ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0209.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: leafy greens; spinach; metabolomics; metabolic profiling; food pathogens; biomarker discovery
Online: 12 January 2021 (08:20:35 CET)
Shiga toxigenic E. coli (STEC) are an important cause of foodborne disease globally with many outbreaks linked to the consumption of contaminated foods such as leafy greens. Existing methods for STEC detection and isolation are time-consuming. Rapid methods may assist in preventing contaminated products from reaching consumers. This proof-of-concept study aimed to determine if a metabolomics approach could be used to detect STEC contamination in spinach. Using untargeted metabolic profiling, the bacterial pellets and supernatants arising from bacterial and inoculated spinach enrichments were investigated for the presence of unique metabolites that enabled categorization of three E. coli risk groups. A total of 109 and 471 metabolite features were identified in bacterial and inoculated spinach enrichments, respectively. Supervised OPLS-DA analysis demonstrated clear dis-crimination between bacterial enrichments containing different risk groups. Further analysis of the spinach enrichments determined that pathogen risk groups 1 and 2 could be easily discriminated from the other groups, though some clustering of risk groups 1 and 2 was observed, likely representing their genomic similarity. Biomarker discovery identified metabolites that were significantly associated with risk groups and may be appropriate targets for potential biosensor development. This study has confirmed that metabolomics can be used to identify the presence of pathogenic E. coli likely to be implicated in human disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0077.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; phosphorus XANES; fertilizer microdosing; African leafy vegetables; synchrotron; sustainability; nutrient stewardship
Online: 6 December 2019 (04:48:26 CET)
This study investigated the speciation, transformation and availability of P during indigenous vegetable production by employing a combination of chemical and spectroscopic techniques. The study focused upon sites in two ecozones of SSA, the Dry Savanna (lna, Benin Republic) and Rainforest (Ilesha, Nigeria). Both sites were cultivated with two indigenous vegetable species; local amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus (AV)) and African eggplant (Solanum macrocarpon (SM)). The soils were treated with 5 t/ha poultry manure and urea fertilizer at the rate of 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80 kg N/ha. Soil samples were collected before planting and after harvest. Phosphorus K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy was used to determine P speciation in these soils. Quantitative analysis showed that adsorbed and organic P were the two dominant P species in the manure amended Dry Savanna (DS) soils before planting and after harvest in soils cultivated with both AV and SM, with the addition of urea (40 kg N/ha) causing an increase in the organic P form in Dry Savanna soils cultivated with AV. Soils of the Rainforest (RF) cultivated with AV initially had large amounts of apatite P in the manure amended soils prior to planting which was transformed to adsorbed and organic P after harvest. Urea addition to the Rainforest soils shifted the dominant P species from organic P to adsorbed and apatite P, which is likely to limit P availability. Soils cultivated with SM had similar proportions of both organic and adsorbed P forms, with 40 kg N/ha addition slightly increased the proportion of adsorbed P.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0255.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: arabidopsis thaliana; floral development; flower morphology; ds transposon; classical/sequencing-based mapping; LEAFY; DNA-binding
Online: 22 November 2019 (06:39:06 CET)
The transition to reproduction is a crucial step in the life cycle of any organism. In Arabidopsis thaliana the establishment of reproductive growth can be divided into two phases: Firstly, cauline leaves with axillary meristems are formed and internode elongation begins. Secondly, lateral meristems develop into flowers with defined organs. Floral shoots are usually determinate and suppress the development of lateral shoots. Here, we describe a transposon insertion mutant in the Nossen accession with defects in floral development and growth. Most strikingly is the outgrowth of stems from the axillary bracts of the primary flower carrying secondary flowers. Therefore, we named this mutant flower-in-flower (fif). However, the transposon insertion in the annotated gene is not the cause for the fif phenotype. By means of classical and genome sequencing-based mapping, the mutation responsible for the fif phenotype was found to be in the LEAFY gene. The mutation, a G-to-A exchange in the second exon of LEAFY, creates a novel lfy allele and results in a cysteine-to-tyrosine exchange in the α1-helix of LEAFY´s DNA-binding domain. This exchange abolishes target DNA-binding, whereas subcellular localization and homomerization are not affected. To explain the strong fif phenotype against this molecular findings, several hypotheses are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0175.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; FTIR spectroscopy; fertilizer microdosing; African leafy vegetables; greenhouse gas mitigation; sustainability; tropical agriculture; soil fertility
Online: 17 January 2020 (04:23:44 CET)
Fertility management techniques being promoted in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) seek to grow indigenous vegetables economically and sustainably. This study was conducted in a phytotron chamber and compared yield, soil carbon (C) speciation and greenhouse gas (nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2)) emissions from SSA soils of two ecoregions; the dry savanna (lna, Republic of Benin) and rainforest (Ife, Nigeria) cultivated with local amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) under manure (5 t/ha) and/or urea (80 kg N/ha) fertilization. Vegetable yield ranged from 1753 kg/ac to 3198kg/ac in the rainforest, RF, soils and 1281 kg/ac to 1951 kg/ac in the dry savanna, DS, soils. Yield in the urea treatment was slightly higher compared to the manure+urea treatment, but the difference was not statistically significant. Cumulative CO2 emissions over 21 days ranged from 497.06 to 579.47 g CO2 in the RF, and 322.96 to 624.97 g CO2 in the DS, while cumulative N2O emissions ranged from 60.53 to 220.86 mg N2O in the RF, and 24.78 to 99.08 mg N2O in the DS. In the RF samples, the combined use of manure and urea reduced CO2 and N2O emissions but led to an increase in the DS samples. ATR-FTIR analysis showed that the combined use of manure and urea increased the rate of microbial degradation in the soils of the DS, but no such effect was observed in soils of the RF. We conclude that combining manure and urea fertilization has different effects on soils of the two ecoregions, and that RF farmers can reduce agricultural emissions without compromising soil productivity and yield potential.