Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Electronic Journal of Biotechnology]]> vol. 17 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<strong>Antibacterial activity of the Antarctic bacterium Janthinobacterium sp</strong>: <strong>SMN 33.6 against multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria</strong>]]> Background The increment of resistant strains to commonly used antibiotics in clinical practices places in evidence the urgent need to search for new compounds with antibacterial activity. The adaptations that Antarctic microorganisms have developed, due to the extreme environment that they inhabit, promote them as a potential new source of active compounds for the control of microorganisms causing infections associated with health care. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of an ethanol extract of the Antarctic bacterium Janthinobacterium sp., strain SMN 33.6, against nosocomial multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Results Inhibitory activity against human Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, with concentrations that varied between 0.5 and 16 µg ml- 1, was demonstrated. Conclusions The ethanolic extract of Janthinobacterium sp. SMN 33.6 possesses antibacterial activity against a chromosomal AmpC beta-lactamase-producing strain of Serratia marcescens, an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli and also against carbapenemase-producing strains of Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This becomes a potential and interesting biotechnological tool for the control of bacteria with multi-resistance to commonly used antibiotics. <![CDATA[<strong>Segregation distortion in homozygous lines obtained via</strong><strong>    </strong><strong>anther culture and maize doubled haploid methods in comparison to single seed descent in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)</strong>]]> Background The quality of wheat grain depends on several characteristics, among which the composition of high molecular weight glutenin subunits, encoded by Glu-1 loci, are the most important. Application of biotechnological tools to accelerate the attainment of homozygous lines may influence the proportion of segregated genotypes. The objective was to determine, whether the selection pressure generated by the methods based on in vitro cultures, may cause a loss of genotypes with desirable Glu-1 alleles. Results Homozygous lines were derived from six winter wheat crosses by pollination with maize (DH-MP), anther culture (DH-AC) and single seed descent (SSD) technique. Androgenetically-derived plants that originated from the same callus were examined before chromosome doubling using allele-specific and microsatellite markers. It was found that segregation distortion in SSD and DH-MP populations occurred only in one case, whereas in anther-derived lines they were observed in five out of six analyzed combinations. Conclusions Segregation distortion in DH-AC populations was caused by the development of more than one plant of the same genotype from one callus. This distortion was minimized if only one plant per callus was included in the population. Selection of haploid wheat plants before chromosome doubling based on allele-specific markers allows us to choose genotypes that possess desirable Glu-1 alleles and to reduce the number of plants in the next steps of DH production. The SSD technique appeared to be the most advantageous in terms of Mendelian segregation, thus the occurrence of residual heterozygosity can be minimized by continuous selfing beyond the F6 generation. <![CDATA[<strong>Production and characterization of algae extract from </strong><em><b>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</b></em>]]> Background: Algae offer many advantages as biofuel sources including: high growth rates, high lipid content, the ability to grow on non-agricultural land, and the genetic versatility to improve strains rapidly and produce co-products. Research is ongoing to make algae biofuels a more financially attractive energy option; however, it is becoming evident that the economic viability of algae-based fuels may hinge upon high-value co-products. This work evaluated the feasibility of using a co-product, algae extract, as a nutrient source in cell culture media. Results: Algae extract prepared from autolysed Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was found to contain 3.0% protein, 9.2% total carbohydrate, and 3.9% free α-amino acid which is similar to the nutrient content of commercially available yeast extract. The effects of algae extract on the growth and metabolism of laboratory strains of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were tested by substituting algae extract for yeast extract in LB and YPAD growth media recipes. Complex laboratory media supplemented