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Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry

Takao Koeduka
Plants synthesize volatile compounds to attract pollinators. The volatiles emitted by flowers are often complex mixtures of organic compounds; pollinators are capable of distinctly recognizing different volatile compounds. Plants also produce volatile compounds to protect themselves against herbivores and pathogens. Some of the volatile compounds produced in floral and vegetative tissues are toxic to insects and microbes. To adapt changes in the environment, plants have evolved the ability to synthesize a unique set of volatiles...
January 17, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Ederlan de Souza Ferreira, Jessica Capraro, Fabio Sessa, Chiara Magni, Aureluce Demonte, Alessandro Consonni, Valdir Augusto Neves, Eduardo Maffud Cilli, Marcello Duranti, Alessio Scarafoni
Cowpea seed β-vignin, a vicilin-like globulin, proved to exert various health favourable effects, including blood cholesterol reduction in animal models. The need of a simple scalable enrichment procedure for further studies for tailored applications of this seed protein is crucial. A chromatography-independent fractionation method allowing to obtain a protein preparation with a high degree of homogeneity was used. Further purification was pursued to deep the molecular characterisation of β-vignin. The results showed: (i) differing glycosylation patterns of the two constituent polypeptides, in agreement with amino acid sequence features; (ii) the seed accumulation of a gene product never identified before; (iii) metal binding capacity of native protein, a property observed only in few other legume seed vicilins...
January 17, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Ming-Hsu Liu, Yi-Jr Chen, Chia-Yin Lee
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biopolyesters produced by microorganisms that are environmentally friendly. PHAs can be used to replace traditional plastic to reduce environmental pollution in various fields. PHA production costs are high because PHA must be produced from a carbon substrate. The purpose of this study was to find the strain that can used the BDF by-product as the sole carbon source to produce high amounts of medium-chain-length PHA. Three isolates were evaluated for potential PHA production by using biodiesel-derived crude glycerol as the sole carbon source...
January 17, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Takehiko Yokoyama, Masaharu Tokuda, Masafumi Amano, Koji Mikami
The presence of d-aspartate (d-Asp), a biologically rare amino acid, was evaluated in 38 species of marine macroalgae (seaweeds). Despite the ubiquitous presence of free l-Asp, free d-Asp was detected in only 5 species belonging to the Sargassaceae family of class Phaeophyceae (brown algae) but not in any species of the phyla Chlorophyta (green algae) and Rhodophyta (red algae). All other members of Phaeophyceae, including 3 species classified into the section Teretia of Sargassaceae did not contain d-Asp. These results indicate that the presence of free d-Asp in marine macroalgae is restricted only to the Sargassaceae family, excluding the species in the section Teretia...
January 15, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Mari Maeda-Yamamoto, Toshio Ohtani
In April 2015, Consumer Affairs Agency of Japan launched a new food labeling system known as "Foods with Function Claims (FFC)." Under this system, the food industry independently evaluates scientific evidence on foods and describes their functional properties. As of May 23, 2017, 1023 FFC containing 8 fresh foods have been launched. Meanwhile, to clarify the health-promoting effects of agricultural products, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) implemented the "Research Project on Development of Agricultural Products" and demonstrated the risk reduction of osteoporosis of β-cryptoxanthin rich Satsuma mandarins and the anti-allergic effect of the O-methylated catechin rich tea cultivar Benifuuki...
January 15, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Takuji Oka
The galactomannans (GMs) that are produced by filamentous fungi belonging to Pezizomycotina, many of which are pathogenic for animals and plants, are polysaccharides consisting of α-(1→2)-/α-(1→6)-mannosyl and β-(1→5)-/β-(1→6)-galactofuranosyl residues. GMs are located at the outermost layer of the cell wall. When a pathogenic fungus infects a host, its cell surface must be in contact with the host. The GMs on the cell surface may be involved in the infection mechanism of a pathogenic fungus or the defense mechanism of a host...
January 15, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Hiromasa Yamauchi, Masami Harada, Akihiro Miyanoshita
Tribolium castaneum, a pest of stored grain, has a uniform morphology, preventing the visual identification of strains from different areas. Polymorphisms in the nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial genes of this species were examined, and combined into seven haplotypes among the test insect specimens originating from Japan, Thailand, and Canada. These results suggested the potential for geographical differentiation.
