822 research outputs found

    Advancing tree genomics to future proof next generation orchard production

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    The challenges facing tree orchard production in the coming years will be largely driven by changes in the climate affecting the sustainability of farming practices in specific geographical regions. Identifying key traits that enable tree crops to modify their growth to varying environmental conditions and taking advantage of new crop improvement opportunities and technologies will ensure the tree crop industry remains viable and profitable into the future. In this review article we 1) outline climate and sustainability challenges relevant to horticultural tree crop industries, 2) describe key tree crop traits targeted for improvement in agroecosystem productivity and resilience to environmental change, and 3) discuss existing and emerging genomic technologies that provide opportunities for industries to future proof the next generation of orchards

    Beyond protein synthesis: the emerging role of arginine in poultry nutrition and host-microbe interactions

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    Arginine is a functional amino acid essential for various physiological processes in poultry. The dietary essentiality of arginine in poultry stems from the absence of the enzyme carbamoyl phosphate synthase-I. The specific requirement for arginine in poultry varies based on several factors, such as age, dietary factors, and physiological status. Additionally, arginine absorption and utilization are also influenced by the presence of antagonists. However, dietary interventions can mitigate the effect of these factors affecting arginine utilization. In poultry, arginine is utilized by four enzymes, namely, inducible nitric oxide synthase arginase, arginine decarboxylase and arginine: glycine amidinotransferase (AGAT). The intermediates and products of arginine metabolism by these enzymes mediate the different physiological functions of arginine in poultry. The most studied function of arginine in humans, as well as poultry, is its role in immune response. Arginine exerts immunomodulatory functions primarily through the metabolites nitric oxide (NO), ornithine, citrulline, and polyamines, which take part in inflammation or the resolution of inflammation. These properties of arginine and arginine metabolites potentiate its use as a nutraceutical to prevent the incidence of enteric diseases in poultry. Furthermore, arginine is utilized by the poultry gut microbiota, the metabolites of which might have important implications for gut microbial composition, immune regulation, metabolism, and overall host health. This comprehensive review provides insights into the multifaceted roles of arginine and arginine metabolites in poultry nutrition and wellbeing, with particular emphasis on the potential of arginine in immune regulation and microbial homeostasis in poultry

    Scientific opinion on the tolerable upper intake level for vitamin B6

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    Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for vitamin B6. Systematic reviews of the literature were conducted by a contractor. The relationship between excess vitamin B6 intakes and the development of peripheral neuropathy is well established and is the critical effect on which the UL is based. A lowest-observed-effect-level (LOAEL) could not be established based on human data. A reference point (RP) of 50 mg/day is identified by the Panel from a case‚Äďcontrol study, supported by data from case reports and vigilance data. An uncertainty factor (UF) of 4 is applied to the RP to account for the inverse relationship between dose and time to onset of symptoms and the limited data available. The latter covers uncertainties as to the level of intake that would represent a LOAEL. This leads to a UL of 12.5 mg/day. From a subchronic study in Beagle dogs, a LOAEL of 50 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day can be identified. Using an UF of 300, and a default bw of 70 kg, a UL of 11.7 mg/day can be calculated. From the midpoint of the range of these two ULs and rounding down, a UL of 12 mg/day is established by the Panel for vitamin B6 for adults (including pregnant and lactating women). ULs for infants and children are derived from the UL for adults using allometric scaling: 2.2‚Äď2.5 mg/day (4‚Äď11 months), 3.2‚Äď4.5 mg/day (1‚Äď6 years), 6.1‚Äď10.7 mg/day (7‚Äď17 years). Based on available intake data, EU populations are unlikely to exceed ULs, except for regular users of food supplements containing high doses of vitamin B6

