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Critical Reviews in Biotechnology

Katelyn Brinegar, Ali K Yetisen, Sun Choi, Emily Vallillo, Guillermo U Ruiz-Esparza, Anand M Prabhakar, Ali Khademhosseini, Seok-Hyun Yun
The emergence of new gene-editing technologies is profoundly transforming human therapeutics, agriculture, and industrial biotechnology. Advances in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) have created a fertile environment for mass-scale manufacturing of cost-effective products ranging from basic research to translational medicine. In our analyses, we evaluated the patent landscape of gene-editing technologies and found that in comparison to earlier gene-editing techniques, CRISPR has gained significant traction and this has established dominance...
January 18, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Som Dutt, Anshul Sharma Manjul, Pinky Raigond, Brajesh Singh, Sundaresha Siddappa, Vinay Bhardwaj, Prashant G Kawar, Virupakshagouda U Patil, Hemant Balasaheb Kardile
Tuberization in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a complex biological phenomenon which is affected by several environmental cues, genetic factors and plant nutrition. Understanding the regulation of tuber induction is essential to devise strategies to improve tuber yield and quality. It is well established that short-day photoperiods promote tuberization, whereas long days and high-temperatures inhibit or delay tuberization. Worldwide research on this complex biological process has yielded information on the important bio-molecules (proteins, RNAs, plant growth regulators) associated with the tuberization process in potato...
January 18, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Changshui Liu, Yamei Ding, Mo Xian, Min Liu, Huizhou Liu, Qingjun Ma, Guang Zhao
3-Hydroxypropionate (3HP) is an attractive platform chemical, serving as a precursor to a variety of commodity chemicals like acrylate and acrylamide, as well as a monomer of a biodegradable plastic. To establish a sustainable way to produce these commercially important chemicals and materials, fermentative production of 3HP is widely investigated in recent years. It is reported that 3HP can be produced from several intermediates, such as glycerol, malonyl-CoA, and β-alanine. Among all these biosynthetic routes, the malonyl-CoA pathway has some distinct advantages, including a broad feedstock spectrum, thermodynamic feasibility, and redox neutrality...
January 12, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
David Secco, Nadia Bouain, Aida Rouached, Chanakan Prom-U-Thai, Moez Hanin, Ajay K Pandey, Hatem Rouached
Phosphorus (P) is an essential macronutrient for all living organisms. In plants, P is taken up from the rhizosphere by the roots mainly as inorganic phosphate (Pi), which is required in large and sufficient quantities to maximize crop yields. In today's agricultural society, crop yield is mostly ensured by the excessive use of Pi fertilizers, a costly practice neither eco-friendly or sustainable. Therefore, generating plants with improved P use efficiency (PUE) is of major interest. Among the various strategies employed to date, attempts to engineer genetically modified crops with improved capacity to utilize phytate (PA), the largest soil P form and unfortunately not taken up by plants, remains a key challenge...
January 12, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
X Vecino, J M Cruz, A B Moldes, L R Rodrigues
Cosmetic products play an essential role in everyone's life. People everyday use a large variety of cosmetic products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, skin care, perfume, make-up, among others. The cosmetic industry encompasses several environmental, social and economic impacts that are being addressed through the search for more efficient manufacturing techniques, the reduction of waste and emissions and the promotion of personal hygiene, contributing to an improvement of public health and at the same time providing employment opportunities...
January 12, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Maria F Carvalho, Rui S Oliveira
Fluorinated compounds are finding increasing uses in several applications. They are employed in almost all areas of modern society. These compounds are all produced by chemical synthesis and their abundance highly contrasts with fluorinated molecules of natural origin. To date, only some plants and a handful of actinomycetes species are known to produce a small number of fluorinated compounds that include fluoroacetate (FA), some ω-fluorinated fatty acids, nucleocidin, 4-fluorothreonine (4-FT), and the more recently identified (2R3S4S)-5-fluoro-2,3,4-trihydroxypentanoic acid...
