanoparticles]) which were among the highest yields reported so far for CGTase. Compared with the free enzyme, the immobilized CGTase demonstrated a shift in the optimal temperature from 50°C to 50-55°C, and showed a significant enhancement in the enzyme thermal stability. The optimum pH values for the activity of the free and immobilized CGTase were pH 8 and pH 8.5, respectively, and there was a significant improvement in pH stability of the immobilized enzyme. Moreover, the immobilized CGTase exhibited good operational stability, retaining 56% of the initial activity after reutilizations of ten successive cycles. Conclusion The enhancement of CGTase properties upon immobilization suggested that the applied nano-structured carriers and immobilization protocol are promising approach for industrial bioprocess for production of cyclodextrins using immobilized CGTase. <![CDATA[<strong>Efficiency of RAPD, ISSR, AFLP and ISTR markers for the detection of polymorphisms and genetic relationships in camote de cerro (</strong><em><b>Dioscorea</b></em><strong> spp.)</strong>]]> Background At present, species known as camote de cerro (Dioscorea spp.) are found only in the wilderness in Mexico, but their populations are extremely depleted because they are indiscriminately collected, it is urgent to evaluate the conservation status of these plants in order to design conservation genetics programs. In this study, genetic diversity parameters along with cluster analysis based on Jaccard's coefficient were estimated with the objective to assess the efficiency of Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD), Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR), Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) and Inverse Sequence Tagged Repeat (ISTR) molecular DNA markers in the Dioscorea genus. Results The polymorphic information contents were quite similar for all markers (≈0.48). Genetic variation of Dioscorea spp., in terms of average heterozygosity was lower with ISTR (0.36), and higher when other markers were used (RAPD = 0.43; ISSR = 0.45 and AFLP = 0.47). Conclusion This indicates an important level of genetic differences despite the fact that the plant is asexually propagated. Based on the diversity statistics, any marker tested in present work can be recommended for use in large-scale genetic studies of populations. However, the low correlations among different molecular marker systems show the importance of the complementarity of the information that is generated by different markers for genetic studies involving estimation of polymorphism and relationships. <![CDATA[<strong>An increasing of the efficiency of microbiological synthesis of 1,3-propanediol from crude glycerol by the concentration of biomass</strong>]]> Background 1,3-Propanodiol (1,3-PD), is used in the production of polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT), an aromatic polyester that exhibits high elastic recoveries. It is also employed as a supplement with low solidification properties, a solvent and a lubricant in the formof propylene glycol. 1,3-PD is effectively synthesized by a microbiological way from crude glycerol. The main problem of this technology is using a high concentration of glycerol, which is a limiting factor for bacteria cells growth (especially in batch fermentation). Results In this work, the influence of different glycerol concentration in batch fermentation on Clostridium butyricum DSP1 metabolism was investigated. The biomass was concentrated for two times with the use of membrane module (in case of increasing kinetic parameters). Increased optical density of bacteria cells six times increased the productivity of 1,3-PD in cultivation with 20 g/L of glycerol at the beginning of the process, and more than two times in cultivation with 60-80 g/L. Also the possibility of complete attenuation of 140 g/L of crude glycerol in the batch fermentation was investigated. During the cultivation, changes of protein profiles were analyzed. The most significant changes were observed in the cultivation in the medium supplemented with 80 g/L of glycerol. They related mainly to the DNA protein reconstructive systems, protective proteins (HSP), and also the enzymatic catalysts connected with glycerol metabolic pathway. Conclusions The application of filtration module in batch fermentation of crude glycerol by C. butyricum DSP1 significantly increased the productivity of the process. <![CDATA[<strong>Data mining and influential analysis of gene expression data for plant resistance gene identification in tomato (</strong><em><b>Solanum lycopersicum</b></em><strong>)</strong>]]> Background Molecular mechanisms of plant-pathogen interactions have been studied thoroughly but much about them is still unknown. A better understanding of these mechanisms and the detection of new resistance genes can improve crop production and food supply. Extracting this knowledge from available genomic data is a challenging task. Results Here, we evaluate the usefulness of clustering, data-mining and regression to identify potential new resistance genes. Three types of analyses were conducted separately over two conditions, tomatoes inoculated with Phytophthora infestans and not inoculated tomatoes. Predictions for 10 new resistance genes obtained by all applied methods were selected as being the most reliable and are therefore reported as potential resistance genes. Conclusion Application of different statistical analyses to detect potential resistance genes reliably has shown to conduct interesting results that improve knowledge on molecular mechanisms of plant resistance to pathogens. <![CDATA[<strong>Enhancement of biodegradation potential of catechol 1,2-dioxygenase through its immobilization in calcium alginate gel</strong>]]> Background In biodegradation processes free enzymes often undergo deactivation. Thus, it is very important to obtain highly stable enzymes by different methods. Immobilization allows for successful stabilization of many multimeric enzymes by increasing the rigidity of the enzyme structure. This study aimed to evaluate some environmental factors that affect catechol 1,2-dioxygenase from Stenotrophomonas maltophilia KB2 immobilized in alginate hydrogel. The goal of the present work was to improve the functional stability of the enzyme by increasing its structural rigidity. Results Immobilization yield and expressed activity were 100% and 56%, respectively. Under