Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Electronic Journal of Biotechnology]]> vol. 19 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<strong>Comparing the expression of human DNA topoisomerase I in KM71H and X33 strains of </strong><em><b>Pichia pastoris</b></em>]]> Background: Human is an essential cellular enzyme that is found in all human cells. As this enzyme is upregulated in cancer cells exceedingly, it is used as a target for cancer chemotherapeutic drug development. As such, producing the in-house enzyme for the purpose to speed up the search for more cost-effective and target specific hTopoI inhibitors is warranted. This study aims to compare the optimised conditions for the expression of hTopoI in KM71H (MutS) and X33 (Mut+) strains of Pichia pastoris. P. pastoris transfected with an hTopoI recombinant vector was used for the optimization of a higher level of hTopoI expression. Results: In the process, fed-batch cultivation parameters that influence the expression of hTopoI, such as culture temperature, methanol induction and feeding strategy, were optimised in the transfected KM71H and X33 P. pastoris strains in a shake flask system. The cell density and total protein concentration (protein level) of transfected P. pastoris were compared to determine the optimum culture conditions for each transfected P. pastoris strain. A higher hTopoI level was observed in the transfected KM71H culture supernatant (2.26 ng/mL) when the culture was incubated in the optimum conditions. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that MutS strain (KM71H) expressed and secreted a higher level of hTopoI heterologous protein in the presence of methanol compared to the Mut+ strain; X33 (0.75 ng/mL). However, other aspects of optimization, such as pH, should also be considered in the future, to obtain the optimum expression level of hTopoI in P. pastoris. <![CDATA[<strong>Development, characterization and use of genomic SSR markers for assessment of genetic diversity in some Saudi date palm <i>(Phoenix dactylifera </i>L.) cultivars</strong>]]> Background: The present study was undertaken towards the development of SSR markers and assessing genetic relationships among 32 date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) representing common cultivars grown in different geographical regions in Saudi Arabia. Results: Ninety-three novel simple sequence repeat markers were developed and screened for their ability to detect polymorphism in date palm. Around 71% of genomic SSRs were dinucleotide, 25% tri, 3% tetra and 1% penta nucleotide motives. Twenty-two primers generated a total of 91 alleles with a mean of 4.14 alleles per locus and 100% polymorphism percentage. A 0.595 average polymorphic information content and 0.662 primer discrimination power values were recorded. The expected and observed heterozygosities were 0.676 and 0.763 respectively. Pair-wise similarity values ranged from 0.06 to 0.89 and the overall cultivars averaged 0.41. The UPGMA cluster analysis recovered by principal coordinate analysis illustrated that cultivars tend to group according to their class of maturity, region of cultivation, and fruit color. Analysis of molecular variations (AMOVA) revealed that genetic variation among and within cultivars were 27% and 73%, respectively according to geographical distribution of cultivars. Conclusions: The developed microsatellite markers are additional values to date palm characterization tools that can be used by researchers in population genetics, cultivar identification as well as genetic resource exploration and management. The tested cultivars exhibited a significant amount of genetic diversity and could be suitable for successful breeding program. Genomic sequences generated from this study are available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Sequence Read Archive (Accession numbers. LIBGSS_039019). <![CDATA[<strong>RestrictionDigest</strong>: <strong>A powerful Perl module for simulating genomic restriction digests</strong>]]> Background: Reduced-representation sequencing technology is widely used in genotyping for its economical and efficient features. A popular way to construct the reduced-representation sequencing libraries is to digest the genomic DNA with restriction enzymes. A key factor of this method is to determine the restriction enzyme(s). But there are few computer programs which can evaluate the usability of restriction enzymes in reduced-representation sequencing. SimRAD is an R package which can simulate the digestion of DNA sequence by restriction enzymes and return enzyme loci number as well as fragment number. But for linkage mapping analysis, enzyme loci distribution is also an important factor to evaluate the enzyme. For phylogenetic studies, comparison of the enzyme performance across multiple genomes is important. It is strongly needed to develop a simulation tool to implement these functions. Results: Here, we introduce a Perl module named RestrictionDigest with more functions and improved performance. It can analyze multiple genomes at one run and generate concise comparison of enzyme performance across the genomes. It can simulate single-enzyme digestion, double-enzyme digestion and size selection process and generate comprehensive information of the simulation including enzyme loci number, fragment number, sequences of the fragments, positions