New Biotechnology

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 1871-6784
Publications
Article
To produce cellulolytic enzyme efficiently, Penicillium decumbens strain L-06 was used to prepare mutants with ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) and UV-irradiation. A mutant strain ML-017 is shown to have a higher cellulase activity than others. Box-Behnken's design (BBD) and response surface methodology (RSM) were adopted to optimize the conditions of cellulase (filter paper activity, FPA) production in strain ML-017 by solid-state fermentation (SSF) with rice bran as the substrate. And the result shows that the initial pH, moisture content and culture temperature all have significant effect on the production of cellulase. The optimized condition shall be initial pH 5.7, moisture content 72% and culture temperature 30°C. The maximum cellulase (FPA) production was obtained under the optimized condition, which is 5.76 IU g(-1), increased by 44.12% to its original strain. It corresponded well with the calculated results (5.15 IU g(-1)) by model prediction. The result shows that both BBD and RSM are the cellulase optimization methods with good prospects.
 
Article
The statistical experimental designs were adopted to optimize the culture medium in xylitol production by Candida tropicalis HDY-02 with corncob hemicellulose hydrolysate as substrate. In the first step, Plackett-Burman design was used for screening the important variables. KH(2)PO(4), yeast extract, (NH(4))(2)SO(4) and MgSO(4)·7H(2)O were found to significantly affect xylitol yield. In the second step, central composite design (CCD) was used to determine the optimum level of each of the significant variables. A second-order polynomial was determined by the multiple regression analysis of the experimental data. The interactive effects of yeast extract and MgSO(4)·7H(2)O on xylitol yield of C. tropicalis HDY-02 were determined to be significant. The validation experimental was consistent with the prediction model. The optimum combinations for xylitol yield were 5 gl(-1) (NH(4))(2)SO(4), 1.3 gl(-1) KH(2)PO(4), 4.6 gl(-1) yeast extract and 0.6 gl(-1) MgSO(4)·7H(2)O. Under these optimal conditions, the continuous fed-batch experiments could produce xylitol of 58 gl(-1) with a yield of 0.73 g g(-1) xylose.
 
Article
2-Chloronicotinic acid is receiving much attention for its effective applications as a key precursor in the synthesis of pesticides and medicines. In this study, a strain ZJB-09149 converting 2-chloro-3-cyanopyridine to 2-chloronicotinic acid was newly isolated and identified as Rhodococcus erythropolis, based on its physiological and biological tests, and 16S rDNA sequence analysis. In addition, the effects of inducer, carbon source and nitrogen source were examined. Maximum activity was achieved when the above parameters were set as 8 g/l ɛ-caprolactam, 7 g/l yeast extract and 5 g/l maltose. Moreover, the biotransformation pathway of 2-chloro-3-cyanopyridine to 2-chloronicotinic acid in strain ZJB-09149 was investigated as well. This study revealed that the nitrile hydratase (NHase) and amidase expressed in R. erythropolis ZJB-09149 are responsible for the conversion of 2-chloro-3-cyanopyridine. This is the first time to report on the biotransformation preparation of 2-chloronicotinic acid.
 
Article
In this study, nearly 4000 bacterial strains from the family of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from different environments were screened for ability to convert glycerol to 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD). The aim of the research was to isolate 1,3-PD producers from the natural environment, identify and characterize the best isolates. Three selective media were tested to usefulness in the isolation of bacteria from the family Enterobacteriaceae. Only, 28% of examined isolates could synthesize 1,3-PD from glycerol. 1,3-PD producing bacteria were identified by API 20E tests and 16S rRNA sequences to be Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Citrobacter freundii and Hafnia alvei. It is the first time, when the fermentation glycerol to 1,3-PD by H. alvei was investigated. The selected strains (C. freundii AD119 and H. alvei AD27) were analyzed on a bioreactor scale under constant pH value 7.0 at temperature of 30°C and 37°C. After 40h in batch fermentation, H. alvei AD27 produced 11.3g/L of 1,3-PD at 37°C. For C. freundii AD119, the best results were obtained at temperature of 30°C. After 24h of fermentation, the 1,3-PD concentration reached above 23g/L of 1,3-PD.
 
Article
1,3-Dioleoyl-2-palmitoylglycerol (OPO)-rich human milk fat substitute (HMFS) was synthesized from tripalmitin-rich fraction and ethyl oleate by a lipase-catalyzed interesterification. Response surface methodology was employed to optimize its OPO content and acyl migration with reaction factors - substrate mole ratio of PPP-rich fraction to ethyl oleate (1:4, 1:5 and 1:6), reaction temperature (50, 55 and 60 degrees C) and time (3, 7.5 and 12 hours). The predictive models for OPO content and acyl migration were adequate and reproducible. The OPO content increased with substrate ratio, and decreased with reaction time and temperature, whereas acyl migration increased with temperature and time. The optimal conditions for HMFS synthesis while maximizing OPO content (31.43% OPO) and minimizing acyl migration (6.07%) were predicted at the reaction combination of 50 degrees C, three hours and 5.5 substrate ratio. HMFS was resynthesized under the same condition, and no significant difference between the observed and predicted values was found. Further, the major fatty acid of HMFS was palmitic acid (80.6%) at sn-2 position, and oleic acid (64.9%) at sn-1,3 position.
 
Article
The rapidly growing biodiesel industry has created a scenario, where it is both important and challenging to deal with the enormous amount of crude glycerol generated as an inherent by-product. With every 100 gallons of biodiesel produced, 5-10 gallons of the crude glycerol is left behind containing several impurities which makes its disposal difficult. The objective of the present investigation was to evaluate the impact of biodiesel-derived crude glycerol upon microbial growth and production of 1,3-propanediol by Citrobacter freundii. Five different grades of crude glycerol (obtained from biodiesel preparation using jatropha, soybean, sunflower, rice bran and linseed oils) were used. Crude glycerol caused significant inhibition of microbial growth and subsequently 1,3-propanediol production as compared to pure glycerol. Therefore, a process was developed for the treatment of crude glycerol using solvents before fermentation wherein four different non-polar solvents were examined yielding different grades of pretreated glycerol. Subsequently, the potential toxic effects of pretreated glycerol on the growth and 1,3-propanediol production by C. freundii was evaluated. In case of petroleum ether-treated crude glycerol obtained from jatropha & linseed and hexane-treated crude glycerol obtained from rice bran, the yields obtained were comparable to the pure glycerol. Similarly, soybean-derived glycerol gave comparable results after treatment with either hexane or petroleum ether.
 
