31,369 research outputs found

    Revisão taxonómica do género Calendula L. (Asteraceae - Calenduleae) na Península Ibérica e Marrocos

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    The genus Calendula L. (Asteraceae - Calenduleae) includes, depending on the author, 10 to 25 species, distributed mainly in the Mediterranean basin. The taxonomy of this genus is considered to be extremely difficult, due to a great morphological variability, doubtfull relevance of some of the characters used to distinguish its species (e.g. the life form: annual or perennial; the habit: erect or diffuse, shape of the leaves, indumentum, relative size of the capitula and colour of disc or ray florets, achene morphology), but also due to the hybridization and polyploidization. Despite the numerous studies that have been published, no agreement on the classification and characters used to discriminate between taxa has been reached. A taxonomic study of the genus Calendula was conducted for the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco, aiming at (1) access the morphological variability between and within taxa, (2) confirm the chromosome numbers, (3) increase the nuclear DNA content estimations, (4) re-evaluate taxa delimitations and circumscription, and (5) reassess, and redefine, the descriptions and characters useful to distinguish taxa. In order to achieve a satisfying taxonomic core, extensive fieldwork, detailed morphometric analysis, chorological, karyological and genome size studies were conducted. For the Iberian Peninsula, four species were recognized, including nine subspecies (between these two new subspecies were described). For Morocco, including some taxa from Algeria and Tunisia 13 species were recognized (two new species and a nomenclatural change), including 15 subspecies (among these eight new subspecies were described). To corroborate the results obtained and to evaluate the evolutionary relationships among taxa, phylogenetic studies using molecular methods, such as ITS, microsatellites or other molecular markers, should be used.O género Calendula L. (Asteraceae - Calenduleae) inclui, dependendo do autor, 10 a 25 espécies, distribuídas essencialmente na bacia do Mediterrâneo. A taxonomia deste género é considerada extremamente difícil, devido à grande variabilidade morfológica, discutivel relevância de alguns dos caracteres utilizados para distinguir suas espécies (por exemplo, a forma de vida: anual ou perene, o hábito: erecto ou difuso, a forma das folhas, o indumento, o tamanho e a cor dos capítulos e a morfologia dos aquénios), mas também devido à hibridização e poliploidização. Apesar dos inúmeros estudos que foram publicados, não foi alcançado um acordo sobre a classificação e os caracteres utilizados para discriminar as suas espécies. Um estudo taxonómico do género Calendula foi realizado para a Península Ibérica e Marrocos, com o objectivo de (1) verificar a variabilidade morfológica, (2) confirmar o número de cromossomas, (3) aumentar as estimativas de conteúdo em ADN, (4) reavaliar a delimitação e a circunscrição dos taxa, e (5) reavaliar e redefinir as descrições e caracteres úteis para os distinguir. Para alcançar uma robustês taxonómica satisfatória, foram realizados extensos trabalhos de campo, análise morfométrica detalhada, abordagens corológicas, cariológicas e quanto ao conteúdo em ADN. Para a Península Ibérica, quatro espécies foram reconhecidas, incluindo nove subespécies (entre essas duas novas subespécies foram descritas). Para Marrocos, incluindo alguns taxa da Argelia e Tunisia, foram reconhecidas 13 espécies (duas novas e uma mudança nomenclatural), incluindo 15 subespécies (entre essas oito novas subespécies foram descritas). Para corroborar os resultados obtidos e avaliar as relações evolutivas e filogenéticas entre os taxa, estudos que utilizem diferentes métodos moleculares, tais como ITS, microsatélites ou outros marcadores moleculares, devem ser utilizados.Apoio financeiro do Laboratório Associado CESAM - Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (AMB/50017) financiado por fundos nacionais através da FCT/MCTES e cofinanciado pelo FEDER (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007638), no âmbito do Acordo de Parceria PT2020, e Compete 2020Programa Doutoral em Biologi

    Enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation of soy flour to produce ethanol and soy protein concentrate with increased polyphenols

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    Defatted soybean flour (DSF) is a protein-rich ingredient; however, it contains 30-35% carbohydrates, which is made up in parts by sucrose, flatulence-causing oligosaccharides, and water-insoluble cell-wall polysaccharides. A process was developed to produce soy protein concentrates (SPC) by substantially hydrolyzing these carbohydrates with the help of enzymes into water-soluble saccharides and monomeric sugars, which were simultaneously utilized by Saccharomyces cerevisiae for fermentation into ethanol. The enzyme mixture consisted of a cellulase blend, pectinase blend, and α-galactosidase. The effect of process time on SPC protein concentration, overall protein recovery, carbohydrate hydrolysis, yeast growth, ethanol concentration, and total polyphenol concentration of SPC and hydrolysate were evaluated. Control and enzymes-only (EO) systems were maintained in conjunction with the enzymes + yeast (EY) system to individually assess the impact of isoelectric precipitation of soy proteins and enzymatic hydrolysis of carbohydrates without yeasts in the production of SPC. After 12.25 hours of EY process, 100 g of dry DSF produced 68.45 g dry SPC containing 72.23 ± 0.25% protein and 384 mL hydrolysate containing 9.76 ± 0.05 mg/mL ethanol. Protein recovery from DSF in the form of SPC was 84.4 ± 0.4%. Viable yeast count steadily declined from 1.6 ± 0.1×106 CFU/mL slurry at the start of the process to 7.9 ± 1.3×105 CFU/mL slurry after 12.25 hours. Flatulence causing raffinose-series-oligosaccharides were completely hydrolyzed into their monomeric sugars during this process. Total soluble carbohydrates in the EY treatment were consistently lower than control and EO treatment, suggesting that the yeasts were able to ferment sugars as they were becoming available. Total polyphenol concentration (TPC) of SPC increased more than twofold from 1.21 ± 0.04 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g dry SPC in control to 3.06 ± 0.03 mg GAE/g dry SPC in EY treatment. Similarly, hydrolysate TPC increased twofold from 179 ± 1 μg/mL in control to 371 ± 6 μg/mL in EY treatment. Thus, this novel process led to a protein and polyphenol-rich and reduced-carbohydrate SPC along with polyphenol and ethanol-containing hydrolysate.U of I OnlyAuthor requested U of Illinois access only (OA after 2yrs) in Vireo ETD syste

    Alternative chemo-enzymatic hydrolysis strategy applied to different microalgae species for bioethanol production

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    Microalgae have been considered third generation feedstock for biofuel production based on the expectation that large amounts of algal biomass can be cultivated at an acceptable cost. Transformation of biomass into ethanol requires a saccharification step, where complex carbohydrates are broken down by hydrolysis into sugars that can be fermented to bioethanol. Carbohydrate mobilization is hampered by the recalcitrance of the cell envelope of microalgal cells, because complex structural polysaccharides are difficult to depolymerize and make internal carbohydrate reserves inaccessible to hydrolysis. Saccharification can be accomplished by either acidic hydrolysis, enzymatic treatment or a combination of both. The present work focused on the chemo-enzymatic hydrolysis of lyophilized biomass of different microalgae and subsequent fermentation of hydrolysates with higher reducing sugar content. A chemo-enzymatic hydrolysis strategy was defined, consisting of an acid pretreatment carried out at high pressure and temperature, followed by incubation with Amyloglucosidase and finally by incubation with alpha-Amylase, the opposite order of the conventional use of these enzymes. An increase of reducing sugar yield of about one third was observed, and this strategy was successfully applied to a broad group of microalgae, resulting in maximum release yields of at least 34.0 +/- 1.0 g total reducing sugar/100 g dry biomass. For bioethanol production studies, the microalgae hydrolysates of Chlorella sorokiniana, Tetraselmis sp. (Necton) and Skeletonema sp. were selected according to their high reducing sugar content. High ethanol production was achieved with all hydrolysates, with ethanol yields close to the theoretical maximum and the highest ethanol concentrations so far reported under comparable conditions. Chlorella sorokiniana stood out as the best hydrolysate for ethanol production, with an ethanol yield of 0.464 +/- 0.013 g/g reducing sugar and ethanol productivity of 0.344 +/- 0.020 g/L.h.VA-POCTEP-2014-20200055_ALGARED_PLUS_5_E, UID/00350/2020, 0055 ALGARED + 5 Einfo:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Phenotypic plasticity in sargassum forests may not counteract projected biomass losses along a broad latitudinal gradient