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Masataka Narukawa
The functions of food have three categories: nutrition, palatability, and bioregulation. As the onset of lifestyle-related diseases has increased, many people have shown interest in functional foods that are beneficial to bioregulation. We believe that functional foods should be highly palatable for increased acceptance from consumers. In order to design functional foods with a high palatability, we have investigated about the palatability, especially in relation to the taste of food. In this review, we discuss (1) the identification of taste receptors that respond to functional food components; (2) an analysis of the peripheral taste transduction system; and (3) the investigation of the relationship between physiological functions and taste signals...
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Ayaka Suzuki, Naomi Muraoka, Mariko Nakamura, Yasuhira Yanagisawa, Seigo Amachi
To identify yeasts involved in white-colony formation on Japanese commercial kimchi products, three types of kimchi were prepared and fermented at four different temperatures. At 4 °C, yeast colonies did not appear until 35 days, while more rapid white-colony formation occurred at higher temperatures (10, 15, and 25 °C). Combination of PCR-DGGE and direct isolation of yeasts from white colonies revealed that Kazachstania exigua and K. pseudohumilis were responsible for the white-colony formation. Inoculation of the isolated Kazachstania strains into fresh kimchi successfully reproduced white-colony formation at 15 °C but not at 4 °C...
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Tamako Miyazaki, Katsushi Nakata, Takashi Nishimura, Shintaro Abe, Tetsuro Yamashita, Masao Miyazaki
The small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) is an invasive species in Okinawa and Amami-Oshima, Japan. Major strategies for their eradication have been the use of baited traps, which suffer from decreasing efficiency with declining populations and the bycatch of native animals. To address these concerns, mongoose-specific lures are required. In this study, we aimed to identify species- and/or sex-specific compounds from anal sac secretions of small Indian mongooses. Volatile compounds emitted from male and female mongoose anal sac secretions were analyzed by thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry...
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Daisuke Yamane-Koshizawa, Sotaro Fujii, Takahiro Maruno, Yuji Kobayashi, Masaru Yamanaka, Satoshi Wakai, Yoshihiro Sambongi
AVCP cytochrome c' from mesophilic Allochromatium vinosum exhibits lower stability than a thermophilic counterpart, Hydrogenophilus thermoluteolus cytochrome c' (PHCP), in which the six specific amino acid residues that are not conserved in AVCP are responsible for its stability. Here we measured the stability of AVCP variants carrying these specific residues instead of the original AVCP ones. Among the six single AVCP variants, all of which formed a dimeric structure similar to that of the wild-type, three were successfully stabilized compared with the wild-type, while one showed lower stability than the wild-type...
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Motoyuki Shimizu
Filamentous fungi are used to produce fermented foods, organic acids, beneficial secondary metabolites and various enzymes. During such processes, these fungi balance cellular NAD+:NADH ratios to adapt to environmental redox stimuli. Cellular NAD(H) status in fungal cells is a trigger of changes in metabolic pathways including those of glycolysis, fermentation, and the production of organic acids, amino acids and secondary metabolites. Under hypoxic conditions, high NADH:NAD+ ratios lead to the inactivation of various dehydrogenases, and the metabolic flow involving NAD+ is down-regulated compared with normoxic conditions...
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Zhen Lu, Cuiping Bu, Weicheng Hu, Hui Zhang, Mengrui Liu, Meiqi Lu, Guangxi Zhai
Quercetin (QT) is a plant polyphenol with various pharmacological properties. However, the low water solubility limits its therapeutic efficacy. In the present study, QT-loaded sodium taurocholate-Pluronic P123 (QT-loaded ST/P123) mixed micelles were developed and characterized, and the effect of the formulation on improving the water solubility of QT was investigated. QT-loaded ST/P123 mixed micelles were prepared by thin film hydration-direct dissolution and optimized by uniform design. The optimal formulation possessed high drug loading (12...
