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  • Open access
  • 36 Reads

Evaluation of Seeds Moringa oleifera Lam. Present in Urban Forests as a Coagulant-Flocculant for Water Treatment

Water pollution represents one of the main consequences of anthropogenic activity, therefore, recent research has developed promising techniques for treating wastewater through the use of natural coagulants-flocculants, which generate higher water quality and product reduction environmentally harmful synthetics and human health. Moringa oleifera seeds are reported as the most potent natural coagulants, and according to the growth of the tree in different landscapes and gradients, they present variability in their biological function. The objective of the work was to evaluate the efficiency of M. oleifera seeds collected in urban forests of the city of Ibagué, Colombia as a natural coagulant-flocculant in the treatment of water for human consumption. Seeds were collected ad libitum from trees present in forest remnants inside the city, dried, pulverized and subjected to the process of extraction of the active agents from organic solvents; samples were taken from river surface waters and with a latin square design (DCL) that grouped two factors (water pH and extract dosage), the coagulant action was evaluated in the tests carried out with jar tests. According to the ranges of pH (4, 5, 6 and 7) and dosages (5, 10, 15 and 20 ml) used, a greater reduction of the turbidity values ​​was obtained in the conditions of pH 6 with a dosage of 10 ml of coagulant solution, and pH 7 with a dosage of 10 ml of coagulant solution. The tests carried out showed that the coagulation-flocculation levels of moringa seeds do not vary significantly concerning the reports in the literature for Colombia, their performance is associated with the factors established in the experimental design and maintains experimental efficiency against coagulants conventionals used for the purification of water.

  • Open access
  • 15 Reads
The Mineral, Amino Acid and Fatty Acid Evaluations of Myristica fragrans Seeds Extracts

The mineral elements, amino acid constituents and fatty acids present in Myristica fragrans seeds extracts were identified and quantified using atomic absorption spectrometry and flame photometry, Technicon sequential multi-sample amino acid analyzer (TSM) and Shimadzu GC-MS machine respectively. Six hundred grams of powdered seeds were extracted in methanol and n-hexane (2:1 v/v) using a rotary evaporator. Calcium, magnesium, and iron were the most abundant in methanol extract with concentrations of 3.207 ± 0.048 part per million (ppm), 2.998 ± 0.046 ppm, and 0.977 ± 0.022 ppm respectively. The major essential amino acids in the seed were leucine 6.24 g/100g protein, valine 3.72 g/100g protein, and threonine 3.50 g/100g protein while the non-essential amino acids were glutamate 10.6 g/100g protein, aspartate 7.60 g/100g protein, and arginine 5.50 g/100g protein. The major biological compounds in the methanol extract as revealed by the GC-MS analysis were 9,12-Octadecadienoic acid methyl ester (RT: 20.768, 27.13%), Cyclododecyne (RT: 26.458, 19.33%) and octadecanoic acid (RT: 14.360, 12.24%) while the hexane extract constituents were margarinic acid (RT: 14.746, 27.04%), oleic acid (RT: 20.947, 18.96%) and 9,12-octadecadien-1-ol (RT: 26.523%, 15.10%). These compounds have shown nutritional, pharmacological, and medicinal importance in different studies.

  • Open access
  • 37 Reads
Temperature and Water Stress Integral Influence in Physiological Responses among Eucalyptus Genotypes

