Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Electronic Journal of Biotechnology]]> vol. 17 num. 6 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<strong>Cloning, characterization and expression of Peking duck fatty acid synthase during adipocyte differentiation</strong>]]> Background Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is a key enzyme of de novo lipogenesis (DNL), which has been cloned from several species: Gallus gallus, Mus musculus, Homo sapiens, but not from Anas platyrhynchos. The current study was conducted to obtain the full-length coding sequence of Peking duck FAS and investigate its expression during adipocyte differentiation. Results We have isolated a 7654 bp fragment from Peking duck adipocytes that corresponds to the FAS gene. The cloned fragment contains an open reading frame of 7545 bp, encodes a 2515 amino acid protein, and displays high nucleotide and amino acid homology to avian FAS orthologs. Twelve hour treatment of oleic acid significantly up-regulated the expression of FAS in duck preadipocytes (P < 0.05). However, 1000 µM treatment of oleic acid exhibited lipotoxic effect on cell viability (P < 0.05). In addition, during the first 24 h of duck adipocyte differentiation FAS was induced; however, after 24 h its expression level declined (P < 0.05). Conclusion We have successfully cloned and characterized Peking duck FAS. FAS was induced during adipocyte differentiation and by oleic acid treatment. These findings suggest that Peking duck FAS plays a similar role to mammalian FAS during adipocyte differentiation. <![CDATA[<strong>Isolation and identification of a cellulolytic bacterium from the Tibetan pig's intestine and investigation of its cellulase production</strong>]]> Background The Tibetan pig is a pig breed with excellent grazing characteristics indigenous to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau in China. Under conditions of barn feeding, 90% of its diet consists of forage grass, which helps meet its nutritional needs. The present study aimed to isolate and identify a cellulolytic bacterium from the Tibetan pig's intestine and investigate cellulase production by this bacterium. The study purpose is to provide a basic theory for the research and development of herbivore characteristics and to identify a source of probiotics from the Tibetan pig. Results A cellulolytic bacterium was isolated from a Tibetan pig's intestine and identified based on morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics as well as 16S rRNA analysis; it was designated Bacillus subtilis BY-2. Examination of its growth characteristics showed that its growth curve entered the logarithmic phase after 8-12 h and the stable growth phase being between 20 and 40 h. The best carbon source for fermentation was 1% corn flour, while 2% peptone and yeast powder compound were the best nitrogen sources. The initial pH during fermentation was 5.5, with 4% inoculum, resulting in a high and stable amount of enzyme in 24-48 h. Conclusions The isolated BY-2 strain rapidly grew and produced cellulase. We believe that BY-2 cellulase can help overcome the shortage of endogenous animal cellulase, improve the utilization rate of roughage, and provide strain sources for research on porcine probiotics. <![CDATA[<strong>High genetic diversity and small genetic variation among populations of </strong><em><b>Magnolia wufengensis</b></em><strong> (Magnoliaceae), revealed by ISSR and SRAP marker</strong>]]> Background Genetic diversity and genetic variation of 10 populations and subpopulations of Magnolia wufengensis, a new and endangered endemic species, were examined by inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) and sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) molecular markers. Compared with other endangered endemic Magnolia taxa, M. wufengensis holds a relatively high level of genetic variation. Result Total genetic diversity was found to be 87.7% for ISSR and 88.0% for SRAP markers. For polymorphic loci (P), the effective mean number of alleles (Ae) was 1.414 for ISSR markers and 1.458 for SRAP markers, while the mean expected heterozygosity (H) was 0.256 using ISSR and 0.291 for SRAP markers. Within-population variation was estimated for P as 74.9% using ISSR and 74.6% with SRAP markers; the number of alleles Ae was 1.379 with ISSR and 1.397 for SRAP and H 0.235 with ISSR and 0.247 for SRAP markers. Conclusion The analysis of molecular variation of both ISSR and SRAP marker systems indicated that most genetic variation is within populations, with values of 90.64% and 82.92% respectively. Mantel tests indicated a moderate association between the two marker systems and a low correlation between genetic and geographic distances. High levels of genetic diversity and low levels of population divergence suggest that genetic drift is not currently of great concern for this species. Severe habitat loss and fragmentation, predominantly ascribed to anthropogenic pressures, caused in-situ developing restriction of this species. Action for conserving this rare species for its long-term survival should be taken immediately. <![CDATA[<strong>Effect of cytokinin types, concentrations and their interactions on </strong><em><b>in vitro</b></em><strong> shoot regeneration of </strong><em><b>Chlorophytum