Publications by authors named "Muhammad Saleem"

454 Publications

The Impact of Treatment Adherence on Quality of Life Among Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients - Findings from a Cross-Sectional Study.

Patient Prefer Adherence 2021 26;15:475-481. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, 60800, Pakistan.

Aim: The current study was conducted to assess the factors contributing to treatment adherence and its impact on the quality of life (QoL) in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between January 2020 to March 2020 among T2DM patients. The data was collected from T2DM out-patient clinics. The participants were recruited by using a simple random sampling method. To assess the association of demographics with the level of adherence, binary logistics regression analysis was applied. Moreover, the Mann-Whitney -test was used to evaluate the impact of adherence on QoL.

Results: A total of 384 patients participated in this study. Amongst them, 60.2% were male and 39.8% were female. Low adherence was seen in illiterate patients and patients older than 40 years. The results showed that good QoL in T2DM patients was significantly associated with treatment adherence (p= 0.004).

Conclusion: The finding of the current study showed that the non-adherence prevailed in illiterate strata of the study population and the medication adherence significantly affects the QoL in T2DM patients. These findings suggest that health regulatory agencies should focus on implementing disease-education interventions for improving the adherence to medications in patients with long-term conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S295012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924113PMC
February 2021

Recent advances in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for breast cancer: A comprehensive review.

Curr Pharm Des 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Biology, Southern University of Science and Technology. China.

A silent monster breast cancer is a challenging medical task for researchers. Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women related to other cancers. A case of breast cancer is diagnosed among women every 19 seconds, and every 74 seconds a women dies of breast cancer somewhere in the world. Several risk factors such as genetic and environmental factors favor breast cancer development. This review tends to provide deep understandings regarding the genetics of breast cancer along with multiple diagnostic and therapeutic approaches as problem-solving negotiators to switch off the progression of breast cancer. This assembled data mainly aims to discuss omics-based approaches to provide enthralling diagnostic biomarkers and emerging novel therapies to combat breast cancer. This review article intends to pave a new path for the discovery of effective treatment options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1381612827666210303141416DOI Listing
March 2021

Equine leptospirosis: Experimental challenge of Leptospira interrogans serovar Bratislava fails to establish infection in naïve horses.

Equine Vet J 2021 Feb 22. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Background: Little information is available about experimental inoculation of leptospirosis in horses and the pathogenicity of Leptospira interrogans serovar Bratislava in this host.

Objectives: To determine the serologic, clinical, pathologic and hematologic responses of horses to L. interrogans serovar Bratislava strain PigK151.

Study Design: Randomised controlled in vivo experiment.

Methods: Ten seronegative female foals were divided into 2 groups, control (n = 4) and challenged (n = 6). The challenged group received 1 x 10 leptospires divided equally between topical ocular and intraperitoneal injections. Blood and urine samples were analysed. The temperature was recorded daily for the first 9 days, then weekly. Sera were tested by microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Automated complete blood count, differential and chemistry panel were performed. Histopathological analysis was performed on sections of liver, kidney, urinary bladder, uterine body and pineal gland. Sample culturing was performed from blood, urine, liver, kidney, reproductive tract and vitreous humour.

Results: No pyrexia was noted. PCR and culture were negative from all samples. Differences between groups were found in CBC, differential counts and serum biochemistry panel (or profile), suggesting that leptospiral challenge triggered an inflammatory response. No evidence of leptospirosis was found from histopathological analysis. All challenged foals developed a humoral response. The MAT allowed the confirmation of the infecting serovar at a later stage, but it also revealed cross-reactive results that were further explained by genomic analysis.

Main Limitations: This experimental challenge had two main limitations: 1) The results might have varied if another strain from the same serovar had been used and 2) The use of another route of infection and a higher bacterial dose might have achieved colonisation.

Conclusions: Based on these findings, it may suggest that L. interrogans serovar Bratislava is neither pathogenic nor host-adapted serovar for horses, although these results might have varied if another strain from the same serovar had been used instead.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evj.13442DOI Listing
February 2021

Stability indicating RP-HPLC method of dexibuprofen in nanocream formulation: Identification and quantification.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2020 Jul;33(4(Supplementary)):1815-1821

University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

A stability indicating reverse phase-HPLC method was designed for determination of dexibuprofen in drug solution and in nanocream formulation. Chromatographic conditions were optimized simply by adjusting the content and different compositions of reverse phase associated with mobile phases. Different parameters like specificity, limit of quantification (LOQ), limit of detection, linearity, range, system suitability, precision and accuracy were determined. Stability studies of dexibuprofen in nanocream were taken under the stressed situations of alkali, acid, oxidation process, UV and heat degradation. Tailing factor and % RSD were found >2000 and <2% respectively. The method was identified linear over the range of 0.2-1.6mg/ml having co-efficient of correlation 0.9995. Intra-day and inter- day precision and accuracy values for dexibuprofen were < 0.6% and <1.1032 and < 0.3% and 1.10% respectively. Stability studies showed that dexibuprofen was stable in nanocream against alkali, acid, oxidation, UV light and heat. The developed validated method was precise and accurate for the evaluation of dexibuprofen in solution as well as in nanocream formulation.
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July 2020

Impact of heat stress responsive factors on growth and physiology of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.).

Mol Biol Rep 2021 Feb 20;48(2):1069-1079. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Cotton Research Institute, Multan, Pakistan.

Pakistan ranked highest with reference to average temperatures in cotton growing areas of the world. The heat waves are becoming more intense and unpredictable due to climate change. Identification of heat tolerant genotypes requires comprehensive screening using molecular, physiological and morphological analysis. Heat shock proteins play an important role in tolerance against heat stress. In the current study, eight heat stress responsive factors, proteins and genes (HSFA2, GHSP26, GHPP2A, HSP101, HSC70-1, HSP3, APX1 and ANNAT8) were evaluated morphologically and physiologically for their role in heat stress tolerance. For this purpose, cotton crop was grown at two temperature conditions i.e. normal weather and heat stress at 45 °C. For molecular analysis, genotypes were screened for the presence or absence of heat shock protein genes. Physiological analysis of genotypes was conducted to assess net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, leaf-air temperature and cell membrane stability under control as well as high temperature. The traits photosynthesis, cell membrane stability, leaf-air temperature and number of heat stress responsive factors in each genotypes showed a strong correlation with boll retention percentage under heat stress. The genotypes with maximum heat shock protein genes such as Cyto-177, MNH-886, VH-305 and Cyto-515 showed increased photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, negative leaf-air temperature and high boll retention percentage under heat stress condition. These varieties may be used as heat tolerant breeding material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-021-06217-zDOI Listing
February 2021

The Critical Role of Small RNAs in Regulating Plant Innate Immunity.

