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Fernanda Almerón-Souza, Christian Sperb, Carolina L Castilho, Pedro I C C Figueiredo, Leonardo T Gonçalves, Rodrigo Machado, Larissa R Oliveira, Victor H Valiati, Nelson J R Fagundes
Elasmobranchs, the group of cartilaginous fishes that include sharks and rays, are especially vulnerable to overfishing due to low fecundity and late sexual maturation. A significant number of elasmobranch species are currently overexploited or threatened by fisheries activities. Additionally, several recent reports have indicated that there has been a reduction in regional elasmobranch population sizes. Brazil is an important player in elasmobranch fisheries and one of the largest importers of shark meat. However, carcasses entering the shark meat market have usually had their fins and head removed, which poses a challenge to reliable species identification based on the morphology of captured individuals...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Junea Leandro do Nascimento, Alex-Alan Furtado de Almeida, Joedson P Barroso, Pedro A O Mangabeira, Dário Ahnert, Artur G R Sousa, José Vitor S Silva, Virupax C Baligar
The objective of this study was to evaluate Cr toxicity in young plants of the CCN 51 Theobroma cacao genotype at different concentrations of Cr3+ in the soil (0, 100, 200, 400 and 600 mg kg-1 ) through physiological, ultrastructural, antioxidant and molecular changes. Doses of 400 and 600 mg Cr3+ kg-1 soil severely affected foliar gas exchange, promoted by damages in photosynthetic machinery evidenced by the decrease in CO2 fixation. Decreased expression of psbA and psbO genes, changes in enzymatic activity and lipid peroxidation also affected leaf gas exchange...
May 10, 2018: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Sabitiu A Oyeleke, Abayomi M Ajayi, Solomon Umukoro, A A Aderibigbe, Olusegun George Ademowo
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The stem bark of Theobroma cacao L. have been used for the treatment of inflammation, toothache, measles and malaria in ethnomedicine. However, the anti-inflammatory activity of Theobroma cacao stem bark has not been fully elucidated. AIM: The anti-inflammatory activity of Theobroma cacao stem bark ethanol extract and its fractions was investigated in this study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The anti-inflammatory effect of ethanol extract of Theobroma cacao stem bark (EETc) and its dichloromethane (DCMF), ethylacetate (EAF) and aqueous (AQF) fractions was investigated in erythrocytes membrane stabilizing assay and carrageenan-induced paw oedema...
May 4, 2018: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Van Thi Thuy Ho, Graham H Fleet, Jian Zhao
Cocoa beans (Theobroma cacao L.) are the raw material for chocolate production. Fermentation of the bean pulp by microorganisms is essential for developing the precursors of chocolate flavour. Currently, the cocoa fermentation is still conducted by an uncontrolled traditional process via a consortium of indigenous species of yeasts, lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria. Although the essential contribution of yeasts to the production of good quality beans and, typical chocolate character is generally agreed, the roles of lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria are less certain...
April 27, 2018: International Journal of Food Microbiology
Heather Randell
Forced migration due to development projects or environmental change impacts livelihoods, as affected households are faced with new-and often less favorable-environmental, social, and economic conditions. This article examines changing livelihood strategies among a population of rural agricultural households displaced by the Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. Using longitudinal data, I find that many households used compensation payments to concentrate income generation efforts on the most lucrative strategies-cacao and cattle production and business or rental income...
September 2017: Rural Sociology
Yoko Yamashita, Takakazu Mitani, Liuqing Wang, Hitoshi Ashida
Cacao extract (CE) consumption has beneficial effects on human health, such as lowering the risk of obesity. However, the underlying molecular mechanism for the anti-obesity effect of CE remains incompletely understood. Here, we used a 50% aqueous alcohol extract of cacao mass, which is rich in methylxanthine derivatives (about 11%) and poor in flavan-3-ols (less than 1%), and assessed the suppression effects of this extract on adipocyte differentiation to investigate the anti-obesity mechanism. CE dose-dependently decreased fat accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells without affecting cell viability...