Article
The present report describes production of 1,3-propanediol by Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 15380 from crude glycerol from jatropha biodiesel process. Optimization resulted in a yield of up to 56g/L of 1,3-propanediol. A conversion rate of 0.85mol 1,3-propanediol/mol of glycerol has been obtained. Downstream processing to isolate 1,3-propanediol from the fermentation broth resulted in 99.7% pure product with a recovery of 34%. The pure 1,3-propanediol was polymerized with terephthalic acid successfully to yield polytrimethylene terephthalate.
 
Article
Immobilized cultures of locally isolated Klebsiella pneumoniae (GenBank no: 27F HM063413) were employed in the continuous production of the high value added biomonomer, 1,3-propanediol from waste glycerol. The effect of hydraulic retention time (HRT) was tested by increasing the dilution rate gradually. Three different immobilization materials (stainless steel wire, glass raschig ring and Vukopor®) were tested. The highest productivity was reported with the reactor filled with stainless steel wire as 4.8g/(Lhours) and the highest 1,3-propanediol concentration was 17.9g/L when glass raschig rings were used as the packing material with the HRTs of 0.5hours and 1.5hours, respectively. Compared to the suspended culture system 1,3-propanediol production was more resistant to shorter hydraulic retention times that leads to higher 1,3-PDO productivities. All three of the materials are good candidates for immobilization purpose; however, stainless steel wire and Vukopor® are better support materials in terms of productivities. The results reported in this study revealed that continuous fermentation in a packed-bed bioreactor system is a suitable method to enhance 1,3-propanediol production.
 
Article
To date, gene xyn10C from Saccharophagus degradans 2-40 has only been identified to encode a potential xylanase. In the present study, xyn10C was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). The protein produced by xyn10C, Xyn10C, was expressed in a soluble active form and found to be an endotype beta-1,4-xylanase that preferentially produces xylobiose from xylan. Recombinant cell fermentation revealed that induction of the gene at low temperatures fostered expression of the recombinant xylanase with high volumetric and specific activities. Additionally, low growth rates were favorable for producing soluble active xylanase via a reduction in the formation of inclusion bodies. Furthermore, the optimal concentration of isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside for induction was found to be 100 microm after two hours of precultivation at 37 degrees C. Finally, enzyme production conducted using a fermentor with a working volume of 1.5-l resulted in slightly higher specific activities of xylanase when compared with the generation of enzymes in flasks with a working volume of 100ml.
 
Article
We reported previously that the activities of several glycosyl hydrolase family 11 xylanases claimed to be active under alkaline conditions, were found to have optima in the pH 5-6 range when assayed under optimal conditions. One enzyme, BadX, had enhanced activity at pHs greater than 7 compared to other family 11 xylanases. Gene shuffling between badX and Dictyoglomus thermophilum xynB6 was performed in an attempt to elucidate regions conferring alkaline activity to BadX, and potentially, to increase the alkaline activity of the highly thermophilic XynB6. Segment substitution using degenerate oligonucleotide gene shuffling (DOGS) experiments with combinations of input parental gene fragments from xynB6 and badX was not able to improve the activity of XynB6 at alkaline pH. With one exception, the replacement of a single segment of BadX with the equivalent segment from XynB6 reduced the alkaline activity BadX. The results indicate that it might not be possible to alter significantly the alkaline pH characteristics of family 11 xylanases by one or a few mutations and that family 11 xylanases showing enhanced activity at alkaline pH's require multiple sequence adaptations across the protein.
 
Article
The endo-1,4-β-xylanase gene xyn11a from Fusarium oxysporum, member of the fungal glycosyl hydrolase (GH) family 11, was cloned and expressed in Pichia pastoris. The mature xylanase gene, which generates after the excision of one intron and the secreting signal peptide, was placed under the control of an alcohol oxidase promoter (AOX1) in the plasmid pPICZαC. The final construction was integrated into the genome of the methylotrophic yeast P. pastoris X33 and the ability to produce xylanase activity was evaluated in flask cultures. Recombinant P. pastoris efficiently secreted xylanase into the medium and produced high level of enzymatic activity (110 U/ml) after 216 hours of growth, under methanol induction. To achieve higher enzyme production, the influence of initial pH, methanol concentration, agitation and flask design was evaluated. Under optimum culture conditions, production of the recombinant xylanase increased by 50%, reaching a final yield of 170 U/ml, underpinning aeration as the most important factor in improving enzyme production.
 
Article
Xylanases have several industrial uses, particularly in baking, modification of animal feed and in pulp bleaching in the paper industry. Process conditions in kraft pulp bleaching generally favour an enzyme that is active at high pH values. The activities of several glycosyl hydrolase family 11 xylanases reported to be active under alkaline conditions were determined under optimal conditions and found to have optima in the pH 5-6 range. Only one enzyme tested, BadX, was shown to have an alkaline pH optimum. Significant activity at pH values higher than 8 appears often to be the result of excess enzyme added to the reaction mixtures so that substrate is limiting. The different nature of laboratory and industrial substrates needs to be taken into consideration in designing assay conditions. In some cases, significant differences were observed in pH profiles generated using a small-molecule substrate when compared to those generated using xylan. We conclude that small-molecule substrates are not a suitable proxy for determining the pH profiles of family 11 xylanases.
 
Article
Castor oil has many industrial uses. Molecular species of acylglycerols containing monohydroxy, dihydroxy and trihydroxy fatty acids in castor oil have been reported. We report here the identification of acylglycerols containing a triOH18:2 fatty acid in castor oil. The structure of this novel fatty acid was proposed as 11,12,13-trihydroxy-9,14-octadecadienoic acid by the mass spectrometry of the lithiated adducts of acylglycerols in the HPLC fractions of castor oil. The fragmentation pathways of the lithiated adduct of 11,12,13-trihydroxy-9,14-octadecadienoic acid were proposed. We also proposed the biosynthetic pathways of polyhydroxy fatty acids in castor.
 
