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    Characterization of a novel bioflocculant from a marine bacterium and its application in dye wastewater treatment.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 17;17(1):84. Epub 2017 Nov 17.
    Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005, People's Republic of China.
    Background: The identification of microorganisms with excellent flocculant-producing capability and optimization of the fermentation process are necessary for the wide-scale application of bioflocculants. Thus, we evaluated the flocculant-producing ability of a novel strain identified by the screening of marine bacteria, and we report for the first time the properties of the bioflocculant produced by Alteromonas sp. in the treatment of dye wastewater. Read More

    A new single-step protocol for rapid baculovirus-driven protein production in insect cells.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 16;17(1):83. Epub 2017 Nov 16.
    Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152, Martinsried, Germany.
    Background: In the last three decades, the Baculovirus expression vector system (BEV) has evolved to one of the most widely used eukaryotic systems for heterologous protein expression including approved vaccines and therapies. Despite the significant improvements introduced during the past years, the BEV system still has major drawbacks, primarily the time required to generate recombinant virus and virus instability for certain target proteins. In this study we show that the conventional method to generate recombinant Baculovirus using a Tn7 transposition based system can be shortened to a single-step transfection-only procedure without further amplification. Read More

    Comparison of [HSO4](-), [Cl](-) and [MeCO2](-) as anions in pretreatment of aspen and spruce with imidazolium-based ionic liquids.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 15;17(1):82. Epub 2017 Nov 15.
    Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, SE-901 87, Umeå, Sweden.
    Background: Ionic liquids (ILs) draw attention as green solvents for pretreatment of lignocellulose before enzymatic saccharification. Imidazolium-based ILs with different anionic constituents ([HSO4](-), [Cl](-), [MeCO2](-)) were compared with regard to pretreatment of wood from aspen and spruce. The objective was to elucidate how the choice of anionic constituent affected the suitability of using the IL for pretreatment of hardwood, such as aspen, and softwood, such as spruce. Read More

    AFEAP cloning: a precise and efficient method for large DNA sequence assembly.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 14;17(1):81. Epub 2017 Nov 14.
    McGovern Medical School, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, 77030, USA.
    Background: Recent development of DNA assembly technologies has spurred myriad advances in synthetic biology, but new tools are always required for complicated scenarios. Here, we have developed an alternative DNA assembly method named AFEAP cloning (Assembly of Fragment Ends After PCR), which allows scarless, modular, and reliable construction of biological pathways and circuits from basic genetic parts.

    Methods: The AFEAP method requires two-round of PCRs followed by ligation of the sticky ends of DNA fragments. Read More

    Adaptation of the GoldenBraid modular cloning system and creation of a toolkit for the expression of heterologous proteins in yeast mitochondria.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 13;17(1):80. Epub 2017 Nov 13.
    Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) - Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Campus Montegancedo UPM, 28223, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain.
    Background: There is a need for the development of synthetic biology methods and tools to facilitate rapid and efficient engineering of yeast that accommodates the needs of specific biotechnology projects. In particular, the manipulation of the mitochondrial proteome has interesting potential applications due to its compartmentalized nature. One of these advantages resides in the fact that metalation occurs after protein import into mitochondria, which contains pools of iron, zinc, copper and manganese ions that can be utilized in recombinant metalloprotein metalation reactions. Read More

    Optimization of physical conditions for the production of thermostable T1 lipase in Pichia guilliermondii strain SO using response surface methodology.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 10;17(1):78. Epub 2017 Nov 10.
    Enzyme and Microbial Technology Research Center, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
    Background: Pichia guilliermondii was found capable of expressing the recombinant thermostable lipase without methanol under the control of methanol dependent alcohol oxidase 1 promoter (AOXp 1). In this study, statistical approaches were employed for the screening and optimisation of physical conditions for T1 lipase production in P. guilliermondii. Read More