    Antifungal and antitoxigenic effect of natural compounds in food

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    La contaminaci√≥n f√ļngica en los alimentos representa una preocupaci√≥n significativa en la industria, ya que ocasiona p√©rdidas econ√≥micas debido a la disminuci√≥n del valor nutricional, las alteraciones en las propiedades sensoriales de los alimetos y el rechazo por parte de los consumidores. Asimismo, la contaminaci√≥n f√ļngica representa un riesgo para la salud p√ļblica debido a la producci√≥n de micotoxinas. Hoy en d√≠a se pueden utilizar m√©todos f√≠sicos, qu√≠micos y biol√≥gicos para mitigar el riesgo de micotoxinas. Entre ellos, los fungicidas sint√©ticos son los m√°s utilizados, pero esta estrategia presenta ciertos inconvenientes, como la contaminaci√≥n ambiental, la aparici√≥n de resistencias y la toxicidad de sus residuos para los humanos y animales. Para hacer frente a los retos mencionados, se han desarrollado alternativas naturales con objeto de mejorar la gesti√≥n de los hongos contaminantes en alimentos. En este contexto, esta tesis doctoral se centr√≥ en la investigaci√≥n de las propiedades antif√ļngicas y antitoxig√©nicas de sustancias naturales como el isotiocianato de alilo (AITC), la harina de mostaza oriental, la harina de mostaza amarilla y las bacterias √°cido l√°cticas (LAB) mediante estudios in vitro. De acuerdo con los resultados obtenidos, se exploraron diferentes metodolog√≠as de aplicaci√≥n: en primer lugar, se ensay√≥ el AITC como fumigante para inhibir el crecimiento de P. verrucosum y la producci√≥n de ocratoxina A (OTA) en granos de cebada. En segundo lugar, se estudi√≥ el uso de AITC, extracto de harina de mostaza amarilla y un dispositivo de harina de mostaza oriental (H-OMF) para inhibir el crecimiento de A. flavus y la producci√≥n de Aflatoxina B1 en almendras. Por √ļltimo: se seleccionaron LAB con potencial antif√ļngico, se elabor√≥ un ingrediente antif√ļngico a base de carne y se caracterizaron los compuestos antif√ļngicos producidos. Los resultados mostraron que AITC a 50 őľL/L redujo significativamente el crecimiento de P. verrucosum y la producci√≥n de OTA en granos de cebada hasta niveles indetectables. Asimismo, el AITC a 5,07, 10,13 y 20,26 mg/L disminuy√≥ significativamente la poblaci√≥n de A. flavus, adem√°s de la producci√≥n de AFB1 en almendras. Igualmente, cuando las almendras se trataron con diferentes concentraciones del dispositivo de harina de mostaza oriental, los niveles de poblaci√≥n de A. flavus y de AFB1 se redujeron a valores por debajo del l√≠mite de detecci√≥n. Por otra parte, aunque el extracto de mostaza amarilla haya demostrado eficacia in vitro, no la demostr√≥ en las almendras. En cuanto a la actividad antif√ļngica de las LAB aisladas, la cepa de Pediococcus pentosaceus C15 evidenci√≥ la mayor actividad antif√ļngica in vitro, lo que condujo a su selecci√≥n para producir un caldo fermentado que sirvi√≥ de base para crear un ingrediente postbi√≥tico antif√ļngico. La caracterizaci√≥n del ingrediente revel√≥ niveles relativamente altos de √°cidos fen√≥licos y alif√°ticos. Adem√°s, el an√°lisis de los compuestos org√°nicos vol√°tiles demostr√≥ la presencia de mol√©culas antif√ļngicas como el alcohol fenilet√≠lico, el √°cido nonanoico y el √°cido ac√©tico. En conclusi√≥n, los hallazgos revelaron que tanto el dispositivo antif√ļngico (H-OMF) como el AITC podr√≠an emplearse como fumigantes con el prop√≥sito de mejorar la seguridad alimentaria. Adem√°s, los resultados indican que la incorporaci√≥n del ingrediente MB10-C15 en la formulaci√≥n de productos c√°rnicos podr√≠a extender su vida √ļtil gracias a la concentraci√≥n de compuestos antif√ļngicos presentes en dicho ingrediente.Fungal contamination in food is a significant concern in the industry due to economic losses caused by reduced nutritional value, changes in sensory properties, and consumer rejection. Fungi frequently spoil cereals, nuts, cheese, and cured meat. Moreover, fungal contamination poses a public health hazard by producing mycotoxins. Nowadays, physical, chemical, and biological methods can be used to mitigate the risk of mycotoxins. Among them, synthetic fungicides are the most widely employed, but this strategy has certain drawbacks, such as environmental contamination, resistance of microbial populations, and toxicity of their residues to humans‚Äô and animals‚Äô exposure. In order to address the challenges above, natural alternatives have been developed to enhance the management of food contaminating fungi. Against this background, this doctoral thesis focused on investigating the antifungal and antitoxigenic properties of natural substances such as allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), oriental mustard flour, yellow mustard flour, and lactic acid bacteria through in vitro studies. According to the results obtained, different methodologies for applying natural compounds in food have been explored: first, AITC was tested as a fumigant to inhibit the growth of P. verrucosum and the production of ochratoxin A (OTA) in barley grains. Secondly, the use of AITC, a yellow mustard flour extract, and an oriental mustard flour device (H-OMF) were studied to inhibit the growth of A. flavus and the production of aflatoxin B1 in almonds. Lastly, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with antifungal potential were selected, an antifungal meat-based ingredient was developed, and the produced antifungal compounds were identified. The results showed that AITC at 50 őľL/L significantly reduced the growth of P. verrucosum and OTA production in barley grains to undetectable levels. Likewise, AITC at 5.07, 10.13, and 20.26 mg/L significantly decrease the population of A. flavus as well as the production of AFB1 in almonds. Moreover, when almonds were treated with different concentrations of oriental mustard flour device, the levels of A. flavus population and AFB1 were lowered to values below the limit of detection. On the other hand, although yellow mustard extract had shown effectiveness in vitro, it did not demonstrate efficacy when applied to almonds. Regarding the antifungal activity of the isolated LAB, the Pediococcus pentosaceus strain C15 demonstrated the highest antifungal activity in vitro, which led to its selection to produce a fermented broth named MB10-C15. This fermented broth served as the basis for creating a postbiotic antifungal ingredient. Characterization of the ingredient revealed significant levels of phenolic and organic acids. In addition, analysis of the volatile organic compounds demonstrated the presence of antifungal molecules such as phenylethyl alcohol, nonanoic acid, and acetic acid. In conclusion, the findings revealed that both antifungal device (H-OMF) and AITC could be used as fumigants with the aim of improving food safety. Furthermore, the results indicated that the incorporation of the ingredient MB10-C15 in the formulation of meat products could extend their shelf life due to the high concentration of antifungal compounds present in this ingredient