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    Phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation can adjust individual responses to environmental changes across species' ranges. Studies addressing the implications of such traits have been underrepresented in the marine environment. Sargassum cymosum represents an ideal model to test phenotypic plasticity, as populations along the southwestern Atlantic Ocean display a sharp decrease in abundance toward distributional range limits. We (1) characterized the macroecological environment of S. cymosum across a latitudinal gradient, (2) evaluated potential differences in ecophysiological adjustments (biomass, photosynthetic pigments, phenolic compounds, total soluble sugars and proteins, and carbon-nitrogen-CN-content), and (3) tested for differences in thermal tolerance based on time series analyses produced from the present to contrasting representative concentration pathways scenarios (RCP) of future climate changes. Our results showed distinct macroecological environments, corresponding to tropical and warm temperate conditions, driving biomass and ecophysiological adjustments of S. cymosum. Populations from the two environments displayed contrasting thermal tolerances, with tropical individuals better coping with thermal stress when compared to more temperate ones (lethal temperatures of 33 degrees C vs. 30 degrees C); yet both populations lose biomass in response to increasing thermal stress while increasing secondary metabolites (for example, carotenoids and phenolic compounds) and decrease chlorophyll's content, Fv/Fm, total soluble sugars concentration and CN ratio, owing to oxidative stress. Despite evidence for phenotypic plasticity, significant future losses might occur in both tropical and warm temperate populations, particularly under the no mitigation RCP scenario, also known as the business as usual (that is, 8.5). In this context, broad compliance with the Paris Agreement might counteract projected impacts of climate change, safeguarding Sargassum forests in the years to come.This study was supported by grants from Boticario Foundation, FAPESC-Foundation Support Research and Innovation in the State of Santa Catarina, Capes Higher Education Personnel Improvement Coordination, CNPq-National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Petrobras Ambiental, REBENTOS-Habitat monitoring network coastal Benthic and ProspecMar-Islands Sustainable Prospecting in Ocean Islands: Biodiversity, Chemistry, Ecology and Biotechnology, Rede Coral Vivo, REDEALGAS, a Pew Marine Fellowship, the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) of Portugal via SFRH/BSAB/150485/2019, SFRH/BD/144878/2019, UID/Multi/04326/2019, PTDC/BIA-CBI/6515/2020 and the transitional norm DL57/2016/CP1361/CT0035. LPG received a doctorate scholarship (88882.438723/2019-01) from Capes. CFDG thanks CNPq grants PQ-309658/2016-0and306304/2019-8. PAH thanks CAPES-Senior Visitor, CAPESPrInt 310793/2018-01, CNPq-PVE 407365/2013-3, CNPq-Universal 426215/2016-8 and CNPq-PQ308537/2019-0. GK received a master's scholarship from CAPES.info:eu-repo/semantics/submittedVersio

    Extraction optimization, structure features, and bioactivities of two polysaccharides from Corydalis decumbens