    Production and purification of chimeric HBc virus-like particles carrying influenza virus LAH domain as vaccine candidates.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 10;17(1):79. Epub 2017 Nov 10.
    iQur Limited, 2 Royal College Street, London, NW1 0NH, UK.
    Background: The lack of a universal influenza vaccine is a global health problem. Interest is now focused on structurally conserved protein domains capable of eliciting protection against a broad range of influenza virus strains. The long alpha helix (LAH) is an attractive vaccine component since it is one of the most conserved influenza hemagglutinin (HA) stalk regions. Read More

    Successful production of the potato antimicrobial peptide Snakin-1 in baculovirus-infected insect cells and development of specific antibodies.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 9;17(1):75. Epub 2017 Nov 9.
    Instituto de Biotecnología, Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Veterinarias y Agronómicas, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Repetto y De Los Reseros s/n, CP 1686, Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    Background: Snakin-1 (StSN1) is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial cysteine-rich peptide isolated from Solanum tuberosum. Its biotechnological potential has been already recognized since it exhibits in vivo antifungal and antibacterial activity. Most attempts to produce StSN1, or homologous peptides, in a soluble native state using bacterial, yeast or synthetic expression systems have presented production bottlenecks such as insolubility, misfolding or low yields. Read More

    Generation of murine macrophage-derived cell lines expressing porcine CD163 that support porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 9;17(1):77. Epub 2017 Nov 9.
    Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.
    Background: Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) exhibits a highly restricted tropism for cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage, utilizing porcine CD163 (pCD163) as an indispensable cellular receptor for infection. Transfection the gene of pCD163 into several non-permissive cell lines followed by protein expression confers susceptibility to PRRSV. A lack of specialized porcine antibody tools for use with existing porcine-derived primary cells and cell lines has hampered studies of both PRRSV pathogenesis and virus triggering of immune response cascades. Read More

    Biological activities and chemical compositions of slime tracks and crude exopolysaccharides isolated from plasmodia of Physarum polycephalum and Physarella oblonga.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 9;17(1):76. Epub 2017 Nov 9.
    School of Biotechnology, International University, VNU-HCM, Block 6, LinhTrung Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, 70000, Vietnam.
    Background: The myxomycetes derive their common name (slime molds) from the multinucleate trophic stage (plasmodium) in the life cycle, which typically produces a noticeable amount of slimy materials, some of which is normally left behind as a "slime track" as the plasmodium migrates over the surface of a particular substrate. The study reported herein apparently represents the first attempt to investigate the chemical composition and biological activities of slime tracks and the exopolysaccharides (EPS) which cover the surface of the plasmodia of Physarum polycephalum and Physarella oblonga.

    Results: Chemical analyses indicated that the slime tracks and samples of the EPS consist largely of carbohydrates, proteins and various sulphate groups. Read More

    Light induced expression of β-glucosidase in Escherichia coli with autolysis of cell.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 7;17(1):74. Epub 2017 Nov 7.
    School of Life Sciences, Anhui University, Hefei, Anhui, 230601, China.
    Background: β-Glucosidase has attracted substantial attention in the scientific community because of its pivotal role in cellulose degradation, glycoside transformation and many other industrial processes. However, the tedious and costly expression and purification procedures have severely thwarted the industrial applications of β-glucosidase. Thus development of new strategies to express β-glucosidases with cost-effective and simple procedure to meet the increasing demands on enzymes for biocatalysis is of paramount importance. Read More

    De novo characterization of venom apparatus transcriptome of Pardosa pseudoannulata and analysis of its gene expression in response to Bt protein.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Nov 7;17(1):73. Epub 2017 Nov 7.
    College of Bioscience & Biotechnology, Hunan Agriculture University, Changsha, 410128, China.
    Background: Pardosa pseudoannulata is a prevailing spider species, and has been regarded as an important bio-control agent of insect pests in farmland of China. However, the available genomic and transcriptomic databases of P. pseudoannulata and their venom are limited, which severely hampers functional genomic analysis of P. Read More

    Simultaneous detection of α-Lactoalbumin, β-Lactoglobulin and Lactoferrin in milk by Visualized Microarray.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Sep 12;17(1):72. Epub 2017 Sep 12.
    State Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, China.
    Background: α-Lactalbumin (a-LA), β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) and lactoferrin (LF) are of high nutritional value which have made ingredients of choice in the formulation of modern foods and beverages. There remains an urgent need to develop novel biosensing methods for quantification featuring reduced cost, improved sensitivity, selectivity and more rapid response, especially for simultaneous detection of multiple whey proteins.

