Open Access Method Article

Studying the Cognitive Involvement of Glia Using Stochastic Functional Microscopy

Salvatore Spadaro

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/24792

The latest brain researches are showing the relevance of glia in cognitive processes like learning and memory. One of the main problems related to this type of investigations is about complexity:  there are between 10 and 40 times more glia than neurons in the central nervous system of mammalians; the other main problem is about synaptic communication: glia cells (like astrocytes and microglia) use basically a chemical information system, therefore electrophysiological tecniques are not very efficient. The recent development of PALM and STORM microscopy can be a very powerful solution to these two main problems. This strategy can be included in a broader, hypothetical discipline called cognitive gliascience.

Open Access Short Research Article

Antifungal Activity of Camel Faeces with Special Reference to Dermatophytes

Elham Abdelbasit Suleiman, Elrahman Yousof Kabashi, Salwa Mohamed Elbashir, Abdallah Mohamed Elhassan

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/24744

Aim: The present study was conducted to evaluate the antifungal activity of camel faeces on some pathogenic fungi.

Study Design: This is a descriptive evaluation study.

Methodology: Camel faeces was extracted following Harborne method using organic solvents. Organic extracts besides, aqueous extract and ash were screened against clinical isolates using agar-well diffusion and incorporated methods. Parallel experiments were conducted with ketoconazole and nystatin, as positive control whereas; the vehicle solvents were used as negative control. Phytochemical analysis of Camel feaces was carried out following Harborne method.

Results: Water and ethanol extracts exerted significant effect on dermatophytes followed by chloroform and hexane extracts compared to the ash which revealed no activity. Aspergillus and Pencillium species were found insensitive to all test extracts where as Candida albicans was found sensitive only to the hexane extract. Sterols and triterpenes were revealed on phytochemical analysis.

Discussion: The antifungal activity of camel faeces might be due to the sterols and triterpenes.  

Conclusion: The study confirms efficacy of camel faeces as natural antifungal agent, and suggests the possibility of employing it for treatment of skin infections, caused by the test pathogens. The present study reveals first report on the use of camel faeces against some pathogenic fungi.

Recommendation: Identification and characterization of novel molecules are highly recommended.

Open Access Original Research Article

Performance of Short Chain Length Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production by Comamonas sp EB172 in Large Scale Bioreactors Based on Constant Impeller Tip Speed

Tabassum Mumtaz, Mitra Mohammadi, Lian- Ngit Yee, Suraini Abd-Aziz, Phang Lai Yee, Hidayah Ariffin, Yoshihito Shirai, Mohd Ali Hassan

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/24684

Aims: In this study, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) or PHBV, a short chain length polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) production by a local isolate Comamonas sp. EB172 using 500 g/L mixed organic acids were investigated in 10 L and 150 L stirred tank bioreactors based on constant impeller tip speed (minimum 0.56 m/s and maximum 2.22 m/s).

Results: The ratio of the three acids i.e., acetic, butyric, and propionic, were 2:1:1, mimicking clarified mixed acids obtained from anaerobically treated palm oil mill effluent. In pH controlled fed-batch cultivation, in 10 L bioreactor, the strain could accumulate 84% PHBV with biomass concentration of about 4.08 g/L under dual nutrient limitation strategy i.e., dissolved oxygen and nitrogen limited conditions. By maintaining similar tip speed in 150 L bioreactor, a final biomass concentration of 5.35 g/L with a PHBV content of 72% and volumetric productivity of 0.083 g/L/h were obtained. The calculated yield was 0.259 g PHBV/g mixed acids.

Conclusion: Both the yield and PHA content in 150 L bioreactor were comparable to that obtained in 10 L scale where PHBV content ranged from 70- 90% (w/w) of the cell with yield of 0.27- 0.4 g PHBV/g mixed acid, respectively. This is the first report of utilizing mixed organic acids for PHBV biosynthesis in large scale.