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    Two polysaccharides (CPS1 and CPW2) from Corydalis decumbens were obtained to develop insights into natural medical resources. Optimal extraction conditions of total sugars were researched using the method of response surface methodology, polysaccharides were purified using a combination of ethanol precipitation and anion-exchange chromatography, and structure features were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and Congo-red assay. The bioactivities were estimated in terms of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Total sugars were extracted with an experimental yield of 32.74% under optimum conditions. CPS1 and CPW2 were purified with yields of 12.01% and 8.23%, respectively. CPS1 was a unique polysaccharide with a molecular weight (Mw) of 360 kDa and consisted of glucose, galactose, mannose, and arabinose in a ratio of 4.9:2.0:1:1.9, and CPW2 was composed of glucose with the Mw of 550 kDa. CPS1 possessed a four-helix conformation, and CPW2 was identified as a linear molecule without branched and entangled chains. The mRNA expressions of TNF-α (71.80%), IL-1β (56.55%), IL-6 (43.98%), and COX-2 (91.88%) in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells were significantly inhibited by 75 μg/mL CPS1 (P < 0.0001), while CPW2 showed lower inhibitory effects than CPS1. Compared with CPW2, CPS1 showed stronger scavenging abilities for hydroxyl (EC50 = 520.46 μg/mL), ABTS (EC50 = 533.99 μg/mL), and superoxide (EC50 = 1512.06 μg/mL) radicals. CPS1 with four-helix conformation exhibited more outstanding bioactivities than CPW2 without entangled chains

    Changes in soil fertility and microbial communities following cultivation of native grassland in Horqin Sandy Land, China: a 60-year chronosequence

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    Background: Grassland conversion to cropland is a prevailing change of land use in traditionally nomadic areas, especially in the Mongolian Plateau. We investigated the effects of grassland conversion followed by continuous cultivation on soil properties and microbial community characteristics in Horqin Sandy Land, a typical agro-pastoral transition zone of Northern China. Soil samples were collected from the topsoil (upper 20 cm) across a 60-year cultivation chronosequence (5, 15, 25, 35 and 60 years) and unconverted native grassland. Soil physico-chemical properties were determined and high-throughput sequencing was used to assess microbial community diversity and composition. Results: Grassland cultivation resulted in changes to soil properties in both the short and longer term. Initially, it significantly increased soil bulk density (BD), electrical conductivity (EC), soil total nitrogen (TN), available phosphorus (AP) and available potassium (AK) concentrations, while reducing soil water content (SWC) and soil organic carbon content (SOC). Over the next 35–55 years of continuous cultivation, the trend for most of these characteristics was of reversion towards values nearer to those of native grassland, except for SOC which remained highly depleted. Cultivation of grassland substantially altered soil microbial communities at phylum level but there was no significant difference in microbial α-diversity between native grassland and any cropland. However, soil bacterial and fungal community structures at phylum level in the croplands of all cultivation years were different from those in the native grasslands. Heatmaps further revealed that bacterial and fungal structures in cropland tended to become more similar to native grassland after 15 and 25 years of cultivation, respectively. Redundancy analysis indicated that SOC, EC and BD were primary determinants of microbial community composition and diversity. Conclusions: These findings suggest that agricultural cultivation of grassland has considerable effects on soil fertility and microbial characteristics of Horqin Sandy Land. Intensive high-yield forage grass production is proposed as an alternative to avoid further native grassland reclamation, while meeting the grazing development needs in the ethnic minority settlements of eco-fragile regions

    Mushroom β-glucan and polyphenol formulations as natural immunity boosters and balancers: nature of the application

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    Mushrooms are experiencing a kind of renaissance as a part of the contemporary human diet. These valuable organisms are more than food, they fi t in perfectly as a novel market group known as nutra-mycoceuticals. Immune-balancing mushroom dietary fibers and secondary metabolites such as polyphenols are the main focus of the healthcare industry. Wellness and cosmetic companies are increasingly using mushroom extracts rich in these ingredients. This review considers the basic molecular immunomodulatory mechanisms of action of the most commonly used mushroom dietary fibers, β-glucans. The literature data on their bioavailability, metabolic transformations, preclinical and human clinical research, and safety are discussed. Immunomodulatory mechanisms of polyphenol ingredients are also considered. These molecules present great potential in the design of the new immunity balancer formulations according to their widespread structural diversity. Finally, we draw attention to the perspectives of modern trends in mushroom nutraceutical and cosmeceutical formulations to strengthen and balance immunity