    Carotenoids and their derivatives: A ‚ÄúSwiss Army knife-like‚ÄĚ multifunctional tool for fine-tuning plant-environment interactions

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    Plants have to cope with different biotic and abiotic stresses, such as the attacks of pathogens and herbivores, high irradiance, droughts, salt stress or nutrient deficiencies throughout their lifetime. These environmental perturbations lead to the regulation of the ‚Äúprimary‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúsecondary‚ÄĚ carotenoid network. The formers are produced and stored in plastids and they are necessary for photosynthesis and related functions. Otherwise, secondary carotenoids are derivatives of primary carotenoids. They perform other important functions not related to the photosynthetic process but essential for plant survival as regulators of growth and development or as signal molecules at all levels of plant organization. This review provides a complete revision of the status of all these carotenoids, highlighting their newly discovered functions involved in plant-environment interaction. Concurrently, this review covers recent information on how carotenoids perform critical functions for the survival of animals (including humans) and the way they are suitable diagnostic tools for assessing the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems.This work was supported in part by the grant UPV/EHU-GV IT-1648‚Äď22 (from the Basque Government, Spain), Phy2SUDOE SOE4/P5/E1021 project supported by the European Union through Interreg SUDOE Program and the projects PID2020‚Äď113244GA-C22 (funded by MCIN/ AEI /10.13039/501100011033), PID2019‚Äď110055RB-C22 (funded by MCIN/ AEI /10.13039/501100011033), PGC2018‚Äď093824-B-C44 (funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033 and by ‚ÄúERDF A way of making Europe‚ÄĚ). Open Access funding was provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Elsevier

