Publications by authors named "Muhammad Tahir"

681 Publications

High-yield synthesis of silver nanowires for transparent conducting PET films.

Beilstein J Nanotechnol 2021 1;12:624-632. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Institute of Physics, Faculty of Science, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Baghdad-ul-Jadid Campus, Bahawalpur 63100, Pakistan.

Silver nanowires (AgNWs) with ultrahigh purity and high yield were successfully synthesized by employing a modified facile polyol method using PVP as a capping and stabilizing agent. The reaction was carried out at a moderate temperature of 160 °C under mild stirring for about 3 h. The prepared AgNWs exhibited parallel alignment on a large scale and were characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and PL spectroscopy. The luminescent AgNWs exhibited red emission, which was accredited to deep holes. The SEM results confirmed the formation of AgNWs of 3.3 to 4.7 µm in length with an average diameter of about 86 nm, that is, the aspect ratio values of the AgNWs exceeded 45. An ink consisting of hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) and AgNWs was transferred to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films by simple mechanical pressing. The PET films retained transparency and flexibility after the ink coating. The maximum transmittance value of as-prepared PET films in the visible region was estimated to be about 92.5% with a sheet resistance value of ca. 20 Ω/sq. This makes the films a potential substitute to commonly used expensive indium tin oxide (ITO) in the field of flexible optoelectronics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3762/bjnano.12.51DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8261274PMC
July 2021

Disproportionate COVID-19 vaccine distribution - A big threat for low- and middle-income countries.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2021 Jul 15:1-5. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Lahore General Hospital, Lahore 54000, Pakistan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2021.320DOI Listing
July 2021

Vaccinomics driven proteome-wide screening of Haemophilus influenzae for the prediction of common putative vaccine candidates.

Can J Microbiol 2021 Jul 8. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, 384986, Shifa College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Plot No. 72, Adjacent FBISE, H-8/4, Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan, 44000;

Haemophilus influenzae colonizes the respiratory tract and is associated with life-threatening invasive infections. The recent rise in its global prevalence, even in the presence of multiple vaccines, indicate an urgent need for developing cross-strain effective vaccine strategies. Our work focused on identifying the universally conserved antigenic regions of H. influenzae that can be used for developing new vaccines. A variety of bioinformatics tools were applied for the comprehensive geno-proteomic analysis of H. influenzae type "a" strain, as reference serotype, through which subcellular localization, essentiality, virulence, and non-host homology were determined. B and T-Cell epitope mapping of 3D protein structures were performed. Thereafter, molecular docking with HLA DRB1*0101 and comparative genome analysis established the candidature of identified regions. Based on the established vaccinomics criteria, five target proteins were predicted as novel vaccine candidates. Among these, 9 epitopic regions were identified that could regulate the lymphocyte activity through strong protein-protein interactions. Comparative genomic analysis exhibited that the identified regions were highly conserved among the different strains of H. influenzae. Based on multiple immunogenic factors, the five prioritized proteins and their predicted epitopes were identified as the ideal common putative vaccine candidate against typeable strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjm-2020-0535DOI Listing
July 2021

COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2021 Jul 8:1-2. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Kabir Medical College, Gandhara University, Peshawar, Pakistan.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2021.277DOI Listing
July 2021

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for bioanalysis and diagnosis.

Nanoscale 2021 Jul;13(27):11593-11634

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention, Department of Environmental Science & Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, Peoples' Republic of China.

In recent years, bioanalytical surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has blossomed into a fast-growing research area. Owing to its high sensitivity and outstanding multiplexing ability, SERS is an effective analytical technique that has excellent potential in bioanalysis and diagnosis, as demonstrated by its increasing applications in vivo. SERS allows the rapid detection of molecular species based on direct and indirect strategies. Because it benefits from the tunable surface properties of nanostructures, it finds a broad range of applications with clinical relevance, such as biological sensing, drug delivery and live cell imaging assays. Of particular interest are early-stage-cancer detection and the fast detection of pathogens. Here, we present a comprehensive survey of SERS-based assays, from basic considerations to bioanalytical applications. Our main focus is on SERS-based pathogen detection methods as point-of-care solutions for early bacterial infection detection and chronic disease diagnosis. Additionally, various promising in vivo applications of SERS are surveyed. Furthermore, we provide a brief outlook of recent endeavours and we discuss future prospects and limitations for SERS, as a reliable approach for rapid and sensitive bioanalysis and diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1nr00708dDOI Listing
July 2021

Raphanus Sativus Seeds OilArrested In Vivo Inflammation and Angiogenesis Through Down-Regulation of TNF-a.

