Research Journal of Biotechnology

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An fMRI functional connectivity study on first and second language reading in late proficient Indonesian-Chinese bilinguals

Ping Huang, Hua Jin, Lei Mo, Ying Zhou, Meng xian Cai, Li Li and Xiao Yan Fang

This paper studies the functional connectivity (FC) of Indonesian and Chinese reading in Indonesian students in order to investigate the neural basis of second language processing and its relation to native language processing in late proficient alphabetic-logographic bilinguals. In our experiment, eight late proficient Indonesian-Chinese bilinguals were scanned with fMRI technique when they performed Indonesian and Chinese word reading and symbol viewing. Left-hemisphere fusiform (FG), inferior frontal cortex (Broca’s area), posterior superior temporal cortex (Wernicke’s area), primary motor cortex (M1) and supplementary motor area (SMA) were selected as regions of interest (ROIs). The brain modulations during two reading tasks (main tasks) and symbols viewing task (control task) were studied with the ROI-wise and Voxel-wise method in REST, a software for functional connectivity analysis. The ROI-wise analysis showed that during two reading tasks, the values of FC on Broca’s area-M1, M1-SMA and FG-Broca’s area increased when compared with those in control tasks. ROI-wise analysis also demonstrated the Indonesian task specifically strengthened FC on Wernicke’s area-FG, Wernicke’s area-Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area-M1. Voxel-wise analysis illustrated that the values of FC on Broca’s area with Wernicke’s area, insula and putamen during Indonesian reading were higher than those during Chinese reading. These results suggest that Broca-M1-SMA is probably the essential pathway for reading irrespective of language. Both dorsal (FG-Wernicke-Broca) and ventral (FG-Broca) processing streams are involved in Indonesian reading while only ventral stream is engaged in Chinese reading, indicating adult Chinese learners whose native language is alphabetic language might transfer the function of ventral processing stream to accommodate the demands of Chinese reading.

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Establishment of an Efficient Rapid Propagation System for Lilium × L.longiflorum Shenxiang No. 1

Lin-lin Li, Shao-kun Sun, Hong Gu and Li-jing Chen

In this study, the immature embryos, bulb and leaf were used as explants, and regeneration efficiency of Lilium × L.longiflorum Shenxiang No. 1 was developed. Results indicated that the best sprouting medium for immature embryo was 1/2MS and the germination time was between 22-43 days after inoculation. For immature embryo a significant correlation was found between germination and the concentration ratio of 6-BA and NAA. Medium composition of MS+6-BA 2.0 mg/L +NAA 0.2 mg/L was best for adventitious buds and long term propagation efficiency. While using bulb as an explant, MS+6-BA 1.0 mg/L+NAA 1.0 mg/L was found to be best for adventitious buds. There was a high degree of vitrification in the lily plantlets after subculture which was influenced by water potential, environmental humidity and the concentration of exogenous hormone.

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Genetic diversity in the natural populations of Dipterocaupus costatus (Dipterocarpaceae)

Nguyen Minh Tam, Vu Dinh Duy, Nguyen Minh Duc and Vu Dinh Giap

Dipterocarpus costatus (Dipterocarpaceae) is restrictedly distributed in lowland forests in southern Vietnam. Due to over-exploitation and habitat destruction, the species is now threatened. The genetic variation within and among populations of D. costatus was investigated on the basis of nine microsatellite (single sequence repeat, SSR) loci. In all, 266 sampled trees from nine populations in southern Vietnam were analyzed in this study. The SSR data showed a low genetic variability within populations with an average of Ho = 0.085 and He = 0.109. Genetic differentiation among populations was high (Gst = 0.375), indicating limited gene flow (Nm = 0.83). Analysis of molecular variance analysis showed that most genetic variation was within populations (63.22%). This study highlights the importance of conserving the genetic resources of D. costatus species.

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Diversity in Phosphate Solubilizing Fungi (Aspergillus awamori and Penicillium digitatum) present in Soils of Maharashtra

Murumkar D. R., Borkar S. G. and Chimote V. P.

A total of 46 phosphate solubilizing fungal strains of which 29 Aspergillus and 17 Penicillium were isolated from rhizosphere soils of six different physiographic regions of Maharashtra. All the 46 phosphate solubilizing fungal isolates were positive for ‘P’ solubilization on Pikovskaya’s agar. Out of 29 Aspergillus isolates, PSF-71 exhibited significantly highest P-solubilization (87.17%) followed by PSF-28 with 75.04% inorganic phosphorus released and were significantly superior to MPKV commercial strain PSF-BNF(A) (60.82%). Among Penicillium isolates, PSF-61 showed significantly highest P-solubilization (69.77%). These isolates were further studied for their genetic variability by employing RAPD-PCR technique. On the basis of UPGMA clustering analysis, Aspergillus isolates were classified into four broad clusters and Penicillium isolates into three broad clusters. The clustering formed among the Aspergillus and Penicillium isolates was due to domestication of the isolates in different agro-ecological regions as well as their phosphate solubilizing ability. Based on phosphate solubilizing ability, the highly efficient Aspergillus and Penicillium isolates may be further exploited in biofertilizer production.