    Edible films produced from agrifood by-products and wastes

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    Acknowledgements This work was financially supported by Projetos Semente SantanderUC through the Santander Universidades and University of Coimbra award, and by COMPETE 2020, Funda√ßao ňú para a CiňÜencia e Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal), through the projects CIEPQPF (UIDB/00102/2020 and UIDP/00102/2020), and ciTechCare (UI/05704/2020). M. C. Gaspar acknowledges FCT for the financial support under Scientific Employment Stimulus (CEECIND/00527/2017 and CEECINST/00060/2021).This study aims to develop edible films using agrifood by-products (pumpkin seeds, broken rice and orange pectin) and wastes (quince peel, potato peel, potato pulp, orange peel, pumpkin peel). The physicochemical characteristics of the films were investigated, including their mechanical and barrier properties. Higher amounts of plasticizer induced poorer mechanical and barrier properties in the films. The most promising ones were obtained with orange pectin, broken rice and pumpkin peel, with water contact angles (WCA) between 48¬į and 57¬į, maximum water vapor transmission rate and water vapor permeability of 575 g.m‚ąí2.d‚ąí1 and 108 √ó 10‚ąí12 g.Pa‚ąí1.s‚ąí1.m‚ąí1, respectively, Young's modulus between 350 and 800 MPa, maximum tensile strength between 9.0 and 26.25 MPa, and elongation at break between 2.28 and 9.3%. Orange pectin and broken rice are promising raw materials since they led to higher WCA, better barrier and mechanical properties. Broken rice and quince peel can be good substitutes for commercial starch and glycerol, respectively. Agro-industrial by-products and wastes revealed potential for the production of sustainable edible films.info:eu-repo/semantics/acceptedVersio

    Development of Novel Therapeutic Strategies to Target Therapy Resistance and Cancer Stem Cells

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    This thesis focuses on the core issues of multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer, a process that hinders the success of chemotherapeutic treatments. MDR involves various mechanisms, including the upregulation of ABC transporter pumps, like MRP1, and increased cancer stemness, which contributes to malignancy and recurrence. The thesis comprises seven chapters: a literature review (Chapter 1), methodology (Chapter 2), results (Chapters 3-5), and discussions on findings and future studies (Chapters 6) and final discussion and overall summary (Chapter 7). Chapter 3 delves into the novel roles of MRP1 in cellular iron metabolism and proliferation, its interaction with c-Myc, and the effects on cellular proliferation. Silencing and inhibition studies reveal MRP1's role in regulating iron regulatory proteins through c-Myc. Chapter 4 investigates the role of ABC transporters in cancer stemness, revealing their connection with stemness states in different tumor types. Chapter 5 explores strategies for targeting drug-resistant cancer cells, demonstrating how doxycycline reduces the stemness marker SOX2 across multiple tumor types through a unique pathway. Chapter 6 examines the alteration of metabolism and stemness in drug-resistant cancer cells and strategies for targeting the cysteine metabolism pathway. The findings provide insights into cancer stemness regulation and potential therapeutic strategies, improving the efficacy of chemotherapeutics. The work reported in this thesis reveals an underlying and unique mechanism in regulation of SOX2-mediated cancer stemness. Moreover, the use of DXC to remove stemness was demonstrated to be a promising therapeutic strategy in combination with other common chemotherapeutics agents. These findings presented in this thesis enables us to understand cancer stemness better and improve the efficacy of current chemotherapeutics, which ultimately improve overall quality of life

    Selectivity study on thermochemical conversion of fruit residues (Plums) to platform chemicals (HMF)