Article
Two novel cellulase-poor xylanases from Coprinellus disseminatus SH-1 NTCC-1163 (enzyme-A) and SH-2 NTCC-1164 (enzyme-B) produced under solid-state fermentation mitigated kappa number of wheat straw soda-AQ pulps by 24.38 and 27.94% respectively after XE stages. The release of reducing sugars and chromophores was highest for both the enzymes at 10IU/g and reaction time 180min for 55°C at variable consistencies that is, 10% for enzyme-A and 5% for enzyme-B. (A)XECEHH and (B)XECEHH sequences improved brightness by 5.17 and 2.58% respectively at 4.5% chlorine charge. AOX in (A)XECEHH and (B)XECEHH sequences reduced by 56.11 and 55.75% respectively at 4.5% chlorine charge and 68.34 and 67.98% respectively at 2.25% chlorine charge respectively compared to control. Both the enzymes showed improvement in double fold and tear index with a decrease in burst and tensile index. SEM showed peeling, cracking and delamination in fibers due to enzyme treatment thus facilitating the penetration of bleach chemicals.
 
Article
The yeast P. pastoris has emerged as one of the most promising yeast cell factories for the production of heterologous proteins. The readily available genetic tools and the ease of high-cell density cultivations using methanol or glycerol/methanol mixtures are among the key factors for this development. Previous studies have shown that the use of mixed feeds of glycerol and methanol seem to alleviate the metabolic burden derived from protein production, allowing for higher specific and volumetric process productivities. However, initial studies of glycerol/methanol co-metabolism in P. pastoris by classical metabolic flux analyses using (13)C-derived Metabolic Flux Ratio (METAFoR) constraints were hampered by the reduced labelling information obtained when using C3:C1 substrate mixtures in relation to the conventional C6 substrate, i.e. glucose. In this study, carbon flux distributions through the central metabolic pathways in glycerol/methanol co-assimilation conditions have been further characterised using biosynthetically directed fractional (13)C labelling. In particular, metabolic flux distributions were obtained under 3 different glycerol/methanol ratios and growth rates by iterative fitting of NMR-derived (13)C-labelling data from proteinogenic amino acids using the software tool (13)CFlux2. Specifically, cells were grown aerobically in chemostat cultures fed with 80:20, 60:40 and 40:60 (w:w) glycerol/methanol mixtures at two dilutions rates (0.05h(-1) and 0.16h(-1)), allowing to obtain additional data (biomass composition and extracellular fluxes) to complement pre-existing datasets. The performed (13)C-MFA reveals a significant redistribution of carbon fluxes in the central carbon metabolism as a result of the shift in the dilution rate, while the ratio of carbon sources have a lower impact on carbon flux distribution in cells growing at the same dilution rate. At low growth rate, the percentage of methanol directly dissimilated to CO2 ranges between 50 -70%. At high growth rate the methanol is completely dissimilated to CO2 by the direct pathway, in the two conditions of highest methanol content.
 
Article
The characterization of beta-glucosidase's production and distribution in a mutant strain Trichoderma viride T 100-14 at extracellular and intracellular levels were studied in this paper. Three experiment groups were done automatically with pH controlled at 4.8 during fermentation process, with 1mg/ml 2-deoxy-d-glucose addition or without pH control and 2-deoxy-d-glucose addition (control). Activity assay and electron microscopic immunogold labeling experiments were performed at different culture periods (24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 hours). Under constant pH 4.8, high density of immunogold labeling particles, highest intracellular enzyme activity, total enzyme activity and specific activity were observed at 24 hours of fermentation. After 72 hours, the extracellular and total activities fluctuated little and the maximal activity in extracellular fraction was 2.7 times higher than control. By contrast, with 2-deoxy-d-glucose addition, the secreted and total beta-glucosidase activities achieved their maximum at 96 hours of fermentation, and the maximal secreted activity increased 2.05-fold than the control. Additionally, the secretion ratio (maximal secreted beta-glucosidase activity/maximal total activity) with pH control or 2-deoxy-d-glucose addition was elevated profoundly near to a level as the cellulase in fungi.
 
Article
While many traditional gene therapy strategies attempt to deliver new copies of wild-type genes back to cells harboring the defective genes, RNA-directed strategies offer a range of novel therapeutic applications. Revision or reprogramming of mRNA is a form of gene therapy that modifies mRNA without directly changing the transcriptional regulation or the genomic gene sequence. Group I ribozymes can be engineered to act in trans by recognizing a separate RNA molecule in a sequence-specific manner, and to covalently link a new RNA sequence to this separate RNA molecule. Group I ribozymes have been shown to repair defective transcripts that cause human genetic or malignant diseases, as well as to replace transcript sequences by foreign RNA resulting in new cellular functions. This review provides an overview of current strategies using trans-splicing group I ribozymes in RNA repair and reprogramming.
 