with algae extract instead of yeast extract showed markedly improved effects on the growth and metabolism of common laboratory microorganisms in all cases except ethanol production rates in yeast. Conclusions: This study showed that algae extract derived from C. reinhardtii is similar, if not superior, to commercially available yeast extract in nutrient content and effects on the growth and metabolism of E. coli and S. cerevisiae. Bacto™ yeast extract is valued at USD $0.15-0.35 per gram, if algae extract was sold at similar prices, it would serve as a high-value co-product in algae-based fuel processes. <![CDATA[<strong>Effects of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-containing supernatants from selected </strong><em><b>Rhodopseudomonas palustris</b></em><strong> strains on rice growth under NaCl stress, with mediating effects on chlorophyll, photosynthetic electron transport and antioxidative enzymes</strong>]]> Background: Rice is globally one of the most important food crops, and NaCl stress is a key factor reducing rice yield. Amelioration of NaCl stress was assessed by determining the growth of rice seedlings treated with culture supernatants containing 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) secreted by strains of Rhodopseudomonas palustris (TN114 and PP803) and compared to the effects of synthetic ALA (positive control) and no ALA content (negative control). Results: The relative root growth of rice seedlings was determined under NaCl stress (50 mM NaCl), after 21 d of pretreatment. Pretreatments with 1 μM commercial ALA and 10X diluted culture supernatant of strain TN114 (2.57 μM ALA) gave significantly better growth than 10X diluted PP803 supernatant (2.11 μM ALA). Rice growth measured by dry weight under NaCl stress ordered the pretreatments as: commercial ALA N TN114 N PP803 N negative control. NaCl stress strongly decreased total chlorophyll of the plants that correlated with non-photochemical quenching of fluorescence (NPQ). The salt stress also strongly increased hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentration in NaCl-stressed plants. The pretreatments were ordered by reduction in H2O2 content under NaCl stress as: commercial ALA N TN114 N PP803 N negative control. The ALA pretreatments incurred remarkable increases of total chlorophyll and antioxidative activities of catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxide (APx), glutathione reductase (GR) and superoxide dismutase (SOD); under NaCl stress commercial ALA and TN114 had generally stronger effects than PP803. Conclusions: The strain TN114 has potential as a plant growth stimulating bacterium that might enhance rice growth in saline paddy fields at a lower cost than commercial ALA. <![CDATA[<strong>The molecular diversity analysis of </strong><em><b>Auricularia auricula-judae</b></em><strong> in China by nuclear ribosomal DNA intergenic spacer</strong>]]> Background: For the crossbreeding of Auricularia auricula-judae, selecting the appropriated parents in hybridization is very important. However, the classification and diversity analysis of A. auricula-judae has been equivocal, due to the similarity of the fruiting body morphology and its susceptibility to environmental influences. For this purpose, the molecular diversity of 32 A. auricula-judae commercial cultivars in China was analyzed by using the nuclear ribosomal DNA intergenic spacer. Results: The complete nuclear rDNA gene complex of A. auricula-judae isolate is 11,210 bp long, and contains the 18S, 5.8S, and 28S rRNA gene as well as the ITS and IGS regions. Based on the sequence data, four more effective primer combinations for the IGS region of A. auricula-judae were designed. Nucleotide sequence variation in the IGS among 32 A. auricula-judae commercial cultivars in China sorted into three strongly supported clades, which is correlated with geographical regions. Most strains originated from the same area were with a narrow genetic basis and could possibly be domesticated from the local wild-type strains. Conclusion: The grouping information obtained in the present work provides significant information for further genetic improvement in A. auricula-judae, and suggested that the IGS region can be used as an excellent tool for identification of genetic variation. <![CDATA[<strong>Characterization and properties of the biosurfactant produced by </strong><em><b>Candida lipolytica </b></em><strong>UCP 0988</strong>]]> Background: Biotechnological processes are costly, especially for the production of biosurfactants. The successful production of a biosurfactant is dependent on the development of processes using low cost raw materials. Considering the importance of the characteristics of a biosurfactant to facilitate its industrial application, the properties of the biosurfactant produced by Candida lipolytica