Publications by authors named "Haifeng Qian"

175 Publications

Meta-transcriptomic profiling of functional variation of freshwater microbial communities induced by an antidepressant sertraline hydrochloride.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Apr 30;786:147434. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310014, PR China.

Sertraline hydrochloride (Ser-HCl) is an effective and commonly used antidepressant drug, which is also frequently detected in aquatic environments. Our previous research showed that Ser-HCl changes the community composition of aquatic microbiome, but the understanding of the expression of functional pathways in microbial communities is still incomplete; to address this knowledge gap, we used meta-transcriptomics analysis to evaluate the toxicity of Ser-HCl to natural aquatic microbial communities cultured in laboratory microcosms. Meta-transcriptomic results show that a 15-day exposure to 50 μg/L Ser-HCl significantly changed the functional expression activity of aquatic microbial communities. Pathways related to lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, membrane transport function, and genetic information processing in the aquatic microbial community were severely inhibited under Ser-HCl treatment, but metabolism of cofactors and vitamins to alleviate biological toxicity after Ser-HCl exposure was enhanced. Our study thus reveals details of the effects of sertraline on the functioning of aquatic microbiome. Due to the extensive use of Ser-HCl and its strong biological activity, it should not continue to be an overlooked pollutant. Therefore, more attention should be paid to the negative effects of such biologically active drugs on the expression of aquatic microbiome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147434DOI Listing
April 2021

Comparison of Different Soluble Dietary Fibers during the Fermentation Process.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.

Soluble dietary fibers being fermented by gut microbiota constitute a pivotal prerequisite for soluble dietary fibers exhibiting physiological functions. However, the relationship between fiber type and gut microbiota metabolism remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare the effect of fiber types on short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) biosynthesis in a simulated colon. Results showed that different soluble dietary fibers caused distinct metabolic profiles both in SCFAs and organic acids. Further analysis revealed that the SCFA biosynthesis pathway was related to the chain structure of fiber polysaccharides. Moreover, the microbial community structure showed substantial difference among experimental groups. was substantially elevated in the resistant starch group, while was the predominant genus in other groups. Correlation analysis further revealed that SCFA biosynthesis was correlated with microbial taxa at different taxonomic levels. Totally, the present study provided an insight into targeted intervention of gut microorganisms for dictating SCFA and organic acid production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c00237DOI Listing
May 2021

Wheat bran, as the resource of dietary fiber: a review.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2021 May 3:1-28. Epub 2021 May 3.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China.

Wheat bran is a major by-product of white flour milling and had been produced in large quantities around the world; it is rich in dietary fiber and had already been used in many products such as whole grain baking or high dietary fiber addition. It has been confirmed that a sufficient intake of dietary fiber in wheat bran with appropriate physiological functions is beneficial to human health. Wheat bran had been considered as the addition with a large potential for improving the nutritional condition of the human body based on the dietary fiber supplement. The present review summarized the available information on wheat bran related to its dietary fiber functions, which may be helpful for further development of wheat bran as dietary fiber resource.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2021.1913399DOI Listing
May 2021

Effect of phosphate salts on the gluten network structure and quality of wheat noodles.

Food Chem 2021 Apr 20;358:129895. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

The effects of three phosphate salts (PS) on the secondary structure, microstructure of gluten, rheological properties of dough and water status of noodles were investigated to determine the mechanisms underlying the changes in the quality of noodles. Changes in the secondary structure detected were the increased number of β-sheet and decreased number of random coil structures. PS reduced the content of free sulfhydryl (SH) and increased the content of disulfide (SS) bonds. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis indicated that the band density of the high molecular regions of the gluten was reduced. The results showed that adding PS induced a more compact microstructure and improved the G' and G'' values of the dough. After adding PS, the water-solids interaction in noodles was enhanced by the decreased water mobility. It was concluded that PS promoted the water holding capacity of the noodles and strengthened the gluten network.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129895DOI Listing
April 2021

Effects of S-metolachlor on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedling root exudates and the rhizosphere microbiome.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Jun 13;411:125137. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, PR China; Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, PR China. Electronic address:

S-metolachlor (S-ME) is a common chloroacetanilide herbicide. Here, we investigated the effects of S-ME on wheat seedling growth and explored via metabolomics the driver through which S-ME changes the rhizosphere microbiome. The results indicated that 4 mg/kg S-ME had a strong inhibitory effect on plant growth by inducing hydrogen peroxide (HO) levels. The richness of the rhizosphere microbiome markedly decreased after S-ME treatment, although the abundance of some potential beneficial rhizobacteria, such as Rhizobiaceae and Burkholderiaceae, increased suggesting that plants recruited potential beneficial microorganisms to resist S-ME-induced stress. Spearman correlation analysis revealed that Rhizobiaceae and Burkholderiaceae were positively correlated with organic acids secreted by plants after S-ME treatment, implying that potential beneficial microorganisms may be attracted mainly by organic acids. Our results demonstrated the phytotoxicity of S-ME on crop growth and indicated both that S-ME could influence rhizosphere microorganism abundance and that recruitment of potential beneficial microorganisms could be the result of root exudate regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125137DOI Listing
June 2021

Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. as a promising resource of bioactive compounds with health benefits: An updated review.