Water stress, in the face of climate change, is expected to reduce photosynthesis and leaf water potential in order to regulate plant water status and maintain growth by adjusting water use efficiency. We hypothesize that higher summer temperatures increase photosynthesis, however summer higher atmospheric demand decreases the efficiency of water use, being this decrease more pronounced in more stressed genotypes. Our study investigated the photosynthesis (Anet), intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) and water stress integral (WSI) changes in the early development of E. globulus, E. nitens and E. nitens x E. globulus hybrids (E gloni) genotypes across contrasting seasons: winter (6 months years old) to summer (13 months years old). Anet, iWUE, and WSI showed a significant interaction (p>0.001) between genotype and season. Regardless of the season, some E. globulus genotypes presented no significant changes in Anet, however, in summer higher increment in Anet was observed for E. gloni (almost 50%). In winter, the highest iWUE was 129 µmol mol-1, while in summer was 50 µmol mol-1. The highest reduction in iWUE values between winter and summer was observed for E. nitens genotypes (300%). The lowest iWUE values in summer were related to the lowest values of WSI, in which E. nitens were different from E. globulus and E. gloni (p=0.01). Interestingly, we observed a positive relationship between WSI and iWUE in summer; however, this relationship was the opposite in winter. Our results suggest that accumulated stress (WSI) in winter helps to promote stomatal closure which increases iWUE, since Anet presented small changes in winter. Regardless of genotype, warm periods increased Anet; however, iWUE decreased, especially in genotypes with more accumulated stress, which implies different strategies of eucalyptus genotypes/species plantations in regions with water deficit.

  • Open access
  • 36 Reads
Assessment of the Genetic Diversity of Ulex europaeus in Maui, California, Hawaii and New Zealand by a Method of Microsatellite Markers

Genetic assessment of invasive plant species that adapt themselves and propagate in many regions in the world is important for the further study to avoid ambiguity. The variations of many parts of invasive plants called phenotypic plasticity are affected by regional effects of its invaded place such as climatic and geographical traits. It is important to make it clear whether the variations of the plant parts are derived from the regional traits or genetic differences. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic distances of the invasive species, Ulex europaeus from the four different regions such as Maui, California, Hawaii and New Zealand prior to the further studies. As Ulex europaeus is an allohexaploid species, which often shows genotypic ambiguity by normal single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), microsatellite method was used for the assessment because it has been used frequently to test the genetic distances of the hexaploid plant species these days. We tested the leaf samples of 37 mother trees from four regions (11 from Maui, four from California, seven from Hawaii, 15 from New Zealand) at five microsatellite loci. After polymerase chain reaction analyses (PCR), dinucleotide-repeat motifs (DRMs) were counted and compared to test the genetic distances of the samples. As a result, dendrogram and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that Ulex europaeus sampled in four different regions were genetically very close.

  • Open access
  • 21 Reads
Establishment of an Efficient In Vitro Culture System in Dicentra × hybrida

Dicentra, known as bleeding-hearts, is a genus of eight species of herbaceous plants, native to eastern Asia and North America. It is a member of the Fumariaceae botanical family, sometimes referred to as a subfamily of the Papaveraceae (the poppy family). Dicentra × hybrida is a popular ornamental hybrid, cultivated in parks and gardens worldwide. To date, there are no reports on establishing a plant tissue culture system in this species. In Dicentra, all leaves are in a basal rosette which hinders the disinfection process. At the same time, cautious treatments are required not to damage the delicate tissue. The aim of this study was to develop an efficient tissue culture system in D. × hybrida ‘Amore Rose’ for the purpose of further micropropagation. Shoots of in vivo­-grown plants were dissected and washed with running tap water. Next, shoot segments were bathed in tap water with a drop of detergent for 30 min and, then, immersed in 70% (v/v) ethanol for 1 min. Following the initial disinfection, explants were surface sterilized with 0.4 – 0.8% (v/v) sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) for 20 min and, finally, washed thrice with sterile distilled water (20 min each). The treated rosette explants were inoculated polarly in the modified Murashige and Skoog medium devoid of plant growth regulators and cultured in a growth room with 16-h photoperiod. After one month, contamination-free explants were transferred on the kinetin-supplemented medium. The disinfection efficiency reached 20 – 40%. All disinfected explants were capable to develop healthy shoots. The multiplication ration, i.e. number of secondary explants produced, reached 4.3. All developed shoots regenerated roots spontaneously. The described here protocol can be recommended for in vitro propagation of Dicentra × hybrida. Further studies should focus on inducing adventitious organogenesis from leaf explants of the in vitro-derived plant material.

