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Concept: Dimethyl sulfide


Development of techniques to isolate, culture, and transplant human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) has the future potential to treat male infertility. To maximize the efficiency of these techniques, methods for SSC cryopreservation need to be developed to bank SSCs for extended periods of time. Although, it has been demonstrated that SSCs can reinitiate spermatogenesis after freezing, optimal cryopreservation protocols that maximize SSC proliferative capacity post-thaw have not been identified. The objective of this study was to develop an efficient cryopreservation technique for preservation of SSCs. To identify efficient cryopreservation methods for long-term preservation of SSCs, isolated testis cells enriched for SSCs were placed in medium containing dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or DMSO and trehalose (50 mM, 100 mM, or 200 mM), and frozen in liquid nitrogen for 1 week, 1 month, or 3 months. Freezing in 50 mM trehalose resulted in significantly higher cell viability compared to DMSO at all thawing times and a higher proliferation rate compared to DMSO for the 1 week freezing period. Freezing in 200 mM trehalose did not result in increased cell viability; however, proliferation activity was significantly higher and percentage of apoptotic cells was significantly lower compared to DMSO after freezing for 1 and 3 months. To confirm the functionality of SSCs frozen in 200 mM trehalose, SSC transplantation was performed. Donor SSCs formed spermatogenic colonies and sperm capable of generating normal progeny. Collectively, these results indicate that freezing in DMSO with 200 mM trehalose serves as an efficient method for the cryopreservation of SSCs.

Concepts: Organ transplant, Food preservation, Dimethyl sulfoxide, Cryobiology, Cryopreservation, Cryoprotectant, Sulfoxide, Dimethyl sulfide


Plants emit various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) upon herbivore attack. These VOC emissions often show temporal dynamics which may influence the behavior of natural enemies using these volatiles as cues. This study analyzes on-line VOC emissions by roots of Brassica nigra plants under attack by cabbage root fly larvae, Delia radicum. Root emitted VOCs were detected using Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). These analyses showed that several sulfur containing compounds, such as methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide (DMS), dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), dimethyl trisulfide (DMTS) and glucosinolate breakdown products, such as thiocyanates (TC) and isothiocyanates (ITC), were emitted by the roots in response to infestation. The emissions were subdivided into early responses, emerging within 1-6h after infestation, and late responses, evolving only after 6-12h. The marker for rapid responses was detected at m/z 60. The ion detected at m/z 60 was identified as thiocyanic acid, which is also a prominent fragment in some TC or ITC spectra. The emission of m/z 60 stopped when the larvae had pupated, which makes it an excellent indicator for actively feeding larvae. Methanethiol, DMS and DMDS levels increased much later in infested roots, indicating that activation of enzymes or genes involved in the production of these compounds may be required. Earlier studies have shown that both early and late responses can play a role in tritrophic interactions associated with Brassica species. Moreover, the identification of these root induced responses will help to design non-invasive analytical procedures to assess root infestations.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Plant, Brassica, Volatile organic compound, Volatile, Delia radicum, Anthomyiidae, Dimethyl sulfide


The intracellular ice formation (IIF) behavior of Haliotis diversicolor (small abalone) eggs is investigated in this study, in relation to controlling the cooling rate and the concentration of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The IIF phenomena are monitored under a self-developed thermoelectric cooling (TEC) cryomicroscope system which can achieve accurate temperature control without the use of liquid nitrogen. The accuracy of the isothermal and ramp control is within ±0.5°C. The IIF results indicate that the IIF of small abalone eggs is well suppressed at cooling rates of 1.5, 3, 7 and 12°C/min with 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 and 4.0 M DMSO in sea water. As 2.0 M DMSO in sea water is the minimum concentration that has sufficient IIF suppression, it is selected as the suspension solution for the cryopreservation of small abalone eggs in order to consider the solution’s toxicity effect. Moreover, IIF characteristics of the cumulative probability of IIF temperature distribution are shown to be well fitted by the Weibull probabilistic distribution. According to our IIF results and the Weibull distribution parameters, we conclude that cooling at 1.5°C/min from 20 to -50°C with 2.0 M DMSO in sea water is more feasible than other combinations of cooling rates and DMSO concentrations in our experiments. Applying this protocol and observing the subsequent osmotic activity, 48.8% of small abalone eggs are osmotically active after thawing. In addition, the higher the cooling rate, the less chance of osmotically active eggs. A separate fertility test experiment, with a cryopreservation protocol of 1.5°C/min cooling rate and 2.0 M DMSO in sea water, achieves a hatching rate of 23.7%. This study is the first to characterize the IIF behavior of small abalone eggs in regard to the cooling rate and the DMSO concentration. The Weibull probabilistic model fitting in this study is an approach that can be applied by other researchers for effective cryopreservation variability estimation and analysis.