    Transcriptome sequencing reveals the effects of circRNA on testicular development and spermatogenesis in Qianbei Ma goats

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    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) play an important role in regulating the mammalian reproductive system, especially testicular development and spermatogenesis. However, their functions in testicular development and spermatogenesis in the Qianbei Ma goat, the Guizhou endemic breed are still unclear. In this study, tissue sectioning and circRNAs transcriptome analysis were conducted to compare the changes of morphology and circular RNAs gene expression profile at four different developmental stages (0Y, 0-month-old; 6Y, 6-month-old; 12Y, 12-month-old; 18Y, 18-month-old). The results showed that the circumferences and area of the seminiferous tubule gradually increased with age, and the lumen of the seminiferous tubule in the testis differentiated significantly. 12,784 circRNAs were detected from testicular tissues at four different developmental stages by RNA sequencing, and 8,140 DEcircRNAs (differentially expressed circRNAs) were found in 0Y vs. 6Y, 6Y vs. 12Y, 12Y vs. 18Y and 0Y vs. 18Y, 0Y vs. 12Y, 6Y vs. 18Y Functional enrichment analysis of the source genes showed that they were mainly enriched in testicular development and spermatogenesis. In addition, the miRNAs and mRNAs associated with DECircRNAs in 6 control groups were predicted by bioinformatics, and 81 highly expressed DECircRNAs and their associated miRNAs and mRNAs were selected to construct the ceRNA network. Through functional enrichment analysis of the target genes of circRNAs in the network, some candidate circRNAs related to testicular development and spermatogenesis were obtained. Such as circRNA_07172, circRNA_04859, circRNA_07832, circRNA_00032 and circRNA_07510. These results will help to reveal the mechanism of circRNAs in testicular development and spermatogenesis, and also provide some guidance for goat reproduction

    Pollution-induced community tolerance in freshwater biofilms – from molecular mechanisms to loss of community functions