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Adaption of Plant seed dispersal in natural population: the differences of cellulose crystallinity in fruit of Schisandra chinensis in the Changbai Mountain, China

Wei Zhao, Zhang Jiang, Min Zhang and Xia Chen

With long-term natural selection, the fruit and seed of plants formed various morphological and physiological properties adapting to various mediums of dispersal which are benefits to disperse extend the space of individuals and to enhance the population booming. Cellulose is the main chemical component of plant cell walls and has an important physiological function in plants. However, most research mainly focused on use of cellulose, synthesis, modification etc. In this study we analyzed the cellulose crystallinity of different parts of Fructus Schisandrae [the fruits of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill.] by means of the infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction through the study of crystallinities of cellulose in different parts of Fructus Schisandrae, so as to explain the relationship between chemical structure of cellulose and seed dispersal pattern . The results showed that the crystallinities of cellulose in different parts of Fructus Schisandrae are different, seed coat cellulose 85.35%, pericarp cellulose 62.54% and embryo cellulose 51.59%. These data highlight that the differences of crstallinity of cellulose are adaption to seed dispersal way.

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A novel polymerase chain reaction system allows for the direct amplification for crop leaf tissue without DNA isolation

Zhao Zi Yi, Wu Lan, Shi Hui Min and Wu Chuan Fang

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a powerful tool to evaluate the plant gene localization, quality and breed identification and transgenic detection. Unfortunately, the DNA isolation step in plants is a labor- and time-intensive procedure that is expensive and hinders the automation of PCR for large-scale and high throughput studies. Attempts to perform PCR using plant tissue without DNA isolation have proven to be difficult because the secondary metabolic products that are produced by the plants inhibit the PCR reaction. We have developed a novel PCR method and buffer system that is capable of counteracting the negative effects of the secondary compounds in the plant tissues without genomic DNA isolation step. The new system shows tolerance to several kinds of PCR inhibitor and allows for the direct amplification of genes-of-interest from the crop leaves. This novel method and PCR buffer system successfully amplified genes from several types of crop leaves tested which can facilitate plant gene identification by saving the time and effort of DNA extraction. The application of this novel method and PCR buffer system is valuable for the development of high-throughput PCR for the large-scale analysis of plant samples.

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Studies on genetic variability in Alternaria alternata (Fr.) Keissler causing leaf blight of Isabgol by RAPD

Meena Rajesh Kumar and Sharma S. S.

Five Alternaria alternata isolates from Isabgol (Plantago ovata) plants of different places i.e. Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Jodhpur, Pali and Jalore district of Rajasthan were analyzed for genetic diversity by using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). A total of 94 amplified bands were obtained and 68 were polymorphic. The dendrogram based on RAPD analysis has generated only one group. However two isolates i.e. Aa-1 and Aa-4 which belonged to RCA (Udaipur) and Sumerpur (Pali) did not cluster with the group. The group consisted of three isolates i.e. Aa-2, Aa-3 and Aa-5 and had higher group similarity of 68.00 per cent. Two isolates viz. Aa-1 and Aa-4 joined this group at a similarity of 54.00 per cent and 55.00 per cent respectively. The primers OPA-9, OPA-3 and OPA-17 gave 91.66%, 87.50% and 87.50% polymorphism of the DNA respectively which helped to ascertain variability. Therefore, these primers could be very useful for ascertaining variability among the population of Alternaria alternata.

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Elucidation of proline metabolic enzymes in the cytoplasmic male sterility in Capsicum annuum L.

Wen Jin-Fen, Huo Jin-Long and Deng Ming-Hua

Pepper cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) line 9704A is one of the CMS types used for hybrid pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) production in China. Our previous studies suggested that proline content in the anthers of pepper CMS-9704A was lower than that of the maintainer line 9704B at the abortion stage. To elucidate the metabolic mechanism of proline in the CMS-pepper anthers, the changes of gene expression related to proline metabolic enzymes were investigated in the anther of CMS-9704A and maintainer-9704B. At the abortion stage (pollen mother cell meiosis stage to mature pollen stage), there were lower activities of glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), ∆1-pyroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS), ∆1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate re- ductase (P5CR), ornithine-δ-aminotransferase (δOAT) and Arginase in the anthers of CMS-9704A than those of the maintainer-9704B (except P5CR in the stage 2 and Arginase in stage 3). Simultaneously, activities of proline dehydrogenase (ProDH) in the anthers of CMS-9704A did up-regulate than those in the maintainer-9704B. Abundance of GDH, P5CS, P5CR, δOAT, Arginase and ProDH mRNA in anthers of CMS-9704A corresponded with the activities of these genes. Therefore, it indicates it is the abnormalities of proline biosynthesis and degradation that result in the deficiency of proline in the CMS in the microspore development.

