• March 4, 2024

Malva parviflora Leaves Mucilage: An Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Biopolymer with Antioxidant Properties

Malva parviflora L. is an edible and medicinal herb containing mucilaginous cells in its leaves. Mucilage obtained from M. parviflora leaves (MLM) was extracted in distilled water (1:10 w/v) at 70 °C followed by precipitation with alcohol. Preliminary phytochemical tests were performed to assess the purity of the extracted mucilage. Results showed that the yield of mucilage was 7.50%, and it was free from starch, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, steroids, lipids and heavy metals. MLM had 16.19% carbohydrates, 13.55% proteins and 4.76% amino acids, which indicate its high nutritional value. Physicochemical investigations showed that MLM is neutral and water-soluble, having 5.84% moisture content, 15.60% ash content, 12.33 swelling index, 2.57 g/g water-holding capacity and 2.03 g/g oil-binding capacity.
  • The functional properties, including emulsion capacity, emulsion stability, foaming capacity and stability increased with increased concentrations.
  • Micromeritic properties, such as bulk density, tapped density, Carr’s index, Hausner ratio, and angle of repose, were found to be 0.69 g/cm3, 0.84 g/cm3, 17.86%, 1.22 and 28.5, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that MLM is an amorphous powder possessing particles of varying size and shape; meanwhile, rheological studies revealed the pseudoplastic behavior of MLM.
  • The thermal transition process of MLM revealed by a differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermogram, occurring at a reasonable enthalpy change (∆H), reflects its good thermal stability. The presence of functional groups characteristic of polysaccharides was ascertained by the infrared (IR) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analyses.
  • GC revealed the presence of five neutral monosaccharides; namely, galactose, rhamnose, arabinose, glucose and mannose, showing 51.09, 10.24, 8.90, 1.80 and 0.90 mg/g of MLM, respectively. Meanwhile, galacturonic acid is the only detected acidic monosaccharide, forming 15.06 mg/g of MLM.
  • It showed noticeable antioxidant activity against the DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) radical with an IC50 value of 154.27 µg/mL. It also prevented oxidative damage to DNA caused by Gentaur Gel Documentation System the Fenton reagent, as visualized in gel documentation system.
  • The sun protection factor was found to be 10.93 ± 0.15 at 400 µg/mL. Thus, MLM can be used in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry and as a therapeutic agent due to its unique properties.

Telomere length in dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and their age-matched naturally produced counterparts

There are controversial reports on the restoration of eroded telomere length in offspring produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in different animal species. To the best of our knowledge, no earlier studies report the telomere length in naturally produced or cloned animals in any of the camelid species. Therefore, the present study was conducted to estimate the telomere length in dromedary camels produced by SCNT, the donor cells, and their age-matched naturally produced counterparts by Terminal Restriction Fragment (TRF) length analysis and real-time Q PCR T/S ratio methods. Genomic DNA was extracted from venous blood collected from 6 cloned animals and their age-matched counterparts.
Using the southern blot technique, digested DNA was blotted onto a positively charged nylon membrane, and its hybridization was carried out using telomere (TTAGGG)n specific, DIG-labeled hybridization probe (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) at 42 °C for 4 h. Stringent washes were carried out at the same temperature, followed by a chemiluminescence reaction.
The signals were captured using the Azure Biosystems C600 gel documentation system. A TeloTool program from MATLAB software with a built-in probe intensity correction algorithm was used for TRF analysis. The experiment was replicated three times, and the data, presented as mean ± SEM, were analyzed using a two-sample t-test (MINITAB statistical software, Minitab ltd, CV3 2 TE, UK).
No difference was found in the mean telomere length of cloned camels when compared to their naturally produced age-matched counterparts. However, the telomere length was more (P < 0.05) than that of the somatic cells used for producing the SCNT embryos. A moderate positive Pearson correlation coefficient (r = 0.6446) was observed between the telomere lengths estimated by TRF and Q PCR T/S ratio method.
In conclusion, this is the first study wherein we are reporting telomere length in naturally produced and cloned dromedary camels produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer. We found that telomere lengths in cloned camels were similar to their age-matched naturally produced counterparts, suggesting that the camel cytoplast reprograms the somatic cell nucleus and restores the telomere length to its totipotency stage.

Mycobacterium porcinum Skin and Soft Tissue Infections After Vaccinations – Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, September 2018-February 2019

During December 2018-February 2019, a multistate investigation identified 101 patients with vaccination-associated adverse events among an estimated 940 persons in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio who had received influenza; hepatitis A; pneumococcal; or tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccines at the workplace during September 11-November 28, 2018. These vaccines had been administered by staff members of a third-party health care company contracted by 24 businesses. Company A provided multiple vaccine types during workplace vaccination events across 54 locations in these adjoining states.
Injection-site wound isolates from patients yielded Mycobacterium porcinum, a nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) species in the Mycobacterium fortuitum group; subtyping using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of all 28 available isolates identified two closely related clusters.
Site visits to company A and interviews with staff members identified inadequate hand hygiene, improper vaccine storage and handling, lack of appropriate medical record documentation, and lack of reporting to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Vaccination-associated adverse events can be prevented by training health care workers responsible for handling or administering vaccines in safe vaccine handling, administration, and storage practices, timely reporting of any suspected vaccination-associated adverse events to VAERS, and notifying public health authorities of any adverse event clusters.