Curr Pharm Biotechnol 2021 Jul 2. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Pharmaceutics, Institute of Pharmacy, University of Bonn, Bonn. Germany.

Background: Raphanus sativus is traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Objectives: The current study was designed to explore the in vivo anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties of Raphanus sativus seeds oil.

Methods: Cold press method was used for the extraction of oil (RsSO) and was characterised using GC-MS techniques. Three in vitro antioxidant assays (DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP) were performed to explore antioxidant potential of RsSO. Disc diffusion methods were used to study in vitro antimicrobial properties. In vivo anti-inflammatory properties were studied in both acute and chronic inflammation models. In ovo chicken, a chorioallantoic membrane assay was performed to study antiangiogenic effects. Molecular mechanisms were identified using serum TNF-α ELISA kit and docking tools.

Results: GC-MS analysis of RsSO revealed the presence of hexadecanoic and octadecanoic acid. Findings of DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP models indicated relatively moderate radical scavenging properties of RsSO. Oil showed antimicrobial activity against a variety of strains tested. Data of inflammation models showed significant (p < 0.05) anti-inflammatory effects of RsSO in both acute and chronic models. 500 mg/kg RsSO halted inflammation development significantly better (p < 0.05) as compared with lower doses. Histopathological evaluations of paws showed minimal infiltration of inflammatory cells in RsSO-treated animals. Findings of TNF-α ELSIA and docking studies showed that RsSO has the potential to downregulate the expression of TNF-α, iNOS, ROS, and NF-κB, respectively. Moreover, RsSO showed in vivo antiangiogenic effects.

Conclusion: Data of the current study highlight that Raphanus sativus seeds oil has anti-inflammatory, and antiangiogenic properties and can be used as an adjunct to standard NSAIDs therapy to reduce its dose and side effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1389201022666210702120956DOI Listing
July 2021

Characterization of Vascular plant One-Zinc finger (VOZ) in soybean (Glycine max and Glycine soja) and their expression analyses under drought condition.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(7):e0253836. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Institute of Food Crops, Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Kunming, China.

Vascular plant one-zinc-finger (VOZ) transcription factors regulate plant growth and development under drought conditions. Six VOZ transcription factors encoding genes exist in soybean genome (both in Glycine max and Glycine soja). Herein, GmVOZs and GsVOZs were identified through in silico analysis and characterized with different bioinformatics tools and expression analysis. Phylogenetic analysis classified VOZ genes in four groups. Sequence logos analysis among G. max and G. soja amino acid residues revealed higher conservation. Presence of stress related cis-elements in the upstream regions of GmVOZs and GsVOZs highlights their role in tolerance against abiotic stresses. The collinearity analysis identified 14 paralogous/orthologous gene pairs within and between G. max and G. soja. The Ka/Ks values showed that soybean VOZ genes underwent selection pressure with limited functional deviation arising from whole genome and segmental duplication. The GmVOZs and GsVOZs were found to express in roots and leaves at seedling stage. The qRT-PCR revealed that GmVOZs and GsVOZs transcripts can be regulated by abiotic stresses such as polyethylene glycol (PEG). The findings of this study will provide a reference to decipher physiological and molecular functions of VOZ genes in soybean.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0253836PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253436PMC
July 2021

Impacts of riparian width and stream channel width on ecological networks in main waterways and tributaries.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 17;792:148457. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Key Laboratory of Eco-Environments in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (Ministry of Education), Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Resource Conservation and Germplasm Innovation, College of Life Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China. Electronic address:

Riparian buffer width and stream channel width have different impacts on ecological networks (e.g., plant cover, regeneration, exotics, erosion, habitat, and stressors) and provide various ecosystem services. The protection of riparian zones of increasing widths for higher-order streams and connected tributaries alongside mega-reservoirs and around dams is of great global significance. However, it remains unclear which protection strategies are most effective for such zones. By applying a rapid field-based approach with 326 transects on an inundated area of 58,000 km within the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir (TGDR) in China, we found that riparian buffer areas were influenced differently by broad-ranging widths. The riparian buffer width of 101.84 ± 72.64 m (mean ± standard deviation) had the greatest impact on the main waterway, whereas the stream channel width of 99.87 ± 97.10 m was most influential in tributaries. The correlation coefficient strengths among ecological and stress parameters (independently) were relatively greater in the main waterway riparian zones; the highest value was r = 0.930 using Pearson correlation (p < 0.05). In contrast, stress parameters revealed substantial and strong relationships with ecological parameters in tributaries, with the highest value being r = 0.551. Riparian width had the strongest influence on buffer vegetation scales, high-impact exotics, and bank stability. In comparison, channel width had the greatest effect on tree roots, dominant tree regeneration, and agricultural farming. These parameters showed distinctive responses in the shapes of indexing in higher-order streams and connected tributaries. These observations confirm the urgent need for research on regional-based extended riparian areas managed by the same administration strategies. Revised guidelines are needed to protect massive dam and reservoir ecosystems from further deterioration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148457DOI Listing
June 2021

Antiretrovirals shortage in Kenya amid COVID-19.