January 3, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Ana Andréa Teixeira Barbosa, Hilário Cuquetto Mantovani, Sona Jain
Bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are well-recognized for their potential as natural food preservatives. These antimicrobial peptides usually do not change the sensorial properties of food products and can be used in combination with traditional preservation methods to ensure microbial stability. In recent years, fruit products are increasingly being associated with food-borne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms, and bacteriocins are important candidates to preserve these products. Bacteriocins have been extensively studied to preserve foods of animal origin...
January 3, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Mohammad Ali, Bilal Haider Abbasi, Nisar Ahmad, Haji Khan, Gul Shad Ali
The genus Artemisia has been utilized worldwide due to its immense potential for protection against various diseases, especially malaria. Artemisia absinthium, previously renowned for its utilization in the popular beverage absinthe, is gaining resurgence due to its extensive pharmacological activities. Like A. annua, this species exhibits strong biological activities like antimalarial, anticancer and antioxidant. Although artemisinin was found to be the major metabolite for its antimalarial effects, several flavonoids and terpenoids are considered to possess biological activities when used alone and also to synergistically boost the bioavailability of artemisinin...
January 3, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Alireza Valdiani, Daryush Talei, Surrinder K Lattoo, Rodomiro Ortiz, Søren Kjærsgaard Rasmussen, Jacqueline Batley, Mohd Yusop Rafii, Mahmood Maziah, Kallevettankuzhy K Sabu, Rambod Abiri, Suchirat Sakuanrungsirikul, Soon Guan Tan
Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wall. ex Nees. (AP) is a hermaphroditic, self-compatible, and habitual inbreeding plant. Its main bioactive component is andrographolide, which is capable of inducing autophagic cell death in some human cancer cells and helps fight HIV/AIDS. Increasing the andrographolide content by investigating the genetic mechanisms controlling its biosynthesis in order to improve and develop high-yielding cultivars are the main breeding targets for AP. However, there might exist some limitations or barriers for crossability within AP accessions...
January 3, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Ioannis Vyrides, David C Stuckey
This study reviews the addition of compatible solutes to biological systems as a strategy to counteract osmolarity and other environmental stresses. At high osmolarity many microorganisms accumulate organic solutes called "compatible solutes" in order to balance osmotic pressure between the cytoplasm and the environment. These organic compounds are called compatible solutes because they can function inside the cell without the need for special adaptation of the intracellular enzymes, and also serve as protein stabilizers in the presence of high ionic strength...
January 2, 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Xiuxia Liu, Wei Zhang, Zihao Zhao, Xiaofeng Dai, Yankun Yang, Zhonghu Bai
Corynebacterium glutamicum, a Gram-positive bacterium, has been widely used for the industrial production of amino acids, such as glutamate and lysine, for decades. Due to several characteristics - its ability to secrete properly folded and functional target proteins into culture broth, its low levels of endogenous extracellular proteins and its lack of detectable extracellular hydrolytic enzyme activity - C. glutamicum is also a very favorable host cell for the secretory production of heterologous proteins, important enzymes, and pharmaceutical proteins...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Brahma N Singh, Prateeksha, Dalip K Upreti, Braj Raj Singh, Tom Defoirdt, Vijai K Gupta, Ana Olivia De Souza, Harikesh Bahadur Singh, João C M Barreira, Isabel C F R Ferreira, Khabat Vahabi
Despite several conventional potent antibacterial therapies, bacterial infections pose a significant threat to human health because they are emerging as the leading cause of death worldwide. Due to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, there is a pressing demand to discover novel approaches for developing more effective therapies to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial strains and biofilm-associated infections. Therefore, attention has been especially devoted to a new and emerging branch of science "nanotechnology" to design non-conventional antimicrobial chemotherapies...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Amit Verma, Hukum Singh, Shahbaz Anwar, Anirudha Chattopadhyay, Kapil K Tiwari, Surinder Kaur, Gurpreet Singh Dhilon
Proteases are ubiquitous enzymes that occur in various biological systems ranging from microorganisms to higher organisms. Microbial proteases are largely utilized in various established industrial processes. Despite their numerous industrial applications, they are not efficient in hydrolysis of recalcitrant, protein-rich keratinous wastes which result in environmental pollution and health hazards. This paved the way for the search of keratinolytic microorganisms having the ability to hydrolyze "hard to degrade" keratinous wastes...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Farnaz Assa, Hoda Jafarizadeh-Malmiri, Hossein Ajamein, Hamideh Vaghari, Navideh Anarjan, Omid Ahmadi, Aydin Berenjian