Food Chem 2021 Sep 31;356:129738. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

School of Food Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb.(VBT) is well-known for many physiological and bioactivities in some ancient Chinese pharmacopeias and modern researches. The health benefits are related to the presence of various nutritional and bioactive compounds. This review aims to demonstrate an updated overview of VBT in respect of botanical characters, nutritional and bioactive composition, main biological activities, and current applications. Various studies have emphasized at promising health benefits of VBT against hyperglycemia, oxidative stress, inflammation, depressive disorder, and retinal damage. However, the applications of VBT are limited to some native traditional foods and Chinese medicine. The novel beneficial efficacy and applications are still needed to be investigated. In conclusion, more research is necessary to overcome these gaps between the in-depth insights of health benefits and potential industrial applications. This review will contribute in future research for developing the functional foods derived from VBT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129738DOI Listing
September 2021

Effects of low-carbohydrate diet and ketogenic diet on glucose and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetic mice.

Nutrition 2021 Mar 4;89:111230. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China. Electronic address:

Objective: With the prevalence of diabetes worldwide, it is urgent to find a suitable treatment. Recently, the ketogenic diet has shown beneficial effects in reducing blood glucose, but some concerns have been raised about its probable side effects, such as hyperlipidemia and hepatic steatosis. Because a low-carbohydrate diet replaces part of the fat with carbohydrates on the basis of the ketogenic diet, we would like to know whether it does better in treating type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to explore the possibility of a low-carbohydrate diet as a substitute for a ketogenic diet intervention in mice with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: C57 BL/6 J mice with type 2 diabetes, constructed by a high-fat diet combined with streptozotocin, were fed a standard diet, a high-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet, or a ketogenic diet for 14 wk, respectively. Then glucose and insulin tolerance tests were conducted. At the end of the study, blood and liver samples were collected and analyzed for serum biochemical indicators, histopathologic evaluation, hepatic lipid and glycogen content, and expression levels of mRNA and protein.

Results: Reduced blood glucose could be observed in both low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets, as well as improvement in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. However, the ketogenic diet decreased liver glycogen content and promoted gluconeogenesis. Mechanistically, this effect was due to inhibition of phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase, which could be improved by a low-carbohydrate diet. Regarding lipid metabolism, the ketogenic diet increased lipid oxidation and reduced de novo lipogenesis, but the hepatic lipid content still inevitably increased. On the contrary, the low-carbohydrate diet reduced triacylglycerols and markers of liver damage.

Conclusions: Collectively, these findings suggest that both diets are effective in lowering blood glucose, improving glucose tolerance, and raising insulin sensitivity. Moreover, the low-carbohydrate diet plays a role in inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis and improving lipid metabolism. The results suggest that the two diets have different effects on glucose and lipid metabolism, and that the low-carbohydrate diet might have more benefits in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2021.111230DOI Listing
March 2021

Molecular structure, morphological, and physicochemical properties of highlands barley starch as affected by natural fermentation.

Food Chem 2021 Sep 23;356:129665. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

School of Food Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

The influence of natural fermentation on the highlands barley starch chemical structure, morphological, physicochemical, and thermal properties was studied. The findings showed that fermentation had no impact on starch fine structure but it decreased the molecular-weight from 2.26 to 1.04 × 10 g/mol in native highlands barley and after 72 h fermentation (FHB72) respectively. Also, it decreased amylopectin long-chains (B1 and B2) while increased short-chains. The intensity ratio of FT-IR at 995/1022 and 1047/1022 bands were found to be higher as the time of fermentation progressed, and the highest absorption-intensity at 3000-3600 cm and higher swelling capacity were noticed in the starch of FHB72. During fermentation, pasting peak, final and setback viscosities were decreased. Microscopically, granules with more pores, damaged, cracked, and no growth rings were found in starches isolated after 48 h and 72 h of fermentation. This study indicated that fermentation up to 72 h is an effective method to modify highlands barley starch.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129665DOI Listing
September 2021

l-Arabinose Attenuates Gliadin-Induced Food Allergy via Regulation of Th1/Th2 Balance and Upregulation of Regulatory T Cells in Mice.

J Agric Food Chem 2021 Mar 18;69(12):3638-3646. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.