First report of Klebsiella aerogenes Inciting Stem Rot of Pearl Millet in Haryana, India

Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br. Syn. Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke] is the oldest and widely cultivated millet in Asian and African countries, mostly grown over low fertile soils in more than 40 countries covering an area of 312.00 lakh hectares (FAOSTAT 2017). In Haryana, crop was grown over an area of 4.30 lakh hectares during Kharif 2019. Pearl millet is prone to many fungal and bacterial diseases. During 2018 to 2020, a new devastating diseas exhibiting stem rot like symptoms was observed in pearl millet growing regions in Indian state of Haryana. The isolated disease causing agent was a bacterium, where 16S rDNA-based nucleotide sequence deposited in NCBI GenBank (Accession nos. MZ433194.1) conferred its nearness to Klebsiella aerogenes (Hormaeche and Edwards 1960) Tindall et al. 2017.
Further, DNA gyrase genomic sequence (NCBI Accession nos. MZ707528.1) also stayed its high homology to K. aerogenes. Klebsiella usually known to cause diseases in humans and animals, and also has been found inciting different kind of rots in different plantations viz. top rot in maize (Huang Min et al. 2016). Pearl millet is susceptible to minor bacterial diseases viz. bacterial leaf streak (Xanthomonas campestris), bacterial leaf spot (Pseudomonas syringae) and leaf stripe (P. avenae).
Earlier, among the plant pathogenic bacterial entirety, only Erwinia chrysanthemi is known to cause stem rot diseases in sorghum (Saxena et al. 1991) amongst different types of millet. Extensive disease survey of pearl millet growing regions (Hisar, Bhiwani, Rewari, Mohindergarh and Bawal districts of Haryana having an altitude of 215, 225, 245, 262 and 266 m, respectively) in rainy seasons of 2019 and 2020 revealed the prevalence of typical stem rot disease, representing up to 70% disease incidence in the infected fields. The pieces of symptomatic stem of different plants were collected from two locations (Hisar and Bhiwani) and associated organism was isolated following the techniques of Janse (2005).
The resulting growth of bacterial cultures were further purified on nutrient agar (NA) media using streak plate technique where colony growth of both the isolates were observed as morphotypes. The resulting bacteria were gram-negative and rod-shaped. Colonies were round and creamish white on NA. Isolated morphotypes were positive for indole production, methyl red, Voges Proskauer’s test, citrate utilization, arabinose, mannitol, rhamnose and sucrose, whereas negative for glucose, adonitol, lactose and sorbitol tests.
Biochemical tests were performed following standard methods (Holt et al. 1994). Molecular analysis of both isolates was performed using two sets of primers (universal 16S rRNA gene and genus-specific gyrA gene). The gyrA fragment (F: 5′-CGCGTACTATACGCCATGAACGTA-3′; R: 5′-ACCGTTGATCACTTCGGTCAGG-3′) has been adopted as Klebsiella genus-specific gene (Brisse and Verhoef 2001). The quality and quantity of the isolated genomic DNA were analyzed using NanoDrop-2000 (Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA) and resolved in 1% (w/v) agarose gel. Thereafter, visualized in gel documentation to confirm a single band of high-molecular-weight DNA.
The fragment 16S rDNA was amplified using 27F and 1492R primers, where a single discrete PCR amplicon of 1500 bp was observed in 1% (w/v) agarose gel. Similarly, the gyrA gene was amplified using 09510F and 09510R primers that conferred a single discrete band of 400 bp. The forward and reverse DNA sequencing reaction of purified PCR amplicons (16S rDNA and gyrA) was carried out using BDT v3.1 Cycle sequencing kit on a genetic analyzer to generate gene sequences. The consensus sequences of both gene were generated from forward and reverse sequences data using aligner software. The obtained sequences of both genes were compared with the available nucleotide sequences in the NCBI using the blast 2.2.9 system.
The sequenced PCR amplicons showed up to 100% similarity with Klebsiella aerogenes 16s RNA nucleotide sequences (Accession nos. NR102493.2, MT373521.1; MF682950.1; MF462979.1 etc.). The bacterium also showed high nucleotide homology to K. aerogenes gyrA gene sequences (Accession nos. LR607333.1; CP035466.1; CP049600.1 etc.). The molecular phylogenetic analysis was done by the maximum likelihood method based on the Tamura-Nei model, and 1000 replicates for bootstrap testing in MEGA 7.0 software. The analysis involved 16 nucleotide sequences and evolutionary distances were computed.
The 16s RNA based phylogenetic tree raised using MEGA7 (Kumar et al. 2016) elucidates that Klebsiella aerogenes Hisar formed a cluster with three K. aerogenes strains (Accession nos. MZ577128.1, MT373521.1 and MT 373520.1), whereas K. aerogenes Bhiwani displayed higher homology to NCBI sequences viz. MF682950.1, MT355368.1, MW331687.1and LC515412.1. Bacterial suspension was prepared by suspending bacterial cells into sterile water and cell density was adjusted to 1×107 colony forming unit/ml.
For pathogenicity, leaf whorl inoculation (10 ml suspension/ whorl) was done on 15 days old seedlings of pearl millet genotype 7042S raised under controlled conditions (Temperature 35±2°C and more than 80% Relative Humidity). The pathogenicity was proved under field conditions as well.
Initial symptoms were observed 4-5 days after inoculation as long streaks on leaves. Soon a spike in number of these leaf streaks was observed. Thereafter, water-soaked lesions appeared on the stem at 20-25 days after inoculation which later on turned brown to black. Severely diseased plants were dead, exhibiting hollowing of the stem and drying of leaves.
The infected stem pith disintegrated and showed slimy rot symptoms and the pearl millet clumps toppled down. The rotten stems of both inoculations were again cut in to small pieces and the reisolated bacterium showed exactly the same morphological, biochemical and molecular characteristics. To our knowledge, this is the first report of stem rot of pearl millet incited by K. aerogenes in south-western regions of Haryana, India. Because the stem rot caused by K. aerogenes poses a significant threat to pearl millet cultivation, further research on biology, epidemiology and management choices is needed.

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