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Yosuke Ito, Masamichi Yazawa, Syunsuke Kikuchi, Mitsuru Abo
New application of fluorescence probe to detect apoplastic redox radicals from plant roots were sought. This probe can detect radicals selectively. Calibration curve for radicals was obtained using nitrogen monoxide as radical standard produced by NOC7. Apoplastic radicals released constitutively were quantified and the release rate was 60 μmol L-1 h-1. Oxidative burst triggered by chitin was distinguished from constitutive radical release.
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Dinh Minh Tran, Hayuki Sugimoto, Dzung Anh Nguyen, Takeshi Watanabe, Kazushi Suzuki
To develop a novel type of biocontrol agent, we focus on bacteria that are characterized by both chitinase activity and biofilm development. Chitinolytic bacteria were isolated from sediments and chitin flakes immersed in the water of a sand dune lake, Sakata, in Niigata, Japan. Thirty-one isolates from more than 5100 isolated strains were examined chitinase activity and biofilm formation. Phylogenetic analysis of these isolates based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that most isolates belonged to the family Aeromonadaceae, followed by Paenibacillaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, and Neisseriaceae...
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Yi Jun Zhou, Keisuke Fukumura, Shinji Nagata
Adipokinetic hormone (AKH) regulates energy homeostasis in insects by mobilizing lipid and carbohydrate from the fat body. Here, using RNA sequencing data, we identified cDNAs encoding AKH (GbAKH) and its highly homologous hormone AKH/corazonin-related peptide (GbACP) in the corpora cardiaca of the two-spotted cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. RT-PCR revealed that GbAKH and GbACP are predominantly expressed in the corpora cardiaca and corpora allata, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that the identified GbAKH and GbACP belong to the clades containing other AKHs and ACPs, respectively...
January 12, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Yu Luo, Xiaoqin Liu, Faquan Lin, Liejun Liao, Yong Deng, Linjie Zeng, Qiyan Zeng
We isolated a novel lectin (Artocarpus nitidus subsp. lingnanensis lectin, ALL) from Artocarpus nitidus subsp. lingnanensis and showed its mitogenic activities. In this study, we determined the amino acid sequence of ALL by cDNA sequencing. ALL cDNA (933 bp) contains a 657-bp open reading frame (ORF), which encodes a protein with 218 amino acids. ALL shares high sequence similarities with Jacalin and Morniga G and belongs to jacalin-related lectin family. We also examined the antitumor activity of ALL using Raji, a human B-lymphoma cell line...
January 10, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Ryo Inoue, Shigeru Fujiwara, Takamitsu Tsukahara
While evidence shows that probiotic supplementation exerts beneficial effects on developing children and animals, it is unclear whether it would exert equal or similar effects on adult human and animals. In this study, response to probiotic lactobacilli in ileal mucosa of suckling and adult mice was compared by evaluating gene expression profiles using DNA microarray. Two probiotic strains, Lactobacillus gasseri CP2305s and Lactobacillus plantarum CPA305C were used. Supplementation of probiotics for 7 days affected completely different genes in suckling and adult mice, regardless of the probiotic strain...
January 10, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Mitsuhiro Itaya, Miki Hasegawa, Masaru Tomita, Mitsuru Sato
Bacillus subtilis 168 was developed as a genome vector to manipulate large DNA fragments. The system is based on the inherent natural transformation (TF) activity. However, DNA size transferred by TF is limited up to approximately 100 kb. A conjugal transfer system capable of transferring DNA fragments considerably larger than those transferred by TF was developed. A well-defined oriT110 sequence and a cognate relaxase gene from the pUB110 plasmid were inserted into the xkdE gene of the B. subtilis genome...
January 10, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Kouhei Takenaka, Takuma Tanabe, Makoto Kawamukai, Yasuhiro Matsuo
In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the transcription factor Rst2 regulates ste11 in meiosis and fbp1 in glucogenesis downstream of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKA) pathway. Here, we demonstrate that Rst2 regulates additional cellular events. Overexpressed Rst2 elevated the frequency of oval, bent, branched, septated, and multi-septated cells. Cells showed normal nuclear divisions but exhibited abnormal nuclear organization at low frequency. In oval cells, microtubules were curved but they were rescued by the deletion of mal3...
January 10, 2018: Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
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