Gliadins are the main cause of wheat allergies, and the prevalence of gliadin allergy has increased in many countries. l-Arabinose, a kind of plant-specific five-carbon aldose, possesses beneficial effects on food allergy to gliadins. This study investigated the antiallergic activities and underlying mechanisms of l-arabinose in a wheat gliadin-sensitized mouse model. BALB/c mice were sensitized to gliadin by intraperitoneal injections with gliadin followed by being given a gliadin challenge. l-arabinose-treated mice exhibited a marked reduction in the productions of total immunoglobulin E (IgE), gliadin-specific IgE, gliadin-specific IgG1, and histamine, with an increase in IgG2a level as compared with gliadin-sensitized mice. Beside that, a significant decrease in Th2-related cytokine level, IL-4, and an increase in Th1-related cytokine level, IFN-γ, in the serum and splenocytes were observed after treatment with l-arabinose. l-Arabinose treatment also improved the imbalance of Th1/Th2 immune response on the basis of the expression levels of related cytokines and key transcription factors in the small intestine and spleen of sensitized mice. In addition, gliadin-induced intestinal barrier impairment was blocked by l-arabinose treatment via regulation of TJ proteins and suppression of p38 MAPK and p65 NF-κB inflammation signaling pathways. Notably, the results confirmed that l-arabinose treatment increased CD4 Foxp3 T cell populations and Treg-related factors associated with increased expression of IL-2 and activation of STAT5 in gliadin-sensitized mice. In conclusion, l-arabinose attenuated the gliadin-induced allergic symptoms via maintenance of Th1/Th2 immune balance and regulation of Treg cells in a gliadin-induced mouse model, suggesting l-arabinose could be used as a promising agent to alleviate gliadin allergy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c07167DOI Listing
March 2021

Phyllosphere bacterial assemblage is affected by plant genotypes and growth stages.

Microbiol Res 2021 Jul 5;248:126743. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, 310032, PR China; Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, 830011, PR China. Electronic address:

The interaction between plants and microorganisms directly affects plant health and sustainable agricultural development. Leaves represent a wide-area habitat populated by a variety of microorganisms, whose impact on host environmental adaptability could influence plant growth and function. The driving factors for phyllosphere microbiota assemblage are the focus of current research. Here, we investigated the effect of growth stage (i.e., bolting, flowering, and maturation) and genotype of Arabidopsis thaliana (wild-type and the two photosynthetic mutants ndf4 and pgr5) on the composition of phyllosphere microbiota. Our results show that species abundance varied significantly between the three genotypes at different growth stages, whereas species richness and evenness varied only for ndf4. The leaf surface shared a core microbiota dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes in all tested growth stages and genotypes. Phyllosphere specificity varied more with respect to growth stage than to genotype. In summary, both the growth stage and genotype of A. thaliana are crucial in shaping phyllosphere bacterial composition, with the former being a stronger driver. Our findings provide a novel for investigating whether the host properties influence the phyllosphere community and favor healthy development of plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micres.2021.126743DOI Listing
July 2021

Macleaya cordata extract, an antibiotic alternative, does not contribute to antibiotic resistance gene dissemination.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Jun 30;412:125272. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, PR China. Electronic address:

The abuse of antibiotics and their associated health risks are receiving global attention. The use of antibiotic additives in fodder has been banned in the European Union since 2006 and in China since 2020. Antibiotic alternatives are being developed, but their risks to the soil ecosystem remain poorly understood. Here, we compared the effects of the antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC10, 10 mg/kg) with those of a Macleaya cordata extract (MCE, 10 and 100 mg/kg), the major antibiotic substitute. All tested concentrations of MCE and OTC10 exerted slight effects on the soil microbiome, but OTC10 and MCE100 could interfere with the structures and functions of the gut microbiome and might thus affect the soil ecological functions of Enchytraeus crypticus. Furthermore, OTC10 exposure inevitably increased the antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) abundance by 213%, whereas MCE did not induce ARG dissemination, which explains why MCE is considered to be associated with a low ecological risk. Our research provides the first demonstration of the risks posed by antibiotic alternatives to soil animals from the perspective of environmental toxicology and explores the potential development of antibiotic alternatives associated with a low ecological risk from a new perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125272DOI Listing
June 2021

Systematic assessment of oat β-glucan catabolism during in vitro digestion and fermentation.

Food Chem 2021 Jun 16;348:129116. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

β-Glucan as a component of grain cell walls is consumed daily. However, little is known about whether β-glucan is influenced by the gastrointestinal environment. In this study, we aim to investigate the integrated metabolic process of cereal β-glucan. In vitro simulated digestion and fermentation combined with microbiome and metabolome analysis were used to profile the metabolism of β-glucan. Intriguingly, we found that β-glucan was not hydrolyzed by digestive enzymes but partially degraded by gastric acid environment during in vitro digestion. Moreover, β-glucan was utilized by gut microbiota to produce acetate, propionate and butyrate, concurrently, the relative abundance of Lactobacillus significantly increased and Escherichia-Shigella significantly decreased. The correlation analysis between metabolomics datasets and microorganisms revealed that β-glucan catabolism was also accompanied by amino acid catabolism and linoleic acid biosynthesis. Our study offered a forceful basis for the further exploration of the role of β-glucan and gut microbiota in host health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129116DOI Listing
June 2021

L-Arabinose suppresses gluconeogenesis through modulating AMP-activated protein kinase in metabolic disorder mice.