    Results: A novel visualized microarray method was developed for the determination of a-LA, β-LG and LF in milk samples without the need for complex or time-consuming pre-treatment steps. Read More

    Effect of supercritical carbon dioxide on the enzymatic production of biodiesel from waste animal fat using immobilized Candida antarctica lipase B variant.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Sep 9;17(1):70. Epub 2017 Sep 9.
    SKKU Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology, Sungkyunkwan University, 2066 Seobu-ro, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, 16419, South Korea.
    Background: Waste animal fat is a promising feedstock to replace vegetable oil that widely used in commercial biodiesel process, however the high content of free fatty acid in waste fat makes it unfeasible to be processed with commercial base-catalytic process. Enzymatic process is preferable to convert waste fat into biodiesel since enzyme can catalyze both esterification of free fatty acid and transesterification of triglyceride. However, enzymatic reaction still has some drawbacks such as lower reaction rates than base-catalyzed transesterification and the limitation of reactant concentration due to the enzyme inhibition of methanol. Read More

    Conversion of an inactive xylose isomerase into a functional enzyme by co-expression of GroEL-GroES chaperonins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Sep 9;17(1):71. Epub 2017 Sep 9.
    Laboratory of Genomics and Expression, Department of Genetics and Evolution, Institute of Biology, UNICAMP, Campinas, São Paulo, 13083-970, Brazil.
    Background: Second-generation ethanol production is a clean bioenergy source with potential to mitigate fossil fuel emissions. The engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for xylose utilization is an essential step towards the production of this biofuel. Though xylose isomerase (XI) is the key enzyme for xylose conversion, almost half of the XI genes are not functional when expressed in S. Read More

    A split ubiquitin system to reveal topology and released peptides of membrane proteins.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Sep 2;17(1):69. Epub 2017 Sep 2.
    Institute of Plant Biology, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200438, China.
    Background: Membrane proteins define biological functions of membranes in cells. Extracellular peptides of transmembrane proteins receive signals from pathogens or environments, and are the major targets of drug developments. Despite of their essential roles, membrane proteins remain elusive in topological studies due to technique difficulties in their expressions and purifications. Read More

    Expression of Vitreoscilla hemoglobin enhances production of arachidonic acid and lipids in Mortierella alpina.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Aug 30;17(1):68. Epub 2017 Aug 30.
    Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Energy Genetics, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.189 Songling Road, Laoshan District, Qingdao, Shandong Province, 266101, China.
    Background: Arachidonic acid (ARA, C20:4, n-6), which belongs to the omega-6 series of polyunsaturated fatty acids and has a variety of biological activities, is commercially produced in Mortierella alpina. Dissolved oxygen or oxygen utilization efficiency is a critical factor for Mortierella alpina growth and arachidonic acid production in large-scale fermentation. Overexpression of the Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene is thought to significantly increase the oxygen utilization efficiency of the cells. Read More

    A bioinformatics approach for identifying transgene insertion sites using whole genome sequencing data.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Aug 15;17(1):67. Epub 2017 Aug 15.
    Department of Agriculture and Life Industry, Kangwon National University, 1 Kangwondaehak-gil, Chuncheon, Gangwon, 24341, Republic of Korea.
    Background: Genetically modified crops (GM crops) have been developed to improve the agricultural traits of modern crop cultivars. Safety assessments of GM crops are of paramount importance in research at developmental stages and before releasing transgenic plants into the marketplace. Sequencing technology is developing rapidly, with higher output and labor efficiencies, and will eventually replace existing methods for the molecular characterization of genetically modified organisms. Read More