Article
Biodesulfurization (BDS) aims at the removal of recalcitrant sulfur from fossil fuels at mild operating conditions with the aid of microorganisms. These microorganisms can remove sulfur from dibenzothiphene (DBT), a model compound, or other polycyclic aromatic used as sulfur source, making BDS an easy and environmental friendly process. Gordonia alkanivorans strain 1B has been described as a desulfurizing bacterium, able to desulfurize DBT to 2-hydroxybiphenyl (2-HBP), the final product of the 4S pathway, using d-glucose as carbon source. However, both cell growth and desulfurization can be largely affected by the nutrient composition of the growth medium, due to cofactor requirements of many enzymes involved in the BDS biochemical pathway. In this study, the main goal was to investigate the influence of several sugars, as carbon source, on the growth and DBT desulfurization ability of G. alkanivorans strain 1B. The results of desulfurization tests showed that the lowest values for the growth rate (0.025hour(-1)) and for the overall 2-HBP production rate (1.80μm/hour) by the strain 1B were obtained in glucose grown cultures. When using sucrose, the growth rate increase exhibited by strain 1B led to a higher biomass productivity, which induced a slightly increase in the 2-HBP production rate (1.91μm/hour), conversely in terms of 2-HBP specific production rate (q2-HBP) the value obtained was markedly lower (0.718μmol/g/hour in sucrose versus 1.22μmol/g/hour in glucose). When a mixture of glucose and fructose was used as carbon source, strain 1B reached a value of q2-HBP=1.90μmol/g/hour, close to that in fructose (q2-HBP=2.12μmol/g/hour). The highest values for both cell growth (μ=0.091hour(-1)) and 2-HPB production (9.29μm/hour) were obtained when strain 1B was desulfurizing DBT in the presence of fructose as the only carbon source, indicating a fructophilic behaviour by this bacterium. This fact is in agreement with the highest value of biomass productivity by strain 1B be in fructose, which resulted in a higher amount cells fulfilling the DBT-desulfurization. The greater number of functional cells conducted to a more effectiveness BDS process by strain 1B, as they attained a q2-HBP about 74% higher than in glucose grown cultures. Moreover, this significant BDS enhancement can better be observed in terms of the overall 2-HBP production rate, which increased over 5-fold, from 1.80μm/hour (in glucose) to 9.29μm/hour (in fructose).
 
Article
2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BDO) is a value-added chemical with great potential for the industrial production of synthetic rubber, plastic and solvent. For microbial production of 2,3-BDO, in this study, Klebsiella oxytoca NBRF4 was constructed by chemical mutation and screening against NaBr, NaBrO(3) and fluoroacetate. Among metabolic enzymes involved in the production of lactate, acetate and 2,3-BDO, K. oxytoca NBRF4 possessed 1.2 times lower specific activities of lactate dehydrogenase and phosphotransacetylase, and 22% higher specific acetoin reductase activity than the K. oxytoca ATCC43863 control strain. A series of batch fermentations in a defined medium and application of a statistical tool of response surface method led to the determination of optimal culture conditions: 10% dissolved oxygen level, pH 4.3 and 38°C. The actual results of batch fermentation at the optimal conditions using 44g/L glucose were coincident with the predetermined values: 14.4g/L 2,3-BDO concentration, 0.32g/g yield. To increase 2,3-BDO titer, fed-batch fermentation of K. oxytoca NBRF4 was performed by an intermittent feeding of 800g/L glucose to control its concentration around 5-20g/L in the culture broth. Finally, 34.2g/L 2,3-BDO concentration and 0.35g/g yield were obtained without organic acid production in 70hours of the fed-batch culture, which were 2.4 and 1.2 times higher than those of the batch fermentation using 44g/L glucose.
 
Article
The applicability of a sequencing batch two phase partitioning bioreactor (TPPB) to the biodegradation of a highly toxic compound, 2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP) (EC(50)=2.3-40mgL(-1)) was investigated. A kinetic study of the individual process steps (DCP absorption into the polymer, desorption and biodegradation) was performed and, based on favourable absorption/desorption characteristics (DCP diffusivity of 6.6×10(-8)cm(2)s(-1)), the commercial polymer Tone P787 (Dow Chemical), was utilized as the sequestering phase for TPPB operation. Batch kinetic biodegradation tests were performed in both single- and two-phase modes, and the Haldane equation kinetic parameters were estimated (k=1.3×10(-2)mgDCPmgVSS(-1)h(-1), K(I)=35mgDCPL(-1) and K(s)=18mgDCPL(-1)), confirming the highly toxic nature of DCP. Consistent with these findings, operation of the single-phase system showed that for an initial DCP concentration of 130mgL(-1) the biomass was completely inhibited and DCP was not degraded, while the two-phase system achieved near-complete DCP removal. In sequencing batch mode the TPPB had a removal efficiency of 91% within 500min for a feed of 320mgL(-1), which exceeds the highest concentration previously degraded. These results have confirmed the effectiveness of the use of small amounts (5%, v/v) of inexpensive commercial polymers as the partitioning phase in TPPB reactors for the treatment of a highly toxic substrate at influent loads that are prohibitive for conventional single-phase operation, and suggest that similar detoxification of wastewater influents is achievable for other target cytotoxic substrates.
 
Article
The anaerobic degradation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (246TCP) has been studied in batch experiments. Granular sludges previously acclimated to 2,4-dichlorophenol (24DCP) and then adapted to at a load of 330 μM 246TCPd(-1) in two expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactors were used. One of the reactors had been bioaugmented with Desulfitobacterium strains whereas the other served as control. 246TCP was tested at concentrations between 250 and 760 μM. The study focused on the fate of both fermentation products and chlorophenols derived from dechlorination of 246TCP. This compound mainly affected the biodegradation of acetate and propionate, which were inhibited at 246TCP concentrations above 380 μM. Lactate and ethanol were also accumulated at 760 μM 246TCP. Methanogenesis was strongly inhibited at 246TCP concentrations higher than 380 μM. A diauxic production of methane was observed, which can be described by a kinetic model in which acetoclastic methanogenesis was inhibited, whereas hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis was hardly affected by 246TCP. The similarity of the kinetic parameters obtained for the control and the bioaugmented sludges (K(i)=175-200 μM 246TCP and n=7) suggests that methanogenesis is not affected by the bioaugmentation. Moreover, the 246TCP dechlorination occurred mainly at ortho position, successively generating 24DCP and 4-chlorophenol (4CP), which was identified as final product. The bioaugmentation does not significantly improve the anaerobic biodegradation of 246TCP. It has been shown that the active biomass is capable of bioaccumulating 246TCP and products from dechlorination, which are subsequently excreted to the bulk medium when the biomass becomes active again. A kinetic model is proposed which simultaneously explains 246TCP and 24DCP reductive dechlorinations and includes the 246TCP bioaccumulation. The values of the kinetic parameters for 246TCP dechlorination were not affected by bioaugmentation (V(max)=5.3 and 5.1 μM h(-1) and K(s)=5.8 and 13.1 μM for control and bioaugmented sludges, respectively).
 