Biomolecules 2021 Jan 29;11(2). Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Guangdong Technology Research Center for Marine Algal Bioengineering, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Plant Epigenetics, College of Life Sciences and Oceanography, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.

Plants, due to their sessile nature, have an innate immune system that helps them to defend against different pathogen infections. The defense response of plants is composed of a highly regulated and complex molecular network, involving the extensive reprogramming of gene expression during the presence of pathogenic molecular signatures. Plants attain proper defense against pathogens through the transcriptional regulation of genes encoding defense regulatory proteins and hormone signaling pathways. Small RNAs are emerging as versatile regulators of plant development and act in different tiers of plant immunity, including pathogen-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). The versatile regulatory functions of small RNAs in plant growth and development and response to biotic and abiotic stresses have been widely studied in recent years. However, available information regarding the contribution of small RNAs in plant immunity against pathogens is more limited. This review article will focus on the role of small RNAs in innate immunity in plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11020184DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7912340PMC
January 2021

Appraisal of the Antiarthritic Potential of Prazosin via Inhibition of Proinflammatory Cytokine TNF-α: A Key Player in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

ACS Omega 2021 Jan 15;6(3):2379-2388. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab, Canal Road, Quaid-i-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590, Punjab, Pakistan.

Prazosin, a selective α adrenergic receptor antagonist, with documented anti-inflammatory potential, was evaluated for its antiarthritic efficacy by targeting specifically TNF-α. The antiarthritic attribute of prazosin validated through screening comprised thermally provoked denaturation of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and egg albumin along with membrane stabilization evaluation at a concentration of 100-6400 μg/mL, while screening comprised formaldehyde-instigated arthritis at the doses of 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced arthritis at 20 mg/kg dose. Paw swelling, body weight, arthritic score, hematological parameters, and histological and radiographic examination of ankle joints were assessed for a period of 28 days after CFA immunization. Moreover, the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α level was also assessed through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Prazosin revealed significant antiarthritic effect evident through protein denaturation inhibition in the egg albumin and the BSA model, stabilization of red blood cell membrane in the membrane stabilizing assay, and reduction in paw volume in formaldehyde-induced arthritis. Likewise, prazosin exhibited propitious antiarthritic effects in the CFA-provoked arthritis model manifested by paw volume and arthritic score alleviation, substantial weight loss prevention, and preservation of the normal hematological and biochemical profile. Histological and X-ray investigation unveiled no substantive structural alterations in treated rat's ankle joints. The TNF-α expression level was also reduced. Thus, the current study is suggestive that prazosin exhibits a strong antiarthritic potential possibly through inhibition of TNF-α.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c05698DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7841939PMC
January 2021

Chromium retention potential of two contrasting Solanum lycopersicum Mill. cultivars as deciphered by altered pH dynamics, growth, and organic acid exudation under Cr stress.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jan 29. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan.

Chromium (Cr), being a persistent toxic heavy metal, triggered the retardation of plant's metabolic processes by initiating changes in rhizospheric zone. Current study focused the Cr accumulation potential of two tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.) cultivars through alterations of rhizospheric pH and exudation of organic acids together with plant's ionomics and morpho-physiological responses. Four-week-old seedlings of tomato cultivars (cv. Nakeb and cv. Nadir) were maintained in hydroponic solutions supplemented with 0, 100, 200, and 300 mg/L KCrO and a start pH of 6.0. The pH of the growth medium was monitored twice a day up to 6 days as well as mineral contents and morpho-physiological attributes were recorded by harvesting half of plants after 1 week. The remaining half plants were shifted to rhizoboxes for the collection of root exudates. After 6 days, cv. Nakeb exhibited medium acidification by 0.7 units while cv. Nadir showed basification by 0.6 units under 300 mg/L treatment. Increase in applied Cr levels enhanced the root and shoot Cr accumulation in both cultivars with concomitant reduction in growth and accumulation of nutrients (Fe, Zn, K, Mg, and Ca). However, this reduction in biomass and nutrient acquisition was predominant in cv. Nakeb as compared to cv. Nadir. The release of organic acid exudates (citric, acetic, maleic, tartaric, and oxalic acids) was also recorded higher in cv. Nadir at 300 mg/L applied Cr level. This enhanced production of organic acids caused greater retention of mineral nutrients and Cr in cv. Nadir, probably due to growth medium basification. Enhanced exudations of di- and tri- carboxylic organic acids together with accumulation of mineral nutrients are the physiological and biochemical indicators which confer this genotype a better adaptation to Cr polluted biotic systems. Furthermore, it was perceived that organic acid and rhizospheric pH variation response by studied tomato cultivars under Cr stress is an important factor to be considered in food safety and metal remediation programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12269-8DOI Listing
January 2021

Epidemiology and antibiogram of common mastitis-causing bacteria in Beetal goats.

Vet World 2020 Dec 8;13(12):2596-2607. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Poonch Rawalakot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan.

Background And Aim: Mastitis has been identified as the most prevalent and economically imperative disease among dairy animals. Thus, understanding its common bacterial pathogens and risk factors is necessary to improve udder health at herd, region, or country level. However, scientific research on caprine mastitis, especially on Beetal breed, has remained to be insufficient in Pakistan. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the epidemiology and antibiogram assay of common mastitis-causing bacterial agents, that is, , , and , in dairy goats.

Materials And Methods: In total, 500 Beetal goats, irrespective of age and those that were not treated with any kind of antimicrobial agents during the past 120 h, were screened using California Mastitis Test in Pattoki, Kasur District, whereas epidemiological factors were recorded. The milk samples of mastitic goats were then collected and processed using standard methods. Each sample was primarily cultured on nutrient agar. Using a specific medium, each bacterial colony was separated using several streak methods. Six antibiotic disks belonging to different antibiotic groups were used for antibiogram profiling of bacterial isolates. Chi-square test was used to assess the association of baseline characteristics and mastitis occurrence. Meanwhile, multivariable logistic regression (p<0.001) was utilized to determine the risk factors associated with positive and negative dichotomous outcome of mastitis.

