29 research outputs found

    Development of a chitosan-multi-walled carbon nanotubes composite for application in solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking of microcystins

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    Contamination of water and food with cyanotoxins poses human health risks, and hence the need for sensitive early warning tools to monitor these in water. A composite of glutaraldehyde-crosslinked chitosan and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (ChMWCNTs) was synthesised and tested for potential use as a solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) adsorbent for monitoring microcystins (MCs) in fresh water. The composite was characterised by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller theory and scanning electron microscopy. Batch adsorption experiments to assess the effect of contact time, adsorbent dosage and initial microcystin-LR (MC-LR) concentration were conducted. The composite was found to be efficient in adsorbing MC-LR, showing 97% removal and a maximum adsorption capacity of 4.639 μg/g under optimised conditions of 5 μg/L of MC-LR, adsorbent dose of 0.03 g/5 mL and 30 min contact time. The adsorption kinetics were better explained by a pseudo-second-order model, inferring chemisorption adsorption. The isotherm data better fitted the Langmuir isotherm model, thus inferring monolayer surface adsorption. For desorption, 100% methanol was the most effective, with an efficiency of 84.71%. The composite effectively adsorbed and desorbed three congeners of MCs (–LR, –RR and –YR) when tested in raw dam water, regardless of its lower maximum adsorption capacity compared to those of other adsorbents used for similar purposes. Significance: • Monitoring of microcystins is problematic in large reservoirs and rivers. • Chitosan can be crosslinked and modified to enhance its adsorption properties. • Composites of chitosan and carbon nanotubes efficiently adsorb and desorb microcystins. • This study is possibly the first to apply a chitosan-based sorbent in solid-phase toxin tracking (SPATT) to be used as an early warning tool in passive monitoring of microcystins in water resources. Open data set: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.20992291.v

    A metabolomics-guided exploration of the phytochemical constituents of Vernonia fastigiata with the aid of pressurized hot water extraction and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

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    CITATION: Masike, K., et al. 2017. A metabolomics-guided exploration of the phytochemical constituents of Vernonia fastigiata with the aid of pressurized hot water extraction and liquid chromatography-mass. Molecules, 22(8):1200, doi:10.3390/molecules22081200.The original publication is available at http://www.mdpi.comVernonia fastigiata is a multi-purpose nutraceutical plant with interesting biological properties. However, very little is known about its phytochemical composition and, thus the need for its phytochemical characterization. In the current study, an environmentally friendly method, pressurized hot water extraction (PHWE), was used to extract metabolites from the leaves of V. fastigiata at various temperatures (50 °C, 100 °C, 150 °C and 200 °C). Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-qTOF-MS) analysis in combination with chemometric methods, particularly principal component analysis (PCA) and liquid/gas chromatography mass spectrometry (XCMS) cloud plots, were used to descriptively visualize the data and identify significant metabolites extracted at various temperatures. A total of 25 different metabolites, including hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, clovamide, deoxy-clovamide and flavonoids, were noted for the first time in this plant. Overall, an increase in extraction temperature resulted in an increase in metabolite extraction during PHWE. This study is the first scientific report on the phytochemical composition of V. fastigiata, providing insight into the components of the chemo-diversity of this important plant.http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/22/8/1200Publisher's versio

    The Effect of Geometrical Isomerism of 3,5-Dicaffeoylquinic Acid on Its Binding Affinity to HIV-Integrase Enzyme: A Molecular Docking Study

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    A potent plant-derived HIV-1 inhibitor, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (diCQA), has been shown to undergo isomerisation upon UV exposure where the naturally occurring 3trans,5trans-diCQA isomer gives rise to the 3cis,5trans-diCQA, 3trans,5cis-diCQA, and 3cis,5cis-diCQA isomers. In this study, inhibition of HIV-1 INT by UV-induced isomers was investigated using molecular docking methods. Here, density functional theory (DFT) models were used for geometry optimization of the 3,5-diCQA isomers. The YASARA and Autodock VINA software packages were then used to determine the binding interactions between the HIV-1 INT catalytic domain and the 3,5-diCQA isomers and the Discovery Studio suite was used to visualise the interactions between the isomers and the protein. The geometrical isomers of 3,5-diCQA were all found to bind to the catalytic core domain of the INT enzyme. Moreover, the cis geometrical isomers were found to interact with the metal cofactor of HIV-1INT, a phenomenon which has been linked to antiviral potency. Furthermore, the 3trans,5cis-diCQA isomer was also found to interact with both LYS156 and LYS159 which are important residues for viral DNA integration. The differences in binding modes of these naturally coexisting isomers may allow wider synergistic activity which may be beneficial in comparison to the activities of each individual isomer

    A Taxonomically-informed Mass Spectrometry Search Tool for Microbial Metabolomics Data

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    MicrobeMASST, a taxonomically-informed mass spectrometry (MS) search tool, tackles limited microbial metabolite annotation in untargeted metabolomics experiments. Leveraging a curated database of >60,000 microbial monocultures, users can search known and unknown MS/MS spectra and link them to their respective microbial producers via MS/MS fragmentation patterns. Identification of microbial-derived metabolites and relative producers, without a priori knowledge, will vastly enhance the understanding of microorganisms’ role in ecology and human health