    An in vitro synthetic biosystem based on acetate for production of phloroglucinol.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Aug 8;17(1):66. Epub 2017 Aug 8.
    CAS Key Laboratory of Bio-Based Materials, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, 266101, China.
    Background: Phloroglucinol is an important chemical, and the biosynthesis processes which can convert glucose to phloroglucinol have been established. However, due to approximate 80% of the glucose being transformed into undesirable by-products and biomass, this biosynthesis process only shows a low yield with the highest value of about 0.20 g/g. Read More

    Immobilisation of Delta-like 1 ligand for the scalable and controlled manufacture of hematopoietic progenitor cells in a stirred bioreactor.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Aug 4;17(1):65. Epub 2017 Aug 4.
    Healthcare Engineering Research Group, Centre for Biological Engineering, Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK.
    Background: Umbilical cord blood provides a source of hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation with immunological and availability advantages over conventional bone marrow sources. Limited cell numbers and slower engraftment from umbilical cord blood units has led to the clinical development of immobilised Notch ligand Delta-Like 1 to promote ex vivo expansion of a rapidly engrafting cell population. However, current immobilisation methods are not simple to scale in a controlled manner. Read More

    Comprehensive in silico allergenicity assessment of novel protein engineered chimeric Cry proteins for safe deployment in crops.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Aug 2;17(1):64. Epub 2017 Aug 2.
    ICAR-National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, LBS Centre, Pusa Campus, New Delhi, 110012, India.
    Background: Development of chimeric Cry toxins by protein engineering of known and validated proteins is imperative for enhancing the efficacy and broadening the insecticidal spectrum of these genes. Expression of novel Cry proteins in food crops has however created apprehensions with respect to the safety aspects. To clarify this, premarket evaluation consisting of an array of analyses to evaluate the unintended effects is a prerequisite to provide safety assurance to the consumers. Read More

    Effect of acetic acid on ethanol production by Zymomonas mobilis mutant strains through continuous adaptation.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Aug 1;17(1):63. Epub 2017 Aug 1.
    Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biopharmaceuticals, National Chiayi University, Chiayi, Taiwan.
    Background: Acetic acid is a predominant by-product of lignocellulosic biofuel process, which inhibits microbial biocatalysts. Development of bacterial strains that are tolerant to acetic acid is challenging due to poor understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms.

    Results: In this study, we generated and characterized two acetic acid-tolerant strains of Zymomonas mobilis using N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NTG)-acetate adaptive breeding. Read More

    An att site-based recombination reporter system for genome engineering and synthetic DNA assembly.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jul 14;17(1):62. Epub 2017 Jul 14.
    Unité Plasticité du Génome Bactérien, Département Génomes et Génétique, Institut Pasteur, 75015, Paris, France.
    Background: Direct manipulation of the genome is a widespread technique for genetic studies and synthetic biology applications. The tyrosine and serine site-specific recombination systems of bacteriophages HK022 and ΦC31 are widely used for stable directional exchange and relocation of DNA sequences, making them valuable tools in these contexts. We have developed site-specific recombination tools that allow the direct selection of recombination events by embedding the attB site from each system within the β-lactamase resistance coding sequence (bla). Read More

    Overview of methodologies for T-cell receptor repertoire analysis.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jul 10;17(1):61. Epub 2017 Jul 10.
    Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel University, Rosalind-Franklin-Str. 12, 24105, Kiel, Germany.
    Background: The T-cell receptor (TCR), located on the surface of T cells, is responsible for the recognition of the antigen-major histocompatibility complex, leading to the initiation of an inflammatory response. Analysing the TCR repertoire may help to gain a better understanding of the immune system features and of the aetiology and progression of diseases, in particular those with unknown antigenic triggers. The extreme diversity of the TCR repertoire represents a major analytical challenge; this has led to the development of specialized methods which aim to characterize the TCR repertoire in-depth. Read More

    Unusual acylation of chloramphenicol in Lysobacter enzymogenes, a biocontrol agent with intrinsic resistance to multiple antibiotics.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jul 4;17(1):59. Epub 2017 Jul 4.
    Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 68588-0304, USA.
    Background: The environmental gliding bacteria Lysobacter are emerging as a new group of biocontrol agents due to their prolific production of lytic enzymes and potent antibiotic natural products. These bacteria are intrinsically resistant to many antibiotics, but the mechanisms behind the antibiotic resistance have not been investigated.