Results: The results revealed that the overall prevalence of goat mastitis was 309 (61.8%), in which 260 (52%) and 49 (9.8%) cases were positive for subclinical mastitis (SCM) and clinical mastitis (CM), respectively. and were found to be the predominant isolates causing SCM and CM, respectively (p<0.001). It was observed that amoxicillin+clavulanic acid was highly sensitive to isolates of and and ceftiofur sodium to isolates of and ., while enrofloxacin was found to be sensitive to isolates of and . Risk factors such as herd structure, deworming, vaccination, presence of ticks, use of teat dip and mineral supplements, feeding type, age, parity, housing, blood in the milk, milk leakage, milk taste, and milk yield were found to have the strongest association with mastitis occurrence, while ease of milking has moderate association.

Conclusion: In the area examined, cases of SCM were found to be higher compared with that of CM, and ceftiofur sodium has been identified as the preferred treatment in both clinical and subclinical forms of caprine mastitis in Beetal goats. Risk factors for mastitis that was identified in this study can form the basis for the creation of an udder health control program specific for dairy goats. We hope our findings could raise awareness of the risk factors and treatment approaches for common mastitis-causing bacterial agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14202/vetworld.2020.2596-2607DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811533PMC
December 2020

Research advances and applications of biosensing technology for the diagnosis of pathogens in sustainable agriculture.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 19;28(8):9002-9019. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan.

Plant diseases significantly impact the global economy, and plant pathogenic microorganisms such as nematodes, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and viroids may be the etiology for most infectious diseases. In agriculture, the development of disease-free plants is an important strategy for the determination of the survival and productivity of plants in the field. This article reviews biosensor methods of disease detection that have been used effectively in other fields, and these methods could possibly transform the production methods of the agricultural industry. The precise identification of plant pathogens assists in the assessment of effective management steps for minimization of production loss. The new plant pathogen detection methods include evaluation of signs of disease, detection of cultured organisms, or direct examination of contaminated tissues through molecular and serological techniques. Laboratory-based approaches are costly and time-consuming and require specialized skills. The conclusions of this review also indicate that there is an urgent need for the establishment of a reliable, fast, accurate, responsive, and cost-effective testing method for the detection of field plants at early stages of growth. We also summarized new emerging biosensor technologies, including isothermal amplification, detection of nanomaterials, paper-based techniques, robotics, and lab-on-a-chip analytical devices. However, these constitute novelty in the research and development of approaches for the early diagnosis of pathogens in sustainable agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12419-6DOI Listing
February 2021

Molybdenum improves 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, grain quality traits and yield attributes in fragrant rice through efficient nitrogen assimilation under cadmium toxicity.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Mar 13;211:111911. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; Scientific Observing and Experimental Station of Crop Cultivation in South China, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Guangzhou 510642, PR China; Guangzhou Key Laboratory for Science and Technology of Fragrant Rice, Guangzhou 510642, PR China. Electronic address:

Cadmium (Cd) toxicity causes severe perturbations in nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation, and thereby interrupts normal plant growth. Molybdenum (Mo), a necessary trace element, plays important roles in N metabolism through regulating N assimilatory enzymes activities and expressions in higher plants. Taking this into account, a pot experiment was performed to explore the role of Mo in alleviating Cd-induced inhibitory effects on physio-biochemical processes, N metabolism, yield attributes and grain quality characters of two fragrant rice cultivars; Guixiangzhan and Meixiangzhan-2. Both the fragrant rice cultivars were treated with two levels of each Cd concentrations (0 and 100 mg/kg) and Mo treatments (0 and 0.15 mg/kg). The results revealed that Cd toxicity significantly reduced (p < 0.05) plant dry biomass, gaseous exchange attributes, chlorophyll contents, N utilizing and assimilatory enzymes activities, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP) contents and grain yield in both cultivars; however, more severe inhibitions were observed in Meixiangzhan-2 than Guixiangzhan. Nevertheless, Mo application alleviated Cd stress and enhanced 2AP content and grain yield by 75.05% and 67.94% in Guixiangzhan and 87.71% and 83.51% in Meixiangzhan-2, respectively compared with no Mo application. Moreover, Mo application improved photosynthesis, chloroplast configuration, soluble protein and proline contents and also strengthened the N assimilatory pathway through efficient NO utilization, higher nitrate reductase, nitrite reductase, glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase activities and transcript levels under Cd stress. Collectively, our results imply that Mo-induced enhancement in N utilization and assimilation improved yield and grain quality characters of fragrant rice cultivars under Cd stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.111911DOI Listing
March 2021

Synthesis of urease inhibitory 2, 4-bis (4-cyanobenzyl)glycoluril using sandmeyer reaction and density functional theory investigation.

Curr Org Synth 2021 Jan 13. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Al Ain University of Science and Technology, Al Ain Campus. United Arab Emirates.

Aims: The aim of present research was to synthesize glycoluril derivative 2,4-Bis(4-cyanobenzyl)glycoluril through convergent scheme.

Background: For this purpose Sandmeyer reaction procedure was employed for the synthesis of said compound. The structure of the pure compound was confirmed by using different spectroscopic techniques such as 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR and (HR-MS) Mass spectrometry.

Objective: Convergent synthesis of 2,4-BIS (4-CYANOBENZYL)GLYCOLURIL USING SANDMEYER REACTION and urease inhibition study.

Methods: The structure of the pure compound was confirmed by using different spectroscopic techniques such as 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR and (HR-MS) Mass spectrometry. The electronic properties of newly synthesized compound and thiourea were determined by using density functional theory.

Results: Furthermore compound was evaluated against urease enzyme and was found to be potent inhibitors with IC50 value of 11.5 ± 1.50 µM when compared with standard inhibitor thiourea (IC50 = 21.0 ± 1.90 µM). Compound may serve as lead compound for the synthesis of new cyano based bambusuril in future with enhanced biological properties.