through previously optimized medium have been established. Results: The yeast was grown for 72 h to determine the kinetics of growth and production. The surface tension of the cell-free broth was reduced from 55 to 25 mN/m. The yield of biosurfactant was 8.0 g/l with a CMC of 0.03%. The biosurfactant was characterized as an anionic lipopeptide composed of 50% protein, 20% lipids, and 8% of carbohydrates. Conclusions: The isolated biosurfactant showed no toxicity against different vegetable seeds: Brassica oleracea, Solanum gilo and Lactuca sativa L. and the micro-crustacean Artemia salina. The properties of the biosurfactant produced suggest its potential application in industries that require the use of effective compounds at low cost. <![CDATA[<strong>Characterization of residual oils for biodiesel production</strong>]]> Background: Residual oils were characterized according to their physicochemical properties, i.e. acidity, iodine value, peroxide value and saponification number, to evaluate the degradation level and viability for biodiesel production. Results: The methyl esters of fatty acids (FAME) from samples of residual bovine, chicken and soybean oils were quantified by using four transesterification methods, using acidic and basic catalysis and, gas chromatography with flame ionization detector (GC-FID). Methods that used acidic catalysis at a lower temperature were the most efficient. Methyl biodiesel samples were synthesized by basic catalysis (KOH) for all quantified oils and the physicochemical properties of the biofuel were evaluated, i.e. viscosity, flash and fire points, density, water content, iodine and acidity numbers. Conclusions: The obtained results suggesting that it is possible to take advantage of these residues for biodiesel production as the obtained products were approved according to the rules established by the National Association of Petroleum (ANP); the bovine samples were the exception regarding moisture and acidity. <![CDATA[<strong>A simple negative selection method to identify adenovirus recombinants using colony PCR</strong>]]> Background: The AdEasy system is a fast-track system for generating recombinant adenoviruses using the efficient homologous recombination machinery between shuttle and adenovirus backbone plasmids in Escherichia coli BJ5183 cells. The key step is homologous recombination in BJ5183 cells, which is driven by RecA activity. However, culture time is stringently limited to reduce the damage to recombinant plasmids by RecA activity. Therefore, rapid identification of recombinant adenoviruses within the limited time-period is critical. Results: We developed a simple negative selection method to identify recombinant adenoviruses using colony PCR, which improves the efficiency of adenovirus recombination screening and packaging. Conclusions: The negative selection method to identify AdEasy adenovirus recombinants by colony PCR can identify the recombined colony within a short time-period, and maximally avoid damage to the recombinant plasmid by limiting recombination time, resulting in improved adenovirus packaging. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of different methods for total RNA extraction from sclerotia of <i>Rhizoctonia solani</i></b>]]> Background Rhizoctonia solani (teleomorph: Thanatephorus cucumeris) is one of the most important pathogens of rice (Oryza sativa L.) that causes severe yield losses in all rice-growing regions. Sclerotia, formed from the aggregation of hyphae, are important structures in the life cycles of R. solani and contain a large quantity of polysaccharides, lipids, proteins and pigments. In order to extract high-quality total RNA from the sclerotia of R. solani, five methods, including E.Z.N.A.™ Fungal RNA Kit, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-sodium borate, SDS-polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), guanidinium thiocyanate (GTC) and modified Trizol, were compared in this study. Results The electrophoresis results showed that it failed to extract total RNA from the sclerotia using modified Trizol method, whereas it could extract total RNA from the sclerotia using other four methods. Further experiments confirmed that the total RNA extracted using SDS-sodium borate, SDS-PVP and E.Z.N.A.™ Fungal RNA Kit methods could be used for RT-PCR of the specific amplification of GAPDH gene fragments, and that extracted using GTC method did not fulfill the requirement for above-mentioned RT-PCR experiment. Conclusion It is concluded that SDS-sodium borate and SDS-PVP methods were the better ones for the extraction of high-quality total RNA that could be used for future gene cloning and expression studies, whereas E.Z.N.A.™ Fungal RNA Kit was not taken into consideration when deal with a large quantity of samples because it is expensive and relatively low yield.