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Concept: Okra


An alphasatellite DNA associated with Okra enation leaf curl virus (OELCuV) which causes enation and leaf curling in okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) plants was characterized. The full-length DNA comprises 1,350 nucleotides and shows typical genome organization of an alphasatellite. It shows the highest nucleotide sequence identity (79.7 %) to Hollyhock yellow vein virus-associated symptomless alphasatellite (HoYVSLA). This is the first report of the association of an alphasatellite with OELCuV from India.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, RNA, Base pair, Nucleic acid, Abelmoschus, Okra


KEY MESSAGE : Agrobacterium -mediated transformation system for okra using embryos was devised and the transgenic Bt plants showed resistance to the target pest, okra shoot, and fruit borer ( Earias vittella ). Okra is an important vegetable crop and progress in genetic improvement via genetic transformation has been impeded by its recalcitrant nature. In this paper, we describe a procedure using embryo explants for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and tissue culture-based plant regeneration for efficient genetic transformation of okra. Twenty-one transgenic okra lines expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis gene cry1Ac were generated from five transformation experiments. Molecular analysis (PCR and Southern) confirmed the presence of the transgene and double-antibody sandwich ELISA analysis revealed Cry1Ac protein expression in the transgenic plants. All 21 transgenic plants were phenotypically normal and fertile. T1 generation plants from these lines were used in segregation analysis of the transgene. Ten transgenic lines were selected randomly for Southern hybridization and the results confirmed the presence of transgene integration into the genome. Normal Mendelian inheritance (3:1) of cry1Ac gene was observed in 12 lines out of the 21 T0 lines. We selected 11 transgenic lines segregating in a 3:1 ratio for the presence of one transgene for insect bioassays using larvae of fruit and shoot borer (Earias vittella). Fruit from seven transgenic lines caused 100 % larval mortality. We demonstrate an efficient transformation system for okra which will accelerate the development of transgenic okra with novel agronomically useful traits.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Evolution, Molecular biology, Agrobacterium, Fruit, Seed, Okra


This work describes the preparation and evaluation of mucoadhesive microspheres, using Abelmoschus esculentus polysaccharide as a novel carrier for safe and effective delivery of rizatriptan benzoate into nasal cavity. The polysaccharide was extracted from the fruit of A. esculentus and mucoadhesive microspheres were prepared by emulsification, followed by crosslinking using epichlorohydrin. Prepared microspheres were evaluated for size, morphology, swelling properties, mucoadhesive strength, encapsulation efficiency and drug release. Microspheres were found to release 50% of drug within 15 min and rest of the drug was released within 60 min. The drug release was found to decrease with increasing concentration of polysaccharide. To determine the retention time of the microspheres in the nasal cavity of rabbits, the microspheres were radiolabelled with (99m)Tc and subjected to gamma scintigraphy. The results showed a significant improvement in the nasal retention of the microspheres as compared to the aqueous solution of radiolabelled free-drug.

Concepts: Nuclear medicine, Concentration, Chemistry, Solutions, Aqueous solution, Okra


Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench), a healthy vegetable, is widely spread in tropical and subtropical areas. Previous studies have proven that okra pods possess anti-fatigue activity, and the aim of this research is to clarify the anti-fatigue constituents. To achieve this, we divided okra pods (OPD) into seeds (OSD) and skins (OSK), and compared the contents of total polysaccharides, total polyphenols, total flavonoids, isoquercitrin, and quercetin-3-O-gentiobiose and the antioxidant activity in vitro and anti-fatigue activity in vivo between OSD and OSK. The contents of total polyphenols and total polysaccharides were 29.5% and 14.8% in OSD and 1.25% and 43.1% in OSK, respectively. Total flavonoids, isoquercitrin and quercetin-3-O-gentiobiose (5.35%, 2.067% and 2.741%, respectively) were only detected in OSD. Antioxidant assays, including 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and reducing power test, and weight-loaded swimming test showed OSD possessed significant antioxidant and anti-fatigue effects. Moreover, biochemical determination revealed that that anti-fatigue activity of OSD is caused by reducing the levels of blood lactic acid (BLA) and urea nitrogen (BUN), enhancing hepatic glycogen storage and promoting antioxidant ability by lowering malondialdehyde (MDA) level and increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) levels. These results proved okra seeds were the anti-fatigue part of okra pods and polyphenols and flavonoids were active constituents.