  • Open access
  • 39 Reads
Building a Pathway for Diversity in Plant Sciences in Argentina: Highlighting the Work of Women Scientists through Virtual Activities

Encouraging the participation of a diverse workforce in academia increases plurality as it broadens the range of skills, ways of thinking and experiences. Institutions and professional societies have been putting efforts on building plans that help make workplaces, conferences, education and extension programs more relatable to a highly diverse population. Argentina has an overall gender-balanced workforce in the sciences (~53% women/total), with an even higher representation in disciplines related to plant sciences. However, media outlets and national conferences related to genetics, botany, plant physiology, ecology and molecular biology, fail to reflect those numbers as the proportion of women invited for interviews, plenary lectures, and symposia falls below ~30%. As a way to increase the visibility of the wealth of plant science topics and experimental approaches in which Argentinian women work, and to facilitate connections among them across the country and abroad, we created the Argentinian Women in Plant Science network ( This group has grown to over 200 members, representing a wide range of career stages and research topics. Since April, and taking advantage of the confinement situation, our weekly webinar series highlighting women plant scientists has reached an average audience of 60-70 participants, with a record of 100. Recently, we have begun a series of open professional development webinars to reach a wider public. Our first webinar, focused on Scientific poster design, had ~250 participants, most of them undergrad and graduate students from all over the country covering a diverse range of disciplines, including the social sciences. Even though we have immersed ourselves in the plant science community with our weekly seminars, we have expanded our goals with activities aimed to reach out to a much wider audience with webinars and teacher training workshops, hopefully making plant science more attainable to all.

  • Open access
  • 41 Reads
A New Massive (omics) Analysis for Fruit Development and Other Important Traits in Prickly Pear (Opuntia spp)

Prickly pear (cactus fruit) is an important crop in Mexico, it helps to the establishment of Mexican antique civilization. As a ripening model, it has a unique character because include morphospecies with contrasting characteristics, making easier their interpretation. The main commercialization problems for prickly pear include the presence of seeds and spines (gloquids), it would be interesting to idenfied the genetic factors involve in their synthesis of these structures, through genetic expression in order to design some strategy for their control. In this study we have been used different molecular and bioinformatics strategies for the identification of the factors related to prickly pear development. In proteomics assays using three morphospecies with contrasting development and fruit ripening, it was possible to identified the minimal number of required peptides for fruit development and ripening delay, also were identified peptides associated to regulatory functions in transcendental metabolic functions. In the miRNA transcriptome, were identified 255 molecules associated to the fruit development and other important process, such as adaptation to extremal growth conditions, were cactus plants growth. Seven families of miRNAs were associated to fruit development and plant adaptation, and the pathway of miRNA participation was determined. The expression assays shown the effects of miRNAs on fruit development in prickly pear.

  • Open access
  • 20 Reads
Cost-Effective Markers and Candidate Genes Analysis at Wheat MQTL Loci

High-resolution melting analysis (HRM) is a resolutive technique, using PCR amplification and in-tube detection, which is based on the PCR product's melting analysis. It is a promising technique for breeding analysis, as it does not require dedicated sequencing equipment. It can be performed using QRT-PCR equipment that can be available in small-medium molecular biology laboratories or locally by the breeders, and it does not require an electrophoretic step to analyze the amplified DNA fragments. To develop effective HRM assays, the search for highly polymorphic sites amenable to PCR amplification is a prerequisite, which is not an easy task in wheat due to its genome complexity. The insertion site-based polymorphism markers (ISBP) are PCR markers designed based on the knowledge of the sequence flanking transposable element (TE) sequences. The two PCR primers are designed one in the transposable element and the other in the flanking DNA sequence. TEs are very abundant and nested in the wheat genome, with unique (genome-specific) insertion sites that are highly polymorphic. In this work, we have developed HRM-ISBP assays for wheat 3B and 4A chromosomes, and used them to analyze wheat diversity at previously defined drought and heat MQTL Loci. A candidate gene analysis of these loci derived key drought and heat responsive genes, validated by their differential expression patterns under stress conditions.