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Chemical composition, antioxidant and antibacterial activities of essential oil from leaves of Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’

Chen Jian Yan, Wu Shao Hua and Li Yong Yu

Essential oil was extracted from leaves of Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’ using the hydrodistillation method and was identified using gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The leaf essential oil (LEO) was also tested for antioxidant and antibacterial activities. Results indicated that main compounds in LEO included 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, camphor, D-limonene, α-pinene, camphene and (E)-methyl cinnamate. The LEO displayed certain levels of antioxidant activities, had relatively strong activities against lipid peroxidation with an IC50 value as 6.45 mg•mL-1. The LEO could moderately inhibit the growth of Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens; weakly inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The strongest inhibition activity was evident for B. subtilis, with a diameter of inhibition 19.16 mm, MIC 2.5 mg•mL-1 and MBC 5.0 mg•mL-1.

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Anti-dermatophytic and Cytotoxic activity of marine actinobacteria mediated biosynthesized silver nanoparticles

Sathish Kumar S. R. and Bhaskara Rao K. V.

The aim of the present work is to investigate the anti-dermatophytic and cytotoxic activity of biosynthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using marine actinobacteria isolated from marine salterns soil. AgNPs were synthesized by mixing actinobacteria culture supernatant with 1mM of AgNO3 and incubated at 28°C under dark condition. The synthesized AgNPs are primarily confirmed by using UV, X-ray diffraction analysis and further characterized by AFM, Particle size analyzer and FESEM. The average sizes of the synthesized nanoparticles were characterized using Bragg’s law and confirmed as 13.8 nm. The synthesized AgNPs showed anti-dermatophytic activity on Trichophyton rubrum (27 ± 0.1 mm) and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (21 ± 0.2 mm) cultures. The results of the MIC test reveal that T. rubrum (100µg/mL) is more sensitive to AgNPs than T. mentagrophytes (200µg/mL). The cytotoxicity effects of biosynthesized AgNPs were tested by brine shrimps assay and showed 75% of inhibition at the concentration of 25µg/mL and complete inhibition observed at high concentration of 50 to 100µg/mL.

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Partition coefficient studies in integrated aqueous two phase (ATPi) extraction with free tri-azine dye ligands for papain partitioning from its crude latex

Senthilkumar Rathnasamy and Kumaresan R.

Integrated aqueous two phase extraction (ATPi) system- an emerging technique for purification of proteins in single step is widely used in downstream processing, for this method yields proteins with high purity and is cost effective. The study is based on affinity dye based aqueous two phase extraction system for papain partitioning from its crude latex. Response surface methodology using central composite design approach is one of the promising tool for designing the systems and therefore it was used for studying the process parameters for its interaction with the dyes and the affinity factors were compared for the systems with and without ligands. CIBACRON Blue F3GA and PROCION Red HE3G are the two affinity dyes used whereas PEG and Ammonium sulphate are the phase forming polymers used. Papain was purified using the optimal conditions which were obtained from response surface methodology. The resulting papain fractions were studied for purity in gel filtration chromatography

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The Role of Potassium in the Fertility Status of Soils: A Case Study of University of Limpopo Experimental Farm, South Africa

Molepo K. J., Ekosse G. E. and Ngole V. M.

Potassium (K) is one of the three major nutrient elements required by plants, others being nitrogen and phosphorus. Its fixation and release in soil are important in sustainability of agronomical and ecological processes. Clays and clay mineralogical properties are also influential on soil fertility and K dynamics in soils. This work was aimed at determining relationship between exchangeable potassium concentration and soil mineralogical composition of selected soils in Limpopo Province on soil fertility for agricultural purposes. Ten soil samples were collected from three sites [Site A, Site B and Site C (the control site)] at the University of Limpopo Experimental Farm. The soil texture ranged from sandy clay loam, loamy sand and sandy loam, with most of the samples from site B classified within the sandy clay loam. Clay minerals with potassium concentrations identified among others were: K-feldspar (KAlSi3O8), mica (KAl2Si3AlO10(OH)2) and interstratified illte / smectite [KAl2(Si3Al)O10(OH)2/(Na,Ca)(Al,Mg)6 (Si4O10)3 (OH)6n(H2O)]. The values of exchangeable K concentration in the soil samples ranged from 308 meq/100g to 743 meq/100g from all sites. Based on the findings of this study, the soil texture, exchangeable K and soil mineralogical properties influence soil fertility and could be a measure of developing stable agricultural environment.

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