2018: Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology
Tatsuhiko Tsunoda, Mio Takase, Hideyuki Shigemori
Alzheimer's disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by aggregation of amyloid β-protein (Aβ). Aβ aggregates through β-sheet formation and induces cytotoxicity against neuronal cells. Inhibition of Aβ aggregation by naturally occurring compounds is thus a promising strategy for the treatment of AD. We have already reported that caffeoylquinic acids and phenylethanoid glycosides, which possess two or more catechol moieties, strongly inhibited Aβ aggregation. Clovamide (1) containing two catechol moieties, isolated from cacao beans (Theobroma cacao L...
April 22, 2018: Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry
Saulo S Amorim, Roy A Norton, Anibal R Oliveira
Neopilizetes is a genus of the oribatid mite family Galumnidae that was first characterized by having well-developed setae, a dorsosejugal suture, and raised striae on the prodorsum and notogaster. It was proposed to accommodate Pilizetes neotropicus Balogh Mahunka 1978 from Brazil-the only supposed Pilizetes species known outside the Ethiopian Region-and it has remained monotypic. We found adults of N. neotropicus and four related species in soil-litter interface samples of a single cacao plantation in Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil...
April 18, 2018: Zootaxa
Marina Mazón, Daniel Sánchez-Angarita, Francisco A Díaz, Néstor Gutiérrez, Ramón Jaimez
Agroforestry systems are environment-friendly production systems which help to preserve biodiversity while providing people with a way of earning a living. Cacao is a historically important crop in Venezuela that traditionally has been produced in agroforestry systems. However, few studies have evaluated how different trees used in those systems affect the dynamics and abundance of insects. The present study evaluated the entomofauna assemblages associated with different combinations of four timber-yielding trees and four Criollo cacao cultivars established in a lowland tropical ecosystem in Venezuela...
April 20, 2018: Insects
Michel S McElroy, Alberto J R Navarro, Guiliana Mustiga, Conrad Stack, Salvador Gezan, Geover Peña, Widem Sarabia, Diego Saquicela, Ignacio Sotomayor, Gavin M Douglas, Zoë Migicovsky, Freddy Amores, Omar Tarqui, Sean Myles, Juan C Motamayor
Cacao ( Theobroma cacao ) is a globally important crop, and its yield is severely restricted by disease. Two of the most damaging diseases, witches' broom disease (WBD) and frosty pod rot disease (FPRD), are caused by a pair of related fungi: Moniliophthora perniciosa and Moniliophthora roreri , respectively. Resistant cultivars are the most effective long-term strategy to address Moniliophthora diseases, but efficiently generating resistant and productive new cultivars will require robust methods for screening germplasm before field testing...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Jia-Wen Li, Xiao-Yun Wang, Xin Zhang, Lei Gao, Li-Feng Wang, Xin-Hua Yin
Flavonol (‑)‑epicatechin (EPI) is primarily contained in green tea (Camellia sinensis) and cocoa beans (Theobroma cacao), and has been demonstrated to be beneficial for the health of the cardiovascular system. However, the effect and the underlying mechanism of EPI on myocardial ischemia induced cardiac injury has not yet been determined. Therefore, the present study aimed to detect whether EPI inhibited myocardial ischemia injury. An in vivo mouse myocardial ischemia model was induced by the ligation of left descending coronary artery for 7 days...
April 12, 2018: Molecular Medicine Reports
Eliedonna Cacao, Vipan K Parihar, Charles L Limoli, Francis A Cucinotta
Cognitive dysfunction associated with radiotherapy for cancer treatment has been correlated to several factors, one of which is changes to the dendritic morphology of neuronal cells. Alterations in dendritic geometry and branching patterns are often accompanied by deficits that impact learning and memory. The purpose of this study is to develop a novel predictive model of neuronal dendritic damages caused by exposure to low linear energy transfer (LET) radiation, such as X-rays, γ-rays and high-energy protons...
April 3, 2018: Scientific Reports
Gonçalo Cação, Joana Parra, Shahidul Mannan, Sanjay M Sisodiya, Josemir W Sander
INTRODUCTION: Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) is an epileptic syndrome often regarded as one in which seizures are relatively easy to control. Individuals with JME, however, often require lifelong therapy to remain seizure-free, and a few have refractory epilepsy. We ascertained a population with JME and characterized a subgroup with refractory epilepsy. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We audited and reviewed clinical records of individuals diagnosed with JME identified via a sample of 6600 individuals in a clinical database from a specialized epilepsy clinic at a tertiary referral center...