of restriction sites on the genome, the coverage of digested fragments on different genome regions and detailed fragment length distribution. Conclusions: RestrictionDigest is an easy-to-use Perl module with flexible parameter settings. With the help of the information produced by the module, researchers can easily determine the most appropriate enzymes to construct the reduced-representation libraries to meet their experimental requirements. <![CDATA[<strong>The whole-cell immobilization of D-hydantoinase-engineered </strong><em><b>Escherichia coli </b></em><strong>for D-CpHPG biosynthesis</strong>]]> Background: D-Hydroxyphenylglycine is considered to be an important chiral molecular building-block of antibiotic reagents such as pesticides, and β-lactam antibiotics. The process of its production is catalyzed by D-hydantoinase and D-carbamoylase in a two-step enzyme reaction. How to enhance the catalytic potential of the two enzymes is valuable for industrial application. In this investigation, an Escherichia coli strain genetically engineered with D-hydantoinase was immobilized by calcium alginate with certain adjuncts to evaluate the optimal condition for the biosynthesis of D-carbamoyl-p-hydroxyphenylglycine (D-CpHPG), the compound further be converted to D-hydroxyphenylglycine (D-HPG) by carbamoylase. Results: The optimal medium to produce D-CpHPG by whole-cell immobilization was a modified Luria-Bertani (LB) added with 3.0% (W/V) alginate, 1.5% (W/V) diatomite, 0.05% (W/V) CaCl2 and 1.00 mM MnCl2.The optimized diameter of immobilized beads for the whole-cell biosynthesis here was 2.60 mm. The maximized production rates of D-CpHPG were up to 76%, and the immobilized beads could be reused for 12 batches. Conclusions: This investigation not only provides an effective procedure for biological production of D-CpHPG, but gives an insight into the whole-cell immobilization technology. <![CDATA[<strong>Viability of probiotic bacteria and some chemical and sensory characteristics in cornelian cherry juice during cold storage</strong>]]> Background: Increased popularity of vegetarianism, lactose intolerance, and the high cholesterol content in dairy products, are all factors that have recently increased the demand for nondairy probiotic products. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of refrigeration on the viability of probiotics and asses some of the chemical and sensory characteristics in cornelian cherry juice. Results: The Iranian native probiotic strain (L. casei T4) showed greater viability compared to industrial types (viable count of 8.67 log cfu/mL versus <6.0 log cfu/mL at d 28). However, this most tolerant Iranian strain, could not withstand the conditions of 'Natural juice' at pH 2.6 for more than 7 d. Following a pH adjusted treatment (to pH ~3.5), the viability of the strain was improved to 28 d with some evidence of increased growth of the probiotic. However, the level of antioxidant activity, anthocyanin and phenolic compounds, revealed a slight decrease during cold storage. The changes in the chemical profile of the sample containing L. casei T4 indicated fermentation activity during cold storage. Sensory evaluation results showed significant differences between samples containing L. casei TD4 and other samples in taste, odor and overall acceptance in a complimentary way. Conclusion: The results showed that low pH and presence of inhibitor phenolic compounds of cornelian cherry juice have negative effect on viability of probiotics, especially industrial strains during refrigerated storage. <![CDATA[<strong>Oligomerization of Cry9Aa in solution without receptor binding, is not related with insecticidal activity</strong>]]> Background: Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins bind with different insect midgut proteins leading to toxin oligomerization, membrane insertion and pore formation. However, different Cry toxins had been shown to readily form high molecular weight oligomers or aggregates in solution in the absence of receptor interaction. The role of Cry oligomers formed in solution remains uncertain. The Cry9A proteins show high toxicity against different Lepidoptera, and no-cross resistance with Cry1A. Results: Cry9Aa655 protein formed oligomers easily in solution mediated by disulfide bonds, according to SDS-PAGE analysis under non-reducing and reducing conditions. However, oligomerization is not observed if Cry9Aa655 is activated with trypsin, suggesting that cysteine residues, C14 and C16, located in the N-terminal end that is processed during activation participate in this oligomerization. To determine the role of these residues on oligomerization and in toxicity single and double alanine substitution were constructed. In contrast to single C14A and C16A mutants, the double C14A-C16A mutant did not form oligomers in solution. Toxicity assays against Plutella xylostella showed that the C14A-C16A mutant had a similar insecticidal activity as the Cry9Aa655 protein indicating the oligomers of Cry9Aa formed in solution in the absence of receptor binding are not related with toxicity. Conclusions: The aggregation of Cry9Aa655 polypeptides was mediated by disulfide bonds. Cry9Aa655 C14 and C16C are involved in oligomerization in solution. These aggregate forms are not related to the mode of action of Cry9Aa leading to toxicity. <![CDATA[<strong>Indole acetic acid and ACC