The potential of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) in drug delivery systems (DDSs) is mainly related to its magnetic core and surface coating. These coatings can eliminate or minimize their aggregation under physiological conditions. Also, they can provide functional groups for bioconjugation to anticancer drugs and/or targeted ligands. Chitosan, as a derivative of chitin, is an attractive natural biopolymer from renewable resources with the presence of reactive amino and hydroxyl functional groups in its structure...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Isabela Reiniati, Andrew N Hrymak, Argyrios Margaritis
Cellulosic nanomaterials provide a novel and sustainable platform for the production of high performance materials enabled by nanotechnology. Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a highly crystalline material and contains pure cellulose without lignin and hemicellulose. BC offers an opportunity to provide control of the products' properties in-situ, via specific BC production methods and culture conditions. The BC potential in advanced material applications are hindered by a limited knowledge of optimal BC production conditions, efficient process scale-up, separation methods, and purification methods...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Jay Ram Lamichhane, Yann Devos, Hugh J Beckie, Micheal D K Owen, Pascal Tillie, Antoine Messéan, Per Kudsk
Conventionally bred (CHT) and genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops have changed weed management practices and made an important contribution to the global production of some commodity crops. However, a concern is that farm management practices associated with the cultivation of herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops further deplete farmland biodiversity and accelerate the evolution of herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds. Diversification in crop systems and weed management practices can enhance farmland biodiversity, and reduce the risk of weeds evolving herbicide resistance...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Mohammadali Safavieh, Chad Coarsey, Nwadiuto Esiobu, Adnan Memic, Jatin Mahesh Vyas, Hadi Shafiee, Waseem Asghar
Invasive candidiasis remains one of the most serious community and healthcare-acquired infections worldwide. Conventional Candida detection methods based on blood and plate culture are time-consuming and require at least 2-4 days to identify various Candida species. Despite considerable advances for candidiasis detection, the development of simple, compact and portable point-of-care diagnostics for rapid and precise testing that automatically performs cell lysis, nucleic acid extraction, purification and detection still remains a challenge...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Agnieszka Piatek, Magdy M Mahfouz
Regulation of gene transcription controls cellular functions and coordinates responses to developmental, physiological and environmental cues. Precise and efficient molecular tools are needed to characterize the functions of single and multiple genes in linear and interacting pathways in a native context. Modular DNA-binding domains from zinc fingers (ZFs) and transcriptional activator-like proteins (TALE) are amenable to bioengineering to bind DNA target sequences of interest. As a result, ZF and TALE proteins were used to develop synthetic programmable transcription factors...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Rui Hua Tang, Hui Yang, Jane Ru Choi, Yan Gong, Shang Sheng Feng, Belinda Pingguan-Murphy, Qing Sheng Huang, Jun Ling Shi, Qi Bing Mei, Feng Xu
In recent years, paper-based point-of-care testing (POCT) has been widely used in medical diagnostics, food safety and environmental monitoring. However, a high-cost, time-consuming and equipment-dependent sample pretreatment technique is generally required for raw sample processing, which are impractical for low-resource and disease-endemic areas. Therefore, there is an escalating demand for a cost-effective, simple and portable pretreatment technique, to be coupled with the commonly used paper-based assay (e...
June 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Piotr Biniarz, Marcin Łukaszewicz, Tomasz Janek
Lipopeptide biosurfactants are surface active biomolecules that are produced by a variety of microorganisms. Microbial lipopeptides have gained the interest of microbiologists, chemists and biochemists for their high biodiversity as well as efficient action, low toxicity and good biodegradability in comparison to synthetic counterparts. In this report, we review methods for the production, isolation and screening, purification and structural characterization of microbial lipopeptides. Several techniques are currently available for each step, and we describe the most commonly utilized and recently developed techniques in this review...
May 2017: Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
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