Conclusion: We have synthesized a new glycoluril derivative 2,4-Bis(4-cyanobenzyl)glycoluril by the sandmeyer reaction. It has obtained in the form of light yellowish powder in good yield (96%). Glycoluril based macrocycles have been used in various fields. Starting from the 2,4-Bis(4-nitrobenzyl)glycoluril (already reported compound) which has undergone reduction (CH3OH,Pt/C) , diazotization (NaNO2/HCl), cyanation (CuCl/KCN) respectively in order to synthesize the desired new glycoluril derivative. The obtained product will be used as a building block for the synthesis of the cyano based bambusuril marcocycle in future. The yield of the obtained product has been monitored by using different amount of cyanating reagent but the best results shown by the use of 4 mmol of CuCl/KCN. KCN with CuCl assisted the conversion of diazo group into cyano group with enhanced yield when used in excess amount. It act as a catalyst. Solubility characteristic of 2,4-Bis(4-cyanobenzyl)glycoluril has determined also in different organic solvents. 1H NMR technique proved to be very helpful for the structure determination of our desired product. Benzylic protons give signals at 7.5 ppm and 7.8 ppm respectively. The downfield peaks confirm about the presence of CN group near the benzylic protons. Methine protons show signal at 5.2 ppm which ensures about the basic skeleton of glycoluril. Ureidyl protons also confirm the synthesis of the heterocyclic 2,4-Bis(4-cyanobenzyl)glycoluril compound. The negative and positive electrostatic potential sites, molecular descriptors, and charge density distribution of frontier molecular orbitals are revealing that 4a with promising sites for electrophilic and nucleophilic attacks would result to enhance the urease inhbition which is in good agreement with the experimental data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1570179418666210113162909DOI Listing
January 2021

Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria: A Diagnostic "Zero-Sum-Game".

Cureus 2020 Dec 7;12(12):e11956. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Internal Medicine, Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar, Peshawar, PAK.

Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare intravascular hemolytic anemia caused by an acquired mutation in the phosphatidylinositol-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-subunit-A (PIG-A) gene. This mutation leads to the deficiency of cellular anchors for complement inhibitor proteins cluster of differentiation (CD)55 and CD59, predisposing red blood cells to hemolysis by the complement system. We describe the case of a 28-year-old male who presented to the Medical A Ward, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar, Pakistan, in August 2017 for anemia workup and was later diagnosed as PNH. Current treatment guidelines recommend the use of eculizumab for treating PNH, but the cost and availability of this treatment is a major limiting factor in our resource-poor setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.11956DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7788001PMC
December 2020

Interactive role of zinc and iron lysine on L. growth, photosynthesis and antioxidant capacity irrigated with tannery wastewater.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2020 Dec 2;26(12):2435-2452. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451 Saudi Arabia.

Abstract: Untreated wastewater contains toxic amounts of heavy metals such as chromium (Cr), which poses a serious threat to the growth and physiology of plants when used in irrigation. Though, Cr is among the most widespread toxic trace elements found in agricultural soils due to various anthropogenic activities. To explore the interactive effects of micronutrients with amino acid chelators [iron-lysine (Fe-lys) and zinc-lysine (Zn-lys)], pot experiments were conducted in a controlled environment, using spinach ( L.) plant irrigated with tannery wastewater. . was treated without Fe and Zn-lys (0 mg/L Zn-lys and 0 mg/L Fe-lys) and also treated with various combinations of (interactive application) Fe and Zn-lys (10 mg/L Zn-lys and 5 mg/L Fe-lys), when cultivated at different levels [0 (control) 33, 66 and 100%) of tannery wastewater in the soil having a toxic level of Cr in it. According to the results, we have found that, high concentration of Cr in the soil significantly ( < 0.05) reduced plant height, fresh biomass of roots and leaves, dry biomass of roots and leaves, root length, number of leaves, leaf area, total chlorophyll contents, carotenoid contents, transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs), net photosynthesis (PN), and water use efficiency (WUE) and the contents of Zn and Fe in the plant organs without foliar application of Zn and Fe-lys. Moreover, phytotoxicity of Cr increased malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in the plant organs (roots and leaves), which induced oxidative damage in . manifested by the contents of hydrogen peroxide (HO) and membrane leakage. The negative effects of Cr toxicity could be overturned by Zn and Fe-lys application, which significantly ( < 0.05) increase plant growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, and gaseous exchange attributes by reducing oxidative stress (HO, MDA, EL) and increasing the activities of various antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Furthermore, the supplementation of Zn and Fe-lys increased the contents of essential nutrients (Fe and Zn) and decreased the content of Cr in all plant parts compared to the plants cultivated in tannery wastewater without application of Fe-lys. Taken together, foliar supplementation of Zn and Fe-lys alleviates Cr toxicity in . by increased morpho-physiological attributes of the plants, decreased Cr contents and increased micronutrients uptake by the soil, and can be an effective in heavy metal toxicity remedial approach for other crops.

Graphic Abstract:
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-020-00912-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772129PMC
December 2020

Plant growth-promoting sp. strain SDA-4 confers Cd tolerance by physio-biochemical improvements, better nutrient acquisition and diminished Cd uptake in L.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2020 Dec 19;26(12):2417-2433. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320 Pakistan.

Cadmium (Cd) is highly toxic metal for plant metabolic processes even in low concentration due to its longer half-life and non-biodegradable nature. The current study was designed to assess the bioremediation potential of a Cd-tolerant phytobeneficial bacterial strain sp. SDA-4, isolated, characterized and identified from Chakera wastewater reservoir, Faisalabad, Pakistan, together with spinach (as a test plant) under different Cd regimes. Spinach plants were grown with and without sp SDA-4 inoculation in pots filled with 0, 5 or 10 mg kg CdCl-spiked soil. Without sp. SDA-4 inoculation, spinach plants exhibited reduction in biomass accumulation, antioxidative enzymes and nutrient retention. However, plants inoculated with sp. SDA-4 revealed significantly augmented growth, biomass accumulation and efficiency of antioxidative machinery with concomitant reduction in proline and MDA contents under Cd stress. Furthermore, application of sp. SDA-4 assisted the Cd-stressed plants to sustain optimal levels of essential nutrients (N, P, K, Ca and Mg). It was inferred that the characterized Cd-tolerant PGPR strain, sp. SDA-4 has a potential to reduce Cd uptake and lipid peroxidation which in turn maintained the optimum balance of nutrients and augmented the growth of Cd-stressed spinach. Analysis of bioconcentration factor (BCF) and translocation factor (TF) revealed that sp. SDA-4 inoculation with spinach sequestered Cd in rhizospheric zone. Research outcomes are important for understanding morpho-physio-biochemical attributes of spinach- sp. SDA-4 synergy which might provide efficient strategies to decrease Cd retention in edible plants and/or bioremediation of Cd polluted soil colloids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-020-00900-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772128PMC
December 2020

Higher Sensitivity of Microbial Network Than Community Structure under Acid Rain.