borivilianum</b></em><strong> Sant. & Fernandez</strong>]]> Background Chlorophytum borivilianum is a rare medicinal plant originally distributed throughout the forest of India. The tubers of C. borivilianum are used as an aphrodisiac and impotence supplement. The propagation of C. borivilianum is possible through seeds and tubers, but conventional methods may take several months. Hence in vitro technique of shoot regeneration could be an efficient alternative means of propagating the species. Latest study reported microtuberization of C. borivilianum but there is no sufficient study on a rapid method for shoot multiplication and elongation. Results Young shoot buds of C. borivilianum were cultured on MS medium containing 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) and Kinetin (Kn), both at 0, 8.88, 17.8 and 26.6 µM, either individually or in combinations. Proliferated shoots were subcultured on fresh medium of the same constituents on week 3 of culture for further shoot multiplication and elongation. BAP alone (8.88-26.6 µM) was significantly effective on shoot multiplication, while Kn alone (8.88-26.6 µM) was significantly effective on shoot elongation compared to the control containing MS basal medium without any plant growth regulator. However, combination of both cytokinins stimulated an interaction producing higher shoot number and shoot length compared to their individual application. Conclusions The most suitable combination was 8.88 µM BAP + 8.88 µM Kn, reaching a mean shoot number of 10.83 and shoot length of 6.85 cm. <![CDATA[<strong>High-level soluble expression of the functional peptide derived from the C-terminal domain of the sea cucumber lysozyme and analysis of its antimicrobial activity</strong>]]> Background The sea cucumber lysozyme belongs to the family of invertebrate lysozymes and is thought to be a key defense factor in protecting aquaculture animals against bacterial infection. Recently, evidence was found that the sea cucumber lysozyme exerts broad spectrum antimicrobial action in vitro against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, and it also has more potent antimicrobial activity independent of its enzymatic activity. To explore the antimicrobial role of this non-enzymatic lysozyme and model its structure to novel antimicrobial peptides, the peptide from the C-terminal amino acid residues 70-146 of the sea cucumber lysozyme in Stichopus japonicus (SjLys-C) was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli Rosetta(DE3)pLysS. Results The fusion protein system led to over-expression of the soluble and highly stable product, an approximate 26 kDa recombinant SjLys-C protein (rSjLys-C). The present study showed that rSjLys-C displayed strong antimicrobial activity against the tested Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In particular, the heat-treated rSjLys-C exhibited more inhibitive activity than the native rSjLys-C. The structural analysis of SjLys-C showed that it is a typical hydrophilic peptide and contains a helix-loop-helix motif. The modeling of SjLys-C molecular structures at different temperatures revealed that the tertiary structure of SjLys-C at 100°C underwent a conformational change which is favorable for enhancing antimicrobial activity. Conclusion These results indicate that the expressed rSjLys-C is a highly soluble product and has a strong antimicrobial activity. Therefore, gaining a large quantity of biologically active rSjLys-C will be used for further biochemical and structural studies and provide a potential use in aquaculture and medicine. <![CDATA[<strong>Molecular cloning and expression analysis of the </strong><em><b>MaASR1</b></em><strong> gene in banana and functional characterization under salt stress</strong>]]> Background Abscisic acid (ABA)-, stress- and ripening-induced protein (ASR) is plant-specific hydrophilic transcriptional regulators involved in sucrose stress and wounding in banana. However, it is not known whether banana ASR genes confer salt stress tolerance. The contexts of the study was to analysis the sequence characterization of banana ASR1, and identify its expression patterns and function under salt stress using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and overexpression in Arabidopsis. The purpose was to evaluate the role of banana ASR1 to salt stress tolerance employed by plants. Results A full-length cDNA isolated from banana fruit was named MaASR1, and it had a 432 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding 143 amino acids. MaASR1 was preferential expression in roots and leaves compared to low expression in fruits, rhizomes and flowers. Under salt stress, the expression of MaASR1 quickly increased and highest expression level was detected in roots and leaves at 4 h, and then gradually decreased. These results suggested that MaASR1 expression was induced under salt stress. MaASR1 protein was localized in the nucleus and plasma membrane. MaASR1 was transformed to Arabidopsis and verified by southern and northern analysis, transgenic lines L14 and L38 integrated one and two copies of MaASR1, respectively, while overexpression in transgenic lines provided evidence for the role of MaASR1 to salt stress tolerance. Conclusions This study demonstrated that overexpression of MaASR1 in Arabidopsis confers salt