J Med Virol 2021 Jun 18. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

School of Pharmacy, Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.27134DOI Listing
June 2021

SCA-NGS: Secure compression algorithm for next generation sequencing data using genetic operators and block sorting.

Sci Prog 2021 Apr-Jun;104(2):368504211023276

Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Information Sciences & Technology, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Attock, Punjab, Pakistan.

Recent advancements in sequencing methods have led to significant increase in sequencing data. Increase in sequencing data leads to research challenges such as storage, transfer, processing, etc. data compression techniques have been opted to cope with the storage of these data. There have been good achievements in compression ratio and execution time. This fast-paced advancement has raised major concerns about the security of data. Confidentiality, integrity, authenticity of data needs to be ensured. This paper presents a novel lossless reference-free algorithm that focuses on data compression along with encryption to achieve security in addition to other parameters. The proposed algorithm uses preprocessing of data before applying general-purpose compression library. Genetic algorithm is used to encrypt the data. The technique is validated with experimental results on benchmark datasets. Comparative analysis with state-of-the-art techniques is presented. The results show that the proposed method achieves better results in comparison to existing methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00368504211023276DOI Listing
June 2021

Transcriptome analysis reveals the inhibitory nature of high nitrate during adventitious roots formation in the apple rootstock.

Physiol Plant 2021 Jun 18. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

College of Horticulture, Yangling Subsidiary Center Project of the National Apple Improvement Center, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling, China.

In the process of vegetative propagation of apple rootstocks, the development of adventitious roots (ARs) has crucial importance. Nitrate is an essential nutrient necessary for plant growth; however, the inhibitory effect of high nitrate on ARs formation has not been explored. The physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying ARs inhibition were examined in this study. Stem cuttings of B9 apple rootstock were cultured on two nitrate treatments (T1 = 18.7 mM L and T2 = 37.5 mM L ), where T2 was identified as ARs inhibiting treatment. Morphological and anatomical observations advocating that high availability of nitrate inhibited AR formation by delaying the ARs initiation and emergence stages, where the root number was 287%, and the length was 604.6% lower than the T1 cuttings. Moreover, the contents of endogenous hormones were also elevated in response to T2 at most of the time points, which may cause a hormonal imbalance within the plant body and drive toward ARs inhibition. Furthermore, 3686 genes were differentially expressed by high-throughput sequencing. Out of these, 1797 genes were upregulated, and 1889 genes were downregulated. Approximately 238 genes related to nitrate, hormones, root development, and cell-cycle induction pathways were selected according to their potential to be involved in ARs regulation. This is the first study providing information regarding the inhibitory effect of high nitrate on ARs formation in apple rootstock.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13480DOI Listing
June 2021

Epidemic and PCR-based identification of vibrio cholera through OmpW gene from diarrhoeal patients admitted at different hospitals of Baluchistan.

J Pak Med Assoc 2021 Apr;71(4):1189-1192

Department of Biochemistry, Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences, Quetta, Pakistan.

Objective: To study the different epidemiological and polymerase chain reaction-based identification of vibrio cholera.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted at the Center for Advanced Studies in Vaccinology and Biotechnology, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan, from January 5 to December 6, 2019, and comprised faecal / rectal swab samples from patients with a history of untreated severe diarrhoea of <12-hour duration. The samples were collected from suspected cholera patients at different hospitals of the province. The isolates were examined and identified on the basis of colony characters on thiosulfate-citrate-bile salts-sucrose agar. Susppected colonies were subjected to gram staining, biochemical tests and polymerase chain reaction-based identification. Data was analysed using SPSS 19.

Results: Of the 444 samples, 33(7.43%) were positive for vibrio cholera and 411(92.56%) were negative. The incidence was higher in individuals aged 1-20 years 12(2.7%); males 18(4.05%); Balochs 18(4.05%); lower socioeconomic class 18(4.05%); and illiterates 26(5.85%). The incidence was more in summer 19(4.27%) and spring 8(1.80%) seasons. Polymerase chain reaction was highly effective diagnostic approach, with findings showing clear bands of 588bp of ompW gene.