deaminase from endophytic bacteria improves the growth of </strong><em><b>Solarium lycopersicum</b></em>]]> Background: Endophytic bacteria are ubiquitous in all plant species contributing in host plant's nutrient uptake and helping the host to improve its growth. Moringa peregrina which is a medicinal plant, growing in arid region of Arabia, was assessed for the presence of endophytic bacterial strains. Results: PCR amplification and sequencing of 16S rRNA of bacterial endophytes revealed the 5 endophytic bacteria, in which 2 strains were from Sphingomonas sp.; 2 strains from Bacillus sp. and 1 from Methylobacterium genus. Among the endophytic bacterial strains, a strain of Bacillus subtilis LK14 has shown significant prospects in phosphate solubilization (clearing zone of 56.71 mm after 5 d), ACC deaminase (448.3 ± 2.91 nM α-ketobutyrate mg-1 h-1) and acid phosphatase activity (8.4 ± 1.2 nM mg-1 min-1). The endophytic bacteria were also assessed for their potential to produce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Among isolated strains, the initial spectrophotometry analysis showed significantly higher IAA production by Bacillus subtilis LK14. The diurnal production of IAA was quantified using multiple reactions monitoring method in UPLC/MS-MS. The analysis showed that LK14 produced the highest (8.7 uM) IAA on 14th d of growth. Looking at LK14 potentials, it was applied to Solanum lycopersicum, where it significantly increased the shoot and root biomass and chlorophyll (a and b) contents as compared to control plants. Conclusion: The study concludes that using endophytic bacterial strains can be bio-prospective for plant growth promotion, which might be an ideal strategy for improving growth of crops in marginal lands. <![CDATA[<strong>SSR genetic diversity assessment of popular pigeonpea varieties in Malawi reveals unique fingerprints</strong>]]> Background: Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) is a drought tolerant legume of the Fabaceae family and the only cultivated species in the genus Cajanus. It is mainly cultivated in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Oceania, Africa and America. In Malawi, it is grown as a source of food and income and for soil improvement in intercropping systems. However, varietal contamination due to natural outcrossing causes significant quality reduction and yield losses. In this study, 48 polymorphic SSR markers were used to assess the diversity among all pigeonpea varieties cultivated in Malawi to determine if a genetic fingerprint could be identified to distinguish the popular varieties. Results: A total of 212 alleles were observed with an average of 5.58 alleles per marker and a maximum of 14 alleles produced by CCttc019 (Marker 40). Polymorphic information content (PIC), ranged from 0.03 to 0.89 with an average of 0.30. A neighbor-joining tree produced 4 clusters. The most commonly cultivated varieties, which include released varieties and cultivated land races, were well-spread across all the clusters observed, indicating that they generally represented the genetic diversity available in Malawi, although substantial variation was evident that can still be exploited through further breeding. Conclusion: Screening of the allelic data associated with the five most popular cultivated varieties, revealed 6 markers - CCB1, CCB7, Ccac035, CCttc003, Ccac026 and CCttc019 - which displayed unique allelic profiles for each of the five varieties. This genetic fingerprint can potentially be applied for seed certification to confirm the genetic purity of seeds that are delivered to Malawi farmers. <![CDATA[<strong>DNA demethylation during </strong><em><b>Chrysanthemum </b></em><strong>floral transition following short-day treatment</strong>]]> Background: Analytical techniques such as methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism and high-performance liquid chromatography were used to detect variation in DNA methylation of mature Chrysanthemum leaves during the floral transition induced by short-day (SD) treatment. Results: For both early- and late-flowering cultivars, the time from the date of planting to the appearance of the capitulum bud and early blooming were significantly shorter than those of the control. The capitulum development of the early-flowering cultivar was significantly accelerated compared to the control, unlike the late-flowering cultivar. The DNA methylation percentage of leaves was significantly altered during flower development. For the early-flowering cultivar, DNA methylation was 42.2-51.3% before the capitulum bud appeared and 30.5-44.5% after. The respective DNA methylation percentages for the late-flowering cultivar were 43.5-56% and 37.2-44.9%. Conclusions: The DNA methylation percentage of Chrysanthemum leaves decreased significantly during floral development. The decline in DNA methylation was elevated in the early-flowering cultivar compared with the late-flowering cultivar. <![CDATA[<strong>Cloning of the </strong><strong>ω</strong><strong>-secalin gene family in a wheat 1BL/1RS translocation line using BAC clone sequencing</strong>]]> Background: Wheat 1BL/1RS translocation lines are planted around the world for their disease resistance and high yield. Most of them are poor in bread making, which is partially caused by ω-secalins that are encoded by the ω-secalin gene family, which is located on the