    Results: Previously, we have used chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene (cat) as a selection marker in genetic manipulation of natural product biosynthetic genes in Lysobacter, because chloramphenicol is one of the two common antibiotics that Lysobacter are susceptible to. Read More

    Heterogeneous oxygen availability affects the titer and topology but not the fidelity of plasmid DNA produced by Escherichia coli.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jul 4;17(1):60. Epub 2017 Jul 4.
    Departamento de Procesos y Tecnología, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa, Av. Vasco de Quiroga 4871, Col. Santa Fe, 05348, Mexico City, Mexico.
    Background: Dissolved oxygen tension (DOT) is hardly constant and homogenously distributed in a bioreactor, which can have a negative impact in the metabolism and product synthesis. However, the effects of DOT on plasmid DNA (pDNA) production and quality have not been thoroughly investigated. In the present study, the effects of aerobic (DOT ≥30% air sat. Read More

    Potent long-acting rhFGF21 analog for treatment of diabetic nephropathy in db/db and DIO mice.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jul 4;17(1):58. Epub 2017 Jul 4.
    School of Pharmacy, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, 325035, China.
    Background: Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is an endocrine-acting hormone that has the potential to treat diabetic nephropathy. However, development of FGF21 into a therapeutic has been hindered due to its low intrinsic bio-stability. In our previous study, we have developed a recombinant human FGF21 (rhFGF21) variant by site-directed mutagenesis and solid-phase PEGylation, which retained its biological function. Read More

    Site-specific chemical conjugation of human Fas ligand extracellular domain using trans-cyclooctene - methyltetrazine reactions.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jul 3;17(1):56. Epub 2017 Jul 3.
    Biomedical Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Central 6, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8566, Japan.
    Background: Fas ligand plays a key role in the human immune system as a major cell death inducing protein. The extracellular domain of human Fas ligand (hFasLECD) triggers apoptosis of malignant cells, and therefore is expected to have substantial potentials in medical biotechnology. However, the current application of this protein to clinical medicine is hampered by a shortage of the benefits relative to the drawbacks including the side-effects in systemic administration. Read More

    Oligomerization triggered by foldon: a simple method to enhance the catalytic efficiency of lichenase and xylanase.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jul 3;17(1):57. Epub 2017 Jul 3.
    Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Biochemical Technology, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, Fujian, 361021, China.
    Background: Effective and simple methods that lead to higher enzymatic efficiencies are highly sough. Here we proposed a foldon-triggered trimerization of the target enzymes with significantly improved catalytic performances by fusing a foldon domain at the C-terminus of the enzymes via elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs). The foldon domain comprises 27 residues and can forms trimers with high stability. Read More

    Continuous long-term cytotoxicity monitoring in 3D spheroids of beetle luciferase-expressing hepatocytes by nondestructive bioluminescence measurement.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 20;17(1):54. Epub 2017 Jun 20.
    Health Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Takamatsu, Kagawa, 761-0395, Japan.
    Background: Three-dimensional (3D) spheroids are frequently used in toxicological study because their morphology and function closely resemble those of tissue. As these properties are maintained over a long term, repeated treatment of the spheroids with a test object is possible. Generally, in the repeated treatment test to assess cytotoxicity in the spheroids, ATP assay, colorimetric measurement using pigments or high-content imaging analysis is performed. Read More

    Enhancement of thermoalkaliphilic xylanase production by Pichia pastoris through novel fed-batch strategy in high cell-density fermentation.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 21;17(1):55. Epub 2017 Jun 21.
    Laboratory of Feed Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science & Technology, China Agricultural University, No.2 Yuanmingyuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100193, China.
    Background: Xylanase degrades xylan into monomers of various sizes by catalyzing the endohydrolysis of the 1,4-β-D-xylosidic linkage randomly, possessing potential in wide industrial applications. Most of xylanases are susceptible to be inactive when suffering high temperature and high alkaline process. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a high amount of effective thermoalkaliphilic xylanases. Read More