Callusing and regeneration of plantlets from mature seed derived embryogenic callus of PAU 201. (a) Scutellar-derived callus with seed. (b) Subcultured embryogenic callus. (c) Initiation of shoots on regeneration medium. (d) Green shoots from embryogenic calli in shooting medium. (e) Plantlet growth in shooting medium. (f) Hardening of rooted plantlets. (g) Normal plants regenerated from mature seed derived embryogenic callus in green house. 
Article
Tissue culture is one of the tools necessary for genetic engineering and many other breeding programs. Moreover, selection of high regenerating rice varieties is a pre-requisite for success in rice biotechnology. In this report we established a reproducible plant regeneration system through somatic embryogenesis. The explants used for regeneration were embryogenic calli derived from mature seeds cultured on callus induction media. For callus induction mature seeds were cultured on MS medium containing 30 g/l sucrose combined with 560 mg/l proline and 1.5-3.5 mg/l 2,4-D and 0.5-1.5 mg/l Kin. For plant regeneration, embryogenic calli were transferred to MS medium containing 30 g/l sucrose, supplemented with 1.0-3.0 mg/l BAP, 0.5-1.5 mg/l Kin and 0.5-1.5 mg/l NAA. The highest frequency of callus induction (44.4%) was observed on the MS medium supplemented with 2.5 mg/l 2,4-D, 0.5 mg/l Kin, 560 mg/l proline and 30 g/l sucrose. The highest frequency of shoot regeneration (42.5%) was observed on the MS medium supplemented with 2.0 mg/l BAP, 0.5 mg/l NAA and 0.5 mg/l Kin. The plantlets were hardened and transferred to soil in earthen pots. The developed method was highly reproducible. The in vitro developed plants showed normal growth and flowering under glasshouse conditions.
 
Article
The sixth edition of the Conference on Recombinant Protein Production saw a return of physiology-based cell and process engineering. While the application of omics technologies to cell engineering has been constantly on the rise during the past decade, the concept of systems biotechnology is now also applied on bioprocesses bringing new insights into process design and production strategies. The conference brought an extensive comparative view on host cell physiology, covering all areas of bacterial, yeast, fungal, insect, plant and mammalian protein production hosts. Global (genome scale) cellular analysis led to local cell engineering strategies covering also interspecies host optimization strategies, and bringing energy requirements during recombinant protein production back into focus. Additionally, the development of novel secretion systems was presented, giving one example of how to combine industry's needs with highly ambitious fundamental research.
 
Article
This special issue of New Biotechnology is focused on molecular diagnostics and personalised medicine and appears at an epochal moment in the development of the field. The practice of medicine is taking a significant and irrevocable turn towards personalisation, due to the great progress in areas such as genomics, pharmacogenomics and molecular diagnosis. It becomes increasingly apparent that to deliver the promise of personalised treatments, more and more novel medicines discovered today will be presented together with innovative companion diagnostics. The contributions to this volume touch on many disciplines, ranging from cell biology to genetics, immunology, molecular diagnostics, pharmaceutics and economic issues. The contributions of clinicians and basic scientists are synergistically presented to underline better the wide spectrum of studies that can contribute to the new field of personalised medicine. The promising perspectives of individualised treatments are related not only to higher effectiveness, but also to increased efficiency. This is relevant not only for the individual patient, but even more so for the general public, within a wider economical perspective where resources are limited and it becomes more and more mandatory to close the gap between social costs and benefits. This approach follows the steps of a stratified and individualised medicine and finds its final goal in an individualised healthcare.
 
Article
In this study, a recombinant monoclonal IgG antibody was produced by transient gene expression (TGE) in suspension-adapted HEK-293E cells. The objective of the study was to determine the variation in recombinant IgG yield and glycosylation in ten independent transfections. In a ten-day batch process, the variation in transient IgG yield in the ten batches was less than 30% with the specific productivity averaging 20.2 ± 2.6 pg/cell/day. We characterized the N-glycosylation profile of each batch of affinity-purified IgG by intact protein and bottom-up mass spectrometry. Four major glycans were identified at Asn(297) in the ten batches with the maximum relative deviation for a single glycoform being 2.5%. In addition, within any single transfection there was little variation in glycoforms over the ten-day culture. Our experimental data indicate that with TGE, the production of recombinant IgG with little batch-to-batch variation in volumetric yield and protein glycosylation is feasible, even in a non-instrumented cultivation system as described here.
 
Article
Co-cultivation of mutant Penicillium oxalicum SAU(E)-3.510 and Pleurotus ostreatus MTCC 1804 was evaluated for the production of xylanase-laccase mixture under solid-state fermentation (SSF) condition. Growth compatibility between mutant P. oxalicum SAU(E)-3.510 and white rot fungi (P. ostreatus MTCC 1804, Trametes hirsuta MTCC 136 and Pycnoporus sp. MTCC 137) was analyzed by growing them on potato dextrose agar plate. Extracellular enzyme activities were determined spectrophotometrically. Under derived conditions, paired culturing of mutant P. oxalicum SAU(E)-3.510 and P. ostreatus MTCC 1804 resulted in 58% and 33% higher levels of xylanase and laccase production, respectively. A combination of sugarcane bagasse and black gram husk in a ratio of 3:1 was found to be the most ideal solid substrate and support for fungal colonization and enzyme production during co-cultivation. Maximum levels of xylanase (8205.31 ± 168.31 IU g(-1)) and laccase (375.53 ± 34.17 IU g(-1)) during SSF were obtained by using 4 g of solid support with 80% of moisture content. Furthermore, expressions of both xylanase and laccase were characterized during mixed culture by zymogram analysis. Improved levels of xylanase and laccase biosynthesis were achieved by co-culturing the mutant P. oxalicum SAU(E)-3.510 and P. ostreatus MTCC 1804. This may be because of efficient substrate utilization as compared to their respective monocultures in the presence of lignin degradation compounds because of synergistic action of xylanase and laccase. Understanding and developing the process of co-cultivation appears productive for the development of mixed enzyme preparation with tremendous potential for biobleaching.
 
