SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Biotechnology letters

28

Laccases play an important role in the biological break down of lignin and have great potential in the deconstruction of lignocellulosic feedstocks. We examined 16 laccases, both commercially prepared and crude extracts, for their ability to oxidize veratryl alcohol in the presence of various solvents and mediators. Screening revealed complete conversion of veratryl alcohol to veratraldehyde catalyzed by a crude preparation of the laccase from Trametes versicolor ATCC 11235 and the mediator TEMPO in 20 % (v/v) tert-butanol.

Concepts: Alcohol, Carbon dioxide, Enzyme, Hydrogen, Redox, Electrochemistry, Nitrogen, Trametes versicolor

28

Limit dextrinase (LD) is a unique de-branching enzyme involved in starch mobilization of barley grains during malting, and closely related to malt quality. Genotypic variation of LD activity is controlled by genetic factors and also affected by environmental conditions. Correlation analysis between LD activity and four malt quality parameters showed that LD activity was positively correlated with diastatic power, Kolbach index and the quality of malt extract, while negatively correlated with viscosity. The structure-based association analysis demonstrated that HvLDI, a gene encoding limit dextrinase inhibitor, was a major determinant of LD activity and malt quality. The single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with LD activity could be used in early generation selection for barley breeding.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Enzyme, Brewing, Beer, Barley, Malt, Diastatic power

28

OSIPP3 gene (coding for pectin methylesterase inhibitor protein) was isolated from a pre-pollinated inflorescence-specific cDNA library by differential screening of stage-specific libraries from Oryza sativa. OSIPP3 is present in the genome of rice as a single copy gene. OSIPP3 gene was expressed exclusively in the pre-pollinated spikelets of rice. Upstream regulatory region (URR) of OSIPP3 was isolated and a series of 5'-deletions were cloned upstream of GUS reporter gene and were used to transform Arabidopsis. OSIPP3_del1 and del2 transgenic plants showed GUS expression in root, anther and silique, while OSIPP3_del3 showed GUS activity only in anthers and siliques. Pollen-specific expression was observed in case of plants harboring OSIPP3_del4 construct. It can, therefore, be concluded that the OSIPP3 URR between -178 and +108 bp is necessary for conferring pollen-specific expression in Arabidopsis.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Gene expression, Transcription, Molecular biology, GUS reporter system, Oryza sativa

28

Enzymes and yeast are important ingredients in the production of ethanol, yet the energy consumption and emissions associated with their production are often excluded from life-cycle analyses of ethanol. We provide new estimates for the energy consumed and greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted during enzyme and yeast manufacture, including contributions from key ingredients such as starch, glucose, and molasses. We incorporated these data into Argonne National Laboratory’s Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation model and observed that enzymes and yeast together contribute 1.4 and 27 % of farm-to-pump GHG emissions for corn and cellulosic ethanol, respectively. Over the course of the entire corn ethanol life cycle, yeast and enzymes contribute a negligible amount of GHG emissions, but increase GHG emissions from the cellulosic ethanol life cycle by 5.6 g CO(2)e/MJ.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Enzyme, Ethanol, Starch, Natural gas, Biofuel, Ethanol fuel, Greenhouse gas

28

The integration of oleaginous microalgae cultivation with high-value products is considered a low-cost approach for manufacturing algae-based biodiesel. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of using Fe(II) to produce fatty acids and astaxanthin in mixotrophic Chromochloris zofingiensis. Fatty acid biosynthesis was less sensitive than astaxanthin formation to the changes in Fe(2+) concentrations. However, the enhancement and inhibition of fatty acids formation were concomitant with an increase and a decrease in the production of astaxanthin, respectively. The highest contents of astaxanthin and total fatty acids were simultaneously obtained at 0.2 mM Fe(2+) with the corresponding values of 2.2 mg g(-1) (i.e., 25.8 mg l(-1)) and 41.8 % dry weight (i.e., 5 g l(-1)).

Concepts: Fatty acid, Fatty acids, Fatty acid metabolism, Glycerol, Butyric acid, Fatty acid synthase, Biosynthesis, Erucic acid

28

Chitin synthases, that catalyze the formation of chitin the major component of cell walls in most filamentous fungi, play crucial roles in the growth and morphogenesis. To investigate the roles of chitin synthase in Penicillium chrysogenum, we developed an RNAi system to silence the class III chitin synthase gene chs4. After transformation, mutants had a slow growth rate and shorter but highly branched hyphae. All transformants either were unable to form conidia or could form only a few. Changes in chs4 expression could lead to a completely different morphology and eventually cause distinct penicillin yields. In particular, the yield of one transformant was 41 % higher than that of the original strain.

Concepts: Cell, Bacteria, Enzyme, Virus, Fungus, Cell wall, Ascomycota, Penicillium

27

Trichoderma spp. are used for biocontrol of several plant pathogens. However, their efficient interaction with the host needs to be accompanied by production of secondary metabolites and cell wall-degrading enzymes. Three parameters were evaluated after interaction between four Trichoderma species and plant-pathogenic fungi: Fusarium solani, Rhizoctonia solani and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Trichoderma harzianum and T. asperellum were the most effective antagonists against the pathogens. Most of the Trichoderma species produced toxic volatile metabolites, having significant effects on growth and development of the plant pathogens. When these species were grown in liquid cultures with cell walls from these plant pathogens, they produced and secreted β-1,3-glucanase, NAGAse, chitinase, acid phosphatase, acid proteases and alginate lyase.

Concepts: Cell, Bacteria, Enzyme, Plant, Fungus, Cell wall, Plant pathogens and diseases, Trichoderma

27

A triple recombineering technique was used with plasmid pHT315 to produce pHTEC, a construct carrying chitinase and cry2Aa genes from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki 4.0718. Transformation of wild-type B. thuringiensis strain HD73 and the acrystalliferous strain Cry-B with pHTEC resulted in the recovery of recombinant strains that expressed Cry2Aa as cubic crystals in the cell pellet and soluble chitinase protein. The toxicity of HD73 (pHTEC) against Helicoverpa armigera larvae increased sevenfold when compared with HD73 (pHT315) harboring pHT315 vector. The triple recombineering protocol was optimized by comparing recombination efficacy mediated by RecE/RecT and Redα/Redβ and by using single-strand DNA as substrate.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Cell, Bacteria, Molecular biology, Microbiology, Plasmid, Bacillus thuringiensis

27

Methyl jasmonate (MJ) enhances the production of a range of secondary metabolites including triterpenoid saponins in a variety of plant species. Here, it enhanced production of bacoside A, a valuable triterpenoid saponin having nootropic therapeutic activity in in vitro shoot cultures of Bacopa monnieri, the only known source of bacoside A. The highest yield was with 50 μM MJ giving 4.4 mg bacoside A/g dry wt; an 1.8-fold increase (compared to control) after 1 week.

Concepts: Therapy, Triterpenoid saponins, Saponin, Bacopa monnieri

27

The benzoylformate decarboxylase gene (mdlC) from Pseudomonas putida was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). The recombinant strain together with E. coli/pET30a-mdlB converted (S)-3-ethoxy-4-hydroxymandelic acid (S-EMA) into ethyl vanillin without ethyl vanillin degradation. 4 g ethyl vanillin/l was obtained from 10 g EMA/l within 12 h at 30 °C. This is the first report on the biotransformation of (S)-EMA to ethyl vanillin.

Concepts: Protein, Bacteria, Amino acid, Antibiotic resistance, Escherichia coli, Biotechnology, Pseudomonas putida, Decarboxylation