    A hyper-thermostable α-amylase from Pyrococcus furiosus accumulates in Nicotiana tabacum as functional aggregates.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 19;17(1):53. Epub 2017 Jun 19.
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London Research and Development Centre, London, Ontario, Canada.
    Background: Alpha amylase hydrolyzes α-bonds of polysaccharides such as starch and produces malto-oligosaccharides. Its starch saccharification applications make it an essential enzyme in the textile, food and brewing industries. Commercially available α-amylase is mostly produced from Bacillus or Aspergillus. Read More

    Expression and functional analyses of a Kinesin gene GhKIS13A1 from cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fiber.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 12;17(1):50. Epub 2017 Jun 12.
    The Key Laboratory of Oasis Eco-agriculture, Agriculture College, Shihezi University, Bei 4 Road, Shihezi, 832003, Xinjiang, China.
    Background: Cotton fiber, a natural fiber widely used in the textile industry, is differentiated from single cell of ovule epidermis. A large number of genes are believed to be involved in fiber formation, but so far only a few fiber genes have been isolated and functionally characterized in this developmental process. The Kinesin13 subfamily was found to play key roles during cell division and cell elongation, and was considered to be involved in the regulation of cotton fiber development. Read More

    Evaluation of Gaussia luciferase and foot-and-mouth disease virus 2A translational interrupter chimeras as polycistronic reporters for transgene expression.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 12;17(1):52. Epub 2017 Jun 12.
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, P.O. Box 848, Greenport, NY, 11944, USA.
    Background: The Gaussia princeps luciferase is used as a stand-alone reporter of transgene expression for in vitro and in vivo expression systems due to the rapid and easy monitoring of luciferase activity. We sought to simultaneously quantitate production of other recombinant proteins by transcriptionally linking the Gaussia princeps luciferase gene to other genes of interest through the foot-and-mouth disease virus 2A translational interrupter sequence.

    Results: We produced six plasmids, each encoding a single open reading frame, with the foot-and-mouth disease virus 2A sequence placed either N-terminal or C-terminal to the Gaussia princeps luciferase gene. Read More

    Flocculating performance of a bioflocculant produced by Arthrobacter humicola in sewage waste water treatment.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 12;17(1):51. Epub 2017 Jun 12.
    Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Group, Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, P. Bag X13, Phuthaditjabha, 9866, South Africa.
    Background: The discharge of poorly treated effluents into the environment has far reaching, consequential impacts on human and aquatic life forms. Thus, we evaluated the flocculating efficiency of our test bioflocculant and we report for the first time the ability of the biopolymeric flocculant produced by Arthrobacter humicola in the treatment of sewage wastewater. This strain was isolated from sediment soil sample at Sterkfontein dam in the Eastern Free State province of South Africa. Read More

    Somatic cell selection for chlorsulfuron-resistant mutants in potato: identification of point mutations in the acetohydroxyacid synthase gene.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 6;17(1):49. Epub 2017 Jun 6.
    Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University, PO Box 85084, Lincoln, 7647, New Zealand.
    Background: Somatic cell selection in plants allows the recovery of spontaneous mutants from cell cultures. When coupled with the regeneration of plants it allows an effective approach for the recovery of novel traits in plants. This study undertook somatic cell selection in the potato (Solanum tuberosum L. Read More

    Fermentation of lactose to ethanol in cheese whey permeate and concentrated permeate by engineered Escherichia coli.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 2;17(1):48. Epub 2017 Jun 2.
    Laboratory of Bioinformatics, Mathematical Modelling and Synthetic Biology, Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering, University of Pavia, via Ferrata 5, 27100, Pavia, Italy.
    Background: Whey permeate is a lactose-rich effluent remaining after protein extraction from milk-resulting cheese whey, an abundant dairy waste. The lactose to ethanol fermentation can complete whey valorization chain by decreasing dairy waste polluting potential, due to its nutritional load, and producing a biofuel from renewable source at the same time. Wild type and engineered microorganisms have been proposed as fermentation biocatalysts. Read More