Open Access Original Research Article

Ethnobotanical, Nutritional, Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Studies of Garcinia xanthochymus Fruit Extracts

Prabir Murmu, Sanjeet Kumar, Jayanta Kumar Patra, Nihar Ranjan Singh, Sakti Kanta Rath

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/25244

Aim: An attempt has been made to document the ethnobotanical values of the fruits of                        G. xanthochymus  in and around the Similipal Biosphere Reserve (SBR) forest and evaluate the nutritional, phytochemical and antimicrobial potential of fruit extracts of G. xanthochymus.

Study Design: Ethnomedicinal collection were made, followed by nutritional evaluation of the fruits. Phytochemical analysis was carried out by qualitative method and antimicrobial activity was evaluated.

Place and Duration of Study: Samples were collected from Similipal Biosphere Reserve and its adjoining areas during 2013 to 2014. Laboratory work was done at Ravenshaw University, Cuttack.

Methodology: Ethnobotanical data collections were made mainly through semi-structured questionnaires focusing on local name(s), present knowledge on uses as food, degree of uses, medicinal and economic values. Nutritional and qualitative phytochemical analysis was done by standard methods. Antimicrobial activity was evaluated against two Gram-positive bacterial strains, three Gram-negative bacterial strains and one fungal strain by disc diffusion method.

Results: Ethnobotanical survey suggested that the plant is widely used as a food or food supplement by the tribal people as well as in treatment of various ailments like fever, stomach problems, skin diseases and sexual disorders. Nutritional evaluation showed that the fruit was rich in carbohydrate and starch. The qualitative phytochemical analysis revealed that the fruits are rich in different types of bioactive compounds like saponin, tannins, alkaloid, terpenoid and phenolic compounds. The pathogenic strains showed concentration dependent susceptibility to crude extracts.

Conclusion: The results support the traditional use of the plant parts for the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections. However, further work on this fruit will open avenues for discovery of new lead molecules which might be used in pharmaceutical industries.

Open Access Original Research Article

Mitochondrial Diversity and Time Divergence of Commonly Cultured Cichlids in Nigeria

O. T. Agbebi, C. J. Echefu, I. O. Adeosun, A. H. Ajibade, E. A. Adegbite, A. O. Adebambo, M. B. Ilori, S. O. Durosaro, A. B. Ajibike

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/25470

Aim: The aims are to study the genetic diversity and population structure of Tilapia fish species in Nigeria using mtDNA D-loop region  and time divergence of these various groups of fish to give a baseline information for fish management and conservation programs.

Methodology: Blood samples from four species of tilapia were collected with the use of FTA cards for DNA extraction and PCR amplification. A 941bp long fragment, including the D-loop, was subsequently used for analysis. Molecular diversity indices and Tajima’s selective test were determined. A phylogenetic tree was constructed for all the four fish species using UPGMA. The divergence time among the four fish species using MEGA5 software.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in the Biotechnology Centre, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta Nigeria between. Genotyping and Optimization of PCR conditions were carried out at STAB VIDA Lda, Madan Parque, Rua dos Inventores, 2825-182 Caparica Portugal. Total duration of study was between February to August 2015.

Results: Sarotherodon melanotheron has the highest nucleotide diversity (π), mean number of pairwise differences and number of polymorphic site, while the least was observed in Sarotherodon galiIaeus. The highest number of monomorphic site and the highest sequences conservation percentage was observed in Sarotherodon galiIaeus.

The Neighbour joining tree revealed six (6) clusters with no clear sub-structuring among the sampled fish populations. The smallest divergence time (about 31 mya) was observed between Sarotherodon galilaeus and Sarotherodon melanotheron. Sarotherodon spp diverged from Oreochromis niloticus about 32.5 mya.

Conclusion: The present study revealed that the sampled Tilapia species from Nigeria represent a single stock. The existing low levels of genetic variability observed here may compromise the evolutionary plasticity of the Tilapia species population. These findings indicate an urgent need for the careful monitoring of the harvesting of Tilapia species in Nigeria.