stress tolerance by reducing the expression of ABA/stress-responsive genes, but does not affect the expression of the ABA-independent pathway and biosynthesis pathway genes. <![CDATA[<strong>A novel chloroplastic isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase gene from </strong><em><b>Jatropha curcas</b></em>: <strong>Cloning, characterization and subcellular localization</strong>]]> Background Jatropha curcas is a rich reservoir of pharmaceutically active terpenoids. More than 25 terpenoids have been isolated from this plant, and their activities are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, insecticidal, rodenticidal, cytotoxic and molluscicidal. But not much is known about the pathway involved in the biosynthesis of terpenoids. The present investigation describes the cloning, characterization and subcellular localization of isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase (IPI) gene from J. curcas. IPI is one of the rate limiting enzymes in the biosynthesis of terpenoids, catalyzing the crucial interconversion of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). Results A full-length JcIPI cDNA consisting of 1355 bp was cloned. It encoded a protein of 305 amino acids. Analysis of deduced amino acid sequence predicted the presence of conserved active sites, metal binding sites and the NUDIX motif, which were consistent with other IPIs. Phylogenetic analysis indicated a significant evolutionary relatedness with Ricinus communis. Southern blot analysis showed the presence of an IPI multigene family in J. curcas. Comparative expression analysis of tissue specific JcIPI demonstrated the highest transcript level in flowers. Abiotic factors could induce the expression of JcIPI. Subcellular distribution showed that JcIPI was localized in chloroplasts. Conclusion This is the first report of cloning and characterization of IPI from J. curcas. Our study will be of significant interest to understanding the regulatory role of IPI in the biosynthesis of terpenoids, although its function still needs further confirmation. <![CDATA[<strong>Isolation and characterization of drought-responsive genes from peanut roots by suppression subtractive hybridization</strong>]]> Background Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an important economic and oilseed crop. Long-term rainless conditions and seasonal droughts can limit peanut yields and were conducive to preharvest aflatoxin contamination. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which peanut responds and adapts to water limited conditions, we isolated and characterized several drought-induced genes from peanut roots using a suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) technique. Results RNA was extracted from peanut roots subjected to a water stress treatment (45% field capacity) and from control plants (75% field capacity), and used to generate an SSH cDNA library. A total of 111 non-redundant sequences were obtained, with 80 unique transcripts showing homology to known genes and 31 clones with no similarity to either hypothetical or known proteins. GO and KEGG analyses of these differentially expressed ESTs indicated that drought-related responses in peanut could mainly be attributed to genes involved in cellular structure and metabolism. In addition, we examined the expression patterns of seven differentially expressed candidate genes using real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and confirmed that all were up-regulated in roots in response to drought stress, but to differing extents. Conclusions We successfully constructed an SSH cDNA library in peanut roots and identified several drought-related genes. Our results serve as a foundation for future studies into the elucidation of the drought stress response mechanisms of peanut. <![CDATA[<strong>High-yield production of the human lysozyme by </strong><em><b>Pichia pastoris</b></em><strong> SMD1168 using response surface methodology and high-cell-density fermentation</strong>]]> Background Lysozyme plays a crucial role in innate immunity with its well-recognized bacteriolytic activity. In this study, the influence of expression parameters (inoculation volume, culture volume, growth time, induction temperature and time, initial pH and methanol concentration) on human lysozyme (HLZ) production in recombinant P. pastoris SMD1168 was investigated through Plackett-Burman (PB) design and response surface methodology (RSM). Results It was revealed that induction temperature, induction time and culture volume had significant influence (P < 0.01) on HLZ expression level, which were elected for further optimization with three-dimensional response surface designs for enhanced HLZ production. The highest lysozyme activity reached 3301 U/mL under optimized conditions (at 23.5°C for 90 h with culture volume of 48 mL) in shake flask, which increased 2.2 fold compared with that achieved with the standard protocol (Invitrogen). When high-cell-density fermentation of the recombinant Pichia pastoris was performed in a 15 L fermenter under optimized conditions, the extracellular lysozyme activity reached 47,680 U/mL. SDS-PAGE analysis of the product demonstrated that HLZ was produced as a single major protein with a molecular weight of approximately 14.7 kDa, consistent with its expected