the same storage conditions, the activity of the immobilized enzyme was still observed on the 28th d of incubation at 4°C, whereas the free enzyme lost its activity after 14 d. The immobilized enzyme required approximately 10°C lower temperature for its optimal activity than the free enzyme. Immobilization shifted the optimal pH from 8 for the soluble enzyme to 7 for the immobilized enzyme. The immobilized catechol 1,2-dioxygenase showed activity against 3-methylcatechol, 4-methylcatechol, 3-chlorocatechol, 4-chlorocatechol, and 3,5-dichlorocatechol. The immobilization of the enzyme promoted its stabilization against any distorting agents: aliphatic alcohols, phenols, and chelators. Conclusions The entrapment of the catechol 1,2-dioxygenase from S. maltophilia KB2 has been shown to be an effective method for improving the functional properties of the enzyme. Increased resistance to inactivation by higher substrate concentration and other factors affecting enzyme activity as well as broadened substrate specificity compared to the soluble enzyme, makes the immobilized catechol 1,2-dioxygenase suitable for the bioremediation and detoxification of xenobiotic-contaminated environments. <![CDATA[<strong>Purification and characterization of an aspartic protease from the </strong><em><b>Rhizopus oryzae</b></em><strong> protease extract, Peptidase R</strong>]]> Background Aspartic proteases are a subfamily of endopeptidases that are useful in a variety of applications, especially in the food processing industry. Here we describe a novel aspartic protease that was purified from Peptidase R, a commercial protease preparation derived from Rhizopus oryzae. Results An aspartic protease sourced from Peptidase R was purified to homogeneity by anion exchange chromatography followed by polishing with a hydrophobic interaction chromatography column, resulting in a 3.4-fold increase in specific activity (57.5 × 10³ U/mg) and 58.8% recovery. The estimated molecular weight of the purified enzyme was 39 kDa. The N-terminal sequence of the purified protein exhibited 63-75% identity to rhizopuspepsins from various Rhizopus species. The enzyme exhibited maximal activity at 75°C in glycine-HCl buffer, pH 3.4 with casein as the substrate. The protease was stable at 35°C for 60 min and had an observed half-life of approximately 30 min at 45°C. Enzyme activity was not significantly inhibited by chelation with ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), and the addition of metal ions to EDTA-treated protease did not significantly change enzyme activity, indicating that proteolysis is not metal ion-dependent. The purified enzyme was completely inactivated by the aspartic protease inhibitor Pepstatin A. Conclusion Based on the observed enzyme activity, inhibition profile with Pepstatin A, and sequence similarity to other rhizopuspepsins, we have classified this enzyme as an aspartic protease. <![CDATA[<strong>One-step, codominant detection of imidazolinone resistance mutations in weedy rice (</strong><em><b>Oryza sativa</b></em><strong> L.)</strong>]]> Background Weedy rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a noxious form of cultivated rice (O. sativa L.) associated with intensive rice production and dry seeding. A cost-efficient strategy to control this weed is the Clearfield rice production system, which combines imidazolinone herbicides with mutant imidazolinone-resistant rice varieties. However, imidazolinone resistance mutations can be introgressed in weedy rice populations by natural outcrossing, reducing the life span of the Clearfield technology. Timely and accurate detection of imidazolinone resistance mutations in weedy rice may contribute to avoiding the multiplication and dispersion of resistant weeds and to protect the Clearfield system. Thus, highly sensitive and specific methods with high throughput and low cost are needed. KBioscience's Allele Specific PCR (KASP) is a codominant, competitive allele-specific PCR-based genotyping method. KASP enables both alleles to be detected in a single reaction in a closed-tube format. The aim of this work is to assess the suitability and validity of the KASP method for detection in weedy rice of the three imidazolinone resistance mutations reported to date in rice. Results Validation was carried out by determining the analytical performance of the new method and comparing it with conventional allele-specific PCR, when genotyping sets of cultivated and weedy rice samples. The conventional technique had a specificity of 0.97 and a sensibility of 0.95, whereas for the KASP method, both parameters were 1.00. Conclusions The new method has equal accuracy while being more informative and saving time and resources compared with conventional methods, which make it suitable for monitoring imidazolinone-resistant weedy rice in Clearfield rice fields. <![CDATA[<strong>Assessment of somaclonal variation in somatic embryo-derived plants of yacon </strong><strong>[Smallanthus sonchifolius (Poepp. and Endl.) H. Robinson]</strong><strong> using inter simple sequence repeat analysis and flow cytometry</strong>]]> Background Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is a root crop native to the Andean region. Low sexual reproductive capacity is a major constraint facing the genetic breeding of this crop. Biotechnological techniques offer alternative ways to widen genetic variability. We investigated somaclonal variation in regenerants of yacon derived from in vitro somatic embryogenesis using simple sequence repeat (ISSR) analysis and flow cytometry. Results Twenty tested ISSR primers provided a total of 7848 bands in 60 in vitro regenerants and control plant. The number of bands for each primer varied from 3 to 10, and an average of 6.95 bands was obtained per ISSR primer. Eight primers were polymorphic and generated 10 polymorphic bands with 7.19% mean polymorphism. ISSR analysis revealed genetic variability in 6 plants under study. These regenerants had Jaccard's distances 0.104, 0.020, 0.040, 0.106, 0.163 and 0.040. Flow cytometric analysis did not reveal changes of relative nuclear DNA content in regenerants suggesting that the plants obtained via somatic embryogenesis had maintained stable octoploid levels. Conclusions Our findings show that indirect somatic embryogenesis could be used in yacon improvement to widen genetic variability, especially when low sexual reproductive capacity hinders classical ways of breeding.