    Development of plant-produced protein body vaccine candidates for bluetongue virus.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 May 30;17(1):47. Epub 2017 May 30.
    Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch, 7700, South Africa.
    Background: Bluetongue is a disease of domestic and wild ruminants caused by bluetongue virus serotypes (BTV), which have caused serious outbreaks worldwide. Commercially available vaccines are live-attenuated or inactivated virus strains: these are effective, but there is the risk of reversion to virulence or reassortment with circulating strains for live virus, and residual live virus for the inactivated vaccines. The live-attenuated virus vaccines are not able to distinguish naturally infected animals from vaccinated animals (DIVA compliant). Read More

    Pigment fingerprint profile during extractive fermentation with Monascus anka GIM 3.592.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 May 25;17(1):46. Epub 2017 May 25.
    School of Bioscience and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510006, China.
    Background: Traditional submerged fermentation mainly accumulates intracellular orange pigments with absorption maxima at 470 nm, whereas extractive fermentation of Monascus spp. with Triton X-100 can promote the export of intracellular pigments to extracellular broth, mainly obtaining extracellular yellow pigments with absorption maxima at approximately 410 nm. In this study, a strain of Monascus (M. Read More

    Biochemical characterization of the xylan hydrolysis profile of the extracellular endo-xylanase from Geobacillus thermodenitrificans T12.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 May 18;17(1):44. Epub 2017 May 18.
    Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Stippeneng 4, Wageningen, 6708 WE, The Netherlands.
    Background: Endo-xylanases are essential in degrading hemicellulose of various lignocellulosic substrates. Hemicellulose degradation by Geobacillus spp. is facilitated by the hemicellulose utilization (HUS) locus that is present in most strains belonging to this genus. Read More

    Ultrasound and microbubble induced release from intracellular compartments.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 May 18;17(1):45. Epub 2017 May 18.
    Department of Physics, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2K3, Canada.
    Background: Ultrasound and microbubbles (USMB) have been shown to enhance the intracellular uptake of molecules, generally thought to occur as a result of sonoporation. The underlying mechanism associated with USMB-enhanced intracellular uptake such as membrane disruption and endocytosis may also be associated with USMB-induced release of cellular materials to the extracellular milieu. This study investigates USMB effects on the molecular release from cells through membrane-disruption and exocytosis. Read More

    AAV vector distribution in the mouse respiratory tract following four different methods of administration.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 May 15;17(1):43. Epub 2017 May 15.
    Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.
    Background: Targeted delivery of gene therapy vectors to the mouse respiratory tract is often performed via intranasal or intratracheal administration; however, there can be a great deal of variability between these methods, which could potentially influence experimental results. Improving the accuracy and precision of lung delivery will not only reduce the number of animals required to detect statistically significant differences, but may reduce the variability of studies from different laboratories.

    Results: Here we evaluated three different methods of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector administration to the respiratory tract in mice (intranasal, intubation, and intratracheal injection) and discuss the advantages, challenges, and shortcomings of each. Read More

    Intrabodies against the Polysialyltransferases ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV inhibit Polysialylation of NCAM in rhabdomyosarcoma tumor cells.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 May 12;17(1):42. Epub 2017 May 12.
    Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Structural and Functional Protein Research, Inhoffenstraße 7, D-38124, Braunschweig, Germany.
    Background: Polysialic acid (polySia) is a carbohydrate modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), which is implicated in neural differentiation and plays an important role in tumor development and metastasis. Polysialylation of NCAM is mediated by two Golgi-resident polysialyltransferases (polyST) ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV. Intracellular antibodies (intrabodies; IB) expressed inside the ER and retaining proteins passing the ER such as cell surface receptors or secretory proteins provide an efficient means of protein knockdown. Read More

