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Biology, Volume 7, Issue 4 (December 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Does Plant Size Influence Leaf Elements in an Arborescent Cycad?
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 6 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
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Abstract
Plant size influences the leaf nutrient relations of many species, but no cycad species has been studied in this regard. We used the arborescent Cycas micronesica K.D. Hill to quantify leaf nutrient concentrations of trees with stems up to 5.5-m in height to
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Plant size influences the leaf nutrient relations of many species, but no cycad species has been studied in this regard. We used the arborescent Cycas micronesica K.D. Hill to quantify leaf nutrient concentrations of trees with stems up to 5.5-m in height to determine if height influenced leaf nutrients. Green leaves were sampled in a karst, alkaline habitat in Rota and a schist, acid habitat in Yap. Additionally, senesced leaves were collected from the trees in Yap. Minerals and metals were quantified in the leaf samples and regressed onto stem height. Green leaf nitrogen, calcium, manganese, and iron decreased linearly with increased stem height. Senesced leaf carbon, iron, and copper decreased and senesced leaf nitrogen increased with stem height. Nitrogen resorption efficiency decreased with stem height. Phosphorus and potassium resorption efficiencies were not influenced by plant size, but were greater than expected based on available published information. The results indicate leaf nutrient concentrations of this cycad species are directly influenced by plant size, and illuminate the need for adding more cycad species to this research agenda. Plant size should be measured and reported in all cycad reports that include measurements of leaf behavior. Full article
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Open AccessReview Meta-Omics Tools in the World of Insect-Microorganism Interactions
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
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Abstract
Microorganisms are able to influence several aspects of insects’ life, and this statement is gaining increasing strength, as research demonstrates it daily. At the same time, new sequencing technologies are now available at a lower cost per base, and bioinformatic procedures are becoming
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Microorganisms are able to influence several aspects of insects’ life, and this statement is gaining increasing strength, as research demonstrates it daily. At the same time, new sequencing technologies are now available at a lower cost per base, and bioinformatic procedures are becoming more user-friendly. This is triggering a huge effort in studying the microbial diversity associated to insects, and especially to economically important insect pests. The importance of the microbiome has been widely acknowledged for a wide range of animals, and also for insects this topic is gaining considerable importance. In addition to bacterial-associates, the insect-associated fungal communities are also gaining attention, especially those including plant pathogens. The use of meta-omics tools is not restricted to the description of the microbial world, but it can be also used in bio-surveillance, food safety assessment, or even to bring novelties to the industry. This mini-review aims to give a wide overview of how meta-omics tools are fostering advances in research on insect-microorganism interactions. Full article
Open AccessReview Therapeutic Approaches Targeting Inflammation in Cardiovascular Disorders
Received: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
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Abstract
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world and represents an enormous global health burden. Significant advances have been made in the conservative, medical and surgical management across the range of cardiovascular diseases however the inflammatory components
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Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world and represents an enormous global health burden. Significant advances have been made in the conservative, medical and surgical management across the range of cardiovascular diseases however the inflammatory components of these diseases have traditionally been neglected. Inflammation is certainly a key component of atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory condition, but it is at least correlative and predictive of risk in many other aspects of cardiovascular medicine ranging from heart failure to outcomes following reperfusion strategies. Inflammation therefore represents significant potential for future risk stratification of patients as well as offering new therapeutic targets across cardiovascular medicine. This review explores the role of inflammation in several of the major aspects of cardiovascular medicine focusing on current and possible future examples of the targeting of inflammation in prognosis and therapy. It concludes that future directions of cardiovascular research and clinical practice should seek to identify cohorts of patients with a significant inflammatory component to their cardiovascular condition or reaction to cardiovascular intervention. These patients might benefit from therapeutic strategies mounted against the inflammatory components implicated in their condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Top 35 of Biology Travel Awards 2018)
Open AccessArticle Cell Death Patterns Due to Warm Ischemia or Reperfusion in Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells Originating from Human, Mouse, or the Native Hibernator Hamster
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
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Abstract
Ischemia–reperfusion injury contributes to the pathogenesis of many diseases, with acute kidney injury included. Hibernating mammals survive prolonged bouts of deep torpor with a dramatic drop in blood pressure, heart, and breathing rates, interspersed with short periods of arousal and, consequently, ischemia–reperfusion injury.