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    Exposure to herbicides poses a threat to aquatic biofilms by affecting their community structure, physiology and function. These changes render biofilms to become more tolerant, but on the downside community tolerance has ecologic costs. A concept that addresses induced community tolerance to a pollutant (PICT) was introduced by Blanck and Wängberg (1988). The basic principle of the concept is that microbial communities undergo pollution-induced succession when exposed to a pollutant over a long period of time, which changes communities structurally and functionally and enhancing tolerance to the pollutant exposure. However, the mechanisms of tolerance and the ecologic consequences were hardly studied up to date. This thesis addresses the structural and functional changes in biofilm communities and applies modern molecular methods to unravel molecular tolerance mechanisms. Two different freshwater biofilm communities were cultivated for a period of five weeks, with one of the communities being contaminated with 4 μg L-1 diuron. Subsequently, the communities were characterized for structural and functional differences, especially focusing on their crucial role of photosynthesis. The community structure of the autotrophs was assessed using HPLC-based pigment analysis and their functional alterations were investigated using Imaging-PAM fluorometry to study photosynthesis and community oxygen profiling to determine net primary production. Then, the molecular fingerprints of the communities were measured with meta-transcriptomics (RNA-Seq) and GC-based community metabolomics approaches and analyzed with respect to changes in their molecular functions. The communities were acute exposed to diuron for one hour in a dose-response design, to reveal a potential PICT and uncover related adaptation to diuron exposure. The combination of apical and molecular methods in a dose-response design enabled the linkage of functional effects of diuron exposure and underlying molecular mechanisms based on a sensitivity analysis. Chronic exposure to diuron impaired freshwater biofilms in their biomass accrual. The contaminated communities particularly lost autotrophic biomass, reflected by the decrease in specific chlorophyll a content. This loss was associated with a change in the molecular fingerprint of the communities, which substantiates structural and physiological changes. The decline in autotrophic biomass could be due to a primary loss of sensitive autotrophic organisms caused by the selection of better adapted species in the course of chronic exposure. Related to this hypothesis, an increase in diuron tolerance has been detected in the contaminated communities and molecular mechanisms facilitating tolerance have been found. It was shown that genes of the photosystem, reductive-pentose phosphate cycle and arginine metabolism were differentially expressed among the communities and that an increased amount of potential antioxidant degradation products was found in the contaminated communities. This led to the hypothesis that contaminated communities may have adapted to oxidative stress, making them less sensitive to diuron exposure. Moreover, the photosynthetic light harvesting complex was altered and the photoprotective xanthophyll cycle was increased in the contaminated communities. Despite these adaptation strategies, the loss of autotrophic biomass has been shown to impair primary production. This impairment persisted even under repeated short-term exposure, so that the tolerance mechanisms cannot safeguard primary production as a key function in aquatic systems.:1. The effect of chemicals on organisms and their functions .............................. 1 1.1 Welcome to the anthropocene .......................................................................... 1 1.2 From cellular stress responses to ecosystem resilience ................................... 3 1.2.1 The individual pursuit for homeostasis ....................................................... 3 1.2.2 Stability from diversity ................................................................................. 5 1.3 Community ecotoxicology - a step forward in monitoring the effects of chemical pollution? ................................................................................................................. 6 1.4 Functional ecotoxicological assessment of microbial communities ................... 9 1.5 Molecular tools – the key to a mechanistic understanding of stressor effects from a functional perspective in microbial communities? ...................................... 12 2. Aims and Hypothesis ......................................................................................... 14 2.1 Research question .......................................................................................... 14 2.2 Hypothesis and outline .................................................................................... 15 2.3 Experimental approach & concept .................................................................. 16 2.3.1 Aquatic freshwater biofilms as model community ..................................... 16 2.3.2 Diuron as model herbicide ........................................................................ 17 2.3.3 Experimental design ................................................................................. 18 3. Structural and physiological changes in microbial communities after chronic exposure - PICT and altered functional capacity ................................................. 21 3.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................... 21 3.2 Methods .......................................................................................................... 23 3.2.1 Biofilm cultivation ...................................................................................... 23 3.2.2 Dry weight and autotrophic index ............................................................. 23 3.2.4 Pigment analysis of periphyton ................................................................. 23 3.2.4.1 In-vivo pigment analysis for community characterization ....................... 24 3.2.4.2 In-vivo pigment analysis based on Imaging-PAM fluorometry ............... 24 3.2.4.3 In-vivo pigment fluorescence for tolerance detection ............................. 26 3.2.4.4 Ex-vivo pigment analysis by high-pressure liquid-chromatography ....... 27 3.2.5 Community oxygen metabolism measurements ....................................... 28 3.3 Results and discussion ................................................................................... 29 3.3.1 Comparison of the structural community parameters ............................... 29 3.3.2 Photosynthetic activity and primary production of the communities after selection phase ................................................................................................. 33 3.3.3 Acquisition of photosynthetic tolerance .................................................... 34 3.3.4 Primary production at exposure conditions ............................................... 36 3.3.5 Tolerance detection in primary production ................................................ 37 3.4 Summary and Conclusion ........................................................................... 40 4. Community gene expression analysis by meta-transcriptomics ................... 41 4.1 Introduction to meta-transcriptomics ............................................................... 41 4.2. Methods ......................................................................................................... 43 4.2.1 Sampling and RNA extraction................................................................... 43 4.2.2 RNA sequencing analysis ......................................................................... 44 4.2.3 Data assembly and processing................................................................. 45 4.2.4 Prioritization of contigs and annotation ..................................................... 47 4.2.5 Sensitivity analysis of biological processes .............................................. 48 4.3 Results and discussion ................................................................................... 48 4.3.1 Characterization of the meta-transcriptomic fingerprints .......................... 49 4.3.2 Insights into community stress response mechanisms using trend analysis (DRomic’s) ......................................................................................................... 51 4.3.3 Response pattern in the isoform PS genes .............................................. 63 4.5 Summary and conclusion ................................................................................ 65 5. Community metabolome analysis ..................................................................... 66 5.1 Introduction to community metabolomics ........................................................ 66 5.2 Methods .......................................................................................................... 68 5.2.1 Sampling, metabolite extraction and derivatisation................................... 68 5.2.2 GC-TOF-MS analysis ............................................................................... 69 5.2.3 Data processing and statistical analysis ................................................... 69 5.3 Results and discussion ................................................................................... 70 5.3.1 Characterization of the metabolic fingerprints .......................................... 70 5.3.2 Difference in the metabolic fingerprints .................................................... 71 5.3.3 Differential metabolic responses of the communities to short-term exposure of diuron ............................................................................................................ 73 5.4 Summary and conclusion ................................................................................ 78 6. Synthesis ............................................................................................................. 79 6.1 Approaches and challenges for linking molecular data to functional measurements ...................................................................................................... 79 6.2 Methods .......................................................................................................... 83 6.2.1 Summary on the data ............................................................................... 83 6.2.2 Aggregation of molecular data to index values (TELI and MELI) .............. 83 6.2.3 Functional annotation of contigs and metabolites using KEGG ................ 83 6.3 Results and discussion ................................................................................... 85 6.3.1 Results of aggregation techniques ........................................................... 85 6.3.2 Sensitivity analysis of the different molecular approaches and endpoints 86 6.3.3 Mechanistic view of the molecular stress responses based on KEGG functions ............................................................................................................ 89 6.4 Consolidation of the results – holistic interpretation and discussion ............... 93 6.4.1 Adaptation to chronic diuron exposure - from molecular changes to community effects.............................................................................................. 93 6.4.2 Assessment of the ecological costs of Pollution-induced community tolerance based on primary production ............................................................. 94 6.5 Outlook ............................................................................................................ 9

