Abstract: This review presents selected data on the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12® (BB-12®), which is the world’s most documented probiotic Bifidobacterium. It is described in more than 300 scientific publications out of which more than 130 are publications of human clinical studies. The complete genome sequence of BB-12® has been determined and published. BB-12® originates from Chr. Hansen’s collection of dairy cultures and has high stability in foods and as freeze dried powders. Strain characteristics and mechanisms of BB-12® have been established through extensive in vitro testing. BB-12® exhibits excellent gastric acid and bile tolerance; it contains bile salt hydrolase, and has strong mucus adherence properties, all valuable probiotic characteristics. Pathogen inhibition, barrier function enhancement, and immune interactions are mechanisms that all have been demonstrated for BB-12®. BB-12® has proven its beneficial health effect in numerous clinical studies within gastrointestinal health and immune function. Clinical studies have demonstrated survival of BB-12® through the gastrointestinal tract and BB-12® has been shown to support a healthy gastrointestinal microbiota. Furthermore, BB-12® has been shown to improve bowel function, to have a protective effect against diarrhea, and to reduce side effects of antibiotic treatment, such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea. In terms of immune function, clinical studies have shown that BB-12® increases the body’s resistance to common respiratory infections as well as reduces the incidence of acute respiratory tract infections.
Abstract: Dinoflagellates are a member of the Alveolata, and elucidation of the early evolution of alveolates is important for our understanding of dinoflagellates, and vice versa. The ultrastructure of the flagellar apparatus has been described from several dinoflagellates in the last few decades, and the basic components appear to be well conserved. The typical dinoflagellate apparatus is composed of two basal bodies surrounded by striated collars attached to a connective fiber. The longitudinal basal body is connected to a longitudinal microtubular root (LMR; equivalent of R1) and single microtubular root (R2), whereas the transverse basal body is connected to a transverse microtubular root (TMR; R3) and transverse striated root (TSR) with a microtubule (R4). Some of these components, especially the connective fibers and collars, are dinoflagellate specific characteristics that make their flagellar apparatus relatively complex. We also compare these structures with the flagellar apparatus from a number of close relatives of dinoflagellates and their sister, the apicomplexans, including colpodellids, perkinsids, and Psammosa. Though the ultrastructural knowledge of these lineages is still relatively modest, it provides us with an interesting viewpoint of the character evolution of the flagellar apparatus among those lineages.
Abstract: The effect of high-voltage electrical stimulation on fruit body formation in cultivating mushrooms was evaluated using a compact pulsed power generator designed and based on an inductive energy storage system. An output voltage from 50 to 130 kV with a 100 ns pulse width was used as the electrical stimulation to determine the optimum amplitude. The pulsed high voltage was applied to a sawdust-based substrate of Lyophyllum decastes and natural logs hosting Lentinula edodes, Pholiota nameko, and Naematoloma sublateritium. The experimental results showed that the fruit body formation of mushrooms increased 1.3–2.0 times in terms of the total weight. The accumulated yield of Lentinula edodes for four cultivation seasons was improved from 160 to 320 g by applying voltages of 50 or 100 kV. However, the yield was decreased from 320 to 240 g upon increasing the applied voltage from 100 to 130 kV. The yield of the other types of mushrooms showed tendencies similar to those of Lentinula edodes when voltage was applied. An optimal voltage was confirmed for efficient fruit body induction. The hypha activity was evaluated by the amount of hydrophobin release, which was mainly observed before the fruit body formation. The hydrophobin release decreased for three hours after stimulation. However, the hydrophobin release from the vegetative hyphae increased 2.3 times one day after the stimulation.
Abstract: Algal blooms are dynamic phenomena, often attributed to environmental parameters that vary on short timescales (e.g., hours to days). Phytoplankton monitoring programs are largely designed to examine long-term trends and interannual variability. In order to better understand and evaluate the relationships between water quality variables and the genesis of algal blooms, daily samples were collected over a 34 day period in the eutrophic Lafayette River, a tidal tributary within Chesapeake Bay’s estuarine complex, during spring 2006. During this period two distinct algal blooms occurred; the first was a cryptomonad bloom and this was followed by a bloom of the mixotrophic dinoflagellate, Gymnodinium instriatum. Chlorophyll a, nutrient concentrations, and physical and chemical parameters were measured daily along with phytoplankton abundance and community composition. While 65 phytoplankton species from eight major taxonomic groups were identified in samples and total micro- and nano-phytoplankton cell densities ranged from 5.8 × 106 to 7.8 × 107 cells L−1, during blooms, cryptomonads and G. instriatum were 91.6% and 99.0%, respectively, of the total phytoplankton biomass during blooms. The cryptomonad bloom developed following a period of rainfall and concomitant increases in inorganic nitrogen concentrations. Nitrate, nitrite and ammonium concentrations 0 to 5 days prior were positively lag-correlated with cryptomonad abundance. In contrast, the G. insriatumbloom developed during periods of low dissolved nitrogen concentrations and their abundance was negatively correlated with inorganic nitrogen concentrations.
Abstract: The life cycle of many dinoflagellates includes at least one nonflagellated benthic stage (cyst). In the literature, the different types of dinoflagellate cysts are mainly defined based on morphological (number and type of layers in the cell wall) and functional (long- or short-term endurance) differences. These characteristics were initially thought to clearly distinguish pellicle (thin-walled) cysts from resting (double-walled) dinoflagellate cysts. The former were considered short-term (temporal) and the latter long-term (resting) cysts. However, during the last two decades further knowledge has highlighted the great intricacy of dinoflagellate life histories, the ecological significance of cyst stages, and the need to clarify the functional and morphological complexities of the different cyst types. Here we review and, when necessary, redefine the concepts of resting and pellicle cysts, examining both their structural and their functional characteristics in the context of the life cycle strategies of several dinoflagellate species.
Abstract: Two hundred and sixty publications from 2007 to 2012 were classified according to the quality of electron micrographs; namely as good (71); mediocre (21); or poor (168). Publications were from 37 countries; appeared in 77 journals; and included micrographs produced with about 60 models of electron microscopes. The quality of the micrographs was not linked to any country; journal; or electron microscope. Main problems were poor contrast; positive staining; low magnification; and small image size. Unsharp images were frequent. Many phage descriptions were silent on virus purification; magnification control; even the type of electron microscope and stain used. The deterioration in phage electron microscopy can be attributed to the absence of working instructions and electron microscopy courses; incompetent authors and reviewers; and lenient journals. All these factors are able to cause a gradual lowering of standards.