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Ischemia–reperfusion injury contributes to the pathogenesis of many diseases, with acute kidney injury included. Hibernating mammals survive prolonged bouts of deep torpor with a dramatic drop in blood pressure, heart, and breathing rates, interspersed with short periods of arousal and, consequently, ischemia–reperfusion injury. Clarifying the differences under warm anoxia or reoxygenation between human cells and cells from a native hibernator may reveal interventions for rendering human cells resistant to ischemia–reperfusion injury. Human and hamster renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (RPTECs) were cultured under warm anoxia or reoxygenation. Mouse RPTECs were used as a phylogenetic control for hamster cells. Cell death was assessed by both cell imaging and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay, apoptosis by cleaved caspase-3, autophagy by microtubule-associated protein 1-light chain 3 B II (LC3B-II) to LC3B-I ratio, necroptosis by phosphorylated mixed-lineage kinase domain-like pseudokinase, reactive oxygen species (ROS) fluorometrically, and lipid peroxidation, the end-point of ferroptosis, by malondialdehyde. Human cells died after short periods of warm anoxia or reoxygenation, whereas hamster cells were extremely resistant. In human cells, apoptosis contributed to cell death under both anoxia and reoxygenation. Although under reoxygenation, ROS increased in both human and hamster RPTECs, lipid peroxidation-induced cell death was detected only in human cells. Autophagy was observed only in human cells under both conditions. Necroptosis was not detected in any of the evaluated cells. Clarifying the ways that are responsible for hamster RPTECs escaping from apoptosis and lipid peroxidation-induced cell death may reveal interventions for preventing ischemia–reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury in humans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Zebrafish Acromegaly Model Elevates DNA Damage and Impairs DNA Repair Pathways
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
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Abstract
Acromegaly is a pathological condition due to excess growth hormone (GH) secretion. Acromegaly patients exhibit a deterioration of health and many associated complications, such as cardiovascular issues, arthritis, kidney diseases, muscular weakness, and colon cancer. Since these complications are generalized throughout the body,
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Acromegaly is a pathological condition due to excess growth hormone (GH) secretion. Acromegaly patients exhibit a deterioration of health and many associated complications, such as cardiovascular issues, arthritis, kidney diseases, muscular weakness, and colon cancer. Since these complications are generalized throughout the body, we investigated the effect of GH excess on cellular integrity. Here, we established stable acromegaly model zebrafish lines that overexpress tilapia GH and the red fluorescence protein (RFP) reporter gene for tracking GH gene expression throughout generations, and performed RNA-Seq data analysis from different organs. Intriguingly, heatmap and Expression2Kinases (X2K) analysis revealed the enrichment of DNA damage markers in various organs. Moreover, H2A.X immunostaining analysis in acromegaly zebrafish larvae and the adult acromegaly model brain and muscle showed a robust increase in the number of DNA-damaged cells. Using Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA), we found that the acromegaly zebrafish model had impaired DNA repair pathways in the liver, such as double-strand break (DSB), homologous recombination repair (HRR), non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), nucleotide excision repair (NER), and translesion synthesis (TLS). Interestingly, the impairment of DNA repair was even more prominent in acromegaly model than in aged zebrafish (three years old). Thus, our study demonstrates that affection of cellular integrity is characteristic of acromegaly. Full article
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Open AccessReview Selectable Markers and Reporter Genes for Engineering the Chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
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Abstract
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a model alga of increasing interest as a cell factory for the production of valuable compounds, including therapeutic proteins and bioactive metabolites. Expression of foreign genes in the chloroplast is particularly advantageous as: (i) accumulation of product in this sub-cellular
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Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a model alga of increasing interest as a cell factory for the production of valuable compounds, including therapeutic proteins and bioactive metabolites. Expression of foreign genes in the chloroplast is particularly advantageous as: (i) accumulation of product in this sub-cellular compartment minimises potential toxicity to the rest of the cell; (ii) genes can integrate at specific loci of the chloroplast genome (plastome) by homologous recombination; (iii) the high ploidy of the plastome and the high-level expression of chloroplast genes can be exploited to achieve levels of recombinant protein as high as 5% total cell protein; (iv) the lack of any gene silencing mechanisms in the chloroplast ensures stable expression of transgenes. However, the generation of C. reinhardtii chloroplast transformants requires efficient methods of selection, and ideally methods for subsequent marker removal. Additionally, the use of reporter genes is critical to achieving a comprehensive understanding of gene expression, thereby informing experimental design for recombinant applications. This review discusses currently available selection and reporter systems for chloroplast engineering in C. reinhardtii, as well as those used for chloroplast engineering in higher plants and other microalgae, and looks to the future in terms of possible new markers and reporters that will further advance the C. reinhardtii chloroplast as an expression platform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Biotechnology)
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Open AccessReview The Benefit of Anti-Inflammatory and Renal-Protective Dietary Ingredients on the Biological Processes of Aging in the Kidney
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 27 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 29 September 2018
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Abstract
One of the significant organ systems which decline in aging is the kidney. While the causes of age-associated decline in renal function are likely multifactorial, oxidative stress and inflammation are hypothesized to play important roles in the structural and functional changes of the
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One of the significant organ systems which decline in aging is the kidney. While the causes of age-associated decline in renal function are likely multifactorial, oxidative stress and inflammation are hypothesized to play important roles in the structural and functional changes of the kidney. During aging there is a general decline in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a primary measurement used to assess kidney function. Inflammation and oxidative stress have been hypothesized to have a significant detrimental effect on renal function in aging and this may be attenuated by renal protective dietary ingredients. These dietary ingredients may affect renal function directly or through a microbiome-mediated secondary product. Likewise, structural changes including renal tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis, and glomerulosclerosis have all been described in aging. Such detrimental changes may benefit from dietary ingredients that may delay or attenuate the occurrence of such changes. This review will describe the physiology and pathophysiology of aging in renal function with an emphasis on dogs and cats that develop a decline in kidney function naturally. In addition, the varying biomarkers of health and renal dysfunction will be discussed. Finally, we will evaluate the aid in the management of this normal decline through dietary intervention in animal models. Full article
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Biology EISSN 2079-7737 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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