Microorganisms 2021 Jan 6;9(1). Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Eco-circular Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.

Acid rain (AR), as a global environmental threat, has profoundly adverse effects on natural soil ecosystems. Microorganisms involved in the nitrogen (N) cycle regulate the global N balance and climate stabilization, but little is known whether and how AR influences the structure and complexity of these microbial communities. Herein, we conducted an intact soil core experiment by manipulating the acidity of simulated rain (pH 7.5 (control, CK) vs. pH 4.0 (AR)) in subtropical agricultural soil, to reveal the differences in the structure and complexity of soil nitrifying and denitrifying microbiota using Illumina amplicon sequencing of functional genes (, , and ). Networks of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and -carrying denitrifiers in AR treatment were less complex with fewer nodes and lower connectivity, while network of -carrying denitrifiers in AR treatment had higher complexity and connectivity relative to CK. Supporting this, AR reduced the abundance of keystone taxa in networks of AOA and -carrying denitrifiers, but increased the abundance of keystone taxa in -carrying denitrifiers network. However, AR did not alter the community structure of AOA, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), -, and -carrying denitrifiers. Moreover, AR did not change soil NO emissions during the experimental period. AOB community structure significantly correlated with content of soil available phosphorus (P), while the community structures of - and -carrying denitrifiers both correlated with soil pH and available P content. Soil NO emission was mainly driven by the -carrying denitrifiers. Our results present new perspective on the impacts of AR on soil N-cycle microbial network complexity and keystone taxa in the context of global changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7825572PMC
January 2021

Evaluation of Contamination Status and Health Risk Assessment of Essential and Toxic Metals in Cyprinus carpio from Mangla Lake, Pakistan.

Biol Trace Elem Res 2021 Jan 7. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Chemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan.

Although fish as a diet has many health benefits, metal accumulation in fish has been an increasing public health concerns across the world. The Cyprinus carpio samples were collected from Mangla Lake, Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and analyzed for 18 essential and toxic trace metals. In edible muscles of the fish, average concentration (μg/g) of K (3002) was the highest, followed by Na (648), Ca (435), Mg (227), and Zn (161). Relatively lower levels (μg/g) were noted for Fe (16.9), Pb (6.05), Sr (4.01), Se (3.49), Co (2.90), Ni (2.37), Mn (2.29), As (1.48), and Cu (1.37), while least levels (μg/g) were found for Cr (0.61), Cd (0.52), Hg (0.15), and Li (0.09) in muscles. Majority of the metals revealed higher accumulation in gills compared with those in scales and muscles. Mean levels of Zn, Mn, Co, Pb, As, and Cd in Cyprinus carpio muscles were found to be exceeding most of the international permissible limits in muscles for safe human consumption. Estimated daily/weekly intakes and hazard quotients/index suggested a high risk related to the intake of Cyprinus carpio from Mangla Lake due to heavy metal contamination. Likewise, target cancer risk (TCR) also indicated significant lifetime carcinogenic health risks to the consumers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-020-02540-xDOI Listing
January 2021

A High-Grade Glioma of Temporal Lobe in a Child: A Case Report and Literature Review.

Cureus 2020 Nov 30;12(11):e11802. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Internal Medicine, King Edward Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, PAK.

High-grade glioma is also called a malignant glioma because it is fast-growing and spread rapidly through brain tissue. Due to the rarity of high-grade glioma, its diagnosis and management are multi-faceted. We present a case of a 10-year-old girl presented with headache, seizure, and right-sided weakness of upper and lower limbs. Neurological exam revealed reduced power in both upper and lower right limbs with reduced sensation and reflexes. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed an ill-defined altered signal intensity mass involving the left temporal lobe with parenchymal involvement and surrounding perilesional vasogenic edema. Biopsy of the lesion confirmed high-grade glioma. The patient underwent external beam radiation therapy with concomitant daily temozolomide treatment, followed by adjuvant standard temozolomide. However, progressive neurological worsening and an increased lesion size led to partial tumor resection through a craniotomy to remove intracranial hypertension, which was unsuccessful, and the patient could not survive after the procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.11802DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7779152PMC
November 2020

RP-UHPLC-MS Chemical Profiling, Biological and In Silico Docking Studies to Unravel the Therapeutic Potential of Desf. as a Novel Source of Neuroprotective Bioactive Compounds.

Biomolecules 2021 Jan 4;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department for Management of Science and Technology Development, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam.

is one of the most important plant genera to have conventional folklore importance, and hence is a potential source of bioactive compounds. Thus, the present study was designed to explore the therapeutic potential of Desf., a relatively under-explored medicinal plant species. Methanolic extracts prepared from a whole plant of were studied for phytochemical composition and possible in vitro and in silico biological properties. Antioxidant potential was assessed via six different assays, and enzyme inhibition potential against key clinical enzymes involved in neurodegenerative diseases (acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE)), diabetes (α-amylase and α-glucosidase), and skin problems (tyrosinase) was assayed. Phytochemical composition was established via determination of the total bioactive contents and reverse phase ultra-high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (RP-UHPLC-MS) analysis. Chemical profiling revealed the tentative presence of 50 secondary metabolites. The plant extract exhibited significant inhibition against AChE and BChE enzymes, with values of 3.80 and 3.44 mg GALAE/g extract, respectively. Further, the extract displayed considerable free radical scavenging activity against DPPH and ABTS radicals, with potential values of 43.19 and 41.80 mg TE/g extract, respectively. In addition, the selected compounds were then docked against the tested enzymes, which have shown high inhibition affinity. To conclude, was found to harbor bioactive compounds and showed potent biological activities which could be further explored for potential uses in nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, particularly as a neuroprotective agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11010053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7824284PMC
January 2021

A Comparative Study on the Use of Alprazolam and Melatonin for Sleep Disturbances in Hemodialysis Patients.