Food Funct 2021 Mar;12(4):1745-1756

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.

l-Arabinose is a kind of plant-specific five-carbon aldose with benefits in type 2 diabetes mellitus. It has been shown to have good properties in improving glucose homeostasis, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still not clear. Hepatic gluconeogenesis is critical for regulating glucose homeostasis. Here, this study aimed to investigate whether l-arabinose could improve glucose metabolism via suppressing hepatic gluconeogenesis. High-fat-high-sucrose diet (HFHSD) or high-sucrose diet (HSD)-fed mice were supplemented with or without l-arabinose for 12 weeks. Fasting blood glucose levels were measured and glucose tolerance test and the histological analysis were performed after l-arabinose administration. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC1α), Forkhead box O1 (FoxO1), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) expression levels were determined by RT-PCR and western blotting. As expected, l-arabinose apparently decreased body weight and attenuated hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance caused by HFHSD or HSD. l-Arabinose also had beneficial effects on glycogen synthesis by inactivating GSK3β. The expression levels of gluconeogenic genes were all decreased by l-arabinose administration in vivo and in vitro. In addition, our work revealed that AMPK is required for the inhibitory effects of l-arabinose on hepatic gluconeogenesis. l-Arabinose significantly up-regulated the phosphorylated levels of AMPK and its downstream protein ACC. Furthermore, blocking AMPK signaling through an inhibitor (compound C) or siAMPK significantly attenuated the inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis and the promotion of glycogen synthesis with l-arabinose, indicating that the inhibitory effect of l-arabinose on hepatic gluconeogenesis was AMPK dependent. Our work revealed that l-arabinose is a promising natural product for the regulation of hyperglycemia through inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis by activating AMPK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0fo02163fDOI Listing
March 2021

Synergistic effects of glyphosate and multiwall carbon nanotubes on Arabidopsis thaliana physiology and metabolism.

Sci Total Environ 2021 May 15;769:145156. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, China. Electronic address:

Agricultural chemicals have the potential to become pollutants that adversely affect plant growth. Interactions between these compounds are likely, but potential synergies are under-researched. Multiwall carbon nanotubes are increasingly finding novel uses in agriculture, as delivery mechanisms and as slow-release fertilizers. There is potential for nanotubes to interact with other agricultural chemicals in unpredictable ways. To investigate this possibility, we examined interactions with glyphosate, a widely used herbicide that is also attracting increasing concern over its potential for non-target effects. Here we examined potential synergistic effects on hydroponically grown Arabidopsis thaliana. Single treatments did not affect plant growth significantly, or did only mildly. However, combined treatment significantly affected both plant root and shoot growth. High-level content of malondialdehyde and up-regulated of metabolic antioxidant molecules in plant indicated that combined group caused the strong oxidative damage, while the decreased of antioxidant enzyme activities indicated an imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS)and the antioxidant defense system due to the continuously generated ROS. Besides, several intermediate metabolites of unsaturated fatty acids synthesis pathways were up-regulated in combined treatment, which clarified that combined group changed membrane components. The increase of intermediate metabolites in combined group also reflected more energy consumption in the repairment of the disrupt of combined treatment. The synergistic effect observed was attributed to the accumulation of glyphosate resulting from permeability and transportability of the carbon nanotubes. Overall, the risk of nanotube-herbicide interaction suggests a caution use of nanotubes in agricultural applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145156DOI Listing
May 2021

Advanced glycation end products in food and their effects on intestinal tract.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2020 Dec 24:1-13. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China.

With the development of living standards, harmful substances in diet and food safety have seriously endangered people health and life. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which formed by Maillard reactions in processed food, have been shown a significantly associated with many chronic diseases, such as nephropathy, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and tumors. In recent years, the research about diet advanced glycation end products (dAGEs) have widespread controversy in academia. The main arguments include the production mechanism of dAGEs, metabolic pathways, and relationships with chronic diseases, especially related to the intestines, gut microbiota, and intestinal disorders. So this review attempts to briefly summarize the dAGE in following aspects, including the influencing factors, metabolism, absorption, and so forth. In addition, the effects of dAGEs on intestinal health and gut microbes were discussed, which can offer a goal for boff in to design low dAGEs products and provided some perspectives for further study with AGEs in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2020.1863904DOI Listing
December 2020

Interactions between gluten and water-unextractable arabinoxylan during the thermal treatment.