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    5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is one of the versatile platform compounds derived from the dehydration of carbohydrates originating from biomass. However, the non-selective production of HMF from carbohydrates and its subsequent separation from the solvents remains challenging. Hence, the present thesis takes a systematic approach to understanding the conversion of Plum biomass to HMF and leverages this knowledge to propose strategies for improving conversion selectivity and HMF yield. The focus lies on optimizing the effect of conversion variables and developing an analytical strategy to characterize the feedstock (Plum) and product fraction. A rapid and robust selective ion monitoring (SIM) based LC-ESI-MS/MS method using analytical quality by design (AQbD) principles was developed for the simultaneous analysis of sugars and HMF. The developed method has been successfully applied to quantify sugar and HMF in Plum biomass before and after thermochemical conversion. The technique demonstrated high sensitivity, selectivity, throughput, and accuracy, with recovery ( 91% to 103%), limits of detection (0.11 to 1.72 őľg/mL ), and coefficients of variation (1.2 to 2.0%). Calibration curves for all analytes were linear with R2 values greater than 0.991. Plum biomass has a high moisture content (78 ¬Ī 4%), and 84% of its dry weight is covered by sugar. Glucose and fructose were found to be the dominant monosaccharide, 47% and 19% based on the dry weight basis, respectively. A simple, fast, and efficient process for HMF production from Plum's samples was developed, where sulfamic acid and MIBK were used as a catalyst and solvents under conventional heating. The critical reaction parameters, including substrate load, temperature, and aqueous phase percentage were optimized using definitive screen design (DSD) followed by central composite design (CCD). A higher HMF yield (32%), selectivity (~51%), and sugar conversion (~93%) were achieved at optimal reaction conditions (temperature (210 0C), aqueous phase (30 %V), time (120 min), sulfamic acid load (0.01 g), and substrate load (0.1 g)). The relative error between the experimental and predicted response for HMF selectivity and product (HMF) yield was found to be in the acceptable range (< 2%). In conclusion, the low-cost catalyst and solvent system, the practical and environmentally friendly reaction conditions, and the simple procedure provided in this study confirmed that the proposed strategy and feedstock are very efficient for HMF production. However, further study on the isolation and purification of the produced HMF from the reaction solutions is essential in the future.Master's Thesis in Quality in the Analytical LaboratoryQAL399BJMAMN-QAL

    Bioconversion of agricultural residues into value-added products by pectinase-producing bacteria and expression of pectinase gene in E. coli for biomass valorization

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    Pectinase is a group of enzymes that degrade pectin and is one of the most influential industrial enzymes, which helps produce varieties of good-quality products. These enzymes are ecofriendly, highly specific, sustainable, and non-toxic. The importance and implications of pectinases are rising in diverse areas, including bioethanol production, extraction of DNA, protoplast isolation from a plant, fruit juice industries, wine industries, paper and pulp industries, and wastewater treatment. Furthermore, pectinases are employed in retting and degumming plant fiber, preparing animal feed, saccharification and liquefaction of biomass, bio-scouring of cotton fiber, coffee and tea fermentation, and oil extraction. Therefore, the market demand and application of pectinases in new sectors are continuously increasing. However, due to the high substrate cost of growing microorganisms, pectinase production using microorganisms is limited. [...

    A review

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    Funding Information: PhD grant PD/BDE/150627/2020 was financed by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT - Portugal) and Volkswagen Autoeuropa. Funding Information: The authors would like to thank Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT - Portugal), and Volkswagen Autoeuropa for co-financing the doctoral grant PD/BDE/150627/2020. Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The AuthorsIon Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) has gained relevance in the field of analytical techniques over the past decades. If compared with well-established techniques like mass spectrometry or infrared spectroscopy, IMS is considerably less developed or employed in specific fields but presents promising results and a substantial margin for improvements. Its outstanding sensitivity and selectivity, analytical flexibility, instrumental versatility and almost real-time results capacity have contributed to elevate IMS among the main analytical techniques for the detection of volatile organic compounds. Due to its growth potential, it is mandatory to assess in which scientific fields IMS has played a relevant role in the past years of academic research and understand in which areas it can become equally important in the near future. For this purpose, hundreds of scientific works from the past ten years were addressed and the most relevant were reviewed in this work. Three main categories of IMS applications were defined to group the reviewed articles: Environmental and Safety Research, Health Research and Food Research. In addition, some original studies were specifically developed for this review paper, to act as elucidative examples. The working principle of the IMS is included for clarification purposes. A glossary of all the mentioned compounds was also included. Throughout the text, it is clear how relevant IMS has become and how diverse its applicability can be, ranging from simpler topics like fraud detection to more complex ones like pathologies diagnosis. It is safe to say that IMS has been, step by step, gaining relevance as an analytical technique and its potential for supporting many diverse scientific fields is evident.publishersversionpublishe
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