Cureus 2020 Nov 28;12(11):e11754. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Psychology, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, PAK.

Background and objectives Sleep disorders are prevalent in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) involving the majority of patients undergoing hemodialysis. The main objective of treating sleep disorders in patients of ESRD is to correct subjective and objective sleep quality, decrease fatigue and daytime sleepiness, and enhance daytime functioning. Irrespective of the adverse effects reported, benzodiazepines are widely utilized among patients with sleep disorders in end-stage renal disease. Melatonin is a newer agent being studied for use in hemodialysis patients for improvement of sleep quality. The aim of our observational study is to witness the effectiveness of both benzodiazepine and exogenous melatonin as a treatment of sleep disorders in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Materials and methods We conducted a comparative, observational study in ESRD patients who are on hemodialysis. These patients were selected from attendees of the hemodialysis unit, nephrology department of a tertiary care hospital, including those who were on regular hemodialysis, thrice-weekly in frequency for at least once per year, and taking regular sleep medications for at least three months with frequently reported drug dosages of alprazolam 0.5 mg once daily or melatonin 3 mg once daily (before bedtime). The subjective sleep assessment was done by utilizing four scales, including the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), and Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS). Results A total of 117 hemodialysis-dependent patients met the inclusion criteria, among whom 79 patients were using alprazolam while 38 were using melatonin for their disturbed sleep. The mean age of the study participants was 49.12 ± 12.75, comprising 72 males (61.53%) and 45 females (38.46%). The duration of the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD), duration of onset of hemodialysis, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was comparable in both groups. Both groups had similar laboratory markers except for higher hemoglobin in the melatonin group (p=0.028) and high parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in the alprazolam group (p=0.001). PSQI scores were 8.76 ± 3.09 in the alprazolam group and 7.32 ± 2.65 in the melatonin group (p=0.015). In the sub-scores, there were no differences in sleep latency (p=0.481) and daytime dysfunction (p=0.662) while sleep efficiency (p=0.167) and subjective sleep quality (p=0.132) were not statistically significant. The significant differences were lower scores of sleep duration (p=0.040) and sleep disturbance (p=0.003) in the melatonin group. The ESS scores revealed no significant difference in either group (p=0.074). With respect to the ISI and SSS, higher scores were obtained in the alprazolam group. Overall, 89 study participants had reported poor sleep quality, out of which 81% were using alprazolam, and 65% were using melatonin (p=0.071). A total of 50 study participants exhibited excessive daytime sleepiness with 45% of them were using alprazolam and 36% were using melatonin. About 54% of the alprazolam using hemodialysis patients had moderate insomnia while 50% of the melatonin using patients had sub-threshold insomnia (p=0.062). Conclusion As melatonin use has shown better sleep quality and less insomnia severity as compared to alprazolam use in our study, it is postulated that the sleep-wake cycle should be commonly targeted by pharmacological therapy in ESRD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.11754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773292PMC
November 2020

Human Health Risk Assessments of Trace Metals on the Clam in a Tropical River in Peninsular Malaysia.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 29;18(1). Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Tabuk, Tabuk 7149, Saudi Arabia.

This study aimed to analyse ten trace metal concentrations in the edible part of the freshwater clam and to provide a critical assessment of the potential risks to human health through consumption of this clam as food based on well-established indices and food safety guidelines. The clams were captured from a pristine original site and transplanted to other sites with different environmental qualities. The trace metal levels in the edible total soft tissue (TST) of the clam were below those of the food safety guidelines referred to except for Pb, which exceeded the permissible limit set by the European Commission (2006) and the US Food and Drug Administration/ Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition); Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference. (USFDA/CFSAN; ISSC) (2007). The estimated daily intake (EDI) values of the clam were found to be lower than the oral reference dose and the calculated target hazard quotient (THQ) and total THQ were found to be less than 1. Therefore, in conclusion, the human health risk for consumption of TST of at both average and high-level were insignificant regardless of the environment it was exposed to.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010195DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794960PMC
December 2020

Role of Ferrous Sulfate (FeSO) in Resistance to Cadmium Stress in Two Rice ( L.) Genotypes.

Biomolecules 2020 12 18;10(12). Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.

The impact of heavy metal, i.e., cadmium (Cd), on the growth, photosynthetic pigments, gas exchange characteristics, oxidative stress biomarkers, and antioxidants machinery (enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants), ions uptake, organic acids exudation, and ultra-structure of membranous bounded organelles of two rice ( L.) genotypes (Shan 63 and Lu 9803) were investigated with and without the exogenous application of ferrous sulfate (FeSO). Two genotypes were grown under different levels of CdCl [0 (no Cd), 50 and 100 µM] and then treated with exogenously supplemented ferrous sulfate (FeSO) [0 (no Fe), 50 and 100 µM] for 21 days. The results revealed that Cd stress significantly ( < 0.05) affected plant growth and biomass, photosynthetic pigments, gas exchange characteristics, affected antioxidant machinery, sugar contents, and ions uptake/accumulation, and destroy the ultra-structure of many membranous bounded organelles. The findings also showed that Cd toxicity induces oxidative stress biomarkers, i.e., malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, hydrogen peroxide (HO) initiation, and electrolyte leakage (%), which was also manifested by increasing the enzymatic antioxidants, i.e., superoxidase dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and non-enzymatic antioxidant compounds (phenolics, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and anthocyanin) and organic acids exudation pattern in both genotypes. At the same time, the results also elucidated that the genotypes Lu 9803 are more tolerant to Cd stress than Shan 63. Although, results also illustrated that the exogenous application of ferrous sulfate (FeSO) also decreased Cd toxicity in both genotypes by increasing antioxidant capacity and thus improved the plant growth and biomass, photosynthetic pigments, gas exchange characteristics, and decrease oxidative stress in the roots and shoots of genotypes. Here, we conclude that the exogenous supplementation of FeSO under short-term exposure of Cd stress significantly improved plant growth and biomass, photosynthetic pigments, gas exchange characteristics, regulate antioxidant defense system, and essential nutrients uptake and maintained the ultra-structure of membranous bounded organelles in genotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10121693DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766819PMC
December 2020

Probing phenylcarbamoylazinane-1,2,4-triazole amides derivatives as lipoxygenase inhibitors along with cytotoxic, ADME and molecular docking studies.