Food Chem 2021 May 3;345:128785. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

This study aimed to investigate the interactions between gluten and water-unextractable arabinoxylan (WUAX), which changed the conformation and aggregation of gluten during the thermal treatment. In this work, the interactions between water-unextractable arabinoxylan and wheat gluten during thermal treatment were extensively evaluated by different techniques. The results showed that the extra WUAX could impair the viscoelasticity as well as weaken the thermal properties of gluten. The fluorescence spectra revealed the extra WUAX changed the conformation of gluten molecules. Besides, chemical interaction measurement indicated that the extra WUAX prevented the formation of partial disulfide bonds and had a major effect on the hydrophobic interaction of gluten. In summary, these results indicated that WUAX disrupted the covalent crosslinking by affecting disulfide bonds between gluten proteins, and dominated the folding/unfolding process of gluten via the competition with gluten for water, resulting in the poor quality of whole wheat-based foods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.128785DOI Listing
May 2021

Cyanobacterial blooms contribute to the diversity of antibiotic-resistance genes in aquatic ecosystems.

Commun Biol 2020 Dec 4;3(1):737. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, 310032, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China.

Cyanobacterial blooms are a global ecological problem that directly threatens human health and crop safety. Cyanobacteria have toxic effects on aquatic microorganisms, which could drive the selection for resistance genes. The effect of cyanobacterial blooms on the dispersal and abundance of antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) of concern to human health remains poorly known. We herein investigated the effect of cyanobacterial blooms on ARG composition in Lake Taihu, China. The numbers and relative abundances of total ARGs increased obviously during a Planktothrix bloom. More pathogenic microorganisms were present during this bloom than during a Planktothrix bloom or during the non-bloom period. Microcosmic experiments using additional aquatic ecosystems (an urban river and Lake West) found that a coculture of Microcystis aeruginosa and Planktothrix agardhii increased the richness of the bacterial community, because its phycosphere provided a richer microniche for bacterial colonization and growth. Antibiotic-resistance bacteria were naturally in a rich position, successfully increasing the momentum for the emergence and spread of ARGs. These results demonstrate that cyanobacterial blooms are a crucial driver of ARG diffusion and enrichment in freshwater, thus providing a reference for the ecology and evolution of ARGs and ARBs and for better assessing and managing water quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01468-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718256PMC
December 2020

Pollutant toxicology with respect to microalgae and cyanobacteria.

J Environ Sci (China) 2021 Jan 5;99:175-186. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310014, China. Electronic address:

Microalgae and cyanobacteria are fundamental components of aquatic ecosystems. Pollution in aquatic environment is a worldwide problem. Toxicological research on microalgae and cyanobacteria can help to establish a solid foundation for aquatic ecotoxicological assessments. Algae and cyanobacteria occupy a large proportion of the biomass in aquatic environments; thus, their toxicological responses have been investigated extensively. However, the depth of toxic mechanisms and breadth of toxicological investigations need to be improved. While existing pollutants are being discharged into the environment daily, new ones are also being produced continuously. As a result, the phenomenon of water pollution has become unprecedentedly complex. In this review, we summarize the latest findings on five kinds of aquatic pollutants, namely, metals, nanomaterials, pesticides, pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Further, we present information on emerging pollutants such as graphene, microplastics, and ionic liquids. Efforts in studying the toxicological effects of pollutants on microalgae and cyanobacteria must be increased in order to better predict the potential risks posed by these materials to aquatic ecosystems as well as human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2020.06.033DOI Listing
January 2021

Alteration of dominant cyanobacteria in different bloom periods caused by abiotic factors and species interactions.

J Environ Sci (China) 2021 Jan 21;99:1-9. Epub 2020 Jun 21.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, China. Electronic address:

Freshwater cyanobacterial blooms have drawn public attention because they threaten the safety of water resources and human health worldwide. Heavy cyanobacterial blooms outbreak in Lake Taihu in summer annually and vanish in other months. To find out the factors impacting the cyanobacterial blooms, the present study measured the physicochemical parameters of water and investigated the composition of microbial community using the 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer amplicon sequencing in the months with or without bloom. The most interesting finding is that two major cyanobacteria, Planktothrix and Microcystis, dramatically alternated during a cyanobacterial bloom in 2016, which is less mentioned in previous studies. When the temperature of the water began increasing in July, Planktothrix appeared first and showed as a superior competitor for M. aeruginosa in NO-rich conditions. Microcystis became the dominant genus when the water temperature increased further in August. Laboratory experiments confirmed the influence of temperature and the total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) form on the growth of Planktothrix and Microcystis in a co-culture system. Besides, species interactions between cyanobacteria and non-cyanobacterial microorganisms, especially the prokaryotes, also played a key role in the alteration of Planktothrix and Microcystis. The present study exhibited the alteration of two dominant cyanobacteria in the different bloom periods caused by the temperature, TDN forms as well as the species interactions. These results helped the better understanding of cyanobacterial blooms and the factors which contribute to them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2020.06.001DOI Listing
January 2021

Effect of structure evolution of starch in rice on the textural formation of cooked rice.