Conclusions: Surveillance for diarrhoeal disorders is necessary to control future outbreaks of cholera in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.47391/JPMA.1433DOI Listing
April 2021

Complete genome sequence of hollyhock vein yellowing virus, a novel monopartite begomovirus infecting hollyhock in Pakistan.

Arch Virol 2021 Jun 11. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Agricultural Biotechnology Division, National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea, family Malvaceae) is an ornamental plant grown widely in gardens across South Asia. In a bed of ornamental plants near the village of Chakri (Punjab Province, Pakistan) in 2014, hollyhock plants showing two distinct symptom types were identified: yellow vein mosaic and leaf crumple. PCR amplification with universal primers amplified a begomovirus from separate nucleic acid extracts of single plants of each type but amplified a betasatellite only from the plant with the yellow vein mosaic symptoms. No potential begomovirus DNA B component or alphasatellite could be identified in either sample. After cloning, the genome sequences of two viruses, one from a plant of each symptom type, were determined and shown to share 99.9% nucleotide sequence identity with each other but less than 91% nucleotide sequence identity with all previously characterized begomoviruses, with the highest identity (90%) to an isolate of pedilanthus leaf curl virus (PeLCV). This indicates that the two hollyhock plants were infected with a newly identified begomovirus for which the name "hollyhock vein yellowing virus" (HoVYV) is proposed. HoVYV likely has a recombinant origin. The betasatellite showed the highest nucleotide sequence identity to an isolate of cotton leaf curl Multan betasatellite (CLCuMuB), a betasatellite associated with cotton leaf curl disease across Pakistan and northwestern India. These findings add to the diversity of known begomoviruses in South Asia and again highlight the role of hollyhock as a reservoir of the cotton leaf curl begomovirus betasatellite complex. The results also suggest that the yellow vein mosaic symptoms in hollyhock are due to the betasatellite rather than the virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-021-05134-7DOI Listing
June 2021

Physiological insights into sulfate and selenium interaction to improve drought tolerance in mung bean.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2021 May 4;27(5):1073-1087. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Agronomy, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan, Pakistan.

The present study involved two pot experiments to investigate the response of mung bean to the individual or combined SO and selenate application under drought stress. A marked increment in biomass and NPK accumulation was recorded in mung bean seedlings fertilized with various SO sources, except for CuSO. Compared to other SO fertilizers, ZnSO application resulted in the highest increase in growth attributes and shoot nutrient content. Further, the combined S and Se application (S + Se) significantly enhanced relative water content (16%), SPAD value (72%), photosynthetic rate (80%) and activities of catalase (79%), guaiacol peroxidase (53%) and superoxide dismutase (58%) in the leaves of water-stressed mung bean plants. Consequently, the grain yield of mung bean was markedly increased by 105% under water stress conditions. Furthermore, S + Se application considerably increased the concentrations of P (47%), K (75%), S (80%), Zn (160%), and Fe (15%) in mung bean seeds under drought stress conditions. These findings indicate that S + Se application potentially increases the nutritional quality of grain legumes by stimulating photosynthetic apparatus and antioxidative machinery under water deficit conditions. Our results could provide the basis for further experiments on cross-talk between S and Se regulatory pathways to improve the nutritional quality of food crops.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12298-021-00992-6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-021-00992-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140040PMC
May 2021

Evaluation on the Mechanical Properties of Ground Granulated Blast Slag (GGBS) and Fly Ash Stabilized Soil via Geopolymer Process.

Materials (Basel) 2021 May 26;14(11). Epub 2021 May 26.

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, Częstochowa University of Technology, Generała Jana Henryka Dąbrowskiego 69, 42-201 Częstochowa, Poland.