Concepts: Bacteria, Metabolism, Nutrition, Antioxidant, Superoxide dismutase, Fruit, Glutathione peroxidase, Okra


Traditional Asian and African medicine use immature okra fruits (Abelmoschus esculentus) as mucilaginous food to combat gastritis. Its effectiveness is due to polysaccharides that inhibit the adhesion of Helicobacter pylori to stomach tissue. The present study investigates the antiadhesive effect in mechanistic detail.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Stomach, Helicobacter pylori, Fruit, Vegetable, Gastritis, Abelmoschus, Okra


A water-soluble polysaccharide (OFPS11) was obtained from okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) flowers using aqueous extraction and purification with DEAE-52 cellulose and Sephacryl™ S-500 column. Its preliminary characterization and immunomodulating activity were investigated. Results showed that OFPS11 is mainly composed of galactose and rhamnose in a molar ratio of 2.23:1 with molecular mass of 1,700 kDa. RAW264.7 cells pretreated with OFPS11 significantly inhibited the proliferation of HepG-2 cells. Additionally, OFPS11 enhanced the phagocytic ability and induced the elevation of NO production, TNF-α and IL-1β secretion of RAW264.7 cells. Furthermore, OFPS11 promoted both the expression of iNOS protein and of iNOS and TNF-α mRNA. OFPS11 can strongly increase NF-κB levels in nucleuses, which is an important transcription factor that can modulate expressions of iNOS, NO and TNF-α. These outcomes support that OFPS11 exerts its antitumor activity by probably stimulating macrophage activities through nuclear NF-κB pathway.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Cell nucleus, Gene expression, Transcription, Glucose, Polysaccharide, Okra


Due to the important role of biochar (BC) in reducing metal-toxicity in plants, this study was aimed at assessing the potential of citrus epicarp-derived BC in ameliorating Cd toxicity in young Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) under low Cd toxicity. Okra was grown in soil amended with BC at four treatment levels for 49 days as follows: control (A), sole 1.4 mg Cd/kg-spiked soil (B), 1.4 mg Cd/kg-spiked soil + 1% BC © and 1.4 mg Cd/kg-spiked soil + 3% BC (D). The results showed a dose-dependent reduction in shoot accumulation of Cd due to the BC application. In addition, compared to control and sole Cd-amended soil, BC treatments (both at 1% and 3% w/w) decreased the oxidative stress, and enhanced activities of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in the young okra. Generally, the application of BC to the soil was effective in ameliorating the Cd-induced oxidative stress in okra with limited shoot bioaccumulation of Cd.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Redox, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Nitrogen, Zinc, Vitamin C, Abelmoschus, Okra


Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a tropical vegetable that is rich in carbohydrates, fibers, proteins and natural antioxidants. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of Okra powder on pancreatic islets and its action on the expression of PPAR-γ and PPAR-α genes in pancreas of high-fat diet (HFD) and streptozotocininduced diabetic rats.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Cell, Transcription, Nutrition, Insulin, Okra


Abelmoschus esculentus (okra or lady’s fingers) is a vegetable with high nutritional value, as well as having certain medicinal effects. It is widely used as food, in the food industry, and in herbal medicinal products, but also as an ornamental, in animal feed, and in other commercial sectors. Okra is rich in bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids, polysaccharides, polyphenols, caffeine, and pectin. In the present study, the concentrations of total flavonoids and polysaccharides in five organs of okra were determined and compared. Transcriptome sequencing was used to explore the biosynthesis pathways associated with the active constituents in okra. Transcriptome sequencing of five organs (roots, stem, leaves, flowers, and fruits) of okra enabled us to obtain 293,971 unigenes, of which 232,490 were annotated. Unigenes related to the enzymes involved in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway or in fructose and mannose metabolism were identified, based on Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis. All of the transcriptional datasets were uploaded to Sequence Read Archive (SRA). In summary, our comprehensive analysis provides important information at the molecular level about the flavonoid and polysaccharide biosynthesis pathways in okra.

Concepts: Protein, Molecular biology, Metabolism, Nutrition, Adenosine triphosphate, Fruit, Vegetable, Okra


The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of fruit size on nutritional value, chemical composition and antioxidant properties of Mediterranean okra genotypes. For this purpose, pods from four okra cultivars and local landraces commonly cultivated in Greece, as well as pods from four commercial cultivars from North America were collected at two sizes (3-5 and>7cm). Significant differences were observed between the studied genotypes for both nutritional value and chemical composition parameters. Small fruit had a higher nutritional value, whereas chemical composition differed in a genotype dependent manner with most of the studied cultivars showing better results when harvested in small size. In conclusion, fruit size has a genotype dependent impact on chemical composition and nutritional value of okra pods and the common practice of harvesting okra fruit while they still have a small size helps to increase nutritional value for most of the studied genotypes.

Concepts: Present, Genetics, Agriculture, Antioxidant, United States, Harvest, Vegetable, Okra