Article
The focus of this study was on production, purification and characterization of dehairing protease from Pseudomonas aeruginosa MCM B-327, isolated from vermicompost pit soil. Optimum protease activity, 395 U mL(-1), was observed in the medium containing soybean meal and tryptone, at pH 7 and 30 °C. The crude enzyme exhibited dehairing activity. As compared to chemical method, enzymatic method of dehairing showed reduction in COD, TDS and TSS by 34.28%, 37.32% and 51.58%, respectively. Zymogram of crude enzyme on native-PAGE presented two bands with protease activity of molecular weights of 56 and 67 kDa. Both proteases showed dehairing activity. Out of these, 56kDa protease (PA02) was purified 3.05-folds with 2.71% recovery. The enzyme was active in pH range 7-9 and temperature 20-50 °C with optimum pH of 8 and temperature 35°C. Moreover, the enzyme activity of PA02 protease was not strongly inhibited by specific inhibitor showing the novel nature of enzyme compared to serine, cysteine, aspartyl and metalloproteases. Kinetic studies indicated that substrate specificity of PA02 protease was towards various natural and synthetic proteolytic substrates but inactive against collagen and keratin. These findings suggest protease secreted by P. aeruginosa MCM B-327 may have application in dehairing for environment-friendly leather processing.
 
Article
The transgenic plant performance depends on the stable expression of the integrated transgene. In this paper, we have analyzed the stability of the most frequently used constitutive promoter, the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter. We used several independent Nicotiana tabacum lines transgenic for the luciferase (LUC) or green fluorescence protein (GFP) coding genes driven by the same 35S promoter. As an indication of the expression level, we measured the steady state RNA level, protein level and protein activity. Exposure of plants to an acute single dose of UVC, UVB or X-ray radiation resulted in a decrease of the transgene expression level, whereas exposure to high temperature increased it. In most of the cases, the expression changed at one to two hours post exposure and returned to normal at four hours. By contrast, plants germinated and grown in the presence of a low dose of either UVB radiation or CuSO(4) for two weeks did not show any changes in expression level. We conclude that although the expression level of the transgenes driven by the 35S promoter can be transiently altered by the acute exposure, no substantial changes occur upon constant low exposure.
 
Article
The "4D Biology Workshop for Health and Disease", held on 16-17th of March 2010 in Brussels, aimed at finding the best organising principles for large-scale proteomics, interactomics and structural genomics/biology initiatives, and setting the vision for future high-throughput research and large-scale data gathering in biological and medical science. Major conclusions of the workshop include the following. (i) Development of new technologies and approaches to data analysis is crucial. Biophysical methods should be developed that span a broad range of time/spatial resolution and characterise structures and kinetics of interactions. Mathematics, physics, computational and engineering tools need to be used more in biology and new tools need to be developed. (ii) Database efforts need to focus on improved definitions of ontologies and standards so that system-scale data and associated metadata can be understood and shared efficiently. (iii) Research infrastructures should play a key role in fostering multidisciplinary research, maximising knowledge exchange between disciplines and facilitating access to diverse technologies. (iv) Understanding disease on a molecular level is crucial. System approaches may represent a new paradigm in the search for biomarkers and new targets in human disease. (v) Appropriate education and training should be provided to help efficient exchange of knowledge between theoreticians, experimental biologists and clinicians. These conclusions provide a strong basis for creating major possibilities in advancing research and clinical applications towards personalised medicine.
 
Article
The reversible phosphorylation of tyrosine residues is one of the most frequent post-translational modifications regulating enzymatic activities and protein-protein interactions in eukaryotic cells. Cells responding to internal or external regulatory inputs modify their phosphorylation status and diseased cells can often be diagnosed by observing alterations in their qualitative or quantitative phosphorylation profile. As a consequence the ability to describe the phosphorylation profile of a cell is central to many approaches aiming at the characterisation of signalling pathways. Anti-phosphotyrosine (pY) antibodies are widely used as experimental tools to monitor the phosphorylation status of a cell. By using peptide microarray technology we have characterised the substrate specificity of three widely used pY antibodies. We report that they are more sensitive to sequence context than is generally assumed and that their sequence preferences differ.
 
Article
A bacterium isolated from activated sludge of propylene epoxide wastewater was identified as Agrobacterium sp. M-503. It was confirmed to produce bioflocculant with excellent flocculation activity. The yield of the bioflocculant reached 14.9 g/l in batch cultivation with a carbon source conversion of 74.5%. This bioflocculant was temperature and alkaline stable, retaining almost all flocculation activity after being treated at 121°C for 20 minutes or at pH 12.0. It consisted of neutral sugar, uronic acid, aminosugar and protein in weight ratios of 85.0:9.9:2.1:3.0. The active polysaccharide fraction of the bioflocculant was purified to homogeneity by ethanol precipitation, DEAE ion-exchange and gel chromatography. Analysis of the purified polysaccharide showed that it consisted of glucose residues and had a molecular weight of 8.1 × 10⁴ Da. Its low molecular weight endowed it with excellent solubility and favorable flocculation activity, especially for small particulates.
 
Article
A novel chitin deacetylase (CDA) producing strain Penicillium oxalicum ITCC 6965 was isolated from residual materials of sea food processing industries. Strain following mutagenesis using ethidium bromide (EtBr) and microwave irradiation had resulted into a mutant P. oxalicum SAE(M)-51 having improved levels of chitin deacetylase (210.71 ± 1.65 Ul(-1)) as compared to the wild type strain (108.26 ± 1.98 Ul(-1)). Maximum enzyme production was achieved in submerged fermentation following 144 hours of incubation with notably improved productivity of 1.46 ± 0.82 Ul(-1) h(-1) as compared to the wild type strain (0.75 ± 0.53 Ul(-1)h(-1)). Scanning electron micrographs of mutant and wild type strains had revealed distinct morphological features. Evaluation of kinetic parameters viz. Q(s), Q(p), Y(p/x), Y(p/s), q(p), q(s) had denoted that strain P. oxalicum SAE(M)-51 is a hyper producer of chitin deacetylase. Glucose as compared to chitin or colloidal chitin had resulted in increased levels of enzyme production. However, replacement of glucose with chitinous substrates had prolonged the duration for enzyme production. The mutant strain had two pH optima that is 6.0 and 8.0 and had an optimum temperature of 30 °C for growth and enzyme production.
 