    Effect of the cancer specific shorter form of human 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase on the metabolism of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 May 8;17(1):41. Epub 2017 May 8.
    Department of Synthetic Biology and Immunology, National Institute of Chemistry, Hjadrihova 19, Si-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
    Background: At first glance, there appears to be a high degree of similarity between the metabolism of yeast (the Crabtree effect) and human cancer cells (the Warburg effect). At the root of both effects is accelerated metabolic flow through glycolysis which leads to overflows of ethanol and lactic acid, respectively. It has been proposed that enhanced glycolytic flow in cancer cells is triggered by the altered kinetic characteristics of the key glycolytic regulatory enzyme 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase (Pfk). Read More

    Pollen-mediated gene flow from transgenic to non-transgenic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) in the field.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 May 2;17(1):40. Epub 2017 May 2.
    Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, 252 Ellington Plant Sciences, 2431 Joe Johnson Dr., Knoxville, TN, 37996, USA.
    Background: Switchgrass is C4 perennial grass species that is being developed as a cellulosic bioenergy feedstock. It is wind-pollinated and considered to be an obligate outcrosser. Genetic engineering has been used to alter cell walls for more facile bioprocessing and biofuel yield. Read More

    Improved tissue culture conditions for the emerging C4 model Panicum hallii.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Apr 27;17(1):39. Epub 2017 Apr 27.
    Department of Food Science, University of Tennessee, 2600 River Drive, Knoxville, TN, 37996, USA.
    Background: Panicum hallii Vasey (Hall's panicgrass) is a compact, perennial C4 grass in the family Poaceae, which has potential to enable bioenergy research for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). Unlike P. Read More

    Construction of a novel anaerobic pathway in Escherichia coli for propionate production.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Apr 14;17(1):38. Epub 2017 Apr 14.
    Key Laboratory of Systems Microbial Biotechnology, Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tianjin, 300308, People's Republic of China.
    Background: Propionate is widely used as an important preservative and important chemical intermediate for synthesis of cellulose fibers, herbicides, perfumes and pharmaceuticals. Biosynthetic propionate has mainly been produced by Propionibacterium, which has various limitations for industrial application.

    Results: In this study, we engineered E. Read More

    Improved n-butanol production via co-expression of membrane-targeted tilapia metallothionein and the clostridial metabolic pathway in Escherichia coli.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Apr 11;17(1):36. Epub 2017 Apr 11.
    Department of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan.
    Background: N-Butanol has favorable characteristics for use as either an alternative fuel or platform chemical. Bio-based n-butanol production using microbes is an emerging technology that requires further development. Although bio-industrial microbes such as Escherichia coli have been engineered to produce n-butanol, reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated toxicity may limit productivity. Read More

    Distinctive molecular and biochemical characteristics of a glycoside hydrolase family 20 β-N-acetylglucosaminidase and salt tolerance.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Apr 11;17(1):37. Epub 2017 Apr 11.
    Engineering Research Center of Sustainable Development and Utilization of Biomass Energy, Ministry of Education, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, 650500, People's Republic of China.
    Background: Enzymatic degradation of chitin has attracted substantial attention because chitin is an abundant renewable natural resource, second only to lignocellulose, and because of the promising applications of N-acetylglucosamine in the bioethanol, food and pharmaceutical industries. However, the low activity and poor tolerance to salts and N-acetylglucosamine of most reported β-N-acetylglucosaminidases limit their applications. Mining for novel enzymes from new microorganisms is one way to address this problem. Read More

    Characterization of calcineurin from Cryptococcus humicola and the application of calcineurin in aluminum tolerance.
    BMC Biotechnol 2017 Mar 29;17(1):35. Epub 2017 Mar 29.
    Faculty of Life Science and Technology, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, China.
    Background: Calcineurin (CaN) is a Ca(2+)- and calmodulin (CaM)-dependent serine/threonine phosphatase. Previous studies have found that CaN is involved in the regulation of the stress responses.

    Results: In this study, the growth of Cryptococcus humicola was inhibited by the CaN inhibitor tacrolimus (FK506) under aluminum (Al) stress. Read More

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