Funding support from projects P18-RT-992 from Junta de Andalucía (Andalusian Regional Government), Spain (Co-funded by FEDER), and by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation project PID2019-109089RB-C32 are gratefully acknowledged.

  • Open access
  • 27 Reads
The Metabolic Elicitors of the Pseudomonas fluorescens N 21.4 Strain as Effective Biotechnological Inoculants for the Cultivation of Blackberry

The current need to provide sufficient and quality food to a growing population is linked to the development of new agricultural techniques based on improving the resistance of crops against biotic and abiotic stress. Since the consumption of blackberry is becoming very popular for its benefits on human health and it is a crop with a lack of specific inoculants able to boost plant resistance, we looked for an efficient, affordable, and sustainable biotechnological inoculant made of metabolic elicitor molecules of the beneficial rhizobacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens N 21.4 to get a more stress-resilient crop. For this, we inoculated the live rhizobacterium as positive control, since its capacity to elicit blackberry secondary defensive metabolism has been previously demonstrated (Garcia-Seco et al. 2015), and its metabolic elicitors to commercial cultivars of blackberry (Rubus cv. Loch Ness). We measured stress markers such as photosynthetic parameters, oxidative stress enzymatic activity, pathogenesis-related proteins and polyphenolic composition of the leaves, and the bioactive content of the fruit in two stages of ripening.

Our results showed that the metabolic elicitor-inoculated plants were more prepared to cope with stress since higher values of photosynthesis were observed, as well as lower enzymatic activity and an activation of pathogenesis-related proteins. Furthermore, the leaves and the fruits of the inoculated plants showed an enhancement in the concentration of beneficial polyphenols, highlighting the increase in epicatechin (Martin-Rivilla et al. 2020). This would mean having better quality fruits and would revalorize the leaves pruning as a potential source of polyphenols, providing an added value to the crop while following the premises of the circular economy.

The elicitation of the blackberry secondary defensive metabolism therefore demonstrates metabolic elicitors’ capacity to reinforce plant immune system and to increase the synthesis of beneficial bioactives, and this work suggest them as effective and ecofriendly plant inoculants.

  • Open access
  • 33 Reads
Cachrys libanotis L. Extracts: Photocytotoxic Effects on UVA-Irradiated Human Melanoma Cells

Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Photochemotherapy, combining the action of a light source and a chemical photosensitizer, is one of the most interesting current therapeutic approaches. Plants represent a rich source of photoactive compounds, and furanocoumarins are some of the most important naturally occurring phytoconstituents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the photocytotoxic potential of Cachrys libanotis L. (Apiaceae) from Southern Italy. This species belongs to a genus rich in furanocoumarins and widely distributed in Europe. The aerial parts were extracted through both traditional maceration and pressurized cyclic solid-liquid (PCSL) extraction using Naviglio extractor®. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed to detect the coumarins content using GC-MS, and the photocytotoxic effects of the extracts were assessed on UVA-irradiated C32 melanoma cells. The apoptotic responses were also evaluated. Furthermore, phenolic content and the in vitro antioxidant potential were also estimated. Xanthotoxin, bergapten and isopimpinellin were identified and quantified. Both extracts affected cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner after irradiation for 1 hour at a dose of 1.08 J/cm2. Sample obtained through PCSL extraction was the most effective, with an IC50 equal to 3.16 μg/mL, a very interesting value if compared with the positive control bergapten. This extract induced up-regulation of apoptotic signals such as BAX and PARP cleavage and, in the presence of UVA radiation, it caused a greater upregulation of p21 protein. Obtained results suggest that investigated species could be a good candidate for further studies aimed to find new drugs with photocytotoxic potential.