This study intended to address the problem of damaged (collapsed, cracked and decreased soil strength) road pavement structure built on clay soil due to clay soil properties such as low shear strength, high soil compressibility, low soil permeability, low soil strength, and high soil plasticity. Previous research reported that ground granulated blast slag (GGBS) and fly ash can be used for clay soil stabilizations, but the results of past research indicate that the road pavement construction standards remained unfulfilled, especially in terms of clay's subgrade soil. Due to this reason, this study is carried out to further investigate soil stabilization using GGBS and fly ash-based geopolymer processes. This study investigates the effects of GGBS and ratios of fly ash (solid) to alkaline activator (liquid) of 1:1, 1.5:1, 2:1, 2.5:1, and 3:1, cured for 1 and 7 days. The molarity of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and the ratio of sodium silicate (NaSiO) to sodium hydroxide (NaOH) was fixed at 10 molar and 2.0 weight ratio. The mechanical properties of the soil stabilization based geopolymer process were tested using an unconfined compression test, while the characterization of soil stabilization was investigated using the plastic limit test, liquid limit test, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results showed that the highest strength obtained was 3.15 MPA with a GGBS to alkaline activator ratio of 1.5 and NaSiO to NaOH ratio of 2.0 at 7 days curing time. These findings are useful in enhancing knowledge in the field of soil stabilization-based geopolymer, especially for applications in pavement construction. In addition, it can be used as a reference for academicians, civil engineers, and geotechnical engineers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14112833DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8198223PMC
May 2021

Meta-Analysis of Heifer Traits Identified Reproductive Pathways in Cattle.

Genes (Basel) 2021 May 18;12(5). Epub 2021 May 18.

School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland Australia, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia.

Fertility traits measured early in life define the reproductive potential of heifers. Knowledge of genetics and biology can help devise genomic selection methods to improve heifer fertility. In this study, we used ~2400 Brahman cattle to perform GWAS and multi-trait meta-analysis to determine genomic regions associated with heifer fertility. Heifer traits measured were pregnancy at first mating opportunity (PREG1, a binary trait), first conception score (FCS, score 1 to 3) and rebreeding score (REB, score 1 to 3.5). The heritability estimates were 0.17 (0.03) for PREG1, 0.11 (0.05) for FCS and 0.28 (0.05) for REB. The three traits were highly genetically correlated (0.75-0.83) as expected. Meta-analysis was performed using SNP effects estimated for each of the three traits, adjusted for standard error. We identified 1359 significant SNPs (-value < 9.9 × 10 at FDR < 0.0001) in the multi-trait meta-analysis. Genomic regions of 0.5 Mb around each significant SNP from the meta-analysis were annotated to create a list of 2560 positional candidate genes. The most significant SNP was in the vicinity of a genomic region on chromosome 8, encompassing the genes , , , and . The genomic region in humans that contains homologs of these genes is associated with age at puberty in girls. Top significant SNPs pointed to additional fertility-related genes, again within a 0.5 Mb region, including , , , , and Functional pathway enrichment analysis resulted in many positional candidate genes relating to known fertility pathways, including GnRH signaling, estrogen signaling, progesterone mediated oocyte maturation, cAMP signaling, calcium signaling, glutamatergic signaling, focal adhesion, PI3K-AKT signaling and ovarian steroidogenesis pathway. The comparison of results from this study with previous transcriptomics and proteomics studies on puberty of the same cattle breed (Brahman) but in a different population identified 392 genes in common from which some genes--are also part of the above-mentioned pathways. The biological functions of the positional candidate genes and their annotation to known pathways allowed integrating the results into a bigger picture of molecular mechanisms related to puberty in the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis. A reasonable number of genes, common between previous puberty studies and this study on early reproductive traits, corroborates the proposed molecular mechanisms. This study identified the polymorphism associated with early reproductive traits, and candidate genes that provided a visualization of the proposed mechanisms, coordinating the hypothalamic, pituitary, and ovarian functions for reproductive performance in Brahman cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes12050768DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8157873PMC
May 2021

Quantification and Trends of Antimicrobial Use in Commercial Broiler Chicken Production in Pakistan.

Antibiotics (Basel) 2021 May 18;10(5). Epub 2021 May 18.

Institute of Microbiology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health challenge and antimicrobial use (AMU) in the livestock sector has been considered as one of the contributing factors towards the development of AMR in bacteria. This study summarizes the results of a point prevalence survey conducted to monitor farm-level AMU in commercial broiler chicken farms in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provinces of Pakistan. A cross-sectional study was conducted to quantify AMU and to check seasonal variations of AMU in 12 commercial broiler chicken farms (six from each province) during the summer and winter seasons of the year 2020-2021. AMU was recorded using three AMU metrics: kg, mg per population correction unit (mg/PCU), and mg/kg of final flock weight. A total of 22 antimicrobial drugs (348.59 kg) were used for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes in surveyed broiler chicken farms. The total combined AMU for all the broiler chicken farms was 462.57 mg/PCU. The use of most of the antimicrobials increased during winter flocks compared to summer. The top three antimicrobial drugs used during the summer were neomycin (111.39 mg/PCU), doxycycline (91.91 mg/PCU), and tilmicosin (77.22 mg/PCU), whereas doxycycline (196.81 mg/PCU), neomycin (136.74 mg/PCU), and amoxicillin (115.04 mg/PCU) during the winter. Overall, 60% of the antibiotics used in broiler chicken were critically important antimicrobial classes (CIA) for human medicine as characterized by the World Health Organization. Our findings showed high AMU in broiler chicken production and a call for urgent actions to regulate CIA use in food animals in Pakistan. This baseline survey is critical for the design and implementation of a subsequent national level AMU surveys that can include additional farming types, animals' species, and geographical locations over a longer period of time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10050598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8157606PMC
May 2021