    Characterization of Dutch-Cocoa produced using potash extract from cocoa pod husk as an alkalizing bioresource

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    Abstract Alkalizing agents in the processing of Dutch-Cocoa are often imported from developing countries. This occurs amidst humongous quantities of Cocoa Pod Husk (CPH) that are largely rotting away. This study therefore appraises the inherent alkalizing potentials of CPH, including its physicochemical and safety characteristics in the production of Dutch-Cocoa. CPH was calcined, potash extracted, characterized, and applied in formulation (1% to 5% conc.) in Dutch-production of Cocoa. Quality parameters of the resultant product were analyzed following AOAC procedures (p ≤ 0.05). In addition, rats(n=30) were fed it over a 21-day duration while nutritional and safety indicators were monitored. Sensory properties were also evaluated. The results showed some predominant properties of CPH potash extract [Potassium 35.7%, pH 12.3, alkalinity 15.6 g/100 g CO3] and Dutch-cocoa [protein (15.8% to 16.5%), colour (Hunter L,a,b) 36.9, 8.8, 11.7 light - dark red), dispersibility (1.5 to 2.3), wettability (143.7 s), sedimentation (20.7% to 49.3%)] which favourably compared with commercial variants. Apparent digestibility (AD%) was significant (Protein 86%, Fat 88%, Fiber 66% etc) (p ≤ .0.05). Safety indices exhibited no deleterious effect and the product was adjudged acceptable. Dutch-cocoa produced using CPH-derived-potash as an alternate alkalizing bioresource is feasible, while simultaneously providing an environmentally friendly outlet for CP
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