short arm of rye chromosome 1R (1RS). However, information on the structure and evolution of the ω-secalin gene family is still limited. Results: We first generated a physical map of the ω-secalin gene family covering 195 kb of the Sec-1 locus based on sequencing three bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones of the 1BL/1RS translocation wheat cultivar Shimai 15. A BAC contig was constructed spanning 168 kb of the Sec-1 locus on 1RS. Twelve ω-secalin genes were arranged in a head-to-tail fashion, separated by 8.2-21.6 kb spacers on the contig, whereas six other ω-secalin genes were arranged head-to-tail, separated by 8.2-8.4 kb of spacers on clone BAC125. The 18 ω-secalin genes can be classified into six types among which eight ω-secalin genes were expressed during seed development. The ω-secalin genes with the 1074-bp open reading frame (ORF) represented the main population. Except for two pseudogenes, the N-terminal of the ω-secalin gene was conserved, whereas variations in the C-terminal led to a change in ORF length. The spacers can be sorted into two classes. Class-1 spacers contained conserved and non-conservative sequences. Conclusion: The ω-secalin gene family consisted of at least 18 members in the 1BL/1RS translocation line cv. Shimai 15. Eight ω-secalin genes were expressed during seed development. Eighteen members may originate from a progenitor with a 1,074-bp ORF. The spacers differed in length and sequence conservation. <![CDATA[<strong>Selection of polyvalent bacteriophages infecting </strong><em><b>Salmonella entérica </b></em><strong>serovar Choleraesuis</strong>]]> Background: Ideally, bacteriophages of pathogenic bacterial hosts should be polyvalent to be able to replicate in an alternative nonpathogenic bacterium. Thus, accidental infection by the original host can be avoided when bacteriophage lysates are used in biocontrol protocols. Results: From 15 wastewater samples, collected at different sites in the V Region in Chile, we selected three bacteriophages (FC, FP, and FQ) capable of productively infecting Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis. By transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation, the bacteriophages were found to belong to the order Caudoviridae. Molecular analyses indicated that FC, FP, and FQ contained double-stranded DNA genomes, of sizes similar to bacteriophage P22, and distinct recognition sites for the restriction endonucleases HaeIII and HindIII. Assays of host range revealed that the bacteriophages were polyvalent and thus capable of infecting different strains of Escherichia coli and other serovars of Salmonella. Conclusion: We have isolated new bacteriophages of the serovar Choleraesuis with various potential applications in relation to this pathogenic bacterium. <![CDATA[<strong>Natural antifouling compound production by microbes associated with marine macroorganisms</strong>: <strong>A review</strong>]]> In the marine environment, all hard surfaces including marine macroorganims are colonized by microorganisms mainly from the surrounding environment. The microorganisms associated with marine macroorganisms offer tremendous potential for exploitation of bioactive metabolites. Biofouling is a continuous problem in marine sectors which needs huge economy for control and cleaning processes. Biotechnological way for searching natural product antifouling compounds gained momentum in recent years because of the environmental pollution associated with the use of toxic chemicals to control biofouling. While, natural product based antifoulants from marine organisms particularly sponges and corals attained significance due to their activities in field assays, collection of larger amount of organisms from the sea is not a viable one. The microorganisms associated with sponges, corals, ascidians, seaweeds and seagrasses showed strong antimicrobial and also antifouling activities. This review highlights the advances in natural product antifoulants research from microbes associated with marine organisms. <![CDATA[<strong>Thermotolerant fermenting yeasts for simultaneous saccharification fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass</strong>]]> Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant renewable source of energy that has been widely explored as second-generation biofuel feedstock. Despite more than four decades of research, the process of ethanol production from lignocellulosic (LC) biomass remains economically unfeasible. This is due to the high cost of enzymes, end-product inhibition of enzymes, and the need for cost-intensive inputs associated with a separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) process. Thermotolerant yeast strains that can undergo fermentation at temperatures above 40°C are suitable alternatives for developing the simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) process to overcome the limitations of SHF. This review describes the various approaches to screen and develop thermotolerant yeasts via genetic and metabolic engineering. The advantages and limitations of SSF at high temperatures are also discussed. A critical insight into the effect of high temperatures on yeast morphology and physiology is also included. This can improve our understanding of the development of thermotolerant yeast amenable to the SSF process to make LC ethanol production commercially viable.