Article
In the global context of increased concerns for our environment, the use of bioplastics as a replacement for existing petroleum-based polymers is an important challenge. Indeed, bioplastics hardly meet economical and technical constraints. One, of the most promising among currently studied bioplastics, is the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). To circumvent the economical issue for this particular biopolymer one solution can be the enhancement of the overall productivity by the improvement of the nutritional medium of the microorganism producing the biopolymer. Thus, several nutrition media, supplemented or not with sodium glutamate, were tested for the growth and the PHA production by Cupriavidus necator DSM 545 strain. The most efficient for the biomass and the PHA production improvement were found to be the Luria broth (LB) and the Bonnarme's media, both supplemented with 10g/L sodium glutamate. Hence the overall productivity was 33 times enhanced comparing to traditional cultivation methods. These results open a new route for the PHA production by C. necator which appears to be more suitable on a rich, or enriched, medium with no limiting factors.
 
Article
Aspergillus strain SA 58, showing considerable beta glucosidase production was selected as the potential strain. The fungus showed enzyme production in both acidic and alkaline pH. A temperature of 35 degrees C was found to be optimum for enzyme production. Maximum enzyme production was seen when pectin was used as the carbon source (80 U/ml). In solid-state fermentation, an enzyme production of 6200 U/g Initial Dry Substrate was noted. The strain produced two extra cellular enzymes and two intra cellular enzymes. For both the extra cellular enzymes (BGL A and BGL B), 60 degrees C was found to be optimum temperature for activity. BGL A showed an optimum pH of 4.0 while BGL B showed an optimum pH of 3.0 for activity. Both the enzymes showed a second peak of activity at pH 9.0. Both BGL A and BGL B showed high thermal stabilities with residual activities of 86% and 85% even after 6h of incubation at 50 degrees C.
 
Article
Recent years have seen tremendous progress in next generation sequencing technologies, allowing genomic sequencing in a highly cost-effective manner. However, sample preparation for these sequencers remains a bottleneck as the human genome is too complex to be routinely resequenced. We present here an in-depth study of HybSelect, a method that can specifically enrich a large number of genes or regions of interest from any chromosomal DNA. The study used Escherichia coli K12 MG1655 as a model organism to test parameters such as method fidelity, capacity or reproducibility as a proof-of-principle.
 
Molecular weight distribution of aGTase-treated cornstarches by HPSEC. (A) Waxy corn starch; (B) normal corn starch; (C) amylomaize V; (D) amylomaize VII. In each chromatogram, HMW, IMW and LMW stand for high-, intermediate-and low-molecular-weight regions. 
Article
A putative 4-alpha-glucanotransferase (alphaGTase) gene from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 was identified being composed of 1505 nucleotides, and the overexpressed protein was purified with an affinity chromatography. The recombinant alphaGTase had about 57kDa of molecular mass when judged by SDS-PAGE analysis. The optimum reaction condition of the alphaGTase was shown to be pH 7 at 45 degrees C in 50mm phosphate buffer. This enzyme displayed transglycosylating activity on various maltooligosaccharides, of which the smallest donor and acceptor molecules were determined to be maltose and glucose, respectively. Various corn starches consisting of different proportions of amylopectin and amylose were incubated with the recombinant alphaGTase. The change in molecular weight distribution of alphaGTase-modified starch was analyzed by HPSEC. The reaction pattern of alphaGTase showed substantial decrease in amylopectin and increase in the peak corresponding to cycloamylose (CA). The production yield of CA tended to increase from 5 to 30% along with the increase in the apparent amylose content in corn starch, which suggested that linear amylose chain would be preferred to produce CA in the alphaGTase treatment. The detectable minimum degree of polymerization (DP) of CA was shown to be 22 by MALDI-TOF-MS analysis. As another action mode of alphaGTase, the rearrangement of amylopectin branch-chain distribution occurred without hydrolysis to small oligosaccharides. After isoamylolysis, alphaGTase-treated starch displayed the increase in DP 4-9 and longer than DP 21 when the relative proportion of branch chains in amylopectin was determined by HPAEC.
 
Article
The hydroxylation of unsaturated fatty acids by bacterial strains is one type of value-adding bioconversion processes. This process generates new hydroxy fatty acids (HFA) carrying special properties such as higher viscosity and reactivity compared with normal fatty acids. Among microbial strains tested for HFA production, Pseudomonas aeruginosa PR3 is well known to utilize various unsaturated fatty acids to produce mono-, di- and tri-hydroxy fatty acids. Previously we reported that strain PR3 could produce a novel value-added hydroxy fatty acid 7,10-dihydroxy-8(E)-hexadecenoic acid (DHD) from palmitoleic acid (Bae et al. (2007) Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 75, 435-440). In this study, we focused on the development of the optimal nutritional and environmental conditions for DHD production from palmitoleic acid by PR3. Optimal carbon and nitrogen sources for DHD production were fructose and yeast extract, respectively. Optimal initial medium pH and incubation temperature were pH 8.0 and 30 degrees C and magnesium ion was essentially required for DHD production. Substrate concentration and time of substrate addition were also optimized. Under optimized conditions, maximal DHD production was 1600mg/l representing 26.7% conversion yield.
 
Article
Microbial conversion of unsaturated fatty acids often leads to special changes in their product structures and in biological potential. In our continuous effort to screen natural products for their antimicrobial and enzyme inhibitor activities, we found that 10-hydroxy-8(E)-octadecenoic acid (HOD) exhibited strong anti-alpha-glucosidase (EC 3.2.1.20) activity. HOD is an intermediate in the bioconversion of oleic acid to 7,10-dihydroxy-8(E)-octadecenoic acid (DOD) by a bacterial isolate, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PR3). Diabetes mellitus is the most serious, chronic metabolic disorder characterized by defect in insulin secretion and action, which can lead to damage blood vessels and nerves. We analyzed the inhibitory activity of HOD and the commercially available antidiabetic remedy, acarbose. We found that HOD exhibited a better inhibition (IC(50) 0.07+/-0.12) on alpha-glucosidase as compared to acarbose (IC(50) 0.42+/-0.1). HOD showed competitive inhibition against yeast alpha-glucosidase. Our study is the first report on anti-alpha-glucosidase activity of HOD and could be helpful to develop medicinal preparation or functional food for diabetes and related symptoms.
 