Advanced Nanoscale Surface Characterization of CuO Nanoflowers for Significant Enhancement of Catalytic Properties.

Molecules 2021 May 4;26(9). Epub 2021 May 4.

School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai, Johor Bharu 81310, Malaysia.

In this work, advanced nanoscale surface characterization of CuO Nanoflowers synthesized by controlled hydrothermal approach for significant enhancement of catalytic properties has been investigated. The CuO nanoflower samples were characterized by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), selected-area electron diffraction (SAED), high-angular annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) with elemental mapping, energy dispersive spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) and UV-Vis spectroscopy techniques. The nanoscale analysis of the surface study of monodispersed individual CuO nanoflower confirmed the fine crystalline shaped morphology composed of ultrathin leaves, monoclinic structure and purified phase. The result of HR-TEM shows that the length of one ultrathin leaf of copper oxide nanoflower is about ~650-700 nm, base is about ~300.77 ± 30 nm and the average thickness of the tip of individual ultrathin leaf of copper oxide nanoflower is about ~10 ± 2 nm. Enhanced absorption of visible light ~850 nm and larger value of band gap energy (1.68 eV) have further supported that the as-grown material (CuO nanoflowers) is an active and well-designed surface morphology at the nanoscale level. Furthermore, significant enhancement of catalytic properties of copper oxide nanoflowers in the presence of H2O2 for the degradation of methylene blue (MB) with efficiency ~96.7% after 170 min was obtained. The results showed that the superb catalytic performance of well-fabricated CuO nanoflowers can open a new way for substantial applications of dye removal from wastewater and environment fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092700DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8124738PMC
May 2021

HD2-type histone deacetylases: unique regulators of plant development and stress responses.

Plant Cell Rep 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

London Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON, Canada.

Plants have developed sophisticated and complex epigenetic regulation-based mechanisms to maintain stable growth and development under diverse environmental conditions. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are important epigenetic regulators in eukaryotes that are involved in the deacetylation of lysine residues of histone H3 and H4 proteins. Plants have developed a unique HDAC family, HD2, in addition to the RPD3 and Sir2 families, which are also present in other eukaryotes. HD2s are well conserved plant-specific HDACs, which were first identified as nucleolar phosphoproteins in maize. The HD2 family plays important roles not only in fundamental developmental processes, including seed germination, root and leaf development, floral transition, and seed development but also in regulating plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Some of the HD2 members coordinate with each other to function. The HD2 family proteins also show functional association with RPD3-type HDACs and other transcription factors as a part of repression complexes in gene regulatory networks involved in environmental stress responses. This review aims to analyse and summarise recent research progress in the HD2 family, and to describe their role in plant growth and development and in response to different environmental stresses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00299-021-02688-3DOI Listing
May 2021

A Review of Alternative Treatment Options in Diabetic Polyneuropathy.

Cureus 2021 Apr 21;13(4):e14600. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Internal Medicine, Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, USA.

Currently there is no recognized curative treatment for diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN). Strict glucose control and symptomatic pain relief are the first line management routes. DPN is a common complication of diabetes and has a major detrimental influence on the quality of life (QOL) for many patients. Due to the scope of the problem, it is imperative that treatment options which impede DPN's progression and restore sensorineural function should be researched comprehensively and made available to the masses at an economical cost. We reviewed a multitude of atypical treatment options for DPN including capsaicin, lidocaine, acupuncture, electrical nerve stimulation, alpha lipoic acid, benfotiamine, and acetyl-l-carnitine and explored the evidence to date regarding their safety and efficacy. Most of these options have been around for a long time and have promising pilot studies or small-scale trials focused on DPN treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.14600DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8139599PMC
April 2021

Transcriptome analysis reveals the promotive effect of potassium by hormones and sugar signaling pathways during adventitious roots formation in the apple rootstock.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Aug 20;165:123-136. Epub 2021 May 20.