Bioorg Chem 2021 Feb 3;107:104525. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Auf der Morgenstelle 8, 72076, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.

Hunting small molecules as anti-inflammatory agents/drugs is an expanding and successful approach to treat several inflammatory diseases such as cancer, asthma, arthritis, and psoriasis. Besides other methods, inflammatory diseases can be treated by lipoxygenase inhibitors, which have a profound influence on the development and progression of inflammation. In the present study, a series of new N-alkyl/aralky/aryl derivatives (7a-o) of 2-(4-phenyl-5-(1-phenylcarbamoyl)piperidine-4H-1,2,4-triazol-3-ylthio)acetamide was synthesized and screened for their inhibitory potential against the enzyme 15-lipoxygenase. The simple precursor ethyl piperidine-4-carboxylate (a) was successively converted into phenylcarbamoyl derivative (1), hydrazide (2), semicarbazide (3) and N-phenylated 5-(1-phenylcarbamoyl)piperidine-1,2,4-triazole (4), then in combination with electrophiles (6a-o) through further multistep synthesis, final products (7a-o) were generated. All the synthesized compounds were characterized by FTIR, H, C NMR spectroscopy, EIMS, and HREIMS spectrometry. Almost all the synthesized compounds showed excellent inhibitory potential against the tested enzyme. Compounds 7c, 7f, 7d, and 7g displayed potent inhibitory potential (IC 9.25 ± 0.26 to 21.82 ± 0.35 µM), followed by the compounds 7n, 7h, 7e, 7a, 7b, 7l, and 7o with IC values in the range of 24.56 ± 0.45 to 46.91 ± 0.57 µM. Compounds 7c, 7f, 7d exhibited 71.5 to 83.5% cellular viability by MTT assay compared with standard curcumin (76.9%) when assayed at 0.125 mM concentration. In silico ADME studies supported the drug-likeness of most of the molecules. In vitro inhibition studies were substantiated by molecular docking wherein the phenyl group attached to the triazole ring was making a π-δ interaction with Leu607. This work reveals the possibility of a synthetic approach of compounds in relation to lipoxygenase inhibition as potential lead compounds in drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bioorg.2020.104525DOI Listing
February 2021

Carboxymethyl cellulose coating delays chilling injury development and maintains eating quality of 'Kinnow' mandarin fruits during low temperature storage.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Jan 7;168:77-85. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.

The application of edible coatings is an efficient way to reduce mass loss and to conserve the quality of a coated fresh produce during postharvest storage. In the present research, the impact of carboxymethyl cellulose [CMC (1%] coating was studied on 'Kinnow' mandarins during cold storage at 5 ± 1 °C for 30 days. Results showed that CMC treatment substantially suppressed chilling injury symptoms, disease incidence, fresh weight loss, malondialdehyde content, hydrogen peroxide and electrolyte leakage compared with control. The CMC coated 'Kinnow' mandarins showed markedly higher ascorbate peroxidase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase enzyme activities compared to control. The treatment of 'Kinnow' mandarins with CMC also suppressed the increase in total soluble solids, ripening index and showed substantially higher titratable acidity, ascorbic acid, total phenolics content, and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity along with better sensory quality in contrast with uncoated fruits. In conclusion, CMC coating could be an effective approach for the chilling injury reduction and quality maintenance of harvested 'Kinnow' mandarin fruits during cold storage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.12.028DOI Listing
January 2021

Application of abscisic acid and 6-benzylaminopurine modulated morpho-physiological and antioxidative defense responses of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) by minimizing cobalt uptake.

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 31;263:128169. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

College of Resources and Environment, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, 410128, Hunan, PR China. Electronic address:

A hydroponic study was conducted to determine the effects of single and/or combined application of different doses (0, 5 and 10 μM L) of abscisic acid (ABA) and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) on cobalt (Co) accumulation, morpho-physiological and antioxidative defense attributes of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) exposed to severe Co stress (400 μM L). The single Co treatment (T1), prominently decreased tomato growth, relative water contents, photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b), whereas enhanced oxidative stress and Co accumulation in shoot and root tissues. Nonetheless, the supplementation of ABA and 6-BAP via nutrient media significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced plant biomass, root morphology and chlorophyll contents of tomato, compared to only Co treatment (T1). Moreover, the oxidative stress indicators such as malondialdehyde, proline and HO contents were ameliorated through activation of enzymatic antioxidant activities i.e. ascorbate peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidase, in growth modulator treatments in comparison to T1. The Co uptake, translocation (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BAF) by shoot and root tissues of tomato were significantly reduced under all the treatments than that of T1. The supply of 6-BAP alone or in combination with ABA at 10 μM L application (T7) rate was found the most effective to reduce Co accumulation in the roots and shoots by 48.4% and 70.2% respectively than T1 treatment. It can be concluded that two plant growth modulators could improve the stress tolerance by inhibition of Co uptake in tomato plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128169DOI Listing
January 2021

Response of periphytic biofilm in water to estrone exposure: Phenomenon and mechanism.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jan 1;207:111513. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 71 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, China.

The responses of pure strains to contaminant (i.e., estrone, E1) exposure have been widely studied. However, few studies about the responses of multispecies microbial aggregates (e.g., periphytic biofilm) to E1 exposure are available. In this study, the changes in physiological activity and community composition of periphytic biofilms before and after E1 exposure were investigated. The results showed that periphytic biofilms exhibited high adaptability to E1 exposure at a concentration of 0.5 mg L based on physiological results. The increase in productivity of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) after exposure to E1 was the main factor preventing association between E1 and microbial cells. The increase in the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ATP enzyme activity and the change in the co-occurrence pattern of microbial communities (increasing the relative abundance of Xanthomonadaceae and Cryomorphacea) also protected biofilms from E1 exposure. However, exposure to a high concentration of E1 (>10 mg L) significantly decreased EPS productivity and metabolic activity due to the excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species. In addition, the abundance of some sensitive species, such as Pseudanabaenaceae, decreased sharply at this concentration. Overall, this study highlighted the feasibility of periphytic biofilms to adapt to E1 exposure at low concentrations in aquatic environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111513DOI Listing
January 2021

Improving Lithium-Ion Half-/Full-Cell Performance of WO -Protected SnO Core-Shell Nanoarchitectures.