March 26, 2018: Epilepsy & Behavior: E&B
Adrien Servent, Renaud Boulanger, Fabrice Davrieux, Marie-Neige Pinot, Eric Tardan, Nelly Forestier-Chiron, Clotilde Hue
Cocoa fermentation is a crucial step for the development of cocoa aroma and precursors of high quality cocoa and by-products. This bioprocess has been studied for years to understand cocoa chemical changes but some matters concerning changes in fat content remain that are investigated in this work. Changes in the quantity (free and total fat), extractability and composition of cocoa butter were assessed in samples from Madagascar, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. Increases in free fat content were highlighted in samples from each origin thanks to the use of the 'soxtec' solvent method, which preserves the integrity of the butter...
May 2018: Food Research International
Valdeci S Bastos, Maria F S Santos, Laidson P Gomes, Analy M O Leite, Vânia M Flosi Paschoalin, Eduardo M Del Aguila
BACKGROUND: Cocoa bean fermentation is a spontaneous process involving a succession of microbial activities; yeasts, lactic acid and acetic acid bacteria. The spontaneous fermentation of cocoa beans by Theobroma cacao TSH565 clonal variety, a highly productive hybrid resistant to Moniliophthora perniciosa and Phytophthora spp. was investigated. The natural cocobiota involved in the spontaneous fermentation of this hybrid, in Southern Brazil, was investigated by using both a culture-dependent microbiological and a molecular analysis...
March 25, 2018: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Andrew S Fister, Lena Landherr, Siela N Maximova, Mark J Guiltinan
Theobroma cacao , the source of cocoa, suffers significant losses to a variety of pathogens resulting in reduced incomes for millions of farmers in developing countries. Development of disease resistant cacao varieties is an essential strategy to combat this threat, but is limited by sources of genetic resistance and the slow generation time of this tropical tree crop. In this study, we present the first application of genome editing technology in cacao, using Agrobacterium-mediated transient transformation to introduce CRISPR/Cas9 components into cacao leaves and cotyledon cells...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Min-Ho Oak, Cyril Auger, Eugenia Belcastro, Sin-Hee Park, Hyun-Ho Lee, Valérie B Schini-Kerth
Epidemiological studies have indicated that regular intake of polyphenol-rich diets such as red wine and tea, are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. The beneficial effect of polyphenol-rich products has been attributable, at least in part, to their direct action on the endothelial function. Indeed, polyphenols from tea, grapes, cacao, berries, and plants have been shown to activate endothelial cells to increase the formation of potent vasoprotective factors including nitric oxide (NO) and to delay endothelial ageing...
March 13, 2018: Free Radical Biology & Medicine
Emmy Tuenter, Kenn Foubert, Luc Pieters
Cocoa and chocolate, prepared from cocoa beans that originate from the fruits of the cocoa tree Theobroma cacao , have a long-standing reputation as healthy food, including mood-enhancing effects. In spite of many clinical trials with chocolate, cocoa, or its constituents, the mechanisms of action on mood and cognition remain unclear. More in particular, it is still controversial which constituents may contribute to the psychopharmacological activities, ranging from the major cacao flavanols and methylxanthines to the minor amines, amides, and alkaloids...
March 14, 2018: Planta Medica
Rabia Latif
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this review is to explore the effects of chocolate consumption during pregnancy on fetus and mother herself. METHODS: Randomized controlled trials/quasi-experimental/observational/controlled before and after studies involving chocolate/cocoa/cacao consumption (irrespective of type or dose, composition, exposure period, and method of administration) among pregnant women/animals; and measuring any outcome (beneficial or harmful) related to fetus or mother after chocolate exposure were included...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Maternal-fetal & Neonatal Medicine
Brian Folt, Maureen A Donnelly, Craig Guyer
The conspecific attraction hypothesis predicts that individuals are attracted to conspecifics because conspecifics may be cues to quality habitat and/or colonists may benefit from living in aggregations. Poison frogs (Dendrobatidae) are aposematic, territorial, and visually oriented-three characteristics which make dendrobatids an appropriate model to test for conspecific attraction. In this study, we tested this hypothesis using an extensive mark-recapture dataset of the strawberry poison frog ( Oophaga pumilio ) from La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica...
March 2018: Ecology and Evolution
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