Concepts: Concentration, Liquid, Probability theory, Solution, Dimethyl sulfoxide, Cryobiology, Cryoprotectant, Dimethyl sulfide


Intercropping and rotating banana (Musa spp.) with Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum Rottler) has been used as an effective method to control Panama disease (Fusarium wilt) of banana in South China. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. In this study, we used aqueous leachates and volatiles from Chinese chive to evaluate their antimicrobial activity on Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense race 4 (FOC), the causal agent of Panama disease in banana, and identified the antifungal compounds. Both leaf and root leachates of Chinese chive displayed strong inhibition against FOC, but the concentrated leachates showed lower inhibition than the original leachates. In a sealed system volatiles emitted from the leaves and roots of Chinese chive inhibited mycelial growth of FOC. Volatile compounds emitted from the intact growing roots mimicking natural environment inhibited spore germination of FOC. We identified five volatiles including 2-methyl-2-pentenal and four organosulfur compounds (dimethyl trisulfide, dimethyl disulfide, dipropyl disulfide, and dipropyl trisulfide) from the leaves and roots of Chinese chive. All these compounds exhibited inhibitory effects on FOC, but 2-methyl-2-pentenal and dimethyl trisulfide showed stronger inhibition than the other three compounds. 2-Methyl-2-pentenal at 50-100 μl/l completely inhibited the mycelial growth of FOC. Our results demonstrate that antifungal volatiles released from Chinese chive help control Panama disease in banana. We conclude that intercropping and rotating banana with Chinese chive can control Panama disease and increase cropland biodiversity.

Concepts: Fusarium, Garlic, Allium, Fusarium oxysporum, Plant pathogens and diseases, Volatile, Banana, Dimethyl sulfide


Volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) are the main source for malodor from composting plants. In this study, the VSCs generated from composting of 15-80mm municipal solid waste (T0), kitchen waste (T1) and kitchen waste mixed dry cornstalks (T2) were measured in 60L reactors with forced aeration for a period of 30days. The VSCs detected in all treatments were hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S), methyl mercaptan (MM), dimethyl sulfide (DMS), carbon bisulfide (CS(2)) and dimethyl disulfide (DMDS). Over 90% of the VSCs emissions occurred during the first 15days, and reached their peak values at days 4-7. The emission profiles of five VSCs species were significantly correlated with internal materials temperature and outlet O(2) concentration (p<0.05). Total emissions of the VSCs were 216.1, 379.3 and 126.0mgkg(-1) (dry matter) for T0, T1 and T2, respectively. Among the five VSCs, H(2)S was the most abundant compound with 39.0-43.0% of total VSCs released. Composting of kitchen waste from separate collection posed a negative influence on the VSC and leachate production because of its high moisture content. An addition of dry cornstalks at a mixing ratio of 4:1 (wet weight) could significantly reduce the VSCs emissions and avoid leachate. Compared to pure kitchen waste, VSCs were reduced 66.8%.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Carbon, Sulfur, Hydrogen sulfide, Pyrite, Sulfide, Dimethyl sulfide, Carbon disulfide


Phenotypic plasticity describes the phenotypic adjustment of the same genotype to different environmental conditions and is best described by a reaction norm. We focus on the effect of ocean acidification on inter- and intraspecific reaction norms of three globally important phytoplankton species (Emiliania huxleyi, Gephyrocapsa oceanica and Chaetoceros affinis). Despite significant differences in growth rates between the species, they all showed a high potential for phenotypic buffering (similar growth rates between ambient and high CO2 conditions). Only three coccolithophore genotypes showed a reduced growth in high CO2 Diverging responses to high CO2 of single coccolithophore genotypes compared with the respective mean species responses, however, raise the question of whether an extrapolation to the population level is possible from single-genotype experiments. We therefore compared the mean response of all tested genotypes with a total species response comprising the same genotypes, which was not significantly different in the coccolithophores. Assessing species reaction norms to different environmental conditions on short time scale in a genotype-mix could thus reduce sampling effort while increasing predictive power.