ChemSusChem 2021 Feb 9;14(3):917-928. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Nanoscience and Technology Department, National Centre for Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University Campus, 45320-, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Anodes derived from SnO offer a greater specific capacity comparative to graphitic carbon in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs); hence, it is imperative to find a simple but effective approach for the fabrication of SnO . The intelligent surfacing of transition metal oxides is one of the favorite strategies to dramatically boost cycling efficiency, and currently most work is primarily aimed at coating and/or compositing with carbon-based materials. Such coating materials, however, face major challenges, including tedious processing and low capacity. This study successfully reports a new and simple WO coating to produce a core-shell structure on the surface of SnO . The empty space permitted natural expansion for the SnO nanostructures, retaining a higher specific capacity for over 100 cycles that did not appear in the pristine SnO without WO shell. Using WO -protected SnO nanoparticles as anode, a coin half-cell battery was designed with Li-foil as counter-electrode. Furthermore, the anode was paired with commercial LiFePO as cathode for a coin-type full cell and tested for lithium storage performance. The WO shell proved to be an effective and strong enhancer for both current rate and specific capacity of SnO nanoarchitectures; additionally, an enhancement of cyclic stability was achieved. The findings demonstrate that the WO can be used for the improvement of cyclic characteristics of other metal oxide materials as a new coating material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202002408DOI Listing
February 2021

Molybdenum Supply Alleviates the Cadmium Toxicity in Fragrant Rice by Modulating Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Gene Expression.

Biomolecules 2020 11 21;10(11). Epub 2020 Nov 21.

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.

Increasing evidence shows that cadmium (Cd) toxicity causes severe perturbations on growth performance, physio-biochemical and molecular processes in crop plants. Molybdenum (Mo), an essential trace element, plays key roles in oxidative stress tolerance of higher plants. Hence, the present study has been conducted to investigate the possible role of Mo in alleviating Cd-induced inhibitions in two fragrant rice cultivars namely Guixiangzhan (GXZ) and Meixiangzhan-2 (MXZ-2). The results revealed that Mo application enhanced the plant dry biomass by 73.24% in GXZ and 58.09% in MXZ-2 under Cd stress conditions, suggesting that Mo supplementation alleviated Cd-induced toxicity effects in fragrant rice. The enhanced Cd-tolerance in fragrant rice plants prompted by Mo application could be ascribed to its ability to regulate Cd uptake and reduce Cd-induced oxidative stress as evident by lower hydrogen peroxide levels, electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde contents in Cd-stressed plants. The ameliorative role of Mo against Cd-toxicity also reflected through its protection to the photosynthetic pigments, proline and soluble protein. Mo also induced antioxidant defense systems via maintaining higher contents of glutathione and ascorbate as well as enhancing the ROS-detoxifying enzymes such as catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase activities and up-regulating transcript abundance in both fragrant rice cultivars under Cd stress. Conclusively, Mo-mediated modulation of Cd toxicity in fragrant rice was through restricting Cd uptake, maintaining photosynthetic performance and alleviating oxidative damages via the strong anti-oxidative defense systems; however, GXZ cultivar is comparatively more Cd tolerant and Mo-efficient as evident from the less growth inhibition and biomass reduction as well as enhanced Mo-induced Cd stress tolerance and less oxidative damage than MXZ-2 fragrant rice cultivar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10111582DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7700372PMC
November 2020

Medium nitrogen optimized Boehmeria nivea L. growth in copper contaminated soil.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 13;266:128972. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

MOA Key Laboratory of Crop Ecophysiology and Farming System in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China. Electronic address:

Copper (Cu) pollution in agricultural soils is considered as a serious health risk due to its accumulation in plants. Thus, there is an urgent need to optimize nutrient application for higher yield with lower Cu uptake to ensure food security. A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of nitrogen fertilizer (N) on Boehmeria nivea growth, gas exchange characteristics, antioxidant capacity and uptake of Cu in contaminated soil. Therefore, combinations of Cu levels (0, 100, 300 mg kg) and N levels (0, 140, 280, 420 kg ha) were applied. The results showed that N at 280 kg ha significantly (≤0.05) increased plant growth in terms of fresh biomass, plant height, stem diameter and number of leaves per plant up to100 mg kg Cu in soil for all harvests (H, H, H and H). However, the interactive effect of Cu and N on Cu uptake by plant varied among N levels. Furthermore, N at 280 kg ha also improved the gas exchange characteristics viz., net photosynthesis (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr) and stomatal conductance (gs), while decreased oxidative stress in B. nivea up to 100 mg kg Cu in soil, relative to control. Thus N at 280 kg ha can be considered as an effective dose for high fresh biomass with lower Cu uptake by B. nivea grown as fodder in Cu contaminated soils (≤100 mg kg). Overall, present research highlighted the necessity of balanced or optimum N application for sustainable B. nivea forage production in Cu contaminated agricultural lands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128972DOI Listing
March 2021

Classification of Pharynx from MRI using a Visual Analysis Tool to Study Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Curr Med Imaging 2020 Nov 18. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Sabanci University, Istanbul. Turkey.

Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic sleeping disorder. The analysis of pharynx and its surrounding tissues can play a vital role in understanding the pathogenesis of OSA. Classification of pharynx is a crucial step in the analysis of OSA.

Objective: An automatic pharyngeal classification from magnetic resonance images (MRI) and the influence of different features can help in analyzing the pharynx anatomy. However, the state-of-the-art classifiers do not provide any insight regarding the features' selection and their influence.

Methods: A visual analysis-based classifier is developed to classify the pharynx from MRI datasets. The classification pipeline consists of different stages including pre-processing to select the initial candidates, extraction of categorical and numerical features to form a multidimensional features space, and a supervised classifier trained by using visual analytics and silhouette coefficient to classify the pharynx.

Results: The pharynx is classified automatically and gives an approximately 86% Jaccard coefficient by evaluating the classifier on different MRI datasets. The expert's knowledge can be utilized to select the optimal features and their corresponding weights during the training phase of the classifier.

Conclusion: The proposed classifier is accurate and more efficient in terms of computational cost. It provides additional insight to better understand the influence of different features individually and collectively. It finds its applications in epidemiological studies where large datasets need to be analyzed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1573405616666201118143935DOI Listing
November 2020