Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Electronic Journal of Biotechnology]]> vol. 15 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Ceftiofur-loaded PHBV microparticles</b>: <b>A potential formulation for a long-acting antibiotic to treat animal infections</b>]]> Background: The infectious diseases in the livestock breeding industry represent a significant drawback that generates substantial economic loss and have led to the indiscriminate use of antibiotics. The formulation of polymeric microparticles loaded with antibiotics for veterinary use can: reduce the number of required doses; protect the drug from inactivation; and maintain a sustained-release of the antibiotic drug at effective levels. Accomplishing all of these goals would have a significant economic and animal health impact on the livestock breeding industry. Results: In this work, we formulated ceftiofur-loaded PHBV microparticles (PHBV-CEF) with a spherical shape, a smooth surface and diameter sizes between 1.65 and 2.37 μm. The encapsulation efficiency was 39.5 ± 1.1% w/w, and we obtained a sustained release of ceftiofur in PBS-buffer (pH 7.4) over 7 days. The antibacterial activity of ceftiofur was preserved after the encapsulation procedure, and toxicity of PHBV-CEF microparticles evaluated by MTS was represented by an IC50 > 10 mg/mL. Conclusions: Our results suggest that PHBV-CEF particles have a potential application for improving the treatment of infectious diseases in the livestock breeding industry. <![CDATA[<b>Development of quantitative competitive PCR for determination of copy number and expression level of the synthetic glyphosate oxidoreductase gene in transgenic canola plants</b>]]> Background: For successful in vitro plant regeneration, plant cell lines with multiple transgene integration and low transgene expression levels need to be ruled out. Although real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is a rapid way to accomplish this, it is also expensive and typically limits the size of the target sequence. Quantitative competitive PCR (QC-PCR) is proven to be a safe and accurate method for determination of both copy number and quantification of transcript levels of synthetic transgenes in transformed plants. Results: The glyphosate oxidoreductase genewas chemically synthesized and used to transform Brassica napus L. via Agrobactrium-mediated transformation. A construct containing the mutated form of a synthetic glyphosate oxidoreductase (gox) gene (internal standard) was prepared. Gene copy number was estimated in nine independent transgenic lines using QC-PCR as well as the standard method of Southern blot analysis. By quantitative RT-PCR, transcript levels were also determined in these lines. High (&gt; 3), medium to high (2.2-3), medium to low (1-2.2), and low (< 1) levels of transcript were detected. Conclusions: No direct relationship was found between copy number and transgene expression levels. QC-PCR method could be implemented to screen putative transgenic plants and quickly select single T-DNA inserts. QC-PCR methods and the prepared competitor construct may be useful for future quantification of commercial transgenic food and feed. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of cassava plants generated by somatic embryogenesis at different stages of development using molecular markers</b>]]> Background: Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a crop that is high in carbohydrates in the roots and in protein in the leaves, important for both human consumption and animal feed, and also has a significant industrial use for its starches. In this study we evaluated the genetic variability with molecular markers in different stages in micropropagated plants from somatic embryos of Venezuelan native clone 56. Results: Three markers were used: ISTR, AFLP and SSR, finding that ISTR showed the highest polymorphism among individuals tested. With AFLP a high similarity between the evaluated individuals was observed and with SSR total monomorphism was seen. Using cluster analysis it was found that individuals from an embryo labeled as fasciated at the beginning of the somatic embryogenesis process were grouped as independent of the other plants when analyzed at the acclimatization stage. The differences found with the different markers used are discussed. In field trials, micropropagated plants had a yield between 4 and 5 times the average yield of cassava in Venezuela. Conclusion: Despite variability in terms of DNA markers, somatic embryogenesis is suitable for mass propagation of highly performing cassava clones. <![CDATA[<b>Culturable fungi associated with urban stone surfaces in Mexico City</b>]]> Background: Urban surface stones in Mexico City are exposed to a temperate climate and a range of atmospheric conditions ranging from mildly impacted to heavily polluted areas. In this study, we focused on the characterization of the cultivable fungal component of selected biological patinas in the surrounding area of Chapultepec castle, a historic monument in Mexico City. Thirty four representative fungal isolates selected based on distinctive differential macroscopic characteristics out of a total of 300 fungi, were characterized using morphological and molecular approaches. Results: This identification strategy based on the combination of phenotypic- and molecular-based methodologies allowed us to discriminate the fungal community in some cases down to the species level. Conclusions: The characterization of this mycoflora revealed the presence of a complex fungal community mainly represented by filamentous fungi belonging to the genera Fusarium, Trichoderma, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Alternaria, Mucor, Penicillium, Pestalotiopsis, and the dimorphic fungus Aureobasidium, along with the yeast Rhodotorula. A specific distribution of fungi could be observed based on the type of biological patina analyzed. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of extrinsic and intrinsic parameters on inulinase production by <i>Aspergillus niger </i>ATCC 20611</b>]]> Background: Inulinase is a versatile enzyme from glycoside hydrolase family which targets the β-2, 1 linkage of fructopolymers. In the present study, the effect of medium composition and culture conditions on inulinase production by Aspergillus niger ATCC 20611 was investigated in shake-flasks. Results: The highest extracellular inulinase (3199 U/ ml) was obtained in the presence of 25% (w/v) sucrose, 0.5% (w/v) meat extract, 1.5% (w/v) NaNO3 and 2.5 mM (v/v) Zn2+, at initial pH of 6.5, temperature 35ºC and 6% (v/v) of spores suspension in the agitation speed of 100 rpm. Surfactants showed an inhibitory effect on enzyme production. The optimum temperature for inulinase activity was found to be 50ºC. TLC analysis showed the presence of both exo- and endo-inulinase. Conclusion: Sucrose, Zn2+, and aeration were found to be the most effective elements in inulinase production by A. niger ATCC 20611. TLC analysis also showed that the crude enzyme contained both endo and exo-inulinases. The strain is suggested as a potential candidate for industrial enzymatic production of fructose from inulin. <![CDATA[<b>Optimization of fermentation conditions for pristinamycin production by immobilized <i>Streptomyces pristinaespiralis</i> using response surface methodology</b>]]> Response surface methodology was used to optimize the fermentation conditions for the production of pristinamycin by immobilization of Streptomyces pristinaespiralis F213 in shaking flask cultivation. Seed medium volume, fermentation medium volume and shaking speed of seed culture were found to have significant effects on pristinamycin production by the Plackett-Burman design. The steepest ascent method was adopted to approach the vicinity of optimum space, followed by central composite design for further optimization. A quadratic model was built to fit the pristinamycin production. The optimum conditions were found to be seed medium volume of 29.5 ml, fermentation medium volume of 28.8 ml, and shaking speed of seed culture at 204 rpm. At the optimum conditions, a production of 213 mg/l was obtained, which was in agreement with the maximum predicted pristinamycin yield of 209 mg/l. This is the first report on pristinamycins production by immobilized S. pristinaespiralis using response surface methodology. <![CDATA[<b>Callus induction and plant regeneration of <i>Ulex europaeus</i></b>]]> A callus induction and plant regeneration protocol was developed from leaf and thorn explants for the plant Ulex europaeus. Explants were incubated on 2% sucrose half-strength Murashige and Skoog Medium (MS) with various combinations of plant growth regulators and antioxidants. The best frequency of callus and shoot formation was obtained with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) 1 mg/l x kinetin (Kin) 0.2 mg/l (DK Medium; callus induction) and zeatin (Z) 1 mg/l (DK medium; shoot induction). Both media were supplemented with ascorbic acid 200 mg/l to prevent browning and death of the explants. The regenerated shoots transferred to rooting medium (half-strength MS Medium, 2% sucrose) showed rapid growth and development of roots (100%). Rooted plantlets were successfully transferred to soil in pots containing a 3:1 mixture of soil and vermiculite. <![CDATA[<b>Production of phenolic metabolites by <i>Deschampsia antarctica</i> shoots using UV-B treatments during cultivation in a photobioreactor</b>]]> Deschampsia antarctica (DA), the only species in the Gramineae family endemic to the Antarctic territory, is characterized by a combination of high levels of free endogenous phenylpropanoid compounds under normal in situ and in vitro growth conditions. In this article, we describe the design and use of a specific temporary immersion photobioreactor to produce both increased DA biomass and secondary metabolite accumulation by UV-B elicitation during cultivation. Three min-long immersions in an induction medium applied every 4 hrs at 14ºC ± 1 and 20/4 hrs light/darkness photoperiod increased DA biomass production over previous in vitro reports. Biomass duplication was obtained at day 10.7 of culturing, and maximum total phenolics and antioxidant activity were observed after 14 day of culturing. The addition of UV-B radiation pulses for 0.5 hrs at 6 hrs intervals increased total phenolics and antioxidant activity more than 3- and 1.5- fold, respectively, compared to controls with no UV-B. Significant accumulation of scopoletin, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid and rutin was found in these plantlets. This is the first bioreactor designed to optimize biomass and phenylpropanoid production in DA. <![CDATA[<b>Development of pollen mediated activation tagging system for <i>Phalaenopsis </i>and <i>Doritaenopsis</i></b>]]> In the present study, a novel plant transformation system for Doritaenopsis and Phalaenopsis has been developed. The pollen-mediated activation tagging system was established by artificial pollination. The pollens, co-cultured with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA105 harbouring an activation tagging vector (pTAG-8), were used for pollination. In order to optimize the transformation efficiency, several factors (concentration of A. tumefaciens, concentration of acetosyringone during co-cultivation and the duration of co-cultivation) known to influence Agrobacterium-mediated DNA transfer were examined. A concentration of 0.5-1 x 10(8) CFU/ml for A. tumefaciens, 0.1 mM acetosyringone, and 6 hrs of co-culture period were found to be the optimal condition for high transformation efficiency. Integration of T-DNA into the genome of putative transgenic plants was confirmed by PCR and DNA blot analyses. Single copy of the transgene was observed in all transgenic plants analyzed. Most of the transgenic plants had a morphologically normal phenotype and the overall capsule formation efficiency was similar to control plant. Our results showed a new approach of genetic transformation in orchids and this method can be employed for genetic improvement of the orchids.