Food Chem 2021 Apr 29;342:128205. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China; School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China.

The content and composition of rice kernels are closely related to the textural properties of cooked rice. In this study, the mechanistic explanations of textural changes were linked to proton mobility, leaching behavior, and the molecular features of rice components during cooking. The decreasing trend of hardness and the formation of stickiness was mainly determined by the molecular mobility of components. The molecular weight (Mw) of starch and protein in leached solids increased with the leaching at 70-100 °C. The Mw of rice kernels at different cooking temperatures and times was similar, but the molecular size and volume varied at different stages of cooking. The dismission of the crystalline structure, C1 resonance, and lamellar structures after cooking at 100 °C for 10 min indicated that the structural evolution of starch in rice kernels was time- and temperature-dependent. These results provide a promising foundation for developing strategies to control rice cooking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.128205DOI Listing
April 2021

Circulating miR-27a-3p as a candidate for a biomarker of whole grain diets for lipid metabolism.

Food Funct 2020 Oct;11(10):8852-8865

School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. and State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China.

As a worldwide epidemic, overweight and obesity have long been an issue of great interest in a wide range of health areas, and the whole grain diet has been proven to be an effective and healthy manner to prevent them. Recent developments in the field of microRNAs (miRNAs) have led to a renewed interest in lipid metabolism, however, whether a whole grain diet regulates lipid metabolism through miRNAs is still unknown. Hence, our current study was carried out to explore the changes of miRNAs in mice with the treatment of whole grain diets (the brown rice group, BR and whole wheat group, WW) and to screen out miRNAs that can serve as a biomarker to evaluate and regulate lipid metabolism. After whole grain diet treatment for 8 weeks, the lipids both in serum and liver were reduced, as well as the body weight. Moreover, there were 136 miRNAs with significant differences among our three dietary patterns (the CS diet, BR diet and WW diet) analyzed by serum miRNAs sequencing, and only 16 miRNAs showed simultaneous differences in the BR or WW groups compared to the CS group, showing a consistent trend of change. The serum miRNA sequencing and qRT-PCR analysis revealed that miR-27a-3p was decreased in serum and WAT, while it was elevated both in the liver and ileum. We propose that circulating miR-27a-3p could be a novel candidate for a biomarker of whole grain diets for lipid metabolism through the assessment of the KEGG pathway, GO enrichment and the conservative analysis of miRNAs. The potential mechanisms of action could be through binding the 3'UTR of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR) and fatty acid synthase (FASN), which were key enzymes for lipid synthesis, achieving regulation of lipid metabolism. A luciferase assay was also performed to verify the above mechanism, which shows that miR-27a-3p mimics transfection, repressing the luciferase activity of the two reporters carrying miR-27a-3p regulatory elements found in the 3'-UTR of HMGCR and FASN, respectively. Our study has provided new molecular mechanisms of whole grain diets for lipid metabolism, as well as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0fo00830cDOI Listing
October 2020

Metabolomic modulations in a freshwater microbial community exposed to the fungicide azoxystrobin.

J Environ Sci (China) 2020 Nov 7;97:102-109. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, China; Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China. Electronic address:

An effective broad-spectrum fungicide, azoxystrobin (AZ), has been widely detected in aquatic ecosystems, potentially affecting the growth of aquatic microorganisms. In the present study, the eukaryotic alga Monoraphidium sp. and the cyanobacterium Pseudanabaena sp. were exposed to AZ for 7 days. Our results showed that 0.2-0.5 mg/L concentrations of AZ slightly inhibited the growth of Monoraphidium sp. but stimulated Pseudanabaena sp. growth. Meanwhile, AZ treatment effectively increased the secretion of total organic carbon (TOC) in the culture media of the two species, and this phenomenon was also found in a freshwater microcosm experiment (containing the natural microbial community). We attempted to assess the effect of AZ on the function of aquatic microbial communities through metabolomic analysis and further explore the potential risks of this compound. The metabonomic profiles of the microcosm indicated that the most varied metabolites after AZ treatment were related to the citrate cycle (TCA), fatty acid biosynthesis and purine metabolism. We thereby inferred that the microbial community increased extracellular secretions by adjusting metabolic pathways, which might be a stress response to reduce AZ toxicity. Our results provide an important theoretical basis for further study of fungicide stress responses in aquatic microcosm microbial communities, as well as a good start for further explorations of AZ detoxification mechanisms, which will be valuable for the evaluation of AZ environmental risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2020.04.013DOI Listing
November 2020

Effects of residual S-metolachlor in soil on the phyllosphere microbial communities of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

Sci Total Environ 2020 Dec 3;748:141342. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, PR China. Electronic address:

S-metolachlor (S-ME) is a widely used chiral herbicide that can cause potential ecological risks via long-term usage. In this work, we chose a model plant, wheat, as the test material to determine the effects of applying 10 mg/kg S-ME to soil on its fresh weight, chlorophyll and malondialdehyde (MDA) content, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and the diversity and structural composition of the phyllosphere microorganisms after 7 and 14 days of exposure. Our work showed that this concentration of residual S-ME in soil only slightly decreased plant biomass and had little effect on lipid peroxidation, the antioxidant enzyme system and chlorophyll content. Interestingly, although the test concentration of S-ME did not exert strong inhibitory effects on the physiological activities of wheat, it decreased the diversity of phyllosphere microbial communities and changed their structure, indicating that microorganisms were more sensitive stress indicators. S-ME reduced the colonization by some beneficial bacteria related to plant nitrogen fixation among the phyllosphere microorganisms, which influenced the growth and yield of wheat because these bacteria contribute to plant fitness. In addition, S-ME affected the association between the host and the composition of the phyllosphere microbial communities under different growth conditions. Our work provides insights into the ecological implications of the effects of herbicides on the phyllosphere microbiome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141342DOI Listing
December 2020

Inhibitory effects of polystyrene microplastics on caudal fin regeneration in zebrafish larvae.

Environ Pollut 2020 Nov 26;266(Pt 3):114664. Epub 2020 Jul 26.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, 310032, PR China. Electronic address:

Microplastic pollution is pervasive in aquatic environments, but the potential effects of microplastics on aquatic organisms are still under debate. Given that tissue damage is unavoidable in fish and the available data mostly concentrate on healthy fish, there is a large chance that the ecotoxicological risk of microplastic pollution is underrated. Therefore, in this study, the effects of microplastics on the regenerative capacity of injured fish were investigated using a zebrafish caudal fin regeneration model. After fin amputation at 72 h post fertilization, the larvae were exposed to polystyrene microplastics (0.1-10 mg/L) with diameters of 50 or 500 nm. Microplastic exposure significantly inhibited fin regeneration, both morphologically and functionally. Furthermore, the signaling networks that regulate fin regeneration, as well as reactive oxygen species signaling and the immune response, both of which are essential for tissue repair and regeneration, were altered. Transcriptomic analyses of the regenerating fin confirmed that genes related to fin regeneration were transcriptionally modulated in response to microplastic exposure and that metabolic pathways were also extensively involved. In conclusion, this study demonstrated for the first time that microplastic exposure could disrupt the regenerative capacity of fish and might eventually impair their fitness in the wild.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114664DOI Listing
November 2020

Nano-Sized Polystyrene at 1 mg/L Concentrations Does Not Show Strong Disturbance on the Freshwater Microbial Community.

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2020 Jul 31. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, 310014, China.

In recent years, microplastics and nanoplastics have gained public attention, but their impacts on the freshwater microbial communities is rarely evaluated. In this study, the effects of 1 mg/L nano-sized polystyrene (nPS) and its modified forms (carboxyl-modified and amino-modified nPS) on the structures and functions of freshwater microbial community were determined. The nPS were found to slightly reduce the chlorophyll-a and increase the phycocyanin contents of freshwater microbial communities. Moreover, the richness of the microbial communities temporarily decreased during this process, while their diversity remained uninfluenced by treatment with nPS. Although the three tested nPS types were found to disturb the compositions of both the prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities to some degree, they did not affect the functions of freshwater bacterial communities significantly due to functional redundancy. Our study demonstrated that the ecotoxicities of the nPS itself were found to be lower than what is generally expected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00128-020-02956-0DOI Listing
July 2020

Understanding the molecular weight distribution, in vitro digestibility and rheological properties of the deep-fried wheat starch.

Food Chem 2020 Nov 11;331:127315. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800, Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

The effects of frying temperature on the properties of wheat starch were investigated, including the microstructure, weight-average molar mass (M), crystalline properties, functional groups, in vitro digestibility, static rheological properties, swelling power and solubility. SEM micrographs showed that the disc-shaped starch granules ruptured after being fried, and formed a continuous and dense gel structure. With the increasing frying temperature, the starch molecules underwent violent degradation, and the M decreased from 3.04 × 10 g/mol to 0.80 × 10 g/mol. The XRD and FTIR data indicated the formation of starch-lipid complexes during the frying process. In vitro digestion analysis revealed that the digestion rate of starch decreased, while the content of resistant starch (RS) increased after being fried. Besides, the shear stability of fried starch increased, whereas its swelling power and solubility decreased. These significant variations in physicochemical properties of starch could provide scientific basis for further improving the quality of instant noodles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127315DOI Listing
November 2020

Adverse effects of levofloxacin and oxytetracycline on aquatic microbial communities.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Sep 16;734:139499. Epub 2020 May 16.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, PR China. Electronic address:

The widespread use of levofloxacin (LEV) and oxytetracycline (OTC) in hospitals and farms inevitably contributes to water pollution through waste disposal processes, municipal wastewater treatment, and manure application to farmlands, which adversely affects aquatic microorganisms. Here, we evaluated the toxicity of LEV and OTC to cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae monocultures and freshwater microcosms. Three test cyanobacteria were inhibited by both LEV and OTC at all examined concentrations. The growth of the eukaryotic organisms C. vulgaris and Monoraphidium sp. was only inhibited by high concentrations of OTC ranging from 1000 to 10,000 μg/L; however, they were less sensitive to LEV and OTC than cyanobacteria. In the aquatic microcosms, 5 μg/L of LEV and OTC did not affect the alpha diversity of prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities or the composition of the eukaryotic microbial communities after 14 d of exposure. However, this concentration of LEV and OTC significantly changed the prokaryotic microbial community structure at the genus level, and different antibiotics affected the prokaryotic microbial community differently, suggesting that different antibiotics affect prokaryotes through different molecular mechanisms, thereby leading to differences in prokaryotic microbial growth patterns. Moreover, the changes in the prokaryotic microbial community composition suggested that low antibiotic concentrations in water could disturb prokaryotic microbial communities and cause ecological risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139499DOI Listing
September 2020

Enantioselective effects of imazethapyr residues on Arabidopsis thaliana metabolic profile and phyllosphere microbial communities.

J Environ Sci (China) 2020 Jul 9;93:57-65. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, China. Electronic address:

Imazethapyr (IM) is a widely used acetolactate synthase-inhibiting chiral herbicide. It has long-term residuals that may be absorbed by the human body through the edible parts of plants, such as vegetable leaves or fruits. Here, we selected a model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, to determine the effects of R-IM and S-IM on its leaf structure, photosynthetic efficiency, and metabolites, as well as the structures of microorganisms in the phyllosphere, after 7 days of exposure. Our results indicated enantiomeric differences in plant growth between R-IM and S-IM; 133 µg/kg R-IM showed heavier inhibition of photosynthetic efficiency and greater changes to subcellular structure than S-IM. R-IM and S-IM also had different effects on metabolism and leaf microorganisms. S-IM mainly increased lipid compounds and decreased amino acids, while R-IM increased sugar accumulation. The relative abundance of Moraxellaceae human pathogenic bacteria was increased by R-IM treatment, indicating that R-IM treatment may increase leaf surface pathogenic bacteria. Our research provides a new perspective for evaluating the harmfulness of pesticide residues in soil, phyllosphere microbiome changes via the regulation of plant metabolism, and induced pathogenic bacterial accumulation risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2020.03.009DOI Listing
July 2020

Characterization of promising natural blue pigment from Vaccinium bracteatum thunb. leaves: Insights of the stability and the inhibition of α-amylase.

Food Chem 2020 Oct 4;326:126962. Epub 2020 May 4.

School of Food Science and Technology, State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China; National Engineering Research Center for Functional Food, Jiangnan University, 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi 214122, China. Electronic address:

A concise method of natural blue pigment from Vaccinium bracteatum thunb. leaves (VBTL) was proposed firstly in this research. The potential properties of new pigment source needed to be assessed for further application. During the shelf life and thermal-accelerated storage, the blue pigment was prone to stable in the mildly acidic system, which was observed retention of 35.85% for storage of 12 weeks in pH 4.0. The 65% of blue pigment retained after the in vitro simulated digestion. The blue pigment exhibited inhibition effect on the pancreatic α-amylase (IC = 2.915 mg/mL). The analysis of inhibition kinetics indicated the blue pigment was an uncompetitive inhibitor. Through fluorescence quenching and circular dichroism study, the blue pigment inhibited α-amylase activity via the structural unfolding of α-amylase molecule and changing the secondary structure. These findings provided the new evidence of the digestion resistibility of VBTL pigment and the functional food - "Wu mi".
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.126962DOI Listing
October 2020

Rhizosphere Microbiome Assembly and Its Impact on Plant Growth.

J Agric Food Chem 2020 May 17;68(18):5024-5038. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

College of Environment, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, P.R. China.

Microorganisms colonizing the plant rhizosphere provide a number of beneficial functions for their host. Although an increasing number of investigations clarified the great functional capabilities of rhizosphere microbial communities, the understanding of the precise mechanisms underlying the impact of rhizosphere microbiome assemblies is still limited. Also, not much is known about the various beneficial functions of the rhizosphere microbiome. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of biotic and abiotic factors that shape the rhizosphere microbiome as well as the rhizosphere microbiome traits that are beneficial to plants growth and disease-resistance. We give particular emphasis on the impact of plant root metabolites on rhizosphere microbiome assemblies and on how the microbiome contributes to plant growth, yield, and disease-resistance. Finally, we introduce a new perspective and a novel method showing how a synthetic microbial community construction provides an effective approach to unravel the plant-microbes and microbes-microbes interplays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c00073DOI Listing
May 2020