size. Conclusions The results indicated that the optimized culture conditions using PB design and RSM significantly enhanced the expression level of HLZ, and the Pichia expression system for HLZ production was successful and industrially promising. <![CDATA[Application of microsatellite markers for breeding and genetic conservation of herds of Pantaneiro sheep]]> Background The aim of the present study was to assess the genetic diversity of Pantaneiro sheep, using microsatellite markers, in order to assist maintenance and management plans, enhance mating systems and reduce the inbreeding rate. A total of 127 animals were genotyped at eight microsatellite loci. They belonged to populations from the Experimental Farm of the Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados (UFGD) (Dourados/MS/Brazil) and Embrapa Pantanal (Corumbá/MS/Brazil). Results The population of Pantaneiro sheep from the UFGD exhibited a high mean number of alleles (11.13) and allelic richness (10.66). The polymorphic information content was highly informative in the locus studied, resulting in a mean value of 0.71. Observed heterozygosity was lower than expected for all molecular markers assessed. The analysis of molecular variance showed a differentiation rate of 5.2% between populations. Conclusions The results of the statistical parameters indicated that populations of Pantaneiro sheep require special attention on herd management, and it's further necessary to implement breeder exchange programs in order to preserve the genetic variability of these populations. Furthermore, the maintenance of those populations in their typical habitats is rather required to allow different responses from the herds to the interactions between genotype and environment. <![CDATA[1,3-Propanediol production from crude glycerol by <em><b>Clostridium butyricum</b></em><strong> DSP1 in repeated batch</strong>]]> Background The production of biofuels from renewable energy sources is one of the most important issues in industrial biotechnology today. The process is known to generate various by-products, for example crude glycerol, which is obtained in the making of biodiesel from rapeseed oil. Crude glycerol may be utilized in many ways, including microbial conversion to 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD), a raw material for the synthesis of polyesters and polyurethanes. Results The paper presents results of a study on the synthesis of 1,3-propanediol from crude glycerol by a repeated batch method with the use of Clostridium butyricum DSP1. Three cycles of fermentation medium replacement were carried out. The final concentration of 1,3-PD was 62 g/L and the maximum productivity, obtained during the second cycle, reached 1.68 g/L/h. Additionally, experiments conducted in parallel to the above involved using the entire quantity of the culture broth removed from the bioreactor to inoculate successive portions of fermentation media containing crude glycerol at concentrations of 80 g/L and 100 g/L. Under those conditions, the maximum 1,3-PD concentrations were 43.2 g/L and 54.2 g/L. Conclusions The experiments proved that by using a portion of metabolically active biomass as inoculum for another fermentation formula it is possible to eliminate the stage of inoculum growth and thereby reduce the length of the whole operation. Additionally, that strategy avoids the phase of microbial adaptation to a different source of carbon such as crude glycerol, which is more difficult to utilize, thus improving the kinetic parameters of 1,3-PD production. <![CDATA[<strong>Determination of fructan exohydrolase activity in the crude extracts of plants</strong>]]> Background The roots of chicory and the tubers of Jerusalem artichoke are used for the production of inulin. However, a quality of tubers and roots, i.e. the content of inulin, monosaccarides and disaccharides, depends on the activity of enzymes implicated in the metabolism of inulin. The knowledge on the changes of activities of inulin synthesizing and degrading enzymes is limited during plant sprouting, growth and dormancy. It happens due to complicated measurements of the product of enzymatic reaction in the presence of crude plant extract. Fructan exohydrolase (β-d-fructan fructohydrolase, FEH, EC is an enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of fructans in plants. For fructose as the reaction product measurement, a high-performance liquid chromatography is usually used. The aim of the study was to choose a simple and suitable method for FEH activity determination and the measurement of fructose in the presence of plant extracts. Results Two chemical methods, i.e. copper(II)-neocuproine and 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid, and the enzymatic one based on the reactions catalyzed by hexokinase, phosphoglucose isomerase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase were used. Enzymatic method was found to be suitable for FEH activity determination in plant extracts, and on the contrary to chemical methods no interference effects of compounds from crude plant extracts were observed. Conclusion Enzymatic method is applicable for the routine analysis and will allow performing the investigations without special equipment on the inulin degrading enzyme in biotechnologically important crops.