College of Horticulture, Yangling Subsidiary Center Project of the National Apple Improvement Center, Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University, Yangling, 712100, China. Electronic address:

Apples are economically valuable and widely consumed fruits. The adventitious roots (ARs) formation is gridlock for apple trees mass propagation. The possible function of multiple hormones and sugar signaling pathways regulating ARs formation has not been completely understood in apple. In this study, B9 stem cuttings were treated with KCl treatment, where the highest root numbers (220) and maximum root length of 731.2 cm were noticed in KCl-treated cuttings, which were 98.2% and 215% higher than control cuttings. The content of endogenous hormones: IAA, ZR, JA, GA, and ABA were detected higher in response to KCl at most time-points. To figure out the molecular mechanisms underlying this effect, we investigated transcriptome analysis. In total, 4631 DEGs were determined, from which about 202 DEGs were considerably enriched in pathways associated with hormone signaling, sugar metabolism, root development, and cell cycle-related and were thereupon picked out on their potential involvements in ARs formation. Though, IAA accumulation and up-regulation of various genes contribute to induce AR formation. These results suggest that AR formation is a complex biological process in apple rootstocks, influenced mainly by the auxin signaling pathway and sugar metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.05.015DOI Listing
August 2021

High-speed solid state fluorination of NbO yields NbOF and NbOF with photocatalytic activity for oxygen evolution from water.

Dalton Trans 2021 May;50(19):6528-6538

Department Chemie, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Duesbergweg 10-14, D-55128 Mainz, Germany.

Solid state reactions are slow because the diffusion of atoms or ions through the reactant, intermediate and crystalline product phases is the rate-limiting step. This requires days or even weeks of high temperature treatment, and consumption of large amounts of energy. We employed spark-plasma sintering, an engineering technique that is used for high-speed consolidation of powders with a pulsed electric current passing through the sample to carry out the fluorination of niobium oxide in minute intervals. The approach saves time and large amounts of waste energy. Moreover, it allows the preparation of fluorinated niobium oxides on a gram scale using poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (®Teflon) scrap and without toxic chemicals. The synthesis can be upscaled easily to the kg range with appropriate sintering equipment. Finally, NbO2F and Nb3O7F prepared by spark plasma sintering show significant photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) oxygen evolution from water in terms of photocurrent density and incident photon-to-current efficiency (% IPCE), whereas NbO2F and Nb3O7F prepared by conventional high temperature chemistry show little to no PEC response. Our study is a proof of concept for the quick, clean and energy saving production of valuable photocatalysts from plastic waste.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1dt00533bDOI Listing
May 2021

Fluorine Dissolution-Induced Capacity Degradation for Fluorophosphate-Based Cathode Materials.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 May 17;13(20):23787-23793. Epub 2021 May 17.

School of Chemistry, Xi'an Key Laboratory of Sustainable Energy Materials Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, P. R. China.

NaV(PO)F has been considered as a promising cathode material for sodium-ion batteries due to its high operating voltage and structural stability. However, the issues about poor cycling performance and lack of understanding for the capacity degradation mechanism are the major hurdle for practical application. Herein, we meticulously analyzed the evolution of the morphology, crystal structure, and bonding states of the cathode material during the cycling process. We observed that capacity degradation is closely related to the shedding of the active material from the collector caused by HF corrosion. Meanwhile, HF is produced through F anion dissolution from NaV(PO)F induced by trace HO during the cycling process. The F dissolution-induced degradation mechanism based on fluorine-containing cathode materials is proposed for the first time, providing a new insight for the understanding, modification, and performance improvement for fluorophosphate-based cathode materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c04647DOI Listing
May 2021

Pulmonary arterial hypertension post COVID-19: A sequala of SARS-CoV-2 infection?

Respir Med Case Rep 2021 12;33:101429. Epub 2021 May 12.

Medical Research Unit, School of Medicine, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, 23111, Indonesia.

It has been suggested that pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) could be a potential sequela of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in particular in those with hypertension; however, development of PAH after the course of COVID-19 in normotensive individuals are rarely reported. Here, we report a patient who developed PAH two months post-COVID-19. The patient was a 55-year-old female and normotensive, tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), developed mild respiratory distress syndrome and necessitated continuous positive airway pressure during the treatment in the hospital. After two months discharged from the hospital with RT-PCR negative for SARS-CoV-2, the patient presented with exertional dyspnea, dry cough, fatigue and episodes of syncope during exertion. Based on clinical presentation, electrocardiography, computed tomography, and transthoracic echocardiography assessment, PAH diagnosis was made. To our knowledge, this is a rare PAH case and this highlights the possible of PAH as sequala that might present in post COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmcr.2021.101429DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8114592PMC
May 2021

Primary and Secondary Prevention Strategies for Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Device: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis.