Article
Brewer's spent grain (BSG) was used as a solid substrate for the production of α-amylase by Bacillus sp. KR-8104 in a submerged fermentation system. The production of α-amylase was maximized through statistical optimization of the BSG concentration and incubation time using the Doehlert experimental design. The highest tested amount of BSG (5%, w/v) in the optimization process resulted in a 5.1-fold enhancement of the response. Subsequently, we studied the role of the water-soluble and -insoluble fractions of BSG in the production of α-amylase. The results revealed that whole BSG had a greater effect on the production of α-amylase than each fraction had separately. Finally, when we examined the potential of BSG to replace the constituents of a medium formula, we observed that simultaneously adding BSG, omitting dextrin, and reducing the other ingredients concentration in the culture medium improved the production of α-amylase and made the production process more economical.
 
Article
The ability of fermenting microorganisms to tolerate furan aldehyde inhibitors (furfural and 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF)) will enhance efficient bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysates to fuels and chemicals. The effect of furfural and HMF on butanol production by Clostridium acetobutylicum 824 was investigated. Whereas specific growth rates, μ, of C. acetobutylicum in the presence of furfural and HMF were in the range of 15-85% and 23-78%, respectively, of the uninhibited Control, μ increased by 8-15% and 23-38% following exhaustion of furfural and HMF in the bioreactor. Using high performance liquid chromatography and spectrophotometric assays, batch fermentations revealed that furfural and HMF were converted to furfuryl alcohol and 2,5-bis-hydroxymethylfuran, respectively, with specific conversion rates of 2.13g furfural and 0.50g HMF per g (biomass) per hour, by exponentially growing C. acetobutylicum. Biotransformation of these furans to lesser inhibitory compounds by C. acetobutylicum will probably enhance overall fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysates to butanol.
 
Article
High level production of an extracellular cellulase-poor alkali stable xylanase has been conceded from newly isolated Bacillus pumilus SV-85S under solid state fermentation using wheat bran as a substrate. Optimization of the fermentation conditions enhanced the enzyme production to 73,000 ± 1,000 IU/g dry substrate, which was 13.8-fold higher than unoptimized conditions (5,300 IU/g). The enzyme titre was highest after 48 h of incubation at 30°C with 1:3 ratios of substrate to moistening agent using wheat bran as a carbon source. The enzyme could be produced in significant levels by using either tap water or distilled water alone as a moistening agent. An elevated production of xylanase by B. pumilus SV-85S in the presence of wheat bran, a cheap and easily available agro-residue, in shorter duration would apparently reduce the enzyme cost substantially. The enzyme was completely stable over a broad pH (5-11) range and retained 52% of its activity at a temperature of 70°C for 30 min. The desired characteristics of this enzyme together with economic production would be important for its application in paper and pulp industry.
 
Article
Mass spectrometry-based analysis techniques are widely applied in proteomics. This study presents a novel method for quantitative multiplex candidate protein profiling. It applies immunocapture of differentially labeled protein complements on hydrogel antibody arrays and subsequent quantification by MS. To make this approach quantitative a labeling approach was devised. The impact of labeling on the antibody/antigen interaction was assessed in detail by surface plasmon resonance. Owing to there solution by mass more than two protein samples can be compared simultaneously. Direct labeling of crude samples such as sera was developed and so enables the absolute quantification of target proteins straight from crude samples without a protein purification step. It was used to measure the concentration of apolipoprotein A-1 in serum. This method has been termed A2M2S for Affinity Array sand MALDI Mass Spectrometry.
 
Article
Enterobacter sp. LY402 is a bacterium isolated from polluted soil. It can efficiently degrade polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) under aerobic conditions. However, the degradation was limited when it comes to high chlorine or double para-substituted PCBs. Biphenyl dioxygenase (BDO) is the key enzyme in the PCBs biodegradation process. It has been confirmed that the α-subunit of the iron-sulfur protein of biphenyl 2,3-dioxygenase (BphA1) directly influenced catalytic activities and substrate specificity. To know the degradation characteristics of BDO to PCBs, we analyzed PCBs degradation abilities of BphA1 from Enterobacter sp. LY402 by experiment and molecular simulation. Firstly, the degradation experiment of PCBs was performed, and the degradation rate constants (k) were calculated. Then the three-dimensional model of LY402-BphA1 was constructed. Through further docking studies with 209 PCB congeners, the PCBs binding abilities of LY402-BphA1 were measured and some crucial active site residues were identified. Moreover, the molecular descriptors of PCBs were calculated and analyzed to determine the correlation of molecular properties and degradation. The results showed that the affinity energy of PCBs was well matched with the k values of the different number of chlorine substituents. The binding ability of BphA1 greatly affected the PCBs degradation abilities of BDO. Hydrophobic contact was the main interaction between the residues of active site and PCB substrates. The number and subposition of chlorine substituents would influence the PCBs binding ability of BphA1 significantly. Ser283, Val287, Gly321 and Tyr384 residues in the active site of LY402-BphA1 showed high variability, and the space limitation of the active site of BphA1 had negative influence on the PCBs binding affinity of BDO. The changes of physical, electronic and geometrical properties could influence degradation and binding affinity of PCBs. Analysis of structural information, binding affinity and influences of molecular properties could be used to direct further modification of BDO to enhance biodegradation of PCBs and other toxic compounds.
 
Article
An interview with Alexander von Gabain, CSO of Intercell, one of the leading companies in the area of vaccine development.
 
Top-cited authors
Wilhelm Ansorge
  • former director DEPARTMENT GENOMICS TECHNOLOGY EMBL
Martin Koller
  • Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Alfredo Aguilar
  • European Federation Of Biotechnology
Gerhart Braunegg
  • Graz University of Technology
Miguel Miranda De Sousa Dias
  • Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris 6