Concepts: Gene, Evolution, Emiliania huxleyi, Coccolithophore, Phytoplankton, Ocean acidification, Dimethyl sulfide, Norms of reaction


Effects of elevated pCO₂ on Emiliania huxleyi genetic diversity and the viruses that infect E. huxleyi (EhVs) have been investigated in large volume enclosures in a Norwegian fjord. Triplicate enclosures were bubbled with air enriched with CO₂ to 760 ppmv whilst the other three enclosures were bubbled with air at ambient pCO₂; phytoplankton growth was initiated by the addition of nitrate and phosphate. E. huxleyi was the dominant coccolithophore in all enclosures, but no difference in genetic diversity, based on DGGE analysis using primers specific to the calcium binding protein gene (gpa) were detected in any of the treatments. Chlorophyll concentrations and primary production were lower in the three elevated pCO₂ treatments than in the ambient treatments. However, although coccolithophores numbers were reduced in two of the high-pCO₂ treatments; in the third, there was no suppression of coccolithophores numbers, which were very similar to the three ambient treatments. In contrast, there was considerable variation in genetic diversity in the EhVs, as determined by analysis of the major capsid protein (mcp) gene. EhV diversity was much lower in the high-pCO₂ treatment enclosure that did not show inhibition of E. huxleyi growth. Since virus infection is generally implicated as a major factor in terminating phytoplankton blooms, it is suggested that no study of the effect of ocean acidification in phytoplankton can be complete if it does not include an assessment of viruses.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Virus, Emiliania huxleyi, Coccolithophore, Phytoplankton, Ocean acidification, Dimethyl sulfide


Coccolithophores have influenced the global climate for over 200 million years. These marine phytoplankton can account for 20 per cent of total carbon fixation in some systems. They form blooms that can occupy hundreds of thousands of square kilometres and are distinguished by their elegantly sculpted calcium carbonate exoskeletons (coccoliths), rendering them visible from space. Although coccolithophores export carbon in the form of organic matter and calcite to the sea floor, they also release CO2 in the calcification process. Hence, they have a complex influence on the carbon cycle, driving either CO2 production or uptake, sequestration and export to the deep ocean. Here we report the first haptophyte reference genome, from the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi strain CCMP1516, and sequences from 13 additional isolates. Our analyses reveal a pan genome (core genes plus genes distributed variably between strains) probably supported by an atypical complement of repetitive sequence in the genome. Comparisons across strains demonstrate that E. huxleyi, which has long been considered a single species, harbours extensive genome variability reflected in different metabolic repertoires. Genome variability within this species complex seems to underpin its capacity both to thrive in habitats ranging from the equator to the subarctic and to form large-scale episodic blooms under a wide variety of environmental conditions.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Carbon, Emiliania huxleyi, Coccolithophore, Haptophyte, Dimethyl sulfide, Coccolith


T2R38 has been shown to be a specific bacterial detector implicated in innate immune defense mechanism of human upper airway. Several clinical studies have demonstrated that this receptor is associated with the development of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). T2R38 was previously reported to bind to homoserine lactones (HSL), quorum sensing molecules specific of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and other gram negative species. Nevertheless, these bacteria are not the major pathogens found in CRS. Here we report on the identification of bacterial metabolites acting as new agonists of T2R38 based on a single cell calcium imaging study. Two quorum sensing molecules (Agr D1 thiolactone from Staphylococcus Aureus and CSP-1 from Streptococcus Pneumoniae) and a list of 32 bacterial metabolites from pathogens frequently implicated in CRS were tested. First, we observed that HSL failed to activate T2R38 in our experimental system, but that the dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), used as a solvent for these lactones may, by itself, account for the agonistic effect previously described. Secondly, we showed that both Agr D1 thiolactone and CSP-1 are inactive but that at least 7 bacterial metabolites (acetone, 2-butanone, 2-pentanone, 2-methylpropanal, dimethyl disulfide, methylmercaptan, γ-butyrolactone) are able to specifically trigger this receptor. T2R38 is thus much more broadly tuned for bacterial compounds than previously thought.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Microbiology, Pneumonia, Antibiotic resistance, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Biofilm, Dimethyl sulfide


Studies in molecular ecology depend on field-collected samples for genetic information, and the tissue sampled and preservation conditions strongly affect the quality of the DNA obtained. DNA yields from different tissue types have seldom been compared, and the relative performance of storage media has never been directly tested, even though these media may influence DNA degradation under field conditions. We analyzed DNA yield from buccal swabs and wing punches harvested from live bats using nucleic acid quantification as well as quantitative PCR for a single-copy nuclear locus. We also compared DNA yields from wing tissue preserved in three media: ethanol, NaCl-saturated dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and silica desiccant. Wing punches yielded more total DNA than did buccal swabs, and wing tissues preserved in silica beads yielded significantly more total and nuclear DNA than those preserved in DMSO or ethanol. These results show that tissue type and preservation media strongly influence the quantity of DNA obtained from non-lethal genetic samples, and based on these effects we provide recommendations for field collection of tissues for genetic analyses.

Concepts: Sample, DNA, Genetics, Molecular biology, Nucleic acid, Dimethyl sulfoxide, Silica gel, Dimethyl sulfide