Curr Probl Cardiol 2021 Mar 26:100835. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY. Electronic address:

Recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is a common complication following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. Our study aimed to estimate the comparative efficacy of different pharmacologic interventions for the prevention of GIB, through a network meta-analysis (NMA). A total of 13 observational studies comparing six strategies. Among those, 4 were for primary, and 9 were for secondary prevention of GIB. On NMA, thalidomide (Hazard ratio [HR]: 0.016, Credible interval [CrI]I: 0.00053-0.12), omega-3-fatty acid (HR:0.088, CrI: 0.026-0.77), octreotide (HR: 0.17, CrI: 0.0589-0.41) and danazol (HR:0.17, CrI: 0.059-0.41) reduced the risk of GIB. The use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blocker (ACEi/ARB) and digoxin were not associated with any significant reduction. Based on NMA, combining indirect treatment comparisons, thalidomide, danazol, and octreotide treatments were associated with decreased risk of recurrent GIB. Additionally, Omega 3 fatty acids were associated with a lower risk of the primary episode of GIB in the LVAD patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2021.100835DOI Listing
March 2021

Amplicon-based RNAi construct targeting beta-C1 gene gives enhanced resistance against cotton leaf curl disease.

3 Biotech 2021 Jun 8;11(6):256. Epub 2021 May 8.

Molecular Virology and Gene Silencing Laboratory, National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad, Postal code 38000 Pakistan.

Cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) is one of the major limiting factors affecting cotton production in Pakistan for the last three decades. The disease is caused by begomoviruses of the family . RNA interference (RNAi) is a promising tool that has been proved effective against several pathogens. Using RNAi, different genomic regions of geminiviruses have been targeted to attain sustainable resistance. However, the silencing of the transgene upon virus infection is a limiting factor. Here, we have developed for the first time an amplicon-based RNAi construct to target βC1 gene of betasatellite associated with cotton leaf curl begomoviruses. In addition to producing short interfering (si) RNAs, Rep-based activation or looping out of the construct induced upon virus infection produces multiple copies of transgene that results in accumulation of defective molecules of betasatellite. Subsequent transcription gives rise to increased number of siRNAs that gives enhanced resistance. Transgenic plants having RCβ (RNAi construct for betasatellite) were challenged against (CLCuKV) and Cotton leaf curl Multan betasatellite (CLCuMB). Reduced titer of the virus and betasatellite were detected through Southern blot hybridization. Significance of the study has been discussed.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13205-021-02816-6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13205-021-02816-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106552PMC
June 2021

Correction to: Bacillus subtilis Y16 and biogas slurry enhanced potassium to sodium ratio and physiology of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) to mitigate salt stress.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture by Ministry of Agriculture of China, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, People's Republic of China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14344-0DOI Listing
May 2021

Unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccine: A looming crisis.

J Med Virol 2021 09 3;93(9):5228-5230. Epub 2021 May 3.

School of Pharmacy, Monash University, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.27031DOI Listing
September 2021

Host-Plant Variations Affect the Biotic Potential, Survival, and Population Projection of (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

Insects 2021 Apr 21;12(5). Epub 2021 Apr 21.

College of Plant Health and Medicine, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, China.

The green peach aphid, Sulzer (Hemiptera: Aphididae), a polyphagous insect pest is a major threat to a wide range of crops worldwide. Aiming to evaluate the life history traits of , feeding on different host plants, we used five vegetables: cabbage, (Brassicaceae); chinese cabbage, (Brassicaceae); chili pepper, (Solanaceae); crown daisy, (Asteraceae); and eggplant, (Solanaceae). TWOSEX-MSchart software was used for the statistical analysis about the age-stage, two-sex life table theory. The highest fecundity (69.65 individuals) rate of , intrinsic rate of increase ( = 0.425 d), finite rate of increase ( = 1.531 d), net reproductive rate ( = 69.65 offspring), and shortest mean generation time (T = 9.964 d) were recorded on the chili pepper plant. Whereas, lower fitness occurred on cabbage. The findings attained from population growth parameters indicate that chili pepper is the most susceptible plant, while cabbage is resistant to aphids. Population projection results also supported this statement, as the final total population size on cabbage was significantly lower than other plants. The reported information would be useful for devising integrated pest management programs, particularly those involving . This information also suggests the adaptability of causing economic damage to these vegetable cultivars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/insects12050375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8143353PMC
April 2021