    Metabolomics and Molecular Networking to Characterize the Chemical Space of Four <i>Momordica</i> Plant Species

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    Momordica plant species (Cucurbitaceae), have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and for nutritional purposes. Plants from this family are thus claimed to be phytochemically rich, representing an inexhaustible source of natural products. However, the chemical space of these Momordica species has not yet been fully decoded, and due to the inherent complexity of plant metabolomes, the characterization of the Momordica phytochemistry remains challenging. Thus, in this study we propose the use of molecular networking to unravel the molecular families within the metabolomes of four Momordica species (M. cardiospermoides, M. balsamina, M. charantia and M. foetida) and highlight the relevance of molecular networking in exploring the chemotaxonomy of these plants. In silico annotation tools (Network Annotation Propagation and DEREPLICATOR) and an unsupervised substructure identification tool (MS2LDA) were also explored to complement the classical molecular networking output and integration using MolNetEnhancer within GNPS. This allowed for the visualisation of chemical classes and the variety of substructures within the molecular families. The use of computational tools in this study highlighted various classes of metabolites, such as a wide range of flavonoids, terpenoids and lipids. Herein, these species are revealed to be phytochemically rich plants consisting of many biologically active metabolites differentially distributed within the different species, with the metabolome of M. cardiospermoides dereplicated in this paper for the first time

    Application of Plant Growth Regulators Modulates the Profile of Chlorogenic Acids in Cultured Bidens pilosa Cells

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    Plant cell culture offers an alternative to whole plants for the production of biologically important specialised metabolites. In cultured plant cells, manipulation by auxin and cytokinin plant growth regulators (PGRs) may lead to in vitro organogenesis and metabolome changes. In this study, six different combination ratios of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and benzylaminopurine (BAP) were investigated with the aim to induce indirect organogenesis from Bidens pilosa callus and to investigate the associated induced changes in the metabolomes of these calli. Phenotypic appearance of the calli and total phenolic contents of hydromethanolic extracts indicated underlying biochemical differences that were investigated using untargeted metabolomics, based on ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC–qTOF–MS), combined with multivariate data analysis. The concentration and combination ratios of PGRs were shown to induce differential metabolic responses and, thus, distinct metabolomic profiles, dominated by chlorogenic acids consisting of caffeoyl- and feruloyl-derivatives of quinic acid. Although organogenesis was not achieved, the results demonstrate that exogenous application PGRs can be used to manipulate the metabolome of B. pilosa for in vitro production of specialised metabolites with purported pharmacological properties

    The Chemistry of Plant–Microbe Interactions in the Rhizosphere and the Potential for Metabolomics to Reveal Signaling Related to Defense Priming and Induced Systemic Resistance

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    Plant roots communicate with microbes in a sophisticated manner through chemical communication within the rhizosphere, thereby leading to biofilm formation of beneficial microbes and, in the case of plant growth-promoting rhizomicrobes/-bacteria (PGPR), resulting in priming of defense, or induced resistance in the plant host. The knowledge of plant–plant and plant–microbe interactions have been greatly extended over recent years; however, the chemical communication leading to priming is far from being well understood. Furthermore, linkage between below- and above-ground plant physiological processes adds to the complexity. In metabolomics studies, the main aim is to profile and annotate all exo- and endo-metabolites in a biological system that drive and participate in physiological processes. Recent advances in this field has enabled researchers to analyze 100s of compounds in one sample over a short time period. Here, from a metabolomics viewpoint, we review the interactions within the rhizosphere and subsequent above-ground ‘signalomics’, and emphasize the contributions that mass spectrometric-based metabolomic approaches can bring to the study of plant-beneficial – and priming events

    Phenylpropanoid Defences in Nicotiana tabacum Cells: Overlapping Metabolomes Indicate Common Aspects to Priming Responses Induced by Lipopolysaccharides, Chitosan and Flagellin-22.

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    Plants have evolved both constitutive and inducible defence strategies to cope with different biotic stimuli and stresses. Exposure of a plant to a challenging stress can lead to a primed state that allows it to launch a more rapid and stronger defence. Here we applied a metabolomic approach to study and compare the responses induced in Nicotiana tabacum cells by microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) molecules, namely lipopolysaccharides (LPS), chitosan (CHT) and flagellin-22 (FLG22). Early response metabolites, extracted with methanol, were analysed by UHPLC-MS/MS. Using multivariate statistical tools the metabolic profiles induced by these elicitors were analysed. In the metabolic fingerprint of these agents a total of 19 cinnamic acid derivatives conjugated to quinic acids (chlorogenic acids), shikimic acid, tyramine, polyamines or glucose were found as discriminant biomarkers. In addition, treatment with the phytohormones salicylic acid (SA), methyljasmonic acid (MJ) and abscisic acid (ABA) resulted in differentially-induced phenylpropanoid pathway metabolites. The results indicate that the phenylpropanoid pathway is activated by these elicitors while hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives are commonly associated with the metabolic response to the MAMPs, and that the activated responses are modulated by both SA and MJ, with ABA not playing a role
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